Hi! all, im just back from the Andhra trip. All the days were fun and personally i made some good friends during this trip. And all those guys have the same mind set as im. I had to leave on 25th morning by Brindavan to Bangalore where we had to meet the Bangalore champs to go that evening to Hyderabad. It was a rejoiceful meet. This time, we had a new person in our team named Nirmal, who had nicknames such as AbNirmal, Psychic etc...
That nice after a very very late dinner at a good place, we left to hyderabad.
[26th Feb 2006]
Reached hyderabad at about 12 pm and had breakfast. We met 3 hyderabad champs who had lunch with us at 4.30 pm ;), after which we left for Microsoft IDC (India Development Center) at HiTech City. The whole city of hyderabad is superb. The roads are excellent. Most of the roads are of 8 lanes or 6 lanes. Imagine the traffic going at an awesome speed of 80kmph. You can never imagine that in chennai and in bangalore if you are able to cross 20kmph, you are God!
We were glad to meet the hyderabad ADE (Academic Developer Evangelist) Prathiba and her champs ;) at the IDC. After a brief meeting about the bandwagon, we chennaites were on a tour of the IDC. There are 2 huge buildings and a sprawling green lawn that will hold your eyes for hours together. Its beautiful :D. The lawn also extends to a cricket ground, basket ball ground and many other outdoor games. The office building we visited is where actual development of Microsoft softwares takes place. Every floor has a pantry, where you get all types of cool and hot drinks (for free !!). There are also libraries (obviously) and places where you can play snooker, table tennis (my favourite), carrom, chess etc. Infact, more than place for work, its a place for enjoyment; in short its a small amusement park :D. Since it was a sunday, the place was deserted and we were able to move around freely :)
This day concluded with the outing at "Eat Street", one of the most popular hangouts at hyderabad. Eat Street is located on the shore of the lake Hussain Sagar. In the middle of the lake is a huge statue of Buddha. The hyderabad guys told us that this was the largest statue in Asia.
[27th Feb 2006]
We reached IDC early today. The Andhra roadtrip began today and it was flagged off by Mr. Srini Koppulu, the big boss of the IDC :). Aarthi was also there with us to flag off the event. The first college we went to was Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU). The sessions were with the MCA people. They were not too good. In many respects, TN students are way better than Andhra.
The second session was also at the JNTU for the CSE dept. This session was good as the crowd was good. As a matter of fact, the first session was good because, we were able to them lots of things they didn't know about. I'm sure the interested guys will go back and check the websites we gave them. This was the main purpose of the Community Bandwagon and the roadtrip. Spread the word of community and technology.
We went for a movie at iMax theatres today :D. The movie was Taxi No. 9211 starring Nana Patekar and John Abraham. The movie was good and lasted for 2 hours. We had dinner at iMax itself.
[28th Feb 2006]
We visited two more colleges. Since the colleges are far apart, we spent a lot of time travelling. In the evening, we went to Birla Mandir. The temple is a architectural marvel and we took lots of photos there. Will upload some to flickr soon..
We went to Fortune hotel for dinner. It was supposed to be THE star hotel in hyderabad. The dinner was ok.
[1st Mar 2006]
I met a geeky genius named Dhaval Bhanushali. He is a very good programmer in C and Core Java. He has extended HigLayout to make it a bug free one. He participated in code4bill and went for the interview. Due to some silly mistakes, he lost it. Nevertheless, he shared his valuable experience with me and gave me lots of websites and tips. He is also a level 7 hacker ;)
A down-to-earth person, there is no hint of pride in him. A Great Soul. Along with him, i met another gem of a person named Mahendar. Both of these guys taught a lot of things i never knew (both tech & non-tech). It was an eye-opening experience today :D
During the whole travel time today, i was reading Linda Goodman's Star Signs book. And within few minutes, i was telling each of them what their name and dob meant to them. Since I'm interested in java, they crowned a title called MCJA (Microsoft Certified Java Astrologer)....ha ha ha! Every minute of the tour was exciting.
[2nd March 2006]
We went to some more colleges. The response at every college we went was excellent. During the dinner today, an exciting thing called Operation Salt happened. The core persons of this being myself, Chitresh and Gautam. After we were seated at the hotel with Prathiba (it was her treat), we were served water. We took the salt container that was meant for soups and emptied half of it into Chaitu's glass. A minute later, all the salt got dissolved in it.
We called Chaitu for Cheers! and the minute he drank the water, his face changed colours. It was so funny that we were laughing for the next 15 minutes. Instead of pouring out the water, the glasses were slowly exchanged with that of Prathiba. Now, all the 15 of us "cheers"ed and Prathiba drank the salt water..ha ha ha! This time, the salt jar was empty ! Imagine her surprise when she drank the water that was as salty as sea water !
We left for Vijayawada tonight to visit colleges there.
[3rd March 2006]
At Vijayawada also, the response was excellent. Today is one day i won't forget in my life. After the exciting day, during the dinner; mine was almost over. I was over a cup of ice-cream when someone shouted, "Hey, anna university results have come". I almost spilled the ice-cream and dashed off to make phone calls. After some frantic tries, i got a reply saying that the results will be out tonight. The night passed sleeplessly, when at 3AM i heard that familiar "keenk- keenk" sound of the mobile. I was sweating despite the A/C in the bus. The mobile almost slipped out of my hand.
Shivering due to both fear and A/C, i opened the "1 Unread Message". This is what it said, "Machan, yay! we cleared da! u got 83%, let us have a blast in Chennai when u r back..yoo! hoo!". Yipee! i saved my job. Thank God! I fell asleep immediately.
We were going to bangalore to attend the Academic Days event at PESIT college.
[4th March 2006]
Like the Coimbatore one, we reached PESIT directly. The only change being, this time we brushed our teeth. The 16 hrs of travel wore us out completely. The sessions by Yashavant Kanetkar on VC++ programming was tooooooooo good. The event ended with Kevin's session on "Intro to .net" with Reza and Sharath doing some cool demos.
Myself and deepak left for chennai tonight. The whole tour came to a nice end. I'm looking forward to more of this :D