Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yahoo! Answers: A Great Hangout

It's amazing how eager people are to share their thoughts and feelings, if only you let them.

I posed 3 questions and got replies within minutes.

 

Which is a better place to live and work in, India or Pakistan?

  • If you are a rebel and killer soldier Pakistan.
    India if you like to worship rats and cows.
  • i have never been to either, but i think that india would probably be better.
  • ofcourse india
  • neither right now, have you been paying attention to the news?
  • if this place r both better then why do people frm pkistan /india move to other place for work.....?
  • Of course Pakistan. Hera at least God is one. Snakes and rats are animals like cats and dogs.Cows urine or any urine is dirty and impure.
    Pakistanis pray to God to save them from the torment of fire. They garnish their religious food with concentrate of rose and flowers. If drops urine falls on their clothes or body they wash it and clean it.
    Not India, because they are numerous Gods,always in doubt which one to worship. Rats and snakes are Gods here, Cows urine is sacred. Prime Minister of India spoke in a press conference that he drinks his urine everyday. Fire relieves therefore the burn their dead bodies in fire. Garnish their religious sweets with cows urine. They worship cow and wash with its urine
    So, naturally the better place to live is...........

Did you ever ditch anyone who genuinely loved you?

  • yes because i didnt feel the same way
  • There was this boy when I was pretty young, under 15 yrs. who left me a pack of doublemint chewing gum everyday. But when I saw him, I would walk the other way. I don't know why, it was very mean of me. I hope he found someone who truly loved him.
  • no but i have ditch people you like me
  • Yah. Ditch doesn't begin to describe it. It was more like a tearing, a rip. Not a fun experience to have to have.
  • hellno,
    because i felt the same way
    but if someone genuinely loved me and i didn't feel the same way, it wouldn't be fair to keep them on the hook
    i would make sure tho that there wasn't a chance for us, and then let them down easy
    you don't want to throw away something, and try to retrieve it later..might be picked up
  • Yep, I did!! I knew that he loved me alot, but also he was very controlling. After I woke up and realized this, I left him! I absolutely know he genuinely loved me, but I wouldnt take back my decision for the world. I am currently married with 2 beautiful sons, and know my decision to leave him was the right one!!!
  • ....not romantically,
    but I did ruin the life of the boy who probably understood me best and was the only person who truly cared about me at that point in my life. He always told me how great a friend I was and never had a mean word, he'd always make me feel special and would always tell me he loved me before hanging up the phone.
    I ditched him and ruined his life because his girlfriend and my "best friend" told some lies to me about things he supposedly said. At that point, I was too immature to do anything but give him the silent treatment and tell the whole grade his secrets.
    To this day, everybody who went to my middle school is convinced that he's some freak who should be avoided like a leper. My friends don't remember that it was me who made people see him this way (he was quite popular before this) and don't understand why I talk to him.
    Damn. Regrets, regrets, regrets.
    *sarcastic* thanks for bringing up those memories.
  • Yep, a girl I loved more than anything, and she loved me back,I think. we were best friends, clicked perfectly the minute we met and we as complete "soul mates" as humanly possible ,Ive never been anywhere near as close to any one else ,before or since, we could go all day without even speaking hardly ,like we could understand each others thoughts ,very little verbalising was needed.we shared each others every secret,no matter how dark or troubled, And when we became lovers it was purely natural and innocent, just the evolution of our bond...WRONG!!!! like Adam and Eve (funny her name was Eva) once we tasted that particular "fruit of knowledge" the relationship changed, we could no longer "be naked in each others sight" , which any one whose had a relationship can understand , theres just some stuff you cant share with the one that shares your bed,as openly as you do with your best friend..So we decided,it had to be just friends, however as Des Cartes pointed out ,you never step in the same river twice. ..Once a path has been chosen you cant go back to what was before,the bell cant be unrung, so we couldnt stay where we were and we couldnt go back,so all thats left is to move on..By mutually choosing to part ,we managed to save some of what had happend before .and in time Ive gotten to where she doesnt cross my mind for sometimes an hour or so ,on a good day...D*mn Im in a talkitive meloncholy mood, must be the holidays.
  • yah coz he is too possessive...i cant breath anymore

How does it feel to be loved (romantically)?

  • gr8
  • Best feeling ever. My man treats me like a princess and showers me with kisses and hugs. He tells me im beautiful every single day even when i feel like i look bad =] i love him so much <3 i cant live without him =[
  • Scary at first, then it just gets better unless something messes it up!
  • Warm, stable, unbelievable.
  • do you love your palms, does this answer yor question?
  • It's an awesome feeling...it just warms u up on the inside. Makes u happy and feel good about urself too, to have someone special love you.
  • Like she/he is the only person that you want to be with, like they are the only person in the world for you, you can go out in public and be around so many attractive people but still think of your boo, and miss them. To be loved is a great feeling, you should trust each other, respect each other, share things,dreams for example, or goals. Love is great, but it honestly hurts,too.
  • the best feeling in the world. Kind of like the world can be falling apart all around u but when ur with the one u love nothing else matters. Like ur heart skips a beat when u hear their voice, and a smile appears on ur face just because u thought about them. Feels like u can hate them for one sec but love them anyway.
    Warm and fuzzy should cover it, yep.
    Best feeling ever.

A sombre transition

This must be one of the gloomiest transitions into a new year. Life's complexities have spun out of control and I can only long for my halcyon childhood years.

 

Can someone please resuscitate me?

Resolutions 2007 (How I Fared)

Here were my resolutions for 2007.

  • Space Aplenty. I've lost focus. 0/1
  • Reduce Weight. Never bothered to pay any attention to it. 0/1
  • Blogging...Must Do Less Of It. Reading...Must Do More Of It. I indeed blogged less. I read lesser. 0.5/1
  • Cooking...Must Learn Some. Nay, I didn't add to my knowledge base. 0/1
  • Procrastination...Must Stop. I didn't procrastinate procrastinating. 0/1
  • French...Gotta Learn Some. I learnt none. 0/1
  • Washing Clothes...Shake Off The Lethargy. My clothes continue to rot. 0/1
  • Expense Management...Must Be Regular. It was working initially. Once stopped, it never revived. 0.25/1
  • Editorials...Must Get Hard Copies. I didn't. 0/1
  • Weekends...Spend More Meaningfully. Didn't happen. I'm not sure if the entry of Andromeda into my life changed things for the better. 0/1

Final Score: 0.75/10 = 7.5%

 

There'll be no resolutions for 2008, just a fresh start.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bumpy rides

The to and fro office rides via public transport were a real pain. The filth, noise, sweat, crowd and jerks aggravated by ill-disposition for the day. The return trip was unforgettably forgettable. The conductor walked all over the passengers (twice over me) with utter disdain and an old guy coughed over my fist and spat in the bus.

 

I now have a terrible backache.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Not the best of times

It's that time of the year when one stops to look back in retrospect at the year before it fades into oblivion. While most people are in a festive mood to celebrate the ushering of the new year, I'm slogging 12-hrs-per-workday in my blessed cubicle. To make matters worse, I'll have to be at the office tomorrow (Saturday), throughly disrupting the weekend feel.

I don't dislike working. What I hate is work spilling over.

To put it laconically, I'm seriously annoyed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Duo

Nothing is as good or as bad as it looks. Reality is always somewhere in between. When you listen to 2 very conflicting versions of the same event from 2 different parties, how do you decide what to believe and what to dismiss? That's a tricky situation confronting us very often.

 

It's a dilemma without a solution. We are left with nothing but instinct and discretion to aid us in reaching a verdict which might sometimes be flawed and aberrant.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Oscar Peterson Passes Away

Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson performs during the Gala ...

Oscar Peterson was one of the rare Jazz legends I didn't get to know through Dad.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Star for All

It's Christmas time again and discovering the occasional red star hanging from a ceiling shouldn't surprise anyone.

 

The heavens above have a real red star (Betelgeuse) that's most prominent during the winter, and forms the vertex of the Winter Triangle.

 

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Groping for words

Words aren't needed to feel something, but they've always been the staple crutches for thinking people. And for reasons that have now begun to frustrate me, I feel I'm unable to think vividly about anything. Something stunts it. Is it the mounting work-pressure that's having the debilitating effect on me or the guilt-feeling that's been consuming me for being manipulative, for twisting the rules of the game, for knowing in my heart of hearts that I'm not the sweet and innocent guy I once was and known for, for not utilizing my time more constructively, for neglecting my responsibilities and for not really being me?

 

I think it's the combined effect of many factors...often disparate. I feel despondent and wanna break free.

Aurora (pix from Flickr)

Northern Lights

Celestial Bird

aurora and fog

If only we had eyes for the beauty that surrounds us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Anand

Anand is back in India (Bangalore) after spending 1.5 years in Malaysia. He leaves for Ranchi on Monday and flies back to Malaysia in a month.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Though I find it very difficult to say 'No' to anyone, I overcame my inhibition today. Feels liberating.

Yahoo! Mobile Tech Support Sucks

What ails Yahoo! so much? I know Google looks like a nemesis, but giving up so early hardly seems warranted.

 

Yahoo! Support must get people who meet the following criteria:

  • Understand thoroughly what they are supporting
  • Understand simple English
  • Have at least an average IQ

 

I'm annoyed with the support the tech team provided me when I complained about a glitch that now affects the IM status indicator (embedded to my blog) when I'm online via SMS. It fails to show my status as Online even when I am.

 

When Live Chat failed to resolve the issue, I was promised a reply via email to address it within 48hrs. They kept the promise...and that's when I realised I must have been talking to the wall.

 

Very depressing...especially when it comes from my favorite Internet destination.

When blogs are useful

A mail I received:

Deepanjan,
Thanks for the audio featuring Boots Randolph in your 07-04-2007 blog entry. I was listening to "Rockin' around the Christmas tree" by Brenda Lee and was curious about who played the sax. Turns out it was Boots.
He sure could play... Thanks again.
Regards,
Xxxx Xxxxx

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bunked Office

Ah, the joys of doing nothing are immutable!

Engaged!

The title repeats from the recent past...and this time it isn't a misnomer. Zoya is now engaged to Doron!! I'm so happy for them!!

Y

Why do women give up their maiden names after tying the knot?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Email

It's now more than 9 years since my first two email ids were created (on the same day), hosted on Yahoo! and Hotmail servers. I've come a long way since then and changed countless mailboxes.

 

I've promised allegiances to innumerable mail servers for now-unfathomable reasons: Rediffmail because it wasn't the ubiquitous Hotmail or Yahoo!, USA.net because it looked nerdy and macho, 123India because of POP support and multiple From addresses, Fastmail because it was nifty and worked well as a web-based client for multiple Hotmail accounts, HotPOP because it was eponymous, Gmail because the reasons were very compelling, and countess others.

 

I know it's a hassle for others to keep in touch with you if you constantly keep changing ids. A rolling stone, after all, gathers no moss. So I even had a mail forwarding id with BigFoot. The one thing that set my mailboxes apart from those of the others was my zero-tolerance for spam. Okay, maybe I faltered a bit during the initial days but even that was negligible compared to the crap laden inboxes of others I've seen. In fact, I used to get so worked up if a single unsolicited mail reached my mailbox, I would immediately contemplate opening a new one! It was almost an obsessive compulsive disorder.

 

I've mellowed down the years. I'm now more or less committed to Yahoo!, Hotmail and Gmail. I upgraded to Yahoo! Mail Plus earlier this year and I've just created 2 mailboxes for my personal domain this morning! Google Apps is fabulous and just what the doctor ordered. I'm truly in awe of how symbiotic all of Google's products work and hope Yahoo! and Microsoft learn from the precedence being set.

 

My protracted search for the perfect mailbox has reached fruition.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

When numbers help each other

What happens when you receive a mobile number with a missing digit? Try to interpolate, of course!

 

You're out of luck if the missing digit belongs to the lower end since that's where they're relatively arbitrary. It's only at the higher end that they tend to be more structured and predictable. But how do you know where the absconding number originally belonged? If it's a high-end 9, it's child's play. If it's the digit directly after that, and you're aware of another number from the same locality, you're in luck once again.

 

That's what I did today and it worked. I'm not a total telephone tyro after all! Social networking and stocking all those continually piling numbers can be beneficial in more ways that generally believed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Loving the robot

This is a fantastic article.

Sweet Flattery

An approaching weekend is almost orgasmic. What heightened the pleasure today was a remark from someone.

 

We were having a siesta-time team meeting, the type that drones on and on about the only three things that hog the agenda: work, work and work. It was towards the end of this stretching exercise that our no-nonsense TL abruptly asked me in all earnestness where I had received my education. Finding me flabbergasted, she asked if I had studied abroad. The disparity between the agenda for our meeting and my educational background was too much for my semi-slumbering mind to fathom.

 

That's when she said, "Your communication skills are excellent!"

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The usual rubbish

I have nothing to write. I close my eyes and recall all the listless things that happened during the course of the day worth writing home about. Nothing. I try harder. Still nothing. Sure, I've stocked a few ideas that I'm hoping to elaborate on in future posts but I'm not really willing to spill the beans just yet.

 

Ah, the brainwave! There's this particular document that I tried to hardcopy yesterday...at least 10 times! My desktop showed no snag messages, but as I eagerly dashed for the printer, I discovered only a stack of others' printouts each time. Whatever happened to mine and where was it disappearing ? The enigma continued even today with yet another failed attempt. Printer's devil gobbling it up?

 

On a different note, have you tried to print on both sides of a sheet using a laser printer? The printer groans aloud and rattles like crazy! Since I try to conserve paper, I often choose this option, which leaves  the heavy-duty device quite shaken by the experience, literally! Worse, it gets jammed all too often and this ends up stalling the queue until a saviour comes by and frees the machine.

 

There's fun in jeopardy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

When racism is defeated

Itzhak Perlman plays a beautiful violin concerto as I type this post. I'm reminded of an incident in 2001 concerning a Wagner concert being conducted by Daniel Barenboim in Israel.

 

Wagner is serious taboo in Israel. He, though a luminary of the highest magnitude, was known to be a staunch anti-Semite. Though he died before the Nazis came into being, he did provide anti-Semitic inspiration for them, for whom he was a cultural icon. Hitler admired Wagner and his music was played at Nazi rallies.

 

Barenboim, himself a Jew, asked those in the audience who objected to Wagner's music being played, to leave. His audacious statement was cheered by a majority in the audience, though a few left in silent protest. It was a victory over hatred, it was a victory over racism and, ironically, it was a victory over a great deal of Wagnerism.

 

I'm sure the great man would be put to shame by the clemency of art-lovers who rose over personal inhibitions and racial sentiments to listen to his music, detached completely from the other things he stood for. And that's the way it should be.

 

Personally, I've never liked Wagner's music.

Do you?

F.r.i.e.n.d.s has this episode where someone (who was it?) confesses to always closing the bathroom door even when there's no one in the house.

 

Was this weird? I do it most of the time. I tried departing from the usual practice today and the exercise was kind of uneasy. I almost grew paranoid of someone wandering in and inadvertently invading my privacy. I was particularly harsh on myself trying to recall if I had indeed shut the front door.

Aurora Borealis

A band of Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights,  stretches over ...

I'm a bit confused by the coverage the Northern Lights are getting. According to AP:

Scientists think they have discovered the energy source of the spectacular color displays seen in the northern lights. New data from NASA's Themis mission, a quintet of satellites launched this winter, found the energy comes from a stream of charged particles from the sun flowing like a current through twisted bundles of magnetic fields connecting Earth's upper atmosphere to the sun.

I thought scientists always knew it. What's the 'discovery' then?

 

Ah, here's the follow-up:

Although researchers have suspected the existence of wound-up bundles of magnetic fields that provide energy for the auroras, the phenomenon was not confirmed until May, when the satellites became the first to map their structure some 40,000 miles above the Earth's surface.

I'm a little less ignorant now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sound Advice

Remember the good old days of Doordarshan idiocy? Ya, it's almost nostalgic now but some of the propaganda aired back then used to affect my nerves. One of them even espoused cobwebs in the house because they trapped flies and moths.

 

Hail Mother Nature!

Beginning to notice the difference

It's easy to differentiate Bach from Handel and Tchaikovsky from Stravinsky. But telling apart Mozart from Beethoven takes its own sweet time. I've just begun to notice the nuances.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Happy Birthday, Diyasha!

12112007149

Dark Matter

A few of my friends bought tickets yesterday to the 3rd test match between India and Pakistan being played in Bangalore. I'm all for the fun of watching the action unfold live in front of you, but should we need to corroborate a widespread malpractice in order to revel in the fun? These guys bought the entry tickets in black, fishing out Rs500 for what would have generally cost them half as much.

 

Wasn't there any twang of guilt in doing so? Don't people realize they're fostering a social evil? This isn't a one-off instance. Movie-goers regularly pay for tickets in black without a moment's hesitation, so what if the flick purportedly has a social message to disseminate and the audience will have their receptors working in top-gear to assimilate as much of it. They'll emerge from the theatre all-dazed in the afterglow of their newly acquired sense of purpose in life. It was well worth the 'extra' they paid to begin with. Hypocrisy to the hilt!

 

There's now a dubious and shady unaccounted-for industry that thrives on our gullibility and lack of integrity. I'm made to wonder just how decedent we are as a society. One reels at the thought.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Papyrus & A Nouveau Niche

Typos aren't half as bad as having an illegible handwriting - a fact that's reaffirmed  each time I have to reach out for pen-&-paper.

 

But this is not a duel between Fonts and Calligraphy. This is about the tangible feel of a book verses the many alternatives we are being bombarded with everyday.

 

What's it about a book that makes it such a delight to possess, besides the carefully crafted words it contains? It could be many things - pulling a book off-the-shelf, feeling  the weight of holding it, the texture of a page (rough or glossy), factory-fresh or vintage odour, the feel of flipping through the pages...sometimes leapfrogging to the contents, index or glossary, bookmarking, cracking of the spine as you open a new hardbound book, running your fingers below the line being read...the list is unmatched.

 

The e-age has brought in a lot of also rans into the fray, jostling for our attention. Desktop PC's, laptops, PDA's and smartphones have now almost endangered posterity from experiencing the joys of reading a book. I'm not really a  Luddite forcefully trying to turn the tide. Far from it, I'm a technology buff and love keeping myself updated with the latest RSS feeds. I've long junked the morning newspaper for the comfort and ease of news from the Web. I stream audio, watch online videos, download music via torrents, dabble with online photo albums, shop online, manage my expenses via spreadsheets and keep my firewall paranoid of everything in 0's and 1's. I'm a Wikipedia contributor, blog frequently (though I never even thought of having a conventional diary), member of many forums and some social networks, frequent the Usenet, email/IM frequently and spend a lot of hours coding to earn a living.

 

While all this vindicates my affable disposition towards technology, I prefer certain things remaining old-fashioned just for the heck of it. I've never felt the advent of tech toys even remotely threatening the charm of reading a book.

 

Image:Amazon Kindle - Off 03.png

Amazon's newly launched Kindle is the latest gadget to challenge the real book. It boasts of impressive specs, great conveniences and foolproof use, portability and easy access. In a networked world, you can have instant access to a burgeoning assortment of titles. And yet, for all its conveniences, it can never be what it was supposed to be - a book.

 

If I could choose between reading a real book and its e-avatar, I would have no hesitation in opting for the former. I know it's a losing battle and toys like the Kindle will eventually rule the roost. Future generations may find my choice unfathomable, but that hardly perturbs my harmony with the book - a real book.

Friday, December 07, 2007

When 2 isn't better than 1

As opposed to what I was expecting until a few years ago, the IM fraternity, instead of unifying into a single, interoperable platform has more-or-less unified into two islands.

 

ICQ-AIM-Gtalk forms a formidable camp. The MSN-Yahoo! alliance seems similarly impressive. If we discount the innumerable social-networking specific messaging platforms, we are now left with 2 platforms that don't talk to each other. While 2 is definitely better than the fractured platforms we had until recently, I would have much preferred having only one IM client resting on my system tray.

 

While Google's disposition towards open standards has become an industry benchmark, the others are yet to follow suit. Microsoft carries a legacy thought process that it's not willing to jettison - and with good reason. Yahoo! isn't nimble enough to learn the changing rules of the web and AOL is beset with its own problems.

 

I've waited long enough to see the unification of IM. Getting so near and yet so far is very frustrating.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Keep guessing!

image

One of the prettiest women in the world

Sans Dinner

This is one of those rare nights when I'll have to forgo dinner. The burner ran out of gas just as I was boiling water for noodles. I could have asked the other folks (who were away at a mess) to get me something, but decided against it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I look forward to...

  • writing a great deal
  • reading a great deal more

I feel excruciatingly guilty when I think of all the things that I could have read...but didn't. I feel worse when I think of all the things that have yet to be read...but never will be. I feel worst when I think of how ignorant I am...and always will be.

I hate it when...

people slip into my slippers. What's really surprising is that they don't even have the ghost of an idea they're inconveniencing others.

Don't read this

People hardly take advice. Yet, I'll excuse myself once again and be foolhardy enough to advice you to stop reading this post. I know it's no use, but I'm hopeful you won't disappoint me.

 

Stop! Enough! Didn't you hear me? I've nothing to write about - no juicy stuff on the lives of my neighbours, no scientific revelation, no metaphysical banter, no cosmic insights and no worldly tale. Seriously, there's nothing here for you, nothing of interest I mean.

 

And yet, you continue in the same vein...but I wouldn't blame you. We're all equally headstrong and contemptuous of others' wishes. It's amazing how we convincingly defeat mounting skepticism even after treading past the half-way mark for substance. What is it that makes us such crazed optimists in the face of undeniable evidence that starkly point to the contrary?

 

I don't know...and yet, you continue unabated. Now that you're nearing the end, I'm sure your optimism has gradually commuted to existentialism. You're older by a few minutes, but not wiser by a new experience. You'll tell yourself it was worth reading this far even though deep down you know it wasn't.

 

Well, suits yourself!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Spaghetti

Life's like spaghetti. It's too complicated for my dwindling intellect.

I'm too enervated now to apply my brainwaves on any post of substance. Maybe this weekend...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wild Fire

The video of our team outing spread like wild fire in office. It was a treat watching T wobbling on the dance floor!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Splitsville

My phone wasn't recharged in a long time and it kept nagging with audio alerts early in the morning. My first task when I grudgingly got out of bed was to plug my phone and satiate its appetite for charge.

 

Here's a Hindi song I genuinely loved as a kid. I remember those moments when it would softly waft through the air and captivate me. I'm still very much in love with it.

Singer: Zoheb Hassan
Song: Chehra
Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA

 

The title of the post is completely divorced from the body. I used it since it kept rambling all over my head and I liked the sound of it. There, I've praised it enough and hope it'll get off my mind now!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Don't rush me

Today has been a very emotionally strenuous day. While I'm emerging through vital lessons of life dazed but wiser, I feel a tad guilty for being manipulative. I also feel terrible for having turned down a call for a casual get-together with old pals. Sorry guys, but today was just one of those days when I was not in my elements. I confess I'm really bad at fulfilling social obligations. However, I would certainly like to make it to the rendezvous that happens next time.

 

I have reasons enough to be thankful to my blog for wording my thoughts that I could never have otherwise. This post subtly words a lot of emotional upheavals. It also remains uneasily muffled.