Sunday, July 22, 2012

Recent Grad, Fresh Job... Buy Car?

There are so many draft posts for this blog, this kinda breaks the flow of things, but oh well, just writing whatever I feel like and then posting it in whichever order I am able to finish writing them. I recently graduated from the University at Buffalo, with a Masters in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) and after months of job hunting, finally landed my first job at SemaConnect Inc. in Maryland. There are many things to cover, but in this post, I will be covering the next biggest thing to happen after one graduates and finds a job; car purchase.

This entry will more or less achieve the goal of a "Buying a Car 101" post. Not everyone will find this post very useful; its just for the small subset of people who, like me, are in the US on a Visa, are recent graduates, and want to buy their first car. I will follow a freestyle writing pattern; I will alternate between what thoughts I went through when I was researching for a car, and list out what I feel are importing things you should keep in mind. Hopefully, you will find this useful in some way or the other. So let's being!

The various variables of a car purchase decision.


Tell me what's your Budget.

You, of course, should have a budget in mind before even thinking about buying a car. Any kind of big purchase starts with the budget. It can either be with the "Maximum I want to spend on a car" or "Monthly payment that I can manage for the car" basis. These contain various variables. You can either buy something completely by cash, or you can put a little bit down and then loan the rest of the amount from a bank. Be it loan or complete payment, its good to have a maximum expenditure limit fixed in your head. This would be the amount that you will spend on the car over all years that you pay for buying it. In most cases, you might end up taking a loan, so at this point, instead of calculating what APR you should get etc., have a monthly payment and total period of loan embedded in your brain. 

More details on costs and payments as it comes in other topics.

There is no specific order in which you can single out the car you want to buy. Once you have some kind of budget in mind, think of the whole car buying process as a sum of n-variables whose sum is the total budget. If you get a bigger size car, the features might have to be reduced. If you buy a smaller car, maybe you can buy a new one. I will try to list out categories that will constitute the majority of these "n-variables" and then you can go about adjusting the coefficients of those variables to your liking.

The Car (linear) Equation:
a(Condition)+b(Make)+c(Type)+d(Specs)+e(Features)  = Budget

What's your type?

So, by now you have at least put a little bit of thought into how much you want to spend. Not until you actually have your new car's keys in your hand will you know exactly how much you are going to spend on it. However, with a starting point in your mind, now you need to know what type of car you can get with that budget.

It can be a mid-size 4 door Sedan ( Corolla, Civic, Cobalt, etc ), full-size 4 door Sedan (Camry, Accord, Impala etc.), 2dr Coupe, full size SUV, etc etc. It can be many things. Start off by going to a site like and see what all options you can select as a type of car. Only you know what type of car you want.

Lingo: Trim defines which version of a certain car it is. "LE","SE" etc. are various Trims that a Toyota Camry is available in.

 Used or New? The Conditional variable

Well, my choices were either something new that is "in budget", or something used but maximum 3 years old and with 10k - 15k miles per year. One can be very satisfied with a 7yr old car with 70k miles on it too. It depends on what you feel best suits your needs. If you know you need a car just for an year or two, something within the 7yr/90k range might end up being the right one for your needs!

However, make sure that if you buy used, look a nice ratio of 12k to 15k miles per year on the mileage. Also, remember to check the carfax!

Lingo: Mileage is the total miles that a car has traveled till date and Economy is the Miles per gallon that the car gives (on city or highway). 

Which make to choose!?

No matter how much idea you have about cars, you might initially end up thinking a Camry or an Accord is the best make to go with. Well, that happens because they're what most people around you would recommend. The main reason for this to happen is that the general perception is that Japanese cars are very reliable, hence will not require intense amounts of maintenance. My word of advice would be to not stick with those beliefs if you are looking into buying something new. 

Try to first fix a "type" first and then research on what every Make has to offer for that type of car. If you are looking for a used car, as is often recommended, I too would recommend trying to go with a more reliable make (Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc).

The Resale conundrum.

A very common argument you will come across when buying a new car is about the "Resale Value". This argument makes more sense if you are familiar with "earnings" and "loss" when you invest in the Share Market.

The basic argument is that if you buy a reliable car like a Camry, it's resale value will be pretty high compared to that of a... say Ford Mustang and hence Camry is a better car to buy as you will get back "more money" when you eventually sell it down the line.

If you go deeper into these arguments you will hear statements like "The resale value of a Challenger will go down by 20% in the first year itself". It means that you will "loose money" more quickly if you buy such a car and in an unfortunate turn of events decide to sell the car off just after a year of using it.

I personally would not recommend thinking in such ways when planning on buying a car. Make a decision based on the many other factors out there, not by how much you might be getting back when you eventually sell it.

CarFax and what to look for in it.

If you decide you are going to buy a used car, there are many things you must observe before even approaching the seller for a deal. Many used car dealers will give you a free CarFax report right on their website for you to check. CarFax is basically a history report of the car. By looking at the report you can find out if the car was in a serious accident (a negative sign); find out how well maintained it was (if car is serviced at a proper place, all details of the service are reported to CarFax). CarFax by itself alerts you on things to observe when it shows a car's history. Here is feedback on some of points that have conflicting opinions.

A car that has been reported to be a rental usually means that it was used like crazy by one different kind of driver every week for the one or two years it was used as a rental. That translates to very rough usage which generally doesn't mean good for the engine and it's life. These cars will usually have a lower price than similar cars, and for a reason. However, the counter argument for that, which you will often hear from the salesman, is that the car was "well maintained" because a rental company gets their car serviced and fixed very frequently; it is rather, maintained even better than a single owner would. I put this out there so that you are better prepared when the salesman tries to clean bowl you with such statements. You decide which side you of this argument you want to be. If a car is leased, it may not be a bad thing, it is just a single owner who leased it for 2 years, it shouldn't be looked at in the same light as a rental car.

The more number of owners a car has, the lesser the price it will go for.
Lingo: VIN is the Vehicle Identification number that is like the fingerprint of a car. All information about a car, its history, is tracked by that number.

Buying from Craigslist

This is risky business but you never know how your luck will turn out until you try. Just be sure to make your sale contingent on car's inspection. It should be such that you are able to show it in the Bill of Sale that you paid for the car under the condition that it will pass the inspection. (or else, have it inspected by the seller, before buying the car).

Things that would get the cost down are:
  • Dents and Rust.
  • Bad A/C.
  • Bad sound system.
  • Quality of brakes.
  • Check Engine Light? (Don't buy it if you don't want head-aches)
  • Cleanliness of seats etc.
  • Battery's age. 
  • Tyre's age.
  • Major repairs pending?
Make sure to check for those things and see that you get the right price for the car depending on much time and effort you will need to spend on it after you buy it.

Lingo: Title This is the legal document that you must receive from the seller (signed) when you buy a used car. You cannot transfer registration to yourself without it.

Features for an augmented experience.

There are many features to look for when it comes to buying cars. These are things that can make or break a deal for you. Some items on this list were my top priority when buying a car. I will be using my car daily for my 15 mile commute, so convenience was higher priority. Following is a list of things, in no priority, that are worth checking out.

  • Bluetooth - WITH A2DP (for streaming music from phone).
  • USB Port / iPod Sync. (  Best if it has Microsoft Sync! )
  • Large display screen for all controls ( additional: Back-Up Camera)
  • Side-mirror defogging.
  • Fog Lights.
  • Sun/Moon Roof & Sunglasses compartment ( if in sunny areas).
  • Motorized seats (additional - Lumbar Support, Memory).
  • Alloy Wheels (mostly cosmetic).
  • Cruise Control.
  • Proximity Warning.
  • In-built GPS.
  • A/C fans for rear seats too. (Bigger sedans)
Well, those are basic and maybe mid-luxury level features that a car can have. There's way more stuff like ambient lights, running flat tire, touch screen display etc etc. What you feel is necessary or vain is all up to you.

The innards.

If you are really into cars, well, you may have found this post not very useful till now. Anyways, here is a very quick way to understand things.

V6 Engine - More VROOM and Less Economy.
4Cylinder - Silent, better Economy.

Higher the "liters" in the engine (2.2Liters etc) the better/smoother the driving experience will feel.
A good blind decision would be to go with a 4Cylinder with >2.2L engine. There are many other things like torque and other stuff which you might look into if you are really into the feel of the drive.

Enter Car Dealer: Intense car purchasing experience.

The Process

The actual process of going into a car dealership and buying a car is going to be the most difficult task you will do.

The first and foremost point to remember. Do not go into a car dealership until you are familiar with all these things I've talked about and you can handle yourself easily out of a forced situation.
Do not sit down with the salesman and have them see what your monthly payment will be if you buy a car. Only do this once you feel that you really want to buy the car.

To find out what your monthly payment would be (for the car loan) they will have to run a credit check on you via a bank. For every bank they try for a loan, it will be a HARD credit check on your credit score (Which is processed with your SSN number).

If there are large number of HARD checks on your credit history, it is usually implied with a "Tried to get a loan, but was denied", which in turn lowers your credit score and reduces the chances of getting a better interest percentage (APR) on your loan when you try again.

Always do your re-search online by looking at the inventory at the car dealer's website, single out what you might actually be interested in. I would say, after looking at maybe 10 different sites, its best to pick 1 or 2 that you may want to actually go to the place and see.


Internet Price:

Car dealers use bogus terminology like "Internet Price". It is a very low price tag for the car which include all kinds of rebates and concessions, all of which which you most probably will not be eligible for. Always add at least a 1000$ to the online price when you estimate costs. 

Remember that you will also have TAX and other dubious costs like "processing fees (not required by law)", "Used car checking fees" along with charges like "Freight", "Title & Tags", "Inspection".

Always try to bargain on the On-the-Road price. This is the price you will be paying finally, Also include the tax in this for easier calculations. Once you know the estimate for an On-the-Road price. Which would be "Car + Tax + Tags + ..." you will have to decide how much you are willing to put down and how much you want to loan.

Car Final Price at a dealer:
Advertised Price + Tax + Registration + Inspection + Freight + Processing Fee + dubious charges + additional services.

Depending on your credit history (which will not be much if you are in a similar position as me) you will get better rates if you take lesser loans and try to repay them quicker. Try for various incentives that you will be eligible for. Things like "Recent Graduate" specials, which will allow you to get good APR (interest rates) on your loans even with unimpressive credit report. Or the "First Time Buyer" which will make loan approval easier for you. If you buy new cars, often if you take the loan from the financing firm of the same company as your car's make. You will get good rates.

And one more thing.

So you've found the car you want, got a nice loan approved and are ready to buy the car. The drama isn't over yet. From when you OK the deal to actually signing the papers, you will once again be bombarded with various ways to pay the dealer more money. If its a newer used car or new car, some of these things might actually be required for your car.

There will be things like "Alarm System", "No-rust under-coating", "Lifetime waxing", "Extended Warranty" etc etc. All these may or not be as useful as they make it seem. You will be wasting an hour or more dealing with all these things. Now that you know they are going to ask for such things, just be prepared to give a quick and firm decision. Do not wait for them to push a decision on to you. 

The most import part: Actual Payment

A very important thing to understand is how you will actually be paying for your car. The terms in which all Car dealers talk is "Monthly Payment". In most cases you are going to take a loan, and in most of those cases you will try to get a loan approved right at the dealership (unless you have got a loan approved from some place else on your own).

You need to have a good understanding of what monthly payment and for what period will your budget be. But the way car dealers work is, once you mention a monthly payment to them. They will say "Oh ok, we can do that" and try to get to such a monthly payment but for a higher period of loan payment.

If you have $400 a month for 36 months fixed, they might come up with $420 for 36 months and then pull a "Let me see what I can do" and get tell you "Yes we can do it" and propose a $400 for 42 months payment plan or the like. 36*420 is 15k and 400*48 is 17k. At the sacrifice of paying lesser every month, you will be paying an additional $2000 over the period of a year.

The smaller period of loan, the lesser interest you pay for your loan. But if you choose a longer period for repayment of loan, you will get a higher interest for the privilege of paying lesser amount every month.

The basic thing to understand here is that, you need to have good estimates of what monthly payments you would want to pay for 36, 42, 48, 60 months and then be prepared to understand what total amount you will be spending over time. Decide what kind of spending you want. If it doesn't matter to you that you pay more over time you can choose a longer period, and if you know that you will keep the car for longer than the loan repayment period, you might want to pay lesser interest.

A good understanding of all these dynamics will get you prepared for buying the right car. So make you get it all figured out before jumping into the wild and getting bombarded with car dealers ways.

Lingo: APR is the Annual percentage rate that you will be paying for the money you loan. Your credit history and score decide how much APR you get for your loan. Being a new grad or first time car buyer might incentivize your APR to lower values. It is best to have a monthly payment in your mind rather than figuring out what APR you want. However, try to not go for an APR higher than 4.5%

In Conclusion.

Well, like I said multiple times already, buying car is not easy. There are many things to consider and there is so much research to do. So if you know you are going to buy a car and want to feel like you are satisfied with the decision you made, make sure you have spent some time at least thinking of all these things I've mentioned.

There is so much more that goes into make such a decision, on an average one spends almost a month doing all the research. So get ready for intense decision making.

Well, I started with a $8000 budget thinking that I would be needing a car just for a year or two which changed to a completely different estimate by the time I bought a car.

Ended up with this.

2010 Accord Coupe EX-L

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where to from here now.

Wow, didn't realize that its been more than a year since my last entry! Last year was abuzz with activities, there was not much idle time. Well, last year is over now, even the last year at GRIET. B.Tech in CSE is complete and now, theres time to do other things :P

Well, first of all, the main thing that comes into mind now, is "What about the future". I've been planning my future carefully, thinking of all that will happen and that might happen. Took insights, help from many people in the industry I want to be in and also from people who are presently working and happy doing what they're doing. What exactly is my plan? Well, that all will be known as and when it unfolds.


After I finished my tenth, the only thing I had to think of was "Biology or Maths" and chose the one I like, i.e. maths. Afterwards it was all a strange 2 year journey. I basically knew that I want to do something with computers, hence always only thought that I should be doing CSE after I complete Inter. Well, inter finished and thanks to my parents, I got to do what I wanted to do. 4 years later, that part is also done.

As years go by, the options become more specific. In one of our long chats, Kunal told me "do what ever u want... if u love it then ur life is set" There were many things discussed before and after that; but that is one thing that I will remember forever. That along with many other chats and discussions has helped me in coming up with the most probable choices for the path to take from now.

Plan A

The thing that is most probably going to happen now is that I will study Masters in CS at SUNY Buffalo. Its a really good university and I'm really glad I got into it. The university offers 4 specializations and the one that I know I will love the most is AI.

Lot of thought went into that decision. The main thing being that I didn't have AI in my BTech (I did have Neural Networks though, liked it comparatively more) and it is generally considered a "hard subject". But after checking all the subjects and the way everything is laid out, I will be learning everything about AI from the ground up, hence the path being smoother for me to take.

Rather than taking subjects that I already know, or which will be "Easier to pass" I will try to take the risk and do something that I really feel like doing. My goal is not to go there and get an MS degree. Its for me to learn what I wish to do, and what I think I will love doing.

Everyone who knows me, knows that I want to live a life doing something with games. It would be like cheating myself if I didn't do what my heart tells me but do what will easily get me a job and settled life. I will only get satisfaction after I have tried my best to do what I always wanted to do.

Its better to try and fail than not try at all.

Thanks to the input from the internet and many people currently in the games industry, I got a realistic picture of what lies ahead; and thanks to my own pessimistic views, I already am prepared for failures. I wouldn't at all be prepared for my failures if it weren't for my parents and brother. They will always be by my side, knowing that, I set forth and once again, make my own decision of what I want to do.

Dreams come true only in stories.

Lot of thought has been put into it, anyone who has had a serious discussion with me knows how much I think. Its hard for me to be optimistic about my future; even as I type, I feel how wrong I am to think that anything I am typing here will go as planned. I tell my self how foolish it is to think so. But the fact that I have written it tells that there is something in me that tells me I can do it.

I always used to imagine myself sitting and doing experiments and getting lost in my own world like the Robin Williams from Flubber (or like in Nutty Professor, or like in A beautiful Mind). My brother will testify about my problem solving self. That thought would immediately lead me to think that a PhD. is best option for me.( There's the absent mindedness thing too :P ) If I have something to do, I'm more than happy to dedicate myself to it, as many years as it takes. That would be the best way to sharpen my skills and get a high entry point into the games industry after completing my PhD.

Thanks to my pessimistic side, very low chances of me doing that exist. So many stories of the perils of doing a PhD.; other thoughts of me telling myself that its just an over optimistic dream, etc made me just stop thinking about it.

Right now what I believe I'll be doing is choose my MS projects wisely, make myself a nice portfolio of tech demos, try my best to get an entry level job and progress from there according to the other huge plan in my head. This will a test of patience and especially a huge fight against the inner self. My exact dream has been available only in a certain Slam Book till now and even thinking of realizing that dream is a huge no-no as my pessimistic side will be all over it like a rabid wolverine.

Well, lets not get into the finer details now... as far as Plan A is considered, it will be most probably what I will be trying to do. There are so many forks in this road, many choices to make.

Plan B

Plan B... well, it is basically something that will only happen if Plan A doesn't happen. Why will Plan A not happen? well, there is still the Visa processing thing left, and the other side of me tells me not to be happy already.

Well, this would mean that I take the TCS Job that I have right now thanks to Campus Placements. What will happen? I will basically be transformed into liking what I will be doing after years of doing it.

If I take this job, the chances of getting to see more places will be higher, and I can always come back home and play games. I can even have a side job of sitting and writing articles for various websites and magazines (of which some, I am doing even now). I'm more into the philosophy of gaming anyways.

This would mean that I will continue to change myself and enjoy what I get, leaving the ever lasting question of "What if" for my Plan A.

Or I can try to break free from it "After a few years of experience" and take inspiration from the words of everyone who has always said that I deserve to be doing something involved with games. Yes, Plan B has its own sub-plans, which I don't want to go into details as I dont even want that to happen.

In conclusion

I will mark today as the day that I promise myself to try what I always wanted to try and find out for myself instead of thinking a lot about it and not doing it. I used to be shy of saying this because my inner self always told me how unrealistic it is to think that I will achieve what I want the most; most of all "Enjoy" when I am in the games industry (I do know how crazy and bad the work environment is in the industry). With no further debate, I'll try and suppress the oppressor.

Expect to see me in a GDC/E3/SomethinRelevant talk sometime soon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The eye of the Ti...Beholdaaa

"Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder"
No matter who you are, there is good chance that you've heard that somewhere or the other. Usually being used to point to the fact that different people see things differently. Especially when looking at those "Abstract Art" stuff in painting exhibitions.

So, why mention such a well known thing? Recently, I've had many experiences which relate to that saying. In different ways, learned a few new things. Just thought I would write them down here.

*Its not you, its THEM

Well, one thing I realized was that, no matter with what intentions you say it, people will see what you say, how they want to. Recently, someone on a "social site" made a status update saying that he'll have to shave the beard that he has in his profile pic.

I knew him for almost a year (with same pic mapping the id) but never realized that he had a beard, until then. So I told

"I never knew you had a beard, maybe it was the black BG"
Now.. I was actually referring to the actual black BG of the image and how his face was turned sideways and the beard camouflaged in the BG. But.. that person took it as some kind of schismatic remark with me referring to his face as the "black bg"

Yeah, thats how it works.. it doesnt matter with what intentions you say it, if the other person sees you differently there is good chance of everything going bad. Ofcourse, there are two other basic quotes that you remember at this point, the first being "Think twice before saying anything" but at that point.. even if I had thought thrice I would not have seen that coming!

The other one being "Stop f'ing wasting time on the internet with useless discussions" Yeeeaah.. very famous saying that be... I guess I should keep that in mind very much. These things dont help much but build relations that will mostly not substantiate to anything. Thats what I say now.. lets just hope the condition improves.

*Sometimes.. it IS you.

This is something my mom said recently when we were watching "Are we there yet?". I've seen many bratty kid movies, but the kids in this movie were reaaaaaly crazy.. I had no idea why they were doing those and thought that they were just plain spoiled brats. A common case of "लाड्ला बच्चा being जिद्दी " You know.. గారం బిడ్డా. The part where children are over loved by the parents and they start thinking they own the world or something.

The tricks they were doing had no justification for me and then I couldn't handle it and gave a remark about how crazy those kids were.. then mom said

"They are so nice, they're doing all this to keep their mom safe"

I was totally shocked by this, I didnt even see that angle till my mom said that. I was blank for a moment, then saw the movie with mom's eyes and it all made somewhat sense.. that made me realize how people actually think so differently.

(The movie, however, was a reaaaaal struggle for me to watch.. they even had a part with the little girl singing. I pitied ICE CUBE like anything after watching movie)

*The Beauty of Opinion

So, yeah, because of these and many other events like these, I really started seeing things in a few more angles before saying stuff. The "beauty" is pretty subject, its not actual beauty that the QQ is talking about, its "everything", its basically opinion that it is talking about.

I've always kept the difference of opinion in mind, thats why whenever at a forum or blog (where people know I am not some troll).. I usually oppose others opinion (regardless of what I think) just so that I can get a deeper look into why they think like that how they see things.

These things, might feel kinda useless.. buts thats how I roll :P I like studying people and what they think. Such things make it easy for you communicate with people differently, especially when you are part of a team. You don't want to isolate someone, its not an argument there, so it helps in communicating differently and pleasing them (as always.. regardless of your opinion). I believe, throwing away what you think and flowing with conversations just so things happen is the best thing one can do. Only a bit of experience is what is required for one to just leave away his opinion for a small amount of time, without showing with the face, actions ofcourse!

Ofcourse, this is something you might already know. This is just me, stating the obvious facts on The path to Reeteshification

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Yahoo! and Twitter connection!

*The Mystery begins

Not too long ago, Shrikey was asking me what I had done to show my twitter status in Yahoo messenger, that time, I was using Digsby, and I was updating both my Gtalk and Yahoo statuses using that, I thought that he mistook my Gtalk updates to be twitter updates and told him the same.

Few days passed by and then one day when me and Phani were experimenting on Apache server I tweeted about it. Later, Venu came online and was asking Phani, what he was doing on Apache.. we were thinking that he was observing my twitter feed and hence got to know of it. But he said that he saw it in his Yahoo messenger. This time I was not using Digsby neither had I updated the my Gtalk status. He even stressed the fact that it was in Y! Messenger and told the location where it was visible.

*What could it be??

So it had to be some service that I used and forgot about. I then started scanning my memory to see what it could have been, but all tries returned no results. Finally I visited its the exact thing I needed, an exhaustive list of all the web services that Yahoo! provides.

I found some really crazy things via this.. a site called which has a totally "different" layout, something called that's going to be shutdown soon (redundancy and Recession :P ) then there was as where I got to know that there is a thing called "Yahoo Query language"(No wikipedia entry for it even!) These yahoo people sure are doing a lot of stuff. They have services starting with every letter of the alphabets but Q and X, I wonder what they're waiting for.. just 2 more and your collection is complete!

*The Root Cause!

After looking into those things, I finally found out which place made my yahoo status automatically change to the latest twitter status.

It was I recently went to that place after finally clicking on a link to it, in one of the blogs I frequent. I found out that it was a service (now) under Yahoo. As soon as I saw I already have an ID for it, I activated it and started adding services.

I added all services I could remember and then left it to that. Little did I know,it has a thing called "NewWithMe" which is a feed combined from the feeds of other services that were entered by me in the profile.

MyBlogLog being a Yahoo service, was updating my yahoo status message to the latest entry in "New With Me" feed every hour, even when I'm offline (i.e the state in which I am 95% of the time)

Finally, the mystery of the Twitter updates and "How is everyone who is not on twitter also talking about my tweets" is finally solved!

In retrospect.. it could have been very easy if someone clicked the blue line and saw that it redirected to MyBloglog :| Oh well, atleast I got to find out "everything" at Yahoo this way :P
Hope it answers all your questions!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Breaking the habit...

Ok.. sorry for that superbly cheesy LP reference, but yeah.. today was special.. I finally did something that I never liked doing.. and liked doing it!

What am I talking about?? "Coaching Classes" ofcourse...finally, on my own.. decided to go to one of those factories that I didn't like so much since... ever.


Well.. till 9th class I never even felt that "it is a competitive world" I would always do what I wanted, read and write exams and top with ease.. then there was this thing in tenth where all teachers would always stress on the importance of getting really high marks. I never actually understood it.. however.. with more attention to "marks" than ever before I wrote the exams. I saw many of my friends go to tuition and other things after school, which I never could understand why they went to.

I am you know, that guy who reads and doesn't battify/byheart every friggin thing.. basically most of you reading this are also of type, so I guess you get me when I say this about tuitions and other things.

Other than that one time when we stayed in karnataka and "kannada" was compulsory (my 3rd class) we (me and bro) didnt go to tution for anything, not that I am against tuition.. I can understand that it helps many people because of the "better" teachers they have.

*Interim-Idiot (Intermediate)

You know.. that time after 10th, the 2yrs where practically ANY place can be called a "coaching center" where the main aim of a "college" is to hold one test after the other, making students feel like they're cattle not humans..I was ok with it for the first year, but then.. some kind of stupid thing happened to me.

Seeing all these people around me read like CRAZY, I started wondering if I really deserved getting good marks because I did far less hard work than others, yet was able to perform satisfactorily... its just that the environment was like that.

I know how stupid it sounds but that's how I used to think of it back then.. I thought that, if I would get better marks, there is someone else loosing an opportunity, and almost everyone around me was like this super hard working lifeless machine who have dedicated their life for this thing hence I felt that they deserved better rank than me ( :| )

So after this, I finally started realizing how everyone is competing for everything everywhere and that this is a competitive world.

*Coaching Classes

Rather than being a participant in the competition, I just slid away, the fire to "be the best" never burnt within me. You can say that was basically the most stupid part of my life. I just started hating all these factories with a passion because it was removing all kinds of fun from everyone, going to one was like shaking hands with satan. I always viewed school in my childhood as that lovely place where you learnt things.. but everything changed because of the poor "Teacher-child" relations, and lifeless lectures.

The best thing in intermediate were those classes when the really awesome lecturers taught, it was only about being there and learning things. Only two were really good, almost everyother class felt so dead that my brain learnt only because it was the min. required thing.

All these dead lectures and other things, confirmed my belief that "learning things on your own" is the best way to do it. I've learnt oh so many things since I was young and those are the things I remember even now.. down to the most trivial details. One is his own best tutor I must say.

*Engg Coll.

Well after coming to engg, I must say I've been having the time of life, because I've been doing what I wanted, learning what I wanted, and doing it the way I wanted! The detached attachment with the lecturers and subjects is such a good thing, I can keep having the best of both worlds. The fact that almost all the subjects are computer things, adds to the learning experience..

However, there is another thing , sometimes the thing you really wanted to learn turns out to be one of the subjects of your engg. course.. so because of this, I found myself NOT learning it on my own.. also because of the sub-par to poor lecturers teaching those subjects to me.. those thing totally died :( That's one of the saddest things I felt.

*Why go to them now?

Well, what happened later is specific to me, don't know if all others can relate to this, but the thing is that, the place that use as my "learning tool" had turned into one of my biggest vices.. yeah.. you know..

Using my computer paired with teh internetz as the source for total timewaste by reading each and every article in 10 blogs everyday, commuting in forums, stalking on twitter, among other things, really effected my life.. infact, it CHANGED it totally..

All I did was now look here and there, and waste time, I would plan on doing something but only rarely did I get anything done, because the system idle process was just one click away (browser)

So basically, there HAS to be a way to limit this.. ofcourse, there is "self control" which I have been rigorously applying since the past few weeks, which btw have been my recent BEST, but no matter what, the best way seemed to be the one where I would stay away from the computer..

The thing is that, I am planning on writing GRE soon, and there is no way I'll be able to dedicate myself COMPLETELY, if I plan on reading it on my own on the computer .. I've been controlling myself while reading oracle, but even then.. I feel that there must be a better way.

There is another fact..these 3years in college, have completely changed my perception of the world. I still understand that its a "competitive place" but after going through all what I have gone due to my ... *ahem* confusions of an immature mind then being the awesome environment that is college life..I.. you know, grew a brain and stopped caring about such things..

You could say.. the thing about "equivalent exchange" from FMA really REALLY helped me understand everything better..( another proof that, there is someone out there in the world who has experienced something similar and written/created something to show you the consequences, also, anime/manga has the answer for everything in life :P )

All I see now is 1)set a goal and 2)achieve it. Try your best and SCREW others and how they perform! Its like you know , back to being the mindset that I was in school, I never actually thought that someone would be "sad because he didnt get better rank because I got one better than him" and nonsense like that :P and neither did I keep a lot of burden on my shoulders.

So basically, now my goal is to just write that GRE exam, and do what I can do.. and the best thing is that the exam is also my kind.. THERE is no frigging RANK,seats and all that nonsense.

*The first experience

So yeah.. after Phani talking me into it (in a common sense way :P ) today I went to the class.. and I must say, it felt good, the thing that I have a "schedule" and I need to do things at a given time, really gives the complete feeling.. and the lack of time after returning, makes me want to keep work first and news later, making things more effecient, its not like I am wasting time, and its not like I am totally shileding off one part of life :D

So yes... thats what happens, you can basically see my tansition from a person with different views, its not called being "hypocrite" its called "growing up" and understanding things :P I have not written anything in a way that it'd give you, the reader, any direct info on what to do, but showed you what I've gone through, which might inderectly help you.

Its how I tread on the...

Path to Reeteshification.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

BLatNee, A recurring....occurance

You know.. how you always think.. "OMG this day/trip was so awesome, I hafta write about it!" and end up not writing it at all.. because of how elaborate you want it to be but get busy always and think time is not enough to write it? You know... "procrastination" the never ending cycle that gets you nowhere.

Well.. there is also another thing that I do..I think... a lot.. I usually create the comments that I would get and create total conversations with different personalities even before I actually sit and write the thing. I think of writing it, but once I sit on the computer, something happens, I get distracted and do crazy stuff often "System idle process" stuff.

But soon.. when I get holidays or some "real" free time.. I realize that.. I need to archive my thoughts and start writing whatever was the last thing I thought a lot about.

I totally omit many things just because I think they wont make sense when late..

but well.. times a changing.. from now on , I will sit and write.. whenever I get some time.. just because I love recording things and saying things ;)

I will be tagging those posts with "Blatnee" (pronounced like Matinee, indian way :P ) Its the "Better late than Never" edition of posts..

So yeah.. this has been a public service announcement for both of you who read this place..

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lake House

I saw the movie yesterday.. it was one of those movies that my bro gave me and I have no Idea of.

At first I thought it was a horror movie because the title sounds very apt for one, then from the IMDB page for the thing I saw that it was a drama movie.

I saw that page long back, when I first saw the movie's name after bro me gave the disc.. only thing I remembered was that it was a movie about a former tenant and a new tenant exchanging letters and falling in love.. like some classic hindi movie.

Recently, I started doing things in an ordered fashion and hence was seeing one movie everyday.. finishing up all those backlogs , you know :P So I decided to see "lake house" and put it in.

The beginning

Not until I saw the opening credits did I know that Keanu reeves was the main hero.. I saw that and went "ooh, keanu reeves in a lovey dovey movie?" and wondered how it would be to see him after only seeing in movies like the matrix.

The movie started a bit slow.. the dialogues were over cheesy, it felt kinda boring.. until


It happens that by some strange magic, the heroine (sandra Bullock :D ) is from the future, and the hero is from the past. The heroin lives in the lakehouse from 2005-2006, and right now the hero has come into the house in 2004.

So by some magic both of em, communicate by putting letters in the mailbox of the same house and using it like IMs where they sometimes, just stand and keep exchanging letters.. the mailbox goes into "unread" position.... automagically!

The explanation

The movie gives no kind of explanation to how it is happening, but I think its not needed.. its just happening! Its fantasy.. enjoy it and see how things play out. The main story is about how they both get to meet each other,eventhough they are talking in a very confusing time lag.

The experience

Just when I saw the "OMG TIME BEND" part.. I started thinking that this would be "my kind of movie" you know like Toki wo kakeru Shoujo and all those.. time travel movies with "love" themes.

Basically, the movie had a great chance of being one of my favourite movies of all time.. it was so confusing (in a good way) that it kept my brain thinking of what all things they could possibly do and how they would meet each other.

But, for some reason.. there were many scenes that were just unnecessary, the characters at time expressed emotions which made no sense, the dialogues... could definitely have been better. There are some other things, but I just cant seem to put my finger on was missing a certain factor that almost every other "great" love-fantasy had. Maybe its the BGM and scenry.. or the direction..


Do watch it.. its a nice movie with great twist, It will keep you excited in many parts. There is a lot more to the movie than I mentioned.. don't want to spoil everything :P

I however, wish that this movie is remade after a few years or so.. in a better way. It was good, but could get definitely better in many areas! Or maybe is there already some movie from which this was inspired? something that was done better? hmm... will have to look around on the net first..

[UPDATE] Thanks to my friend I found out that, there IS infact another movie just the same as this one.. and it came before this movie (lake House was inspired from that) and just as you guessed it.. it is infact better than this. Gotta get my hands on that movie soon :D

It's a Korean Movie named Siworae/ II Mare . Check it out :)