Thank you for your replies.
It could have been a problem with the x configuration and I should have probably hit CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE but I did not and instead shut down the machine. So I suspect the file system has got messed up.
here's how it stands right now.
It attempts to go through the boot processes and eventually I see the following on the screen:
Welcome to Red Hat Linux
Press 'I' to enter interactive startup
Mounting proc filesystem: [OK]
Unmounting initrd [OK]
Configuring kernel parameters [OK]
Setting clock (local time): Mon Jul 17:28:02 PDT 2003 [OK]
Loading default keymap (us) [OK]
Setting default font (lat0-sun16) [OK]
Activating swap partitions: [OK]
Setting hostname ventall:com [OK]
At this stage it hangs. Now, if I hit CTRL-C, here's what is displayed on the screen (in addition to what I have mentioned above):
INIT: Entering runlevel: 5
Entering non-interactive startup
/etc/rc.d/rc: /var/run/runlevel.dir: Read-only file system
Setting network parameters: [OK]
Bringing up interface lo:
At this point the system hangs again and nothing happens if I hit CTRL-C
However, if I now hit CTRL-ALT-DEL here's what it displays:
RK_Init: idt=0xc028f000, sct=0xcfc80000, FUCK: Can't find kmalloc()!
Hitting CTR-ALT-DEL again only repeats the same message.
I would really appreciate any help in resolving this situation.
Thanks in advance.