That's my score on the GRE; I did pretty decently I think :) I'd started studying about 8 months ago, after procrastinating for about the same time! But apart from the preparation, I believe luck plays a major factor. My test was absolutely standard with no surprises and the questions were manageable too. [In case you're not interested in the GRE or my ramblings, this is where you should stop reading!]

Surprisingly, it appears that the only center in NCR is at Gurgaon. And it's a tad bit tricky to find! I reached that complex 10 minutes late for my appointment and saw an NIIT center. Foolishly, I assumed that that was the place and went in. If you know anything about these places you'll understand why there wasn't anyone there at 0845 hrs. I sat around for a while, getting more and more tense by the minute. I finally stepped out to ask the guard (who had earlier, nonchalantly told me to wait till around 0900) and he said, "Oh, GRE? That's down that-a-way". I panicked and raced down the corridor, promptly running past the entrance to the basement where the tests are conducted. [So if you're looking for this place, it's past the NIIT center, just before the Karnataka Bank Branch!]

Almost all the candidates were already there, filling out the disclaimer that prohibits you from discussing the questions with others. I put my stuff (phone, wallet and even handkerchief) in the little lockers provided and kept only my passport with me. A little later, we were called one at a time into the administrators room, made to confirm our details, match our signatures (mine didn't, at first :D What can I say? The passport is old!) and have our picture taken by a webcam. I then went to the other room to my allotted cubicle and sat down at the system, stared down at by my recently clicked picture, albeit a grainy, pixelated black and white version. There were ear muffs at every workstation and I must say, there were really effective in blocking out the incessant clicking of keys from when the other candidates were typing away during the essay section; I was glad to have them!

I began with the analytical writing section, followed by quantitative analysis. Math isn't my best subject and I thought I was off to a shaky start when the 4th or the 5th question had me stumped. I wasted some time then hazarded a guess and moved on. However, I did manage to complete the whole thing by solving the last 10 odd problems at lightening speed. After the optional 60 second break (which I took, trying to stop the trembling from the adrenaline rush!) I began the verbal section. I faced decent questions, not too tough but not really simple either. I was expecting a third, unmarked section (the new GRE can have up to 3 unmarked sections, in any order, one of which is for research and does not count towards your score. But since you don't know which of the three is this section, you have to do your best on all!) but luckily, I saw the optional research section screen. I suspected that there would be fourth section so I took my time and relaxed. So I was relieved when the dialog popped up indicating that I was done! I held my breath and clicked through - 790 in quantitative and 750 in verbal. Whew! I went to the administrator's room, signed out, filled the feedback form and went back - to office.

Now, though the exam is over, this isn't the end! I still have the TOEFL to take and then follow up with writing SOPs and researching colleges! But I'm relieved and glad it didn't go badly!

I've marked the location of the testing center on Google Maps and Wikimapia

Prometric Testing PVT LTD
Mercury Solutions LTD Sec-14,
SCO 21 & 22 Lower Ground
Gurgaon, 122001

The embedded map should load below


I bought a bicycle today. I figured the benefits are three-fold:
  1. Environment friendly

  2. Saves me the cost of petrol

  3. I can use the exercise (especially since I'll have to stop swimming soon, once winter sets in)

I didn't really splurge, just got the cheapest, basic Hero Cycles model; cost me 2800 bucks (about $65 right now).

It was weird riding a bicycle after all these years, especially after getting used to a motorcycle; felt incredibly flimsy and unstable. And my legs weren't used to the workout I gave them riding back from the shop to home. But I'm guessing it'll get better soon.

I couldn't find any pictures; the Hero Cycles website has apparently exceeded bandwidth limit.

Sexist Ad

This ad was in the Times of India, Delhi Times about a week back. Could it be any more chauvinistic? Well, it could, but you get what I mean.

It says 'sexist' ad, you perv :D


A friend of mine pointed this out to me. He'd read this in some magazine. Presented for your perusal are Maggi noodles packets - one from December 2007 and one from March 2008. Just don't ask me why I have a packet from 6 months ago lying around :D


I'd been looking for a swimming pool where I could become a member for quite a while now. Except, I'm not really the 'go-out-and-look-for-things' kinda person; I prefer checking out stuff online. That didn't really help. So yesterday and I found out about a pool from a friend and went to see if it was a public pool or not. Turns out it was. Yay! But they needed me to fill out a form and then get it signed and stamped by a doctor to ensure that I was not carrying any contagious diseases and was fit to swim. Sigh.

I went home early and then went down to the hospital that's in the same sector where I live. The receptionist wasn't quite sure what to make of the form, he said that any government doctor would sign the form. I didn't really want to go to a government hospital; actually, I didn't really want to go anywhere else now that I was already at a hospital. Finally, he told me to get an OPD form and go see a doctor in the basement.

Long line at the OPD counter, mostly people paying bills. Healthcare is expensive! I got a sheet with my details on it and had to pay them 200 bucks for it! This was after a 20% discount because of where I work. I went in to see the doctor, not a very impressive guy - Grey's Anatomy this wasn't! Told him I needed to get checked up so he asks me, "Do you have any problems? Any troubles?". Um, if I did, I wouldn't be paying you 200 bucks to get a 'DENIED' stamped across my swimming pool membership form. Luckily for me ( and the other people who come to swim ), I'm fine and I told him that. So he checked my blood pressure, had me breathe deeply a few times and then signed the papers. As simple as that.

Next day, 1600 hours. I turned up at the pool to get my card. You're supposed to pick a 1 hour slot when you'll be coming there. Kinda inconvenient but I guess it's so that there isn't overcrowding. The slots in the morning were full but that didn't bother me since I wanted something in the afternoon so that I could sneak away sometime after lunch. No, it's a good thing, I'd be dozing off in any case so this is good utilization of my time :D I picked 1600-1700, paid them 1200 bucks ( monthly, 800 more if you need coaching ), got my card and went in.

The pool is pretty decent, a small thing, 7 feet at the deep end but it's a 5 minute walk from office and it's clean, so it's not bad. It felt good to get into the water after so many years. Swam around a bit, I think I overdid it though, I'm now beginning to feel aches and I'm sure I'm going to be stiff all over tomorrow! There was one guy teaching the newbies, about 7-8 of them. Not very sure about how effective he'd be. Most people there weren't really that good, more about thrashing about in the water than actually swimming. Kinda sad, that so many people don't have access to proper facilities and training.

After about 45 minutes in the water, our time was up ( actually swimming time is only 50 minutes ). We all trooped out and showered and got dressed. I came back feeling quite good. I'd also packed everything I needed, including moisturizer ( Yes, I needed it after all that chlorine ). However, I didn't anticipate feeling peckish! That required a trip down to the cafeteria for an egg sandwich and a banana shake. Not such a good idea, maybe, because my eyes were glazing over once I got back to my seat.

Well, that's it. That was the big thing of the day for me. How'd you do?

Just Like You Imagined

It would be perfect. He had played it over and over in his mind, the past few weeks and it had slowly evolved from the fantasy-dream sequence to something that was going to be almost ridiculously straightforward. He had convinced himself of that.

He would tell her. How he felt. He wasn't very eloquent; the words wouldn't be poetry. But they would be from the heart. And they would be true. Her pretty eyes would widen in shock. But then there'd be a slight change, a softening of her features as she would break into a smile of acceptance and a flutter of eyelashes. She'd lean forward slightly, a shy hint, which he would take nervously. Breathing hard, he would caress her cheek, tilt her chin and move in closer. The kiss itself would be electric; as sunshine streams across land, so would her warmth flow over him. She would sigh and he would gaze into her eyes and she would know; better than any words could express

Yes, it would be perfect. He was just waiting for the right time. But days passed and he was kept from his goal, until finally, one day...

He brought it up carefully, testing the waters, gauging her reaction. And he told her. How he felt. He wasn't very eloquent; the words weren't poetry. But they were from the heart. And they were true. Her pretty eyes widened in shock. But then there was a slight change, a hardening of her features, ( "There's something wrong!" he panicked ), her sneer conveying contempt, her eyes scornful. She leaned forward slightly and spoke softly. "That's twisted! How did you even begin to think that we..." He couldn't hear her over the buzzing in his ears. His face was burning. Her face blurred as tears welled up in his eyes, he hated his body for betraying him...

He found himself running. He didn't remember leaving the house. He didn't know where he was going. He was just running. He would keep running till he had left the pain behind.

He awoke with a start. He closed his eyes and sighed. The same nightmare-dream again. Every night. It was driving him insane. He got ready slowly and as he walked out of the door, he was steeling himself for the day ahead- another day with her, without being able to say it.

Ok, semi-disturbing random post. Not meant to be taken seriously and certainly not indicative of existent people or events. :D

'Just Like You Imagined' - Creepier post by The Red Queen


I've recently started watching Lost and I've got to say, that with all the weird stuff that happens on the island, I find the title screen the most unsettling!

It gives me the feeling of just drifting helplessly in an infinite black void, with absolutely nothing around. And then, out of nowhere, there swim into focus, these huge white letters that spell out, disturbingly, 'Lost'.

You have no idea what they are, what they mean, who made them, for what purpose, ( how they're managing to drift together ) and you'll never find out. Because you can't control where you float and they've swept by you. And you have no idea if those letters are the last thing you'll ever encounter in this emptiness.

Brr! Gives me the shivers!


I haven't posted for almost 5 months now and the few readers that read this blog had been stopping by and enquiring after me for some time now. So, well, I'm fine. Still here :)

I've finally forced myself to sit down and type out a post ( lame and disconnected as it may be ) so that I will hopefully get back to posting semi-regularly again.

So what have I been up to? Nothing much. This and that. Been here and there. Why haven't I been posting? It started off with a little 2-3 weeks break for studying for a certification which was exacerbated because of a switch of jobs. Once I'd changed, I needed to work harder to get myself settled in and since I'd worked had, I needed to take break and give myself treats by watching movies and TV shows and by making a trip back home. Needless to say, blogging is hard work and it's very easy to come up with excuses to skip posts and end up quitting altogether!

Well, here's hoping I get back post steadily again and visiting the people listed in my blogroll.