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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Yuki Bhambri, a student from Delhi Public School Mathura Road, has now beaten Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas in straight sets to become the fourth indian to win a Grand Slam Title. Kudos to him and Aditya Sachdeva. 🙂

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Amongst a lot of my friends I have this weird, undeserved reputation for being a news fanatic. Unfortunately because of a rather irritating conversation between 2 friends, I now have to go an entire week without news. This thankfully is limited to-
1. Traditional forms of media(Paper and Tv)
2. Any type of news specific blog/Internet Epaper.
3. The various feeds i keep on my iGoogle page

Its been 27 hours, and I’m already regretting it.
I had to set up a filter to automatically archive my HT and couldn’t log into my /ig page.
Every 10 minutes my finger would curl towards the  TV remote, itching to change to BBC, as a last resort I started studying. That keeps me focused off’ve news, for now atleast.
Thank God (This coming from an almost atheist, so you know I mean it) my grandparents are home. One of them wakes up even earlier than I do to put religious songs on- avoids temptation.
I might even have to close twitkit. I get some news through that. Can hardly wait for the next 6 days.

More than half a century ago, Mahatma Gandhi declared this day to be India’s Independence Day. As most people will know, when we actually drafted the constitution the erstwhile governors of the nation decided to end the beta and release the final version of the constitution. Instead of ranting and raving about the level of corruption, poverty and the state of Indian Democracy, I decided to rant and rave about what we’re doing about it.
Today being a national holiday, undoubtedly thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people will be blogging about today right at this instant. But are we actually doing something?. We sit and moan about our political leaders but when the election comes around less than 30% vote. My parents didn’t and frankly I don’t think my maternal grandparents have even seen the insides of an election booth. Am I any better? I tell myself I’m not old enough to vote. Yet I can’t even name the contesting parties, let alone the representatives and I know I’m not going to bother to learn them.
A year or so ago Times of India came out with this lead India campaign

Amitabh Bachan talkes of an India that’s eager to spring forth and live up to the adjectives showered upon it by the world. I must be myopic, because no matter how much I squint this ‘India’ remains invisible.
We ‘honor’ the soldiers that died during 26/11. Yet 90% of the people in the military and para-military forces come not from well off backgrounds but from the poorer sections of our society. We fob this off by saying that the people with access to education can better serve our nation by serving in more scholarly ways. Though how many people in your schools are the ‘rich-kids’ people with shitloads of money that spend their day not working towards that goal, but running around the field or bunking in some place or the other. They graduate, get some tiny degree or the other and take over their father’s business or sponge of their parents forever. Am I any better? I tell myself that I want to become a teacher, and I do – a teacher teaching at some university that will create little bunny rabbits with one thing in mind- get that engineering degree, join a MNC and make shitloads of money.
How does that serve the nation? No matter how much we pander to ourselves. The truth is that people don’t change. Agreed, India is a country with great potential. Though that potential is wasted in this land of broken, twisted dreams.
A paragraph from Nehru’s Tryst with Destiny
The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman.
Where do we go?

I leave you with my favorite led zep verse
Oh, pilot of the storm that leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream
You’ve the map that led me to that place, yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that blows high in June, when moving through Kashmir.

The promised review.

Neverwinter Nights takes place surprisingly, in the land of Neverwinter. A mysterious plague called the “Wailing Death” has struck the land, as an adventurer, you have to traverse the world, leveling up and solving quests until you spend enough time to complete the game. Being a recovering Ragnarok addict, at first I was a little vary of touching another RPG game,  I seem to have it under control though I can’t help salivating about Feyduster’s Shortsword. The game is very different from a lot of RPG games, the damage you do depends very little on your stat levels, instead it depends on the toss of a dice. Obviously though, stronger spells and weapons will have higher  value dice leading to higher damages. Your statistics however do count towards your hp, hardiness and your ability to dodge attacks.
When you start the game, you choose a starting class- each class has its own skills and ‘feats’ that allow you to perform specific taks. In addition to class specific skills you also have general skills which can be accessed by every charecter. Feats are passive skills that perform various functions for example, a sorceror’s skills are geared towards empowering his spells, allowing him to cast them faster etc..
The starting classes are very varied apart from your usual barbarian, fighter, rogue and ranger you get a bard, a cleric(Thier version of healer) , a sorceror(Would probably be called a wizard in most other games, devastating spells, coupled with cast time and physical weakness), a wizard (Sort of a support/passive sorceror)and a bunch of ‘prestige’ classes you can access when you have certain feats/stats/skills.
The nice thing about NWN is that each time you level up you can change your charecter around totally, even going so far as to change your class- becoming a sort of ‘multiclass’ that has access to the skills you acquired before you multiclassed. After multiclassing, you can only get the class specific skills of the second class you chose/general skills so choose the right time to multiclass.
A useful feature for n00bs, the game features a ‘recommended’ button that automatically selects what charecter to play(Fighter always) and what skills/stats to upgrade at levelups.Detail on the textures and graphics isn’t bad, though it isn’t great either.
The game is as long as your average RPG game, no where near as long as Morrowhind though. The game features an intresting ‘alignment’ feature. depending on what quests you do, what answers you give etc.. your charecters alignment can be good, evil or neutral and each alignment has 3 levels of how aligned you are. No matter what your alignment though, you can still do all the quests and the game pans out the same way. Bit of a disapointment that, would have been nicer to have even slightly different story lines.
Final Verdict : NWN is a fun game to play, and if you’re waiting for Diablo 3 to come out(Who isn’t?) pick it up. or as I did *acquire* it.
Found a couple of intresting utilities today- mainly from ars technica. One of them is Ubiquity Would be extremely cool if this worked out all the kinks.

Went to Midlands Yesterday- Literally broke the bank, it has to be the first time I blew up wisely spent a thousand bucks on books. Stalin’s Bioraphy looks promising. I also picked up Stormrider, the final book of David Gemmel’s Rigante Series. Plus I found the first two books of Genghis, Conn Igulden’s latest series. (For the un-initiated, Conn Igulden writes historical faction. His Emperor Series is to die for. I would lend you mine, but *Someone*(You know who you are) kept it for the longest time and has only recently started reading it.) I was about to pick up a collection of lectures by Stephen Hawking but the book was only about 100 pages long and would have emptied my pockets of a considerable sum( roughly half of what i ended up spending). Will look for his lectures on the internet.

For all interested, the title of this post should read “The day that wasn’t … almost”

My grandfather took up a private ward yesterday at AIIMs to get the a cataract operation done, being an ex DG of Railways, he knows how to pull strings and actually get things done in hospitals. Due to Manmohan Singh needing to get some heart problems tested, he was bumped off the list of operations for that day.(Being the last person on it due to Hep B.) His new date is on the 31st. Because of this, my grandparents are shacking up at our house for a couple of days. So when i woke up this morning, the first thing I did was help him with his email. 3 hours later, I finally got time to check my email.Seeing nothing but a few cursory updates, I ignored all of them opting to instead play NeverWinter Nights.(For all diablo fans, its a must play) time rolled by fast and by the time my mum’s *patient* cries of “Get of the computer and study” had reached an octave above high C it was 9:30. walked into the shower only to hear my phone ring. It was Atanu Kundu. Normally I would summarize this, but since i have nothing better to do-
A: “Dude Where the kitty are you ? “
me : “Huh ? “
A: “Where the kitty are you ? “
me : “At home. Duh.”
A : “Why the kitty aren’t you in school ? “
me : “why the kitty would I be ?”
A: ” your practical starts in an hour.”
me : “Huh?”
A: “Your kitty-ing computer practical. One hour. Get to school.”
(He knows I respond better to short commands when i usually answer in monosyllables.)
me : “What the kitty? you sure? who told you?”(I thought it was 3 days from today)
A: “Anu Kumar, who else?”(That my computer teacher)
me:”Is everyone else there?”
A: “most of the day schols are missing”(There are 4 day schols in computer science in my section)
me : “ok thanks, call the rest of them”
Please note the above conversation has been edited for objectional content

The next 15 minutes saw me, struggling to make phone calls, get dressed and think cohesively simultaneously.

40 minutes later, I’m in school, hyperventilating about the fact that the only things I know about structures can fit into tinker bell’s thimble and still leave room to spare. Fortunately though, the practical went pretty smoothly, my first question was about matrices, the second was a simple series and the third had me entering 10 number and count the even and odd.
Ludicrously simple even for the shit-poor programmer that I am.

Walked out of there with a smile on my face and a warm glow on a few of my friend’s faces (Lenon and McCartney again. though i was on the non-business end for once.)
Wierdly enough I can finally say “My exams are Over! Have to start studying from tomorrow”
Reached home, slept for a while, then proceeded to play Neverwinter nights just as I had before. the last two hours already a distant memory. Will post a Proper Review of NwN soon.

__Post ends here__ Stop reading now.


















Seriously though..stop.

I apologize for the retardedness of the last two lines. Should show you exactly how much time I have on my hands.