Montreal => My first impression

I had been waiting for a long time to put my first impression of Montreal here on my blog. Most of it is taken from the mail I wrote to my friends describing things which intrigued me.

I am in Montreal now and its awesome, simply the word is awesome. Here everything is very different from how I had been used to seeing or doing. I have a Mcgill Id card saying I m a trainee with them which also is my key to 12 libraries, doors of most of the buildings on campus. My mentor is very cool, relaxed and pro. He has cultivated good stress freework culture in our lab and is very helpful too. We have lunch together in the kitchen of our lab 😀 which has cutlery, microwave and fridge. We have talked about different topics and he is a New Yorker himself who bikes to his office in our lab :).  Every where they have the chilled water dispenser which throws the water upwards(which I find a bit weird and uncomfortable to drink from), as on our Delhi airport.  The lab is super cool, I have uploaded some pics on my google and facebook, please have a look. Here it seems that real money is spent on Research and Projects.

My LandLord is an french canadian guy, who is very different and loves Palak Paneer 😛 and loves to laugh :D. My housemate Sebastian Knotz, is an Austrian guy, who is going some civil service work for an year here. He is living in with his girlfriend. He is quite outgoing and social. I have developed good friendship with him and we often go out to clubs and house parties. The only Indian I know is Archi bhaiya, who is ‘Mummy Ji’. He is very accommodating, helpful and fun to be with. Doon school kae bande hai!! 😀

Name of my lab is Center of Intelligent machines (CIM), McGill. My project is a mobile application(on both platforms, iOS and Android) which helps blind users to explore their surroundings. It is not a navigation app, it helps blind users by providing added audio cues through special headphones so that they can hear the normal sounds in the surrounding plus the added info that the device generates depending on where they are walking. The Iphone part is pretty cool, and I am working on its android port so that we can have the same quality on both devices. Google is one of our funder and it has a blind employee who uses our app. I went to meet him the second day after I started here 🙂 The Google office was pretty cool too. It had the Google map of downtown Montreal imprinted on the floor with the reception centered at the address of Google, Quebec

One major difference is street etiquette. People here are generally very rich, or at least for us their way of living is. Public transport can be used by obtaining one card, OPUS card. You can travel anywhere, as many times as you want, you can just take a Months add-on in the card which is for 70$ on a 10$ card and u are good to go anywhere in Montreal. Its all very seamless and easy. Every time you enter the bus, the driver will bid you ‘Hi/Bonjour’ and a ‘have a good a day’ while your are leaving. But the most preferred mode of transport is bikes, bicycles if you may..   Every one is on a bike, a guy with an expensive suit, a beautiful lady with any kind of dress, may it be a single piece dress, jeans or skirt  or anything else, guys without any upper clothing to guys with full sports cycling gear on..speeding through the roads. Its awesome. All the pedestrians only cross the roads on zebra crossing and ya literally its the way I imagined, a car driver will stop the car in front of you and bid you to go first.. 🙂 Also, these bikes are very common inside building offices, my mentor, Jeff brings his on the 436th room on the 4th floor of our building. 🙂

Buildings etc..Houses have no fan and are mostly made of wooden flooring completely.Everyone leaves computers and laptops open, lights open (Huge wastage of electricity, which I dont like !! ). No one cares, as papa says, its a electricity rich country so, I guess it shows clearly :P. But Most of the houses have the brick layer outside which gives the city a beautiful look. McGill Campus is more like as we see in wonder land, or Hogwards. 😛 Here the grocery stores are huge..HUGE..I went to one and it had, like 6-7 choices of onions, have you ever seen any other kind except the one we use? There were 12-15 types and brands of milk, 1% fat, 3.25% fat, cream for coffee and what not.But things are quite expensive here a compared to India.  Also one og the Cineplex that’s like everyone’s favorite has 20 odd screens :O. There are many museums
and big parks you can visit and spend your weekend at.

Food
Here you can find all sorts of food. Specialty of Montreal is Poutine.I still have to try it. Pizzas suck here. They dont have good pizza places, goa was much much better :P. I had sushi, and its awesome. They do give you chopsticks as well which I learnt to use in like 5 mins ;). Bagel is very famous. The coffee places are awesome, you will find then flooded always. They have wifi, ppl do all sorts of stuff there; Study, Work, Surf the net, News and also make love 😛 My food experience is a bit lacking , I couldnt try much, but will be upto some good treats soon. Havent gone to any indian stores yet.  Yogurt Ice cream is also very common here.

I miss my friends and family a lot. I try to keep in touch with them as much as possible. Sometime its a bit lonely, but I keep myself busy to prevent myself from get that mood swing. I still imagine, if I had my college friendes here with me. Things would have been crazy and wild!!!!! I miss my college masti as well. 😦

Also, I know for sure I will change in a lot of ways after I go back. I am learning a lot here and its not only professional but about different cultures, etiquette, standards and much more.
Cheers!!

This is how it is.. 🙂

Testimonial by Lovereen

If I had to sum up Friendship in one word, it would be Nehil or the so called jungly. Nehil is my bestest friend, my buddy, my google, my meanoooo, my motivator, my nahul and I don’t know what all. I remember the first time I ever talked to him was at fiitjee’s test series during school days, he seemed to be a total douche and a nerd. The next time I talked to him was on phone back in the first year of college. And then the story began, me bugging him for endless hours. I promise I am never ever ever going to leave your side. So like it or not, you are screwed and chained to me for the rest of your life. 😉

Nehil is a person of perseverance and hard work. Vivacious is probably the best word to describe his personality. He is the brainiest, coolest, most rational and talented person I have ever met. I have seen Nehil work for hours and hours at end. He is a very quick devoted learner and he has mastered all the bullshit in every other thing, he is like an expert. I am from computer science department but I look up to him for all my doubts, believe me or not there has never been a single instance of silence when I ask him a question. He insults me because my questions are usually dumb but still he tells me the answers.

Nehil hats off to your patience and endurance to my constant cribbing – “mein dukhi hun”, “tu bahut bura hai”,”im a very good girl”,”mein toh shona baby hun”. Well as a matter of fact I’m very serious about the last one I’m really a “shona baby”. 😛 You understand me so well that you know exactly what to do when I say “aur bata”-change of topic. You are one creature that never gets angry or sad, I have no clue how you manage that, but keep it up. The best thing about you is even if you have exams you always, without fail pick up my call and at times bear with me for hours. I am so lucky to have you as a friend who is so selfless and brainy to the core. You are my personal search engine. Why should I google when I have a database of information a call away.

My relationship with Nehil has been mistaken by many for the clichéd boyfriend girlfriend relationship and both of us don’t give a damn, because we know exactly who we are and we don’t feel the need to explain it to others. We both are very frank with each other, if I do something wrong he tells it on my face without a teeny bit of hesitation. His way of motivation is very different, its sarcasm! My gawwd he can really be sarcastic, but by the end of the day I do realise that I’m just wasting my life doing nothing so I get all rejuvenated and then and then I doze off.. 😛 BUT wait for it next day I wake up, new day and it all works, he gives me lots to think about. Well well well not to forget all my those kind of doubts end up in Nehil’s hands and there is never that awkwardness in discussing “the topics”, and I really like it that way.

Now this person, this piece here will play TT, tennis even if he has exam the next day, even if it is raining or even if he is sick. He is just crazy about sports and so enthusiastic. And I love this spirit of yours. And yes how can I forget you and your passion for CS!! Seriously dude you can multitask – CS and my call, brushing and my call and at times sleeping and my call 😛 You know how to handle the deadlines and herculean amount of pressure and you handle it really well without whining about it.

Nehil kindles the burnt out fire in me, puts some sense in my dense dumb brain, he makes me feel happy and cared for all the time. I know it for fact that he is “THE ONLY ONE” who can make me laugh when I’m sad or angry. After he came into my life, my life has atleast become 60% li8, I’m trying for the rest 40%. 😀

Two years into knowing you and I have never met you personally but I don’t need to see you to believe in you. I’m very sure that you will become someone great and all renowned one day and don’t you dare forget me. 😛 cheers and as the rule says- no best of luck. Do well and I’m really proud of you.

“I asked God for a rose and He gave me a garden. I asked God for a drop of water and He gave me an ocean. I asked God for an angel and He gave me you! “ ….Thanks for being there 🙂

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Testimonial by Shashank

Shashank Kundurthi on 4/25/2011 7:04:37 AM wrote the following testimonial :

“ Its kinda sad that we’ve never come up with a sick/embarrassing nickname for Mr Nehil Jain. My first day in campus, sitting somewhr in the pathway b/w ah1 and ah2 , he was introduced to me by anurag and seemed pretty interesting . 20 minutes into the conversation he started laughing hysterically singing “bhajans” ..and I sat thr in the company of what seemed like 2 crazy ppl laughing (anurag nd nehil) away singing a song I heard for the first time , embarrassed as seniors walked by …but they dint really bother n walked past us…that was my introduction to campus life and the concept of taking “lite” …

I have no doubt in my mind when I say that this guy is one of the most chilled out guys I have evr met and with enthusiasm levels that match those of a 4 yr old kid who has the key and unrestricted access to an ice cream factory ,the amount of fun we’ve had in the last 3 years is just crazy … but the thing that stands out is the fact that even though he falls in the category of ‘lite’ taking ppl …he is by far the pro-est engineer I know in the true sense of the word ….and the balance b/w chilling out and utilising his time for productive things is something wich hez brilliant at..

The intensity that he has when he has his mind set at achieving something and the ease with which he reverts back to his chilled out avatar once hez done , thru and successful at the task is something which still amazes me 3 years into knowing him.

One thing wich I always love about his room is that most of the times it makes me feel at home …like it was my own and with his doors always open I cant thank him enough for the number of times I’ve used his room as base camp in exams .

And after 3 years I’m pretty confident when I say that 15 years from now he’ll be living life on his terms ..doing things he likes …and rock at it !
All the best buddy !

Other testimonials written for me:

By Anurag
By Mohit
By Kabir
By Mayank
By Siddhant
By shashank

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Testimonial by Siddhant

 

Siddhant Dube on 4/20/2011 10:53:15 AM wrote the following testimonial :

“ The only thing that gets Nehils pulse racing is the smell of PHP in the morning. This quiet guy with a penchant for putting up all his PS photos on Facebook has coded it all. He is going to be the first guy who spent his Maths and EEE cdcs going through CS cdcs. Never have I seen someone grasp a Mailer Class function as fast as he can. Never have I also seen someone fall asleep as fast as he can either. His perennial smile and constant glow make you feel that nothing is impossible. His amazing dedication to the tasks he undertakes leaves me green with envy. Where others tend to sleep off this fellow works through the night and way into the morning ending up with an amazing product every time.
However he just doesn’t stop there. The mere mention of Badminton, Table Tennis and Frisbee send this guy rocketing away with a twinkle in his eye. I end with this warning for all those who shall befriend this fellow in the future. Please smack him with something hard the next time he brings a Macbook Air with him for a project.
Cheers Nehil and I’m looking forward to another year with you.

Other testimonials written for me:

By Anurag
By Mohit
By Kabir
By Mayank
By Siddhant
By Shashank

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Testimonial by Mohit

Mohit Batra on 4/19/2011 1:07:39 PM wrote the following testimonial :

“ Nehil aka Nelly as I call him is one of my best friends on campus. He is ever ready to try new things. Inspired by his 5.1 speaker system, I also got a 2.1 this semester. Well he is a workaholic; he can’t sit idle even for a second. He just wants work and more work and some more work. He has been a integral member od DoCW and worked hard for 2 consecutive Waves. He started a workshop for Ddun ppl in Winter breaks and worked his ass off last sem on this project. The SAC webpage though not uploaded on BITS net, u made was amazing. He never gets tensed and just chills out by watching TV series when freaked. 🙂 🙂
I still remember the dance in corridor, mimicking Baba outside his room, finding translations of different words on Gtak bot in Aryan’s room, the Frisbee which broke my specs 2 days back and what not. Ur best bday was in the 2nd year when everyone in your room showed the talents they have. 😛 😛
He is a great Table Tennis and Badminton player and he is always ready to try any sport. Dude Hats off to you for the dedication and hardwork u did for GSoC (or GSock as we call it 😉 ). You have been a pillar of strength to me and stood by me every time.
He never sets the line between fun and work. He makes his work fun and that is his best part. 🙂 🙂
I know you’ll achieve everything you want as you work way too hard. All the best. Will miss you in 4-1 but will be back with a bang in 2nd sem. 🙂
PS: Forgot to mention about you B’day this sem. 😉 😉 . You know what I’m talking about. 😛 😛 ”

Other testimonials written for me:

By Anurag
By Mohit
By Kabir
By Mayank
By Siddhant

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Testimonial by Mayank

Mayank Singh on 4/21/2011 10:34:08 PM wrote the following testimonial :

“ My busy-bee sidey..thats how I’d like 2 introduce Nehil Jain aka Xcalibur aka ArchAngel…I still remm the 1st time when this guy with army-cut hair and a notorious face knocked on my door.asking for paracetamol because his friend had high fever..little did I know that it was the start of a ‘sweet-sour’ type and enjoyable friendship..
As per me, this guy has benefitted the most from his college life.he owns a start-up, has done GSOC thing, works for a company and has been in 2-3 dept.and if it wasn’t for some bad luck, he would have got CS as a dual too..(now he is stuck with EEE 😛 )
Hes a total workaholic, doesn’t like to sit idle at all.has a gud taste in music and is a pro in web designing and other technical stuff..he is also the most athletic in my group..
At times he can be all mean and cocky.but every1 has flaws.aur itna to li8 hi hai yaar.. 😉
He is always ready to go out and enjoy his life.he also has a very open mind when it comes to learning new things..
His room is usually a big mess.and almost constantly one can hear music coming out from his m/ speakers
You have always been a gud sidey mate.wish you all the very best for all your endeavors in life..tc

Other testimonials written for me:

By Anurag
By Mohit
By Kabir
By Mayank
By Siddhant
By Shashank

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