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Showing posts from July, 2006
The jewel box containing my Dexter Gordon CD was discovered broken when I came from office. Needless to say, no one acknowledged or apologized. I just wish people would stop meddling with my things, especially those that are close to my heart.
This has been a staggeringly expensive month. The expense manager tells me that my total expenditure for the month of July has been Rs12964.
I learned this morning when I came to office that there was a road accident after the Friday party that involved 3 of my colleagues. The car in which they were travelling was completely smashed. Luckily, they survived with only minor injuries.

I was also oblivious of a few unpleasant things that had happened at the party. Ignorance is indeed bliss!

Blocking someone

I'm generally very tolerant when it comes to handling emails sent by people I personally know. However, one incredible person's emails have irritated me to such an extent that I've been forced to block her id from littering my inbox.

I just wish some people could cleanse their minds before communicating with others.

Multitasking

Windows may be a multitasking OS, but I really suck at being a multitasking operator. I begin to panic when the Taskbar has more than 4 tasks. I'm amazed when I find people pulling up the bar to accommodate 10-15 (maybe even more) tasks! Tabbed browsing makes life a lot simpler for me, but even that can only go so far.

Handling multiple wives at once would be simpler!

Santosh goes mobile!

Santosh finally has a personal contact number! After dilly-dallying between pre-paid and post-paid, Hutch and Airtel, stilettos and platforms (I made that one up), he now has a pre-paid connection from Airtel.

By the way, Santosh is back to his 'cooking' ways. Needless to add, I'm back to my 'great-eating' ways! The familiar sound of the pressure cooker whistling away to glory is music to my ears! To hell with Appassionata!

The Party's Over

I return &...can hardly recognize my home! Santosh has been hard at work putting things in order. The floor is clean, the shelves are manageable, the dangling switchboard is fixed, the kitchen is ridden of its litter, the sink has got a wash, the utensils are in their proper place and my room is habitable again!

Thanks, Santosh! I wonder why you never complain about the way I live!

Thought of placating myself to retire for the night by listening to some jazz ballads while strolling on the terrace. 10 minutes into the act & the batteries went dead. Sleep overwhelmed me anyway.

Party @ Confident Cascade in Pix, Vids & Words

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Get Your Own!View Slideshow

Never again will I make fun of the colorful shoes of one of my colleagues. I wore a pair of fluorescent-orange sneakers (in keeping with an ad-hoc protocol) to office as we were slated to leave for a party after lunch that necessitated some outdoor activities. Most people had donned attires that were in stark contrast to their usual austere selves. Welcome change!

When we finally reached Confident Cascade (off Bannerghatta Rd) after a less-than an-hour's trip from office, we realized many of the recreational sources were themed around children. Anyway, there was enough to keep us adults occupied. A friend and I probed the turf and discovered camels, rabbits, ducks and lambs. There was a swimming pool, fountains, multipurpose hall, indoor games and ample fields amongst others that promised a whale of a time ahead.

The star-attraction of the party (Yuyutsa Paintball)proved to be a dampener of sorts. Paintball is an event simulating a battlefield. There are t…
Yeah, Santosh has reached home safe & sound. His train journey lasted more than 60 hours!

Now that my exclusive access to the Net @ home is a thing of the past, the number (or length) of blog posts may significantly decrease. It's really a boon in disguise. I need to apply my mind on other things.
Can't keep my eyes open. So leaving 'early' @ 6!

Santosh is back in Bangalore...

...though he has yet to reach home. Santosh's train arrived at 1 am and he decided to spend the dark hours in the waiting room. He called me up at 6:50 (a femtosecond after the morning alarm) to ask me to keep the extra key with Mantu.

Must be home by now.

Detoxification

After a day that was spent in my being ridiculed (SAP crap), I returned to get an urgently required detoxification via Eclipse. I've really forgotten much of the IDE Workspace, but coding a few lines in Java was all that I needed to lift my sagging spirits. I love the open & all-embracing nature of this language. Java is not just a language, it's a philosophy.

My code is massacred

It works flawlessly, but my scant respect for adhering to standards has landed me in trouble. I now have to be a disciplined conformist. Though I can see creativity being butchered, all this conformism is a necessary evil and I must appreciate its merits.

Where's Santosh?

He was supposed to show up today after a month-long vacation.

Point Taken!

Dear Deepanjan Nag
Your post "Boiling an Egg" was a hilarious post and I must admit me being a biology student I do not remember the air sac in the egg. Nice tip. It was a blog that kept a smile on my face and it turned into a grin by the end of your adventure with the egg. Your manner of writing is very interesting and refreshing though I do pity the vessel my sympathies are with you. Do write something creative or on current affairs too as that would give me a chance to feature you as I definitly think you can write a good gripping piece. Do consider my tip.


Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx
Sulekha Blogs Team


As usual, privacy concerns force me to conceal the identity of the writer.
I must buy some more sleep. Was supposed to get up at 6:45 this morning...woke up at 7:21 instead.

Fading Freedom

Ah, the joys of solitary living are short lived! You can be as dirty as you want, touch yourself wherever you want, eat as much as you want, sleep as much as you want and surf as much as you want. I now understand why a man is in a sullen mood when his wife returns after being at her parents'! I've thoroughly enjoyed the extra space created by Santosh's absence during the past month, but it's now time for me to relinquish all the fun. Not that Santosh has been guilty of robbing me of my space...still, there's an innate sense of detachment and unaccountability when you have the entire place to yourself.

It was during my trudge back home after office that I decided to celebrate my new found (& soon to be lost) expertise in cooking anda bhurji (the reign was a monopoly), tired though I was after yet another nearly 12-hrs of work. Bought a loaf of bread, was overcharged by a Rupee. Bought onions, was overcharged by a Rupee. I was too exhausted and too famished to pr…
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Last.fm just keeps getting better & better.

Getting frustrated

The quality of my blog is plummeting & I just don't seem to have an antidote for the problem. Don't know what's ailing me, but I'm getting increasingly desperate to get out of my present situation...and that seems to be bearing down too heavily on me.

I feel like a loser again, my dreams have all been shattered.

The 10th std Autograph Book

Ya, it was such great fun. We had grown up together and now it was suddenly time to go separate ways into the unknown. For much of our lives we had known little other than the daily school routines. Most folks (I guess) liked coming to school, I hated it. Mondays were the worst. The day seemed unimaginably long. The eighth (& final) period seemed nowhere in sight and the periods seemed to trudge through the day without any sense of urgency.

The short-break offered me some respite and hope of eventually escaping for home. The two periods after that brought in old sentiments..of never breaking the shackles of academia. Lunch was like nirvana: 40 minutes of bliss out of which 20 were spent in talking, playing and scheming against classmates of the rival gang. It was great fun! And we had only 3 more periods to go before we were through for the day. There was indeed hope!

We felt dreadfully sleepy immediately after lunch. The swirling fan drowned whatever silly ramblings the teacher wou…

Anand departs...

for Malaysia via Chennai. One tends to recall only the nicer and memorable things on such occasions, but Anand is the sort of guy who'll grant you with nothing but pleasant memories. No filtering required.

I came across Anand during our very early days in BIT. He was an exceptionally reticent and obedient guy who would go to great lengths to avoid grabbing attention. Surely enough, most people who didn't know him ell enough would tend to give him the miss. Fight your way in and you'd come to know how wonderful a guy he truly is.

I got my chance during the placement period in our institute. I can still recall how a bunch of guys had spent the night after an interview in a hostel room. There wasn't enough space and Anand had taken pains to see to it that we weren't left in the lurch. We woke up in the morning to discover that the only one inconvenienced was Anand himself! I never got to say a sorry to him.

It was sheer luck that brought us together in Bangalore. Discove…

Washed!

My clothes have finally got the wash they so urgently deserved after a week's aquatic existence!

Indian Government Lifts Ban on Blogs

I can breathe easier now! I wonder what the GoI has managed to achieve by the censorship. All we've proved to the rest of the world is that we can easily do a China!

I had gained access to my blog via a site (besides Google's proxy servers) that was set up by a bunch of Pakistanis! I remember my thanks being acknowledged by someone from across the border. If this doesn't prove how the Internet is spearheading a borderless society, I wonder what does.
The end of the nation state is inevitable. I love it!
Thanks to Slashdot and Google Groups for leading the reprisal.
People React.
Government Speaks.

The kitchen bulb's busted

Ya & it has been this way for the past 3 weeks! I forget to buy a replacement while trudging home after work. On weekends, I go out only during the day...when there's no need for the bulb (helps me forget about it)! And anyway, the tubelight from my room floods much of the kitchen.

Here's a confession: I hate blue lights. It cheapens the ambiance.

Shiva Kumar

Had a nice long chat with Shiva, one of my school friends and neighbor. God it must be more than 10 yrs since we last spoke! He's currently in Infosys and works from Scotland. I was surprised to learn that he was with my present employer until a few years ago. Another surprise: Feona is here too, probably working from a different facility.

It's a small world!
Zoya leaves India today. I already miss her.

Anand leaves for Malaysia in a few days.

SOS

My clothes are still unwashed!

Blogspot Blindspot

Isn't it exciting when someone desperately tries to stifle your right to freedom of speech and expression...and fails miserably? We're increasingly living in a borderless world where old barriers are crumbling down, though the labor pains are sometimes frustrating.

Blogging happens to be one of the most potent instruments of self-expression, something that doesn't always add comfort to the political fraternity. Indeed when the ruler is scared of the ruled being opinionated, the archaic weapon of censorship is invariably put into action. The Indian administration (which itself is most in need of some sensible administration!) felt threatened by blogs, particularly the ones hosted by blogspot and typepad. Our government had reason to believe blogs were being used by terrorists to carry out anti-national activities. Wow, I must say our stupid politicians are getting increasingly tech savvy, at least they know about blogs!

But as the adage goes, little knowledge is a dangerous t…

The imaginary race

I remember how as kids running was one of the greatest pleasures of life. It's a distinctive perk of childhood, the pleasures of which are mysteriously erased as we gradually grow up. Running against friends was the simplest sport known to us. Seeking competition in this delightful activity was always on our minds and we would be ever willing to participate. Finishing last would puncture some pride...but only momentarily. Running wasn't always an option though!

Sometimes, we had to slow down to a walk! But even then, walking slower then others (especially strangers) wasn't acceptable. If I found someone walking in the same direction as mine, I would just no allow him to walk faster than me...especially if I wasn't accompanied by anyone. So I would often break into an impromptu competition if I so willed. The idea was to 'defeat' a stranger walking in the same direction, who was already ahead of me. He would become an unconsenting and ignorant participant in my f…

Experiments with clothes

Do clothes dissolve in water if left there sufficiently longDo clothes begin to eventually fermentCan designer undergarments make a fashion statementJust how strong can clothes stink
These are the facts I hope to unravel in the immediate days ahead. I've done what no man has done before: allowing his neglected garments to adapt to aquatic life by leaving them in wash buckets sufficiently long.

Of course, the original idea (simply washing my clothes) was far more benign and mainstream. It was on last Saturday that I finally decided to give my most neglected clothes a thorough wash. I dropped them all in soap water in a bucket and planned to do the rubbing, scrubbing and wringing a few hours later. The water had turned opaque as soon as the clothes were added, something not out of the ordinary for me.

The hours ticked by but I couldn't muster enough courage to approach the bucket. Let them stay there a little longer, I reasoned. Day turned into night, but I remained as lethargic as…

Boiling Eggs

I'm surviving on junk food (courtesy Haldiram) tonight, not that I don't have an alternative. I've survived this way since long. One of the best alternatives Nature has endowed us with is the humble and unsung egg. I mean, look at the variety of things you can do with this wonder product. Even the greatest fool can boil an egg! I guess one of world's worst kept secrets is how bachelors can prolong their singlehood by simply surviving on a steady supply of boiled eggs. Had eggs never been invented in Nature's cradle, I'm sure more men would have to tie the nuptial knot a lot sooner than needed...which would have indeed been a shame!

I've had my share of flirting with the egg. I guess I learned how to boil one way back during my school days. When hunger pangs would hit a peak during adolescent years, all I had to do was raid the refrigerator for eggs and then boil & eat them, mom's services weren't required. Sweet will was never so sweet, especia…

It breaks my heart to break your heart

But I must. Please forgive me. I know I may be making one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

I'll go crazy!

Santosh's highly eccentric PC has been spawning Desktops out of nowhere. Each time I boot, there's a fairly good change that an entirely new and virgin Desktop will be presented to me. Worse still, some of my mp3 files have been corrupted, some mp3 folders have disappeared altogether and even Windows Media Player vanished into the twilight zone.

I had to create a Guest Account and things are okay now. But for how long?
Mom has bought a Sony Wega TV.

Dexter Gordon Revisited

Dexter Gordon on saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano
from the movie Round Midnight

Circa 1991, I took the Calcutta Metro from Rabindra Sarobar to Esplanade. I just had to visit Symphony, a very famous outlet for music cassettes. Looking for something on Jazz, I encountered 'The Best of Dexter Gordon.' I loved Jazz, I loved the tenor saxophone, I loved the feel of the cassette! So I bought it.

Little did I know that this little buy would soon become my favorite cassette, particularly for one of the tracks-Tanya-which I still consider the best Jazz composition ever. I would listen to it over & over again. One of my cousins had a minor altercation with me and decided to seek revenge by cutting the tape, since he knew very well how much I loved it! To this very day I've not been able to forgive him for his dark act.

The tape was somehow glued. I played it so often (after returning to Jamshedpur), it was worn ahead of its time! I was helpless and couldn't do anything about i…

The 2nd Calling (but this time failing)

Zoya messages me (15th, 1:59 pm)
Hey deep! Its zoya. My friend and i are on our way to forum and will be there for some time. Let me know if ur free and can come by.

I message Zoya(15th, 2:02 pm)
Am a bit busy. Wil b @ forum anyway in the eve.
Wil meet if u r stil thr!
Plz dnt mind my being so rude!

Zoya messages me (15th, 2:10 pm)
Hey not rude at all! No problem! Just let me know when u get there. Have a great day:-)

I message Zoya(15th, 5:01 pm)
Wil b @ forum in 20 mins

Zoya messages me (15th, 5:04 pm)
Aww we left already

I message Zoya(15th, 5:05 pm)
Thats ok. I was supposed 2 com anyway!
Hav a blast of a time!

Zoya messages me (15th, 5:06 pm)
Thanks, you too!

I message Zoya(15th, 9:23 pm)
Yo Zo! Missed u real bad @ forum! I'll giv u a call 2morow morn.

Zoya messages me (15th, 9:29 pm)
Ya too bad we didnt get to meet again. It was a pleasure the first time! Talk to u tomorrow.

Dhyani visits

We met after a long hiatus and exchanged many office anecdotes. It's heartening to know that SAP makes not just your life miserable, others are there to share your plight too!

Ah, the weather was unusually pleasant and the walk to HDFC Bank wasn't tiring at all. Standing in the long queue, though, was. 3 ATM's, and only 1 was working! And this wasn't an offsite facility. Anyway, the LIC office wasn't crowded at all, much to my surprise. The last time I was there, the place was so crowded I had sworn never to visit it again.

I closed my corporate account in HDFC Bank today. The account was never used.

Santosh calls from Jhanjharpur

He'll be leaving for Bangalore on the 24th of this month. Strangely enough, I didn't miss him one bit...except for when it was time to cook! I know I'm mean!

Having the entire room to myself is such great joy!

Nice feel

It was a cul-de-sac. Work wasn't progressing for a long period and I was getting increasingly worried. We finally hit upon the culprit: a syntax error in the source code. The interpreter didn't trap it and we were totally stumped with the outcome.

It's funny how missing variable names can cause such a serious derailment.
Mantu's bought a bike.
I'm trying hard to contact Zoya...but her mobile seems to be out of range yet again. This is frustrating.

BTW, I'm back to using Firefox. I've just downloaded FF Beta 2.0 and it seems to be great. The online spell checker is a beauty.

Feels nice!

Dear Deepanjan,
We are glad to inform you that we would like you to be one of the short listed candidates for the competition organised by DNA Me because we feel that you have showcased your talent for creative writing in your stories time and again. We would like to have a 3 line bio about yourself, your postal address and contact number at the earliest so that we can go ahead with the process of the competition. We will also require you to write to us after every post that you send in that the story is your original piece of work and if found to be anything but so you and only you will be held responsible. For more information do access the link http://sulekha.com/me/ or do get back to me with any queries you might have and I will be glad to help. This is a one time activity because we need the information for archiving purposes. So even if you have already sent us the information in the past kindly bare with us and send it again.

Regards,
Xxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx
Sulekha Blogs Team
-----------…

Namrata's Belated B'day Bash!

The Prolific Bunker

I used to hate going to school. The emotional cycle had a period of precisely one-week. I used to feel down in the dumps on Monday mornings...but as the week progressed, my gloom would gradually diminish. Friday evenings were the best: 2 days of no-going-to-school to follow.I felt on top of the world!

Getting out of bed on Mo(ur)nday morns was the weekly tragedy I never really got used to. I would come up with countless imaginary illnesses and beg Mom to let me bunk school for the day, a mission often accomplished. Of course, facing the music from Dad in the evening was a danger that loomed large.If my school ever came up with the Prolific Bunker's Hall of Shame, I would be one of its most obvious and illustrious inductees!

College was a nice respite. I was away from home and atteding classes was the exception rather than the rule. I'm yet to learn who my English teacher was supposed to be! And I was in thick company now, so the feeling of guilt was almost comletely gone. Attend…

A Failure

Close on the heels of DRDO's Agni 3 missile failure came the turn of ISRO to shoulder its load of woes. Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle was the culprit vehicle. Insat 4C was the precious payload that never made its way into orbit.

Well, success is failure turned inside out. I'm sure we'll learn from our mistakes and forge ahead.

2006 FIFA

Italy beats France for 4th World Cup title.

Why it means so much to me

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I’m almost as familiar with Willis Conover's voice as I am with Dad’s. Conover’s legendary Jazz Hour on VOA was a source of unfailing inspiration to people from all over the world and carried special significance to East-Europeans living under oppressive Socialist dictatorship. Jazz Hour was one of the subtler weapons used by the US administration to promulgate its Capitalist vision and the famed American Dream.

I had been listening to JH probably from the day I was born! I vividly recall Dad putting on the radio at around 7:30 pm on Saturdays. We waited excitedly for the valves to get heated as the tuner gradually hummed into life. The tuner knob would have to be adjusted to the precise location to pluck the right signals from the airwaves. This was no easy task as the wavelength (I forget its exact frequency since we located by the relative position of the pointer, not the absolute frequency) was heavily congested and we had a trying time reaching the precise position. All too of…

Music sounds better in winter!

I remember how as a kid I used to be a very intent and serious listener to music. If I ever put on a cassette, the only thing I would do for as long as the music flowed was just carefully listen to it- no room for anything else.

Extraneous noise distracted and irritated me immensely and that’s why I would shut the window, not wanting outside sound gaining entry. Also, the fan was switched off since it was a major source of annoyance for me. All this was okay during winter, but sweltering summers made me pay the price dearly! I would sweat; something that didn’t bother me much-though it was a matter of great concern to my folks.

The other thing that bothered me was the inherent ‘hissing’ property of all audiocassettes. No matter how great the recording, turn up the volume and you’ll surely be introduced to that supremely omnipresent hissing. I so wished we could have recordings that could completely do away with this anomaly. Dolby-B Noise Reduction was a vestigial solution to the malady…

V V Busy

Work has kept me very busy over the past few days and I hope to be able to post something substantial on Sunday. My promised post on Convocation Day has been delayed beyond measure and now I've forgotten most of the happenings. I'll try to recollect as much as possible, though the details will be heavily lost on me.

And I'll make a concerted effort to get rehabilitated into the real world. The Net isn't really a great place to hang around. Time to sleep with my books again!

Amazon order cancelled

The order placed with Amazon was cancelled yesterday owing to a snag. I had used my virtual credit card number to make the purchase. Such use-once cards remain valid for a period of only 3 days, following which they are destroyed. Unfortunately, Amazon has a policy of charging the card just before the shipment…which in my case was scheduled to happen only in mid-August.

I’m not too comfortable punching my actual card details. I hope to find an alternative.
Rajat is leaving for Switzerland on the 5th of Aug.
Girish Karnad walked passed me as I was on my way back home after getting off the office bus at 15th Cross. He was blissfully humming something as he came out of a house. Is this where he stays?

Stephen Hawking asks...& I answer!

Question:
How can the human race survive the next hundred years?
In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?

Answer:
The power of construction is greater than the power of destruction. Had the reverse been true, the Universe would have never come into existence. I think the same idea holds true for mankind as well. Also, had the Big Bang resulted in a homogenous Space & Time…planets, stars, galaxies and comets would have never become a reality. So it’s variance from absolute uniformity that makes existence of so many beautiful things possible.

Extrapolate the same notions and you’ll have your answer. Difference of opinion (political, philosophical or personal) is necessary to let us gradually pick & choose the best, violent though the process may be! Supernovae are violent but they leave behind beautiful nebulae!

If every kind of particle must have an associated antiparticle, could the brilliance of Science…

I remember...

wishing Dad 'Goodnight' and how he would wish me back. I remember my voice. I remember his.pestering Dad to tell me stories at bedtime. He would be awfully tired, yet would never refuse me my wish. He had few stories to tell, but his inimitable style held me spellbound.asking Dad to narrate stories from magazines he bought for me. I loved the way he would infuse life into the written word.being so awed by Dad's personality, I decided to mirror his tastes and opinions. His disposition was of paramount importance to me. Aligning my feelings with his wasn't difficult. deliberately hurting Dad on many an occasion. He loved me enough to let me hate him.Dad winding the antique clock religiously on Sunday nights. I looked in bewilderment at his precision.Dad rubbing his cheeks against mine.Dad telling me how short life is. He told me how I would have to ond day perform his last rites. He really made me cry.walking down the grassy sidewalk alongside Dad, holding his finger.goi…

How Saturday was spent

Saturday largely spent itself, with a little help from me. Woke up late (probably 9) and put on the PC to cull music off the Net. Felt too lazy and ended up skipping lunch. Siesta time was spent in buying 6 CD's via Amazon.

The power supply was disrupted at around 4 and that's when I decided to take a nap...which lasted almost till 7 in the evening, by when power was restored. Felt famished having missed lunch but couldn't go back to cooking noodles again. Necessity is the mother of desperation! Decided on cooking Anda Bhurji although it would be tough without Santosh. Tried to recollect all the ingredients. Almost forgot the oil! Most of what was needed was already stocked.

Ventured out to buy some eggs, butter, onions and oil. Returned, enqueued some Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sinatra & Tony Bennett tracks via winamp and began the cooking. I was on my own for the first time in many years (as far as cooking was concerned) and I had mostly lost my instinctive skills in decid…