Friday, June 30, 2006

IRL intern ki "Ram Kahani"

This was a play we interns here at IBM IRL played out to the rest of the lab here. Supposed to be a subtle parody on the life of an intern. There are parts of the play which would need you to have been in IRL, so don't blame me if you can't comprehend it or don't find it funny :)

[ The stage is divided into two parts, one part depicts a cafetaria in a college, and the other, a room at IBM IRL. The protagonist of the play is a guy who has just returned from an internship, and is whiling away his time at the cafe talking to an enthusiastic junior who is keen to know more about the internship. So, the junior asks questions, and the intern answers, painting a rosy picture. What he exactly means by each of his answers is something which is shown in the other half of the stage as flashback. So, the play shuttles back and forth between the two parts of the stage. (Now don't blame me of copying Mani Ratnam in Alaipaayudhe/Saathiya :D) ]

## Cafe ##

{ Summer Intern: SIC }
{ Junior: J }

SIC: Yaar, kaisa jagah hai yeh. Ek coffee vending machine bhi nahin hai...

[ J enters ]

J: Wow! Really great to see you back. How are you doing?

SIC: Well, I am fine!

J: I was keen to ask a quite a few questions. So, how was the IRL experience?

SIC: Well, it was fun... We were innovating... on demand!

## Flashback ##

{ Summer Intern: SI }

[ SI is listening to music. Some interns are talking about the football match the day before. SI joins. Suddenly the phone rings ]

SI: Hello.... Yes sir.... Yeah, I am almost done with the paper sir. In fact I was discussing the pros and cons of the approach with some of my peers here. Sure, I will be there in a minute...

[ Hang up ]

SI [to a friend, who is now near him]: Are, woh download link kahaan gaya yaar... Kal match itna interesting tha, I forgot to download the paper I had to read...

Friend1: What, you didn't even download the paper?!

SI: Oh God, it's taking too long...

Friend2: I think the title should do!

SI: Yeah, should.... "Techniques for Spatial Database Optimization"... Ok fine, that should do...

[ Goes to mentor ]

Mentor: Hi! So, you read the paper.. What do you think about the approach?

SI: Sir, I had an idea. We could enhance their work by using dynamic programming for spatial database optimization. Intuitively, it should lead to a considerable speedup.

Mentor: Looks good... May be you should come up with a prototype and test its performance...

SI: Sure sir...

[ Both exit ]

Narrator: Ah well, so this is innovation on demand... Whenever in doubt, add a bit of dynamic programming and intuition...

## Cafe ##

J: Wow! that's exciting. What exactly did you work on?

SIC: hmm.. I better see the paper and tell you... [Sees paper] Efficient troubleshooting of systemic anomalies inherent in cognitive agents.. It's not yet over!... dispersed over large networks susceptible to obfuscation attacks... Wait, wait, there's still more... caused by massive character stream display interfaces written in legacy languages.

[ J is perplexed ]

SIC: Basically, it is an interdisciplinary work between artificial intelligence, intrusion detection technologies and language systems...

## Flashback ##

Mentor: My current research focus is on applying Artificial Intelligence techniques to Planning. I would like you to develop a communication framework for mobile agents dispersed in an environment.

SI: Gee! That’s really simple. Since all agents are mobile just program them to utilize their calltime.

Narrator: Well, so much for the cognitive agents...

Mentor: [Shocked. Takes some time] That’s not exactly what I had in mind. Anyways, you could also assist me in designing strategies for Intrusion Detection Systems. [Gives some papers] Take a look at these and try to test our model on massive codes for obfuscations.

Narrator: After a week...

SI: Sir, I have successfully tested our model against massive character stream display interfaces.

Mentor: Sounds good. We should write it up, so that we could submit it to some conference.

[ Both exit, now the SI is with his friend ]

Friend: Yaar, your mentor was all praise for you today... Code dikha zaara? [looks at his code and is puzzled] What? Hello World!

SI: Yeah, this is a character stream display interface...

Friend: But, how is this a massive code...

SI: Oh, it should be massive na... What about... adding a loop of 1000 around the print statement?

[ Friend is left speechless ]

## Cafe ##

J: That's mind boggling! How was your work environment?

SIC: [Murmuring] Cold... [To friend] Cool.. I mean, real cool...

J: It must have been an interesting experience to work on a research problem. Did you guys have lot of meetings?

SIC: Oh yes, it was very stimulating. In every meeting, we were encouraged to work independently. They showed lot of confidence in us.

## Flashback ##

[ Mentor in his room and an intern walks in for his first meeting ]

SI: Good morning Sir, my name is Vishnu.

Mentor: Hello Vishnu, you may call me Anil. Feel free to contact me anytime. You have to make the best possible use of your stay here at IRL. You can access my calendar on Lotus Notes to see when i’m available.

SI: Ok Sir. When do we meet today?

Mentor: It is 10.00 now, at 10.30 i have a meeting. After lunch I have some work up to 3.00. From 5.30 i have a telephonic conference with the USA team. So...

[ SI thinks to himself ]

Voiceover: I must find out if there is a team working on constraint satisfaction, I seem to be getting a lot of test cases.

Mentor: You were saying something?

SI: Never mind sir, so I deduce that you are free at 11.30?

Mentor: Ok.. let us meet at 11.30.

[ SI exits ]

Narrator: It's now 11:35

[ SI enters his mentor's room ]

Mentor: Hello Vishnu.. let us discuss now...

SI: Sir.. I had been looking at a few things...

[ Phone rings ]

Mentor: Hello... Yeah... Yeah... Oh OK, I am coming in a minute, we will have to discuss our itinerary. [To SI] Vishnu.. I have to go now. Let us discuss sometime in the evening or tomorrow. Oh no... I will be gone tomorrow. Ok, let us keep in touch via email. Do work hard!

SI: [Dumbstruck] OK Sir.

## Cafe ##

J: Well... was it all about research only? Wasn't there anything else? I mean... like entertainment.

SIC: No, actually there’s this wonderful group in IBM called the Idontclick club. It organizes lots of events to keep the IBM people engaged, apart from their research work. But the icing on the cake was those month-end parties we had out there. Really, that was the icing on the cake. We used to have a blast out there... fulltime masti.

## Flashback ##

{ First Guy: D }
{ Second Guy: D's friend, DF }

[ Two guys standing, as if addressing an audience ]

D: Welcome to this month's party end... uh.. I mean, month end party... So, is there any one who had their birthday this month?

[ Waits for sometime ]

D: [Murmuring to DF] Looks like it is going to end pretty soon this time...

DF: Look, some hands are up...

D: [To one of the guys who has his hand up] Oye! toone to last time bhi haath utaya tha... Har bar cake cut nahin kar sakta... chal, baith...

D: Aw, so there's one. So, let's sing a Happy Birthday for him..

Chorus: [In a bored voice]

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear...

D: Ok, ok.. theek hai.. Guys, I know you all had a great party. Goodbye!

## Cafe ##

J: That sounds awesome. But, you must be kept very busy otherwise right?

SIC: Well yeah.. I must say that the work involves a lot of concentration. In fact, we was always on our feet.

## Flashback ##

[ It's 3.55 PM, and SI is staring fixed ]

Friend: What are you staring so focused at? Are you thinking about some algorithm?

SI: Shhh...

Friend: But what is over there? Oh... a clock... You got a...

SI: 3.58

Friend: Uh... I was asking if you got a meeting with your mentor sometime now?

SI: No [continues staring]

Friend: Whew... that’s some concentration!

SI: 3.59....... 60.. 59.. 58.. 57...

Friend: What the hell are you so excited about?

SI: It's almost time!

Friend: Oh! Wait... Your internship was about a paper which was submitted a week back. Are the results going to be out? But wait... one week is too less a time...

SI: 3... 2... 1... There it is... I gotto go... I gotto go...

Friend: But where?

SI: I gotto go...

Friend: Would you mind telling...

SI: Hey look, Amit lost the TT series to me yesterday. That loser challenged me today again. I am going to go now and win again... Oh! I am late!! [Hurries]

Friend : [Gapes, frustrated, speechless] Well... best of luck!

## Cafe ##

J: Hey... all this sounds cool. I must think about an internship there next year. But just one thing confuses me. How did your orkut scrap count increase from 600 to 6000 over the summer.

SIC: Err... We are getting late for the lecture. We better hurry.

[ Both exit ]

Narrator: Well, little do people realise that IBM is a global company. It's all about online collaboration.

[[ THE END ]]

Well.. that's the play.. and yeah, a couple of pics for the Narrator, Scriptwriter (Assisted by some others) and the Director :D ...

That's me narrating...

...and here's the director with some sound advice for the actors :p ...

Hope you liked the play!