Monday, October 31, 2005

A trek to peb fort

It's been quite long since I posted something original. Though it is too late to post about the trek I had around 15 days ago, the experience was so amazing that it's hard to resist the temptation to post it.

We started our journey from hostel around 5:30 in the morning. We thought we would be late as we were given strict instruction to be on time. The scheduled time for departure was 5:00 but we were met by surprise when we gathered at pre-decided meeting point - convocatoin hall. The bus was not yet arrived so we started quite late then we thought earlier.

We were given idli, chatni and menduwada in the bus itself in a hope to get us head start for trekking. Shobhan and ravikant were treating us as if we are guest and they are our host. Of course, shobhan and ravikant being experienced trekkers of sahyadris were our guide for the day.

Journey to our starting point was quite interesting and fun-filled because of dumb-charades. I must say that our opponents were quite skillfull in this game. As our stomachs were full we dint quite feel like starting our trek when the bus finally halted at starting point. But at last we started. I was just hoping this trek not to be as difficult as chanderi trek which was excruciating at least for me.

As always, I wanted to be one of the person to reach the top first, I kept following shobhan as his shadow but got tired a bit after some walking so took rest for a while. I again started my trekking back and kept on following the crowd. After reaching the base of the hill I did not know that I was lost. In fact, I was blindly following a BTech first year guy ( who was pretending to be a good trekker by the way ) so we both lost our way when he discovered that we are not on the right trek. Now, I started leading my team ( consisting of only two members : me and that btech guy :-) ). We shouted to get a reponse from other trekkers to get an idea of the direction. A reply to our shouts lit a hope in our hearts that we are not much diverged from our original route. I thought may be the path ( in fact there was no path on which we were going ) will converge after a while. I kept on boosting my partner while we continued our journey which got converted in 80 degree vertical climbs. Thanks to my big brother keyur whose tips for rock climbing helped me a lot in keeping my mind cool and finding good grips and utilising them in a proper way. Unfortunately, my partner turned out to be a sissy and was on the verge of giving up all the efforts that we were making to go ahead.

Well, it's not all his fault. We were already climbing on the rocks in such a manner that we had little hope in our heart to go down the same path safely. As we were moving ahead rocks were vanishing and all we had most of the time was grass and clay. It all made our way quite slippery and in fact quite risky. No wonder, the btech guy was intimidated by our situation.

Finally, we reached a point where we could see other trekkers. At first, it made me a little relaxed but when we talked ( in fact it was mere shouting and yelling from both sides ) we found out there is no way we can move towards them ( to the left ) any more. We can not climb down either as we already crossed the point of no return. All our hopes were fading away. I closed my eyes for a while and as always i prayed to god. ( I must thank god for saving my ass for "n" number of times when i am deeply burried into trouble. ) I found out from other trekkers looking at the scene that if we could reach the top we were climbing we would be able to reach the saddle point from where they were all looking and worrying about us. I prayed to god "Oh god, it's all upto you. Give the strength to make my way to the top". I starting crouching like a cat with my nail and finger on that slippery grassy and gripless land to reach some wild bushes few feet above. I must say that this crouching of a few feets was the most dangerous part for me in the entire trek. One slip or one mistake could have been fatal. Fortunately, with the bless of god and courage in my heart I made my way to the top. . My fingers were torn but still my heart was full of joy as I made my way through the hell.

I joined the others at the saddle point where they were still amazed how I made my way from such a difficult position and also wondering why the btech guy could not make it. That poor btech guy was all out of courage and was shouting and craving for help. "Call the police, call fire brigade, throw a rope down here".. yeah like police and fire brigade personnels are trained for all this.I told ravikant to start rescue mission from the top itself. I told him that bushes are strong enough to bear a person's weight so we can use bushes like a rope. We tried to go down the way from where I came up but ravikant did not had enough confidence in my idea so finally we dropped that idea. By that time shobhan and hrishi
also joined us. They started their rescue mission from the bottom. ( it was not
the same path that we followed down from the base, we got divereged quite early
in the route ). Finally, that btech guy was rescued. Everybody had a sigh of relief.

Anyways, the rest of the journey was not as exciting as this part. We started our journey to the top of peb fort hill. I rested at the top for a while.

On the way down also, we lost our way but fortunately I was little afraid as there were bunch of people with me this time. I was appreciating strength of Prof Sarat who not only himself but also made his kids to climb the hill. There was no doubt whether Prof Sarat would make it to the top or not because he is a marathon runner but I was worried that his kids might give up in between but he carried his kids along with him when they were tired. Also, I appreciate strength of Prof Sanyal to make it to the top at his age. I saluted (in my mind ) hrishi, shobhan and ravikant for their enormous stamina who were as fresh as they were at the beginning.

No wonder this trek would have its place in my memory forever.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets, still I sat there doing spreadsheets.
Having reached the bottom line I took a floppy from the drawer,
I then invoked the SAVE command and waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token.
"Save!" I said, "You cursed mother! Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
Just, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult illusion, some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired, ones I'd never faced before.
Carefully I weighed the choices as the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting, baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key, choosing one and nothing more,
From "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

With fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee, timidly, I pressed a key.
But on the screen there still persisted words appearing as before.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience wore,
Saying "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

I tried to catch the chips off guard, and pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed machine: I begged and cried and then I swore.
Now in mighty desperation, trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before.
Reading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted.
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night.
A gasp of horror overtook me, shook me to my very core.
The lightning zapped my previous data, lost and gone forevermore.
Not even, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

To this day I do not know the place to which lost data go.
What demonic nether world us wrought where lost data will be stored,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, into black holes?
But sure as there's C, Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
You will one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"