The end semester exams for third year were held along with the first years and college closed for the Winter Break only on December 12th. Usually we get a 30-35 day break; whole of december and we get back to college for the next semester after new year day. College was initially scheduled to reopen for the next semester on Jan 4th, and I was thinking on how best to spend the vacation considering I had only some 20 days or so.
That’s when I decided to register for the ACWR Conference at our Campus from 18th-21st december. You can read my earlier post on ACWR-2011. Since the other 2 people i work with on our Pedal-Power Project registered for the event too, we stayed back in Campus till the conference and a few days after it, working on our project. One half of the project-power generation when the bike is in motion is nearly complete :). Hope we make quick progress on the next part in the coming semester. I came home on Christmas eve and left for Chennai the very next day.
The Chennai trip was great- got to meet and talk to some relatives I haven’t seen in quite a while. The highlight of the trip would of course be the Carnatic Vocal Music Concert that I attended-by Ranjini&Gayatri at the Rani Seethai Hall. Attending a music concert in Madras in the Music Season(around the tamil month of Margazhi) is an altogether different experience :). Tickets are always in hot demand and to get good seats you have to book them real early. Very different from concerts in Calicut, where only the first couple of rows in the audience are full and the organizers are desperate to get more audience :D. The musicians specified the Ragam and Talam and actually gave a brief description of each song before they sung them. There was one surprising similarity though, to concerts held in Calicut or anywhere else for that matter- The audience get restless when the musicians start the Thaniyavarthanam, and many of them, even people seated in some of the rows right in front, get up and leave :?. ‘Thaniyavarthanam’ is when the vocalists take a break, and the mrudangam, Ghatam and other artists take turns playing different beats. I have never understood why people would choose to sit in the first row,only to leave rudely just as the Mrudangam and Ghatam players start the Thaniyavarthanam :P. I wanted to attend one more concert by one of my favorite singers-O.S.Arun, but thanks to Cyclone Thane and flooding of roads due to the super-efficient drainage system that Chennai City has :P, that didn’t happen.
Got back home in time for New Year, and again left for college on Jan 1st, since I’d volunteered to help at ICTEE-2012. Our class was given the responsibility of the Information Kiosk and the Help Desk. Initially we thought the info desk wouldn’t have much work to do but we were mistaken there 😀 -Booking Taxis, Guiding people to different venues, Taking people across to the Ashram, guiding delegates on the best ways to tour Kerala and places to see here, providing clarification regarding papers that weren’t listed in the initial list, helping delegates with the local language, and even serving food during certain meal times were some of our duties, It was an info-Help-Lost&Found-Travel Desk all in one! :). In the process we got to meet and know a lot of people, and even got to know some of the people we already know much better. Both Conferences were inspiring and reminders that there’s a long way to go! They also got me thinking about the importance of societal benefit of any of the inventions or projects that we undertake. Whatever we create should ideally be a simple design, compact and user-friendly in the sense the user should have a smooth transition from the already existent system to this one; especially when they are intended for rural people or people with zero-technology background.
January 6th, and here I am back at home for the last 2 days of the winter vacation. Can’t believe I’m entering semester 6! 😀
Hoping to buy some components for the project and meet up with a close friend whom I haven’t seen in a long while.
So much for Now!