June 28, 2011

10 Day Challenge: Six Places

Six places..hmmm. There are so many lists I can make for this one; Six places I want to visit, six countries I have visited, my six favorite places to take pictures etc. But let me make it personal. I am talking about my six places that I where I have lived or have had some personal connection to:

1. Roorkee
IIT Roorkee’s administrative building known as Main building

Well I wasn’t born here, neither it qualifies for my native place. Our family moved here just after my birth (I was 4 months old) as my Dad got job in University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee) as a lecturer. So even though its neither my birth place or my native place, its my home-town – the place I grew up in. In fact, I grew up in the University of Roorkee campus.

I didn’t it know then, but I was privileged that way. Life on a university campus is very peaceful, very different from normal life. We had access to all the university facilities as Olympic size swimming pool, indoor Badminton courts, tennis courts, campus library. The fees, if any, were nominal. Life was great!

Also, for uninitiated, Roorkee is a small town in foothills of Himalayas. Its now falls in the state of Uttarakhand.

2. Chennai
marina-beach wallpaper
Chennai’s Marina beach

The first time I left my home-town, I ended up in deep south, all by myself. Honestly, I was scared and excited. Well I was young enough then to take it as an adventure. The only word of Tamil I knew was ille.
Those were great two and a half years. I learned a lot about south Indian, in particular Tamil culture, made some great life-long friends and gained a bit of weight.

3. Barmer/Jodhpur
Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort and the blue city

I never lived in either of these cities. However, I worked on Barmer basin for 2.5 years. Part of my work took me to the field in Barmer. Since Barmer didn’t have an airport, we always flew to Jodhpur followed by a four hour drive to Barmer. However, depending on flight times, I usually got a half day break in Jodhpur. I visited Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort on most of those breaks mainly due to some companion who had never seen the fort.

We had our main field work in Barmer, which meant I have travelled through most of the district, talked to local villagers, visited their home, visited schools, as well as climbed the sand dunes in 35-40 C temperature. Oh, the memories

4. Edinburgh

Again, I never lived in Edinburgh but I have visited it few times. The company I was working for during my stay in Chennai was based in Edinburgh. So before I visited Edinburgh for the first time, I had heard a lot of stories and praise about the city. But the  city didn’t disappoint me. It’s a beautiful city. I wish I could live there at some point.

5. Stanford
Palm drive and the Stanford quad

From Chennai, I moved to Stanford for my PhD. It was love at first sight. Although I must say, I hated US (not Stanford) the first six months of my arrival. They have this circular logic of credit history. You can’t have one if you have never owned a credit card, rented a house, buy a mobile. But you can’t have/buy any of these things unless you have a credit history. Go figure.

Anyway, I spent six years in Stanford. It remains my favorite place in the whole wide world. Its my place. The place I go to touch bases and recuperate after any major trauma. Last time I visited India, I couldn’t wait to go back to Stanford. To be home. I was pretty sad when I had to leave Stanford.

6. Houston

Last year I moved from Stanford to Houston for my job. I have been here for about 8 months now. I am still working on building memories here. So nothiing much to elaborate here…

That’s all for now. See you tomorrow.

All the images are linked to their source.

Previous posts on 10 Day Challenge: Seven Wants, Eight Fears, Nine Loves, Ten Secrets.


  1. Wow! Uni of Roorkee looks amazing! Mumbai uni is shit. And the whole credit history thing in the US is senseless. How did you end up getting a mobile or renting in that case? Do they accept credit histories from other countries? 

  2. Oh I have been to IIT Powai for their Indigo festival. It was fun. But I do prefer IIT Roorkee's campus over the IIT Bombay's campus.  Its much spacier and neater.

    Nah, they don't accept any other credit history but US. So the initial things I needed to buy had to be on the credit history of friends or rather newly made acquaintances. Thankfully the credit union of Stanford gave me a credit card (I got direct deposit for my pay checks with them) so I could get started. US is not friendly that way..

  3. Always wanted to visit the beautiful campus of IIT Roorkee... missed it during the Inter - IIT Sports meet ...

  4. I hope you don't mean the 2001 inter-IIT sports meet. I was there for that one. 

    You can always come and visit the campus and then proceed to other beautiful places in Uttarakhand, or you may proceed towards HImachal .Its beautiful up there...