Monday, December 14, 2009

Opening our minds....

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Strange that I came across two videos that spoke about opening our minds, one to the different possibilities and another to the different problems in the society, both impacting me in different ways. Sharing them with you....
Video 1: Nescafe - open up!!


Video 2: Sunitha Krishnan on TEDIndia


Visit Sunitha's blog to know/help more.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Efficiency is the name!

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One of my friends recently tweeted about a particular article. It was about a business in India. Some unique things about it were:

  • it didn't need millions to start this business, just some ingenuity on the part of the entrepreneur
  • it wasn't based on new products or inventions
  • it was closely connected to people's lives
  • it was uniquely Indian (where else would people wait to know when the water would come?)
  • it was simple - simple enough that you don't need an MBA to figure it all out
  • it doesn't need too much to run on, leaving the company to concentrate on expanding its business - lesser maintenance costs per customer
  • it takes advantage of the perks of other companies - For eg, this company (in the current model) would fail if the cell phone companies decide to charge for incoming SMSes; but the cell phone companies wouldn't do it in the near future for their profits still depend on these freebies.
  • it combines technology to what people basically need
  • it uses local resources (read, finding local unemployed youth to run the franchise) - lesser relocation costs and upkeep costs; add to it happier employees (as they don't have to relocate without families) who come with their own network that they can put to immediate use (their personal network - family, friends, etc) and you've got a solid deal for so less.
  • it doesn't need to train employees much (except for the basics)
  • it is not dependent on finding employees with special talent or degrees - if one employee quits, they can always find another; finding an unemployed youth who is ready to do this in their own town/village for such less a cost is not too hard
  • it fosters entrepreneurship - even if 1% of franchise owners decide to do more on their own, then entrepreneurship has grown - and that is something India needs!!
I could go on and on about this business, but I'll leave the rest to you guys! In one word, this business is effficient. They've taken care of the basics of any business, leading to a very successful business model. What are your thoughts on it?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Vanish away, can you?

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Can someone really vanish in this digital world? Here is a link about a guy who tried to do exactly that, and his adventures while at it. I've read stories about how people walk out of one life and leave no trace. But I guess it would become harder and harder as digital life takes over more and more. Though I'm not sure what would cause someone to do it, I can't imagine myself doing it, even for the sake of trying it out. Would you? Atleast for the sake of trying it?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A note to Newyorkers

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As you know, NYC is one of my favorite cities in the world. That city lives and breathes energy into anyone that comes in contact with it. This link would be of interest to Newyorkers where it displays the income level of people living in a particular area. I'm curious to see such maps for other cities, especially aamchi Mumbai or singara Chennai. It would throw light on the lives of people in a far more zoomed in manner. Now, that would be interesting!

PS: Been away finishing up stuff... now I'm safely back from the thin ice world. Hope everyone had a good Diwali and Karthigai and Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Skating on thin ice

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Its that time of the year again
When the world starts to slumber
And words fail to express life

The ice rink is beckoning
So pure and so undisturbed
And so silent with myriad mysteries

The skates are polished
The ropes are wrapped
And the picks are cleaned

And I, I skate on thin ice!!
Till I get back,
Have fun on the ice, folks!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Happy Fall :)

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பச்சை பட்டாடையில் மஞ்சள் முத்துக்கள்
பவழ கொடியினிலே மல்லிகை மொட்டுக்கள்
தென்னாடன் குலமகள் பார்க்க
தென்றலது வீசி வர
இளம்குளிர் காலம் வந்ததம்மா!
இனிய சுகம் தந்ததம்மா!


மாய உலகில் மயங்கும் மான்கள்
மூடு பனியில் முகிழும் மலர்கள்
தீபங்கள் அலங்கரிக்க
தூபங்கள் கமழ்ந்திட
சில்லென்ற குளிர் காற்று வந்ததம்மா!
சிந்தையில் மகிழ்வு தந்ததம்மா!

PS: I wrote this one when waiting at a traffic signal. The drive from home to office is one of my favorites with trees turning yellow, golden and red. Its like an beautiful arch that the angels created just for us :) Fall is the best time with the world becoming colorful all at once. Happy fall times, everyone!

Friday, October 02, 2009

A look at Windows' history

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This is a nice link about the history of Windows. The earliest I can remember using is Windows 3.1 in third grade... And minesweeper was my favorite game in the world! The feeling after beating the "computer" in guessing the mines was euphoric! I'm one of the few millions in the world who would NOT have studied computers if there was no graphical user interface. I still prefer clicking my way through to actually typing the commands, though the command-typing-green-lines-on-a-serious-looking-black-screen is cooler. Geeks may deride my admission but that is how it is! And I know that there are millions of others who are glad for the simple-to-use GUI. And all said and done, Windows with its GUI paved way for faster integration of computers into the lives of common man all through the world (I'm not talking about geeks who would've been happy typing commands into command line window with or without GUI) and made computers less fearful. The growth of Windows in all areas of computing(UI, power, performance, etc) has been impressive. And, I'm glad about Windows 7. :)

What is the earliest Windows that you have used?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What does being an Indian mean?

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A friend of mine sent this message through mail. Reading it, I could easily identify myself and my family with that of the author. I'm sure every Indian can relate to parts of this speech. Read on...

A friend remarked to me that what defines America is its veneration of entrepreneurship. The French, he added, most admired style and elegance. What defines India? That was the challenge my American friend posed.
Before I could speak a word, he admonished me, “Don’t give me the clichéd answer that anything one says about India is true and the opposite is equally true, that India is too complex and heterogeneous for a simple answer.”

It was obvious to me that like any self respecting American, and a Harvard MBA to boot, he wanted a concrete answer. I told him that like any self respecting Indian I needed time to formulate my concrete views — a few weeks I told him. Unusual for an American, he agreed to meet me later on this point. As luck would have it I received an invitation to speak to a diverse audience in Washington DC, as part of the many farewell parties in my honour as I was packing my bags to return to India for good. I spoke on the topic: What Does It Mean To Be An Indian?

Here’s the gist of my speech.
It is always a difficult task to distil from the collective experience of a humungous civilization that single defining aspect of life that constitutes the character of India. I can only try ever so humbly. In trying to piece together my several thoughts on this subject, I was helped by a few incidents of a more recent vintage. These incidents perhaps highlight what it means to be an Indian.

When I saw Ms Susan Boyle winning the hearts of the world with her talent and simple upbringing in the show Britain’s Got Talent, I asked myself whether a similar show in the Indian context might reveal to me what was perhaps hidden in the multiple images that India conjures in any mind. Sure enough I happened to receive an email forward by someone named Mary that stunned me. Here was a group of labourers performing a sensational dance relating to Lord Krishna in the wildly popular show India’s Got Talent. They called themselves The Prince Dance Group and had a physically challenged guy too. The amazing choreography, the use of traditional mythology, the perfect sense of timing and above all, the self confidence to perform before an urban audience — it was truly breathtaking.

The judges were among the best known talents in India: film director Shekhar Kapoor, actress Kiron Kher, and actress Sonali Bendre. As the act came to a close I could see tears in the eyes of the judges. Though there were not many close-ups of the audience I suspect there was hardly a dry eye in the crowd. Even as the dance came to a close I could hear shouts of “BHARATR MATA KI JAI!”

As the dance came to an end Kapoor actually wept and declared, “I have seen performers in the US,UK and Russia but believe me I have never seen anything like this . I am really proud to be an Indian.”The other judges just about managed to control their tears. Kher was ecstatic –“Fantastic, Fantastic!” she shouted .

I really cried for more than one reason.. Not only did I find the talent stunning, I had found the answer to the question I had been asked to answer — What Does It Mean To Be An Indian?

Here was a bunch of Oriya labourers — I have spent a decade in Orissa and am more than familiar with the extensive and degrading poverty there. These labourers live under inhuman conditions and as far as we urbanites can see they may have no hope of ever living a civilized life, even generations from now. Yet these guys had shown that one defining Indian characteristic ….Endurance… a quality that makes us not just put up with great odds but strive with the confidence that one day we will win — that every night is followed by the dawn, that all is never lost, that no matter how the international community jeers at our corruption, our idiotic politicians, our inept bureaucracy, our moribund education system, our abysmal health system, our crumbling infrastructure, our humungous population, we will come up triumphant.

Of course we realize that these are lofty sentiments and unless they are translated into concrete action we will remain as a nation thriving on pious platitudes. Believe me, young India has clearly told the older, fading generation, “We have seen and tasted progress. We will go ahead no matter what. Not all our vile politicians or bumbling bureaucrats or corrupt policeman or judges can hold us down. We will rise despite you guys.” Indians have endured much over thousands of years but have now decided that if you can’t beat them just dexterously move around them.

The evidence of a young India on the move is now seen in the far corners of the country as youngsters from small towns and remote villages display uncanny talent and ambition. I recall seeing a TV journalist asking a young boy in a remote village in Bihar about his role model. “Bill Gates” was the answer coming from a smiling cherubic face, even though it seemed to me that he had not eaten a fulsome meal all his life! He had endured hunger for years and his family had endured hunger for maybe generations but that did not prevent this youngster from aspiring to be the world’s richest man sometime in the future. The extraordinary confidence in that boy’s body language told me that he was aiming for the stars and at worst he may make it to the moon.

My own family is a saga in the endurance that characterizes India. My grandfather was a laborer in a harbor in a small town in south India. He and his large family of 5 sons and a daughter endured a marginal existence. My father joined a private sector company during British rule in India. When the world went to war in 1939 my father lost his job. He told me much later that my mother had, at one stage, only one saree, the traditional Indian women’s wear. She would wash this lone saree at night and cover herself with a towel and quickly wear the saree at break of dawn. The family endured near poverty and yet I am an MBA from an ivy league Indian business school, and a modestly successful guy. My niece was ranked among the highest in GMAT scores in the world. She is a Harvard alumnus and works for the most admired consulting firm in the world at Wall Street. Her siblings are all highly qualified professionals, who in their early years endured a humble middle class existence but are now in the topmost income brackets in the USA — a far cry from their laborer great grand father.

At this point of time I look at India as a genie that has come out of the bottle. The British denuded India over 200 years. Thereafter a rapacious polity and a repressive bureaucracy kept the lid tightly closed. But now a long suppressed people have decided to endure such atrocities no more. India’s time has come.

BHARAT MATA KI JAI.’

As I took my seat there were not a few wet eyes in the room. My eyes were wet too. If you believe in what I have said please forward this to your friends.


PS: What does being an Indian mean to you?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another doyen passes away

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Mornings in my home were for studies or getting ready for school/work. My mom was never great on TV time, especially in the mornings. The rare occasions when she puts on the TV in the mornings is to listen to Thenkachi Ko.Swaminathan's Indha Naal Iniya Naal on Sun TV. With her, I got into the habit of listening to his short stories. His manner of lacing a short story with a moral made my granny comment "Manushan nachunu solraar!" Unlike some others, who are the vazha vazhaa kozha kozhaa types. Really sad that another doyen of Tamildom has passed away :( I'm sure this is yet another change from the C that I know of and morning TV programmes are never going to be the same anymore! RIP!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A split in Gen Yers?

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Lots of research has gone into the spending habits of people by generation. Being part of the Gen-Y crowd, I show more than the normal interest in knowing how things are going for us, Gen Y-ers. Recently, I came across an interview(part 1, part 2) that discussed some pertinent stuff about our spending habits. It was an interesting read and I can identify most, if not all, of what was said.

But there was one thing that stuck out in this interview. She said the GenY might have to be split into two:under and over 20. True, I can see the difference between some of my friends/cousins who grew up with facebook, used cellphones when in grade school and use myspace as an active substitute for social activities. They think that googling/binging for some information is a natural thing to do and cannot comprehend it if we talk of looking up things in the papers/library. Worse, they think email is so damn uncool and the craze of forwards that held us by sway when I was a teen is the funniest thing ever! Damn! Nothing to make you feel old than that!

It is also funny how I used to think that we were the most tech savvy generation growing up with the Internet and getting to be the unencumbered generation that had the resources to try out all the fancy gadgets out there. But talking to the younger GenYers, I realize that their lives are more enmeshed in technology than ours(older GenYers) was at their age. One of my friends couldn't live without checking Facebook when he was in his village and he is only 17!! He said that it was the worst few weeks of his life because he felt he wasn't doing something that he did everyday! And Facebook didn't even exist when I was 17! And, they couldn't comprehend the joys that we had when we were kids playing in the rain and mud and dirt! An afternoon in the swing with a book and rose milk in hand or spent playing badminton/cricket all day is something they just can't relate to!

It would be interesting to see how our generation would turn out as the years go and if this subtle difference in our teen years would have a big impact in our spending habits, our approach to things in life, etc. This is a unique position to be in, for this setting cannot be recreated by any lab, not even on a smaller scale. Would we still be the same generation despite these subtle differences or would there be a big disparity in our attitudes and thoughts due to changes in our teen years? Ah! Now lets follow the 'Wait and Watch' policy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

தாலேலோ!

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உயிரோடு அவன் இருக்கையில்
உறவுகள் எல்லாம் தொலைவில்
உயிரற்ற உடலானதும்
உயிலுக்கோர் போராட்டம்

ஊகங்களும் கேள்விகளும் பல பல
உண்மை ஆடுது கண்ணாமூச்சி ஆட்டம்
உலகே அவனுக்கு அஞ்சலி செய்ய
உறக்கத்தில் சிரிக்கிறான் தாலேலோ!

PS:I wrote this for for MJ, King of Pop the day he died! Still miss some of his songs. I keep watching the drama going on around MJ's death, as shown on Larry King's show. Totally sickened by it as a common person. And the poem is more apt now [wry smile]. I'm sure MJ is ROTFLing somewhere in this big broad Universe at all the things going on here. RIP!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another step to adulthood

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உயிரென கருதும் உறவுகள் இல்லையெனில்
உலகமே இருந்தும் என்ன பயன்?

Wish my family was with me, as I take a bigger step to adulthood! Missing you loads, guys!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

எவ்வளோ பண்றோம்... இத பண்ண மாட்டோமா...

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A nice forward from G :)

*’எவ்வளோ பண்றோம்... இத பண்ண மாட்டோமா...’ *என்று தமிழகத்தின் விடிவெள்ளி சொன்ன பொன்மொழி, வாழ்க்கை வாழ்வதற்கான ஒரு உன்னத தத்துவம். எப்படி? இந்த தன்னம்பிக்கை கொடுக்கும் கதையை படிங்க...
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பில் கேட்ஸ், மைக்ரோசாப்ட் நிறுவனத்தின் முதன்மை செயலதிகாரியாக இருந்த நேரம்.ஐரோப்பிய மைக்ரோசாப்டின் கிளைக்கு தலைமை அதிகாரியை நியமிக்க, ஒரு நேர்காணலை நடத்தி கொண்டிருந்தார்கள். கிட்டத்தட்ட ஐந்தாயிரம் பேர் வந்திருந்தார்கள். ஒரு பெரிய அறையில் எல்லோரும் குழுமியிருந்தார்கள். கருப்பு கோட், நீல சட்டை, புள்ளி போட்ட டையுடன் எல்லாவற்றையும் கவனித்தப்படி ஒரு பக்கத்தில் உட்கார்ந்திருந்தார், நம்ம கந்தசாமி.

உள்ளே நுழைந்த பில் கேட்ஸ், 5000 பேர்களை பார்த்ததும் கொஞ்சம் அதிர்ந்து தான் போனார். வந்திருந்த அனைவருக்கும் வணக்கம் வைத்தார். பிறகு, நன்றி தெரிவித்தார். சிக்கீரம் முடிக்கணும், சிம்பிளா வைக்கணும்ன்னு முடிவு பண்ணினார்.

முதலில் தொழில்நுட்ப அறிவை சோதிக்க வேண்டும் என்று விரும்பி ஒரு கேள்வி கேட்க நினைத்தார். எப்படியும் மைக்ரோசாப்ட் நிறுவனத்திற்கு, மைக்ரோசாப்ட் டெக்னாலஜி தெரிந்துதான் வந்திருப்பார்கள். அதனால், இப்படி கேட்டார்.

“உங்களில் யாருக்கெல்லாம் ஜாவா தெரியும்? தெரியாதவர்கள் மன்னிக்கவும். நீங்கள் கிளம்பலாம்.”

2000 பேர் இடத்தை காலி செய்தார்கள்.

நம்ம கந்தசாமிக்கும் ஜாவா தெரியாதுதான். இருந்தும் போகலையே!

“இப்படியே இங்க இருந்தா, எதையும் இழக்க போறது இல்ல. எதுக்கு போய்கிட்டு? என்னத்தான் நடக்குது பார்ப்போம்” என்றபடி அங்கேயே இருந்து விட்டார்.

அடுத்த கேள்வி, “உங்களில் யாரெல்லாம் நூறு பேருக்கு மேல் ஆட்களை நிர்வகித்து இருக்கிறீர்கள்? அவர்கள் மட்டும் இருக்கலாம்.” இன்னொரு 2000 வெளியே கிளம்பியது.

கந்தசாமி - “நான் ஒருத்தரைக்கூட நிர்வகித்தது கிடையாதே? என்ன செய்யலாம்?
சரி, அடுத்த கேள்வியை கேட்கலாம்.”

இன்னும் ஆயிரம் பேர் இருக்கிறார்களா? என்று நினைத்துக்கொண்டு பில் கேட்ஸ் கேட்டார், “மேலாண்மை பட்டம் பெறாதவர்கள் தயவுசெய்து...”. சொல்லி முடிக்கும் முன்பே, 500 இருக்கைகள் காற்று வாங்கியது.

”அதையெல்லாம் படிக்க நமக்கு எங்க நேரம் இருந்தது?” பெருமூச்சுவிட்டபடி பில் கேட்ஸையே பார்த்து கொண்டிருந்தார், கந்தசாமி.

ஐரோப்பிய மொத்த கண்டத்திற்கு முழுமையான தலைமை பதவியாச்சே? கண்டம் முழுக்க சுற்ற
வேண்டி இருக்குமே? எத்தனை மொழிகள் தெரிந்திருக்கும் என்று பார்ப்போம் என்று அடுத்த கேள்வியை கேட்டார்.

“உங்களில் யாருக்கெல்லாம் செர்போ-க்ரோட் மொழி தெரியும்?” - செர்போ-க்ரோட், உலகில் அரிதாக பேசப்படும் மொழி. இப்ப, அரங்கில் இரண்டே பேர் இருந்தார்கள். அதில் ஒருவர் யாரென்று உங்களுக்கு தெரியும்.

அது, “எவ்வளவோ பண்ணிட்டோம். இத பண்ண மாட்டோமா?” என்ற நினைப்பில் நம்ம கந்தசாமி.

ஆனாலும், மனசுக்குள் பயம்தான். மூன்று பேரும் ஒரு வட்ட டேபிளை சுற்றி உட்கார்ந்தார்கள். இருவரையும் பார்த்தார், பில் கேட்ஸ்.

டிக் டிக்... டிக் டிக்... டிக் டிக்...
“ஏன்ப்பா, இப்படி பார்க்குற? சீக்கிரம் ஏதாவது கேளுப்பா... ” - மனசுக்குள் கந்தசாமி.

”இப்ப, நீங்க ரெண்டு பேர் தான் இந்த மொழி தெரிந்தவர்கள் இருக்குறீர்கள். செர்போ-க்ரோட் மொழியில் மைக்ரோசாப்ட் நிறுவனத்தை பற்றி, அதன் தொழில்நுட்ப திறன் பற்றி விவாதம் செய்யுங்க..”

கந்தசாமி அமைதியாக, பக்கத்தில் இருந்த இன்னொருத்தனை பார்த்தார்.. சின்ன வயசுக்காரன். நெஞ்சை நிமிர்த்திக்கிட்டு உட்கார்ந்திருந்தான். மூளைக்காரன் போல!

கந்தசாமி ஆரம்பித்தார்.

மெதுவாக, ”தம்பிக்கு எந்த ஊரு?” - கேட்டது தமிழில்.

"திருநெல்வேலி பக்கம். நீங்க?”

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Books and Movies - this week

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Sometimes, it happens that movies and books that you read sync up to a particular issue by sheer coincidence. I guess Nazi occupation is the theme that's currently going on.
Books:
My Enemy's Cradle - this is a story set in Nazi occupied France about a Jew girl who goes to a German run institution to deliver her baby. She also falls in love with the (supposed) father of the child. The narration is poignant and fast. It shows yet another light on the Nazi occupation of Europe, just like the Inglorious Bastards. Read it if you are looking for something poignant and want to dig into the less known 'A child for Hitler' program (I forgot the actual name of the program).
Love marriage - This is a novel by a SriLankan writer about three generations of two Tamil families from and in Sri Lanka linked through marriages of all kinds. Their lives are intricately twisted into the wars, LTTE rise, suicide bombings, etc and yet holds on to the quaint cultural flavors seen in every Tamil village. It also reflects a lot on the rights and wrongs of each generation and what they mean to others in the past, present and future generations. Sometimes, the places that we are makes decisions for us than the places we came from. And some other times, the vice versa is true. This was not a page turner but if you are interested to peel away the news-ridden scenario of LTTE and Tamils of Sri Lanka, this view of a family might help.
Night Smoke - Totally girlish. Just one if you don't want to think of anything.
The A-list - this was more a teen novel about the celebrity teens of Hollywood. They are no different from other teens, but have more scrutiny on them (and yeah! they can buy a $3000 handbag just to show off at a party on their parents' amex card). Again, a no-brainer.

Movies:
Shaurya - Hindi - Suggested by a friend of mine. A lot like 'A Few good men' but Rahul Bose's acting is good. Powerful message, taut storyline but I don't know if it captured the masses. The masala is definitely missing...
Final Destination 1, 2 and 3 - Did a movie marathon on this one. The first one was interesting but the second one was "oh! I think it might repeat the first". The angle of new life defeating death started some interest in the second movie but showed that death was uncheatable. Actually, the new life was the kid of the pregnant woman. But if the kid was alive inside the mother's womb, wouldn't it have died in the accident as well? Or is life taken into account only after the kid is born into the world? But technicalities aside, it was an interesting take that failed to gain momentum. The third one shifted to the camera linking the people who are about to die. But I guess a pattern can be created from any set of random deaths if that was the case. True! Knowing that pattern before hand is kind of wacky but hindsight can show the pattern clearly.

Allavudinum 1000 watts bulbum - Another of Crazy Mohan's comedy that had me in splits. Going through the list compiled by a friend one per week so I get the full fun out of it :D

Have a happy labor day weekend!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Food Combinations!

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Did you make a fuss when you were forced to eat the sambar rice first, rasam rice second(usually with appalam) and finally the curd rice? And given certain combinations of food and not others? Like the jaggery and adai? Or how about coconut milk and idiappam? And the ubiquotous upma and curd? (For Cians, I'm sure you'd know how much importance is given in our cuisine for wheat upma). Well, there might be a reason behind all that! Food experts say that certain food combinations actually increase the chance of absorbing more nutrients or additional quantities of a nutrient. Check out this link for more details. Wish someone could do research on Indian food combinations and tell me why exactly upma is best had with curd or adai is best had with jaggery? (other than the taste reasons, of course!)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Towards the elixir

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She moved through the forest
With the Voice in tow
Searching for the elixir
Needed for the Voice

She sparred and stunned
With the Voice standing near
Offsetting the traps (that)
Ensnared the path of elixir

She matched wits to wits
With the Voice getting weaker
Solved the puzzles (and)
Lighted the path to elixir

Now,
She stands at a junction
With the Voice almost limp
Two roads before her
Which one to the elixir?

Caution pushes her to one
Trust pushes her to another
Dreams push her to one
Practices push her to another

Brought up in trust
Hard to leave that path
Fueled by dreams
Harder still to leave
that path

Pained by caution
Hard to take that path
Singed by practices
Harder still to take
that path

O ye Universe,
Guide her through
For she is fighting

To save her guidance
To save her world
To save her Voice

Friday, August 28, 2009

Books and Movies

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For long time readers, its not surprising that I'm a book fan. But lately, I've started watching movies too. Though I still don't think movies can match books, there are a few movies that are really enjoyable. But they are few and far apart.


This week's book list:
1) Seramaan Kaadhali - a tamil historic novel - total waste novel. Kathaiyae illa. Chumma, suthi suthi kathai ezhuthi irundhaan. Total waste of four hours.
2) 7 deadly wonders by Matthew Reilly - an english novel peppered liberally with historic facts and diagrams - not bad. But its not a must read as well. Its definitely not a page turner. But its fascinating how they combine so many historic facts to keep the novel in place. If you are a fact buff, you'll like this one.
3) Prom Crashers - English - a fun and light read - totally girlish
4) Batter off dead - English - okish - I took it mainly for the mystery part in it - but it was more like Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys minus the satisfaction you get after reading it.
5) Gifts of the season - English - okish - Suggested by a friend to read this genre. I would read it if I'm too tired to think of anything - warning: totally, totally girlish.


This week's movie list:
1) Inglorious bastards - English - liked it, especially Brad Pitt's and Christoph Waltz's acting. I've not seen any other movies of Waltz (yeah! I'm that pathetic!) but Pitt pulled a great accent. And, the last scene where Shoshanna's face shows through the smoke, man! That was an eerie touch. Though some scenes were bizarre (like people cutting off scalps as if they were bread loaves - I can't stomach that), it was a nice movie overall. (But three of my friends slept through parts of the movie. So, it just might not be your type!)
2) District 9 - English - Ugh! Too gory for my taste though the story line is different. The problem is I just can't relate to it or imagine that aliens can live on earth with us. If you can, then its a movie for you.
3) Kandasamy - Tamil - Less said, the better! Waste movie!
4) Raghavan - Tamil - ithellam oru padam! Padam eduthavan tamil makkala sariyaana kenai pasanga nu nenaichutaan pola iruku. Act pannavae theriyaatha oru hero. Kathai illatha story line. Ithoda director, script writer, producer moonu perayum, indha padatha oru 100 times paarka vakkanum. Athaan, correct punishment!! Adhulayae paathi uyir poidum.
Naan indha movie epdi parthen nu ketkareengala? I read the reviews of all tamil movies. Ellam waste stories. Seri, listla randomaa onnu choose pannalaamnu panninen. Adhula, ithu vandhadhu. En yaar yaarumae nalla tamil movie edukka maatendraanga? The last good one was Pasanga. After that, there is a dearth of good tamil movies.
5) The Ugly Truth - English - it starts out great but falls flat somewhere in the middle. Maybe that was because I expected the movie to go one way and it went another. And, compared to The Proposal (don't ask me why, but I keep comparing this movie to that one), it wasn't that good.


Drama: I also heard the audio of Crazy Mohan's Meesai aanalum Manaivi (Bharath's suggestion). It was good, reminds me of DD time some ten or fifteen years back. But sometimes, it looks to be a part of another era totally! Does anyone get this feeling when you see old drama or skits or episodes?


What is your movies/books list?/ Any recommendations for must read/watch books/movies?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kandasamy - Waste samy

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Solla nenaichatha sollitaanyaa!

Don't waste your money on it. Unless, of course, you are a Shreya fan and would tolerate any stupidity dished out for her sake!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spending habits: Some revelations

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Spending habits of a person can easily tell loads about them. An account statement is about as intimate as you can get to a person's mind and the ideas churning there. We can easily segregate people into different classes based on their spending habits (loves travel, food connoisseur, movie buff, sports fan, art enthusiast, book lover, etc). Everyone has got their vices and pleasures. And that is what makes the world fun to be in.

I'm usually conscious about my spending but don't really get into a budget overdrive (I've done it maybe two months!). However, as I was reviewing my accounts after a long time (yeah, so much so that I don't know what happened to some of the stuff I had and had to start afresh with some left to "Gandhi kanakku"), I found interesting patterns to emerge.

When I moved Neverland, I was given some money(some big money - compared to my grad student state) to cushion the move. I assumed that it would last me the whole of the card's life term. But, yesterday, I found that I had blown some four-fifths of that money within four months. Woah! Wait a minute! Where did it all go? True! Some of it went for travel (ok! I'm nuts about travel and the experiences it'll give - I'd rather give $100 for an experience than for something I can take home - one that would finally become junk) that I'm doing in the coming months and for the recent trips I did with friends and cousins (not to mention my move). And some of it went for the new place (of course! THE bed of mine). And some of it went for shopping (yup! I've spent more than $200 in Bath and Body works alone) for stuff. The rest? Agreed, I paid my bills (atleast most of them) with this card. Shave off some $60 per month for that. That still takes away only $250 for four months.

One thing that jumps out of the statements is my long standing relationship with Airtel. I'm this compulsive home-caller whose mom is a skype-hater. A perfect situation where Airtel-customer love can grow like crazy. I need to call my mom every single night before I go to sleep. And my mom is this person who just hates talking over skype. I've charged this card of mine exactly 38 times(all in dimensions of $25) to airtel. No wonder I keep getting calls from airtel's customer center saying that I'm eligible for this promotion and that. At this rate, I'd be eligible for all the promotions they've got. Ok! I hear your *&#$&*@ words. But I guess that I pay more for the convenience of calling my mom and talking to her for hours whenever I feel like it rather than the actual talking that we do. So, this is still a worthy spend but guess I'll share my love between airtel and reliance from now on. Just so, flying under the radar :P

Another trend was that all my saving bursts were followed by spending bursts(if you can call not spending as saving) on this card. Or rather, spending bursts were followed by guilt laden saving bursts. Its all in the way you look at it, you see! But knowing me, I'd be more satisfied with the spending bursts and would let the experience sink in totally before I search for the next one. The gap would have been my saving burst. It was not intentional for sure! Wonder what will happen if I go on a spending high for too long. Would I crave the saving phase just for the change of it? Or would I need to spend more and more to be satisfied?

Looking back, I'm glad I spent the money on travel (tickets, car rentals, experiences, etc - though most of the fun came from being with friends and that's priceless!), treats (again this was money well spent), gifts (I'll do it again without batting an eyelid) and of course, shopping (despite all the bills, I feel that I have chosen well - saving where it is needed and spending where needed). One of the few regrets I had was spending on my bed. I wasn't thinking straight that evening and wanted a bed THEN for I had had a bad sleep before. But that didn't happen (the bed got delivered only the next morning - by which time, I was kicking myself and hard!). Though I love my bed now, I know that it is not the best of decisions I took. It could've been a bigger purchase and worse mistake. That incident made me understand the power of instant gratification. I thought I had worked it out of me but nope! I still need that. But now, I know the limits. The rest got covered in groceries (small things DO add up), dinners with friends (still can't forget the yummy Thai Kitchen :) and the small perks from time to time.

On hindsight, I also found that I hadn't planned well for it. I was working in the dark and the good spends I did were a result of sheer luck and lack of temptations before me. I had frankly not thought to use Airtel a whole lot. My usage in grad school was ridiculous (around $100 a month) but this is outrageous (2.5x times it!). Frankly, I had forgotten what it is to start a house from scratch (one of the ills of non-frequent moving - you forget what it is to move and start anew). So, alpine, time to plan things better.

Another thing that popped up was the change in my lifestyle from being a student to an employee. Some things that were reserved as treats have now become 'yet-another-thing'. Like heat-and-eat dinners! They were a treat when in grad school now I do it more out of habit or boredom to cook than for the experience of it. I'm getting less happiness at the same value. I'm not sure if this is the right way to think about it but yeah, I love this experiment. Lets see where it takes me! Btw, I'm seriously considering making some more changes to my lifestyle at Neverland, just to test the limits of what luxury means to me :) What is life if not change?

How are your spending habits? Do you see changes in your lifestyle after big transitions like graduation, wedding, divorce, loss, etc?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Safe drinking water for all

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One of the best ideas that I've come across in recent years. Imagine if everyone had access to safe drinking water without the need for unnecessary storage, treatment and distribution of water. Life would be bliss for some on earth. And infinitely easier for others Kudos to Michael Pritchard!
Check out the video here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Me vs myself!

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[Modified an old but non-published post]
Do you know who is the hardest person to convince in this world? Do you know who is the hardest person to cheat on? Do you know who is the hardest person to please? Its you! Yes, you heard me right!
Try convincing yourself that a new dress on sale is something that needs to go to your closet or that new car that you've been wanting is just the perfect gift for yourself and you'll know what I mean!
Try cheating on yourself by eating more icecream than you should or by spending more than you should on a shopping spree! You'd find that harder than climbing Mt.Everest.
Try sleeping in when your mind says to get out and go for a jog or going for a jog when your mind says to sleep in! You'll know that pleasing your mom or boss or spouse is a cakewalk compared to that!

Start of day:
[Characters:
I: the one that wants to have fun all through the day, read novels, munch yummy food, sleep when she feels like it, hang out with friends, do something different every day and hates routine life.
Me: the one that is the mommy character. Knows that routine is actually good and sets tasks that will feel really terrible at the start but will be so good at the end. Loves fun but knows that work is fun too(yeah! my workaholic tendencies crop from this character)
Setting: A day in life!]

Me: Get up! its 6.30, for God's sake! Otherwise, you are sure to miss work/class!
I: Damn! I just got to an interesting point in the dream. Now shut up and don't disturb!
Me: If you want to catch the 8 am bus yet have time for all the stuff you want done before you leave, you are already 15 minutes late! Do you get that into your thick skull?
I: Oh shit! Now I've lost the aborigines!! Ok! What the hell do you want me to do?
Me: Well, for one, it'll be great if you can drag yourself out of bed and start getting ready for the day!
I: Oh! No probs! How about this deal? I'll do everything as you say today in exchange for letting me continue my quest on aborigines!! I can't leave them stranded in Magic Land! They need my help to get out of it!!
Me: Good idea. How about adding this clause? Lets pause your quest till tonight and get back to the aborigines in the dream later! That way, you won't have to sleep yet you'll listen to everything I say! That is a double treat!
I: Double whammy!
[I drag myself through all the things to be done... work/class, reading, talking, etc etc]

[A typical scene during shopping.. feel free to change it to dress, shoes, whatever... the latest being a car!]
I:Yay! An icecream! I'm so going to buy this one.
Me: NO WAY!! You just had an icecream in S's party last night! You can't have two icecreams on consecutive days.
I:Come on! You are not my mommy! I can have it!
Me:No you can't. I'm not paying for it!
I: Yuck! Where's the fun in being a grown up if you can't even eat an icecream in peace?
Me: With fun, comes responsibility! Eating two icecreams is definitely not responsibility enough!
I: Oh my!! Next time, I'm going to leave you at home when I go for parties!
Me: Ha! Ha! Try it!

[After I'm done with the day]
I: Phew! that was one interesting day! Wasn't XYZ fun? I thought it would be boring to code that. Now I wish I could do more of it!
Me: I'm sure you'll be bored of it in a wink! I've planned ABC tomorrow.
I: No!! ABC is just work! How can I do an assignment now for something due next week? I've got six full days in between!
Me: yeah right! You also have the DEF to finish! Not to mention the weekly status report to your prof! You also offered to help out X with Y preps! And you haven't yet started on your thesis!!! You also want to go to Z's house for the potluck this weekend!! How the hell, then, do you have six full days??
I:[grumbling] OK! OK! I'll do ABC tomorrow! Damn! How I wish I had some days off to catch up!
Me: Now, now! Don't fret about it! You have time enough to squeeze things through. Lets see!
I: Mmmm... anyways, me back to the aborigines!
Me: Lol! Sweet dreams! But I think it would be Vandiya Thevan and Kundavai's turn today to grace you with their presence!
[The day ends]

Every single day, though the motions are similar, I find that this conversation with myself to be really interesting. Though there were times when I has felt like rebelling against me, I'm glad that I actually shut up and listened to myself. I'm sure everyone'll have conversations with their inner selves and choose based on it.

Its been an interesting journey so far in life with I and me being the two sides of the scales. As long as I'm a Libran, I'm sure I'll have both traits within me. And that makes life really fun!!

What makes your life fun?

[Yay!! My 200th post! One of my friends reminded me of this one two weeks back! She is a regular reader here and one of my most silent yet most supportive readers. I don't usually celebrate the blog's anniversary but she wanted me to do a special post for this one. I wanted to blog about so many things (my O trip, changing views about marriage, how people spend time, the veggie challenge and of course, a voice post) but didn't feel that they touched the special mark. Not that the 200th post is any different, but its nice to know that there have been posts that I've spent hours writing and those that hold pieces of my memory of distant lands and peoples past. I've tried to capture I and me in this post of mine. I'm sure I'll laugh at this one when I'm older and be glad that I listened to both I and me, with I being the heart and me being the brains. Lets hope I make it to 300 by end of this year. An ambitious goal but what is fun in life if not for ambitions...]

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Go Bing!

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Just over a month after its release, Bing is still going strong. Though I use both Google and Bing as a customer, its nice to see some serious competition in Search. As they say, "Competition keeps you on your toes". Go Bing!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Business Fraud Alert

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We all know that the economy in US is facing troubles. With economic troubles comes more confused people willing to try out quick fixes for all their problems, problems that they built over years with irresponsible credit card usage and need-it-now philosophy. And this is a perfect hunting ground for fraudsters and con-men. I've already written about MLMs and how stupid and dangerous they really were. A friend of mine recently forwarded the following video about fraud with telemarketing.



I fail to understand how people think they can solve all the problems by buying a business opportunity over phone without thinking through it. Seriously, how stupid can you get?? Even if you've seen the person and gone through the product like a hundred times, there are chances of failure (I'm immediately reminded of the famous 'roti-making machine' that made rounds in the exhibitions in India which people bought and didn't get the round, well made rotis like the salesman once they tried it at home. Include the vacuum, the roti machine, food processor, whatever product you want). So, how can people be naive enough to believe something that is just shown on TV??? Beats me!!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Is the way humans think changing?

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A group of friends and I, we are doing a discussion on Human thinking and how it changes. The seed for our discussion started with this article. In all, all of us felt the following symptoms:
  • Cannot concentrate on a single task more than ten minutes - interestingly we found that we could concentrate if need be, but that the bar for need was set very high(way up near the sky!) so that most of our daily activities were below the bar. (You can say a deadline in an hour to be above the bar - but even then some of my friend just needed to check their text messages)
  • Needed music in the background to give more productive work - I definitely need them to write better code but felt that when I'm writing articles and documents, the music is a hindrance! And some friends needed music even to study for exams! Heck! One of them even has a "Study time" playlist in his iPod.
  • Cannot remember phone numbers - None of us can remember each other's phone numbers. I remember some phone numbers in India but that's about it. I don't remember my best bud's number in US though we talk to each other every alternate day. I'd be so lost without my cell phone and its list of numbers.
  • Lesser exercise in strategic thinking for the brain - I think Google maps is really, really good making it easy to do all the figuring out for every shopping trip we do. We use the public transit for all shopping!! And my brain gets lesser exercise!! :(
  • More skimming of articles - I cannot read any more serious prose or long poetry. Succinct is the word. Same with all my friends. Sometimes we wonder if the human brain is becoming more attention deficient. But my dad can still read long articles without batting eyelids! Guess the younger generation is the most afflicted with it.
  • More web interaction - I 'talk' to so many of my friends through internet. Facebook, Twitter (though I don't use it much), Gtalk, Orkut, LinkedIn, etc, etc. The phone and face-to-face communication is becoming rare. But its fun and has become a way of life to get up in the morning and check messages on these mediums. I remember times when internet was limited to just half an hour a day and this was just 4 years ago!!
  • More information, less knowledge, lesser wisdom - all of us are bombarded with information from all sides and in all forms. But it takes time to make it knowledge and that time is what we can't give to all information. It takes practice and time to make the knowledge into wisdom. But, we feel that transforming info to knowledge is possible for most of us but true wisdom is really difficult in this fast paced world. But I guess no one cares anymore - people have the internet and Google and Bing to bring the world's wisdom to their fingertips. If they can use that wisdom well, they'd be the kings of this world. But using the wisdom also requires practice. And that takes time!
  • Change in lifestyle - I still remember the day my uncle took us to the bank to learn how it works. But now, everything is online and automated and more abstract than ever. My first bank trip to withdraw Rs.100 from my account required serious planning - go to the bank when it is open, fill in the appropriate form, wait in queue, etc. Now, all I do is, go to the atm, insert card and get the cash. Though it saves time, I'm not sure if the experience is worthy remembering in my day.
  • Loss of older ways - We are so comfortable once things are set but in this fast paced experience, there is no settling down of things. My friend's daughter thinks that it is normal to chat inside the email but I remember times when that was not the case. And my mom still reminisces about the hand written letters and the joy they bring with every shout of "Saarrr! Possttt!!" but I feel disconnected about it (this might also be because my family stayed close and we never wrote letters to each other - I've never experienced the wait for a letter and thrill of seeing it in the mail box one day or the thrill of getting it from the postman).
  • Speed - I need the movie to be over yesterday. My friend needs to tour Hawaii last month. Do you get it? We need everything to be done fast. Fast, faster! Once, I've caught myself thinking that the plane should touchdown as soon as it took off. With the influx of information at our fingertips, 'now' has become the norm. However, sometimes, it pushes people to the brink in coping with the pressures (have you felt the need to cross out everything on your to-do list?) and spoils their lives. It IS important to stop and smell the roses!
These are some of the ways we find that our lives are different from those that lived in the same position just five years back. I do see a big difference in the way we think, even between those in my age and those five years older to us or between us and those five years younger to us. The world is changing rapidly and the human mind is adapting rapidly as well. Hope this all leads to a balance and that the journey is interesting. Hang in there, mate!


What are your opinions on this post? Do you think our thinking is changing? Did your style of thinking change in the last few years? Any thoughts welcome.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My Hutch puppy!

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Thought I left it in school, but oh no, it has followed me like the Hutch puppy!!



Long live our freedom!
Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Veggie challenge!!

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I've been hounded by a friend of mine(I mean,literally hounded) who is a Vegan(Gosh!! How does he do it? No milk??? Mommy!!) to stop eating chicken and fish. I already don't eat red meat, because I don't like that taste much. But chicken, that is a different issue. And seafood is neither there nor here.

Jogging my memory(and taking my mom's help when I can't), I was a pure vegetarian till about 8 years old. Then started my love affair with chicken. I started eating chicken livers and moved on to real chicken pieces(the one with bones - apparently I became a big girl, big enough to handle bones!). Then, I stopped again due to non-encouragement at home. Actually, non-encouragement is a vastly different word from lack of encouragement. But I digress... And seem to have given some not-to-be-mentioned statements to my family! They love pulling my leg for it!!

Back to my Non Veg story. I started eating chicken again once I was in college when the doc said that I had to get some iron into my body to become Lady Shaktiman! (sadly that never happened - chicken went in but iron got spent more. And Lady Shaktiman? The hope is dimming!). And, as a result, I started trying out different chicken dishes(mmm... the Arunachalas and the shops near my college where we got this yummy grilled chicken!! They won over any hesitations that I had!!) and even started cooking some of them(And this was greatly aided by AS). The triple K's sure had some fun times cooking chicken dishes, right from chicken biriyani to chicken curry. And I became an expert at making Chicken Chettinadu, so much so that I started cooking chicken every week(!!).

Now I stand at eating chicken almost every other week. Been into discussions with different friends about veg/non-veg issues over the past one year. And finally got nailed by one of my friends who said that I should try only veg for a month and if I think that I don't feel a difference at the end of one month, I can get back to eating chicken as I like. He offered the piscatarian choice(veggies + fish for a month and then veggies for a month - he knows I can't/won't cook fish! And schemed to make me live on veggies for (almost)two months!! Aha! Now that won't do!) but brave that I am, I jumped on the veggie challenge directly!

The challenge is to eat only vegetarian diet(meaning veggies, fruits, rice, lentils, grains, dairy products, etc) for a month... That is 3*31 = 93 meals!!

Mmmm.... There I said it. The reason to put this on my blog is to chronicle my experiences with it so that I can judge easily at the end of the month. Since I haven't had chicken today, I'm taking today as the first day of the challenge. Oh God!! I can already see butter chicken mocking at me!! Give me the strength to overcome this challenge and prove the world that chicken eating is actually good for health! Or wait, maybe veggies are better!! Oh! Just prove whichever is better... so that I can stop having these arguments again and again with so many people.

P.S.: All words of encouragement/condolences to my state are welcome. Any support/personal stories are double welcome! But no flame wars please. And certainly no sending yummy chicken dishes home!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Demons of Time!!

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She was happy
She was singing
Suddenly
She heard the Voice cry

She was flabbergasted
She hadn't encountered it before
She didn't know what to do
She called to the Voice

She wondered
Wondered about what was wrong
She worried
Worried about how to set it right

The Voice came
The Voice was sobbing
Slowly
The Voice told her the reason

"My friend died
Died of skepticism
Died of overdose of cynicism
Died of lack of care"

The Voice quivered
Quivered with sorrow and fear
The Voice waned
Waned so much that listening became harder

She was shocked
Shocked to see the Voice's waning voice
Of present, of the moment

She remembered
Remembered the Voice's exuberant voice
Of past, of yore

She realized
She had drawn upon the Voice
To pull her through trials and tribulations
She had leaned on the Voice
Through troubles and thunders

She realized
The Voice needed her care now
To bring it back to its past glory
The Voice required nourishment
Lack of which, it would wane to forever

She was afraid
Afraid if she was worth the task
Afraid if she had it in her
To pull them both through this ordeal

She knew
Knew that she can do it
Knew that the time has come
To put the Voice's teachings into practice

She rose to the task
The task that will raise them both
The Voice followed this time
Happy that it had done a worthy deed

The Voice was sure
That it was in good hands
She was determined
To heal the wounds of skepticism

She and the Voice
They battle the demons of time again!
Let us wish them the best
For they need it, in their own ways!


[Mourning the loss of a friend's Voice.... er, Voice's friend!! Amen!]

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

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Michael Johnson, the King of Pop is best known to me as the first "foreign" artist I knew at the age of 7 or 8. Ever since hearing his "Thriller", I've thought that "western music" was always awesome. But as I dug deeper into his other albums and that of other artists, I found that the expectations set by "Thriller" are very very hard to be matched, let alone exceeded!

My second brush with him came during my pre-teens when we were ardently discussing "Backstreet Boys" and "Boy zone" and of course, comparing them with the enchanted MJ, as we all called him. We've spent hours discussing them yet none of the other albums still created the magic of Thriller for me. Then, as I grew up, I moved away from MJ's music and completely lost touch with it. But, now, after hearing his death yesterday during our mixer party, I felt a sense of loss, the loss that comes when your first pop icon is no more. I looked forward to going to one of his concerts ever since I was a kid. Yeah! One of those fans that were mad for him and his songs! Sadly, I'll have to take it off my "100 things to do" list. Sure, I can replace it with any other artist's concert. But nothing would match that of MJ's.

He was to my previous generation(and to some extent, ours) what Elvis Presley was to our parents generation. I don't think any other artist can beat him in his dance moves, the famed "moonwalk", his freeze-shots, etc. He is the only "phoren" artist millions of people in the villages of India knows. Even today, you can see people comment "Nee enna periya Michael Jackson nu nenaipaa?" to someone trying out different dance moves! Imagine being known to people who have no idea of America, no idea of dancing and certainly no idea of western pop music!! Ah! that is fame, that is immortality!

MJ, you'll surely be loved for the magic you created with music and dance! Thanks for letting us share that magical world with you as you took that journey! Now, at the end of the journey, hope your soul rests in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What can you do with Rs.500?

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What can you do with Rs.500 (or little over $5)? This link was on a friend's gtalk status and I couldn't help sharing it over here:



Lets do our best to give kids education and a safe childhood, the childhood that we were all privileged to get. We owe it to our future citizens and the world at least this much!

This is a topic close to my heart. Lets aim to give at least Rs.5 per month(is it $0.1?) for a kid's education (any kid, it can be your housemaid's daughter trying to finish her 10th standard, it can be your locality watchman's son trying to get books for school, it can be even kids from the local school). Just go and you'll find the needy kids in every corner of India. Or, give to one of the NGOs that are working towards this cause. I'm sure our small help to a kid would radically change his/her path in life. Lets join hands to eradicate poverty and work towards education for every kid!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Moved Neverland successfully!

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The last few weeks have been frenzied. I had to move Neverland and set it all up again. Phew! Dismantling and rebuilding, especially Neverland, is a thing I really don't look forward to. Though setting up a new home is always fun, I find that I've become a creature of habit and was trying to capture the Neverland in its last state. I realized this last night when I spent some two hours (two hours that should've been used to work or atleast catch up with stuff - We ALWAYS have that, don't we?) trying to rearrange the furniture (read, a bed, two shelves and a box - I'm yet to get a table or chair) and all the small stuff in different positions. Finally, I got so frustrated that I decided to get it all back to the original position. I then realized that I was trying to recreate my old room and moved the lights and shelves a bit to accommodate it. Now, if only I can raise the height of my bed to get the window view...

On a related note, I'm going bed-shopping before this weekend is over. For without the window and the draft hole over my bed, I got so bugged yesterday (yeah! its the summer in Neverland! I'm only thankful that I didn't go to some other places where I know I be fried like pork chops!!) and woke up so many times that finally my roomie had to restrain me from touching the AC control (she is a light sleeper and I would have switched on/off the AC atleast 15 times). The worst part was I was feeling very sleepy yet couldn't sleep. If hell was possible, it was that. I had to call quits and called V for a night chat. Our chat was fun as always but my work day loomed large and I had to force myself back to sleep. Oh! How I wish I was still a student in this regard.

PS: Though I've kept up with most of your posts, I've not really had time to write the posts. With regard to this post, I had some interesting and insightful chats with fellow bloggers. That led to different paths and I'm willing to test some of them. So, hang on and we'll glide through to see what is present on the other side. For I am as curious as you are :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Miss you, Nands!

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She was a great friend of mine,
She helped see the world and life,
Still a source of fun and frolic
Though far, yet close to heart.
Miss you Nands!

This is her favorite hero and song. I chanced upon it in another friend's orkut album and that triggered all sweet memories of school, innumerable badminton matches, the fun life of 7th, 8th and 9th standards, the final farewell party at her place, dance practices, Guides club planning sessions, crush talks and of course, our farewell to our seniors! Man! I miss those days!



And yeah, Dino Morea still looks good in this song :D

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where do we go from here?

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Blogging, for me, has been a really fun thing to do. I've come a long way from the first post to now. I've done some really good posts and some bad ones. But overall, I see that my writing has become better and more importantly, I love doing it! But, as I move from being a college student (that thought is still so new to me!!) to a professional, I feel that I need to make a few changes to my blog. And I need your opinion on it. 

I want this blog to follow my life experiences and my opinion on anything that I think is worth it. But, at the same time, I value my privacy. I blog anonymously for that same reason. However, I know that my blog is frequented by my friends (and I love hearing their opinion!) but certainly, one part of my reader base is tainted with preconceived notions of me. I think that a mind without any preconceived notions is the best receptacle that an author can hope for! 

If you've been following my blog closely in the past few months, you would see that I had tried a variety of things. I tried stories, poems, technology, finance, link posts, opinion posts, about-me posts, forwards posts and even the Voice series. Though I liked all of them, there was nothing (save the Voice posts and opinion posts) that I really loved writing. Frankly, stories and poems are good but I need to wait for that creative streak to come (that type of creativeness is rare in my case! I might still belt out an occasional story or poem.. but thats about it!). Technology and finance, I think I'm more suited to reading about them than writing about them (for there are already experts in these fields who can write them better - I might bring in my opinions and usage reviews but not much else!). Link posts are good but I feel that they don't really come under 'My posts' category and certainly do not want my blog to be a bunch of bookmarks!!

Opinion posts!  Ah! Here comes the Pandora's box! I basically have only one tenet that I live with "do whatever you want to as long as it doesn't affect others' lives in a big way!". So when I apply this tenet to all the problems in this world, it sometimes ends with solutions that are not accepted by all in this world. And that has led to some fun wars offline!! :D I really want to hold peace with my friends and hence don't think that it is a good idea to put all my opinions on my blog and get rap for it. Why ruffle feathers when you don't have to do so? I can live with my opinions, the other person can live with her opinions and we can still be friends. We wouldn't discuss politics or abortion or any other touchy issue when we meet in real life. So, why do it in the blogworld? I've seen that most people (me included!) become a tad defensive when our beliefs are challenged. We may be right or we may be wrong, but we turn defensive. And try to come up with reasons to hold on to our beliefs even when we are proved wrong! Sadly, losing graciously is a quality that most of us have to learn. And its hard to make someone change their opinion on any issue when they don't have an open mind (too much work and too less returns!). So, I don't think I'd want to fill my blog with it. Maybe, I'll pepper my blog with it just to spice things up occassionally ;)

About-me posts, these are among the really easy ones to write (well! who would find it hard to write about their favorite subjects, themselves? :D) but of late, its becoming harder as I don't feel really comfortable writing about myself. Call it growing up, call it being cynical but it's a fact. I'd rather write about something I saw or heard or read than something I felt or wanted or liked. It does change people's opinion of you. Once, I had a friend refer to one post of mine and ask me something at a party. It was ok but I was a tad annoyed. It was right out of the blue and I wouldn't have willingly shared all that info in real-life setting. Further, I think its not necessary to tell all about yourself to the anyone and everyone in the world. Some things are best kept off the line. Else it takes the spice off life for there is nothing to explore about the person! Though, sometimes, its really good to get people understand without you being explicit! But it's too much a price to pay for this convenience. So, this would be minimal from now on.

Forward posts, they are easy to do too. But, sadly there are very less forwards or articles that I feel are really worth sharing. Not that others are not good or something, but I don't feel like putting them up. And, they have the same horror of link posts - not really coming under "my posts" category! So, this too would be occassional from now on.

Voice series, now, here is something that I'm sure would still remain in my blog. It is a nice snapshot of various emotions that I see in life. It's quasi-personal in that I can tell about people's emotions without really telling about them and endangering their privacy. But I'm sure that a blog with just these posts would be similar to a poem blog and I don't want that monotony in mine. Or, rephrasing, I don't think I'm that passionate about it yet. For, posts in Voice series are more spontaneous and they just "strike" when I see an emotionally charged situation. I can't wait around for the mood to strike. So, using only these posts is not a good idea.

So, it brings me back to the question: What do I do in my blog now? Any ideas? Anything that you'd like to see more/less/added/removed/changed? Do give your suggestions and we'll try each of it out. Oh! this is going to be fun and I'd get to try out different stuff. So, readers, pour in your ideas!

PS: On a personal front, I'm moving NeverLand from B__ to R__ in a few days. So, I'd be busy moving stuff, walking the 'Walk' to get my degree (at long last! Phew!) and spending time with family (I'm so glad they are making this trip! I'd get some more time to spoil my nieces :D). I did a really good farewell trip to most places in and around Neverland, met with almost all friends, did all the stuff I wanted to (too many last-time-points in these days). So, I'm all set after the farewell trip. Nothing like a good farewell to make you get ready for a good welcome! I'm going to miss B__ for it has been my home for the past two years. I've learned so much, grown a lot and had various experiences that made life interesting. In all, I'm glad I decided to come here and do my MS. I'm proud to be part of this great university, its people, labs, traditions and all. With this, I'm signing off! See you next soon!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The 'Indian' Way!

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Interesting Article!

Would you want to do things the 'Indian' Way?
For me, I'd love it if we can have both the state and people working towards our goals. But I guess that day is still a distant dream!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Secret Seven!!

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Being under hibernation, I hadn't filled up a tag from a friend. Now, being the VO of Neverland, I finally dug into the forgotten to-do list and brought out the tag. Here it goes:

Tag rule: Tell seven things about yourself that you want to share! (he had just listed some characteristics of his... So I made this up! You can make it spicier/saucier/sexier when you do this tag - no restrictions!) And pass it to 5 friends!!

Tag:
1) I think I'm going to end up with the nice-girl-of-the-town title (I don't mind that as long as I have fun) and hope I don't finish last.
2) I can't stand people who are hypocrites. If you stand for something, do stand for it till the end. Don't change it ever so often. And stand for your principles even if it hurts. I'd respect you more a person for sticking up to your beliefs even if I see you have been in the wrong. If you change your principle about something, do so only on the basis of a solid reason. Don't change it for every whim and fancy! Please spare the world from it!!
3) I want to give everyone a fair chance in explaining what they did and why they did something. Everyone has a reason to act as they did! And certainly no one is stupid, just that the priorities are different! We should respect the differences and give people a fair chance! Seen too many breakups because of lack of it.
4) Am fairly easy to get along until you try to encroach on my private life. Just because I talk a lot to you doesn't mean that I give you permission to discuss other parts of my life(unless I explicitly do!). I prefer to keep different parts of my life secluded from one another (mixing never helps!).
5) Despite having a HUGE friends list, the number of close friends is less than 10 at any point of time in life. You need to have traveled with me in life for a considerable distance of life's journey before you can hit that list.
6) I love to eat anything red: right from strawberries to beetroot(my mom would be tired of making beetroot poriyal ever so often when I was a kid!). I think that anything red is lot tastier than others.
7) The basic things of my life have remained a constant despite all the experiences I've got. I'm glad I got them right the first time.

Tagging: Aths, Arun, Madhan, King Vishy and Dream Chaser.
Others, if you are interested, tag yourself and leave a link in the comments section.

P.S:He! He! You thought this was a post about my childhood-favorite detective gang? (though, I'd love to do it).

Monday, May 04, 2009

Incredible India

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One of my friends forwarded Aamir's Incredible India video link. After some more youtubing, I came across another one that more closely resonated with what I think is a better glimpse of India's myriad differences. Our country truly stands by the slogan "Unity in Diversity". Here is the video:


India has so much to give, so much to share and so much to live for!! Missing every fibre of it! Love India!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

That's a dog??

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One of my friends sent this picture by mail. Kudos to whoever thought it up!
Captures people's different perspectives beautifully!! Just my $0.02!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

D-day results!

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Aatha naan paasaayiten!!!

[Finally done! Now its Alpine, M.S.!! Two years of work bore fruit... looking forward to 15 days of laziness!! Thanks for all your wishes and prayers!]

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

போனால் போகட்டும் போடா!!

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I might hit myself on the head later for writing this post today. But, I'm still going to write it. Yesterday, I was all strung and needed a friend to take me to coffee and give some gyan (அதாங்க, அறிவுரை!). I even started writing a post about the list of things I was glad for (ugh! what was I thinking? I mean I can write such a list but it was dripping of sap, I tell you!). Something sane stopped me from actually publishing it and becoming the laughing stock of my blog world.

Today, I'm all fine and ready to handle the matters of the world. The day started with some code handover (என் code படிச்சா எனக்கே immediateaa புரியாது (genius code னா அப்டி தானு சொல்றீங்களா? அதுவும் correct தான் :D), இதுல என் ஆசிரியர் அத படிச்சு புரிஞ்சு... ஒரே கூத்து தான் நடக்க போகுது!) followed by a presentation session. Finally, I was confident that I can do well in the D-day (இன்னைக்கு தான் நானும் pass ஆவேன்ர நம்பிக்கை வந்து இருக்கு... நேத்து வரைக்கும், செம பயம் தான்! அதான் sappy mood!). Now, here I am, sitting in the library (one of the least used spaces during my grad life; more on it later) with an iced tea in hand and trying to remember what else I need to get done.

Some senti stuff: I saw a friend of mine (அவங்களுக்கு என் பாட்டி வயசு! அப்டியே என் பாட்டி மாதிரியும் இருப்பாங்க... ஆனா, friendnu தான் சொல்லணும்) today and got all the more confident (ஒரு நெனைப்பு தான்! பாட்டியே வந்து "நீ நல்லா tear பண்ணிடுவ"னு சொல்றது போல இருந்தது). Also I saw exactly 3 CGs but yet to see my favorite one still(I don't think I'll see my fav CG for its been a rare sight to do so this sem! But the day is still not over! ) (Normally, 3 per day is a high rating for my university. Either, its the day or my mood or the weather!!) .

I got to finish some stuff at the library and am sitting in the till-now-never-used-by-me alcove in a plush chair (இந்த super எடத்த இவ்ளோ நாள் miss பண்ணிடெனேனு இப்போ செம feelingaa இருக்கு. சரி அதுக்கு என்ன பண்ண முடியும்? இன்னொரு semaa படிக்க முடியும்? போனால் போகட்டும் போடா தான்!) And, I had this attack of non-library-usage-in-the-past-two-years. I would've taken more story books and novels from here than tech books (I refer tech books online. எப்டி தான் அந்த காலத்துல, மக்கள் libraryku வந்து books எடுத்துட்டு போய் refer பண்ணி research pannangalo? Research flow மறந்து போகாதா? இருக்கிற எடத்துல இருந்துட்டே, googlela search பண்ணி, மறுபடியும் codea பார்த்தா, எங்க பார்த்தோம் எதுல விட்டோம்னு யோசிக்க வேண்டியதா இருக்கு... இதுல libraryku போய், தேடி எடுத்துட்டு வந்து, research code adikarathuna, அப்றோம் நான் degree வாங்க, atleast 5 yearsaavathu ஆகும்... அந்த காலத்து மக்கள் great தான்! நம்ம generationku தான் attention diversion ரொம்ப ஜாஸ்தி ஆயிடுச்சு! ஹ்ம்ம்! எல்லாம் technologyoda side effects தாங்க! நம்ம சொல்லி குத்தமில்ல!) and have been introduced to various new authors(from Russian to Korean to African). I wouldn't have explored their writing unless I had a ready place to do so.

But, seeing the thousands and thousands of books neatly stacked in shelves over 6 floors gives me the guilty feeling of not having used even a millionth of these available resources. (நான் இதெல்லாம் use பண்ணாமயே படிச்சு passum ஆக போறேன்! கஷ்டம்! சரி, எல்லாம் ஒரு talent தானு வச்சிகோங்க!) But as I think of other resources like the GamePlace, GymPlace, EatPlace, LabPlace, GradPlace, Buildings and ConfPlace (I've changed the names of it all - யாரும் இப்டி எல்லாம் பேர் வைக்க மாட்டாங்க - இது என் Neverlandla மட்டும் தான் இருக்குது - copyright, சாட்ஷாத் நானே தாங்க!), I see that I've not really used any of their resources fully. True! I've used some more than others and some less. But not all of it! (குடுத்த காசுக்கு use பண்ணோமா, இல்லையே? இதுல, சில பில்டிங்கு உள்ள எல்லாம் போனது கூட இல்ல - coz அந்த majorkum எனக்கும் ஸ்நான ப்ராப்தி கூட இல்ல.)

But I also think that I've spent all the two years in grad life to the hilt. I've had fun in all those places. Conclusion: Though the resources are available, my usage of them is limited by my time, priorities and the opportunities that come through. I have memories of all of them and its these memories that would keep me linked with Neverland. Love Neverland!

[அட! அட! அட! என்ன conclusion! புல்லரிக்குது! Effect of thesis work! But still, எல்லாம் உண்மை தாங்க. இந்த enjoyment periodla, சிலது எழுதி இருக்கேன், பலது எழுதினது இல்ல. இனியாவது எழுத idea! வெட்டி Officera இருக்கிற போற timela இதெல்லாம் பண்ணனும். Atleast எழுதலைனாலும், கொஞ்சம் நெறைய round அடிக்கற வேல வச்சு இருக்கேன்! So, எல்லா இடமும் போய் நல்லா பார்த்துட்டு, ஒரு good bye சொல்லிட்டு வந்தா தான் மனசு ஆறும். இனி வர்ர கொஞ்ச நாள், ஒரே மலரும் நினைவுகள் postaa தான் இருக்கும் nu பக்ஷி சொல்லுது. எல்லாரும் அத poruthukonga. முடிஞ்ச அளவு மொக்கையா இல்லாம பார்த்துகறேன்!]

PS: [இன்னும் கெளம்புவேனா, இல்ல இங்கயே settle ஆவேனானு தெரியல! அது D-dayku அப்றோம் தான்! ஆனாலும், pass ஆயிடுவோம்ற நம்பிக்கைல, அடுத்து என்ன பண்றதுன்னு மூளை இப்போவே பிளான் பண்ணுது! என் ஆசிரியர் இத பார்த்தா, tension ஆயிடுவார். ஏன்னா, அவர் எனக்கு வேற வேல வச்சு இருக்கார்! அது ஏங்க, நமக்கும் நம்ம ஆசிரியருக்கும் sync ஆகவே மாட்டேன்து? ஸ்டில், எதுக்கும் ஒரு குட்டி plan நல்லதுதானே? இதெல்லாம் think panrapovae, சீக்கிரம் வேலைய முடிக்கணும், இதெல்லாம் பண்ணனும்னு தோணுது... still, பாப்போம்! D-day வந்தா தான் தெரியும்!]

PPS: [எல்லாரும் கடவுள்ட நல்லா வேண்டிகோங்க. உங்க Alpine, சீக்கிரம் நல்லபடியா pass ஆகனும்னு! Will keep you posted!]

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The seed!

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This is a forward from one of my friends. Though I've read this one a number of times already through forward chain mails, something about it struck me today. Guess that since I'm in the reaping stage in one way and sowing stage in the other that makes it striking. Have fun!

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however.
He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company
brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives..

Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees,and flowers you have grown," said the CEO "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.

"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed.. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow.

All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

Just remember that what you sow, you will have to reap it later. It applies for happiness, sorrow, kindness, anger, etc. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Stock taking in Neverland

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Been a crazy week, with nothing to do on the Monday and a pile of work to do on the Friday. But I caught up with some of the things in life and am really glad for the breathing space just before the D-day arrives.Yup! I'm waiting for the D-day. But more on it as the day gets closer. A quick run of what's going on in Neverland (yeah! that is where I live!):
  • We had yet another last event, the Vishu potluck which was nice. I made only rice for I had forgotten all about it and didn't have time to cook in the end (if AS hadn't reminded me, I would have missed a potluck! Damn! that is a terrible sin in grad life and I was about to commit it!). But thankfully, my friends needed rice and I was glad my forgetfulness turned out for good :D
  • The movie and chai after the potluck at a friend's place was good too! I got another glimpse into the complexity of people's lives. Just a word: Nice!
  • I had another last, my last staff meeting at my workplace. It was kind of good but I started feeling detached (might be because of some ruffled feathers that I saw in workplace). Though I was sad, I am ready to let go. More on my workplace in a later post! But they surprised me with a sweet gift! :) So thoughtful of them!
  • I learnt the same lesson yet another time. Guess I'm becoming too stubborn a student to even remember a simple lesson from life. Totally yucky!
  • Got to hear C sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". In her voice, the song is all the more sweeter. She made my day! Guess I'm going to pamper her all the more as she grows up :D
  • My last cabinet meeting and delegate meeting got over this week. I'm happy for all that I got to do in it. It was an exciting time and I got to meet a lot of American grad students and find what they think/talk/do in life. Its a small slice but I'm glad I got a chance to explore it!
  • My last official pg meeting also got done last week. I'm sure going to miss it. But I guess some more tweaking to its structure would really help everyone a lot more. But who will bell the cat?
  • My budget board meeting is wrapping up this week. It was a fantastic time with them and impressive to see how money is being allocated across the Neverland. Talking about huge amounts here! No wonder that money tends to become numbers beyond a point! I can now easily think in terms of 100,000s as I did with 100s. But it is yet another experience to let me grasp the real finances going on. And I'm glad for it!
  • Whenever I cook chicken, the dish comes out different. That is the boon and bane of cooking! But I guess I'll start liking to cook sooner rather than later. Its fun to experiment and all the more fun to get someone else to eat it and go ga-ga [evil grin]. But seriously, now I make basic good food (something I thought was NEVER possible) and am ready to explore the more exotic ones (effect of being with AS, my roomie and K, my next-next-block mate). Gee! I'm waiting for Summer.
  • Cleaning and sorting all through the week is a BORING job. But I came across a lot of stuff that I forgotten and they reminded me of Alpine two years ago. Some were nice, some were not (as in they didn't go as I expected them to) and some sprang a surprise. But it was a heaven of a journey (is there such an expression?) and I wouldn't trade it! Glad I took time to sort through stuff before I move the Neverland.
  • I met an Indian freshman here. When she heard that I was finishing up, she said "Wow!!" and THAT made me feel old. Damn! I had given the same expression to my seniors (all the final years and third years of 20**, I'm really sorry!) and they had brushed it off. Guess its payback time! Ouch! it does hurt!
  • Its always nice to fall asleep and have a friend wake you up at odd hours to talk to you. My friend would have wondered why I was not coherent for the first five minutes and how I could speak philosophy in the next ten minutes. And I dropped a bottle of water on my bed in the process! Its overloading the sills, I tell you! Any connection between the two events is purely coincidental :D
Now that the stock taking is over, I guess I'll get back to some more chiseling of the iceberg in my room (aka) catching up with long-lost stuff that I conveniently forgot in Neverland. Ciao! till then and wish that I come out unscathed this D-day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Upside down?

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This is in reply to one of my friend's requests. He has put up a picture on his blog and asked some of us to come up with suitable poems. Here is mine:

I woke up from my sleep
The breeze was caressing me
I unfurled my petals
The world smiled in glee

I saw a pretty girl
Talking without a care
She exclaimed
"Its blue up there"

And I looked up
All I saw was green
With some brown
in the 'tween

Am I looking up
And the world looking down?
Or is the world right
With me upside down?
-Alpine path

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another last!

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Last Saturday, we had Tamil New Year celebrations at my university. Last year was a lot of fun and I had a memorable time with friends. I also got to host an event, plan for it and do impromptu stuff that was also on the lighter vein. The lighter vein was a first for me.

This year, again came the Tamil New year celebrations. And, I got to host that event again. It was so much fun and I got so sad at the end because it would be my last participation in this event. Yup! I wouldn't be here next year. Some observations on today:
  • Each year, the flavor is different. I liked both this year and last. But my position had changed. Last year, I was the person running around doing stuff. This year, I can happily see the batons changing hands. And, the juniors ran around now! Yay! I love this part of graduation.
  • There were some incidents that would have made me queasy last year. This year, though, I brushed it aside and did what was possible and best for all. I finally learnt a teeny weeny part of the lesson "You can't expect people to change, lite it and move on!"
  • I couldn't help everyone to participate in it but I sure wanted to... It was loads of fun though!
  • Last year's show dragged a bit, but this year, the show was lightning fast. And I had hoped for a lightning show last time (because I was so nervous) and a longer show this time (because I wanted one last time to do it). Well! Life gives you what you wish for... just at a different time! Talk about Time's warped sense of humor!! 
  • The co-hosts' flavors also made a LOT of difference to the show. Last year, again, I was learning the ropes and had G teach them to me. This year, I was teaching it to DS. The funny thing is, both were classmates in college. I have SOME connection with their batch. I get to do loads of stuff with their batch.
  • There are still some people who infuriate me. I want to bash their heads. Grrrr!!!
  • I got some great acquaintences that night. It was fun sharing things with them!
  • There is a lot more I need to learn with regard to balancing things.  It is amazing how some people get Stuff done and are still happy with personal life. Kudos to them!
  • We did our usual Tech snap :D Can't finish without it!! 
In all, it was a memorable experience. I'm sure I'm going to miss it in future! But I'm also satisfied that I did my part in making life more fun for all of us and look forward to other opportunities. End of one part of my life at B! Sigh! Another Last!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Reviews, reviews and reviews!

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If I had thought writing was not much fun, reviews are even less so. Though my friends and advisor are working with me to get things into shape (read keeping the grain and burning away the chaff in the thesis - otherwise, how to reduce 90 odd pages down to 60?), its still mind boggling in that I have to concentrate on so many small details and make sure each of them is 'just' right. I'm literally sweating the small stuff :D. But the thought that I'm just weeks away from my defense motivates me to go through it all. Yup! Unless things go south (badly south!) from here, I should be done soon!
Dreaming on.....

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Trends of politics?

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Is it the latest fashion to throw things (shoes are most preferred) at politicians?
First, it was Bush, past US President (then present):



And now it is Chidambaram(Home Minister, India):



Tch! Tch!