Me on FB

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LAST BLOG POST FROM THE USA...

WARNING: INSANELY LONG!!

I am typing this post on the train to Boston - the last leg of my U.S.A tour...which has almost neared 2 months now :).....Okay, before I go ahead, what I write in this post might not make sense...because I am in an AWESOME seat...to my opposite side, there are some really SUPER AMAZING hot chicks sitting :P....I won't get to see any superhot blonde chick after 40 hrs from now :P......So I've decided to jollu-vuttufy and sight-adchify them as much as possible :P....So please bear with me if this post has gibberish :P :P....It's been quite a long and eventful journey, from Mountain View, CA to Boston, MA..I just have a day in Boston...basically decided to visit Boston...to spend time with some relatives of mine...whom I've not met for about a decade now...

Atlanta

After returning to Columbus on July 27th...I had a week's time before I left to Atlanta on Aug 3rd...to spend time with my brother...I've actually been to Atlanta twice earlier...I've seen most of the places there - The Olympic park...the coca-cola factory...etc...the coca-cola factory was good...So, this time, with my bro being busy with his work...we hardly went out anywhere...but that was alright...The main purpose of that trip was to spend time with him...OF COURSE, we did go to Saravana Bhavan :P...oh wait, this was the main purpose of the trip :P :P :P...Atlanta was like Madras, INSANELY HOT AND HUMID...

I returned to Columbus on Aug 6th morning...This also marked my last domestic flight journey in the USA...in a long time to come :)....I flew Airtran...it's a very good, low-cost airline...which offers wi-fi on board...as well as free coffee at the terminals...

Chicago

Then, I slept throughout the day and left that night to Chicago, on Megabus....I must say, Megabus is THE BEST BUS I've EVER traveled in, in my whole life! It is SIMPLY SUPER-AWESOME!! The bus itself looks AMAZINGLY OUT OF THE WORLD!! :)..It has 2 decks...The best part - the bus has WiFi onboard !! :P....what more does a 24/7 Facebook+gchat stalker want? :P...The onward journey was quite good...We first reached Cincinnati...Cincinnati has a very pretty-looking downtown...especially at night...From there, we went to Indianapolis...Indianapolis, I must say, isn't great at all...looks very very ordinary....Over here, all my hopes of stretching my legs and having a long slumber were dashed, because A REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY OVERTLY EXTREMELY FATTTTTTTT guy sat next to me :(, as that was the only seat available....:(...I could not even put the seat divider completely down, as his elephant-like tummy was obstructing it!! I was crushed.....local aa sollanum na, naan chutney!!! I felt as if I was crushed between two walls..with no way to free my hands or legs, and sticking my nose out just to breathe...God !! Why the heck are people SO DAMN FAT!!! I mean, I know you can tell me - look who's talking!! :P :P...I know I am a little fat...but, just a little fat man!! This guy was like ...10 FAT PEOPLE put together!!! He was like 2 Yokozunas!! Don't people watch their diet as they get that fat ?? Are they really so dumb to let themselves be that way? Anyways....I reached Chicago Union station at 6.20 am local time...The downtown looked
AWESOME!!! I then understood why Chicago was one of the best places in the USA to visit....The Sears tower looked extremely high and elegant...standing tall and much above the other 40-50 storey buildings, which looked like pieces of lego-blocks...I took a 3-day pass, took buses to Kuldeep's apartment....Kuldeep's apartment was AWESOME as well...It was on the 17th floor of Praire shores..There was a good view of Lake Michigan from there...

After crashing for an hour, we headed to the city center...the downtown looked ABSOLUTELY SUPER-AWESOME...No wonder, Chicago is KNOWN for having one of the best skylines in the world....It was simply spectacular.....we headed to the Millenium Park first....the famous bean...and then...from there, we went and had awesome lunch at Cheesecake factory, before going up on the John Hancock observatory...we went up to 90+ storeys...we had a VERY VERY nice daytime view of Chicago from the top.....It was JUST BRILLIANT....It was like playing Sim-city...all cars down wayyyyyy below looking like toys....and all buildings standing up like a bunch of small crayons....After taking about a hundred snaps...We went down and headed to the Buckingham fountain, which was actually closed...We had a view of it from the road itself....We then headed to the IIT campus....It seemed quite small...at least to me, having come from one of the USA's largest campuses - Ohio State! :P...Yeah yeah, showing off my university! :P...YAY! GO BUCKS!! Proud to be a Buckeye! :P....That night, Kuldeep took me along to one of his friends' birthday party...which was on the 36th floor of some building in downtown....facing the Navy Pier....The night view of Chicago downtown was awesome as well....I got to see the Navy Pier fireworks....SUCH A WONDERFUL SIGHT!!! The black sky was lit up with all possible colors....and the light reflected on the lake water as well...Wonderful moment...Everyone had come with their better halves....and to-be better halves...:P....I wish my to-be better half were there too :P....(yes yes...questions about who she is ..are most welcome :P....and strongly encouraged!! :P....I need lot of comments on my posts :D ...and I hope such lines provide incentive for you guys to comment :P )...Anyways, it must've been a very romantic moment for all of them....watching fireworks by the lakeside...with the round moon adding more brightness to it ...

Then, we went back home...crashed....The next day, we headed first to Devon St....One first look at it, and I suddenly thought - "When the hell did I come and end up in Shivajinagar??" ...It was SO SO SO much like Shivajinagar....all Indian shops and restaurants....along either side of a big street...Once in a while, we would come across a Bank of America or a T-Mobile store...Else, it was just Blah-blah Indian cuisine, XYZ saree house...etc etc...We had lunch at Mysore Woodlands...It was really really good...just like their Indian branch...From there, we headed to North Avenue beach....People were saying that day was supposed to be the hottest day of the year in Chicago....IT INDEED WAS!!! We saw the HOTTEST OF HOT CHICKS...at that beach...
Chicago was TRULY CHICK-AGO...:D......I ogled and ogled :P...knowing very well that I wouldn't get to see such a multitude of chicks coming for a sun-tan in a long time to come :P....and it was a pretty awesome beach too.....Since it is a lake....there was no gushing water with high currents....there were just gentle waves striking your feet every 2 seconds...

We headed back home to pack my stuff...and before returning to Columbus, we saw WHAT IS A MUST-SEE in Chicago - The Sears tower :)...Once upon a time, it was the tallest building in the world for 20 years...We went upto the 103rd floor...and the night view of Chicago was WOWWWWW!!! My mouth was more wide open...than it was while ogling at the chicks...I stared stupefied in amazement, at the sheer magnificent extraordinarily lit up Chicago all around me...it was plain magic...I had seen this view all this while only on tv...andin the movies...But seeing it in REALITY...unbelievable experience....This shall be one of the best moments of my US tour...
Sears tower also had a glass area protruding out of the building.....It was transparent....That was THE HIGHLIGHT of the tower....You look down...you realize you are 103 storeys above....and you are like - OH GOD...what would happen if the glass actually breaks down now....and suddenly your heart comes to your mouth....you are hesitant to even take a photo there....you just wanna go back to the building ASAP....Kids jumping big time on the glass to test how hard it is...scares you all the more!! The thought keeps coming to your mind...WHAT IF IT BREAKS, BY MISTAKE??....and then you imagine yourself...falling down a long way...very quickly and dying...Anyway, I sat down on a corner....asked Kuldeep to take snaps quickly....and then crawled back to the building :D ....I was scared to actually get up and walk :P ...But, it is such a NOVEL and FANTASTIC idea, I must say - the glass enclosure...It is meant to scare the shit out of people....and it succeeded wonderfully well, at least in my case :D....I am usually scared only of snakes and flying cockroaches....Apart from these two, I feared NOTHING in life....But this glass thing on the Sears tower seriously scared the hell out of me....I then bid Kuldeep goodbye and boarded the Megabus back to Columbus....I was supposed to meet Manish Shetty as well, but eventually did not....

Last few days in Columbus

I didn't realize that I had only 3 days left in Columbus....until my last night over there....On 9th Aug, I went to Tuttle Mall and bought some stuff...and then...the next day, I had dinner with the Lingams - Arun Chockalingam and Naveen Ramalingam....my 24/7 company on facebook....It's like a triple threat match all the time...Each one of us looking to bash up the other 2...all the time....AUG 10TH should be celebrated as WORLD FASHION DAY every year...to commemorate the GREATEST FASHION ever - FORMAL DRESS WITH BATHROOM SLIPPERS.....introduced by Naveen :D :D...It was an AWESOME night, with Arun struggling to eat Panneer Masala Dosa..:P...and Naveen waiting to head back home :P...because of inability to withstand Arun and I RUTHLESSLY vaangifying his maanam :P :P..

The last day finally came....I first headed to do all the minor work I was supposed to do, like depositing money, converting all coins to notes etc...making sure I've packed everything .....I then headed to the BMI department, to bid goodbye to Prof. Umit and the HPC lab group...From there, I headed to Dreese labs to meet Arun Narayanan....I also stopped by Prof. Srini's office and spoke to him for a few minutes...I wanted to meet Prof. Rajiv as well, but he was very busy with some work....So from there, I headed back home.....and went to Artika's house to spend my last moments with her...in Columbus.....I started feeling weird from then......It slowly started sinking in....Tears had covered up to half their journey...:P....Then, we, along with Ashish and Sharada...headed to Qdoba on West 5th...FOR THE LAST TIME :(.....Qdoba was a place I frequented more than any of my neighborhood temples back in B'lore :P....I WILL MISS THAT!! BIG TIME!! :(.....I didn't even feel like it was my last day in Columbus then....because...it was just like any other hang out...all of us having fun....Artika becoming the butt end of all jokes..:D..as usual.....esp. her videos :P...I am sure if I put them up on youtube, they'll get more number of hits than the videos of Wilbur Sargunaraj also...:P :P :P....But then, it was time to leave...We went back home...I said goodbye to Sharada....Artika, Ashish and I went to Kroger..and then came back.......that was it .....I had to tell goodbye to both of them...:-|.....
This was one of the worst moments :P...Tears had covered 90% of their journey :P.....But somehow...they didn't come out :P....These people are 2 of my closest friends....I've spent the maximum time this year so far...with them...apart from Arun....All the times which we've spent during these 6 months....flashed in my mind....right from the SMSE project days....until the 762 E-serve project days....they were all SO MEMORABLE....I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE THEY'RE GONE!!!!!!! :( :( :(.....It still seems like we did another night out yesterday!! :( :( .... Night-out meaning ...our meeting up with the intention to code all night....and then cooking something..:P....mostly Ashish curry :P...with all yogurt and extra masala and extra salt and pasta sauce :P.....OR ordering Adriaticos Pizza :P....OR....I would make Samosa chaat :P.....While eating all this, we would watch a Mahesh Babu or a Ravi Teja movie....and laugh our stomachs out at some AWESOME Brahmanandam joke :P.....Once in a while, Artika's random friends would drop in :P :P ...rather...SHE WOULD CALL THEM :P :P :P....right, Ashish?? :D ...I SO BADLY MISS the Ashish-Artika arguments :( :P...They used to be the most entertaining arguments ever :P ....Ashish's extremely awesome jokes :D :D....and Artika's priceless reactions :P....and signs of super frustration :D ...Of course, all this....with and on-and-off discussion about Arun's secret crushes...:P....This phase of my MS life...WAS SURELY THE BEST phase :)...NOTHING can beat our SMSE project team :P....all the 4 A's...EACH ONE SIMPLY SUPER AWESOME in their own ways :D...

By then, it really sunk in.....man!!!!!! WHAT WAS I DOING???? I WAS GONNA LEAVE ALL OF THEM....AND LEAVE COLUMBUS....in few hours!!!! :( :(.....I could've done better with a little more time...:(....BUT I HAD TO LEAVE!!!! But what to do!! Even the best things come to an end...and life with the SMSE team was the best part of my MS life :).....I then went and met all my friends.....I spent the last few moments that night....with Roshni....Roshni's been the ONLY friend of mine....ALWAYS in the SAME BOAT as me :D :D.....horribly confused about where life is going...what would happen in the future etc....We understood each other so well....I felt really very bad to leave her too....It was really very sweet of her to gimme a card...when I was leaving...

I also spent the last few moments with another 2 of my close friends - Amruta and Lakshmi....I'll really miss pulling Amruta's leg....with all the guys she raves about :P...I'll miss her talking about her research almost all the time :P...All the best, Lakshmi :P hehehe...kidding...they're 2 of the most caring and helpful people I've EVER seen!! Will miss them big time....Lakshmi, u better keep me up to date with all about what Amruta's up to :P....

Finally, the next day morning...it was INDEED time to leave...to Rochester...Thanks to Arun Narayanan for dropping me at the Greyhound station....It was quite tiring, having to change buses at Cleveland and Buffalo...and dragging along 3 pieces of baggage...but still, it all worked out cheaper than taking a flight...I reached Rochester in the evening...met my cousin Rahul after 2 years....He was still the same lean chap....I had become fat :D ...Both of us were super-tired...we just crashed....We explored the University of Rochester the next day...and on the wee hours of Sunday morning, we headed to Niagara Falls!! :) :)

Niagara Falls

We took the Greyhound which went to Niagara Falls...after a brief stopover at Buffalo....We got there by 7.45 am.....and had a quick view of the Bridal veil falls...it was very nice :)....but not great...as we did not get a great view....The view of Ontario, Canada...from where we were standing, was also great....Rahul and I started wishing we were in Canada...to see a MUCH-BETTER view of the whole falls...rather than the small side view which we got to see then...I still couldn't believe it though......FOR MANY YEARS...I SAW NIAGARA FALLS ONLY IN THE MOVIES....AND ON TV.....AND THEN...THERE I WAS....FINALLY SEEING IT IN REALITY.....IT WAS AN UNFORGETTABLE EXTRAORDINARILY UNBELIEVABLE MOMENT when we went on The Maid of the Mist ride......You feel ALL THE CHILLS DOWN YOUR SPINE...WHEN YOU GO NEAR THE HUGEEEEEEEEE, FORCEFUL, SCAAAAAARYYYYYYY falls!! :) :)....The mist strikes you real hard....My camera's LCD screen did go for a toss :P......It was VERY VERY SCARY....BUT MORE...EXHILARATING THAN SCARY....AND UNBELIEVABLY AMAZINGLY SUPER EXCITING!!! I was like a small kid....opening my mouth-wide and gaping at the ASTONISHING MARVEL of nature....WHAT AN ABSOLUTE BEAUTY !!!!!!! ...Again, you begin to get thoughts like what if the boat capsizes ?? :P...what if control is lost ...and the boat goes right under the falls?? :P....Water is falling at the GREATEST SPEED EVER...WITH THE GREATEST FORCE EVER....It was ....I DUNNO WAT TO SAY MAN!!!! :) :) I'M OUTTA WORDS NOW :)....WHAT DO I USE?? :) :)....IT'S AN UNBELIEVABLE FEELING....INDESCRIBABLE FEELING....when you go on The Maid of the mist near the falls....esp. the Horseshoe falls....I dunno...I can refer to it as "The Maid of the Mist" feeling :) :)...it's a feeling in itself...which can't be described in words :)...

After this, we went to Cave of the Winds...which was another feeling in itself :P ...I can only call it as the Cave of the Winds feeling :D ...no words to describe this one again...MAN !!! ....You are RIGHT UNDER THE BRIDAL VEIL FALLS !!!!!! THE WATER, WITH SO MUCH FORCE AND POWER....ACTUALLLLLY COMES AND FALLS ON YOU.....AT THAT RATE!!!!!!!!!! All I could say was "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDDD.....shitttttttttttttttttttttttttttt"!!! :).......Again, you get thoughts like - what if all the wooden stairs and planks break...and get washed away?? :P.....what if the falls actually washes u away ?? :P.........Again, one of those moments...WHERE YOU KNOW U R ABSOLUTELY SAFE.......BUTTTTTTTT...STILL YOU GET UR HEART IN UR MOUTH !!!!!!
:D ....SERIOUSLY.....ALL OF YOU ...BEFORE YOU DIE.....YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO SEE NIAGARA FALLS....ELSE...YOU HAVE WASTED YOUR LIFE!!!!!! :D...

In half a day, we were pretty much done...We had to kill time until dark.....to get the night view of the falls....fully illuminated with different colors.....we managed to kill time...and in the night, we got a good view of the falls....but not the best one.....the proper lighting would have been best visible from the Canadian side...but this was still nice...The illuminated downtown of Ontario was also a very pretty sight....We then sat for a while at Hard Rock Cafe...sipped a drink...and then headed to the Amtrak station....we hadn't slept for almost 24 hours...we were too tired...So we decided to catch a nap at the station....I had asked my mum to wake me up half an hour before the train departed......Tension started mounting in India and Dubai :P :P...and we ended up with more questions than the immigration officers actually asked us :D :D :D....If only people realized that we have actually grown up....and are responsible for ourselves...:)...But never mind....family is THE ONLY SET of people....who are SURE to care unconditionally for you...ALL YOUR LIFE....and you've got to be thankful for it ....Having stayed away from them for 2 years now, before returning, I am now truly thankful for all they've done for me :)

We arrived in Rochester at 6 am or so...and crashed straight away....The next few days...we were busy apartment-hunting ...and the only places worthy of visiting in Rochester were the High falls...and Mysore Woodlands hotel....but even those turned out to be VERY ORDINARY...:)...Time soon flew....It was time for me to leave Rochester...I took the train to New York City....The train journey to NYC was VERY SCENIC....with the Hudson river all along ....Lot of bridges and lot of scenic beauty....THAT'S ONE REASON WHY I ALWAYS PREFER TRAINS TO FLIGHTS....Sure, flights take you to your destination before you're done blinking your eye....but trains are cheaper...and take you through a lot of unexplored scenery.....which flights cannot give you :)...Rivers, mountains, beaches, waterfalls...what not!! :)...Three cheers to trains!

I reached New York City at 7 pm...I was supposed to take a taxi ....but the driver said it would cost 60$....Without hesitation, I told Godambi about this....He said he would come to Penn Station and help me out with transporting my baggage :)....I finally, FINALLY SAW ..THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING...from outside...IT LOOKED ABSOLUTELY MAJESTIC AND ELEGANT !!!!!!! .....OMG !!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS FINALLY THERE!!!!!! IN THE HEART OF NEW YORK CITY!!!!!! ........WHERE THE WHOLE WORLD WANTS TO BE !!!!!.....WHAT THE WHOLE WORLD WANTS TO SEE!!!! ...We reached Newport, New Jersey...and I just crashed...

New York City & Jersey City

It was a Friday...and everyone was at work....I had to explore NYC alone...I set out on the PATH train..from Newport to World Trade Center.....got down over there....and I first saw the construction site....where they were reconstructing it .....I wish I had seen the twin towers :)...They would've been AWESOME to see....Such a terrible thing that the 9/11 attacks happened....If only there was a Vijaykanth who would wipe out darrarism..:P (terrorism) from the face of the earth...in REAL LIFE AS WELL !! :)...

From there, I explored Wall street....The New York Stock Exchange...and all the other buildings....I headed to Brooklyn bridge from there....took a walk up to the half mark....from where I could see the Manhattan skyline....took plenty of pics....but the bridge wasn't as good as it is hyped....I came back...took the subway to Times Square...:)

The moment I came up the stairs and got out on 42nd street...I was DUMBSTRUCK !!!
What an OCEAN of people!!! I had seen that many people only in Tirupati till now!! IT WAS ABSOLUTE CHAOS!!!! PEOPLE WALKING IN ALL DIRECTIONS.....FLASHY SIGNBOARDS EVERYWHERE....FLASHING SOMETHING OR THE OTHER !!!!!!!! BLINKING, BLINDING LIGHTS EVERYWHERE !!!!! WHAT WAS I TO DO???? WHERE WAS I TO GO???? I also just started walking all around the place...just like any other tourist :P....took photos of every signboard I saw....all angles of all streets and all buildings....spent a fair bit of time there....AND YES....PEOPLE, TIMES SQUARE IS ANOTHER CHICK SPOT!! :P...you have SUPER HOT CHICKS over there...so...It is a good place to sit all day...and ogle as much as u want :P...
After a barrage of photographs, I proceeded to Central Park......

Now...It is AWESOME, the way this city is built....Tall buildings engulfing you from all sides...is almost how it is like throughout the city...UNTIL you come to this HUGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE park...The park is BIG ENUF to be called as a city :)...I started my tour of the park...covered the Western stretch...It was a LONG and TIRING walk...I began to feel very tired....That's one thing about NYC....IT IS AN AWESOME PLACE, BUT IT GETS VERY TIRING...AND SOONER, IF YOU ARE ALONE :).....I was very tired already....but still I had the drive to go till the Northern end of the park...It took me 1.5 to 2 hours...:)....There were some GREAT sights...in Central Park too, the view of the skyline from the reservoir.....and the lake....and from the great lawn....were all very nice...

After that...I, being a Saravana Bhavan devotee...decided to be a pilgrim over here as well :P...and headed there for dinner..Godambi said he would join me ....On the way, I explored Lexington Avenue...MAN...FULL AND FULL of Desi restaurants...Me wonders, with the Goliath-ic Saravana Bhavan around, will the others actually do business? Anyways, after the Saravana Bhavan dinner, we went to Times Square at night....the flashing lights were ALL-THE-MORE blinding now.....This is THE ONLY PLACE in the world which SHALL ALWAYS BE CROWDED me thinks...even if there's severe epidemic breakout in the area....it'll be crowded I guess :)....We went back home...I was VERY PLEASED with covering almost all places during the first day itself :)

The next day, we headed to cover the Statue of Liberty after I took a snap with the famous NY bull :)...it was a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG queue at Battery Park....It took us 2 hours before we got on to the ferry which took us to the statue and Liberty Island....We had THE BEST VIEW of the Manhattan Skyline from there....and I took a zillion snaps of the statue....We then headed back to the city....I ate at Chipotle for the last time :( :( ...in many years to come!! :( :(...

Then, Godambi went home....I went on to explore The Empire State Building.....I patted myself on the shoulder for my planning :P...bcos it was 6 pm when I entered...I would get to see the daytime as well as night view :)....I went up to the 102nd floor.....It was an indoor thing...i.e. there was glass all around....It was a spectacular view though.....Not as good as the Sears tower one :)...BUT STILL...IT WAS SIMPLY SUPER-AWESOME to see...NYC, NJ, Brooklyn, Statue of Liberty...MAN !!! ONE CAN SEE THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD FROM THE TOP OF THE BUILDING!! :D :D ....I took a billion photographs of the day view from the 102nd floor....when it was about to get dark, I got down to the 86th floor...which was open-air ....Started another round of photo-clicking when it got dark....and when the lights were on :)....This was another nice view...:)....Empire state was AWESOME....But I still somehow like Sears Tower the most :)

From there, I went to Hoboken....where I caught up with Krithika Govind...after 2 years....though we spent only an hour at the river front...It was an awesome time :)...and of course...HOBOKEN IS THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GET THE BEST VIEW OF THE NYC SKYLINE.....It looked REALLY REALLY WONDERFUL AND FANTABULOUSLY AWESOMELY AMAZING :D :D....After that, I returned home..

I was a relieved man...:) By now, I had seen ALL THE MAJOR PLACES IN NYC...:)...On the last day, I went and saw Madame Tussauds...It was really AMAZING...how the wax statues are so damn accurate!!! HATS OFF TO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM!! They are TRULY BLESSED with wonderful talent....From there, I got caught in a torrential heavy downpour ! I got myself drenched in spite of having an umbrella....Once the rain subsided...I saw the Plaza hotel..Rockfeller center..The New York Times building and other small things in NYC...From there, I headed back to Newport.....Caught up with Abhijeet Sharma...after 2 years...we had an AWESOME VIEW of the NYC skyline from there...it was very cloudy too :)....it was a very interesting view :) :)....After that, I went to Malleswaram 7th cross...OOPS :P...sorry...Newark Avenue, New Jersey...OK..now this is a place which is SO SO SO DAMN EXACTLY LIKE Malleswaram....YOU REALLY FEEL YOU ARE IN INDIA !!! ....There are PAAN SHOPS...and SWEETS SHOPS...AND WHAT NOT !!!!!!!!! Indian restaurants and shops THRU OUT the street....Had dinner with Muthu at Paratha Junction....it was very nice...and then headed back home ...

Now on the train to Boston :)....Very scenic ...lot of nice sea views :)...and river views :).....But am very sleepy :).....but at the same time, being kept awake because of the hot chicks around me :P :P...
PHEW !!!!!!!!!!!! Signing off for now :P......Lemme update the same post...when I am done with Boston :)...

Boston

I got down at Route 128 station...with a heavy heart...because that meant the end of all the ogling :P at the chicks around...Anyway, Venky mama was there to recieve me ...It was great seeing him after 10 years...From there, we headed to the John. F. Kennedy museum and library...Every president of the USA has a library and museum...I am not particularly a fan of museums...but this one was good...the life of the president was beautifully depicted with a lot of his personal stuff and belongings preserved too...In particular, I loved the short movie about his life ...with the narrative in his voice itself...All his wonderful sayings were etched on the walls of the museum...truly inspiring indeed...Hope all nations follow some of his words...It would do them good :)..

We then drove around Boston before heading to downtown...As Lata maami had mentioned earlier, Boston was NOT a huge metro city like New York City, Chicago etc...But SIMPLY, THE WAY IT IS BUILT...THE WAY IT IS STRUCTURED...THE KINDA BUILDINGS WHICH ARE THERE ...SIMPLY THE WHOLE "LOOK" AND "FEEL" OF THE CITY WAS VERY VERY VERY REFRESHING ...ONE CAN MAKE OUT THE ABSOLUTE DIFFERENCE...WHILE GOING FROM NEW YORK CITY...NYC is an awesome place no doubt...BUT VERY VERY TIRING...IT IS THE MOST FAST-PACED PLACE EVER...THERE ARE ALWAYS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE...YOU'VE GOTTA BE ON THE MOVE AWLAYS...JUST THE VERY PACE OF THE CITY TAKES AWAY ALL THE ENERGY IN YOU....

IN CONTRAST..BOSTON WAS THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN...VERY LAID BACK, VERY CALM AND ELEGANT....VERY VERY REFRESHING...It would make an AWESOME place for a holiday...If you just need a break...and want to relax...I FELT AS IF I ENTERED A HISTORY BOOK...AND WENT BACK BY HALF A CENTURY...EVERY SINGLE BUILDING IN BOSTON HAS A GREAT STORY AND HISTORY BEHIND IT ...BOSTON ADORNS ITSELF WITH ALL CHAPTERS IN A HISTORY TEXT BOOK...There's just SO MUCH to learn about the place...about its culture...and the kinda people who exist...IT'S A HISTORIC PLACE...FULL OF SCHOLARS..thanks to THE BEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD ...around it ..:)...Anyways...we explored downtown boston...Mama took me to this Italian street..FULL AND FULL OF Italian restaurants...He was telling me that...the street gets blocked during FIFA world cups...there's a giant screen in the middle...screening Italy's games...and the whole street is like a stadium..:)...
We went to this place called Mike's Pastry...which is world famous...I had my first-ever Italian pastry - the Canoli...It was very nice..

We then headed to Cambridge...to explore MIT and Harvard :)..Now, the route from Boston to Cambridge ...is also very scenic...with downtown boston on one side....MIT on the other :)...and the Charles river in between ...We first explored MIT ...and then it struck me ...OH MAN !!! MIT !!!!!! MASSACHEUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY!! I AM IN THE BEST UNIVERSITY IN THE WORLD !!!!!!! I SUDDENLY FELT SO EXCITED ...probably more than someone who would've got admitted over there also! :P...As I mentioned in my previous post...I had been to Stanford as well..during my West Coast tour...However, I wasn't that excited then...But I was jumping around when I was in MIT...I just couldn't believe that I was standing in the best university in the world there...I went overboard and clicked every damn object over there :D ..every thing!! - some posters...a memo on the notice board about a thesis defense of some student :P..I also posed in front of the white board inside the decision systems laboratory...the board had some intelligent things written on it ...Probably, it is the atmosphere and the aura and the charm around the whole place which ADDS TO ITS GREATNESS...AND MAKES PEOPLE IN IT..ACTUALLY HYPEREXCITED TO BE IN IT :)...

Things like the thesis defense notice...and posters are there in every university! :P...I didn't even bother looking at them in Ohio State :P :P...BUT, THIS WAS THE THESIS DEFENSE OF AN MIT STUDENT !!! IT HAD TO BE SOMETHING LIKE THE NEXT BIG TECHNOLOGY PEOPLE MAY USE WORLDWIDE...IN MOST UNIVERSITIES, PEOPLE STUDY AND DO THESES IN ORDER TO GET THEIR DEGREE...AND GET ON WITH THEIR LIFE...BUT OVER HERE, WHEN PEOPLE DEVELOP SOMETHING OR IMPLEMENT AN IDEA...IT IS ACTUALLY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD !!!!!!! THINGS OVER HERE ARE MADE TO SHOW THE PATH AHEAD TO THE REST OF THE WORLD AND LEAD THEM TO THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY....Well, I was humbled..I felt so small...standing in the midst of all the MAJESTIC BUILDINGS AROUND ME BOILING AND BUBBLING WITH KNOWLEDGE....We then headed along the Charles river, to Harvard University...

Harvard University, quite like MIT ...had a very OLD AND CLASSIC look to it ...More than universities, I felt as if we were visiting some HISTORIC MONUMENTS...I think this was probably why I didn't feel as excited while at Stanford..because those buildings were modern and state-of-the-art...It was like visiting the campus of an IT-giant...However, these universities were centuries old...and exuded all charm, grace, majesty and elegance...We saw the statue of John Harvard...I touched his feet :P...in a bid to acquire at least an iota of his greatness..:P...then..we saw the world's largest library...and then...headed to the Science center...and from there...went to THE WORLD'S MOST DESIRED PLACE FOR BUSINESS STUDENTS - The Harvard Business school :)...It looked like a palace...

We then picked up Lata maami from her workplace...and headed out to Needham...then visited the temple which they had built in Ashland..a very nice temple...with all maamis along with their cute ABCD kids doing service there...vaadhiyaars doing archanais...It's kinda interesting to see ABCD kids...esp Tam girls...looking very beautiful and graceful, just as if they're from any Mylapore or Adyar household...and then speaking all American :D ...

From the temple, we headed to have my last dinner in the USA @Cheesecake factory...That's it ..my TOUR was over :)...my 2 years in the US..are now over..:)...I have less than 12 hours over here now..:)...

How am I feeling ??
Well...I dunno...since I've been touring for 2 months now...I just feel as if I am returning home after a vacation :)...You know, I am not feeling like - OMG !!! I ACTUALLY SPENT 2 YEARS OF MY LIFE HERE...AND STUDIED AT OSU...The feeling hasn't yet sunk in that I actually lived for 2 years...in this country...Well, I did feel that way when I left Columbus...But I was all happy again after touring Niagara Falls and NYC...So, right now....I feel like ..all that student life happened VERY LONG AGO....I feel like I was a student of OSU..a long long time ago..:)...when it has actually just been 2 months...I dunno man...it's mixed feelings :)...When I think of all my friends@OSU...I can't believe I won't be living with them anymore...You know, it feels like everything happened ALL OF A SUDDEN...But, when I think of my studies and my MS...I feel it's been a long time...since that happened...I FEEL JINXED !! :)

SO RIGHT NOW..SINCE I'VE BEEN TOURING BIG TIME THESE 2 MONTHS....I FEEL INDIA TOO, IS ANOTHER PLACE ON MY ITINERARY :)...I am feeling as if India is another place I am heading to...to spend some time....Little am I realizing that I am ACTUALLY going there for good..:)...However, HOME SHALL BE HOME..:)...THE USA WAS A PLACE WHERE I RESIDED FOR 2 YEARS...BUT IT WAS NOT "HOME" ..FOR ME AT LEAST :)...

My ideal future...would be me basing myself in India...and then getting opportunities to come on-site often..for a brief period of time...:)..
The USA is a good place to spend a couple of months or so...and go around visiting what it has to offer...BUT...HOME IS WHERE THE HEART WAS :)...HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS ..HOME IS WHERE THE HEART SHALL ALWAYS BE :)....AND HOME = INDIA...

THANKS TO THE USA AND IT'S PEOPLE...FOR GIVING ME THE MOST VALUABLE YEARS OF MY LIFE SO FAR....IT WAS IN THIS PHASE OF LIFE...THAT I STEPPED OUT ..OF MY SHADOW...ENTERED THE OCEAN OF MY OWN LIFE...AND REALLY GREW UP..:)...( Hope I have grown up :P..or haven't I?? :P )....AND UNDERSTOOD A LOT OF THINGS IN LIFE...LIKE I'VE ALWAYS SAID..THE LEARNING WAS ALL ABOUT LIFE...AND A LITTLE MORSEL OF IT ..WAS MY MS DEGREE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE...:)..

I NOW KNOW...THAT I CARRY MYSELF...THRU ANYTHING...THESE 2 YEARS JUST UPPED MY CONFIDENCE A LOT MORE...AND REASSURED ME ..THAT I CAN TAKE CARE AND RESPONSIBILITY OF MYSELF...AND MY PEOPLE..:)...

WELL..THIS IS IT...THAT WAS MY LAST BLOG POST IN THE USA..until God alone knows when :)....So, once again, to all my friends and people over here - ALL THE BEST!! GOD BE WITH YOU ALL...KEEP IN TOUCH...AND DO LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU COME 2 INDIA...LET'S CATCH UP...

AND A BIG THANKS TO ALL THOSE WHO HOSTED ME...ALL THESE 2 MONTHS :) - Shayan, Girish, Ranjitha and Avin, Gaurav Chittoor, Arun CS, Raghu and Sanket, my bro Vijay, Nagkuldeep, my cousin Rahul, Godambi..and lastly Venky mama and Lata maami

TO ALL MY PEOPLE IN INDIA - THE TERROR IS GONNA RETURN !!!!! :) :) ...BEWARE!!!!!! :) :)

GOODBYE USA....INDIA, HERE I RETURN!!!!!! :)

10 comments:

Harinee said...

Good that u had such a gr8 time and awesome that u r coming bak to indiae.. Welcome Home !!! :)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Thank you very much k :)

peterson's bio said...

Wow Ashwin, such a beautiful, heartfelt post .......... another of your great talents; use them well, and you will do very well - I wish you all the very best. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Your mom (and everyone from the Agasthya family)would be so proud of the grown-up kid coming back home.

Welcome home.

Ashwin S Kumar said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! :)

Lucky said...

Thotutta da.... great narrative....welcome home...

Ashwin S Kumar said...

THANK YOU :)

Rahul said...

once again great post .. Hope to see u soon .. TC

Prashanth said...

Really nice :) I really want to see whether the new grown-up kid is any better at cutting lemons now :P

sun said...

Welcome back macha!!

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@rahul n sundar - thanks guys

@kamle - hope so :D :D