Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Research on Roaches

Well well well... we have plenty of opportunity of a great case study here. Roaches are integral part of our apartments. They share our food and they are a very good source of proteins for us. They are very loyal and will never leave our apartment in any case. However.....

However, I have some questions about roaches; please help me in solving these mysteries:

1: why a cockroach doesn’t die in microwave?

2: are they vegetarians or non-vegetarians?

3: where do they go in daytime?

4: what do they do when we don’t cook for a couple of days?

5: how can they eat all podis (south Indian spices), but not red chilly powder?

6: how to mass kill them?

7: do they eat only from one apartment or travel from one apt. to another?

8: what is their reproduction rate?

I haven’t yet found answers to these Qs.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Twin falls trek

Who says South Carolina is not beautiful????.... Think twice before you say something like that!!!. Go to Twin falls if you want to see sheer beauty of South Carolina.

I never expected that this tiny hike will be so beautiful. Sudhir, Aarthi, Arvind and Maghna were planning to somewhere this weekend. Arvind asked me if I want to join them ( I am very greedy when it comes to trekking... so I also happened to join them). I thought it wont be such a bad idea to go to twin falls this time as I had heard that this place is close by and is a good place for an outing, even though it looks very innocuous.

Pickens county, the entire scenic SC.11 highway is like a paradise. Its like a dream coming true, for someone who always dreams to be close to nature. The entire area is lush green, very refreshing and very picturesque. Its beautiful.

Twin falls is an easy hike into the Eastatoe Creek Gorge. The hike itself is a very pleasant trip through the woods. And when you see the falls first time, you sense the kind of excitement that you are going to experience in a next few moments. Twin falls just invite you towards themselves. And you start walking towards water. But beware, rocks are extremely slippery!!! and you never know when you might fall on your face or butt. Sudhir was nicely demonstrating various methods and ways to fall down, he did it 3 times ( Do ask Sudhir about the experience, if you see him next time). Otherwise, this place is very nice. We could go right to the base of the bigger fall and managed to put our heads right underneath water falling from over 70 feet. It was free back kneading :D. When you see gallons of water pouring on your head from 70-80 feet; its fun, isnt it!!!

On the way back, there is a small pond when one can swim. Water is very clear and not that deep also ( I cant swim for nuts, still I managed to survive). All in all, it was a very nice hike.

And just to make it a perfect day, we had exquisite indian dinner at India Palace.

Who says Clemson is boring??

Chk out these pics:

Sunday, August 15, 2004

end of summer trek

Went to a triple trek this sunday with apna clemson gang. chk out the pics:

Covered lower whitewater falls, turtleback falls and rainbow falls. I am going to turtleback and rainbow falls for 3rd time now. I guess I am in love with that place.... such a beautiful place, and its close to clemson also. When I go there, I forget all my worries, problems, and i get that smile of mine back on my face.

I dont know why rainbow falls mystifies me so much. but i go to a different world when i go to the base of the falls. when i see water pouring down in front of me from 200 feets.... spraying water droplets all over the place... its thrilling. everytime i go there, i try to go as close to the falls as possible...its very challenging. there comes a point where the droplets hit you so hard that you cant move an inch... wind is extremely strong, the sound is deafening, water hits you hard, you cant see for nuts, and you cant move. man... it doesnt get much better than that. when I go beneath the falls, there is a stragne mixure of emotions in my mind... there is a feeling of doing something great in life and at the same time, when i look gallons of water pouring down in front of my eyes, i sense the challenge coming up in my life... the challenge of mere surviving.

i will surely recommend you to go there if you are around clemson... at least once... to experience the thrill. this is definitely the best place i have been to after coming here in Clemson.

And dsouza and pal refuse to mature ( chk this pic: and piyush keeps behaving like a teenager.... it was laugh riot all day. Just an example:

We had stopped at Subway to grab a sub. That guy asked Piyush if it was here or to go.... god knows what Piyush heard, but he answered "here you go".

All in all... had some adventure, a lot of fun, some excellent food and 11 great people as company.

God, I hope, I am not asking for too much, if I ask for such treks every now and then. Am I?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

How I spent money (and time) this summer...

It all started with a ' start of summer' trek to Tallulah falls.

1: Tallulah falls ( with Kedar and his CISA gang).... $ 11

2: Rainbow falls ( with Krishna, Vipul, Korade, Ankur)... $ 6

3: Charleston, Myrtle beach (with Sagar, Nikhil, Abhijit)... $90

4: Whitewater rafting, Galtinburg, cherookee, rainbow falls, athens, atlanta ( with Amol, Ashish, Avinash, Ranjit)... $250

5: Six flags ( Clemson public)... $ 75 (including 30 dollar dinner at Minnerva).

6: Atlanta (with Piyush and Jithu)... $10

7: Bought shoes, shirt, etc. for my defense.... $ 87

8: Got my thesis printed.... $150.

9: personal misc. expenses: $120....

Its all going to end with another 'end of summer trek' to whitewater falls.

Man.. I rock!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

dreams dreams

It has been my dream since past few years. Dont laugh at it. I want to be a part of the Lonely Planet (I guess its now known as Global Trekkers) crew.

I used to see a lot of Discovery and National Geogrophic back in India. My those days were full of treks and stuff like that. There was this program called Lonely Planet, which used to be telecast on Discovery everyday, and they used to show different cities, regions and countries every day (lateron, they started a new show called Travellers). I never skipped that program. I still remember, one of the anchors was Ian Wright and there was one more, I guess her name was Shilpa Mehta... They used to present that program pretty well. I always wanted to do something like that in my life... just roam around... travel, travel and travel. (read Ian Wright's interview here:

How fascinating it would be to just keep travelling all over the world thru-out my life. I guess I would be really happy if I can do that. Sometimes, I feel like leaving everything behind and just setting off... just going places without bothering about anything (If anyone can sponsor my trips, then that would be great). And when I start thinking about it, I forget everything else and keep thinking about it like a maniac, for hours and days.

Dreams, dreams and dreams... I know they dont come true... but if God grants me one wish, then I will ask him to bring my this dream into a reality. I wont ask for anything else.

Will it come true?... or will it not??.... I guess not, but I still am hopeful about doing something like that in life. Who knows, one day might do it as well.... Who knows... I dont... Do you?

One of those days...:(

Why does it happen that a day justs start off at a pretty good note and then the entire day goes well; and sometimes you know by yourself that its not going to be your day. Why does the start of the day have so much of an effect on our mind?...

Today seems to be something like that... I just want to be within myself. Feeling very gloomy and dull. Dont want to talk with anyone. Dont know why. I could not sleep last nite... I dont know why. Not that something is bothering me... in fact nowadays I am enjoying my life as much as I can... I can for once say that I am happy.

I was so happy yesterday... and day before...

I had my graduation on saturday. Never thought that it would turn out to be such a nice day. I had never felt so happy and content in my life so far... Then came sunday, which I spent reading a few books. Monday and tuesday went off well as well. I am acting ( not again!!!!) in this CISA welcome party skit. These small things keep me smiling. Not that I am doing something great, but I always used to enjoy being on stage. I remembered my school days. I guess our AID skit was pretty good. At least we all performers enjoyed doing it. We ourselves laughed a lot during that one week of practice and I bet this one is going to be better than the last one.

I want to enjoy my life... but at the same time cant afford to give too much of time to my other interests.... have my future to worry abt and given my luck history, i need to work hard towards it.

Why does it always happen like that? Dont know whats going to happen. Hope I get back to normal soon.

Friday, August 06, 2004

I am graduating...

Tomorrow is my graduation day.... I came to Clemson 2 years back with a few dreams in my mind and tomorrow one of them will come into reality. I am very excited about it. I guess it will be thrilling to walk on the podium with graduation gown and then to receive my degree from the president Barker.

Its a wierd feeling of sorts. Sometimes I feel... what have I done to celebrate this occasion?... afterall its part of life... I mean if you complete all your coursework and research, you will get your degree... whats so special about it..I mean.. why should I celebrate it?.. .. So far, for me, its just another day... somehow I am not yet feeling the graduation blues.

However I am looking forth for August 7th. Just because I am seeing everyone else so excited. I want to be a part of their happiness, and I want to share my happiness with my friends. You know, sometimes you feel great just to make others happy. I will see some of my friends after really a long time , so that will be nice. Am going for lunch with Dr. Jim and Joyce and then for dinner with Madhuri and her parents... lots of food.. I am happy and all geared up.. am skipping my dinner so that I can eat more :D

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A list of hiking places I have been to

Its been on my wish list since past 5 years... to maintain a list of all the places I have hiked. Am trying to list them... will elaborate on my website lateron.

1: Manali- rohtang pass- bias kund trek:

it was my first trek. Directly to himalayas... Actually had just taken my SSC examinations and had 3 month break. My cousin was going for this trek ( his father, my uncle, is an avid trekker and an excellent photographer). When he asked me first... as usual... I laughed at him. Afterall.... why to walk 15 kilometers a day when you can reach that same place by a jeep in an hour.... I mean .. why , rt??... It was not logical for me that time. But then accompnied him for his daily practice sessions ( means carrying 3 liters of water and 3 volumes of world book and walking 6-7 kilometers a day) and somehow I liked it.

Those 20 days I spent with 39 other equally crazy guys are amongst the best days of my life.

2: Treks in sahyadri:

a: from karjat:

bhimashankar ( twice)
dhak beheri ( 3 times... once lost our way)
peth ( twice)
matheran ( one tree hill point)

b: from kalyan:

naneghat ( many times)
ganesh garad
gorakhgad ( 3 times)
harishchandra gad ( twice)

c: pune region:

lohgad-visapur ( twice)
rajmachi ( twice)
kondane caves
dukes nose

d: kasara region:


e: konkan region:

sarasgad ( twice)

f: near mumbai:

g: satara


h: treks in USA

yellow mountain park trail
tallulah falls ( twice)
table rock falls
rainbow falls ( twice)
turtleback falls ( twice)
wildcat falls
great smokie mountain park trail
raven cliff falls trail

3: rock climbing

clemson ( we actually have a rock climbing wall)

4: rapelling:

panorama point, matheran
dukes nose

Want to do many more....

I like trekking ( hiking, as its called here in US)... I like to spend tranquille moments with myself in nature. I like to get wet when it rains cats and dogs. I like to shiver in cold. I guess I am at my best when I am out in a jungle. Many of my friends would agree to it. I visited many of thsoe places more than once... I guess that is in my desiny ( that I keep going to same places again and again)... but each one was a distinct and memorable experience. I had some weird friends... Ashish, Chetan, Amol, Avinash, Kaustubh, Bhushan, Mayuresh and Amit... to name a few... who were equally fanatic about trekking. Many of these treks were unplanned, decided on spur of the moment.

I sometimes sorely miss my trekking days in India. I guess those were the best days of my life...

Monday, August 02, 2004

A conversation...

Today afternoon, I was sitting with Gati and a few others outside the Fernows street cafe. I know Gati fairly well, so there was no need of introduction etc. Here are the excerpts:

1: Topic of discussion: Environmental Engineering... how easy/difficult the coursework is...

Vivek: So Gati, whats your background?
Gati: tables, trees and street!!!

2: I was trying to log in using my university ID on someone else's laptop, and was unable to do so... I tried to use a different server, named as CU.ROOT.B:

Vivek: yaar....kucch jam nahi raha hai... its not letting me log in.
Gati: Arre you have misspelled the server name... It should be RAUT ( my last name) and not root.

3: Topic of discussion: Laptops... how good/bad they are.... I was going to tell a funny incident.

Vivek: Agar kisika CD chal nahi raha hai to wo kya karega??
Gati: Elevator lega ya fir jump karega!!!!

I am still not sure if that was meant to be funny or she just said it like that. But noone had expected that.

Thanks Gati for making me laugh though.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Addicted to orkut

Man I can't believe I actually spent more than 16 hours on orkut this weekend. Never did so much of hard work during exams also!!!

Agar maukaa mile to Dsouza aur Bhulawala ko tapkana hai ( cant write this in English as when I did that last time, this site blocked me for using a threatening language!!!). They introduced me to this orkut stuff. I ignored it first, but then Nikhil and Asawari also added me. I had a look at this stuff and liked it.

I got to know about many of my friends in junior college as well as engineering whom I knew well at that time but had lost touch with them since past 4-5 years. It was very nice to know about their current status. Orkut is very nice in that aspect... you get to know what one is doing in life, if you know that chap. In fact, some communities and a few testimonials written for some of my friends are really interesting.

Orkut is addictive. Believe me, it is. I have sent invitation to 180 odd people, and yet my best friends are yet to be invited. Lots of stuff to do...