voices meeting in nesara.

Everyone liked the idea: instead of having it in tea-board, the next Voices meeting was planned to be held in Nesara. bhOndOO supported the idea, since his advisor often visited tea-board and had seen bhOndOO doing ‘time-pass’ with his Voices team-mates. bhOndOO had been avoiding meeting his advisor since some time, because he had to show results of pointer analysis implementation, which he was lazily postponing.

The meeting was at 18:00. Post lunch, bhOndOO started running experiments. After each execution, bhOndOO kept adding the time taken for pointer analysis into an excel sheet. Long time taken by each benchmark allowed bhOndOO to chat with his friends on gmail, to write orkut scraps, to wonder when someone would write a testimonial for him, to check Shami’s scrapbook, to read his friends’ blogs on topics ‘How cute my puppy looks’, ‘What did I have for snacks today?’ and ‘How well-dressed Michelle Obama was’. When compared with the blog entries, bhOndOO started realizing how much uninteresting pointer analysis was.

Suddenly, bhOndOO realized a strange pattern in his excel sheet: the larger benchmarks required lesser time than the smaller ones! Wow! My analysis is really scalable. It is taking so less for the larger benchmarks. This is going to be a publishable result. I will win the Best Paper award. Why did I keep postponing it for so long? Nevertheless, Sir would be very happy to see them.

There is something called as conscience and the one in bhOndOO was still alive. It kept on telling him, “Dude, there is something wrong with your analysis. Larger benchmarks should not take lesser time.”. bhOndOO tried to avoid the thought, but the thought kept coming back — like a boomerang. Finally, bhOndOO checked the execution of a benchmark carefully and found that the benchmark was dumping core! In fact, all the larger benchmarks were following the tradition.

“Shit!”, bhOndOO exclaimed. He started debugging the code.

The debugging took longer. gdb was showing the core-dump at different points for different executions. “What the hell! Can’t you tell me where exactly the problem is!!!”, bhOndOO shouted at gdb. A few faces in the lab turned. But knowing that the source of the statement was bhOndOO, the faces re-turned.

At the same moment, gdb replied to bhOndOO in a musical tone, “Ye PhD haye baithe bithay jannat dikhaye haan!”. bhOndOO was surprised, but then realized that his mobile was ringing. It was Madhu.

“Are you coming?”.

“Yes, but it is at 18:00 right?”.

“No, it was at 18:00. Check your watch, bhOndOO, it is 18:10.”.

Another “Shit!”. “I will be there in five minutes.”.

bhOndOO cursed gdb, then pointer analysis, then PhD, and rushed to grab his bicycle. The bicycle was punctured. Yet another “Shit!”. This must be Gullu. I will take revenge later. bhOndOO’s conscience popped up again: These hurdles suggest that something not-so-pleasant is going to happen at Nesara.

Shutting up the conscience, bhOndOO almost ran towards Nesara. When he reached, everyone had finished ordering. bhOndOO ordered for bonda soup and settled.

The discussion was on. The team was deciding about the Centenary Conference, the Voices bulletin during the conference, and the Centenary Special Magazine. But bhOndOO was not able to concentrate. The thought of core-dump was continuously haunting him. What must be the reason? I am checking the array index before accessing it. It is well within bounds. They why is it failing?

Suddenly, bhOndOO realized that everyone was looking at him. bhOndOO came back to his senses, “Sorry, I missed that.”.

“Would you take care of printing 2000 copies?”, Madhu asked.

“Yes, sure. No problem.”.

The discussion continued, but bhOndOO was still wondering about the core-dump.

Suddenly, someone gave a big blow to bhOndOO’s legs under the table. “Ouch! What are you…”, BenJi’s eyes and eyebrows directed bhOndOO to look at the glass-wall of the restaurant. bhOndOO became half-dead. His advisor Prof Krishnamurthy was getting down from his car. Several thoughts appeared in bhOndOO’s half-dead mind.

  • He came to know that I am here. Hence he is coming here to scold me.
  • He must be having a hockey-stick in his hand.
  • He is going to punish me in front of everyone in the restaurant.
  • He is going to ask me for the experimental results.
  • He will not sign my scholarship, he will not pass me in the comprehensive exam, he will not give me PhD, …

Food items arrived and so did bonda soup. As Prof Krishnamurthy entered, bhOndOO hid himself behind the waiter. But the waiter was innocent: he left the table. bhOndOO saw his advisor directly in front of him walking towards him. bhOndOO did not know what to react. His pulse rate doubled and he got stuck to his seat.

Prof Krishnamurthy noticed bhOndOO and …, well, waved at him. bhOndOO involuntarily waved back. Prof Krishnamurthy then walked towards the counter. The Voices team, smiling, kept looking at bhOndOO. The waving and disappearance of his advisor, brought bhOndOO to life. He looked at his friends and smiled back.

I hope he takes a seat much away from our table. I hope I am not visible to him. I hope he does not feel that I am wasting time with my friends.

Within two minutes, Prof Krishnamurthy left the restaurant. bhOndOO was surprised and did not understand why his advisor came to Nesara. The Voices discussion progressed, the food items were getting finished. bhOndOO finished his bonda soup, but was totally out of the place: he kept thinking of the core-dump.

Madhu continued, “We will ask our Director also to write an article…”.

“Oh! Shit!”, bhOndOO.

Everyone turned towards him with an astonishing face.

“Sorry, I just got that I have not malloc-ed the array. Shall I go? I need to do some experiments.”.

Everyone allowed bhOndOO to leave. bhOndOO left the restaurant without paying for his soup.

The lab was empty. Allocating the array removed the core-dump. Larger benchmarks started taking longer time. The results were bad but at least correct! bhOndOO felt relieved. He decided to meet his advisor the next day. But the thought of getting seen in Nesara kept coming back. I haven’t met him since so long. I should not have gone to Nesara. Actually, I should have done these experiments earlier. But why did he come to the restaurant for only two minutes? I am sure, it was for me. He is going to scold me tomorrow. I am not a good student. I am not a good researcher.

bhOndOO started weeping. He heard the sound of door opening and tried to wipe out the tears. BenJi entered, “bhOndOO, coming for dinner?”. bhOndOO tried, “You go ahead. I will come later.”.

bhOndOO’s choked voice brought BenJi near him, “What happened, bhOndOO? What are you crying for?”.

“Nothing, BenJi. I always get myself into trouble. You saw today that Sir had come to see me in Nesara. He will feel that I spend time on other things rather than my research.”.

“Oh! That! Hey, don’t feel bad about it man! You don’t know what happened after you left.”.

bhOndOO stopped crying, “What happened?”.

“Ten minutes after you left, Prof Krishnamurthy arrived again in Nesara.”.

“What???”.

“Ya! We also wondered why. But then he went to the counter and left in five minutes with a parcel.”.

“Oh! He had come to order food.”.

“Ya, but that is not the full story. He looked at our table while leaving and felt very happy to see that you were missing.”.

“How do you know? Did he say anything about me?”.

“No yaar. But some things get obvious from the facial expressions, right?”.

“Right. Thanks BenJi. You are a wonderful friend.”.

“Okay, Okay. Maska mat maar. And now you also become a good friend and return me the money for your bonda soup“.

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2 Responses to “voices meeting in nesara.”

  1. super ordinary Says:

    Well..well..well. Quite a thriller actually. But why is the adviser figure this intimidating is something I don’t understand. It is almost as if we are in a relationship with that person and doing something else is cheating!
    I once tripped and fell flat on the floor the moment I saw my advisor in the grocery shop! Another time, I almost missed a flight trying to avoid him in the airport because he was in the next gate, although he was well aware that I was going on a trip. Ah…the perils of the affair called graduate education!

  2. Meghana. Says:

    The story is nicely built – but the climax is a little disappointing.

    -meghana.

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