“Virtual reality is such an oxymoron.”

Little brother of mine has his preparatory exams going on and is knee-deep in trouble. Mr. Smarty-pants has had no time to spare for Social Science as he’s been studying only Science and Math all along (why am I not surprised). So I taught him the chapter he’d skipped – World War 1 and 2. He was happy after I narrated the whole chapter like a story. His next task for me was to teach him to draw Biology diagrams. He’s hated bio since forever. There was such a drastic improvement in his drawings after I showed him the techniques, I could not believe it was drawn by the same person who once loathed Biology. Oh wait, he still does.

Yet again, I forgot another birthday. I was scrolling through my contact list on whatsapp listlessly and suddenly on seeing Mohith’s display picture I realized it was Feb 26th. His birthday. I’m usually the wish-people-at-midnight-on-their-birthday kind of a person, but I don’t know what’s wrong with me of late. I guess this marks the onset of amnesia. Oh dear.

Mom left for a wedding on 28th and was due to return on 29th. I have to admit, we are a dysfunctional lot in mom’s absence.

How much water to be added to rice? Where are the tablets? Where’s the chapati dough? Oh when did we run out of coffee decoction? It’s raining, the clothes are still outside. Uh-oh. Doom. Emergency 911 get mommy back!

Thankfully, superman dad saved the day! He made breakfast for us and it turned out wayyy better than mom’s cooking. It was out of this world! Mmm… the taste still lingers. On Friday we had an unofficial team lunch for the first time after shifting to the new office. It reminded me of our Meghana Biryani escapades in college. Whenever one of us felt an irresistible craving for biryani we would end up going to Meghana’s.

The following Saturday aunt Vinutha came back from the US for a mini vacation. She’d got truck loads of chocolates as usual. Hershey’s, kisses, almond joy, M & M’s, peanut buttercups, twix, milky way, three musketeers, you name it. I had to run errands for mom and aunt so was on house arrest the entire day. Do you hear me complaining?

The next day I met Gaja and Rosh. When I told them I finished reading the first book in the GoT series, they were stunned – when did I have the time to read such a big book?
Rosh: Where did it stop?
Me: Dragons have hatched. Ned Stark has been killed. I was so shocked when Drogo died.
Gaja: That’s not as shocking as Sansa marrying Tyrion.
Me: *gasp* STOP IT! *covers ears*
Rosh: I don’t think Khaleesi and Tyrion make a good pair either.
Me: I’m leaving. BYE.
Spoilers galore. Rascals had to ruin it for me. Daaamn.

Last Friday’s lunch was epic. Sonia, Meghana, Anjali and I attacked dabba after dabba like hungry pigs, blissfully oblivious to the stares we were attracting from other tables (and ours too I guess, we were too busy to notice). THIS. This is my kind of team lunch.

Rosh, Gaja, Swathi and I went to IISc for the Open Day held two days ago. We went to the SERC department first. There was a computer versus humans quiz, where the computer would answer based on machine learning. We managed to beat it and won the much-needed choco pie. Well to be honest the choco pie was what prompted us to take up the quiz in the first place.

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Super computer ranked at 96 in the world in terms of speed.

Next we went to the Electrical department, the Tesla experiment we had seen last time was still there. We bumped into our juniors Harshitha, Maimuna and Manasa. We met Gaja’s classmate Arpita too. Last year when we had gone to the Open Day, Arpita had wished she would get to work in a research environment like IISc, and this year she was living her dream! How cool is that?

The mechanical department was really fascinating. There were instruments and simulations of medical equipments used to aid doctors’ training. Certain compliant mechanisms were simulated to help understand the nature and behaviour of diseased cells.

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This instrument has a sharp microscopic tip, which is used to isolate a single cell.

By the time we went to the CS department it was nearly 4pm. All of us had completely lost track of time. We were famished but kept going. We played a game in virtual reality and also witnessed augmented reality in action. Awesomeness taken to a whole new level.

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At last we had lunch at Prakruthi. Met Shravan and our junior Aasheesh before finally heading back home. Had we gone a little earlier we would have got to see the aerospace, nanoscience, physics and math departments as well. Next year, for sure.

P.S. Gatecrashed a wedding at Palace Grounds in the evening. Technically, Gaja and Swathi were invited, Rosh and I just… tagged along. The food was to die for. There. I said it. *buries face in pillow*

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