Thursday, July 31, 2008

I was badly shaken

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Until these donkeys lifted me.

My blog will miss so many important details of my life. Wish I could tell.

Maybe someday.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Contrary to what some might think…

I don’t hate India. In fact, I love a few patches of this vast country. I just wish 900 million people never existed.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How we read

There’s this great article on how reading habits are gradually changing over the years. While I’m glad the Internet has now made it possible for me to access a wide variety of reading material at the touch of a button, it’s sad that experiencing a real book, for all its palpable fervor, is a diminishing custom.

I introduced Santosh to a news aggregator yesterday, ever since the Ahmedabad blasts squealed the ones in Bangalore…and he’s been hooked ever since. It’s just another evidence vindicating the many advantages of online reading viz-viz reading in print.

I see the line gradually blurring between the two as technology evolves faster than we can imagine. Japan already has a newspaper that closely mimics the conventional look and feel but whose ‘print’ is refreshed each morning, thanks to an embedded chip receiving wireless signals from the news publisher. Amazon’s Kindle is taking baby steps into abolishing the need for conventional print while the iPhone makes for a crude but functional reading device.

Maybe my books will fetch a fortune someday at the Sotheby’s!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I touched Andromeda…

She was turned on

Then power was gone

 

I put her to sleep

And guilt ran deep

Morbid poem conceived by load shedding induced dementia

Morning Crisis

Choosing a shirt in the morning for office is like choosing a groom for your daughter.

  • You know they were all good once upon a time.
  • You know they're ruined now and not worthy anymore.
  • You know time is running out.
  • You know you must choose one among them.
  • You arrive at your choice by the process of rejection, not selection.
  • You reject all initially, then become a bit more tolerant.
  • Once you acquiesce, you discover flaws so glaring, you almost decide to go back to square one.
  • Finally frustrated, you give up and accept fate.
  • You still harbor a secret desire to accidentally discover the right one.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

World’s Largest Democracy

Democracy in India is like a nun who moonlights as a whore. Business has been so brisk of late that nighttime trade is spilling out into broad daylight. Everyone knows, no one  acknowledges.

Mani’s parents leave

The house wears a deserted look.

Monday, July 21, 2008

eMail

Why are some people under the impression that answering an email isn’t obligatory? Is it because emails aren’t disruptive and you can use your own sweet will to completely ignore them without feeling a twang of guilt? Is it because drag-&-drop is a lot easier than typing a response? Is it because we simply don’t feel for others? Or is it because doing nothing comes by default!

I think it’s a mix of all of the above and a lot more. I’ve time and again realized emails generally don’t elicit the response they deserve. Even official mails often go unanswered.

The retaliatory mail I sent to the office finance section today has a rich antecedence in having the desired effect. I had sent a query last week about the status of a package. I received a response from finance asking me to directly email someone in the same section! Couldn’t they simply forward the query to the person concerned? Anyway, I redirected my query last Thursday. No response until today. I resent the query yet again. No response still. I tried calling him up more than thrice, each time the answering machine passively greeted me.

I had had enough. An angry mail to finance and a CC to the erring guy finally evoked a quick response. All he needed to do was punch a few keys. I guess even this begs a Herculean effort.

Last year saw a very high profile and protracted chain of events that finally culminated in me shooting off a venomous mail to the country head. My patience had given way and I was furious at  someone’s non-responsiveness. I even tried SMSing, calling and IMing after the flurry of emails failed to evoke any response. Nothing worked until I hit upon the idea of directly reaching for the helm. It worked wonders!

Something is severely lacking in our work ethic.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wish

  • If only I could talk to someone.
  • If only someone would listen to me.

Skipped Lunch

One of the containers of my tiffin carrier refused to open. I refused a partial lunch. My tummy rumbled in protest but I didn’t pay heed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cosmic Connotations

The day may gradually slip into irrelevance, but it's significant nevertheless. Earth has steadfastly stayed on course and completed 3 revolutions around the Sun since I joined the present company. Kudos, Earth! I celebrated the momentous occasion by surreptitiously devouring 4 chocolate bars. If sharing is caring, I prefer being careless!

Today also confirmed a suspicion I always had: not all 34" are the same size, some are really 36" or even 38". Thanks to my newly altered jeans making me look anorexic, I'll now buy trousers only after trying them.

Form 16 was resent to my inbox after a high-voltage mail exhorted the hastening.

Shuttle #33 witnessed a miracle during the return trip: the AC was turned on for the first time since I started using the bus in April-2007! I couldn't believe my good fortune as the AC roared into life at the outset. I allowed a steady stream of cool air to pamper me till my destination.

'Mr.Roving Eyes' was hell-bent upon digging my grave today. This weapon of massive distraction assaulted me with a battery of questions so silly, I wished to issue a restraining order forbidding him not to stray within a radius of 200 meters from me. My desire not to be contemptuous stopped me from retorting: the less you see, the more you think you’ve seen it all.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Has it happened to you?

  • It’s a wonder that perfect strangers can become great friends.
  • It’s a wonder still that they may eventually drift apart and become strangers yet again.

I wonder Y

Why don’t some people realize they probably aren’t audible when the listener has a pair of earphones plugged in? The only way to deal with such retards is to crank up the volume.

Stupidity, like the sky above, is boundless.

Power Crisis

Karnataka is reeling under a severe power crunch. Daily loadsheddings have become excruciatingly protracted.

Prats Calls

Prateek called from Pune. He could have been a great satirist!

He’ll probably shift with Samir soon.

Lost Form 16

It’s a problem that’s hounding me. I hope the promised copy is sent to me before the last day for filing of tax returns.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The rogue Carl Icahn (my comment on NEWS.com)

I wonder why do gamblers from Las Vegas try their luck in Silicon Valley. They should spend their time in casinos and not board meetings. Pimping technology companies is not what they should be allowed to do.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Wetty Walk

I made a rare early exit from office today. The only penalty for  such an ‘escape’ lies in the walk back home from the shuttle stop being a rather long one. A colleague accompanied for some distance before we parted ways…she was headed home while I had to visit a shopping mall en route.

On exiting from the mall, I discovered an usually pleasant and inviting surrounding. I was suspicious of a minor storm, maybe even a rainfall. However, the ambient splendor coaxed me not to seek refuge. I braved the wild winds.

I knew I was cunningly tricked when it eventually began to drizzle. I new I was duped big time when the rainfall unleashed its full fury without any warning. Already considerably drenched, seeking shelter would be a waste. People had already scuttled for cover, a few cars hurriedly honked, my shirt and trousers had hugged me in a cold embrace and a young rickshaw driver passing by asked if I would like to hop inside. I disappointed him.

I looked up at the sky, it was a monochromatic gray. Thunders were muffled, as if preserving their crackling fury for another day. For once, I wasn’t repentant of my decision. I had chanced upon a spectacle, something that had escaped me since long. I was chilled to my bones, and loved every moment of it.

The rains intensified, as if imploring me to stay on. I couldn’t, I was fast approaching my destination. Once home, I headed straight for a warm bath. People murmured dissent over my imbecility. I knew I was the wiser of the fools.

Thanks to the Big Bang for getting me wet all over!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Liszt Life

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Liszt was perhaps the only famous musical composer who lived a life that wasn’t tragic. He lived long, was a prolific womanizer, was revered wherever he went, had remarkable showmanship and is considered by some to have been the greatest pianist in history.

Liszt is also the only composer I chose to entirely ignore, perhaps because I decided Chopin couldn’t possibly be beaten. As I finally take to him, I can see how ignorant I’ve been of the genius.

Operation Push Pop

13072008230

Mani peeks as Santosh looks on

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Left can never be Right

Communists are incorrigible.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jeans

Home again!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The adorable ‘Bhamp’

She’s getting married early next year to a creative director in Vietnam! People are really going places nowadays.

Among countless things about her, I’ll always remember how she would constantly remind me to drink water!

I wish her marital bliss.

“It uses it's clout…”

This is how an article begins in today’s edition of The Economic Times. Egregious mistakes are by no means confined to Indian publications alone. I find them often in American publications of repute as well.

It’s not in our jeans

It’s a lost cause.

All tailors but one were absconding when I approached the shop with yet another mercy plea for my altered jeans. The loner professed being deaf to all languages except the vernacular. I figured where this would be going and decided to show up yet again tomorrow.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tailored Truth

I don’t recall my tailor ever altering my trousers (or sewing a button) on time. My pair of jeans was supposed to be scissored, stitched and readied for delivery by Saturday evening. Knowing how religiously Indians adhere to schedule, I decided to offer them some buffer and went to procure my belonging only tonight after returning from office.

They looked blankly at me, as if I had asked for enriched Uranium! The needle-in-a-haystack hunt began and I was stranded for well over 15 mins before the elusive package was discovered languishing in some forgotten alcove.

A further discovery reiterated my faith in the timelessness of our civilization. The team of good-for-nothing tailors had conveniently forgotten all about my jeans. Just like old times! The skinny lady at the counter meekly offered to get the job done by tomorrow.

I’ve often wondered why do tailors generally specialize in ladies or gents. Any clues? Man and woman aren’t as different as cow and goat.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Neeraj (Gulmohur) Chats

I thought he was in UK for good. Turns out, he’s tired of Euro-trotting and is now settled in Bangalore for the last one year.

The Flag

This post marks the beginning of my blog running in power-saver mode for the rest of the year!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The day of amelioration is here

I went to sleep when the early morning birds had already began to chirp. Woke up in a little over 4 hours. Gave my jeans for altering, dropped a cheque, had breakfast, bought a few things from the grocery, came back home and washed some clothes.

Suman and Bablu dropped by in the afternoon lugging a Lenovo laptop that was obviously Internet starved. It went online immediately and voraciously gobbled the bytes.

I had a nasty scare when my iPod froze in the evening after ‘playing’ six seconds of silence into a track. Andromeda refused to connect to it and my only hope was to let the battery drain out in 24 hrs before I could try to revive it. Visiting the Apple site provided me with a solution to resetting the device, and thankfully it worked. Apparently, this is a known issue with the iPod.

Partially reviewed a friend’s research work. My eyes are burning and I’m too tired to continue any longer.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Suspended Animation

Peace is a welcome dweller at home ever since the TV moved out. The former television enthusiasts who would passively spend hours on end in front of the blaring idiot box, are now talking amongst themselves. Favorite topics of discussion: children, soaring prices, cooking, natives and the usual nothings.

Didn’t Know, Couldn’t Recall & Almost Forgot!

I went to Big Bazaar on my way home from office to buy something for my laptop, which turned out to be unavailable. Wanting to make the most of an otherwise wasted visit, I decided to buy some briefs. I spotted them, liked them and then realized I didn’t know which size fits me. I was too lazy to avail of the trial room to ‘look inside’.

I moved on and found a shirt that caught my fancy. The size ‘L’ once again put me in a predicament though. Was I size ‘L’ or ‘XL’? Oh, forget it! The shirt went back to its stack.

Finally, it was the turn of a pair of size 32” jeans to allure me. I bought it without a moment’s hesitation, only to gradually realize as I was heading for the exit that I perhaps wore 34”. 32 or 34? 34 or 32? Must be 34. Yes, it’s 34! Convinced that the 32” years were past me by a couple of years, I had a trying time exchanging  for the right size.

Since it was past 8PM, I couldn’t get my jeans altered and was asked to come the next day instead. It’s too much of an ask to walk that far just for an alteration done free of cost. I’ll visit the neighboring ladies tailor instead.

From where I stand

04072008228 Stitch

Okay, it’s not exactly picturesque. These are 8 photos taken on my Nokia N72 ‘stitched’ together making the panorama. The 9th frame failed to superimpose with the vertical edges of the terminal frames (I turned too much), thus failing to complete a true 360 view.

Look carefully and you may discover something very weird!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Galileo, here I come!

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Now that I’m already on my way to internal restructuring (without disturbing my organs), I might as well return to my first love:  star gazing.

Galileo discovered Jupiter and its 4 largest satellites using a refractor with 33x magnification. I’ve figured there’s no chance I could possibly discover something as significant as Jupiter (everything that can be discovered has been discovered by the morons who came before me who had nothing else to do), but that hasn’t demoralized me one bit. After all, just looking at the clear night sky itself can be exhilarating enough.

To assist me in the research (searching yet again), I’ll buy a telescope (pictured above) from Tejraj after the monsoon is over. When things get more serious, I’ll upgrade to more powerful refractors and reflectors.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

It's so nice hearing from strangers

Two gentlemen from far-flung lands (Quito, Ecuador & Southampton, UK) have sent comments to one of my posts in the last 5 days. It's always a pleasure.

I hate shaving!

Wouldn’t it be great it we had to shave less regularly, say, once every 28 days?

;)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

I've finally hit upon what ails me!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A close observation

Children can be promising, until parental idiocy nips in the bud. Such ill-fated children grow up to be exactly like their patents…idiots about to ruin the lives of their own offspring.

The story so far…

Okay, I’ve been hard at work, almost on a war footing, to distance myself from the addictive browser. Incredibly enough, I’ve already been using enough tools over the past few months/years to reduce my dependence in the browser. I guess it’s time for me to add the finishing touch.

  • For email, I use Windows Live Mail.
  • For chatting, I’m on Yahoo! Messenger for Vista and GTalk.
  • For blogging, I misuse Windows Live Writer.
  • For reading news, I’ve restarted using FeedDemon. I’m now subscribing to only a handful of feeds as compared to the countless ones on Google Reader.
  • To carry news with me when I’m traveling to and fro the office, I’m now subscribing to VOA podcasts via FeedStation.
  • My online expense manager is already synched with Microsoft Excel via DocSyncer.

All this might sound silly, but this is the only way I can reduce my time spent online. I hope to switch to my new routine by Saturday. There are many more steps in austerity to be taken.

Microsoft WorldWide Telescope

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I was waiting with baited breath for this product, and I missed its beta launch since that’s when I had to abruptly leave for Kolkata for mom’s operation.

I’ll play with WWT in the days, months and hopefully years to come. The reviews have been rave.

Wish I could blog in Hebrew

I would spit so much bile.