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News: July2001

The 'T' in IIT

11:00pm, 31 July, 2001
Were we surprised that the 'T' in IIT could mean things other than technology as well? That is what we were to discover at the freshie trek of SIT.
The destination was Peb, a forgotten old fort near Matheran, a few hours from Neral station. Most of the train journey was uneventful, except for the curiousity that the non-Mumbaikars showed in everything going on around them. After Badalapur station nearly everybody got up from their seats, eager to take in the natural surroundings, the lush green fields and hills covered with the green grass and clouds. The "newcomers" got a taste of how things happen around here, when the train failed to stop at Shelu; after going some 500 meters or so it stopped and started moving back and finally came back to the platform.
The trek started after a quick breakfast at Neral, consisting of tea and "vada pav" along with what seemed like water, but nobody really dared to taste, rather "test" it! Once we hit the road, we stopped for an important session - introductions! This was a very important event involving people from all the three batches of KReSIT as well as the office staff. This was followed by Janaki setting up the protocol for the whole trek - who leads, who brings up the tail and who takes care of the people in between, no littering, etc. The trek was led under the experience of Abhijit and Raghu.
Along the way, the troupe passed some unbuilt structures which, according to popular opinion, belonged to the likes of Priety Zinta, Rani Mukarjee and Madhuri Dixit. Someone even managed to locate the new lab that was planned for KReSIT! This was also the place where the group really became "about 25" with the addition of a very interesting member, who outshone everyone else with her unlimited stamina and agility. This was Julie, the friendly neighborhood dog, prompting heated discussions about canine psychology and territorial behaviour amongst an enlightened few.
Most of the initial part was along a well trodden mountain path, which had been rendered slushy by rain and constant foot-traffic. The troupe had a big break at a wide green cliff overlooking a distant waterfall. A short walk from there, we reached the really interesting part - a path mainly consisting of climbing up a rocky stream. It was playtime, full of sliding, slipping, tumbling and of course, photography! All this activity was very well facilitated by the presence of loose rocks all over the place that decided to roll away at the slightest pressure.
Lashed with icy cold rain and wind, we decided to take break before taking on the most difficult rock patch of the climb. We could see the other side of the mountains, the vast green valley filled with green trees, small waterfalls, some small streams, a lake, some small houses and again the mountains beyond. After a short walk we came across the big hard erect rocks which was the most difficult part of the trek.
The cave at the base of Peb fort is inhabited by disciples of Swami Samartha, who stay there for meditation and deep thought about the ideals of life. We had lunch near the cave and a good sleep inside the warm cave. Later refreshed by a "garam masala kadha" prepared by the disciples, it was time to get to the fort itself. Since the fort itself was destroyed long ago, what remains is just a few ramparts and fortifications in a few places. The entrance to the fort no longer exists, marked only by a wall that once formed part of the fort. The only point of entry proved difficult to most what with a 25 feet rock face rendered real slippery by the rains, so that only five people managed to get through. They were given a guided to tour of the fort by one of the disciples - the ongoing restoration of an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva, of which only the foundations remain, long abandoned watering holes cut into the rock, that are being cleaned, tree plantation all over the place and so on. All this taken up by the disciples who are instructed by their own teacher.
Most of the journey downhill was just as exciting, with one addition - afraid of the rolling stones, the people in the front decided to take a different path. But within 15min, the troupe was lost. Thanks to the tailenders who recollected the original directions, the troupe was able to resume the correct path - the only place where a violation of the protocol did help out, although the price had to be paid verbally ;-)
The troupe finally reached Neral station in smaller clumps of people walking at their own pace. The very low frequency of trains ensured a one hour stop for us at Neral station, where the hungry lot wolfed down the famous "vada pav" for the second time. The train that did arrive, turned out to be a fast train, so that people had to change over to a slow train at Thane - a second chance for the newcomers to experience life in Mumbai!
So, while we wait for the photographs and for the next rendezvous with nature, back to burning the midnight oil at our KReSIT labs.

contributed by samir
ps. yet another trek report from the freshies on its way.
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Cup of Java with a Trek to Peb

11:45am, 29 July, 2001
KReSIT corridors are again abuzz with activity as a brand new semester starts out with another enthu batch.
25 enthu punters including people from school office, mtech2k, mtech01, research scholars and even two of our distinguished alumni are back from a trek to Peb fort. Exit polls suggest that though junta enjoyed the trek very much, they badly missed a nice waterfall in this time of the year :-). More reports on trek... as and when available.
Another feather in ITA's cap. A Java Workshop is on in KReSIT Classroom-cum-lab right now. It's a two day workshop and the next Java cuppa is due on August 4, 2001. Attendees this time are about 30 B.Tech/B.E. students from various engineering colleges in Mumbai. Though we miss our local Java experts, we hope that the undergrads enjoy the workshop as much as we've enjoyed organising it.

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New Batch Arrives at KReSIT

3:25am, 21 July, 2001
The school saw itself grow another yard today as the new batch for the year 2001 stepped in. Seventeen students joined for the new batch.Prof. Sridhar, with all his boyish charm, eased into the role of introducer to the formal/informal environment of the school. The faculty also introduced themselves which follwed the introduction by the students. It seems that indian youth is bouyed by basically two things - cricket and music, as these two things turned out to be favoured interests among the freshies. It would have been a unanimous vote but for the girl students (who obviously don't play cricket) and one guy who was interested particularly in NOT playing cricket. Interesting interest (or should I say Not Interest). Seems a rather new kinda interest (but thats what innovation is ..isn't it ?). Prof. Sridhar promptly debarred these two particular choices being stated as interests. This session was followed by the students registering for their respective courses.
In the afternoon, the new students were give FRESHIES WELCOME by the senior batches. This was a welcome moment for all the students of the new batch to get to know each other and also flex their creative muscles (well...anyone can flex muscles even if one is not very creative when the audience can digest the punch with a smile on their face). This was a pleasant hour with everyone participating after the intial hiccups and jokes, songs, puzzles (beleive it or not) flowing easily. This was followed by some really interesting and insightful WORDS OF WISDOM from Vikram. A movie was also arranged in the evening for the freshies.
All in all, it was a great day for all the people of the school and specially for the freshies. So, freshies get ready for the road ahead. Bon Voyage!

ps: Article by a new batch entupunter.

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