Sunday, July 13, 2008

National University of Singapore

Life has come full circle for me. School's out and I'm back to square one again. But it doesn't feel bad. Life's starting afresh and I'm excited rather than nervous and scared as was the case fourteen years ago. Gosh, I still remember how I used to cry for eons in Kindergarten demanding for mum to come and take me away. Dang... I think I'm being too vivid in my nostalgic narrations so I should probably move on.
You see, the primary reason I'm really excited for the next four years is because of the fact that I managed to make it to the tenth best technological university in the world - NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE !

Yeah! I know most would not believe the fact that NUS is actually ranked tenth in the world, but believe you me, I (with a totally objective frame of mind) have researched extensively (as even I didn't believe THES at first) and came to the conclusion that what is published is true to the core. And since I myself have been offered a technological course - Computer Science, i.e. - I just can't wait to get started.
Term starts on the 4th of August but I'll have to be there by the 25th for the registration, paperwork, etcetera. So i'll be leaving on the 24th. So only 240 hours remain. Whoa... sounds great from the numerology point of view as well! :)

I also have so many friends there already, including Singaporeans (thanks to GYLC) and Indians (school alumni friends in particular). I believe half the Indian population in Singapore is from RKP itself (er... pardon the exaggeration) In fact, there's this saying going around in our school that you are bound to meet an RKP alumni whenever you board the metro in Singapore! That is if you actually take the pain of asking each person whether he is from RKP or not!

And Singapore's like half the size of Delhi, so going around wouldn't be much of a problem I suppose. What with the super efficient public transport system and F1 circuit like roads there and after experiencing the lamentable state of the same back here, I think it'll be a breeze. Don't know about the college studies though! But even Rocket Science seems easy after completing 11th and 12th from India. So, I presume that also won't be a big hassle.

That takes me to the next vital vital point.... FOOD. Well, this is the only and most serious concern that I have as far as my next four years are concerned. You see, the on-campus hostel that I have been alloted doesn't have a meal plan. I mean, they have everything right from a gym to a jogging track, prayer rooms and what not! But couldn't they have had a small kitchen, some cooks and a dining area instead of any of those fancy facilities? Though they do have basic cooking appliances on each floor, but hey, most males, like me, would not possess the required culinary skills to make use of any of those! Though we could probably use the microwave as a small cupboard or something you know.
So i'll probably be seen hanging around the canteen or in the food court all day long. Hope my room is near either one of the two. :)

So I have been on this official 'gorge-on-as-much-indian-food-as-you-can' mission ever since i received news about my hostel allotment..... and hope to satisfy all my culinary cravings before it's time to say goodbye.

But all the above reasons which prompted me to decide on NUS over UPenn seem horse manure in front of 'THE ONE' cardinal factor which TOTALLY overrides everything else - A CHANCE TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE FIRST F1 NIGHT STREET GRAND PRIX IN HISTORY !!!

Go Räikkönen!

Till then...

Smart Alec said: "Sir, can I have a quick word please? Velocity."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Global Young Leaders Conference - The Trip That Was

So, i just returned from the Global Young Leaders Conference (GYLC) held in Washington D.C. and New York City a couple of days back and if I had to summarize my experience at GYLC in one word, it would be 'DIVERSE'.
I mean, you just name the country and you could find a student from there at the conference. It was Global in the absolute true sense of the word. You won't believe it but now I have friends from practically every sphere of the world (not counting the inhabitable south and north poles, i.e.... though I came close with friends from Russia, Canada and New Zealand). It was such an amazing amazing experience meeting students from across the world and participating as one group in such a fantastic setting and discussing global issues which concern each and every one of us.

But as much as the conference was fun, it was equally challenging as well. The day started at six in the morning and ended only at ten thirty in the night. Add to it the burden of being dressed in those uncomfortable hardcore professional suits and formal shoes and the highly packed schedule that we had to follow, it was demanding, modestly put. But just the thrill of representing your country in global summits, peace and security simulations and negotiating with other countries like a real diplomat proved to be an awesome experience.

Apart from taking part in all these events, we were also taken to some important VIP places like the Department of State where we got to meet the chief of staff of Condoleezza Rice herself... and the United Nations headquarters where i also got to see Ban Ki Moon face to face. :)

Apart from these, there were a host of other reasons as well which made me want to stay there forever and not think about home for fifteen days (much to my parents' displeasure)

1. We were staying in the Sheraton Hotel in Washington D.C. which was fantastic!
2. Sharing rooms with people from 2 different countries and telling them all about India, including some beautiful hindi words ;)
3. Being dressed as and being treated with the dignity of thorough professionals.
4. Visiting all sorts of museums and memorials in DC.
5. Seeing in person the big white residential facility in the capital which houses the most hated person in the world and spitting on its gates.

6. Getting a hawk eye's perspective of the Big Apple from the top of the Empire State Building.



The musical that we saw... it was hilarious! The best comedy that I have ever seen till date.

9. Getting to meet distinguished personalities like the Secretary of the IMF, chief of staff to the Secretary of State, Human Rights people from the UN, Ban Ki Moon himself, etc.
10. Last but not the least, the farewell dinner dance cruise on the Hudson river and the amazing view of manhattan at night from the deck!!!

I actually could have added much more to that list, but i think this pretty much gives the gist. Oh yeah, and also seeing the disgust on the faces of the Dutch after they lost to Russia in the quarters of the Euro 2008 and the absolute delight of the Germans after making it to the final... they do take their soccer rather seriously. Its a pity that the conference ended before the final. I would have loved to see their disappointed faces after getting their asses kicked by Spain. Viva la Espana !!!!
Naah... i love them anyways.

Till then...

Smart Alec said: "What did Joachim Loew say in the press conference after being denied the Euro 2008 cup by the Spanish? Fernando Torres is such a S-pain in the ass!"