Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The clock’s TICKING…

And here it comes, finally, 31st December, 2008. Looking back at the 365 days that have gone by, if I were to categorize the year 2008 as “Happy” or “Sad”, it was definitely a “Happy” one.

So, with yet another year knocking at the doors, everyone must be busy finishing their office work, and trying to leave home early today. But, I am at peace, at home, writing away my last words of ‘08.

I have no plans for the coming year, no resolutions (after I realized that I haven’t been able to keep any of them), no big dreams, no expectations from ‘09.

08 was………… But one thing ………No…there are so many things that I want to write, but I don’t have the time, Sorry…Please wait for my other posts in ‘09.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My First Project in MS Excel

Everybody(almost) knows that I am an SAP consultant having an experience of more than 2 years in the IT industry. Even Resource Manager Classmy managers here are cognizant of this fact. My resume speaks volumes about my experience, achievements and abilities. But this darned recession has hit the managers of my current recruiter. When all the big shots are trying to reduce operating costs in this crisis, employing creative and innovative ways of their own, my company is no different. They started off with removing toilet papers and soap. I had to buy half-a-dozen of kerchiefs for office use only. I thought this was the worst cost-cutting measure that any company could ever implement, but in today’s world, where bourses are tumbling down all around, I should have been prepared for the worst.

Since last July, I am on bench. How convenient! I used to go to office for only 30 minutes each day.How fortunate, when everyone else is working so hard to save their jobs. I still am, I thank GOD for that, wondering each day, “Why am I not being fired?” And since last week, I have been assigned to a project, which is worse than being on bench.

One fine morning, my manager called me up, and asked me to report to office in 30 minutes. I was still in bed. But, I said, “Ok Sir, See you in 20 minutes”. My office is just 1km away from my bed (may be a 50 mts less). When I went into his cabin, he smiled and welcomed me. The first thought that came to my mind, “Cool, at-last I got a project”. He asked me to pull a chair, and sit besides him, really really close. While I was handling the chair, he was clicking away his mouse, and 10s of windows were popping up. I thought, “Wow, this project is going to be the project of my lifetime. May be this might turn out to be an onsite opportunity”.

We settled down well, and he turned his laptop towards me and said, “Before we begin, Let me tell you this, this is very confidential. You are not allowed to discuss about this with anyone else.” I thought, “Maan, This is a perfect reward for me to have so much patience, for the 4 months that I was on bench. Bring it on. I am ready to roll.”

And then he explained the whole project in minute detail. By the time he had finished his explanation, I thought to myself, “Yaar….I should have resigned long before.”

There was a site, which gave out information about various tenders, but at a price. My company’s free trial subscription would be expiring soon, and my manager wanted me to extract information about all the tenders available on that site before the subscription expired, into an excel sheet. I was initially so excited about the whole thing when he had mentioned words like “confidential”, “tenders”, “deadline”, “high-level stuff”, but now I wanted to kill that fellow. He had said that he was an IIM graduate, but I never believed him. What the hell, Can’t you register for another free trial with another user name? I asked him the same question. He looked confused, taken aback and after thinking about some time, he said, “I don’t know, but you have to do this by tomorrow evening”.

Wow, I sometimes wonder, how can people who crack CAT and enter into the IIMs, be so dumb. What do the IIMs do to their common sense? When I returned to my seat, the first thing I did was to try to create a free trial subscription for myself, and I was able to. But still, by the end of next day, I sat for hours in-front of my computer screen to compile data from the website, created a 6MB MS Excel file, zipped it and mailed it to my manager. Instantly, I got a thanks mail, but there was a question for me. “Can you please re-send the file with an “xls” extension ?”

#%%$^&  #$@!%^ $&&*#$ !#@@#$ %^%$^

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Foggy Mornings

Winters are here, and the best place to spend most of your weekend hours is tree-in-fogdefinitely your warm and cozy bed, with a thick blanket. A steaming cup of tea or coffee just adds to the ecstasy. Today when I woke up, it was really foggy, at-least, by Bangalore standards. But the smell, the chill and the cold instantly took me back to my college days in Kurukshetra. Winters were lovely back then, even when the Sun shone at it’s highest point, it was not blinding. It was all white, throughout the day, all winter. Not a ray of sun was able to touch the ground for days. And the first thing we did after getting up from bed, was to run to the Khokha for a cup of tea and a cigarette. I miss those foggy mornings.

By the time I finished writing these few lines, the fog was gone, and so did all my memories. The sun was shining bright.

Today is the SNAP DAY. Oh no……… The Admit card print out!!!! Thank God, the test begins at 2, I can still have my daily tea.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Dearest SE K550i

Lovely morning. Hectic day in office, I had to sit from 11 to 5 today. Had to see sony-ericsson-k550i-blackoff a friend who was leaving Bangalore, and then when I was coming back, I thought I would save some pennies by taking the bus (on someone’s recommendation), but that cost me Rs. 4350/- .

Someone stole my cell in the bus. A little bit of tension. Got down, and used the pay phone after such a long time. Pay Phones have their own utility, I thought they have lived their lives, but they are still useful in today’s mobile world.

But, the phone was instantly switched off by the rogue. And all my hopes of getting my cell back were lost. No problem. Next steps!!!

1. Block my SIM .  The Airtel shop was closed by the time I reached there.

2. Had to meet a friend. Had an appointment, but without my cell, I didn’t know the time. So, I used the Pay phone for the second time today. Had dinner and went with her to get my new mobile.

3. Buy a new mobile. Global Access. The cheapest SE, which had USB connectivity, so that I could get back all the contacts without any trouble. Cost me Rs. 4350.

4. Get back home. How wonderfully Bangalore autowalas behave??? 

5. Tomorrow morning, block the SIM. Reach Airtel shop and block the old one and get a replacement. And live happily.

I want to say sorry and thank you to my dear SE K550i for all the lovely moments that we had spent together. So many hours of conversations, so many messages. Although I could have never imagined my life without you, but it seems that  Destiny has a different story for both of us. No matter where you are, I will always miss you. I don’t know if you would ever remember me again, but I will always remember you and cherish the moments that we have lived together. sony_ericsson-w200

Well, I just forgot to mention, my new mobile…. Sony Ericsson W220i. She is my new baby now. Hope we will be compatible with each other. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What a spectacle !!!

Moon on 1st december

I don’t remember the date, but it was somewhere in November. What a spectacle. A smiling face, which looked like a 2 year olds drawing. I wouldn’t have looked up into the sky that day, but for a friend who called me up and asked me to look up. Fortunately, the sky was clear and I was not in office, else I would have missed this amazing arrangement of our MOON and the two planets (not sure which ones were they).

But one thing I realized, that in today’s world also, there are people who have time to look up into the sky, look at the stars and enjoy the beautiful spectacles which are still a mystery for us. I remember those summer nights at home, when everyone of us used to gather in the evening on the terrace, with tea and chat away the evenings. How wonderful those times were. But, with cable TVs and the Internet, I thought those times could never be re-lived by the humans. But now, I believe, we can really do those childish things again, as and when we wish.

I called up many people and asked them to look into the sky. I was really surprised, they already knew. Wow……

And by the way, it was 1st of December……The picture might not be very clear in this black background, but try finding the three white figures above.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Driving License Needed…

Let' me first come to the main point : I DON’T HAVE A DRIVING LICENSE.ncr4

Well, I had one, but some crazy fellow dared to enter House No. 490 on 5th May 2007, and walked out unharmed, richer by 5 mobiles, my wallet, some 20 bucks, my PAN card, and my DRIVING LICENSE.

That was my first Driving License, it wasn’t a genuine one though. This little piece of paper made me 5 years older. Though I was born in the year of the BOAR, i.e, 1983, the date of my birth was shown as 1978. Whenever any one doubted my not being an adult, I would promptly show them my Driving License. With this forged piece of evidence, I have evaded so many fines and challans throughout India, mainly the North, South and the East.

Without it also, I have been able to survive the check posts of the Bangalore Traffic Police for quite some time. And I was very proud of it. Last week, somebody asked me, “How come you don’t have a DL?”

I said, “Dude! Who needs a license to drive in Bangalore? There are so many vehicles in Bangalore. You would have to be a very very unlucky guy if you are caught without a license.You can be booked for riding without a helmet, jumping red lights, driving without a number plate, and if you accidently happen to hit a policeman head-on. But you have to be the most unlucky person in the world, if you get caught for riding without a DL”.

And the next time I was riding a bike, well, I guess, I was the most unlucky guy in the whole world that night. Mr. Rwitam Mitra, had to be dropped at his house in Marathalli, for which we had to enter the Outer Ring Road. I was imagining how the cold winds would make me shiver when I will be on full throttle on the empty roads. But, before we could hit the deserted Outer Ring Road, Felix’s always-lit-pulsar’s-head-lights showed me a police waving his “danda” in-front of us.

Little did Mitra know about my loss of that fateful night. The first question he asked, “Tere pass hai na?”

I have hearts of steel, but I was not sure how Mitra would react to my denial. So, I said, “yes I have”. Just before hitting the brakes hard enough, I had second thoughts of using the throttle instead, but I changed my mind. So, we stopped.

There were 3 policemen. Each of them were busy attending to other unlucky people. One of them asked me for my License. I pretended to search my wallet hoping that I would find a pice of paper that would at-least look like a Driving License. Hehe…Seriously, I was thinking this…

But at-last, I gave up. Now the policeman asked me to hurry up and went away to another biker. There were around 5-6 people waiting to show-off their DLs to these policemen. So, we had plenty of time. Mitra did have a license, and we though of a plan. We swapped our roles. It was dark, and we put our brains to work. When the policeman came back, Mitra showed him his license, snatching the helmet from me. Hahahaha… 

The policeman took it and started examining it, asking general questions about our addresses and purpose of late night journey. Everything seemed to be working, till another policemen came along and stood near us. He smelled something fishy, and finally realized the anomaly. Shaaaaaah!!!! Caught again. They asked for the bike’s RC, pollution certificate and insurance, which Felix said, were at House No.490.

We knew what had to be done now. I started counting my money in my wallet in my mind. But, how were we going to make an open offer for bribe to this man? Mitra tried his best to convince them, that we were good people, and are aware of the mistake that we have committed and asked them to leave us just like that. That was not going to happen. I hope Mitra wasn’t very serious about such a thing happening.

Finally, the policeman asked, “How much do you have”. Mitra answered first. “40 bucks”…

What the hell!!!! Weren’t the pop corns and cold-drinks enough?? I had to pay here also?? Well, in the dark, I put my fingers in my wallet, and pulled out 2 notes, in the dark. They were 2 Hundred Rupee Notes. “Unlucky the second time”.

In 2 minutes, everything was settled. We were warned and let off. Just before running off, I thanked the policeman, and he replied, “No Problems Beta”. All the way, till I reached home safely after dropping off Mitra near his house, I was extra cautious, in the look out for another check point. But there were none. I guess, the clock had struck 12, and the unlucky day was over. Thank God!!! We were not drunk, else we would have been behind bars.

The next day, I searched the Karnataka Government website for details on how to obtain a DL. Realizing that I had to spend at-least Rs.200 and dont-know-how-many-hours, I thought, I would just avoid the check posts from now on. I still don’t have a DL.

Friday, November 14, 2008

No more time, but have to wait

viaduct-fall Well, looks like there is no more time left for me. Time would not allow me to do some things that should have been done in the past. Time has left the past behind and is just about to knock on the doors of the future. I cannot even feel the presence of time now. The “now” is already going into the past, so fast.

Hehe, forget time. I just wanted to relax from now on. Till Sunday, I have decided not to touch my still “untouched” books. And I am trying to relax. But, I am not able to figure out how to relax. What should I do to relax ? Even in my sleep, I have had some obnoxious dreams, dreams that were definitely not sweet. Dreams that made me sweat, dreams that woke me up at the oddest hours of the night, and deprived me of the adequate amount of sleep. For the last few days, I had been sleeping at very odd hours, sleeping for not more than 5 hours a day, though I over-slept for a few days. 

So, here comes the question. “What am I worried about ?”

I am not sure. I have never been sure. Frankly speaking, I don’t have any expectations from anything. Well, then, what am I worried about, if I don’t have any expectations? If I were to generalize, I would say, each and every action will always have a “Good” and a “Bad” outcome. Of-course, I don’t want the “Bad” outcome, nobody does, perhaps. But out of those two, who decides which is the “Good” one and which is the other? Probably, that is what I am worried about. 

I expect my journey of life to be one without much pain, but pleasure, without much losses, but gains, without much sorrow, but happiness, and I can see at-least two roads in-front of me. I can’t see beyond a certain point, and so don’t see my final destination. No one has even made a mark on any of them. There are no indications, directions or suggestions for the travelers. One of them seems to be a bit rough than the other. But, that’s what I can say about the two roads till the point that I can see. Beyond that point, its dark. these two roads are only meant for me. Other people will have their set of two or more roads. And it seems that I, now, I have to make the decision, to choose one out of the two. 

I feel like tossing the coin sometimes, since it seems the only way out. And, if I decide to choose one of them, I will never be able to come back into the past, and take the other one for a change. Perhaps, that is what is worrying me. But, the act of deciding seems to be not under my control. I feel that it has already been decided and my mind already knows which road I will take. But, somehow, my mind has stopped communicating with me. Though my mind knows which one I will be choosing, I am not aware of this decision. Perhaps, it’s not my mind actually. Perhaps, it is the roads, that have made my decisions. Perhaps, the road that I will be traveling on is the only real one, the other one being just an illusion. It probably doesn’t even exist.
This illusion, even if I am aware of it, still makes me wait at the crossroads, and contemplate. Isn’t it weird ? 

Perhaps, I should stop thinking any more, and wait till the illusion vanishes. I don’t know now, which one of them is the real one. I will wait till one of them disappears, and then, may be, I won’t be worried too much. I wouldn’t have any choice then, there wouldn’t be a decision to be made. Life would be so simple after that until another crossroad appears.

A day before that CAT, I am thinking all this ? Wow. Seems something terrible, or may be pleasant is waiting for me somewhere. Or may be, I at-last know:
                "Why People Call Me Psycho”

You can’t beat me.

bloggin Hey, Kunal. You can’t beat me so soon. You started so late, and you are already two posts ahead of me. I know, I know, I have been lazy, and you have been hyperactive,(very uncharacteristic of you though), but I will definitely catch up with you in no time.

I will give up everything, CAT, SHAT, XAT, PHAT to just write one more post than you. Though, technically speaking, I have a lot more posts than you, but you wouldn’t agree to it, would you?
So, here’s another one. I just downloaded “Windows Live Writer”, which is like an offline blogging client that can publish to almost all of the well-known blogging sites. I think you should give it a try. This is the first post that I will be posting using Live Writer. Actually this post should have gone into another blog of mine, that blah blahs about some tech stuff, but I just had to increase the number of posts on this one. Hehe. See, I don’t give up  so easily. Well, you can say that I am determined, but if compared with others, I am not sure where would I stand. 
Okay, Okay, I have written enough for this post. Well, one more thing. Do you know, Blogger just wouldn’t allow any blog to use up unlimited storage capacity. It has allocated only 1 GB per user. WTF. 1 GB…. My life compacted into a single GB of 0’s and 1’s?? I have already used up around 57 MB. Of course, the pictures take up most of the space. 
Sunday will perhaps be the turning point of life. Well, the angle of the turn can vary from 0 to 360 degrees. But I am expecting a minimum turn of 90 and a maximum turn of 270. Hope it doesn’t turn out to be a 0 degree or a 360 degree turn. 
That’s all I have to write in this one. I just wanted to test the Windows Live Writer. Have fun. Keep posting.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Final Frontier...Catrified Again...

Today was the final Mock CAT. What a relief !!!! Well, I didn't do any better than the other mocks, but, finally, the preparation days are over, and we will be facing the real one very soon, head-on. Best of luck to everyone.

Do you remember this picture? I just read a post that I had posted this time around, last year. The last lines were:

On a serious note:
CAT is not everything in my life, morever, this was my first attempt, a real live MOCK CAT for me. And I have already started preparing for the next year's CAT. It just takes a MAN to crack the CAT.

Hahaha....That preparation I was talking about had not lasted for more than a week. Last year I scored a percentile of 84.6 . I will be very very disappointed if I score less than that. But, I am still hoping for some miracle to happen. I have been very unlucky during all those Mocks, but I am still hopeful that I will give my career best performance on the D-day.

For me, all those pencil and paper preparations are over. This remaining one week, I will be getting up early in the morning, as early as 6:30, just to make sure that I am not late for the exams.

My next post will be coming up on 16th November. Hope so.
Till then, enjoy the winters.....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama's WON !!!!

So, finally, its official. I had always had this feeling that Obama was going to win. All the newspapers always had some news or the other about the recent US presidential campaign. Not only the newspapers, the news channels were giving much more coverage that I would have liked. But this picture today on TOI was a real shock to me.

Was Manmohan Singh offered a cake when he won the elections? Did anybody even knew who was Prativa Patil till she became the President? Or that lady in the picture is some distant cousin of Obama? What the hell!!! A girl from Delhi or Bangalore or any other metro, for that matter, is quite understandable, but from a city like Bikaner !! That surprised me. Of-course, winning the elections, perhaps is the greatest achievement for Obama, but why is this girl so happy???

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sleepless Nights

I don't even remember when was the last time I had such uneasy feeling. Not even before the Semester exams, not even before my first job interview and definitely not when I proposed that girl from school. November is here, and in a few days, the Sunday mornings will not be the same any more.

I don't know what's in store for me, and I would not know before the starting of next year, but what I know is, I will have to get up early on every Sunday morning, take bath ( winters are already here, but thank god, I have a hot water system, not exactly a geyser, but the damn thing works ), get dressed and eagerly wait for my angel, the Bangalorean autowalas who would drop me at the venue of the exams on time. Best of luck to all those who can understand my condition.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love Rectangles

Love triangles are the most popular themes in entertainment. And it is also the most researched topic in the field of human psychology. There are complete scientific models for a Love Triangle which can accurately predict the outcome, given all the necessary data is available. Many Bollywood directors have churned out loads of dollars just by changing some variables, and eventually the final outcome. People also find the theory of "Love Triangle" simple enough to understand. Some of the theories suggest that, in a Love Triangle, the arrangement is unsuitable for one or more people involved. That number, as anyone might guess, will range from 1 to 3. The fact is, Love Triangles are meant to be broken. It cannot remain as a triangle forever. It has to end either in a straight line and a point, or three points. So, we can safely conclude that a "Love Triangle", is by nautre, a very unstable arrangement. It is not a happy ending for everyone, though some Bollywood movies manage to bring in a fourth point into the frame when the triangle is just about to break into pieces.

Let us now study a more stable, but complicated arrangement that has not been experimented with by our Bollywood directors much. The "Love Rectangle". Well, not many of our Hindi movies are based on this theme, the only one that comes to my mind right now is "KANK". Though the theme of the story is "Extra-marital relationship", principally, it is a "Love Rectangle".

Definition : 2 boys of equal height and 2 girls of equal breadth.

William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is also based on a Love Rectangle. Unlike the Triangles, this arrangement may sometimes be unfavorable for everyone, but statistically speaking, in the end, the rectangle breaks up into two straight lines(almost 99%). In such cases, the possibility of four points is very rare. Since points, by nature are unstable. They always tend to form polygons, or lines. I tried reading all the mathematical models available on Love Polygons in human psychology, but they all seem to be so complicated. There were at-least 50 different variables to be considered to accurately predict the final state of the polygon. I tried reducing the polygon to a mere triangle(since this is the maximum reduction that I could have done), but then all the theories available today, say that predictions for a polygon with even sides are 100 times more accurate than those with odd sides. So, afraid of arriving at erroneous results, I had to reduce the polygon to a Rectangle.

Rectangles, are very rare to find as well. What the psychologists have in their theories is how to predict the future states of the rectangle. None of them have tried proposing a solution that could be applied to a generalized Love Rectangle. So, here I propose my solution for solving a Rectangle.

Being a IT guy, my theories will follow object-oriented approach and will draw some inspiration from the well known fundamentals of Linked Lists in computer programming. More specifically, Circular Linked Lists. Let us define some variables.

1. Each person is called a Node.
2. Each link is called a relation ( A Relation can be omni-directional, both forward and backward)
3. We can make or break any relation/link to attain any possible configuration of the nodes.
4. Yellow dots represent Male.
5. Pink dots represent Female.

Assumption: Sexual Orientation of each node - "STRAIGHT" . So, links between similar nodes are not possible.

Here is the initial configuration of a rectangle.

I won't go into details of this diagram. It seems to be self-explanatory. So, moving ahead with the solution, if we could slightly decouple all the links/relations between each of the nodes, the rectangle might become very unstable. But, since this is not the final step and I would be making new links to arrive at a more stable configuration, let us assume that, for a moment, the configuration are allowed to be skewed a bit, i.e. on the verge of breaking all the links.

During this momentary unstable conditions, where all the nodes are ready to accept new connections, it is easier to create new links which would result in a more stable configuration for all. So, we try to make new links and break some existing ones. But, finally, we will always of the same number of links that we started with, as per the Law of conservation of Links.

In the figure below, the links in blue, are the new links, and the links colored in green, are the old links which finally, will be deleted.

And, finally, the configuration would somewhat look like this. Everyone's happy, lets party.

Unlike in a triangle, where one or more person has to go back home with a frowning face, in a rectangle, there are more chances for each node to be in a WIN-WIN situation. So, as we can see, initially, we had a circular singly-linked list, though the process of modifying the linked list brought about an overall increase in the number of linked lists, the current form of both the linked lists are more stable, provided any external factors are not allowed to interfere.

That's my solution. It is still in research stage. I want some volunteers on which I could test my theories. Once this theory is established for its correctness backed by experimental results, I will apply for a patent. Volunteers can reach me at my e-mail id.

1. Wikipedia - Love Triangles, Love Rectangles, Love Polygons
2. Let Us C - Yeshwant Kanetkar
3. Linked Lists in Computer Programming - O' Rielly
4. Mathematical Models for Love Problems - Albert Eintein

Important Warning : If you feel that you are in a love rectangle/triangle/ploygon, before making the final move, please pick up your geometry box, measure your angles accurately, and then finally draw your lines. Once the lines are drawn, its not very easy to re-draw them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finally, Here comes the Smoking Ban

Wow, it took almost 3 years for our Government to bring out the "Smoking Ban" Act. This will be in effect from the 2nd of October this year, on Gandhi Jayanthi. Here are some points to be pondered over:

1. As per the revised Rules, smoking is banned in shopping malls, cinema halls, public/private work place, hotels, banquet halls, discotheques, canteen, coffee house, pubs, bars, airport lounge, railway stations.

2. People can smoke on roads or in their homes but not in any other place.

Well, the first question that comes into my mind is, "Is it justified?"

Many non-smokers would answer in affirmative, but a lot of my friends will be grinning, at the thought that here is another law that can be broken at will. As for me, I only smoke when no one is looking. Since, for the world, I have quit smoking.

Ok, what about pubs and bars?? Is it justified?? I don't have an answer. When I was not a smoker, I really hated people who enjoyed blowing smoke over someone else's face, but then I started doing the same to people who asked me to quit. Sometimes, I was beaten up, and then I realized that I just can't do it to everyone, of course not to the girls at the pubs, especially when they are with their boy friends. But What the Hell......Why Pubs and Bars.....

I agree to everything else, not a ban on smoking in public places.....ok...Pubs and Bars are public places.....But, people go there to drink, smoke, dance, enjoy.....These are the necessary ingredients of the atmosphere. Any one of them goes missing, and the fun vanishes.

What about smoking zones then?? Aren't those public places as well, should smoking be banned there also? Please comment.

Ok, now the Act allows people to smoke in their homes...WOW...thanks Health Minister. Isn't that a public place? I mean, if you are having a party at your house, will the law be applicable there? Even if there is no party, why should the government decide if I should smoke in my home or not.

What about my car, though I don't have one yet, but what about people having those small mobile private homes? Is it punishable??

This law needs serious amendments, before it comes into force. What say people??

If you don't act now, someday, the Government will come up with a law that migth ban "Females in Pubs, Bars, Malls, Cinema halls" but only allow them in your homes and the street.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mumbai Meri Jaan...

Yet another movie, that touches the core of the hearts of each and every Indian, but yet again fails to make them brave enough to actually do something about it. Movies like Rang De Basanti, Bhagat Singh, Mumbai Meri Jaan, etc are no doubt great works by Bollywood. But, I sometimes just wonder how quickly we bring back normalcy in our thoughts or actions. For some, the content of these movies is not worth discussing, rather they are more interested in the box-office collections, actors' outfits, director's brilliance, great music, screenplay and the possible awards that these movies could be nominated for.

After the Mumbai blasts, I remember someone saying in a news channel that, "Even after these blasts, Mumbai will not fear, Mumbai will not give up, Mumbai will re-live". The way things are going on now, there is every possibility of another such incident happening in the near future. Are we doing something about it? Or we are just trying to accept the fact that, everytime, a there is a bomb-blast in Mumbai, we will cry for a few seconds, mourn for 2 minutes, observe silence for 5 minutes and then again, from the next day, will continue leading our lives as if nothing has happened.

Its not just about Mumbai. I guess, we have turned into such a herd, incidents such as this just don't shake us well enough. Such indifference?? These were a few comments from people that I have been hearing from people off-late, some of them, contributed by my friends...

Delhi Blasts:
In some IT company's cafeteria,

A - What's going on these days? So many blasts, now in Delhi too ...
B - It's good for India. At-least, it is solving the population problems of India.

Bihar Floods:
In some IT company's cafeteria,

A - Why should I donate any money for the victims? I know, by the time it will reach the real needy, 90% of my donations would have vanished into the pockets of the politicians.
B - Well, may be 95% in case of Bihar.

I can write a some more. But, I guess, you would have got a perspective of what I want to communicate. Do we really care if somebody at a distant place is drowning under water, do we care about people who are lost and separated from their families, do we care if the child who lost his parents is eating or not, do we care if the person who lost his hand in a blast is able to find an alternative source of income for his family of four. I don't think so. But we care about how to reach office in time for that important meeting, we care about taking a day off to watch a cricket match, we care about our pet's fever, we care about our stock market investments. I am not saying each and every Indian thinks and does the same. There are people who really do care, and do their best in extending their help to the victims, but we need more, lots of such people who really CARE....lots and lots of them.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another Nightmare !!! (What's Happening????)

Hey people, It might seem that I am making up all these stories by myself. The probability of such events happening to anyone cannot be a positive real number. But, when I am asleep, I have complete freedom to dream about anything. Well, but it seems that, for quite some time I have been losing control over my dreams. I see my fears in my dreams, I see things which I want to avoid in life, etc etc. And, the most important point is, since last week, I have been able to remember each one of them when I wake up.

Well, here goes the latest one.

November 16, 2008: Bangalore, Its CAT day, and I am at the center well before the scheduled commencement of the toughest exams for MBA aspirants like me. I couldn't have had a better preparation than this. After a smoke, and a Center Fresh in my mouth, I walked into the exam hall with the kind of confidence that you must have seen in "Lakhsya" when Hritik set out alone to do the impossible. Anyways, I am adding some "masala" into this story, else, I would not be able to explain how I felt when I woke up.

I had two pencils, and one pen, two erasers, and a sharpener, my I-card, my wrist watch(which I so frequently forgot during the numerous Mocks), my specs(this was not necessary during the exam, but I had thought of sight-seeing(chicks) after the exams) and finally the killer-instinct. I don't remember the roll number assigned to me, but besides me, there was this girl who seemed to be as nervous any other beautiful girl in that hall. Our eyes met, and I smiled. I gave her a thumbs-up and she did the same. I was just about to shake hands with her, when the invigilator started distributing the papers. I thought I would do that later, since I would have lots of time after-wards. Now was the time to concentrate on something else. And finally, we were instructed to open the seals of our papers and start with the test. In "Rajnikant istyle", I tore open the seal(perhaps to impress her) and started sifting through the paper. On the first glance, the paper seemed to be a sitter. When I started answering, I felt, that each and every solution I arrived at, seemed to be just the perfect answer.

I don't remember the exact number of questions that I attempted, but I was more than satisfied with my performance. And finally, when I thought that I would answer no more(fear of negative marks), I , just for a moment thought about that girl. Till now, I had not noticed that she was in a all-blue attire, my favorite color. I tried peeping into her answer sheet, not to look at her answers in a way of copying, but in the hope of discovering her name. And just then, I realized something horrible. I had not put in my Name, Registration Number and other details, on my answer sheet. I looked at my watch, and there was still some 10 minutes left for THE END. I was relieved.

I picked up my pencil, and just when I was about to put the pencil to paper, something happened. I just couldn't move my hand anymore. Not even an inch. Not even a stray mark. And the next thing I remember was somebody snatching away my answer sheet.

Phew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! was it just a dream. Or was I seeing the future. Does this mean anything? Any one can read dreams?? Was the dream about CAT or that GIRL in BLUE???? Please help me!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Password to Remember

Monday morning, the worst day of the week was here. The alarm went off at 7:30 am. Half-asleep, I snoozed the alarm, and went back to my dreams. And then, again, the alarm went off at 9:30am, which threw me out of my bed. I was completely drenched with sweat and was shaken. I had a nightmare of my lifetime. The first thing I did was to look around my room, searching for my laptop. It was right there in-front of my eyes. I booted it up, and was waiting anxiously for the login screen to come up. It felt like an hour had passed before I finally saw the screen, asking me to enter my password. And, then looked up towards the ceiling, concentrating on a fly trapped in the cob-webs, tried hard to remember my password. I remembered one, and started hitting the keys, after checking the CAPS LOCK, one by one, as slowly as I could. And then, I looked at the "Enter" key for a few seconds, closed my eyes, and finally tapped it. And after a few seconds, I could here the Windows Login Sound, a bliss. I pinched myself on my cheeks, and it hurt. But I was smiling.

"Thank GOD", I murmured. I picked up my alarm clock and started kissing it like I would have kissed Sonali Bendre if she were beside me that day. But I felt bad for the fly and felt like killing that spider. But, I dropped that idea when I saw that it was gone. I was happy. I was relieved that it was just a dream. I still remember all my "PASSWORDS".

I now understand, how important those passwords really are. About the nightmare, well, I don't quite remember it very clearly, but I think, it was something like this.

"I woke up one day to realize that I had a complete memory loss. But somehow, I remembered the alphabets, and all my family members and friends. Problem started when somebody asked to make a fund transfer to his account from my bank. Then I started realizing that, though I remembered everything else, I had lost that part of my brain where all my passwords were stored, just like that. What a world to be in!!!!

But now, everything is fine. I remember all my passwords, and I am back in the real world. But what if such a thing did happen to us someday. How will it be like? Every bit of our life is locked up behind a password. So many passwords to remember, so many restrictions on choosing a password, what a WORLD!!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Try Us - Bangalore Autorickshaws

Bangalore has been a home for me for that last two years. But I still don't possess a bike or a car and not even a bicycle. So, the only option for me to do all my traveling is either by BMTC buses or the Autorickshaws. Well, my office is not very far, I normally walk to and from the office (a total of 4kms of walking daily). Any Bangalorian would agree with me, that for short distances (<4kms), walking is the best option. You can save time, money, energy and most importantly your mental peace.

But, what if, in Bangalore, you want to travel to a place which is more than 4kms? Which would be the best option for you then? Buses!!!! Naaaah!!!!! They are over-crowded.

What about autorickshaws??? Well, they are plentily available everywhere, all the year round, 24hrs a day waiting for people like us, who don't want to sweat or get wet in the slight drizzles, or just want to reach home as soon as possible.

Here are some of the conversations that I have had with the Autowalas of Bangalore during my stay here. The conversations are mostly in Hindi, since I don't know the local language very well. "Kanada Gothilla".

Act 1 Scene 1 -
Me : Bhaiya, MG Jaoge??
Autowala : Nahi.
Me : Kahan jaoge??

Act 1 Scene 2 -
Me : Bhaiya, Kormangala jaoge?
Autowala : Saab, One and a half meter lagega. (At noon ????)
Me : Bahiya....Half meter me chaloge to bolo.

Act 1 Scene 3 -
Me : Bhaiya, Airport chaloge?
Autowala : Kaunse raste se jaana hai?
Me : Aapko rasta nahi maalum?
Autowala : Malum hai, 200 rs lagenge.
Me : Kyun, Airport to 10 km hai, to 70 ke aas pass lagne chahiye.
Autowala : Saab, wahan se koi aata nahi wapas . (Incoming band hai kya!!!!!!!!!)

Act 1 Scene 4 -
Me : Bhaiya, Marathalli chaloge?
Autowala : Meter pe 20 rs extra lagenge.
Me : Kyun?
Autowala : Saab, baaki sabka analog meters hain, unke meter me har km ke 50 paisa kam lagta hai, mera digital meter hai, ekdum perfect reading deta hai.

Act 1 Scene 5 -
Me : Bhaiya, Kitna hua?
Autowala : 45 rs.
Me : Par meter me to 42 dikha raha hai.
Autowala : Saab, itna traffic tha.

Act 1 Scene 6 -
Me : Bhaiya, Brigade jaoge?
Autowala : Meter pe 30 rs extra.
Me : Kyun? Abhi to 10 bhi nahi baje.
Autowala : Kya saab, aap to itna kamate ho. 30 rs aapke liye kya hai.

Act 1 Scene 7 -
Me : Bhaiya, Commercial chaloge?
Autowala : Baithiye saab.
Me : Kitna loge?
Autowala : Meter pe saab.
In scenes like this, I always make it a point to tip the autowala. And I enjoy my ride as well, without cursing the traffice, the autowalas, the government, the people but instead, looking forward to meet the friend who is waiting for me at Commercial Street.

Some facts -
1. Banglore autos charge the most, Rs 7 per km.
2. The rates become One-half of the meter after 10pm(Officially).
3. The autowalas don't accept 50 paises. Most importantly, we don't have them.
4. Pre-paid autos are costlier, though most people think otherwise.

I am planning to buy a bike very soon. Even though it would add to the traffic, increase pollution, add to the green house gases, increase India's carbon-footprint, raise the temperature of the earth or just to tease those autowalas who took advantage of me not having a bike. What about petrol prices?? Lets see. If riding a bike will be a costly affair, those autowalas won't go anywhere, I can always switch back.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

On Bench

The first week on bench was really a bliss. No more waking up early in the morning, no more getting stuck in the traffic, no more managers to report to, and the best part, no WORK!!!!

And the second week, I got the news of my promotion. Though I did not get a substantial hike in my pay, but it was more than what I was expecting. So I was happy, and spent the whole week restructuring my finances, as to where should I spent that little extra amount.

I applied for leave for the whole of the third week, and getting it approved was not much of a problem. Any lame excuse would have worked, since I was basically not doing anything. The whole week, I slept and slept and slept, and did some studying, which was the basic purpose for which I had planned this 5-day off. Studying 10 hours a day is not a child's play.

And now, its the fourth week, and I am writing this. It is Tuesday, and I don't know what I will be doing for the rest of the week. 15th (Friday) is a national holiday, great!!!! Some more hours of sleep will not harm anyone. I just have to see off these 2 and a half days, and then the Weekend will finally wake me up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Election Campaigns

What kind of an advertisement is this? Is the Government doing favours when it devises policies for the welfare of people? This ad appeared in The Times of India. I was really shocked as to how the Government is portraying and publicizing their work. Is this their "Gift" to us?

I am not a supporter of any specific political party, but it really pains me to see such ads appearing everywhere. Every party has the right to do bring out campaigns for the upcoming elections, but don't they need to be careful. In another article published in a well known newspaper, there was a photograph of yet another leader distrbuting food to children, and a long write-up mentioning how kind the Government is. Is this how the Government wants its votes?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yahoo Chat's BOTs

I don't remember when was the last time I had logged into Yahoo Messenger.

Recently, I deleted my Orkut account. Duh....Feel so bad about it, but anyway, had to do what I had to do. I can feel the difference in my life without Orkut.
"When I open up my browser, I now always have to think for 2 minutes, which site I should go for. LOL....It had always been Orkut, but now, I don't want to give the Googlers, no more "Ad-Revenues". "

Well, isn't "Blogger", a trap by Google to earn more money just from "Ads". And what about "Gmail", "iGoogle", etc, everything associated with Google also has those unwanted and un-friendly ads coming up before you.

But Google is flourishing, and so is its "Ads" business. And I am not against Google's strategies or its sources of income. What I wanted to talk about actually was about "Yahoo Chat Rooms". All these things about Google just surfaced inside my brain, and I thought I would club these thoughts with this post, thus reducing the number of blogs I write, and thus reducing Google's revenue. LOL

Ok...Now about Yahoo Chat Rooms. Today, each and every chat room is contaminated with "BOTS" and only "BOTS". What a place it used to be some 5 years ago. A perfect place for "Netizens" for perfect Time Pass.

A perfect place of anonymity: for youngsters who wanted to make new friends, video chat, voice chat and so on. I also tried all these for a few days, but it didn't interest me much. But, there were lots of my friends who were completely addicted to these things. But when I logged into one of the rooms, I was horrified at what I was looking at. BOTs everywhere!!!.....It took me around one hour and lots of different rooms to find just 1 real person there....What a pity....Yahoo has lost this unique place on the NET to these damn BOTs.

With the “captcha” stunt also, Yahoo still hasn’t been able to fend off even a single BOT.

Please don’t log onto Yahoo chat rooms. If you ever happen to enter those rooms, just for a break, I would suggest you should stop looking for real people there. Rather, I found it quite funny and interesting to have a chat with BOTs. And if you want to make it a playground, just try separating the BOTs from the REALs based on your chat conversations with them. And if you happen to find a REAL one at-last, you will definitely feel ecstatic.

But what about Google? Google doesn’t have a chat room. Well, that is one of the things which Google doesn’t have and Yahoo does. Shouldn’t Yahoo try to make these chat rooms more “REAL” and keep its users before Google comes up something like this. Please Yahoo, try hard, before Google reads this post.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And it RAINED!!!!!

It has been a long and tiresome summer in Bangalore. And at-last, the rain Gods had waken up. The heat and the sweat had become unbearable for me. Though I have seen much severe summers than this in the north, Kurukshetra, the heat just doesn't suit me.

As I walked out of the AC encloser of my office, it was still hot outside. But suddenly, everything changed as I descended down the last stairs of the office building. The sweat dried up in seconds.
Chilling winds, lightening, and the dark sky belittled all the tension and exhaustion that had gathered in me after 10 long hours of monotonous and futile work. I wished the rains to come down with full vigour and not stop for days. I wished I had a bike and go back up home riding, getting wet. I wished I would stop somewhere, all drenched up, to have a hot cup of tea. I wished when I reach home, someone would open the door, and shout at me for getting wet. I wished, wished and wished for 5 minutes. But, I had to return back to the reality.

I had a phone in my pocket which should be protected from the rain. I had some important official documents(not so important) that would have been destroyed if I had to ride back on my bike. And then, there will be nobody at my PG to open the door for me and shout at me for getting wet. Though I was happy that it was about to rain and I wished I would stand under the rains and embrace the rain drops, simultaneously, I was thinking about the consequences of getting wet. I also had a minor cold which would have aggravated if my wishes would have come true. I had to come to office the next day in any case for some important work(not so important).

And then I realized, they all were wishes. None of them could have come true today. Even if I wanted to get wet, I couldn't have, since I had to board my office shuttle to go back home (13kms), I couldn't have walked that distance. I didn't have a bike and I was in Bangalore, away from home, nobody waiting for me at home.

When I boarded the shuttle, it started raining heavily. And inside the shuttle, it was hot and humid. Everyone had closed the windows. They obviously didn't want the rain, at-least not before they reach their safe homes. And in minutes, I was completely drenched in sweat.

Weren't my wishes very simple? Would anyone have lost anything, if my wishes were to be fulfilled? Would anyone have felt good, if my wishes were fulfilled? Would anyone have felt bad about it? I can think of only one answer to all these questions, "NO".

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Valentine's Lost Forever

Wow, one more year gone by, and Destiny has been able to fend off the feminine gender from encroaching into my heart and mind. I am blaming Destiny, because all my life, I have been trying to beat Destiny in this little duel; it has always been victorious. So this Valentine's Day for me would be again; as normal, usual and ordinary as any other day of the year.

I made my last move against Destiny today which again was so deftly counter-attacked; I was awe-struck at the Destiny's might. How can a meagre human match the permanence and mercilessness of one's Destiny. All these days, I thought someday I will be able to change my Destiny, but it now seems an impossible task. I didn't believe in Destiny till today, but from now on, I have changed my perception.

Let’s talk about my last move.

Third Last Move -

Many people know about my first crush from school. Last year, after so much orkutting, I was able to find her yahoo id. I sent her a friend request which she accepted. We started chatting;talking about school, lost friends, old days, school teachers, couples who still speak to each other, couples who broke up, friends who got married, friends who were divorced already, jobs, life etc. And then finally when the topic gradually shifted from her and me, she seemed to be less responsive while I was abnormally typing in more characters than usual.

Then suddenly she stopped responding. Destiny won here. But I was still determined.

Second Last Move -

I frequently left offline messages on yahoo for her, but she never replied. Orkut helped me again. Rather, Destiny was devising another move to beat me again. I found her gtalk id. I sent her a friend request which again was accepted. But every time she came online, her status was set to "Busy". I thought it would be very impolite on my part to disturb her. Perhaps, this was a trap that would have given Destiny one more point. I avoided falling into it. I was trying to make a counter move. I got her number. On diwali, I sent her a message; signing off with my name (I was sure that she won't have my number). But she didn't reply. On gtalk, I stopped seeing her online. I thought she was too busy. Destiny won again. Still determined, I waited for 13th February to make my last move.

Last Move -

Today, I searched for her name on gtalk, and to my surprise, didn't find her. Destiny was playing dirty. She had removed me from her friend's list. I was a little disappointed, but wasn't heartbroken; to give up before executing my last move. I sent her a friend request again, when I found out from a third party resource that she was online. This time also, Destiny made her accept my request.
I could now she her online, but again her status was “Busy". This time around, since I thought this would be the deciding move for both of us, I walked into Destiny's trap happily and perhaps aware of the result. I pinged her "Hi".

I waited eagerly for almost 5 minutes, waiting for her reply, staring at the chat window, without even blinking; I could hear my heart pumping that extra cc of blood for each passing second and finally, Destiny struck its final blow and she went offline. The battle was won and lost.

And now, I am convinced that I can't ever beat Destiny. My Valentine's Lost forever.