Thursday, July 03, 2008

Harvard

Or, Hah-vahd.

This weekend was one of little activity, apart from watching "Wall-E" on Saturday and a visit to the famed, aforenamed university on Sunday. 'Wall-E,' at the risk of sounding amasculine, is a very cute movie. It is, really. As with all Pixar movies, the animation is brilliant, as is the feature they play before the actual movie. The story is more sober than their previous adventures, 'The Incredibles' and 'Cars.' Earth is a huge wasteland, with humans having left for a better life in another galaxy and only the robots remaining on the dead planet. The last robot left by the time the movie begins is Wall-E(Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class), a trash compacting robot. He builds mammoth structures with the blocks of trash he compacts, collecting interesting objects he finds along the way, his only companion being an unnamed cockroach. This idyllic life is interrupted by the appearance of a giant spaceship which deposits a sleek, sophisticated, white probe named EVA(Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evalautor) and leaves. Wall-E is amazed by EVA and soon enough, a sort of romance develops between the robots. This is abruptly ended when Wall-E gifts EVA a plant which he has found in the course of his garbage collection. The story changes from here and you'll have to watch it to find out what happens next because I don't want to type any more about it. But it's very good and very funny too. And, it has a message, although some might call it preachy.

Harvard university was established in 1636, said our guide on the Harvard Unofficial Tour. Purandara Dasa was established in 1484, said I, beaming. This had little impact on our good guide and the process continued. The Unofficial Tours are a good way of getting around the Harvard campus and getting to know it reasonably well and learning about the history associated with each significant piece of the sprawling area. Established by students as a more fun and interesting way of going around the place, as opposed to the dull, official tour, it has grown in popularity so as to thoroughly rout the official one. Conducted by current students, it's great and you should take it when you're there. It's up to you to pay them or not, at the end of the tour of about one hour, but most people do. We were shown around by the good-looking third-year Jordan(female, 1 nos.) and the rather short first-year-who-resembled-Forest-Whitaker Tourelle(Turell? Not sure. Male, 1 nos.). They did a good job, keeping it lively and interesting. The four themes of the tour were Harvard life and lingo, the infamous Harvard-Cambridge(town where Harvard is, not the English university) rivalry, Something Else and correlating American history with the growth of Harvard. It's a walking tour, so if you can't walk for one hour, don't go, lazy ass.

A visit to MIT also happened and it was discovered that the famed university is a disappointing clutch of ugly buildings. With weeds growing in front of it and not the good kind. The computer science department has a facade in which no two walls intersect at 90 degrees. What a way to show how cool you are. The amazing thing is, some of the most brilliant people in the world live, study and work in these poorly built structures and still manage to emerge unscathed and give to the world of their extraordinary intellectual largesse. There's a corridor in the university called the Infinite Corridor. It ends, after a while. A really short while. I'd say it's only about a hundred feet or so.

I have discovered an obsession with ‘Kabhi kabhi Aditi zindagi mein’ from ‘Jaane tu ya jaane naa.’ It’s become the theme for my visit to the US. When I sit in my room at night, typing at this thing, by the window and the light casting a, well, light on the highway outside the hotel, the scene is like many of those Indians-in-the-US-about-to-leave-for-home-but-remembering-all-the-pleasant-and-
bittersweet-things-that-happened-to-them-during-their-stay-here movies. What a poorly dramatic image.

Last week, there was a power cut in Chelmsford. A lady in our office said this was the first time this had happened since she started living here (about ten years), that this wasn’t normal. Sure, when we bring it, we bring it.

I ordered this extraordinary collection of books called "The Griffin and Sabine trilogy." I'd never heard about till recently, though it's been around for seventeen years. It's wonderful. I can see where all those "people who fall in love only by writing letters to each other" came from. Look it up.

15 comments:

snippetsnscribbles said...

I'm not reading the first paragraph cos I want to watch the movie :P

Now, lemme get back to your post

Arjun Sharma said...

[snippetsnscribbles] Illa, no spoilers anywhere. I don't do spoilers. Unless I really hate a movie and want to save humanity.

Apparently, "Hancock" is pretty bad. So you might want to save yourself the trouble. But "Wall-E," you have to watch. Long weekend bere, hogi naalkaidu sala nodkond bandbidi.

tangled said...

"people who fall in love only by writing letters to each other"
You want to make me beat you?

If you'd told me you were going to MIT, I would have told my uncle you were visiting. He's the Senior Associate Dean and
Director, Office of Educational Innovation and Technology. You could have shown off a little more just the way I know you love to.
:)

Harish said...

Antoo regular updates koDtya blog alli. oLLe Nehru regular aagi jail inda Indira Priyadarshini-ge letters baritidda tara. oLLe wrong analogy.

Kabhi kabhi haaDu sikkaapaTTe chennaagide. 'Kahin To' haaDu kooDa chennaagide.

a million different people said...

Hah-vuhd. :(

Aw. Look at you watching movies before it's even spoken about in India.

Purandara Daasaru kicks mundo butt. I'm sure he would've found it scandalous, still, the world feels it. They just don't know yet.

Hehe. What giving and taking I say. Power cuts - hahahahaha!

Gawd. Yes. The The Griffin and Sabine trilogy is wonderfully weirdly wonderful.

karthikd said...

I felt the "Kabhi Kabhi.." song is very similar the appudo ippudo song from Bommarilu.

El said...

:) So lucky that you get to see the place and the people who actually get to study there!

tsk tsk, and I will go back to broken benches and profs who dig their noses while teaching - yuck.

Sandeep said...

Hehe, Harish's analogy (anolagy) is funny.

Why the fuck is KD watching "Bammarilu"?; Mindri enagide ninge?

Irli. Neevu update madtiri.

Malaveeka said...

Did you touch that statue's toe?

Arjun Sharma said...

[tangled] No, I don't want to make you beat me.

[harish] He he, hodu, extremely analogy. Aadru parvagilla. Neevu ittidira.

Yes, 'Kahin to' is also nice. And the title song, 'Tu bole, main boloon' is amazing. Reminds me of some song which I can't remember, but it's very nice even if I'm wrong.

[a million different people] Yes, I was always a little ahead of my times. But you really should watch "Wall-E." It's really good. I don't know why I'm pushing it so much.

I also ordered, and got, 'Persepolis.' Both the books. The movie came out last year, I hear. And won stuff. It seems very nice.

To assert how cool I am, I say now that I have also purchased 'Watchmen' and the entire Blackadder series.

[karthikd] Yes, the similarities are there. But it's not too similar. For one, Rahman's song is good.

[el] Yuck, where do you study? Pardon the rudeness, though. We are gourment school.

The tour and the place were really nice, yes.

[sandeep] Yes, it shows he is aware of Indian history. Unlike you, who didn't know a hell of a lot of stuff.

"Bommarillu," and not 'Bammarilu,' was a popular Telugu movie of last year(or the year before, I'm not sure). Watching it does not relegate one to the status of a commercial sex worker. Your judgement, and your condescension towards viewers of a Telugu persuasion, is deplorable, although understandable.

[malaveeka] No, it looked dirty. Also, the guy said students played pranks on unsuspecting tourists. This kid touched it and didn't die, so I guess it was safe.

nivedita said...

Also note, "Kabhi Kabhi Aditi..." and Bommarilu both has Genelia D'Souza as the lead.

Sandeep said...

I'm amazed she's so successful despite being named 'Genelia'. You know what it sounds like.

a million different people said...

e^lawl at what Genelia sounds like. =)

Will watch off Wall-E when it comes to my country. :P

But saw off Persepolis. I like.

Blackadder? Awesome. You do know that Atkinson is sakkath bombaat I-don't-know-what-else-to-say in it no? Yes.

snippetsnscribbles said...

blog updation please :-)))

Arjun Sharma said...

[nivedita] Yes, she's been part of some very successful movies. It's uncanny.

[sandeep] He he, yes. Sounds like Ophelia, the woman who loved Hamlet unrequited, doesn't it?

[a million different people] Yeah, it's like how Phaneesh Murthy is successful, right?

Persepolis is a nice book. In bits, it's like those Japanese children's cartoons(not the cool animes) where there are sharp, abrupt cuts in the narrative and random things happen. But it's a very nice story.

Yeah, I watched some episodes of Blackadder 1 many years back and liked it more than Mr. Bean, which is what we all came to know Atkinson by. Now I have the complete series. He's brilliant in it, yes. As SPB would say, I baav to you, sir. I baav.

[snippetsnscribbles] :) I have complied with your orders.