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Showing posts from November, 2006
Rohit called. He's in Kolkata and getting married in December. Wish I could be there.

Life @ Work

After yesterday's hullabaloo that caught me completely off-guard and gave me a restless night, today was relatively sedate, though ironically, more hectic. I can't even begin to visualize what a terrible time poor MR must have had in the face of all the onslaughts! Raghu's description was terrifying enough!

Conversations

I've been trying to enjoy my cellphone doubling as an mp3 player during the return trip from work...without much success. The ambient noise is too deafening. More importantly, Abhishek, who usually chatters with me all through the way, has fallen silent ever since he's seen the earphones plugged, and that makes me feel a tad guilty. It's always a pleasure listening/talking to him and I can ill-afford to let music play a disruptive role in our conversations. The music stops for now.

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.
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Richard Dawkins
I'm one of his innumerable fans!

Flash Flush

I had my favorite umbrella, my favorite book, my favorite blanket, my favorite side at the table, my favorite constellation and my favorite singer. Likewise, I now have my favorite...urinal at the workplace, and that shouldn't ring any alarm bells for my readers. There's hardly any compelling reason to choose this particular one over the others except that it lies at the farthest end of the restroom and thus provides maximum privacy; yet I'm so used to reaching out for my comfort zone each time I'm there, it now comes habitually to me. The urinals, by the way, are fitted with an auto flush system and so each time your business is done, the flush is automatically triggered.

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…

The UTI Bank Followup (21st November)

Dear Sir Thank you for writing to us and sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. We have requested our Bangalore Branch, for necessary assistance. You will be receiving a reply from them shortly. Please get back to us if you are not contacted. Assuring you of our best services. Regards,
Xxxxx Xxx
Information Technology
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 Receding Horizon

My dreams lie at the other side of the horizon.
The horizon looks deceptively near.
Each time I try to approach it, it recedes.
This is frustrating.
I wish I hadn't been taken for a ride.

Memory Card

My 1G card is too slow for video recordings via my Nokia. The whole investment now looks like a waste. The card was supposed to help my phone double as a full-fledged camcorder from my blog. Instead, it'll now be used to store MP3's to keep entertained during the frustrating rush hour.
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.
It's very irksome when people don't bother to reply. I deem it nothing short of an insult. Even a curt I'm busy message would suffice.

The Reversal!

Getting up at 0645hrs every workday is wholesomely irritating. What aggravated my miseries was watching my roommate nicely warmed up in bed and blissfully asleep. And I had to suffer like this day for the past 14 months. What right did he have to enjoy an extended sleep while mine was cut short each morning simply because the world needed me to work for its meaningless goals? I sometimes had this urge to pour chilled water on him just to wake him up.

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 fe…
About the suicide incident, well, I've decided not to write anything more on it. The facts are too gory.

At a dance competition

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.

Now.........

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 be…

Me, the egotist

There's a huge backlog of long posts I would have loved to publish. But I'm hopelessly behind schedule and can't play the catching-up game.

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?
It was Santosh's first day at work. So far, so good!

Syed & Someone Gone

Missing Syed Viqar and all his Orkutting! It felt like old times chatting with him and trying to circumvent security barriers paranoid folks needlessly put up sometimes.

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?
My genius is once again being thwarted by work. In fact, I'm well on my way to fooldom. I can't even begin to mention all the silly slips happening due to me. The latest feather on my cap: I sent a cheque to someone and mentioned the Reader's Digest subscription number instead of the bank account number!

The Details

Not too many details are coming by way of my blog! Santosh begs not to disclose too much detail and I must comply with his wish. Things are still a bit shaky though more-or-less secured.

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!
The long wait is over! Santosh has finally got a job!

Nap Time

I had forgotten the feel of a siesta...until this weekend happened. It felt great. I remember being under the mistaken impression as a child that people who took a midday nap become dull! I would diligently try to keep myself occupied during the seemingly unending weekend afternoons just to avoid falling asleep. Of course, you couldn't always 'work' in stealth mode as mom blissfully slept in the dark room with all the curtains drawn; but when the risk was taken, the rewards were generally fulfilling. The occasional penalty in the form of a blood-curdling chide was silently accepted with little or no remorse.

Those were the days!

Rach 3

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Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #3 hasn't failed to impress me. I had heard a lot about it being considered the most difficult concerto of all...and now that I've heard it, I can see why even the greatest piano veterans revere and fear it.

My list of the Top 4 Piano Concertos of all time are:
Beethoven's Emperor ConcertoEdvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minorTchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3The common trait among them all is that they are exceptionally flamboyant, something that Mozart's compositions never tried to attain.

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, …
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The new breed of private banks is a welcome relief from the state-owned ones we were all made to suffer in the not-too-distant past. However, old habits die hard and sloppy service isn't something too rare.

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 sin…
Zoya has sent me her first email via her corporate id.

Stare!

There's this stunningly gorgeous colleague who also happens to be a good friend of mine, though I don't get to meet her as often as I would like to. And when we finally meet, it's like a riot of laughter. She'll imitate people and make faces so funny, gulping food becomes a problem.

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 retali…

My first AT

I kept fretting the whole day. Spent most of my time going through my code trying to recall the functionality, even though the exercise had already begun a few days ago. Nothing made sense to me initially...and I panicked. Digging deeper made things crystal clear and I was all set to wade through the impending grilling.

The end of it all was an anticlimax. It was much ado 'bout nothing.

My arsenal against antdom!

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I've been bit more than I could bear and now it's time to settle the score once and for all. Santosh gave my mattresses a sunbath and I'm all set to gift my little detractors the most toxic cocktail of disinfectants they've ever known.

Posterity will remember today as the turning point of evolution of life on earth.

Ants

Red ants have taken my room by storm and now I'm waging a lonely battle against their relentless onslaughts with nothing but frailty. It all began with what looked like a thin trail of creatures on an expedition to my room with a one-time picnic thrown in for good measure. Well, it was picnic all right...a picnic that refused to die in all these months. Little did I know that the trail would insidiously thicken into a very prominent two-way traffic more disciplined than Bangalorean lanes.

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.

Amen…
Samir called. His tentative date of coming to Bangalore keeps receding. Will he ever show up?
Prasant called up from Hyderabad and we spoke for 33 mins on issues ranging from work, stay and life in general to Orkut, colleagues and rising thefts in Bangalore. The poor guy is feeling the pinch of working off-hours and rues not having much of a social life.

Prasant still remains the simplest and humblest guy I've come across in Bangalore. Wish we could meet.

Mozart: Piano Sonatas - Andras Schiff

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After Beethoven, it was Mozart's turn to warm my heart with the consummation of his complete piano sonatas being downloaded. Yet again, the bitrate was exceptionally high, though this time it was slightly below 400kbps.

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas - Claudio Arrau

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I'm now the proud owner of the complete piano sonatas of the greatest composer of all time. And what could be better than the rendition coming from the world renowned Claudio Arrau playing all the sonatas in urtext edition!

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!
Santosh's PC got a much needed format (drive C). I was able to salvage all my half-downloaded mp3's by porting them to drive D yesterday.
Today was mightily irritating since I had to come to work.

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.
Jahnvee's 'normal' blog is unlikely to come to life again. That's what she tells me. I wish I could do something about this headstrong lady!

Jim Reeves, 16 albums, 1.27 G

Drive C was filled to the brim. Julio Iglesias had to be banished to the next drive. Even Beethoven's and Mozart's sonatas had to be suspended from trickling into the disk! A malware threatened to throw the whole thing out of gear and Santosh was all-set to format the disk, his remedy to any problem that afflicts his much-abused machine! Finally, the download got over after 10 days of excruciating wait.

The all-halting exercise finally reached its fruition at 2259 hrs.

The linking

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Hi Deepanjan,

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.

--
Xxx Xxxxxxxx
Phone xxx-xxx-xxxx
xxx@namedevelopment.com
http://www.namedevelopment.com/blog
These are trying times at work.

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.
Continental Drift is too sluggish for my liking. I wish it could be hastened so that we could mingle more with different cultures and people. The world would then be a lot less polarized.

Back 2 Work

Abhishek (Kumar) is back in Bangalore after his vacation. We traveled together after a long hiatus and I had to empathize with him as he cribbed about how depressing it was to be back at work after spending what was apparently a great break from the rigors of worklife.

I've been there, I know the feeling.
I'm now the resident linguistic consultant of our development team!
Santosh is apparently enjoying his foray into PHP. I hope the enthusiasm can be sustained in the long run.
I've been poking fun at poor Nilotpal for his new and watered-down cellphone. No self-respecting thief will ever steal this one!

1G Memory Card

I've finally got a 1G memory card for my Nokia! Transferring data from the old card was a headache and I'm not yet through with it. I've also discovered that there's a severe paucity of good software for the S60v2 (my version). There's even a great BitTorrent client available only for the latest Nokia smartphones. That disqualifies mine.

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.

Rediscovering Gentleman Jim

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I was only a toddler when Dad's record player was stolen. Dad had amassed an extensive collection of vinyl records, but they were useless without the player. Impulsively, he gave up the priceless records to many of his colleagues. I'll never understand why on earth did he do such a thing.

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 untrace…

Plan Aborted

MR has been living in mortal fear ever since I threatened to do a subtle expose on him. The poor guy has become a regular and devoted visitor to my humble blog, praying that the world remains oblivious of him and all his misdeed for just one more day.

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?
Santosh has been carelessly browsing the web via IE6 and now we have at least one malware gradually screwing his desktop. And I need not mention what sort of messages are popping up. I wish at least techies were more careful when doing something as simple as browsing the web.
Samir & Ashwini called up (separately) this morning.
Nilotpal's expensive cellphone was stolen this evening. I feel so sorry for him.

The Sentry

Work annoys me. And what annoys me while I'm at work is the constant stream of people entering into or exiting from our bay. Unfortunately, my cubicle is right next to the glass door and that has further aggravated the situation.

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 bewild…

The Daily Scoop!

I'm getting addicted to Nilotpal filling me in each morning on all the scandals that happen in and around our lives. It's the daily scoop that fully awakens me to what lies ahead. I guess he should be promoted to our in-house tabloid journalist!
I was overjoyed to learn that Zoya is joining the 'all-too-familiar' Accenture! It's a small world!
Tried IE7 for the past few weeks and even though I loved it, I must now return to the FF2 fold. I reckon the review comparisons between IE7 and FF2 by most of the tech media have very unfairly adjudged FF2 as the better of the two in all aspects. CNET's is nothing short of blasphemy.

Though I remain a FF loyalist, I must say IE7 beats it hollow in many departments.

The name of the game is shame

Bangalore tentatively becomes Bengalooru today. Some of the other cities in Karnataka to follow suit are Mangalore, Mysore, Belgaum, Hubli, Gulbarga, Shimoga, Tumkur and Hospet. The world must be laughing at our misplaced priorities. At least I can't stop my pity laughs. I'll never understand our national obsession with rechristening our cities. What good comes of it? We're simply deferring far more important issues that plague our society and substituting them with silly gimmicks that do more harm than good.

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 …