Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Our latest topic of discussion is a certain lady slated to get married soon. Abhishek, the poor soul, regrets not making the vital move when he first felt the flutter of love or something like it. Well, we all have such tales to tell and it feels nice that he has someone to talk to about lacerations of the heart. He's aware of my yearnings and the sense of camaraderie has gradually strengthened with such swapping anecdotes.
Career wise, I've been overwhelmed with cluelessness fatigue.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
But over the past couple of months, I've notices something strange about the urinal bang opposite to my favorite one. Each time I'm at my sweet spot and unzip the fly,
the erring urinal's flush is automatically triggered! And this happens without fail. I've even engaged in competitions to see if the unzipping can be done before the flush flushes,
and each time I've been beaten.
So I decided a few days back to use the strange urinal with the overenthusiastic flush and see how it behaves this time. I approached, nothing happened. I unzipped, nothing happened. I did my business, nothing happened. I zipped, nothing happened. I moved away, nothing happened. I lurked around, nothing happened. I snooped, nothing happened. I left, I don't know if anything happened.
Anyway, I'm back to using my favorite urinal...the one not afflicted by any such anomaly. Adjusting to its hypersensitive but eccentric cousin will take some time though. By the way, I'm still in competition with it to see if the unzipping can happen before the redundant flush.
UTI Bank Ltd
I'm yet to hear from these guys.
I filled a web-form last week to open an account in a very prominent bank (not UTI Bank!). A representative was supposed to show up to help me through the formalities. Guess what, no one has contacted me yet. When I'm trying to lodge a complaint, the web-page itself is throwing up an error! And I've made repeated attempts at this through both IE and FF.
Why the hell doesn't anything work in this country? Is there something intrinsically defective in our genes?
The only way I can wriggle out of my present situation is to buy yet another card. I'll feel guilty if I do that; but if I don't, embedding personal videos to my page will be history. I'm in a dilemma.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
The routine met its much-overdue and abrupt end this week when my roommate finally joined the IT workforce. I felt awesomely rewarded only this morning. Santosh is required to work 6 days-a-week while my obligation is limited to 5...Saturday being the great discriminator. So while it was my turn to have an extended relationship with my bed (a makeshift one), Santosh dutifully had to wake up early for work! And this reversal of fortune happened for the very first time...which made the whole experience doubly sweet.
Being half-asleep never felt this great. I love Saturdays!
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
How do you feel when the three prettiest babes in your workplace are in close proximity with you at the same time?
How do you feel when the prettiest babe sits right next to where you are standing? You feel like occupying the vacant seat next to her.
How do you feel when the second-prettiest babe, who also happens to be a very close friend, is busy in animated gestures and spirited conversations with her colleagues? You feel like her colleagues shouldn't have existed in the first place and that you should have hogged all her attention instead.
How do you feel when the thirt-prettiest babe is up there on the makeshift stage looking prettier than ever before...almost like a walking-talking doll? You wish you could take her home and keep her for good.
How do you feel when a wall of people block your visibility of the prettiest babe until she leaves? You feel like all those damned people were dead.
How do you feel when the second-prettiest babe also leaves mid-way when work beckons? You realise you're nothing more than just another passing entity in her life.
About the third babe? Wake up to reality!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The world will never know the many masterpieces that could have been. It's almost as monumental as Mozart breathing his last while he was still in his 30's.
Do I flatter myself too much?
There's a suicide story I'm going to delve into tomorrow when I get the details. No matter what facts are unearthed, it's going to be very sad and disheartening. I can't envisage people giving up the battle for survival so easily. Is life that dismissive?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The interview went smoothly. The offer was made. Santosh accepted it without any hesitation. The next two months will be crucial for him, or so he feels.
Cooking for dinner may become a problem now! We must build a buffer stock of groceries and fast food. It'll take us some time to get used to the new world order!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Those were the days!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
My list of the Top 4 Piano Concertos of all time are:
- Beethoven's Emperor Concerto
- Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor
- Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1
- Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3
BTW, the photo shows the legendary Van Cliburn playing Rach 3 in the final round of the First International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. Cliburn went on to become the legend that he is today. Coincidentally, I remember reading an article (in the Reader's Digest) about a certain Japanese guy (Jon Nakamatsu) who had won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997 playing ...guess what, Rach 3!
The worst of the new-age breed is undoubtedly UTI Bank. In fact, it's a nightmare. Whether it's Pune, Kolkata or Bangalore, my experiences with the bank has always been very unsatisfying. Today, my opinion took a further Southward dip and hit rock-bottom. Let me recall the harrowing experience.
I had deposited a cheque worth Rs.30,000 in favour of my sister's account at an offsite UTI ATM located at JP Nagar, Bangalore. Though I had mentioned her account number in the deposit slip, I forgot to do so on the flip-side of the cheque. It was a slip on my part and I own up to it. Days went by and when the cheque amount wasn't credited, I sent an email to the bank pointing to the anomaly. I was pleasantly surprised when someone from the bank called me up to say that since I had failed to mention the account number, the cheque had been sent to the Main Branch located at MG Road. I was asked to visit it and do the needful to help clear it.
I visited the said branch today and after wading my way through the crowded lobby, managed to reach the clearance section. It was manned by four people. When I asked if it was the clearance section, no one bothered to reply at first. Only after being more persistent was I told that it was. Not a trace of politeness could I catch in the tone. I then recited what had brought me there, to which one of the personnel listened with a look of immense irritation writ large on his face. Halfway through, he cut me short and refuted my claim saying that the cheque must have been sent to the JP Nagar Branch and not the Main Branch. I protested saying that I was directed to the Main Branch since that's what the records apparently show to the one who had called me up upon receiving my email.
Our rowdy man simply refused to do anything about the matter. He could have cross-checked, but didn't. Now what is someone supposed to do when two people from the same bank say contradictory things about the same cheque's location? In desperation, I called up the person who had contacted me. He ostensibly rechecked the records and reaffirmed that the cheque was indeed in the Main Branch. I told him what had happened. In return, he redirected me to someone named Smita. I approached her, got her up to date, only to be redirected back to the clearance section! When I protested, she flatly refused to be of any further assistance. Back to Square One!
I was desperate by now and dialled the first guy once again, only this time someone else answered. He was apparently aware of my situation and asked me to hand over my phone to the clearance personnel. I tried to do so. The personnel gave me a look of such supreme indignation that I began cursing the moment I had to deal with the blessed bank in the first place. He took my phone and immediately launched a flurry of verbal abuses at the other person. In effect, he tried to refute the claim that my cheque was at that branch and that consequently he had anything to do with it. I knew by then that my cheque was history. I took my phone, spoke over it for some time before being put on hold...and that was the last I ever heard from him. I waited for my phone to ring. Nothing happened.
I knew fighting would be futile. My past experiences with the bank hadn't been much better. I beat a hasty retreat to HDFC Bank and issued a Stop Payment of Cheque request. The job was promptly done in no time.
What makes UTI Bank so thick-skinned? Why is it manned by personnel who don't even know the basics of etiquettes and manners? Why do these folks don't feel the heat from far more professionally managed private banks? I guess it's the faulty work culture and lack of accountability that has made the bank the mess that it is today.
And I'm not the only one to be so disposed towards UTI Bank. Many of my colleagues, friends and relatives have similar plights to recall. If things are to get any better, the first thing the bank must do is to make its employees go through compulsory courtesy schooling. That way, at least they'll stop behaving like hooligans and be a bit more professional and responsible.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The one weird thing about her is that she stares at people. I mean she keeps staaaaaaaring as long as someone or something doesn't jolt her from her trance! To top it all, she does so point blank! She'll stare at someone in the elevator, in the cafeteria, in the breakout area and in places I've yet to spy on. She isn't even gender specific. In sure one of these days a lady will make a move on her if she doesn't cut down on those glares! That'll be a spectacle!
There are enough pretty lasses to ogle at and had I been so vain (I'm not sure if that's the right word), I would have spent a better part of my life gleefully peering at them. But I'm sure the retaliation would then be hard and annihilating since I'm nowhere as cute as my pretty friend. It's an unfair world!
Addendum: When confronted with the threat of exposing her idiosyncrasy, this is how she defended herself: arre i dont stare ..its jus that i forget wat im doing n start think of somethin else...n btw,i start looking only wen im sure the person is nit noticing..
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The end of it all was an anticlimax. It was much ado 'bout nothing.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Posterity will remember today as the turning point of evolution of life on earth.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
The damned beings have been especially belligerent on me ever since I decided to retaliate and regain lost territory. The mattress is infested beyond measure and the lacerations on my skin are there for all to see. I'm being bit even as I write this post. Tonight will surely be ghastly for me.
But wait, these ants ain't seen nothing yet. I'm on combat mode now, my mission being to purge the ominous trail from the wall and replace it with a one-way ticket to hell for all my victims.
Prasant still remains the simplest and humblest guy I've come across in Bangalore. Wish we could meet.
I was surprised, and even a bit worried, to learn that the mp3's were encoded at an astoundingly high bitrate of over 400kbps. For a while I didn't even know if my humble CD player could handle it. All sorts of anticipatory and contingency plans began to kick in including converting to Atrac3plus.
As it turns out, no conversions were needed. All's well that ends well!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
I was urgently in need of visiting UTI Bank to clear a cheque meant for didi's account. But a rescheduling caused the plan to be deferred for a week. Now I can just wait and hope nothing preemptive comes up next time.
Friday, November 10, 2006
The all-halting exercise finally reached its fruition at 2259 hrs.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
We really enjoyed your November 1st blog post, The name of the game is shame, and had an opportunity to link to it last week.
Our blog post, India Has Its Own Beantown Today, discussed the renaming of Bangalore.
Our blog (http://www.namedevelopment.com/blog) discusses marketing, naming and branding from a linguistic and strategic perspective.
We thought that you’d find this post (and others) of interest, and it may be of interest to your readers.
If you find the post at http://www.namedevelopment.com/blog/archives/2006/11/india_has_its_own_beantown_today_1.html worthwhile, and we think you will, please consider linking back to it.
Thank you, Deepanjan, and continued success with your blog. It’s very interesting and well-written.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Saw Sittu in the morning as he was waiting for his shuttle and I wished Prateek had been there to give him company. I remember the two leaving for work together when I was staying with them in a Madiwala cave more than a year ago! It has been a long time since I met them.
The traffic has seriously begun to bother me. I wonder how much more can the roads of Bangalore take.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
I've been there, I know the feeling.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
And the 6681 had made its worldwide debut only in mid-2005! I was the envy of my friends and colleagues when I had newly bought it in July last year. It now almost qualifies for a vintage! How time flies!
I only hope Net access through my phone works as well as I'm imagining it should.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Anyway, vinyls were being fast replaced by cheap cassettes. Unfortunately, the albums that were to Dad's tastes were simultaneously disappearing from music shops. And that's how Dad ended up regretting his impulsive decision.
We had an AIWA cassette recorder and a few worthless cassettes those days. One major advantage was that you could now make audio recordings of whatever appealed to you. Dad knew full well by now that expecting his beloved albums and compilations to reappear in their cassette incarnate was very unlikely. So he embarked on retracing the vinyls he had given up and making audio recordings.
There was much disappointment along the way and most of the records were untraceable. The ones that were hadn't been treated well by their foster owners. Scratches had ruined most of the tracks and the high noise-factor rendered most of them useless. Still, Dad was obstinate enough and managed to record from two of the vinyls (if memory serves me right).
Jim Reeves was one of the rescued artists. The noise was a great source of annoyance, but luckily the music wasn't all lost. Didi (my sister) & I went on to become ardent devotees of Gentleman Jim in a few years. We would spend hours on end carefully listening to the lyrics and uttering words of wonderment. What won us over completely was Reeves's hauntingly rich and flawless voice. To this day he remains my favorite vocalist of all time. I was so enamored, I even tried recording my own crooning of some of his songs! Childish folly they were.
All that was a long time back. The cassette perished somewhere and I had other things to think about. The music industry changed drastically, especially in the way we listen to music. The internet heralded a new era of listening pleasure no longer at the mercy of the local stockist. You could download a lot of music for free, both legally and illegally. P2P technology started giving media barons nightmares with no antidote in sight. Music proliferated like crazy, much to the liking of people like me whose tastes aren't readily satiated by what's usually available in the stores.
I've been discovering some great forms of music I've never heard before. But what's even better is that I'm rediscovering long lost music, amongst them some tracks by Reeves I used to so fondly hum along as a kid. I've spent much of today recalling how Reeves's songs would echo in our living room while I sat spellbound by his magic. It has been a fascinating trip down memory lane.
I'm rebuilding Dad's lost archive. And I'm loving every moment of it. Wait till I tell didi!
Well, his prayers have been answered all this while. What's more, MR has also earned my sympathies in the process. The way he used to fret at his workstation, you could easily make out he wasn't too comfortable with his frivolous existence anymore. His jokes began to flop, his signature amble was lost for good and he even lost his appetite.
I've decided to put an end to the guy's miseries.
So my dear MR, you can finally heave a sigh of relief. The expose that was meant to be, will never be...at least not via my blog. The only favor I want in return is that you stop telling me your seriously humor-stripped jokes. I've suffered enough. Deal?
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
But there was some respite in store for my much-troubled soul. I guess one of those nondescript deities floating around in outer space had been trying very hard to convince me into believing in the paranormal. As if to offer me some relief from work, the exit button that releases the door was busted a few weeks ago by some heavenly scheme of things. And thus began the daily melodrama each time someone needed to exit our cursed bay.
The inmates of our bay are by now used to the faulty button and do not expect the door to open in the first five-six attempts. But it's the unsuspecting victims who unknowingly stray into our bay by a simple swipe of the access card who present us entertainment-starved techies with regular installments of melodrama and bewilderment.
The poor guy feels trapped, looks confused, tries the button harder, pushes the door forcefully, looks askance,...tries again...and again...and again until it works. I enjoy these precious moments and it's becoming increasingly hard to hide my excitement. And even though we've got another door that works just fine, it's slightly awkwardly positioned and is thus rarely used. Repeated attempts at one door seldom leads the victim to the other. I guess it's a matter of pride. How can we allow a simple door exit to defeat us? After all, we deal with thousands of lines of buggy code and somehow make them work well enough through brute force. Years of being conditioned to bad code must have elevated our level of patience!
One of my colleagues from the other bay was particularly harassed today. She had made far-above-average attempts at exiting, but all in vein. I took heart on her, reached out for the buggy button, pressed it with a subtlety that could easily be lost on strangers, and lo...the door flung open! There were oohs and aahs and even a small round of applause at the achievement from the small crowd of colleagues who had begun to assemble close to the door to offer some assistance. Weeks of being in close proximity with the door had let me in on a few secrets to successful exits. And I won't tell you any!
Q: What's a fantasy?
A: Entry into the bay by swipes of the access card is made impossible!
Q: What's a nightmare?
A: Exit from the bay by pressing the busted button is made impossible!
Though I remain a FF loyalist, I must say IE7 beats it hollow in many departments.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The caste cauldron is another grave malady we've invented for ourselves. China's oppressive regime couldn't be much worse than this. The day democracy prevails there, they'll wipe us out in all walks of life. I see a bleak future for human rights in this country.
India is lucky China is producing its own impediments to certain glory. As long as our great neighbor remains minioned by the evil of communism, we can at least hold a candle to it with our own brand of home-grown folly!
Universal literacy has still not been achieved. Far too few people can read. On the other hand, thanks to the near-ubiquity of the Internet...
I'm wearing a rather remarkable shirt, one that makes me feel like a clown fooling around in a graveyard. Roving eyes latch on to me and...
I generally dislike Wagner. However, I heard a piece by him today and it was sublime and breathtakingly beautiful.
I just can't take it anymore. I should have moved on long back but lingered in the hopes of a miracle. It was not to be and I've fin...