Posts

Showing posts from October, 2005
Image
Mantu, Anand & Mani @ ease in Bangalore!

A mood swing

I was feeling on top of the world only a few days back, thanks to some prospect of change. Now, everything seems lost and I'm in a gloom. It's terrible when hopes are dashed.

Forum & Home

Image

Rediscovering Chess

Image
I bought a Nokia phone a few months back and got into downloading games for it only recently. I hit upon an absolutely fantastic Chess game for Symbian phones. It's called ChessGenius and I've spent sleepless nights playing against it on my mobile. I've won only 2, keeping the competition (read 'opponent') at the simplest level. There's no guessing what'll happen if ChessGenius plays in a stronger mode! After all, I'm as good at it as a Sumo wrestler may be at figure-skating!
It's a dream game for me and I'm thoroughly enjoying playing against my newfound opponent.

My One Night Stands

Yours truly has had his share of what most people deem the ultimate luxury: one night stands. But before your juices begin to flow, dear erudite reader, let me forewarn you that all my 'bedmates' were just inanimate objects!

It's about those times when the world hadn't gone digital. Times were simpler and I was only a kid. Dad would go to the bazaar every evening; and each time he came back, I would spring into action and probe his shopping bag for anything that might catch my fancy. Books & Magazines were my favorite...and there was generally enough of a steady supply of them to keep me happy. When they were not to be found after a probe, I would be happy to make do with any other thing, including fruits, vegetables, electric torches, buckets...the list is endless.

Accommodating the newly bought 'object' by my side during bedtime was seldom an issue. My parents had learnt by observing me over the years that I was abnormal beyond repair & thus never tried…

Anish Asokan, The Great

Anish has been pressing me to writing something about him...so here I go.

There are some people who stand apart from the crowd. Beethoven, Einstein, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, yours truly, etc have all been specially endowed people. Now Anish obviously doesn't belong to our league, but that doesn't mean he is not gifted.

Anish has a way with people and people related issues. This became apparent during our early days of acquaintance. Any problem and Anish would be using his skills to navigate us out of it. Soon we got so used to him that we would be paralyzed without his presence. So we informally promoted him to our in-house HR Rep! I asked him to pursue an MBA with specialization in HR. He has been contemplating it ever since.

The other thing nice about him is that he never loses his temper or patience. We pester him with all sorts of requests, both reasonable and unreasonable, and he never declines to help. What's more, like me, he too is an occupant of the nascent blogosp…

My Mobile's new dimensions...

...are finally coming to the fore. Transferred some Symbian games from the computer to my phone. A photo-editing software was also transferred. Some tracks from The Beatles, Herbie Hancock and Louis Armstrong also found their way.

Some Firsts

Sittu & Prateek finally came to my place, although they couldn't have done so without our mobiles. Thanks to them, my data cable was finally put to some use like transferring files from the computer to my mobile and vice-versa. The pair of earphones that came with my mobile were also used for the first time.

Accenture & Forum

Image

Yahoo! Podcasts

Image
Yahoo!, on Thursday, announced its entry into podcasting with the beta release of Yahoo! Podcasts. Yahoo! Bangalore had been the brain behind this new product with entire product development happening out of Bangalore Software Development Centre.
Image
The much-hyped Mozilla-based Flock browser is finally downloadable. I'm not impressed.

Invitation

A news site that describes itself as "a new blogging venture designed to bring together top online writers, journalists and commentators under a single umbrella," is scrutinizing my blog to include me as one of its contributing writers. I've been asked for a report on the traffic my site generates.

This is how the revered Cnet describes the endeavor: A group of bloggers including mainstream journalists from outlets such as CNBC, The Nation and The New York Times are banding together to strike a blow at established media and pick up some ad dollars in the process.

The Gutenberg Gift

Vanity Fair is not a 'small' book. It's bulky and one needs patience to read it cover-to-cover, and that's a virtue I never had. After a long hiatus, I finally decided to continue with the book this week and though picking the lost thread wasn't easy, I did finally manage to let the plot twine around myself.

Project Gutenberg is an online endeavor in documenting the classics and Vanity Fair is one of the 16,000 books to be thus privileged. I tried continuing with the online version during office hours at their site, and to my pleasant surprise it wasn't half as difficult on the eye as I had imagined. So that's how I hope to consummate the hallowed novel, reading the book at home and devouring its online avatar in the office!

Deja Vu

After Prateek, it was Ritesh's turn today to execute the same telephonic prank on me regarding relocation...and I fell for it once again! I fear one of these days a genuine call will go hopelessly wrong!
Firefox has witnessed its 100 millionth download.
It's almost a month since I 'lost' my glasses and I'm now used to my slipped vision. However, I can't procrastinate buying a new pair much longer.
My computer system has been restored...but the entire experience has shaken me badly.

Today's scandal is tomorrow's nostalgia

Reached home @ 6:45pm, only to find Santosh snoring. Met Manilal in the adjacent room and downloaded Google Earth on his computer. I was stunned to learn that the bugger had never had a hands-on experience of the phenomenon that had taken the world by storm. Downloading done, we swooped in on Bangalore, London and some other places. If only we could travel that easily. Unfortunately, there are biological limitations. The body can withstand only a maximum of 11g. Lingered in Manilal's room for some more hours before retreating to my room. Sleeping beauty was still snoring with gay abandon! Just how peacefully he lay while the storm of change was ravaging the world. Anyway, his slumber soon ended and I motioned him to reach out to Manilal and his computer for something wonderful, a suggestion he instantly heeded.

Night time was right time for Anand to continue with where he left off the previous night. We discussed how weird the professors in BIT were and buttressed our allegations w…

Silver Lining

Raveesh Neeraje's reply mail has offered me temporary respite. The consternation was so unsettling that I read Vanity Fair's Chapter #14 with great asperity yesterday. Anand's late night character sketch of his BIT classmates was a comic interlude I couldn't have done without. Serendipity struck with me and Santosh bridging the rift that had drawn us apart during the past few days because of a misunderstanding.
And need I add how much of a pleasure it is to chat with Sameer?

Something terrible has happened...

...& I can't shed light on the incident because I'm incapable of making defamatory statements against any individual or institution in my current capacity as a techie.
But I'm saddened at just how far some people would go to make infinitesimal gains. Deplorable, that's what it is. The culprit should be defaced publicly. Unfortunately, our toothless law is completely incapable of dealing a fittingly blow to such degenerated forms of life.

In the meantime, my PC won't boot.
The power supply to my computer is busted...and that renders my desktop inaccessible. I've called the tech support guys but no one has showed up yet. I'm accessing the Net via Ajay's machine.
Abhishek has received a mail intimating his being hardlocked into a Mumbai-based project. So the poor chap will probably have to relocate to the financial capital of India. I hope a similar fate doesn't await me!
Image
I'm an elitist! Want proof? Click here.


A false alarm

It seems Ajay is the only one from our batch to be selected for the Data Archiving project. All my colleagues tried frantically to be relieved from it; it's too mundane, they would say. I didn't have any such reservations and remain inert to the flurry of unfolding events. Anish suggested I personally call up the PM to apply for the project. I didn't want to look too desperate(I still have some pride left!)...and that kept me from heeding.
So I'll remain cozily harbored in my office alcove, at least for some more time!

The IIPM Fiasco

My take on the recent turn of events:


IIPM’s tall & lofty claims in its larger-than-life ads. are a farce and anyone but the most thickheaded can see thru its schemes.
On second thoughts, maybe IIPM can indeed teach the IIM’s a thing or two about management. After all, it did help spectacularly launch the career of a mediocre student (Arindam Choudhry) with flawless precision! That’s HR management at its best! I hope they are equally adept at crisis management!


The well tampered tariff meter

As usual, I took an autorickshaw to my office this morning. The tariff meter seemed to be in a greater hurry than the rickshaw itself. I watched in horror as the meter(mechanical, not electronic) kept ticking at a furious pace. While the fare was expected to be Rs21 at the most, it shot up to Rs26.50! Great! By the way, all the mechanical meters are made in Pune!
The roads in Bangalore are a real boneshaker. By the time I reach my destination, every organ within my body seems out of place!

Fergusson College, Pune

Image
Main Building


Kimaya

I spent some of the best years of my life here.

It's finally happening!

After what seems like an eternity, the IM world is gradually inching towards interoperability. Yahoo! & Microsoft have reached a deal that will allow their instant messaging programs to talk to each other. This is expected to be in place by June 2006.
It's time for AIM & Google Talk to join the gang. Although Google is already using open standards that would allow compatible messengers to communicate with it, I'm not sure Yahoo! and Microsoft would be interested in taking it into their fold. AOL is already being sold in bits-&-pieces and Microsoft and Google are in talks with it for a stake. How things shape up remains to be seen and could well herald a new direction for instant messaging. One mustn't forget how ferociously AIM had protected its turf in the past. It's the original foe of interoperability! AOL then proceeded to buy the world's first and easily the best instant messenger of its time (ICQ)...and thoroughly ruin it. Even looking at the empty…
I've just booted my PC and it's as silent as a grave. Gradually, the exhaust fan in it will pick up speed and soon I'll be reminded of hurricane Katrina!
The office wears a deserted look on account of today being an optional holoday (Dussehra). Most of my colleagues opted for the holiday, though they didn't opt to officially apply for it! Most vehicles are adorned with banana leaves or garlands at the fore end.

Called up Rohit

I learnt that he's in Jamshedpur. He asked me to go for the project.
If only my office address wouldn't change! Sigh!

Shifted

We've been shifted to the new place in Tower B. As before, mine is a solitary cubicle. An indoor plant and a fire extinguisher keep me company here too. I love not having to share my deskspace with anyone else.

Just Discovered

Image
Rob Costlow's compositions for the solo piano are just fantastic!

Post Unpublished

Someone took offence to a recent post of mine that let the cat out of the bag. I guess my ways are sometimes radical for people destitute of mental faculties. Such people beg to remain shrouded in ignorance.
So be it!

A premium too high

So I finally embarked upon the intimidating task of locating an LIC office. The official site lists addresses devoid of road numbers, pin codes and phone numbers. As such, the addresses weren't really as helpful.
Knowing that there was an office in JP Nagar 1st Phase, I set out at 10 in the morning and walked my way towards what I imagined would be the required phase. I overshot by a whisker and asked people for directions. And directions I got...all sorts of them! In desperation I began redoubting my understanding of 'right' and 'left'. Thankfully I managed to overcome my perplexity when I accidentally came across the elusive LIC office!
Entered the building, took the lift, filled the outstation (Pune) cheques and joined the queue. Only when I reached the payment window did I learn that outstation cheques were levied with some additional amount. So I had to fish out an additional Rs101. If the LIC coffers had a national identity, why should outstation cheques be pen…

REVA, the electric car

Image
Offbeat things always appealed to me. I guess that's why REVA made such an impact on my mind when I first heard of it years back. I wanted to own things that would help set me apart from the rest.

However, my favorable disposition towards the car changed when I saw it for the first time on the roads of Bangalore. Then again...and again...and again! It looked atrocious! Though the REVA is supposed to be more pragmatic than aesthetic, even this would warrant such a horrid look!

It didn't take me long to relinquish my desire for the car. Offbeat be damned!

Sagittarius

Image
What's so special about this constellation?
Nothing per se, except that this is where our galactic center lies.

The LIC Despondency

My LIC premium payment is adding vexation to my already troubled scheme of things. The photo copies of my previous bills have yet to arrive and without it I can't manually register for HDFC's BillPay facility. After dashing a mail to HDFC Bank support, I received a reply which redirected me to an online BillPay registration site. Registered. But anxiety was in no mood to spare me. BillPay will be activated only after 7 weeks. There are also indications that the HDFC guys make an exception for LIC, which causes a further delay!
I'll be hunting for an LIC office tomorrow to make the payment manually. The Bangalorean landscape is largely unknown to me and I'm totally unaware of the bus routes. I'm sure the autos will take me for a ride.

Keeping @ Bay

Time to shift from Bay 6, 4th Floor in Tower A to Bay 5, 2nd Floor in Tower B. I'm getting tired of these constant shifts. I hope we don't need to move before Monday.

Dancing the Waltz

I was a first grader when I suffered the ignominy of being selected for a waltz as part of our annual school function. I was paired with Harwinder, a punjabi girl who eventually went on to complete schooling with me. She would be good in sports...and like all sportswomen, carried herself in a tomboyish way. Nilanjana and Sanjeev (both from another section) formed the other pair. Nilanjana, like me, was a bengali and so too was Sanjeev, who was the bully type.

There was a shortage of space in our school and that finally lead to our library floor becoming our makeshift dancefloor. How convenient...since I would raid the bookshelves during the many rehearsal breaks and read as many Tintin titles as possible. I wasn't fond of the dancing, though. It was way to girlie and I wanted a more macho role. Hard luck! We had no say and were made to suffer under the constant glare and choreography of our teachers. However, I harboured the secret wish of being paired with Nilanjana! She was pre…
Santosh can't pay the rent. So I'll have to bear the entire burden this month. I hope this doesn't become routine!

Sax Appeal!

Image
First impression wasn't all that appealing. The Saxophone sounded like a cow that had somehow learnt to sing. Here's the anecdote.

Dad had a turntable connected to our valve-driven radio. He had built an extensive archive of vinyl records over the years. Having a rather offbeat taste, it must have been an excruciating job collecting those records. But he was ill-fated. The turntable was stolen one day and Dad was finding it increasingly difficult to replace it. Dejected, he decided to give-up his archive by distributing the records.

Years later, he decided to buy an AIWA cassette player. Job done, he now set out to rebuild the archive. Mission impossible. Musical tastes had degenerated so much that market forces almost completely obliterated good records. In desperation, Dad turned to his old colleagues and managed to record some of the old 'records' he had given up. Of course, most of these people hardly had Dad's taste and that reflected very well in the upkeep of …

Proud to be an Indian

Image
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
Image
Trying out AOL Radio for the first time. Yahoo! Radio finally has some real competition!
Just Discovered: There are stations titled Bollywood and MusicofIndia!
Image
Manilal & Mantu @ home in Bangalore

CHESS!

Image
Played Chess...and won 4 games, drew 1. It's atleast 4 years since I last played Chess.

Annular Solar Eclipse

Image
Yesterday was witness to an annular solar eclipse from some regions of the world. Unfortunately, India only enjoyed a partial eclipse.

SAP projects are trickling

Yeah! And I'm living in mortal fear of them! Some of my colleagues are getting telephonic interviews for ongoing projects. I received an email a few days back regarding an HP project that required ABAP engineers. I was asked for my contact number and a show of interest in it. I replied only with my contact number. I guess that turned them off!
We got an email today informing us about immediate requirements for ABAP engineers in Hyderabad. No one was interested in relocating!

I'm running out of steam

I often get the feeling that I compel myself to write even when I have nothing to write about. Elevating mundane events to spectacular incidents in order to merit a mention in my blog is hardly paying dividends. I guess I must use my discretion more often and make posts only when necessary.
It's not that I'm stripped of ideas. Indeed, my precocious head is buzzing with ideas that could revolutionize the way our archaic world works. However, I fall short of words in describing my avant garde concoctions. What a pity! I need a literary prop.