Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flower chor!! Flower chor!!

Ah!!! I thought things would have changed. It's been a long long time that I heard such tales from my Mom. Let's ponder over the background of the story.

Every Indian house does some form of Pooja, every morning, for which one of the most important ingredient is "Flowers". The flowers have to be fresh, i.e, freshly plucked. And the most important part is, the collected lot should at-least have 2 varieties of flowers (varying by color or species). The fun starts every morning. If you could fix a big camera over my colony, one could see people getting out of their houses just before the sunrise, with small bags, determined...

Their mission: Collect flowers for Pooja.

Target: Everyone else's garden.

We also have a few flowering plants inside our compound, and Mom recently noticed that everyday the number of flowers on our plants kept diminishing. And, on other days, she failed to find a single flower for our Pooja on our plants. It was obvious that someone was stealing our flowers. Although we somehow managed to get our share of flowers from other sources, Mom took up the responsibility to catch the erring neighbor and confront them, or may be teach them a lesson.

She needed a partner. And who else would be a better accomplish other than Auntie who was a close friend of Mom. She was on the ground floor, and Mom on the second floor. The plan was chalked out. Everyday, Auntie would try to wake up early in the morning, hoping that she would wake up before the THIEF reached our compound, watch the plants for a few minutes and alert Mom if she saw anything suspicious.

Everyday, Auntie and Mom used to wake up early in the morning, and kept an eye on our plants. Mom, from the terrace, and Auntie through the windows. For the first few days, the thief was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps, he made his errands too early in the morning. After a few watchful days, the thief was finally caught. They were actually two (From the same house, Husband and Wife). To be sure enough before deciding on their punishments, Mom and Auntie wanted to be check that the culprits came and assaulted our plants daily. So, they continued for a few more days, and it was established that the THIEVES actually came everyday and robbed us of our flowers.

The plan: The next time when Mom would see them getting their hands dirty, they would be washed off by a bucket of cold water from the terrace.

But, the idea was finally dropped, considering...
  • The culprits were from our own colony, and we knew them.
  • It was winter time and Mom felt that the punishment would be a bit harsh.
  • We also used to collect our flower lot for the Pooja from our neighbors few years back when we were not the proud owners of a few flowering plants.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What? What the heck!!!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
People can be so stupid at times. Sometimes, we say or do stupid things, which would make even a donkey laugh out loud. However, there are certain situations where you tend to ignore them. For example, you would just ignore a stupid question from someone when you know that the person is perhaps sad about something, and not in the right state of mind.

But it's really irritating sometimes, when people ask stupid questions, whose answer they already know. The best example for this is when your phone rings, and the other person confirms first that it's actually you who answered. Of course, there are exceptions, but then, at times it's just so obvious that nobody else other than you could possibly answer the phone.

There was a guy, whose name I prefer not to mention. I had this habit of reading newspapers few years back. Whenever he walked into my room, and saw me reading the newspaper, we would go like this:

He: Hey, What are you doing?
Me: Reading newspaper (Obviously)
He: I can see that. Reading what in the newspaper.
Me: So and so article. (Guiding his vision towards that portion of the newspaper)
He: Hmm. What are you reading in that article?
Me: Well, you know, so and so happened. I was just reading that. (Should I read out loud)

What the heck!!! I don't have the habit anymore.

And it happened almost every time he saw me reading either the newspaper, a book or even listening to the radio. I mean, isn't this stupid? I could understand that he wanted to break the ice someway or the other, but didn't he have any another ice-breakers?

Perhaps this: "Oh, you are reading the newspaper! Did you see this article today?"

I would at-least not wonder if he was "BLIND".

There are other stupid questions as well. And the more frequently used one is:

Why do you like Ice cream so much? (Or anything else which I like/love)
It's not that I haven't tried explaining them. For example, a typical response to such a question would probably be something like: "Well, it's cold, it's sweet, and it comes in a variety of flavors".

But then, how do I respond to questions like: 
1. Why do you like cricket?
2. Why do you not like tennis?
3. Why do you have a Citibank credit card?
4. Why are you wearing a black shirt on such a warm day?
5. Wassup?

Ah!!! The last one is one of those, which I answer with a "NOTHING - Nothing at ALL".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Extracts from my Old Diary

The extracts are unedited/uncensored. Really.

The month of January seems to have stagnated. The biting cold and intermittent rains have lowered down the temperatures. There's no better place than my warm bed and the common room. Right now, I am in a dilemma. I don't know what to do after my B.Tech degree. Of course, the first preference will be the campus selection. But I have a very strong desire to crack the CAT or the XAT.
A great day as far as the quality of food. The day started off with "Chole Bhature" which was the best of all the breakfast items in the mess. The lunch was also pretty good. And for the dinner, dosa and a treat in GE were on the cards. Ritesh Parida and Rakesh Mallick were present to finance for the dinner. But, I couldn't digest all these things. You know what I am talking about. Pretty uncomfortable.
The results of Computer branch is out. Soon, our results will also be out. Sidharth's got quite a good percentage of 71.2%, the highest being that of Rachit Aggarwal's with 85.8%. These marks are elusive for our branch. The papers this time were very tough. So, I would be happy if I score some 70% or above. Most probably the results would be out tomorrow. A very long wait. I am waiting...
The results are out. And I have got a mere 61%. That was well below my expectations. I was expecting around 65%. Terribly frustrated, I don't know what to do now. I have to get at-least 75% in this semester.
The next semester I got 63%. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Will anything change!!!!

It's been a few weeks now, and everything seems to have fallen in place, for the Government, the Parliament, for the people of India, for the news channels and the internet. "India Against Corruption", seems to have shaken up a few people, actually, a whole lot of Indian population, and everyone seems to be talking about it everywhere.

I wonder if anything is going to change. Mind you, I am a very optimistic guy, so, don't think that I don't have any hopes. But, when you get to see, or hear about bizzare incidents happening almost every day, all around me, all this boils down to a very basic question.

Are we really ready for this change?

I seriously doubt. There was a case of a truck driver being beaten to death by some policemen because he refused to pay them a bribe. There was another incident, where a toll-gate attendant was shot by a person in a car, just because he didn't want to pay the toll-tax. I know a friend, who had to pay Rs 2,00,000 to a doctor for getting a certificate(his was a genuine case).

The policemen who brutally killed the truck driver are perhaps sitting in the comfort of their homes. The other person who shot the toll attendant, has probably applied for bail, and his application would be soon accepted. The doctor would have bought a load of gold and stashed it somehwere in his house. 

I really wish that one day, India would be on the list of the least corrupt nations of the world. But, I doubt that this will happen in a course of the next few years. It would take generations and decades all-together to bring about this change. It's not only about the laws, or the judiciary or the punitive actions by the authorities. There should be a change in peoples' mindset and their thinking.We should change the way we live each day. We should change the way we act each day.

Everyone from the Government that speaks against corruption, doesn't really understand how to tackle it. Or rather, they don't really have the will to eradicate corruption. I would agree that, 50% of the governement officials are corrupt, but the honest ones, who are still the half of the system, get branded as corrupt officials. Why is that so?

1. Until and unless I pay a bribe at the passport office, my application would continue gathering dust.
2. Until and unless I pay donation to some MP, I won't get admission to a private school/college.
3. Until and unless I pay a bribe, my tender would be rejected.
4. Until and unless I pay bribe, I would be the last one to be promoted.

I am not yet talking about the big corporate bribes that large businesses NEED to pay the big ministers to get approvals or licenses to carry on their business. That's another part of the story. A common man, would probably come across a government official, almost each and everyday, who would shamelessly demand a bribe to do what he is being paid for.

All of us must have seen the movie "Nayak", where Anil Kapoor was asked to be the Chief Minister of a state for one day. It inspires me a lot. I also feel that whatever has been portrayed in that movie, is very practical. Given a chance, a common man can do a lot better than most of the Chief Ministers of India. But, in real life, nobody would ever get that chance, and so, our Shivaji Rao Gaekwad will always be remembered as a character of fiction and fantasy of the bollywood.

Let's flip the story. If it were possible, just for a day, to ask Mr. Prime Minister, take leave from his office, to spend a life of a common man, what would he do? I am sure he will be begging for the day to end. 

It doesn't matter if he rides in a BMW. Take away his Z+ security, and let him drive on the pot-holed roads, and get stuck in traffic. Let him try to renew his vehicle insurance. Let him try to get a gas connection for his house. Let him try to get his PF amount withdrawn from the PF office. Let him try to successfully win a contract without bribing a penny. Let him try to dare and complain against a lazy government officer or a dishonest minister.  Let him try to register a complaint in the police station about his stolen TV. 

I am sure he will have a hard time. Just like each one of us go through all these troubles, every single day of our lives. I understand that a Prime Minister is not a super-man and he can't really solve each and every problem of our nation. But then, whatever I can see around myself, or read about in the news papers, I don't really feel that the Government is really trying hard. But again, that's not the point. Even after we would have all the strict laws and the Jan Lokpal setup, do I really feel that, magically, one fine morning, corruption in India would end?

My obvious response is a big "NO".

Until and unless we change, nothing's really going to change. Things like these have to change.

1. People let their children stay in prison for a day or two instead of bribing the police, even if their children are innocent.
2. People don't produce fake caste certificates to get their children admitted into good schools.
3. People themselves stop taking bribes or offering bribes.
4. People should encourage their children to be honest, not only to them, but to everyone else as well.
5. People stop asking for dowry. That's also a kind of bribe.
6. People stop giving dowry.
7. Teach humanity. Be more humane. Killing someone for Rs. 5000/-!!!!! That's not humane.

8. People should pay their taxes honestly, even if they feel that the Government is just eating up their hard-earned money.

So, what am I trying to suggest? As much as we ourselves need a radical change in our way of thinking and acting, our next generation should also be shown the way forward. Only then, the nation as a whole can change. Only then, would we be able to get this contagious corruption thrown out of our culture, our hearts, our minds and our nation. 

I have tried very hard to refrain myself for quite a long time writing on this topic. I am in a frustrated state of mind.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let bygones be bygones

I stay in Bangalore, a thousand miles away from my home, where I spent my childhood. When my mind is blank, and I am not thinking about work or anything else, I ponder over the past. I know those days will never come back, but to even re-live those moments with memories is truly nostalgic.

Recently, there have been a series of power failures in my area. "Damn it!!! @$#%3 @##@$ @#@$". No other thoughts come to my mind when the lights go off. When it starts raining, I curse the rain gods for the untimely downpours. Everything seems to have changed now.

We used to wait for the power cuts everyday when I was a child. Just before the scheduled power cuts, everyone could be seen getting ready with their snacks, water-bottles and other paraphernalia and walk up to the terrace. Those were the days when I learnt and actually saw the Pole star, the other constellations that we read in our Geography books. We talked about a lot of other things. About animals, birds, the moon and the sky. We talked about school. I miss those conversations. And I am sure that my parents miss that too.

When I was a child, I used to love the rains. I loved getting wet. Everytime it started raining, I made it a point that I had a good excuse before walking upto my Mom, for not using my raincoat. I enjoyed those summer days when it was a routine exercise for everyone to get rid of the mosquitoes every evening by burning mosquito repellants.

We also used to go for a walk after dinner, or played badminton right after our dinner during the winters. The Saturdays and the Sundays had a host of TV programs lined up for us, and everyone had a reserved place for him/her and nobody was late. We had only 1 television set and only 1 channel.

Sundays were really fun, when each vehicle in the house, including my bicycle had their weekly bath.

And now, I let my bike collect all the dust and mud until I give it away for servicing. I curse the mud and the overflowing drains when it rains. I use All-Out/Good Night to drive away those irritating mosquitoes. Even if it's not raining, I put on my jacket, just in case. I don't even remember when was the last time I looked up into the sky. I don't play badminton anymore. I keep on switching from channel to channel and end up watching nothing at all.

Sometimes, I feel sad about all these changes. But, you know what? There's an saying for everything.

"Let bygones be bygones"

Monday, September 26, 2011

New ways of cheating

Recently, there has been a truck loads of new ways of cheating people. I have, once fallen into their trap but I realized very quickly. You should have heard about SpeakAsia scam which was recently in news. Hahaha, that's not the one I fell for. There has been a whole lot of similar scams in the past. People, smart people, sometimes fall into their trap and end up losing their hard earned money.

One of the terribly pathetic and ugly trap is a program which is being aired on NDTV Imagine channel. The program is "Gold Safe". This program, shows some images of well-known personalities and ask people to call in and recognize them. When I was in college, some 5 years back, I was lured into calling in. I must have spent at least 100 bucks that day. And, quite obviously, I didn't win a dime. Someone who has the ability of adding up 2 2-digit numbers without a calculator would never fall into their trap. But, that day, I just thought of giving it a try. I mean, who would not be able to recognize "Priety Zinta"!!!!! People were continuously calling in and blurting out seemingly absurd answers. The images have been always too obvious for someone to give a wrong answer.

The next one is in the form of an E-mail. There's a website which promises you really great discounts on some of their products. The website is "Bag it today". It seems to be affiliated to "The Indian Today Group". Atleast, the website shows it's logo.

Almost everyday, I receive a mail from this website. Here is a sample e-mail that I received today.

Welcome Kumar,

Congratulations! You have just received 5 products including Reebok Tracksuit,
Numero Uno Watch, Satyapaul Leather Wallet, Lotto Duffle Bag
Converse T-shirt worth Rs 10442 at Re 5.

The catch here seemed to be this: You could get all these things at a final price of Rs.2999/- only. Seems to be a really cool deal. But, be warned, this is too good to be true. Please don't fall for it. People have, and have repented. If at all, you want to see if it's a real deal, opt for "Cash on Delivery".

I am certainly not saying that all these websites/services that promise you discounts are fake and scams. There are really great services, such as SnapDeal.com where you would get real discounts and deals. But please don't fall into obvious looking traps.

One more scam worth mentioning is the "Free T-shirt scam" that made rounds on Facebook recently. I mean, it was quite obvious to me that it was a scam, but many people still went ahead and gave them their phone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses. None of them have received their free t-shirts yet.

The other category of scams, which I think nobody will ever fall for are those e-mails that you receive from complete strangers who have found a fortune somehow(people make up real good stories, I read it for fun), and want to transfer it to your country to avoid getting caught, and promise you a large stock of bills for your assistance. Don't ever fall for it.

I don't expect the Government to do anything about these guys. They are probably busy handling their own scams. The best part is, unlike the government ones, you could choose not to be looted by these private scamsters and swindlers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An unsuccessful love story

There are quite a few love stories I have been a part of. All of them have been unsuccessful, due to various reasons. Not that I am sad about it. But, when I think about them, my mind goes back into the past and refuses to come back to the present. This story is about a girl who I had met just once, and had talked to her for more than 6 months over the phone.

It all started off with a wrong number. I tried dialing one of my friends, trying to remember his number that I hadn't noted down. I was very proud of my sharp memory those days. Well, I do have a decent memory now as well. Anyway, let's get back to the story. I dialed a number, and when I heard the voice at the other end, I didn't know how to respond.

She shouted: Hello, Where are you? I have been waiting here for more than an hour now. And it's going to rain.

My heart started pounding. I was young then, and the her voice was sweet enough to not make me hang up. I wished I could listen to her voice once more without her realizing that she was talking to the wrong guy. Rahul was probably her boyfriend. And perhaps they were madly, deeply in love with each other. "Which girl would wait for a man for more than 1 hour?", I wondered. And then, I heard her sweet voice again.

This time, her voice was softer.

She said: Rahul? Hello.

I didn't know what to say. I was too nervous. Too scared to even announce that I had dialed the wrong number. I didn't want to speak, for the fear of being exposed. I didn't want to speak for the fear of losing this one chance of speaking to this girl. I knew she would go away from my life anytime, very soon. With a heavy heart, I was waiting for that moment to come.

She said: Hello. Can you hear me?

Ah, her voice was so dreamy and musical, I just couldn't let it go. This time, she asked a question which I could answer.

I said: Yes, I can hear you.

That was the moment when everything stopped. She paused for a moment, perhaps trying to match my discordant words with Rahul's. It seemed like eternity.

She said: Who is this?

That ended our conversation. I hung up. Damn!! I tried to keep her thoughts out of my mind all that day. I tried very hard, but failed miserably. Later that day, I got a call from her. I introduced myself and explained her that I had called her by mistake. She didn't seem to mind. She also introduced her. She also told that Rahul was her brother (Phew!!!). We talked for sometime and then she proposed that we could be phone friends. How could I have said "No".

We called each other frequently, very frequently, almost everyday. We talked and talked, but we never talked about "Love". But, I had already fell in love with her voice. We talked for around 6 months, came to know more about each other.

One day, she called me to tell that she was going to the US. I was sad. She said that we could keep in touch through e-mails. I agreed. We had also met once before she flew out of my reach. We exchanged a few mails after that. But gradually, the emails stopped. I wouldn't blame her. I guess, we both got busy with our lives.

Last week, I was so happy and excited to see an email from her. She wrote to inform me that she was getting married soon. Now I hear that she is happily married. She also sent me a picture of herself and her husband.

I am now left wondering as to why she sent me that picture. Have I missed something?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 - The Game Changes

I have been waiting for a long time to get my hands on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 750. I have only been reading about it and looking at the numerous images on various blogs and tech sites. It looked amazing from a distance. Android has been the talk of the town since the day Google released the first ever phone, The G1, running on Android. The rest is history. Android threatens iOS (Apple), and quite understandably, Apple has been suing almost every manufacturer who comes out with a device running Android. Ah!!! Apple, I don't want to own and iPhone/iPad.

This tab has a great first impression, and is sure to lure you to see more and more of it. It's very sleek (at 8.6 cm), and light as well (565 gms). It's a powerhouse of performance, with a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM. Android Honeycomb compliments the superb hardware that it comes with, and promises to give you the best tablet experience you could wish for. Check out the technical specifications here.

Moreover, this is only the initial tablet version of Android OS. Wait a few upgrades more, and I am sure, there would be a bagful of new features coming your way, which would make your experience with this "Game Changer" tablet more fun and enjoyable with style.

The exciting things/features that really makes this tablet the best among the lot are:
  1. Browser: With full flash support, and a huge 10.1" screen, browsing would never be the same again. You will never see those dreaded "?"s again in any of your webpages. Tablets have changed the way we browse the internet: with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 750, it's better.
  2. Video Playback: Full HD video playback with support for almost all types of video formats, you will not be left with any unplayable videos from your personal collection. 1080p video playback @30fps and the surround sound speakers, the device would definitely change how you watch your movies.
  3. Office Apps: The Galaxy Tab 750 isn't only a fun device. It means serious business as well. It also suits someone who is always on the move. Creating, editing or viewing your powerpoint presentations or checking your excels, or formatting your documents has just become easier. You can now leave your laptop at home and show off your tablet to everyone at office.
  4. Google Mobile Apps: Need an app for anything at all? Well, fire up the Android Market and you will be able to find just any kind of app you want. The tablet comes preloaded with a host of Google apps like GMail, Gtalk (with video chat), Google Maps, Youtube etc. These apps have been optimized for your large screen to take advantage of the larger real estate. Be it reading your mails, navigating through a city or video chatting with your dear ones, you would be amazed at the ease at which the tablet handles everything. With multi-tasking and Split-View support, the Honeycomb OS delivers all that is required of a tablet.
  5. Gaming: Tablets are relatively a new form-factor of portable devices. I believe that the games of today haven't really have adapted well for a tablet, except for a few(mostly racing games). I am not sure what kind of games would be a hit on such devices. Games like Angry Birds have been a tremendous hit on mobile devices. I am expecting a rush of similar games, which are engaging and more fun to play on a tablet. With all the sensors that the Galaxy Tab has: Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor and Compass, I would look forward for games which take advantage of this form-factor and the sensors, to perhaps invent a new category of games that make your experience more full-filling when it comes to raw entertainment. I am all excited about how this would change the future of entertainment.
  6. Books, Movies and Songs: Well, this tablet seems to touch each and every part of your life. Read your rented/bought books, buy/rent videos and songs, and carry everything with you. The built-in 7000 mAh battery promises you a video playback upto 9 hours and Audio playback upto 72 hours. So, if you are on a long journey, your collection of books, videos and songs would always keep you busy. Say Bye Bye to those boring rides.
For a full list of features, visit the official Samsung Galaxy 750 page here.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 750, promises to be everything that you wished for. Never before you would have thought about having a video conference with your family members while you were on a bus. Never again you will be lost in a city. You will never miss your mails and news while you are away from your desktop/laptop. You can carry your entertainment wherever you go. This device does it all. Now you can be more productive, effective and all the more connected to your smart life with style.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 dares to enter your life and take control. Are you ready yet?

I am. It's time to TAB!

The possibilities are endless.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Friends... Forever

What's a Friendship without fights? What's a Friendship without arguments? What's a Friendship without compromises?

Friends are supposed to understand what you don't say. Friends are supposed to advise when you are off the track. Friends are supposed to keep quite when you are mad. Friends are supposed to be there for you, all the time, no matter how busy they are.

But things change with time. You might not be in contact with your best pal from your childhood. You might have forgotten the name of your best friend in school. And the best friend from college, well, you might just call him up a few times in a year, perhaps on his birthday, or the new year.

Nobody has a single best friend. At-least, I don't have one. They kept changing, all the time, from the childhood days, to school, then college, and now at workplace. The concept of a "Best Friend" is a little flawed for me, at-least I feel so. I believe that, at a given moment, a person can have a pool of good friends, and it becomes almost impossible for one, to chose the best among them.

It might sound as if, today, on the occasion of "Friendship Day", I am trying to make all my friends happy. Well, in a way, Yes. I thank all of them who have considered me as a "Friend", but, also, those who have considered me as their "Best Friend" at some point of time.

I think I can list down a few friends who have been in my pool of good friends.

  1. My Sisters (Mausumi, Sushmita): Well, obviously, they have to be among them. Had the best of times when we were children at home.
  2. Hara Prasad Sahoo: He was one of the first who I met in Stewart School, and we were perhaps best friends till Class 4
  3. Santrupta Mishra: We quickly became best friends in Class 4 and stayed Best Friends till 10th.
  4. Shyam Bedback: In college, most of the times, we were seen with each other. Does that mean we were best friends? Perhaps.
  5. Samiran Rautray, Ritesh Parida, Ashutosh Bag, Sidharth Gourav Nayak, Kapidhwaja Pratap Narayan Singh (Hope I spelled is correctly): Bet friends in the first year of engineering. Ragging was so fun in the first year. The whole year, we all sort of stayed together all the time.
  6. Rishabh Kalra, Saurabh Shukla, Vivek Bhagbole: In addition to the first year friends, the pool kept getting bigger and bigger, and by the time it was my last year in engineering, the boundaries "Circles" of good friends started melting away.
  7. Kunal Kishore Malviya, Vijay Kumar, Vivek Dwivedi, Rwitam Mitra, Sagar Mohane, Vinay Suri, Vishal Jain: All of them started to break the boundaries.
  8. Nitin Chhabra, Gaurav Paul, Shakul Jugran, Sandesh Kothare, Rahul Jain: Well, those were the close group of friends with whom I spent most of my time in the initial days in Bangalore.
  9. A few more which don't really fall into that chronological order: Amit Chahar, Vidushi Goyal, Rwitam Mitra, Debasis Biswal, Rajesh Jena, Santhosh Joshua, Padmaja Dash, Shantanu Singh, Vandana Toshniwal
And the list goes on and on and on.  I just can't really put every friends' names down here. Actually, it's a little unfair on my part, if I have left out anyone. But, I could, very clearly see the pattern emerging. The pool of good friends becomes bigger and bigger with your age. And, thus, the concept of having a "Best Friend" is diluted once you are exposed to such a large number of good friends. Sometimes, you can't make up your mind and pick a better friend among a two. At times, you will have to make a few compromises. It has frequently happened to me, that 2 from those friends would call you up and ask you to catch up for a movie. And now, you have to make a choice. When you make a choice, it's definitely hard for you, and it is perhaps hurts the other guy who you ignored. I also, feel the same, when such things happen to me. But then, everything is forgiven and forgotten soon, and then, the next weekend, you get to go with the other friend. And everyone seems to be happy now.

Ah!!! Ok, fine, Let's end this day here. By the way, A very Happy Friendship Day to all my friends, and I hope that I am always there in your "Circles" as a good friend. Don't ever think that I have stopped being a Friend of yours. Even if I don't call you often, even if I don't wish you on your birthdays, even if I have forgotten your last names. I still think about you all when I rest my mind. I still have dreamed about a few. It's just that Life has taken a toll on me, and that I have many many more friends to talk to, and keep my circle growing.

Thanks all, again, for being a FRIEND. Happy Friendship Day.

By the way: Did you notice? That list contains only 3 girl friends, apart from my sisters. I want to make as many girl friends as the boy friends I have. So, anyone interested on growing their pool of friends, please contact me.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch - Live Telecast

Samsung launches the Galaxy Tab 750 on 10th August in India, and the launch will be telecast live! Come back on 10th August to view the Live Telecast here.

If you are not able to view the telecast here, click on this image to see the telecast live on the Samsung Webcast Page.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 750 Launch

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ooops!!! Sorry...

People lose their cool all the time. So do I. I am generally believed to be a powerhouse of patience. People believe that I have loads of it. But the fact is, I don't have that much. :(

Well, yes, I do have a considerable amount it, but at some point I, too, run out of patience. I am only a human. And I am not perfect.

Anyway, Today, I want to say sorry to everyone at whom I was mad in the past. There are quite a handful of people. Friends, at home and at office. I honestly do feel that I should have exercised more caution then, and perhaps I could have handled those situations differently. At-least, I shouldn't have really shouted at them.

It's a little difficult, however, to keep your cool when people all around you behave crazy. When someone is pestering you, it really takes a lot of patience not to turn around and gag them or shout at them. Most of the time I am cautious. But at times, it gets out of control and hell breaks loose on them. Although I am not violent at all, but people seem to get scared or may be very very angry at me when I shout. It's probably because they don't expect me to retaliate ever. They probably feel like I am not the same person they knew, when I am mad at them.

There have been some instances in the past when I was mad and didn't react at all. Well, most of the times I am like that. Nobody wants to be angry. But sometimes, you have to react, voluntarily or in the spur of the moment. I do, however, at times, regret for my inaction when I should have just blasted off the other person, may be even killed them once and for all.

It isn't a big deal, though, if you can easily shrug off that feeling, and get back into a peaceful state of mind soon, when you could go over it again and decide for yourself if it was right on your part to behave the way you just did. It's perfectly normal to get mad at someone as long as you can ponder over it again and if required apologize for your behavior if you think you were wrong.

Well, I guess, this is not new. Everyone knows what anger can do to a relationship. Everyone also knows that ego is not really a good thing to have. That doesn't help in keeping your relationships if you have a short-temper. We tend to get angry on people frequently who are close to us. It doesn't really matter if you shout or not at a stranger or a person who you don't consider to be close to you. They are not an important part of your life. You are probably never going to meet that stranger again or won't have a life-time relationship with that acquaintance. But that doesn't mean that you could go on swearing and shouting at people on the roads. Your conscience will get to you for that sometime for sure.

Ah!!! I am just talking gibberish. Let's come straight to the point. People, again, I apologize to all of you on being rude or for getting mad at you. To make all those people feel a little better,

"I shout at those people who I consider close to me, hoping that they would understand why I did that"

By the way, Friendship day is round the corner. Those of you who are willing to revive the jagged threads of our friendsip, get ready. :) Happy Friendship Day in advance.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random post at midnight

Image courtesy: Wikimedia
I was talking to a friend today. He said, "People update their blogs only when they are sad and gloomy. When they are happy, why the heck would they want to sit in-front of their computers typing out their thoughts? Rather they would hang out with friends, have a beer, watch a movie and enjoy their nice time."

Well, I do agree.

I recently started a chain mail and added everyone on my contact list (at-least those I remembered). This time around, the response was pathetic. The last time we did a similar thing, Google had blocked my gmail account for a day stating that the limit of the number of mails that could be sent in a day was crossed. They said that I had sent more than 500 emails for that particular day.  


This time, the chain hasn't even been able to collate even 15 links. That's understandable I guess. People have settled now. Some married, some too busy with work and some have perhaps forgotten their old friends. I am not complaining though. That day, I was a little low on work, so didn't know what to do. I was bored of Facebook and Twitter and then I remembered all my friends. :D

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hi All, I am back

It's been quite a long time since I blogged. Quite a few things have been happening around me. Now things have settled a little, and finally, I got some time to take a deep breath. Had been real busy for the past few months. And as everything has an end, I am hoping that this (not being so busy) doesn't end so soon.

A few days back, I was a little sad and taken aback when someone told me that I was ignoring everything else for work. But the good part is I realized that it was actually true. I also realized that I was not getting enough sleep and rest and that, in a way was really getting back to me. Thanks, "whoever" it was. Actually, 2 of them.

Ok, enough said. 
  • Amit Chahar got maried. Congrats Amit and Asha. Lets meet soon. Sorry I couldn't attend your marriage.
  • It was Amit Kunjal's birthday yesterday. I actually wished him a day in advance.
  • Happy Birthday Shakul Jugran. Calls for a treat.
  • Happy Birthday Debasis Biswal. Come to bangalore once and we will have a blast, all expenses to be borne by you of course. 

I recently went to a remote rural school on an official visit. It was a joy ride. The weather was perfect. But the best part of it was interacting with students and teachers. I didn't know the local language (Kannada), but that didn't matter. I was surprised to see almost all of them conversing well with us in English. I am not sure if I was that good back then. Students even in the 7th grade looked so very young. They made me look really old. Brought back old memories. Came back and added a few friends from school and college on facebook.

One day, away from office, city traffic and among the children was worth spent. Looking forward to more such trips in the future, now that I am trying to reduce my working hours :) (Seriously.....@"whoever(2)" Believe me... I am not a workaholic, it's just that someone needed to pinch me to wake me up).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sleepless nights

Is it work?

Is it the heat?

Or is it my new phone?

Or something else?

My eyes are burning, yet I am not able to sleep. Damn!!!! I also need to wake up early today. Seems to have been ages since I have got a nice long peaceful sleep. Need a break soon from the super busy days. Need to keep my laptop powered down for a whole week, I think. That should reset my body clock back to where it was 1 year back.

Seems like I have moved away from a few things. Need to get those back. I don't even remember when was the last time I dug into my music collection. It's perhaps been an year since I sketched anything.

Location : 2nd Cross, BDA Colony, Bengaluru, Karnataka,
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Friday, March 18, 2011

A trip to Kolkata - Part I

This was on the cards for a very long time. I flew to Kolkata on 28th of February. It was an early morning flight, 6 in the morning. And for that, I had to take a cab at 4:30 in the morning. I never like to carry lots of stuff with me, so I managed to get my things packed in 15 minutes, on that very day, somewhere around 3:30 in the morning and stepped into the waiting cab.

The driver was probably busy watching India vs England world cup match earlier that day. We had a small conversation about that, and then, the cool morning breeze started lulling him to sleep. I could see his eyelids fluttering in the rear view mirror. I was a little scared, but some kind of an alarm seemed to wake him up every now and then. I tried to find out the source, and realized that the cabs were fitted with speed governors which would not allow them to go over 80 kmph. Wow!!! I am saved.

I was relieved, the moment the driver dropped me off at the airport. Come on, I still had hopes that India would qualify for the next round, and I was not going to miss that. This time around, with Sachin perhaps playing his last world cup is the best chance.

Kolkata, after so many years!!!! Yellow Ambassador Taxis!!!! breathing out thick black smoke!!! Perfect. A sign board said, "Welcome to Kolkata".

Since it was a Monday, I had to walk into the office the same day. I wasn't tired though. I dumped my luggage in my guest house and hired a "Yellow Taxi" for office which was about 5 kms away. In that part of Kolkata, traffic seemed to be much better than what I am used to in Bangalore. But, within a few minutes, I also realized that there were literally no rules for vehicles. Cars, bikes criss-crossing all over, screeching and honking all around, finally I reached office. It was a big big building, Technopolis in Salt Lake. I had heard a lot of about Salt Lake. I should say that Salt Lake was well planned, with more trees than I expected. Fortunately, the weather wasn't that bad for the whole 2 weeks of my stay in Kolkata.

Meetings!!!!! Ummm, of late, I have been attending so many of them. A short introduction with everyone, and it was lunch time. Yippee....Pizza Hut with Suman and Cameron.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day checklist

Image Link (Wikipedia)
Ahem...14th Feb 2011, It's s big day. But unfortunately, it's a Monday. Damn it!!!!! 2 hours of traffic and 8 hours at work doesn't help. There are so many things to be done. I have a checklist of the things. Here they are...

  • Take bath in the morning: This is the most important thing to be done tomorrow. To keep myself fresh throughout the day. I have got a new bottle of perfume, half of which will be emptied tomorrow morning.
  • Get dressed: No one likes his/her partner to be dressed the usual way. It has to be different. Still thinking about what to wear tomorrow. I will use my wrist-watch tomorrow after a long long time.
  • Message and Call her: Well, to start off, since it's a Monday tomorrow, you have to do this to make her feel special. Never forget this.
  • Buy a rose and a card: Another day of the year (besides her birthday) when you should not even think of not getting her these. I am not a flower guy, but I think, for me, a card(big big) one will do the trick.
  • Buy a gift: This is a must. It doesn't have to be pricey or big, but you have to get her a gift when you meet her for the first time on this day. If she is nice, she will understand your situation on a Monday, but not getting her a gift is a risk which you should avoid under any circumstances. You can live without a job, you will always find another one, but loosing a girl on the V-Day, it's terrible, considering the fact that nobody else would be free tomorrow.
  • Book a table at a costly restaurant: If your girl-friend is a vegan, you will have a difficult time to find a nice decent place. You should have planned for this well before the V-Day. All the restaurants will be reserved for the day. So, plan accordingly. Another cheaper offer, which might just pamper your girl-friend even more, is to cook for her. She will definitely like it, for sure.
  • Coffee at a costly coffee bar: Home made food for dinner is so so romantic for girls. But, your best efforts at making the best coffee yourself, is so so unromantic. Take her to CCD or Barista or any of those coffee bars, just don't care if the coffee costs you more than Rs. 200. You have been doing so well till now, and you don't want to spoil the treat. 
  • A sweet good night SMS: Send a sweet and romantic SMS after the coffee, and bid her good night.
  • A romantic song to end the day: That's the cherry on the cake. But, be well prepared. If you choose the wrong song, you will have to answer millions of questions on your choice of song. :D
  • The LAST and the most IMPORTANT THING on my list: To find a Valentine. I know it's already late, but then, there's always a hope. This is my checklist for tomorrow.
Happy Valentine's Day to all. Enjoy the day. If anyone is free for tomorrow, let me know, and I will follow and tick off my checklist for you. :D

Saturday, January 15, 2011

To the Airport again

These days, the number of trips to the Airport has sky-rocketed, thanks to vacations and office work. Although I don't hate flying, reaching the airport is quite a long journey. It takes almost the same time traveling to or back from the airport as compared with the air-travel itself. I could well coin a new term "sit-travel" for this journey to and from the airport. Right now, well, I am sitting and typing this out, on my way to the airport, on a bus.

In a few days, I will be visiting the airport again. That will be an official trip to Kolkata. But the BIA buses are great. They don't tire you, and protects you from the sun, heat and the rain. Yeah, the other buses expose you to all the elements of nature. You would be better off standing under a tree instead.

I am not going anywhere though. I will be back online in a few hours. So, who's coming? Naah!!! Nobody, I busted wanted a long ride and a Subway meal. That's it. :D

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Time machine. Umm, no, a teleporter please

Image Source : Wikipedia Commons
At times, I have been fascinated by the idea of Time Travel. Those movies on Time Travel were so enjoyable to watch. There have been numerous adaptations of this concept in movies, serials (Captain Vyom) and novels. No one knows yet, if it will be possible ever. But, I get a feeling that people have stopped working on it. Perhaps, they have given up, since it's been quite some time I have heard people talk or discuss about this, or new movies based on Time Machines. Perhaps, the interest, or rather the need of this generation has shifted to something else. Teleportation. :)

For some of you, it might be a new word. So, by definition on Wikipedia, Teleporation is "the transfer of matter from one point to another, more or less instantaneously."

Time Travel still brings in a sense of excitement and adventure in me, but I would prefer to get teleported to somewhere, or wherever and whenever I like. Why? Here you go:

  • I want to get to office and back home without getting stuck in traffic.
  • Airfares have skyrocketed beyond the volume of my pockets.
  • I want to visit my parents more often, and my girl friend too (Please don't ask who)
  • I want to have a fag at midnight when I am with my parents, without they knowing.
  • I want to meet Sachin Tendulkar personally when he is relaxing in his balcony.
  • I want to be around Mrs. Sonali Bendre for some time.
  • I want to keep a chocolate for a child on the streets without he knowing it.
  • I want to retrieve all the documents from their hideouts which could land all the corrupt people in jail.
  • I want to spend some time alone on Mt. Everest.
  • I want to wish all of my family, friends and relatives personally on various ocassions.

Well, there are more, but I guess you can figure out why a Teleporter can be more helpful than a Time Machine. And by the way, if you change something, by going into the past or present, there's gonna be a hell lot of confusion.

And now, the secret: I am trying to build one. Please contact me if you are also interested in contributing towards this.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Need for a change?

Today, while I was passing by the Legislative Assembly building of Orissa on my way to some place, the sight triggered a chain of thoughts into my mind which was happily thinking about the sky, birds and the beaches before this. When I was a child, before I opened my Social Studies book, I wondered what would people do inside such buildings. I haven't yet seen the interiors of this building but then it wouldn't be much different than the Parliament houses we see on TV, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, apart from being proportionately smaller than the those.

I started thinking about how and whose idea it would have been to create a parliamentary system where countless number of people would be present, half of them sleeping, some of them day-dreaming, and a few ones shouting their hearts out. And then the Speaker siting there, as a king, on a raised chair, throughout the day, enjoying the drama going on the floor. Well, I am sure it wouldn't be anything less than a drama. As for me, I would rate Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav's talks very entertaining. He wakes up the house (read: sleeping members), lightens up The Speaker, and irks the opposition (who try their best to control their laughter).

I even remember, when cable televisions were not around, my father used to specifically wait for the show every day during the winter and the summer sessions of the houses. I could see him wearing a smile throughout the duration of the show, and there were occasional outbursts of laughter, from my father and from inside the television set. As a child, even I found it funny sometimes, the fights, arguments and the sleeping ministers. Ah, it was quite an entertaining program on National TV those days. But, now, I don't see my father even stop on this program while he is browsing through all the movie and news channels. I guess, his favorite stars have all retired, and he doesn't find it entertaining anymore. Me too.

Well, this wasn't the subject matter of this post. I will come to the point now. The moment I passed by that building, a picture of the large hall of the Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha flashed through my mind. I thought, "Is this all necessary"? Agreed, that all the countries do this, and it has been standard procedure for the governments to meet and discuss issues and probably solve them. I wonder if this is the best way to do it, or a change is needed so that we could adapt the systems to match the 21st centuries demands and needs (faster actions and please please please no corruptions and scandals).

Well I know that the ministers actually do work when they are not in the parliament. And most of the work is done outside of the parliament houses and not in presence of virtually every minister in the country. So, why do we still continue to follow this practice of having parliamentary sessions? Can't we just chuck it? If there is indeed something to be discussed and voted for among all the Ministers, can't we have a better system? Instead of flying all the ministers from different parts of the country, the majority of which would have nothing to say, but a "yes" or a "no"?

We have progressed so much in technology, we produce or develop software for the rest of the world, but we haven't been able to use it ourselves. Our governments still use a lot of work and most of them refuse to accept the new hi-tech changes entering their offices. Most of the government offices don't have a website, and the ones which have one, haven't been updated since they were first launched. Well, the list can go on and on, but I don't want to make this post bigger than this. :)

Just one last thing!!! Don't laugh at me please. I am a software engineer, and so, my thoughts would be obviously be related to where and how I work. So, my question is:

"Does our Government follow Waterfall model or Scrum methodology to execute projects?"

I don't think they use any of the methodologies at all. In case they don't, has the time come to change the way our Government works? I would not mind to see an amendment in the Constitution of India, which would require every incumbent to be trained in Project Management, at the very least. I don't mind if they are just graduates, MBAs from Harvard or just plain illiterates. If at all they are required to work, they should be at-least have proven experience or should be trained before they take their oaths. Like the IT companies hire their employees. :D What say!!!!

We, the software engineers, do not take oath, but still fulfill our responsibilities and in most cases over-perform each day. Isn't that amazing? Are we corrupt? I guess, not.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Twenty 10 >>>>>> Twenty 11

A few minutes... All those tweets and facebook status updates will become a thing of the past. 2011 is already knocking. I can hear people bursting crackers outside. My phone is already busy beeping. And there's a lot of noise outside. There's one guy, who pinged me exactly at 12:00, to wish me. His message read: "HNY". And somebody is sending me an e-greeting and forcing me view it right away. Mom and Dad called us on my sister's phone from upstairs to wish us both a Happy New Year. I can see so many people online on Gtalk and Facebook, just like I me, everyone changing their status messages to wish the world. Wow, That's a great beginning, I guess.

Had I been in Bangalore when the calendars changed, the atmosphere would have been completely different. At-least, it would have been far more noisier than here in Bhubaneswar, though I can hear a few people outside, wishing the world, at their loudest. I would have been among friends. We would also have celebrated yesterday in office. But, being at home, on such occasions is quite a different experience, among the people you have know since you were born.

Remembering the past 2010, it wasn't actually long for me. Oh, And if I remember correctly, I was in Bhubaneswar 3 years back, celebrating my new year in a similar fashion. I guess, that was in, 2008, Jan 1st. For the 2009, 1st Jan, I was in Chennai. For 2010, I was in Bangalore. Hmmm, That's strange, seems, like my next new year is designed to be celebrated in Chennai again. :(

Well, let's not think anything about the future yet. It's party time, enjoy, have fun, get ready to start afresh and be happy. Wish you all, a very very Happy New Year, and may all your wishes be fulfilled.

Talking about resolutions, Ummm..... I don't have one. If anyone of you already has one, believe me, it never works!!!! So, go ahead, and have a blast. And since it's a holiday(for most of us), I will enjoy even more. By the way, I am on leave till 12th of January, 2011. YIPEEEE!!!!!