Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Month: July, 2004

Garden City or City of Boiled Beans

Bangalore is known as the “Garden City”, but it was once known as the “City of Boiled Beans”. Legend says that King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty lost his way in the forest. He ran into this old woman who gave him some boiled beans to eat. So he named the city “bende kaalu ooru”. However, history says that the name “Bengalooru” was in vogue even before King Ballala’s time. This is just as well – I’d hate living in a town called the “City of Boiled Beans”. Many reasons come to mind.

Anyway, Bangalore was loads of fun! I arrived there by bus. They have this thing called an “Airbus” now. It rivals the comfort of the long-distance buses in the United States. For one, you can push back the seat much further, and you also have this cool foot-rest thing. It’s pretty awesome. It takes anywhere between 10 to 12 hours by bus, from Ernakulam to Bangalore. I slept most of the way. When I woke up, I started seeing store signs in an unfamiliar Dravidian Script. Once I reached Bangalore, I was approached by dozens of auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers, who asked me where I wanted to go. I had no idea of course. I was waiting for my uncle, who was coming to pick me up. This was actually one time that efficiency worked against me. I had told my uncle that I would be reaching at 8 am. However, the Bus Driver thought he was in the INDY 500, and we reached Bangalore at 7 am. I bought an issue of “India Today” and listened to music with my head phones, or my “Princess Leia Headphones” as Sadhana calls them.

My aunt and my cousin didn’t have too much trouble picking me out from the crowd. I hadn’t seen my aunt in 5 years, and my cousin Deepthi, in 7. It was a really nice seeing them again after so long.
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India’s Greatness

“India is Great” and “Avoid AIDS”. This is what the lorry in front of me proclaimed. “Horn Please, OK?” it also said.The lorry driver is sure that India’s greatness has everything to do with avoiding AIDS and sounding the horn at appropriate times.

Hulk Hogan towers over me on a billboard, advertising a Sari.

A serene cow and a beggar walk into the road. The beggar holds up his hand and traffic obediently stops while he crosses. Who needs traffic lights? The cow chews her cud and looks at the vehicles with her large, wet eyes before finally deciding to move on.

I love this place. I really do. Life is everywhere. Everything is Alive.

Frankenstein AC Adapter

Excuse the time on this entry. I am donig this through vncviewer. For some reason, I can’t login to my admin section from the cyber-cafe. It is actually 1:40 in the afternoon. Anyway, I got the new AC adapter. It is HUGE and HEAVY. It is a metallic box and lavender in colour. I was very scared when I first hooked it up. I thought it would blow up my Gamecube. But it didn’t! It works like a charm! And I got it made for only $6! I have to hand it to the electricians here. They did a wonderful job. Sure, it looks like a mad scientists’s creation, but it works!

I am unable to post pictures due to the fact that each of them are about a meg and a half. The upload speed here isn’t so good, so I can’t transfer them over to AZ. They are all on CD right now, and I will put them up as soon as I get back to AZ.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. I am going to try and go to Bangalore sometime in the future.

New AC adapter and pretty malayalee girls

I got a new AC adapter. I got the electrical shop here to use the cable from my fried Nintendo Gamecube adapter and attach it to a 220V AC to 12V DC (3.25 Amps) adapter. This way I will be able to plug it into my Gamecube and use it… FINALLY! I just hope it doesn’t get fried or anything. That would really suck.

I haven’t been doing anything at all here. It gets a little boring at times. The day passes quickly though for some reason. I went to this kid’s first birthday yesterday. It turns out I am an uncle of sorts, because the kid’s mom is my second-cousin, which makes the kid my nephew. Crazy. Anyway, the party was good. There was good food. That is one thing I will miss when I come back to Arizona. The amazing food… sigh. You know, I am almost tempted to ask my parents to find me a nice Malayalee Hindu Nair girl who can cook some nice avial or something. I think they will be more than happy to do so. Actually, I must say that I have seen some really gorgeous girls here. That’s why there are not that many pretty Malayalee girls in Arizona. All of them are here in Kerala.

It rained like crazy yesterday – for almost the entire day. It hasn’t rained at all today. There is nothing much going on other than that. I am starting to like this cyber-cafe. It’s pretty neat. I am pleasantly surprised by the availability of broadband.

I tried to transfer the pictures from my digital camera to this computer. However, the computer does not have a CD drive. It has a USB port, but no CD drive. So, I cannot install the digital camera software. I am going to try it on another computer. I have close to seventy pictures, with a lot more to come. I will try to get the pictures onto the computer today. Otherwise, I will have to do it when I get back to Arizona.

India

I am in India right now. It’s been great!

I got here on the first. The very next day, I left at 3:30 am for Trivandrum. I got there at around 8:00 am. I got myself a hotel room and met up with Sadhana, Vibha, Rachna and Prakash (Suraj’s brother). It was weird meeting them there – “incongruous” is the right word. Kerala is so far away from our usual haunts in Arizona.

We went over to Gouri’s place and hung out there for a while. We had ambitious plans to see all kinds of stuff. A waterfall in Tamil Nadu and a Dam where we could feed fish. Eventually we ended up just going to Kovalam Beach. My driver is not very familiar with Trivandrum so it was kinda hard for him to figure out where these places were. He did know where Kovalam was though. We made my poor driver go all around Trivandrum. I am sure he thinks we are all positively insane. We had a ton of fun at Kovalam. We waded in the water and got drenched. After we got back to the car, I was appointed the foot-dusting-person. Mostly because I didn’t want sand in the car. Ani (my driver) handed me a duster, which I used to dust Sadhu, Rach and Vibha’s feet. And to think I wasted my time getting a degree in Computer Engineering.

The next day was Gouri’s wedding. Sadhu, Rach and Vibha took a million years to figure out how to wear their saris. Eventually we made it to Trivandrum Club (where the wedding was supposed to take place) and an aunty there fixed the saris for the girls. Prakash and I sorta hung about sticking out like sore thumbs. The wedding itself was a very short affair. Malayalee Nair weddings always are. The sadhya (feast) was awesome. Gouri was looking positively resplendent in her outfit. I have pictures and I will post them as soon as I get back to Arizona. That won’t be until early September though.

After the wedding, we went back to the hotel to change into more comfortable clothes. I then had to get Sadhu, Rach, Vibha and Prakash to the train station so that they could catch the Anandhapuri Express to Madras. This proved to be easier said than done. What followed was a veritable drama which involved Kerala Tourism, the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation – similar to the FBI of the United States), the local Superintendent of Police, the Assistant Director General of Tamil Nadu (or more affectionately known as “Santu Mama”), the conductor of the Train, and of course Your’s Truly, and his friends Sadhu, Rach, Vibha and Prakash. You see, Kerala Tourism booked Rach’s train ticket for the 4th at 4:00 pm instead of the 3rd. To correct this, we had to involve all the aforementioned people. Eventually, Rach ended up on the train. I had to wait in the train with Vibha while all this was sorted out. We wondered what would happen if the train left with me. I would have to explain to my mother and my grandparents what I was doing on a train to Madras instead of coming back home. That would not have been a very pleasant conversation.

I was a little depressed on my way back home because it was kind of a downer. We had hung out a lot over the past two days and had had a lot of fun. However after I came back home, I felt much better.

I haven’t been doing much at all in Chendamangalam. I’ve just been hanging out, playing with my dogs, and watching TV. I brought my Gamecube here, but I was an idiot and I blew up the AC adapter. It has an input voltage of 120V and everything here runs at 220V. The result wasn’t pretty. My Gamecube is fine. I doubt the adapter works though. It was pretty dumb of me to overlook that rather significant fact of “voltage difference”. You see, my camera adapater works over a range – 110V to 220V. The Nintendo Gamecube adapter doesn’t. Oh well. I am exploring other avenues. I found a site that ships the adapter to India. I am also going to check out stores in Ernakulam.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. Just chilling and relaxing and enjoying great food. My access to the internet is pretty limited. I have to drive (or take an auto-rickshaw) a little ways to get to the Cyber Cafe. But it is worth it! They have broadband at 512 Kbps! That’s awesome!

Anyway, that’s it. I will be back with more updates as soon as I can!

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