Monday, April 16, 2012

China Town

China Town is a small eatery, more of a kind of dhabha in front of IIT Kanpur Gate. It used to be the favourite adda of omnivores and carnivores of IITK, don't know whether it continues to be. Needless to say, yours truly used to go there at least 2-3 times a week on an average, all through my 4 years of stay in IITK. There were times when I used to go there daily for 5-10 days on a stretch. It started in the first month of the 1st semester itself though I dont remember who exactly suggested me that place, how I came to know of it.

Although the ambience used to be bad, the taste of the dishes used to compensate for everything and pull us there over and over again. And the tasteless food served in the hostels was another factor which made students throng China Town. And another factor was the students were free to take hard drinks in the open. I dont drink :-))

Although not many varieties were served there, the taste of whatever were served was of top notch. My favourite dish served there was chicken kalimirch. I ate kalimirch at many places all my life but nothing ever have beaten China Town. That was the dish which brought me there repeatedly without failing. Whenever and wherever I eat kalimirch, I always search for that taste of China Town only to get disappointed. :-( .....Other dishes I used to devour there were chicken  biryani, butter chicken, seekh kabab, tandoori chicken etc.

I miss China Town badly. I hope I get a chance of going to Kanpur again to eat there again.


  1. Hi Lochan , During my severe and intense search abt whether to go or not go to coaching centres in Delhi , i somehow landed on this blog and have read almost all posts but still a lot more confused and very much uncertain on the same. I am planning to give CS-2013 but i barely have much idea abt my optionals nor the material. I am from Vizag and needless to say nothing substantial is there with regard to Civils prep is concerned. So could you please help me out on this.

    PS: I too miss China Town Biryani :D

    1. Bro, I will help you.....just let me know about your educational and professional background.

      UPSC chairman in an interview said that there is a chance that there will be no optionals in 2013 mains. Mind you that it is only a 'chance' he is talking about. He is not sure about that himself. So if you are appearing for 2013 cse you need to factor in this.

      My suggestion would be start preparing for GS now. Start with The Hindu (not read) it for 2 hours daily, prepare notes.

      But what should you read in newspaper? Just to get an idea, read the previous years' question papers. One more way to get an idea is to read a Civil Services Chronicle. Mind you, not everything given in that magazine is important but it will give a fair idea about what to read in the newspaper.

      Simultaneously study polity, economy, history, geography, environment related issues, S&T, international relations. If you want I will tell you the books and magazines you need to read for this.

      After reading polity and economy, you can also start studying public administration. Even if optionals are removed, there is high probability that pub ad will be there as a compulsory subject in one form or the other (may be under the name of 'Public Policy'). Moreover most of the people choose pub ad as their optional because it is easy to comprehend and easy to score marks with less efforts.

      Keeping aside the uncertainty regarding the optionals in cse-2013, if you are thinking of choosing some other subjects as your optionals based on your aptitude and interest, be reminded that it is difficult to score well in science and engineering subjects...takes huge efforts....riddled with risks.

      There is absolutely no need of taking coaching if you know exactly what to read and where to read from......You can get to know these things if there is someone to guide you. I have to say that people get confused if they are guided by many and not just one person. You are the ultimate judge of yourself, your needs.....

    2. By the way.... What did you study at IITK? You are from Vizag....Is your mothertongue Telugu?

  2. Dude , Thanks very much for the reply ! :) ...Actually I am overwhelmed to see the reply coz you donno how much i am over confused i am at the moment. Reg the education qualification and profession is concerned , Btech Y6 batch CSE . Passed out 2010. Took up job in a PSU so that I could prepare for the exam.. job was required then for a while for financial commitments.. tried joining coaching @ blore ..felt cheated with the way it went and how it ruined my plans for CS 2011 , frustrated and thought of coming to Delhi for the prep ...later only to see mixed reactions from many candidates to join various coaching institutions for various subjects. Situation at the moment : Wayward , Confused on how to go forwrd with the prep , No sense of direction wht so ever, Whether Coaching is a necessity for newbies or the material and self study would do? Could you please guide me a bit ...Way too many questions i know but I am lost at the moment.

    PS : I was assured of six months leave from my workplace for the prep. So was in a dilemma whether to come delhi and prepare or stay home and study ! If you could give ur gtalk id , i will add u there instead of spamming your blog. Sorry for the spamming all this

    PPS : Yeah telugu is my mother tongue :)

    Thanks :)

    1. I was in Y3 batch, CSE. Feel free to spam the blog, I don't mind. :-) Infact, I would like you to post here itself as it will be in public domain and others can see it.
      But if you dont want to post here, give me ur id, i will add it to my friends list.

      And regarding coaching.....let me tell you I didn't take coaching for optionals pubad and history. I studied everything on my own and I felt no deficiency.

      For GS, without thinking anything about the necessity of coaching, I joined SriRam...polity, economy are taught there well....but I have to say it didn't add much value to my preparation as I was already good at them. Their study material is excellent and it is sufficient for us who can read and understand on their own.

  3. My optionals are Pub Ad and Geography but I am not very much sure on the Geo part as I am confused b/w Geo and Socio. I am very much thankful for the tips on how to start. I would be starting asap the way you suggested. Could you please tell the books and magazines in brief on what to read for various topics @ GS . And I see that one of ur optional is pub ad , the books for pub ad or any coaching material if necessary and the strategy to handle the dynamic nature of pub ad questions. I am planning to complete the static GS part plus pub ad by Oct-Nov and start revising and adding new things as they come from then. please put ur views at ur leisure :) no hurry :) .All the best for ur results :)

    1. Whatever subject you choose, do it keeping in mind your aptitude and interest, ease of getting good marks with minimum efforts, size of the syllabus, requisite skills for the subject. Geo is somewhat factual, boring, requires good memory etc. Coaching definitely helps you in the case of Geo, as listening to something is more effective in memorizing the things than reading the things. Read this post.....

      Sociology.....have you done any HSS courses in sociology? If yes, you would have an idea about how the subject is. In my opinion, it is quite simple, there is good material available in the market to study, it is 'scorable' with less efforts, helps you in changing your world view, correlate the things with what is happening around you, helps you in GS and essay too, doesn't require a strong memory.

      Anyways, you have lot of time to choose the second optional. Till then finish GS and Pub Ad.

    2. For GS, the following books are essential in my opinion.

      Polity - Buy Laxmikant for Indian Polity. I think it is a TMH publication. Or else Sriram's polity material which is available in Delhi. Both are excellent. Buy PM Bakshi for contitution of India.

      Economy - Sriram's economy material which is excellent. Need to read Economic Survey of the government published every year before the budget. 'Study' the newspaper The Hindu.

      S&T - S&T by Ashok Kumar Singh published by TMH. For prelims, in my opinion it is waste to read anything for physics, chemistry, biology. Prepare notes from The Hindu.

      International affairs - study The Hindu newspaper and prepare notes. If you want to know anything more, use wikipedia, internet.

      India & the world - The Hindu. Read Nov-Dec 2011 edition of the magazine 'World Focus' to get a background picture and history of India's foreign policy.

      Environment related issues - S&T by Ashok Kumar Singh covers certain topics. Read government policies, laws etc related to environment. All the laws and government policies are available on the net, in the government websites.

      History - NCERT books of 11th and 12th. There are 3 of them, ancient, medieval, modern. In prelims, not much is asked from ancient and medieval. Buy Spectrum Modern India. It is a good book.

      Geography - Read NCERT books of 11th and 12th. Buy oxford atlas. Most of the questions in prelims used to be based on atlas only. So look into the previous years' question papers.

      Magazines - everyone suggest Yojana, Kurukshetra, etc. But I have to admit that I didn't read any of them FOR THIS ATTEMPT. I used to read them earlier. But I have to say they are good, particularly Yojana. Buy atleast Yojana.
      I used to read Civil Services Chronicle, but for this attempt I didn't read it. I full concentrated on the notes I wrote from the newspaper. I should say this magazine is good. There is another magazine Civil Service Times which is also good. Any one of them is enough.

    3. Start Pub Ad once you complete polity part of the GS. The problem with pub ad is there is no comprehensive material available. You have to read some topics from here, some from there, some from net, some from, newspaper, some from ARC reports etc.

      But what many do is relying completely on coaching center material.... and mind you they DO GET good marks...... at least that is what happened in 2010. But that may not happen in 2011, let the marks come out. If you want to follow this approach read Pawan's class notes and printed notes.

      This short cut to success may not work everytime, there are risks. If you want to follow a path with minimum risks then I will tell you what to do.

      After completing the polity part of GS, start with Poli Naidu for paper 1. I think it is published by Galgotia publications. It is a nice book, simple to understand. Read almost everything from it even if not explicitly mentioned in the syllabus as it only improves your understanding of the subject.

      Then read Prasad and Prasad for thinkers. As you would have already covered that part in Poli Naidu, you wont find it difficult to read Prasad.

      There are few things we need to read from Fadia and Fadia (paper 1), Synergy(Mohanty) printed material. Administrative law, public policy, financial admninistration, and few others need to be read from Synergy. Personnel admin, financial admin, and few others from Fadia. I have to say these books are not well written, they are ill organised but you have to read them for some topics.

      Buy Mohit Bhattacharya Pub Ad. There are again a few things which need to be read from that book like CPA, NPA, NPM, pert, cpm, etc etc. That is a well written book.

      For second paper, read Pawan's notes. As you would have already read Polity, this paper will be easy for you. Buy Rajni Goyal and Arora book. It is not updated since 1997 if I am not wrong which is a big disadvantage. But it is excellently written. So you have to update yourself reading ARC reports.

      Fadia 2nd paper is not good. But buy it to read some topics like 1st unit of the syllabus, PMO etc.

      ARC reports - These are huge and voluminous but excellently written. People only read the summary recommendations and ignore everything else. But only the person who reads everything can feel the advantage of reading them. Everyone of the report is useful for the preparation. But it takes time to read them. To save the time and efforts, you need to have a good idea about what to read and what not to. Otherwise you will end up reading everything only to realise that it is confusing, waste of time, burdensome.

      As you have time, I suggest you to prepare notes for 2nd paper, and all those topics in 1st paper for which there is no good material. While preparing notes you may feel burdensome, but believe me you will feel relieved once you have notes during the exam time. It will be easy to revise.

      Dont start preparing notes from day one. First of all complete reading the syllabus atleast twice within 3 months from now. You will get an idea what should be written in the notes. Then start preparing notes.

    4. Great Thanks a lot for ur patience and the reply. Kindly do add me at ...I have a few basic doubts on coming to delhi and prepare , i dont think those questions here would benefit other aspirants . So kindly add me to ur friends list. I will be in touch with the mail :) .. Thanks once again for all the suggestions :)