Friday, November 25, 2005

Rohit shifts to his new place tonight...while I leave for Kolkata via Guwahati Express. Things will change when I'm back. I'll have to do some speed reading on HTML, Javascript, XML...well, the list goes on. I also intend to join French classes in January.
The only thing I won't enjoy: ABAP!

Another change will be the shift from desktop blogging to moblogging. I'm finding no time to blog from my office desktop...and I intend to buy a personal desktop not before 2007 begins. I just hope the Nokia keyboard isn't to expensive. Any idea about the price?

Adieu, dear readers! Will hope to catch up with u folks on the 5th of December.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

An apology to Sittu

The flurry of recent activities made me completely forget that I was supposed to inform you about my trip to Kolkata. I leave tomorrow and will be back on the 4th. My leave of a fortnight was cut short on account of the demands of work. My blog will remain dormant during this period.
Monsoon seems to be the perennial flavor of the Bangalorean airs. It's raining for the past few days...and, needless to say, the roads look intimidating once again. I'm sure even the Jovian terrain is more hospitable!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Riya

I'm dying to get a Riya account. Google is rumored to be in talks to buy it. I think the acquisition of the nifty product founded by Munjal Shah would be fantastic.
I'm running out of time for my blog.
Any suggestions?
I'm contemplating buying the Nokia wireless keyboard to blog via my mobile.
Santosh goes for another exam today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sourceforge finally sports a new look!

Monday, November 21, 2005

News Aggregators

Are news aggregators that big a deal? While Bloglines & Google Reader are the best web-based aggregators, I'm not entirely convinced too many people would find reason in using them heavily. Using bookmarks that directly lead to the web-page would be far easier minus the pains.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Human ingenuity hits a peak when there is a scarcity of water. I guess that's what makes Bangaloreans such skillful and clever people. Though I'm used to water scarcity by now, the situation becomes so desperate sometimes that we have to invent desperate measures.

I had seen how Prateek & Sittu would brush their teeth without water (!) or wash clothes with only a limited amount. Innovation at its exemplary best. The situation in JP Nagar is no better. We cooked chicken with no supply of water and had to use whatever little we had in stock. Adding to our misery was Santosh's improvident way of expending water, as if he owned the Indian Ocean!

Thieves @ Work

Who doesn't like a holiday? Didi (sister) & I were no exceptions...especially since it endowed us with the opportunity to raid every nook & corner of our house for edibles. No matter how well-fed we were, we would be perennially hungry!

Afternoons would be the best time for us to go on the hunting expedition. Siesta-time for Mom obviously granted us with ample opportunities to hone our skills. Didi would be the mastermind in engineering the plot to raid our house. She would devise schemes that left no stone unturned in probing every inch of every room in our quest for anything ready-to-eat that would ultimately and up in our tummies. Mom was well aware of our dark deeds. After all, you couldn't really blame evaporation for the rapidly depleting stock of cookies bought only a couple of days ago! She devised her in-house techniques of deception that would make our hunting that much difficult...though we always proved more than equal to the task at hand. If she had graduated in the art of deception, so had we...but only in the art of detection.

From scaling the wardrobe in search of the cookie-jar to being on all-fours to look under the bed; from digging into the divan to probing the earthen-pitcher...we had tried it all and were usually successful in accomplishing our mission.

Things changed when Didi gradually lost interest in our misdeeds until she finally decided to defect to the other side (Mom's) & refused to cooperate with me. I'll never know what came over her to merit such ecclesiastical amelioration. Being her accomplice was great fun & now I sorely missed her. I was left with no option but to fend for myself. Those years of apprenticeship under Didi's effective guidance had taught me enough nuances of the game to merit my going solo.

So here I was, the lone Robin Hood of the ever-hungry me waging a solitary war of detection against the worldly barriers of detection. I actually became reasonably accomplished in my task & gradually hone my skills to unprecedented levels. A proprietary technique I had invented involved muffling with a pillow the sound made while opening the lid of a tin can. Many a time had I been caught red-handed due to the awful amount of noise the activity would otherwise involve. My new technique worked flawlessly & sure saved the day for me on many occasions. I guess I should have patented it!

The passing years gradually waned my interest in the afternoon-time adventure until I too defected to the right side of law. How boring!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Google's First

I've been checking one of Google's recent purchases...and it has failed to impress me. This is perhaps Google's first takeover of a firm that wasn't the best in its class.

The Cricket Match

Bangalore hosts the second cricket match tomorrow in the ongoing series between India & South Africa. Manilal is contemplating buying some tickets...although the chances of tickets being available so late in this cricket-crazed country look very bleak.
Only once had I had the opportunity of watching an international cricket match in a stadium. The match was between India & England, the venue being The Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Buada & I were so excited on our way to the venue.
India got to bat first and put on a decent score. But the Englishmen were equal to the task and thrashed our bowlers. Like many spectators, we were annoyed by our amateurish performance and decided to vacate as the match was destined to be lost, we thought.
By the time we reached home, there was a stark reversal of fate. We won! I curse myself for missing out on the events that led todramatic change.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

End of my creative afflatus?

Since most of my scant brainwaves are now being utilized on officework, expect a dwindling in the quality & quantity of my posts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Trials & Tribulations

Santosh had cleared the first selection round (written) of an IT firm and faces the acid test (HR & GD) today. He has been busy honing his verbal skills by reading one of the Businessworld magazines I had bought a few weeks ago! Never have I seem such diligence in him in reading this particular magazine.
Well, I wish him all the best!

The Green Sidewalk

I always hated studies. Still do. But early on I learnt an ingenious way of giving those endless hours of poring over dull books the miss. I simply had to accompany Dad to the market! Since it usually happened during my study-time, taking a break was the most convenient way out. Dad would only be too glad to have me by his side, as he & I could endlessly talk about a wide range of issues.
Those trips to the market had another hidden agenda: I loved reading magazines and going to the bazaar with Dad surely meant I could emotionally blackmail him into buying me another one...even though the previous issue was still unread. Well, I didn't have to try too hard and Dad would invariably relent after a little convincing.
However, what I remember most about those trips to the bazaar is the walk back home. Ours was a narrow but tranquil lane with grass sidewalks on both sides. Jamshedpur being a hilly town, the lane was rather steep and running downwards was sheer joy. On reacing the terminal end of our lane en route to our walk back home, I would hand over all the things I helped carry to Dad. That's when I would start running as hard as I could on the sidewalk. The grass easily muffled the noise my running would have otherwise made. On reaching our place, I would wait for Dad to slowly trudge his way back. I sometimes got too impatient waiting for him and would run back, only to run back home! It was such great fun.
Needless to say, I had many a fall on those runs! The grass would do a splendid job of cushioning my fall. But what joy it was...running down memory lane!
I've finally got my new pair of glasses. I'll try to avoid wearing them.

Me, Friends and Forum

10102005 by deepanjannag.

28082005(001) by deepanjannag.

28082005(002) by deepanjannag.

deep by deepanjannag.

School children going to school after a drill (I guess!) by deepanjannag.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hawking's cosmological riff (click here)

It's nice to see even Cnet dedicating a part of its tech-space to Dr.Hawking. I recall having attended a lecture once in Fergusson College, Pune by a cosmologist who had done his PhD with Dr.Hawking. The lecture revolved around Time and Gravity. We listened to him in rapt attention in the amphitheatre. He had a great sense of humour and ended by saying,"I hope to see you in the future...or the past!" We erupted with a roar of laughter and applause. I fail to recall his name.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Willis Conover
It's a shame that bloggers hardly know him! Even Wikipedia had no article on him until I wrote one.

Friday, November 11, 2005

SAP/ABAP Motivation

A combination of some/all of the following factors could be motivation enough for me to put my heart in SAP/ABAP for a year:
  1. Winning the Nobel Prize for ABAP coding, 2006.
  2. Aishwarya Rai/ Heather Graham marrying me.
  3. Osama bin Laden reading Bhagavad Gita and converting to Christianity.
  4. All the world's mosquitoes & cockroaches going extinct.
  5. Microsoft embracing Linux/Open Source and offering to nurture the operating system.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ah, Beethoven!

It must be over a month since I began experimenting with listening to sounds that most people call music. Well, non-classical is not necessarily all that bad. But I'll never convert to this grade of mass-appealing sounds.
I'm listening to the finale from Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony over Yahoo! Music...and I now realize what I've been missing for the past month or so!

A testimony via Sulekha by one of my readers

(I've edited the grammatical flaws)

Hello Deepanjan,
It was fun reading both your columns.You have an art to make your topic interesting. Not bad. Have fun..and good luck for futher topics. Wish u well.
HazelEyes

(BTW, I've forgotten my Sulekha id & can't contact my 'hazeleyed' admirer!)

(...Nope! There was a problem with the Sulekha web servers!)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Phone Call

I had called up Mrs.Nileema Raddi in the morning but she had gone out. So I called her up again at 9pm. Among many things we discussed was Shrirang bhaiya's wedding in Nayantara just before it was to be demolished. I also broke the sad news of Suchismita's sad demise, something that left aunty thunderstruck. Uncle is in New Delhi to visit his relatives. It was nice to hear from aunty after a long time.

A little later (9:50pm) came a call for Santosh from his nondescript native place. The gibberish from the other end made me disconnect the first time. The second time was a more concerted effort and after getting a semblance of what was desired, I handed my phone to Santosh. He talked to his heart's content for half-and-hour, enough to drain my cell!
Yahoo! Cricket score ticker is a beauty

Searching for someone

I remember hearing a song by someone in a movie with Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves as the protagonists. Charlize is a free-spirited girl who is terminally-ill while Keanu is an ambitious lawyer who is captivated by Charlize's ways. The most memorable thing about the movie, though, was the song. I tried to ferret some information about the song yesterday, and its unknown singer.


  1. Searched for Charlize Theron via Wikipedia. Browsed through her filmography and zeroed in on Sweet November (2001), which rung a bell. I didn't remember the name of the movie and hoped this was the one.
  2. Clicked on Sweet November. The plot confirmed my doubt! This was indeed the movie I was looking for.
  3. Searched for Sweet November via Yahoo! Music. Managed to find the original motion picture soundtrack.
  4. Clicked on the link. Found the list of tracks. There were 13. Now which one was I looking for?
  5. Visited Amazon and searched for Sweet November. Gotcha! The list of tracks, however, gave no information about the singers.
  6. Listened to the 30 second samples.
  7. Only Time. That's the song! Still, no information about the singer. A customer review read "My main reason for getting this album? Enya."
  8. So could Enya be the elusive singer? Returned to the familiar terrains of Yahoo! Music and searched for Enya.
  9. Read her biography. Certainly seemed to match what I had in mind. Yeah, some more probing and it was finally confirmed that Enya was the one.
  10. Watched some of her videos. Really liked what I saw. I just love her new age style.
  11. Finally, searched Wikipedia for Enya.
  12. Job done, I was a satisfied person!

U may visit her official site here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A different bus

I go back home by the company bus. My usual bus didn't show up yesterday, only to be substituted by a new one. I wasn't aware of the change. What's more, 'BUS No-31' was written nowhere on the windshield of the replacement. So how was I to know that the swanky bus stalled right in front of me was my bus?
I came to know of the switch only after the bus had left! Having no alternative, I walked in the rain back home. Bangalore roads being what they are, my trousers (yeah, the same bee harbouring ones) & shoes were heavily soiled by the time I reach abode.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The sting operation

There was a guy in school named Subroto Giri, who, we all agreed, was the world's most accident prone person. All the world's ill luck would strike him first before affecting others. We sympathized with him, though we couldn't help occasionally taking a dig at the poor guy.

I guess Murphy's law of averages has finally caught up with me. It's now my turn to be the butt of the jokes of my acquaintances. I went to HDFC Bank to sort 2 issues. One was sorted, the other had to wait. It was during my trudge back to my office that I made the mistake of putting my left hand into a hip pocket. Unknown to me, a bee had conveniently lodged itself there. No sooner had I made the intrusion than the bee stung me! My thumb, to be more precise. It felt like my thumb had been amputated. I did the obvious and withdrew my hand with a jerk, not knowing what had hit me. Getting a semblance of what had just happened, I realized to my consternation that the sucker could still be 'in' there. I feared getting stung again, this time into regions of my body far too vital.

Not knowing what to do, I came up with a plan to defeat the little creature. The modus operandi was simple. I would have to reach my office, take to the toilet, strip below the waist, turn my trousers inside out, attack the said pocket with all my might...and hope the bee wouldn't sting me in the interim period. The plan was executed to perfection, although attacking the pocket required artistry far more complex than I had originally imagined.

By the way, my efforts proved futile. After mercilessly pounding the pocket from all directions, I finally mustered enough courage to probe the pocket. I did a thorough check, but nothing was found. Obviously, the bee had escaped after the sting!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The price for lethargy

I hate washing clothes. It's way too menial for a genius like me. Beethoven composed 9 symphonies, Shakespeare scribbled 37 plays, Darwin came up with the Origin of Species, Einstein contrived The General Theory of Relativity...and here I am washing clothes. What a sheer waste of my talent! I'm sure I could come up with something equally monumental if civilization gave me enough time to apply my fertile mind on higher thoughts. Well, my loss is the world's loss!
Well, yesterday being a holiday, I finally set about washing some of my dirty clothes by dumping them into a bucket and adding washing powder and water. It was 10am. They were supposed to soak for 2hrs at the most. They ended up soaking for 13hrs instead. Actually, I kept procrastinating till I could no longer avoid it. One of the garments (a green colored T-shirt) decided to seek revenge for my apathy. It bled its color, thereby dyeing a formal shirt which I normally wear to the office. What a reprisal! I tried in vein to rid the newly added dye. Nature had taught me a vital lesson the hard way.
So what can I now do with my beloved shirt? I thought of continuing to wear it to office, passing off the patches of green as a new designer trend...but realized my colleagues were too clever not to see through my alibi. What the heck!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Linux PCs: Customer service or lip service?

The above Cnet News article evoked some fervent comments from the readers. My own comments were dabbled with and the fallout was rather interesting. Click on the title above to read the original article. My comments appear at the bottom. Please bear in mind that I'm not technically adroit in Linux. Exaggerations in my comments are there for all to see!

Hotmail Replacement?

It may be high time I bid adieu to my beloved Hotmail accounts. Microsoft is planning a contienental shift with its web-embracing Live initiative. I guess Kahuna will eventually replace Hotmail...or become the next major Hotmail upgrade.
To know more about Kahuna, click on the title of this post. Hurry, the link could be dead soon!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I would have loved to Audioblog if we had a local number. I hope the day isn't far. Speech-to-Text would also be great and the Blogger folks are working at it. Hurry up, guys! A genius (yours truly) is waiting to make himself heard in cyberspace!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Guards Are Down

It came as a complete surprise to me today when I discovered that Yahoo! Groups was accessible via our office desktops.

I've added a Flickr badge to my blog. This ostensibly goes against my view of keeping blogs ultra-spartan.
Well, some flowery stuff wouldn't hurt!

The WTC Makeshift Substitute

The blue beams stand testimony to religious flaws. Like it or hate it, you can't attenuate the hold religion still has on us. Proof enough that we have a long way to go before we vanquish our inhibitions!

Some friends from BIT






I've cruelly stolen these photos from Saurabh's and Vivek's Flickr pages. I hope they won't sue me for the infringement!
Proof that there is perfection in the universe!
Kaushik had called last week saying he was scheduled to come to Bangalore on Saturday (29th) and leave for Chennai the day after. He was to put up at my place. However, he never showed up. I guess the recent floods in these two cities put him off.
I've finally got my PAN card.

The Ritam Shock

Chanced upon Ritam's site. Going thru his contact page gave me the shock of my life! Could it really be his photo? Curiosity got the better of me and I quizzed him via email. Pat came the reply, "Yes!"
After a break of 5 days, I'm back in the office. I've been busy downloading all sorts of programs (mostly crap) for my mobile. Most of them are, however, not free. I've downloaded some nice themes as I was getting tired of the default vanilla one.

A Sedate Diwali

Yesterday was Diwali and needless to say, we were all agog. Not me, as I'm still in mourning for my Dad, as this was my first Diwali after Dad's demise. I couldn't help recalling how, as a child, Didi & I used to have a whale of a time during the festival of lights. Dad would buy fire crackers, phuljhari, charkha, dori and some improvisations the market would come up with each year. Didi & I would diligently expose all our fireworks to the Sun during the afternoons. We would partition our fiery properties so as to avoid disputes when the big day came!

The big day would finally come. Lighting the crackers was great fun and the little sibling rivalry that had been brewing over the past few days would finally subside and camaraderie would kick in. We would pool our crackers together and light them in unison. Sharing was more fun! Being the more timid of the two, I was slightly subdued as compared to the other folks, so Didi was on the driver's seat.

I was and still am a little scared of crackers. They are way too noisy and slightly dangerous. Phuljharis are my all time favorite.