December 2011: What a month!
The month of December 2011 has been really nice to me
Just after the Major exams, went to Chennai for a wedding in the family. It was really nice getting to meet family members after so long a time. The fun and frolic lasted quite a bit, and to top it, it was during one of these days that I received my first correspondence from Haldor Topsoe!
Next, I was getting ready for the Indo-German Winter Academy which was hosted by our own IIT Delhi this time. The venue was perfect, the Claridges, Surajkund and definitely its location belied the proximity it has to the city. After a nice inaugural session at the Seminar Hall at IITD, we proceeded for dinner at the Faculty Guest House. Then, there were two buses arranged to reach the Claridges and it was quite late that day (Sunday, the 10th of December 2011). We had double sharing rooms, which were well furnished… and the bed was a delight to lie down on! My room mate (Fabian) was from FAU, Erlangen and after a quick introduction, we went off to doze. Little did I know that these days were going to be some of the best cherished moments I had ever had.
The breakfast next morning. At Oasis. The best ever. The lectures with Prof. Franz Durst, his interesting anecdotes and insights, and his enthusiasm filled us with the same. The coffee breaks in between, getting to interact with other students and professors from Germany and the other IITs. Needless to say, I forged quite a few new friendships, and now have friends in Germany as well as from all the IITs! Playing fooseball and TT in the breaks, oops and in the evenings! Lunch again at the Oasis and dinner at Fennel! I will never quite forget these days. There were lectures scheduled on each day of the week except Wednesday, when we were to go for sightseeing.
Despite having lived in Delhi for the past two decades now, and as any city dweller would agree, I had not visited the tourist spots in Delhi the many times that someone else would expect – but such is the reality. Wednesday too passed quickly – we paid visits to the Akshardham Temple, the Red Fort, stop at CP for lunch, India Gate and then Qutab Minar. I truly enjoyed the day and we took many photographs. And ah, who can forget THE tour guide. He was THE guide
My lecture was scheduled for Thursday, and Tuesday evening I was there with Prof. S. Chakraborty who helped me give the finishing touches. He was my guide for the academy and a really nice man. Wednesday evening we spent some time roaming around the hotel, exploring the swimming pool and the gym (just for the sake of it). And then on Thursday evening, I had my presentation. It went fairly well, though as usual, no-one asked any questions With nothing left, we played fooseball (loved it!) and TT. I didn’t try my hand at billiards/pool/snooker/whatever that was, since I knew I just shoudn’t Friday: dreading the fact that the academy was drawing to a close. Course photographs in the afternoon. In the evening, I joined the party after dinner for it was the last day. Most of us had come together and we were chit-chatting and cracking jokes. Saturday morning. The DAAD presentation. The presentation by Prof. Ruede. The valedictory function where we received the certificates, and then we the students giving certificates to all those who made this happen (Prof. Durst, Prof. Ruede, Prof. Ryssel, Prof. Buwa and Prof. Talukdar)! Oh, it was so much fun! The last lunch together. The bus back to IIT Delhi. Parting our ways. Sigh. Back to home. At least some solace!
What a month it has been! And now, sitting here at home just wishing that the clock would turn back… cause sometimes wishes do come true