Monday, January 08, 2007

Back to work, some politics and the scary darkness

Woke up quite late and it was due to cock's noise. Natural alarm huh? Smell of terai. And it was cold outside. Talkin about weather, here it is as cold as Kathmandu during morning and evening. Days are warm. Terai has problem of fog for several days, but we were told that there aint such thing here.

Had a cup of tea and we moved towards school. There's little distance from Govinda sir's place to the school so we took a local bus. Bus was packed and at a time i even had to swing at the door. Later on i entered inside and there was a funny incident. The metal bar we were holding broke off and i was in such a unbalanced position. Quite a laugh there. We reached school in 5 minutes. Rupees 5 per person. Atleast things are cheaper here than in Ktm.

The school. I mus say this school has quite an infrastructure. Maybe i'm used to seeing schools at Ktm being run in a small house but the building of the school is really enviable. More than i'd expected it to be. Well i did my primary schooling from Baglung and the building wasn't bad there either. But this one is cemented. Later on i came to know that it was perhaps the best school in the region. Nice place we reached.

We went straight to the building where we dumped all our stuffs yesterday. But the staffs didn't open the door for us. They were seeking for permission from a 'higher official'. Later on i even met this 'higher official' – Mr Pravin sir. Well before i talk about him, there's another thing to note first. There's an IT college being built near the school premises. It is under construction now and is supposed to be really big when it's over. There's lots of fundings from Indian Government for this project. Pravin sir was its in-charge.

Now Pravin sir, i felt quite odd dealing with him. We shook hands and he does it like an armyman. He wears army-like cap and everything he does is like army. Funny enough, he even talks on cell phone like a walkie-talkie. But specifically, me n perhaps everyone of us didn't liked the way he behaved to us. We were here to setup the computer lab for the school. But he was from IT college and he was tryin to boss us around. Infact there was some politics here.

The building where we kept our computers was the property of the school, but there had been an agreement with the IT college that they'll be using the (school's) building for some months to train their students. So when we reached there, the room was already furnished by the IT college, with space for around 35 computers.

Pravin sir talked on n on about his IT college. I really dont care what he onto. But i really didn't like it when he said something bad about my college – Pulchowk Engineering Campus. My college is best when it comes to infrastructure and facilities in Nepal and is top ranked among Asian engineering colleges. Maybe it was ego of me but i really didn't like it. He kept on talking and talking boasting about the IT college. He said there's gonna be a VSAT of their own for internet. Well this was good news as the school can also be benefited from it. But the way he said these all in such a egoistic manner was such a headache to me.

Pravin sir went and then there was another guy. Passout from Kantipur Engineering College. Now again he started being 'Pravin sir'. Again? But i was reaching my limits. Then i started too. I told him that our system is totally Linux based, custom tweaked and Nepali localized. Maybe i exaggerated at some point but he totally o'ed his mouth and went away. Now i felt good.

But i was little disheartened too. Is this building being shared by school and the IT college?? I seriously doubted the sustainability of this lab. If the IT college's computers come in, our system will be completely in shadows. Cmon, our system is a low cost solution and we're using old computers as workstations. The IT college's computers' gonna eat ours. This is seriously not good!!

But things were cleared up in a while. Govinda sir came n told us not to care about the IT college. The school and the IT college were separate entities. Yes, they'll be sharing the lab, but it was jus temporary. As soon as their building is over, they'll shift everything to theirs. So no worries. Our system's going to be there. And he also told me not to listen to Pravin sir. Seems like nobody likes him here. Neither do i.

Now back to work. Me and Shishir were to setup the hardware. We unpacked everything. But before we connected the wires and all, we also called some enthusiastic students from class 9 and 10 for a demonstration. We taught them how to connect mouse, keyboard and monitor. Shishir did a short explanation on what are the things inside the CPU box. Maybe some things went over the students' mind but they seemed to be enjoying. We also did an short explanation on how the system is and the interconnectivity of computers.

After students went, we clamped few wires for the networking. Also taught Govinda sir. He seems to catch up fast.

Meanwhile other guys – Ayush, Kebina and Rajiv went to the classrooms to give short intro on computers. The guys told me that the main problem was to speak Nepali all the time. Goddamnit, we're Nepali and even can't speak fluent Nepali. Such a shame! But we're slowly improving. Another thing they told us was that the students were really enthusiastic about computers. Really bright students and they ask brain-racking questions.

During evening, went to play volleyball with the locals for a while. It was jus for fun, i seriously aint athletic. Got back with swollen hands. :)

In the evening, went out on the highway for a walk. It's such a lonely place here. Maybe we're too habituated at living in a concrete jungle. The distance between two home is atleast 100 meters here. Spacious is good, but this is too much.

Dinner is at canteen which belongs to IT college. Good food, and there's TV with foreign channels too! Star Movies also. But there's no time for TV here..

We stayed in the computer lab. Another option was to stay at the guest room of IT college, but u know there's politics here. We preferred the computer lab. Govinda sir managed some 'sirak' n 'dasna'.

One thing note worthy - during night it's COMPLETE darkness here. Seems like everybody goes to sleep at 8. No sign of people. There was a time when the electricity went off and we went out for some leak, the darkness was really scary. And another thing, (maybe the health personals wont like this) but we use the open field for the 'leak'. That's the way it works here. The toilet is some 100 meters away and there's no water!

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