How many times have you come across someone standing at a busy corner, handing out sheets to total strangers and asking to fill them? More recently, this is being done online. I am talking about surveys and questionnaires. Does those words annoy you? Well, it did annoy me. How do these people make hundreds of stupid souls fill those boring, often long, sheets of papers? I was never able to solve this mystery!
Now, after all that hatred, I am moving to the other side. I am preparing a questionnaire as part of my intern and am supposed to get at least 100 fully filled responses! If you think that is easy, let me throw some light on the response rate. A typical surveys fetches around 30-40% of the initial effort. This includes incomplete responses, which have to be eliminated. Tough job!
I had always thought it was easy designing surveys. A bit of careful thinking should do it, right? Wrong! It’s a very organized art and requires more knowledge and dedication that just careful thinking.
For now, let me go back to preparing the questionnaire so that I may mail it to my prof before evening. I have to search for those 100 poor souls who would fill it. If you are even faintly interested, leave me a reply so that I don’t forget to send it to you, whenever it’s ready. Reminds me of all those tagging games on blogosphere!
Wish me luck. I need it!
Yesterday’s trip to Agra heightened my long cherished desire: I want to travel.
Yes, I have travelled a lot in the past and am still travelling a lot. But all the time, it was few weeks (or lesser) of vacation period. I was never satisfied. Ironically, now that I am at such stage in life that prolonged free time is quite impossible, thanks to the rat race that exists, I want such a time more eagerly than ever before.
I want one or two full years of free time, just to travel the length and breadth of India. There’s so much of it still left.
My father is an avid traveller and so we happen to tour a lot. It’s time to document all these travels.
One of my earliest memories of travelling takes me to Darjeeling. The tour also included Calcutta, Gangtok, Mirik, Siliguri and few other places nearby. I still clearly remember seeing the mystic peaks of Kanchenjunga, snow covered, glistening in the sun.
We went to Guwahati, Shillong, Cherrapunji, Siliguri (again), Jalpaiguri, Jaldapara and few other places I don’t recall (shit!) in another trip. This was the first time I saw an orchid, saw SLR camera (though at that time I had no clue that it was a special camera!). This trip was also the first time I stepped outside India. We reached Jaldapara wildlife santuary to find it closed. Talking to the locals, we decided to head for Bhutan, which was not far from there! Bhutan doesn’t require a visa and there is just an archway to separate it from India. The border city was called Phuentsholing. People will say that it’s not a great place, nothing good to visit apart from a crocodile bank, but that is never an issue with me while travelling. Travel for the sheer pleasure of travelling. Sight-seeing is an added advantage.
In other trips, we have covered Delhi, Jammu, Vaishno Devi (twice!), Agra (twice!), Fatehpur Sikri, Mathura.
Once we went to Orissa: Bhuwaneshwar, Puri, Nandankanan wildlife sanctuary, Konark, Pipli, Chillka Lake etc. This was the first time I saw the sea. The famous Golden Beach at Puri was awesome. This also covered one of the four Dhams of India: the Jagannath Puri temple. I consider the Sun temple at Konark as one of the finest temples of India. And who can forget the handicrafts of Pipli!
After this, there were two school trips. The first one was to Chennai, Bangalore, Pondycherri, Kanniyakumari, Kancheepuram, Mysore, Madurai, Ooty, Thanjavur, Velankinni. I know more about the tourist attractions of Chennai from that trip than the three-year stay in Chennai! The second trip was to Mumbai, Goa, Ajanta and Ellora caves.
These started the age of travelling with friends. During my stay in Kota for two years, we visited Ranthambore National Park, spotted three tigers! I missed a trip to Mount Abu due to an eye infection. Needless to say, we explored all that was there to at Kota.
While in IIT Madras, we have been to Pondycherri, Kodaikanal, Tirupati, Itanagar, Bomdilla, Tawang.
Recently, we had another family trip. This one covered Nainital, Corbett National Park, Ranikhet, Badrinath, (this covered the second Dham) Rudraprayag, Rishikesh and Haridwar.
On other occasions, we have been to Varansi, Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Betla National Park, Devghar etc.
So much done and so much still left! That’s why I need time. To travel and to know about places: legends, history, customs, rituals, beliefs… even thinking of this is such a pleasure!
…that is, on Friday, the 13th, I lost my cellphone. It was second time in last 3 months. Am I being too careless?
Written somewhere on a big board of instructions near IITD swimming pool:
In case of emergency, shout for help.