Just another brain-dead techie with views on everything under the sun!

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Mental inside!

I had an interesting day yesterday. Well... (getting defensive) it wasn't all that interesting. But its my life that we're talking about here! Anything remotely out of the ordinary can be construed as interesting.

Intel has a forum for software developers known as the Intel Developer's Forum and they have these frequent conferences all over the world. This year, the Indian leg of these conferences was held at Mumbai. And, last week on Friday, my boss asked me to go and attend it. Fine, I said... after all its not everyday that I get a chance to go to such conferences where latest technologies and software techniques are showcased. As it happened I was the only person from our Mumbai office to attend the conference. The other four people from the company were from the Pune office. So, they took care of the registration and other formalities... (which means that they arranged for a free-pass for me!).

So, yesterday... dressed in formal clothes, I set off towards the venue which incidentally was The Taj Lands End at Bandra... the hotel formerly known as The Regent... (Prince has started a bad trend!). I waited at the bus-stop for a bus which could take me to my destination. But as it always happens with me... all kinds of buses came and went... but the one I required (no. 86) refused to turn up! Glancing at my watch, I saw that I was going to be late. So, I jumped into a cab and asked the driver to hurry along since I did not want to be late. The maniac behind the wheel needed no further prompting as tried to do a Michael Schumacher! I sat in the back seat with one hand clutching the seat and the other hand clutching the cell-phone... my eyes wide open in terror, as the cab whizzed through the morning traffic without any regard to human life or property! Almost in no time... I was at Bandstand standing outside the imposing hulk of The Taj Lands End.

Here... I waited because I did not have the pass which could let me through to the ballroom where the conference was to be held. Actually, I was one of the first few to turn up at the venue. I was told that since I did not have the pass, I could wait for my colleagues, who had my pass, to arrive from Pune... or I could pay up a thousand bucks and eneter the ballroom then and there. Being the freeloader that I am, I waited. The bus from Pune was supposed to arrive at around 9:00 AM. So, all I could do was the loiter around in the lobby... which wasn't such a good option since the AC was at full blast and my teeth were actually beginning to chatter (this is normally not a cause for concern... but nowadays, these teeth have given me sleepless night... literally!!... so I had to be careful). The other option was to stand outside the main door... basking in the pleasantly warm morning sun. But even that option was spoiled by the large number smokers who were puffing away to glory... polluting the fresh air that was brought in by the cool sea breeze. So... I chose a chair in an obscure corner of the lobby which the central airconditioning had been kind enough to exempt from the stream of cold air it continuously spewed out. There I was... sitting in the corner... twiddling my thumbs... watching the stream of CEOs, CIOs, CTO, CFOs of various companies get off their chariots and dwaddle into the ballroom while barking orders into the hands-free kits of their mobile-phones. Occaisonally... a good looking face would breeze through the door like a whiff of fresh air! :-)

As the clock ticked by minutes turned to hour and there was still no sign of the bus from Pune. So I waited some more! Finally... at 11 o'clock... well after the Intel CTO had delivered his keynote speech (without me in the audience, of course!) the bus from Pune turned up. As the weary Puneites filed out of the bus, I desperately tried to locate my Pune colleagues. But... I could not find them. My spirits took a nose-dive as I turned to leave. But then, a pretty assistant saw my plight and informed me that there were supposed to be three buses scheduled to arrive from Pune. Once again, my hopes soared as I continued to wait for those elusive colleagues. Then at 11:30 AM... the remaining two buses arrived and with them... my free pass!! ;-)

After I handed over my pass... I was given a bag which contained a variety of brochures from Intel and the sponsors like Microsoft and TCS. The bag also contained an Intel T-shirt, a pen with a string to put it around the neck, a writing pad, etc. With this bag of goodies (??!), I made my way into the ballroom which was already full while the CTO of TCS was in the midst of an inspired (and perhap... for some.. inspiring!) speech. The next speech was by a Maharashtrian guy, Abhijit Talwalkar, who is a VP in Intel. This guy had a stronger American accent than even the couple of other American speakers who addressed the conference!!

Well, after this speech... we were treated to sumptuous lunch followed by some lip-smacking desserts. After lunch I roamed about in the lobby visiting the various stall put up by companies like Intel, Microsoft, TCS, RedHat, etc. At each stall... I collected some freebie or the other and at the end of my visit to the stalls... I had both my hand full of brochures, and goodies like... mouse pads, pens, badges, promotional offers... and even a stopwatch-cum-FM-radio!! ;-) ... as I said... I'm quite a freeloader!

The presentation sessions after lunch were boring... much like this blog which is now threatening to grow out of proportion (it has already gone past the limits of dullness). Anyways... so the point is that the afternoon session was so boring that I fell asleep right under the nose of a video camera which was capturing the action (I guess my sleepy head, on camera, nodding slowly in my sleep would be a better feedback than the lengthy form that they made us fill out!). Finally... at 5:00 PM... after a barrage of presentations and a comparatively productive session in one of the Technology Labs, I decided to return home!

Back home... I found my mom making chivda for Diwali. So, I helped her prepare the chivda with an ulterior motive of popping some in the mouth as it was being made!! In fact, I ate so much of it that I did not have any dinner yesterday evening! *LOL*

With some time on my hands and I decided to watch Shrek, since I had not been able to do so even though I had bought the VCD last weekend. Shrek came heavily recommended and I was afraid that it might not live upto the hype as is the case with so many movies I have been recommended. But no sirree, Bob!!... it was an amazing movie with a simple storyline and I had a smile on my lips from start to the end (something that no movie has managed to do in the recent past!). In short... it lived upto its rating and recommendations!... and how!!

Now then... if I continue rambling like this... I'm sure to lose readership... which is something that would never do!! So... I take your leave for the day!!



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Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.