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My trip to Seoul!!


Not long ago when i was sitting on the terrace of my house sipping a cup of coffee looking skywards wondering what would happen to me?? (I would suggest the readers be a little bit patient enough to read my earlier post, The freak effect!).
15th of February 2010 was an important day of my life. 5pm in the evening when i was my room with my eyes closed, i whatsoever had no idea that my life was going to change big time. I heard the phone ringing and i gently opened my eyes cursing who the hell it was.I started scratching my eyes wondering whether i should leave the phone to ring and rot or pick and answer the phone. I got off from bed and started walking towards the phone and picked it up. I picked up my phone and greeted hello to hear this back, "Hello, this is your teacher and with great pleasure let me inform you that your paper has been selected for the international conference in Seoul National University." . I dont know how he must have felt when he didn't get ant reply for a minute but then i brought my feet to the ground and made the first sound since my long mum. "Sir, i dont know if you understand how much happiness the news has brought to me, but i am sure this will help me a lot, i thank you so much for the help you have provided me with.". I Kept the phone down. Deep down i knew that the greater troubles and challenges were yet to come.
Time passed and the final week came when the run for visas and papers began. I tell you i wouldnt want that to happen again, but somehow i was able to finish off this ordeal and make it to Seoul. The tickets were booked for the trip which would take us to Dubai and then to Seoul with the return travel being the same.
19th of march 2010, both Raj Narayan and I get ready to make it to Dubai and then to Seoul. We had to finish of with our luggage formalities and we finally made it to the flight. The inside of the flight was just too good with gorgeous looking air hostess inside. Time sure flew with the flight and there we have it, we had made it to Dubai.
The airport lived up to our imaginations, here its even safe to say, our wildest imaginations. It was huuuuuge, with perfect white ceilings and giant metallic columns we got confused if we came to a sultans passage. The place is busy people from all walks of life and of all nationalities running around with their luggage and the whole place was filled with the voice of a lady, supposedly beautiful. We waited till 2 am next morning for our flight to Seoul. From there the journey to the east started.
By 4 pm in the evening we reached Seoul. I must confess, the people there are so friendly you start to feel that the whole of Korea is with its arm stretched ready to hug us. Ah what to say about the climate my friends, it felt as if i have jumped from the Indian summer to the eastern winter.I was in my tshirt as i came out of the bus that took us from Incheon airport to Soul National University. When came out of the bus, it was freezing cold. A gust of ice cold air started blowing and within a span of seconds my feet started clapping not knowing what to do we waited for a taxi inside the university to take us to the accommodation. It was yellow storm there at that time, strong wind took sand from China and blew it towards South Korea, no wonder most of the vehicles seemed pretty dusty. We some how got to our room and without much delay we made it to sleep. The day ended finally showing clear weather and a sunny morning next day, but it was still cold, 6 degrees i'd reckon. We took a walk around the campus, but how much do we walk??? 40 minutes of walk we reached nowhere and finally the roads were getting quite confusing and only a few of the people knew any English. We then took a taxi to Itaiwan, a place there where foreigners lived and the only place of hope for a vegetarian like me. We went there to find a restaurant run by a Pakistani. As soon as we went in we were greeted by his Urdu mixed Hindi. We have never seen a Pakistani in real, seeing the reaction from our face, he said, "Are bhai is mulk mein Hindustani- Pakistani jaisa koi nahin.", i should confess, we spoke with much care but he turned out to be quite a gentleman by helping us with our way and showing the groceries store run by Bangladeshis. Well we came to terms with the international community living there whom we never dreamed to meet. We returned to our room and went to sleep again, there was considerable tiredness left.
We then woke up at about 5:30 local time and got in our suits and headed to the hall where the inauguration was about to start. When we got there people came to greet us and we were wonder struck, you never expect people to come and greet you. We then helped ourselves to some Korean cuisine (i have to admit, its hard for a vegetarian to live there). Having had very little to eat , i attacked the desserts (it was wow). With our tummy half full we somehow went to sleep.
The next day keynote lecture began and we wondered whether we would be able to handle the amount of questions that were thrown at you. The previous post will tell you that I messed it up thanks to stage fright. The day was about to end and we went on to talk to as many people as possible. One particular person who we talked to was Sadik Kakac ( The link provided will help you understand who he is. Well we never knew who he was when he spoke to us. I came back to the room to check who he was and i was stunned, i am quite sure u might know why :D . To have interacted with such a man and to not know who he was made me look lame, i should tell you friends i had met modesty personified. I started to feel as if butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. Oh you wanna know why? , ok this is why, Dr Sadik kakac ended our talk with this statement "i will come to attend your presentation". It was a bit too much, when i opened the window i was amazed, its snowing in Seoul . Wow! with what little winter clothes we had we went out to have a lot of fun. This helped me quite well in relieving the pressure i had. After all the fun I returned home and practiced quite a lot and went to bed but i couldn't sleep.I took a walk around university at night and came back at around 4 in the morning to sleep. I went to bed knowing that i will have to give the presentation within hours.
The sun rose next morning, i must have been from the east, to be honest i have never checked it. The sight is quite beautiful, the sun rose like a golden crown from the snowy hills of Seoul.
I went and did all my preliminaries and went to the conference hall to find a packed hill with a board showing the programs for the day and it said our name on it. I went inside and waited there nervously for my turn to come. Doctorate students and post doctorate students presented one after the other and then my turn came. The chair person, a man from Tokyo university read our name and i went to present. I knew inside that this is one chance to get people's attention or to get their mockery. I took a minute to catch my breath and i noticed all the dignitaries present there which includes a senior representative of ASME from China and Dr Sadik and many other senior researchers. The first slide read the name of our presentation and we got a aww from the crowd when the noticed that we were undergraduate students. Like what Tendulkar said about his first match, I do not remember anything and by the time i had finished my presentation people had 4 or 5 pages of notes written and they were smiling at me. The chairman started off the discussion and questions came out like torrential rain. Fortunately i answered all of them and they felt satisfied and the chairman stood up to deliver his comments. He said, " You said you were undergraduate students, lets give him a big hand for their hard work as a token of encouragement". The most proud moment came when Dr Sadik Kakac came to us and said, " i have high hopes from you in the future, there may be difficult moments in your life but never give up, i am sure you will be a someone someday..... all the best lads". My eyes became filled with tears of joy, i have done a work in a college where there is no lab and i was asked to quit and here i am. The next two days went away and oh i was asked to speak during the banquet in front of everyone LOL. The trip was a huge success we were on our way back home we got to dubai and we waited there for a whole day for the flight to India. We used the time to wander around and talk to Indians working there (waiters and cleaners) i felt sad for them, they had to work soo hard and they were soo happy to meet other Indians. We took the night flight back home and it feels good to be back!!!!


  1. lekshmi chidambaram said...
    Happy for you Anna :)
    R.Sidharth said...
    thank you :D
    neethibal said...
    good work... and nice post too :)
    Hari said...
    It's not everyday that people get opportunities to travel to Korea and present their research papers at international universities. :)

    Happy for you, buddy. Great job, even though I felt you should have explained it in a bit more detail.

    May the force be with you! :D
    Sachu said...
    Proud to be your friend Sidhu.. All the very best for your future endeavours..
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