Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 5: A Little Divine Intervention

Winter is the time of the year with minimum precipitation, unless you count snow of course. Well, in the lower parts of Uttarakhand, it does not snow. Therefore, this is the driest time of the year.

5:45 AM. Another cold morning, another headache. And the brisk preparation for yet another day of the Survey Camp. And then you notice the unthinkable: rain! Yes, it was pouring hard on R-land and, from our knowledge of Hydrology, it should be the same in Haridwar, with an exceptionally long base time for the Hydrograph (ignore that part).

Well, we were a bit off the mark (so much for Hydrology). It did rain a bit at the Base Camp, but it wasn't much. And so began the tried and re-tested ritual of submissions and boring lectures. Until it started to rain. Oh, the wonderful feeling when you see the Professor's face and read 'WTF' all over it!We lodged ourselves in the Mess Hall, laughing our hearts out at our luck! Indeed, some were convinced that our extended presence in a temple was the cause for this divine intervention.

Yeah well, it didn't last long. The Prof decided to screw each group with an impromptu viva. One was left in tears. Fortunately, before he got to me (well before, actually), the glorious sun uprist (to borrow Coleridge's words). We were also informed that Stations 9 and 10, being the most stupidly placed, were deleted from the official traverse. We tried to convince him that Stations 7 and 8 had become seepage tanks and 1 and 2 hazardous zones due to the rain. The answer - 'Are you shameless?'

And then we landed up at Station 3, where two snakes were reportedly sighted. The best part about PT surveying is that you can fake it entirely. We took as many points as we could and once we realised that we had a lot of points, we faked the rest. And then we went to Station 5 where, by means of intersection, we were done in 20 min flat!

Sadly, in all this buzz, we forgot to take the requisite elevations for the topographic map. We're supposed to take it tomorrow but of course, that's not going to happen. We will mark elevations, but since it will be with respect to any base station, it will be entirely fake. Need I say more?

Are we wasting our time? Yes, of course. Have we learned anything new? Absolutely not. Why are we doing this? I have no idea. The entire batch feels so screwed right now (it's not just the camp, the grades are pretty poor too). Every other facebook post makes fun of CE. The grades are ruined, the professors are terrible, the placements are negligible. And this worthless camp to top it all off!

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