Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kolkata and the Tram




No matter how horrid Kolkata can be, I'll be missing it. The joy rides on the tram will be conspicuously absent in Bangalore.

Image upload is working!

BIT, Mesra has a stunning facade.
Blogger image upload via the web is not working.

Passport Pangs

I reckon my passport won't be ready by the time I leave Kolkata. Even the police verification hasn't taken place, though I had applied 2 months back. The whipping an ass story comes to mind.

Live365 @ Work

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Corporate Minions...

...that's what we'll become. Aren't IT firms overglorified pseudo-intellectual sweatshops? Is this a justifiable culmination of so much erudition? I feel disillusioned. Whatever happened to the perfect world I was promised?

Image uploads via the Net

Thanks to the Blogger team for correcting the anomaly. Image uploads via the Compose page is now possible. We would no longer need Hello or Flickr for the same.
Visited our campus once again. Submitted the application for TC and Migration. Conveyance wasn't a problem. Bought a bus ticket for Kolkata. Leaving tonight.
It has been raining cats & dogs since morning.
Accessing the Net had become virtually impossible because Ashwini's house is located in a hinterland. Listening to Yahoo! Radio after a long hiatus.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Reached Ranchi

Dharam dropped a live bomb by revealing that our provisional certificate and grade card would be meted out only from the 27th. My plans were in total disarray as I had no place to put up. Came across Ashwini in a stroke of luck and went to his place.
Saw Parineeta on his machine in the evening. True to the hype, it didn't disappoint me. However, Ashwini's thoroughly jarring and supremely irritating annotations thru the flick made me feel like digging my own grave!
BTW, one of my co-passengers in the train was a young Bihari babe with an iPod.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A nice site

10x10

A subtle exposé

The following is an email Gurdas sent us:
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hi!,

Below is an email I had started last October but never finished .... maybe now is a better time to do so...

Love,
Gurdas

-----

In the last few years, my belief in the existence of a supreme power has been strengthened through unique personal experiences. It has been said "Some things you need to see to believe. Some others you need to believe to see".
God (whatsoever be the definition) definitely falls in the second category.

With this email, I attempt at sharing these experiences. I hope they trigger the reader to question his/her beliefs and maybe, out of those who do not already, some will start believing beyond the ordinary.

This particular episode happened during my recent trips to Nashik. To reach Nashik from Baroda, I prefer going thru Mumbai. A direct connection was not available and 12 hour travel by bus is not my idea of safe and relaxed travel. So, I decided to take a night train from Baroda which would drop me in Mumbai (Dadar) at 4:30am. And then take a bus that leaves Mumbai at 6:30 am and drops me in Nashik 4 hours later.

I left office at the last hour and rushed to the house of the family who have been lovingly feeding me for the last few years. Jyotsnaben, the lady of the house and I usually chat along.
So, as I rushed through my dinner, I was telling her of my travel to Nashik and she happened to mention that since I am going all the way to Nashik, I should also plan to visit Shirdi and pay homeage to Sai Baba.

I have a different sense of religion and do not put much stock in any kind of temple or image. I hardly ever visit the gurudwara and whenever I do, it is when it is least populated. So, in tune with my sensibilities, I replied to Jyotsnaben's suggestion with haste and maybe even some contempt. I said something like "who has the time for a visit to Shirdi?"

Something inside me shouted "mistake!" but since she did not react, I too kept silent.

Food over, I proceeded to the railway station, caught the train and reached Dadar on time. The early morning air was fresh and one could feel a lot of life in it. Mumbai probably never sleeps and true to this image there were people scrambling about even at this early hour. There was a certain bounce in my walk. This was helped by the wonderful FM music on air. What else could I have asked for? Before I realised I had reached the spot where I was to board the bus. Waiting is usualy the difficult part in any journey and I prefer to be on the move. Sure there are occassions when simply sitting without a thought or movement is bliss. I looked around for a place to settle down because the bus was due only 2 hours later. My eye caught sight of a small structure with stairs in front of it. This was under a tree and the poor light prevented a very clear view of what was inside the structure. It looked like a mandir but which one was not clear. Anyway, I settled down, stretched my legs and continued to enjoy the FM music. To add to my joy there was a tea vendor and tea was soon added to my list of comforts.

So passed my next one hour. By then the sun had peeked through the darkness and it was a cozy (but not bright) light around. I got up for my next cup of tea. The shock came when I returned to the stairs which had been bearing me for the last 60 minutes.

The "mandir" was of Sai Baba.

For a few seconds I just stared. And in those moments I was grounded into dust. I felt washed away and in some strange manner loved. My non-chalance of the last evening flashed by and I have rarely felt 'smaller' in my life. I also experienced a total absence of ego. Once I got through the shock a smile broke my lips. A silent thankyou was said somewhere within my being. Not only for the generosity of God but more for his utterly unique and unforgettable manner of teaching a lesson. It is said there is no teacher greater than life. I agree.

After this episode I made another two visits to Nashik. On each occassion I sunk into the pleasure of sitting on the same stairs. Each time I was reminded of my lesson. Each time I felt loved and wanted. Each time I felt truly connected and belonging to the universe.

Time did not permit me a visit to Shirdi. Hopefully I have still been lucky to realise a truth and be blessed.

I have purposefully left out putting into words the realisation. It needs to be felt and not read or written.
One passing note - There is hardly a day when we are not touched and caressed by God and Life. One need not read any book if one can read the book of life.

One full lifetime, one full circle.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Reply:

Being surrounded by the miracle of Nature, it's impossible not to be overwhelmed by it. Those who are complacent turn to religion; those who aren't turn to science. Religion is the world's most elaboate hoax, God being its crux. Science is our disciplined (& often self-correcting) investigation into the truth. Religion leapfrogs logic (and truth) to house us in make-believe fantacies that suspend our ability to thing with clarity. Science treads the oft-difficult route to exactitude, gruesome though it may be.
I hope those lucky enough to be endowed with a decent education find the courage to strive for the truth. Our odyssey can make do without figments that religion entraps us with.
There are some insurmountable hurdles. Rendezvous #2 now seems impossible.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Parineeta

Parineeta_The_Film
I would love to watch this movie. I'm sure it'll live up to the hype that surrounds it.
Piya Bole is a very melodic song.
Vidya Balan looks more Bengali than the actual ones!
Kolkata presents a nostalgic self, something that is a major departure from the dingy city it is today.
It rained last night and some parts of Kolkata are already waterlogged. When Greenhouse effect finally sets in, people of this city will hardly feel the pinch. Their semi-aquatic lifestyle will hold them in good stead!

"Is it 2006?"

Yup, that's what a fellow in his 20s asked me while filling his railway reservation form!
I'll be in Ranchi on the 23rd.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

From the annals of nostalgia

1
4
3
2
13
12
11
10
9
8
6
5
4
2
1

What I remember most about Amar Chitra Katha is not the stories per se, but how Dad would read them for me. There was something inimitable about the way he would narrate that would captivate my imagination. Later, I would read the issues independently, but the magic just wasn't there.

Back 2 BIT

I'm off to BIT...probably on the 21st to collect my provisional and other certificates. These frequent trips would have been rendered redundant had our 'renowned' institute functioned with greater integrity. Some institute of technology this!
Santosh has been a great help in keeping us abreast with the developments in our institute. He has put our group to good use.
BTW, my suspicions have been vindicated regarding Prashant's half-hearted will to go to Pune. The jackass is still languishing in Jharkhand. Perhaps the Pune expedition has been annulled.
IE sucks. I'm often driven to downloading Firefox in desperation. It's worth the wait.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The National Geographic Channel was showing something on SETI. Last time the program was aired, Dad & I had a long discussion about how fantastic human ingenuity was. I missed continuing the discussion this time.
I bought fish for the very first time! Didn't bargain.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Chosen One...Yet Again!

Scene 1
Location: A Sify cafe in Ganguli Bagan
I logged into my account & switched to the chat mode (pulse of 60mins, Rs.10 per hr, login charge Rs.1). No sooner had I logged into my Hotmail account & checked a few mails than the power went bust. The UPS supported all the PCs...all except mine. So, in effect I surfed for 3mins & paid for 60. Waited for a quarter of an hour for power to return. Nothing happened.
Took an auto & left for another Sify outlet.

Scene 2
Location: A Sify cafe in Garia
I arrived here 10mins after I left the first in a dejected mood. All machines were occupied & I was made to wait for over half-an-hour. When I finally got my chance, I logged into my account, and as usual, switched to the chat mode. The bandwidth was so abysmal, even a dialup connection would seem like broadband when compared with it. ZDnetIndia's bandwidth checker simply refused to load.
History was waiting to repeat itself. I ust have surfed for around 20mins (which was actually worth 3mins of normal bandwidth) when mother electricity decided to abandon us once again. Not surprisingly, the UPS supported all machines except mine.
Construing this as yet another heavenly conspiracy against my genius, I resigned to fate & decided to call it quits.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

WOW!

It must have been around 8pm. I was feasting on an egg roll near Ramgarh's mini-bus stop when I saw her. She was stunningly fair (not an albino) and had a better-than-average face. However, the most outstanding thing about her was the pair of legs she owned. I could have married her for her legs, Heather Graham could wait! I stalked the lovely lass for awhile like a ruffian, but the pursuit had to be cut short as I had more pressing (but mundane) issues to address.

A pictographic story from Amar Chitra Katha

Click here.

Shreya Ghoshal

This lady belongs to a rare breed of Indian singers who can really sing like a nightingale.

Yahoo! Groups

Searched Yahoo! Groups for India specific groups. Got lots of them...but almost all were sexually replete. No wonder we are the world's most sexually active civilization (if at all we qualify for a civilization)!

Reminisce

One day, Diya was found kissing Dad's framed photo. Yet another day, she reflected," It would be great if Grandpa were here, wouldn't it?" Children have such sweet ways of emoting.
I miss Dad in every breath I take, everything I see, everything I say, everything I hear and everything I do. Life will never be the same again...and it's a pain I'll never get used to.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hyades

Hyades is another cluster close to Taurus. It's so faint that it was a custom in ancient India for the newlyweds to try to spot it in the night sky, which was supposed to bring good luck!
BTW, these are all 5th magnitude stars and almost impossible to spot in the city sky.

Pleiades

One of the most beautiful sights in the sky. Close to Taurus, this group of young but faint stars was a delight to watch. I can't see them without my glasses anymore.

I've developed a sensitive nose!

My glasses' nose rest has become mighty irritating. I wish the world hadn't slipped out of focus over a decade ago!

Monday, June 13, 2005

I'm sweating so profusely in Kolkata, I seldom need to visit the loo!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A Spartan Blog

Is it necessary to litter a blog page with all sorts of space-hogging links and images which are totally irrelevant? Unfortunately, some bloggers seem to have fallen for the charms of adding some glitter to their otherwise unadorned pages. They do it under the pretext of giving them a facelift. The cluttered interface looks ghastly. Blogrolls are especially vexing.
What's the allure in such fads?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Our 6th semester results are out.

Friday, June 10, 2005

My Institutes ranked by India Today

Fergusson College, Pune--->(5th in Arts, 6th in Sc.)
BIT, Mesra-------------------->(9th in Engg.)
Scientific American now has a desi avatar, thanks to India Today.
Scouring a substantial part of a very prominent street in Kolkata for the inaugural issue well established just how scientific Indians are!

AOL takes AIM...& misses the target

AOL's overhyped venture into free web-based email (@aim.com) for the masses is an indication of the desperate times it has fallen upon. The interface is hideous. Who in his right mind would be willing to jettison his mail account for the novel alternative?
Oops, I almost forget! Microsoft has promised to augment our Hotmail diskspace quota from the current 2mb to 250mb by the end of August. It's around a year since our American cousins were similarly endowed. Fair enough!

The ice is broken!

Will make some predated posts soon. Sabu, the very fact that you have religiously visited my blog multiple times during my hiatus speaks volumes about how overburdened you are these days!