Flight ORD-SanFrancisco

Nov 19, 2006 4:20pm CST

So here I am on second flight to West Coast within a week. I am heading for a core tech/geek interview this time with VmWare. Anyways, its thanksgiving time and people are already heading for places. I have a good week off ahead and this trip is like a cherry on the cake. But the scenario isn’t that bright and I shudn’t forget that I hav ton of work to complete when I get back to UIUC. Another creatures who wudn’t be really excited to welcome thanksgiving are I am sure turkeys 🙂
The flight this time is really huge for a domestic one, it’s 2-3-2 and I haven’t seen these for domestic use before this trip. The weather God is having a mercy this time in Illinois. I remember the real cruel winters of last year, I never expected weather to shock me but when you are in Illinois, expect the unexpected. So lets talk about IL a bit more. I would say, its one of the most placid, boring and unexciting states and hadn’t it been for Chicago, I think it would stand worse than lets say Alabama or whatever weird state names you’ve rarely heard of. And yeah, another great thing about IL is University of Illinois :-). I would be writing a separate blog on my beloved university, so lets not deviate from Illinois for the moment. It’s mostly flatlands and long stretch of fields as opposed to the valleys in the west or deserts of arizona or volcanoes of new mexico or beaches of florida. Needless to say, its not exactly a tourist attraction and the only city that scores in this dull state is Chicago. Interestingly, Chicago is supposedly the most organized, clean and systematically planned big city of Uncle Sam. Looking into its history, it was rebuilt after being burnt down to ashes in 1871. The foundations of todays Chicago were laid out by some of the leading architects reconstructing the city after the Great Fire. It also scores over most of the other cities when it comes to architectural fame. I’ve heard that architecture students come to Chicago for studying the buildings and monuments because they vary a lot in their styles. The only other place that comes close in architecture is I guess, the good old Boston. Somehow there seems to be a subtle correlation between these two cities. While Boston is more popular as the ‘Europe of America’ (this is not exactly the expression, I just made it up to get the feeling across to you), Chicago is more famous for urban and rich architecture.
So, as you see, describing Illinois is mostly describing Chicago. In contrast, I live in this small village county Champaign-Urbana, dearly known as ‘Chambana‘ among the Illinites. Its a peaceful, small place with 90% of the population being students. The other few cities that I have visited during my short stay of 15 months in US are New York, Boston, Seattle and a glimpse of Silicon Valley. I have seen a small part of San Jose in my last trip and I shall be exploring Palo Alto this time. The major site I am attracted to is the classy Stanford. I shall be blogging about it (that’s right, dear reader you won’t be spared) soon.
I have had my coffee in the flight and I have at least 3.5 hrs more to go in the skies. The windows are closed and its too sunny outside, so nothing as picturesque as my last trip. Since I have nothing else to do and I definitely dont want to sleep, I shall write and write…heehaha(its a devil laughter, who is looking at you, the reader, without any mercy)!
Ok, enough of the flight crap, I’ll write something else now.
I have to add this announcement from the pilots as we reached San Francisco, “passengers on left, don’t be disturbed by that neighboring airplane you can see, it’s a fairly common sight here”, well good, I just thought we shall crash together!

seattle

Microsoft Office, Seattle, Bldg 44

I have an hour and half to wait for my first interview at MS. After last night of darkness and rains when I hardly get to see anything around, I am finally looking out into the beauty of Seattle for first time in daylight. I saw those conical (seemingly evergreen) trees in green and yellow spread all over the ups and downs. Half the leaves falling, its like a carpet covering the earth. The weather is always ‘just about to rain’ and is seriously romantic I should say. Alas, I am sitting dressed in business casuals in this office lobby. I sit facing the glass walls purposely to view the pretty sight outside. Just now, I noticed the glass ceiling as well….hmm, pretty impressive!

I am jotting this blog at back of the ‘micronews’ given to me earlier in the morning along with the interview catalogue, it seems like the daily circulation at MS offices.

For some weird reason I am seeing lot of desis coming for the interview :). My campus interviewer was just passing and recognised me! I chatted with him for sometime before he left saying ‘excellent’ at least a 100 times. I am now seeing a ‘ese’ coming in for a change! This reminds me of a funny full-form of UIUC – Univ of Indians n Univ of Chinese. We were once joking that China has managed to control its population by dispersing the eses all around the globe. Thus, you be at any non-ese country, your chance of spotting an ese should be nearly constant…amazing probability consistency! I guess India too got a lot inspired by this chinese solution, the govt. is literally doing anything it can to motivate the talent to move abroad – Hail Indian Govt!

Khair back to the MS offices, a good thing about them is their spread out distribution. Probably none of the building is more than 3-4 floors. Theres lot of greenery around. The trees outside are dancing out to a slow wind as the leaves continue to enrich the ground carpet. I should probably research a bit on why does it rain so much here though thankfully its not raining right now. But glass shows the signs of a passing drizzle.

I am desperately trying to get into the interview mood and this blog isn’t really helping me 🙂 Besides I am almost out of paper space now, so here I shall end…

In Flight experience

Flight ORD – SEA-TAC

I have never seen such a beautiful sky before. Blending from orange to blue upwards, nature was displaying one of its most charismatic moment. Already flying from Chambana to Chicago earlier in the day, my only regret of living in Champaign is the bad flying experiences every now and then, thanks to the busy O Hare airport. God, why cant they build another big airport in Chicago or what the heck is MDW being used for! You must be having an awfully lucky day if you can get out the busy ORD without a frustrating delay.
Anyways, I have got used to it now and currently just enjoying the magnificent sight nature is flaunting outside the window. Here at 13000 ft in the sky and listening to ‘chandni raatein’ with that picture that God has painted outside, I am short of words to describe the peace.
A 4 hr long flight is pretty boring especially when you don’t have internet 🙂 Indeed a cyber era! And as you would have guessed only a computer engineer can think of internet in a flight !!
So, what the hell am I doing flying to Seattle towards the end of a busy semester at U of I. For those of you who are unaware of the little pleasures of graduate students, we get sponsored trips for onsite interviews from rich companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Vmware, Citigroup, Motorola, Citadel and many many more who obviously have lot of extra bucks to feed us. Well, of course they think we are valuable , are we ?? :-)) So here I am off for Microsoft and then Cisco interviews. Thankfully I am not under high pressure to crack the interviews and so can enjoy the nature and get a good break from a cruel semester back at school.

Oh wow, the sky is now dark brown and light blue and is breath-takingly beautiful. Why did I ever become a computer engineer leaving some good talent I had at painting :(. I am regretting it for once today.

As I just look around to see my fellow flightmates and what are they upto, I am suddenly reminded of Hercule Poirot and one of his novels where a murder takes place on the airplane! Well, I know nothing so exciting is going to take place here. And well, I am not sad for it at least 🙂 So, most of my neighbors are relaxing and half asleep not knowing what better to do. One of the ladies on my side is keenly reading a novel since the start, I bet it must be an interesting one. One of the gentlemen in front is watching some cartoon movie on his iBook and laughing occassionally:). The flight attendants are two middle aged women, one chinese (or japanese or taiwanese or vietnamese or….) and other american. They are nice and smiling.

And now as i look out to discover a new picture, I see it getting almost dark with black city line covered with light blue skyline and a streak of dark cloud again on top. I had been always excited to visit west coast but I never knew I would get such a colorful welcome.

My iPod seems to be accompanying the mood fully. I just lean back to listen to the soulful composition from Silsila,
ye kahan aa gaye hum, yunhi saath saath chalte…
(except the irony that here is no ‘saath’)

As my macbook battery length diminishes, I am prodded to end this blog here. With my expectations high for the rest of my trip, I put the lid down with these lines-
shab-e-intezaar aakhir kabhi hogi mukhtasar bhi…
ye chiraag…
ye chiraag bujh rahe hain…
ye chiraag bujh rahe hain mere saath jalte jalte…

Am I Crazy?

I guess looking at the tech blog of mine, u’ll be thinking whats this geek doing here!
Well sorry, just posted it coz I was unable to set up my own wiki on local machine afer 3 hrs of result-less efforts. So I had no option but to post it on here 🙂

hopefully my next post wud be something interesting