Sunday, August 31, 2008

A ploy unearthed & a child deprived

Often when I wash my clothes and lay them out for a sunbath, the heavens above suddenly have a mood swing and open the floodgates. Ditto today. And this after my clothes spent 36 hours soaking in the bucket while we had no rain. There’s something sinister.

I bought 5 Eclairs, but the wait for Pallavi was too long to repress my growing greed. In the end, only 1 found its way into her mouth!

OMG!

image

I find life most meaningful when no one’s around to bug me.

If you can’t spot Canis Major, Orion, Taurus and Pleiades in the photo above, your eyes are a waste.

An excellent article

If I could write like this, I would never stop blowing my own trumpet. Perhaps I could even command an entire orchestra to play my tunes!

Alas, I can’t even play the flute!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Eclairs

Our entire morning was sacrificed to cranky power supply. The pattern lacked a pattern, as if a loose main wire was flirting precariously with the winds. Our fan was most annoyed.

2 potato buns for breakfast placated my empty stomach. An Eclairs for the adorable Pallavi was bought…and given to her when she preceded her mom to the terrace to dry the clothes. Her prize heightened her smile to an unrestrained glee as she dashed to her mom to flaunt her unexpected gift.

Santosh snored till noon. His oddly timed job is taking a toll.

The power adapter to our Internet hub decided to go on an indefinite strike, perhaps emboldened by the Singur siege. After sweating on it for over 30 mins, I gave up and connected Andromeda directly to the modem…a setup that wouldn’t allow others Net access. Mani remedied the snag by buying a new adapter in the evening.

Why do I constantly need to remind people to cap bandwidth consumption when using Bittorrent during normal hours? I guess reminding isn’t half as efficacious as launching my own client and nibbling away at whatever little bandwidth is still available…and indeed into ‘enemy’ bandwidth! I wish people could be a little more sensitive.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Martian Sunrise

image

courtesy Phoenix Lander

Dark Matter Discovered

Dark Matter, the unaccounted-for matter constituting 97% of the Universe was partly discovered yesterday. And who would have thought this will happen at my home!

Post dusk, every matter in my house was dark. The pillows were dark, the tables were dark, the computers were dark, the chairs were dark, the kitchen was dark, the buckets were dark and even Andromeda was utterly dark. Basically, everything that mattered was dark. Reason: the light-shedders and all other electrical appliances were powerless.

The ever-so-charming Mani meekly confessed having forgotten to pay the electricity bill. Ah, so the secret to our localized dark universe was unveiled! I took the opportunity to get acquainted with our fortnight-old neighbors- man, wife and 1-year-old daughter. I bribed the kid with a Kit-Kat to win her over and she readily fell for it. We are now fast friends.

Slumber-time was menacing. The weather was very humid and mosquitoes were gathering in full force. Mani unearthed some repellant coils without a stand. My sleep was interrupted in reorienting the burning tip of the coil ever 30 minutes, opening the door to let Santosh in at 5 in the morning and Sam banging at the door at half-past-6. I felt like digging his grave.

Santosh was reduced to an errand-boy in the morning. The poor chap had to commute all the way to the electricity office to clear  the due.That’s when he was told about yet another far-off office which he needed to contact to restore electricity to our place. How thoughtful! Santosh had more pressing things to attend.

Things didn’t look any brighter when I returned from office this evening. Mani showed presence of mind and replaced the missing fuse with a wire to restore electricity. Thus this post.

The Large Hadron Collider is getting ready to discover the secrets of Dark Matter. September should be the most eagerly awaited month for nuclear physicists. I wish them all the success.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I’m in hate

The title runs contrary to other emotions surging through me, but this is no time for sweet talk. I feel embattled after 2 days of demoralizing correspondence (nay, more of soliloquy) with TTK Healthcare.

Remember the mail I had sent on Friday? It fell on deaf ears (or blind eyes). When I called up the holy cows yesterday, the tremors affected my spleen. Imagine being told more than a month after original bills are submitted that they aren’t able to proceed as 3 original bills/certificates are still awaited from my end! And when do I receive the good news? Only when I enquire why the reimbursement is taking so long! What’s more, I had submitted everything in original the hospital had given me after mom’s treatment was over. I have nothing more but photocopies.

In the course of the past 2 tumultuous days, I must have called TTK more than 5o times. 10 calls were never answered, or hung up when the automated message was being spelt or when the executive had had enough of me. 20 times I explained the entire personal calamity, only to draw a blank and being promised that a message was being forwarded to a phantom who ostensibly existed even in reality…against all odds. 10 times I probably spoke to people slightly higher up the cannibal chain. They promised to revert to me after looking into the matter. Not once did I receive a call. 5 times I was endowed with new phone numbers that proved as useless as the originals. Memory fails me as I try to recall what happened to the remaining 5. I guess I’m too awed by our astounding sense of purpose in life.

And all this was over and above the flurry of my emails infiltrating their inboxes. I received only 1 response: we need the originals. Cool!

I still don’t know what seems to be the exact problem: are they asking for original bills I never received from the hospital or have they made paper boats out of the ones I obediently submitted. It’s fairly safe to assume in the face of such congenial treatment that I’ll now remain poorer by Rs.1, 22,000. I’ve lost all hope, but I’ll fight until my ship sinks.

I’m contemplating taking my case to consumer court. Any brighter idea?

To the one and only you!

mail_2_femail

If you didn’t receive this mail, it’s not meant for you.
Don’t strain yourself!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A perfectly wasted weekend

Another one goes down the drain. My grand plans never saw the light of day.

062 A female friend was snooping around in Prague and spied on this hottie for me to spice up Sunday.

Life is undeniably beautiful!

Friday, August 22, 2008

My mail to TTK Healthcare

I composed the following mail in a fit of rage.

Hi,


   I had tried to call your center at some listed contact numbers (including XXXX XXX XXXX). Not once have I been able to get through. Some numbers seem to be defunct while others sweetly ring forever. I wonder if this is the norm in TTK or I'm being meted out ad hoc treatment.


   At the risk of never being responded to (as has happened previously), I'm falling back on the humble email as a means of reaching out to you. I hope history won't be repeated and I won't need to constantly prod for a response.


   I had staked a claim on my mother's medical expenses incurred a few months ago on account of her hospitalization. The claim was made on the 7th of July while the processing began on the 24th of the same month.


    It's been a long while but I haven't received any intimation regarding the status of the claim and why the inordinate delay in reimbursing the claimed amount. Consequently, I would request a speedy reply with a status update. I would also like to know of a telephone number that will let me through to you without trying my patience.


    I hope the urgency of this mail is well communicated to you and an expedited process to garner the required information is initiated.


Regards,
Deepanjan Nag

My weight-conscious pillow

My pillow is ‘growing’ thinner by the night. It’s losing precious content on account of an ever-growing tear that has been begging for a stitch for months. The needles that I had purchased well over 2 years back were lost in domestic service almost immediately, my roommates being the adorable culprits. Each night as my head sinks closer and closer to the mattress, I feel like suing these pestering souls.

My double-decker mattress is another cause for concern. The ‘terrain’ has become so uneven, I have to struggle each night to find a sweet spot to position my body.

Miles from then

imageIt’s been countless years since I last heard Yesterdays by Miles Davis. Dad loved this track, though I wasn’t very fond.

Today, it sounded special like never before.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Phoned Mantu

He’ll probably return from Pune by the end of the month.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Forgettable Me

I forgot my credit card at the counter today. Thankfully, the salesman was kind enough to trail me and remind me of my precious possession.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How I read news

image

Cool, isn’t it?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

330330/(7*11*13*10)

My beloved office shuttle has been replaced by a new one that’s really a pain. The seats are 2*3, very firm, non-reclining and the fronts have a very unergonomic ‘bump’ that's immensely uncomfortable. The bus has very poor suspension and the windows aren’t tinted.

Though my interest in life has considerably dwindled on account of this change, there’s still a visual feast that continues to linger while enduring the commute. The cynosure happens to be two female co-passengers. The first is a stunningly curvaceous redhead with a fantastic dressing sense. She should be walking the ramp in Paris instead of writing code in an unassuming cubicle! The second is a diminutive kid who seems straight out of school. Someone should adopt the cutie pie and put her through junior college!

Monsoon has made a revelation: my recently-bought umbrella has an atlas-&-axis defect. Each time it’s pressed into service, it keeps collapsing every 5 minutes.

Why have I chosen the strange title for this post? 33 (my shuttle number) seemed very boring and oft-repeated, and I though of beating around the bush! Here’s something interesting: any 6-digit number whose first-3 and last-3 digits are identical can be divided perfectly by 7, 11 and 13 (in any sequence) to arrive at the 3 digits again. Why? Because 7*11*13=1001. And, ABCABC/1001=ABC.

330330/(7*11*13*10)=330330/(1001*10)=330/10=33.

A dampener

Oceanside Photo & Telescope is unable to ship Celestron products outside of the United States or Canada due to a contractual obligation.

Really sucks. I was looking forward to procuring the Celestron C65 soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Santosh lands a job

15th August proved lucky for my roommate!

Happy Independence Day!

Independence is a good thing, especially if it’s from an imperial power. I always looked forward to 15th Aug - for a holiday and toffees from school when I was a kid, and for only a holiday now.

I don’t mind being an Indian. Given a choice, however, I would never choose India.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Speaks Volumes

India is an audiophile’s nightmare – a billion+ people are perfectly at ease with atrocious acoustics. Blame lack of knowledge, poor or non-existent taste and a music ecosystem that lays no demands on hi-fi.

But there are two exceptions: Sonodyne & Cadence. While the former is trying hard to woo the mainstream listener, the latter is an elitist and completely at odds with what one comes to expect from an Indian manufacturer of audio systems.

image I first read about Cadence when I was in Pune. I learnt about how 3 audiophiles (2 Indians and 1 German) met at the redoubtable Osho Commune and teamed up to form a one-of-its-kind audio manufacturing unit in Mundhwa, Pune. Acoustics gained precedence over aesthetics - this is vouched for by each for its products. Don’t be fooled by looks, there’s raw power underneath the hood.image

Cadence has won rave reviews globally although they’ve not  been able to scale up production to gain the visibility accorded to other renowned brands like Bose and Onkyo. They don’t mass manufacture, they don’t advertise, they don’t offer promotions and discounts, they don’t try gimmicks and they don’t compete with anyone. There have been instances when people from abroad have come all the way to India just to buy their products. Sachin Tendulkar owns a Cadence.

I hope to be the proud owned of a Cadence some day. Will make do with a low-end Bose until then!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Self Reminder: Buy

telescope

Celestron

C65 - 2.65" f/12.9 Mini Mak Zoom Spotting Scope

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Glassware

It has been almost a week since I last wore my glasses. I’m not missing it particularly, except when a pretty creature walks by.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Skipping lunch doesn’t really help

The pizza that’s inevitable ordered a few hours later to placate my howling tummy does more harm than good!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How much they sleep!

It’s half-past-10 in the morning and these guys are still asleep. Amazing.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mosquito Mechanics

I come home from office. No power. I change, lie down in the dark and listen to Hawking and Dawkins on my Nokia talk about Quantum Mechanics. Mosquitoes soon unearth me and plunge their straws into my bloodstream. I escape to the terrace.

I walk in circles and try to continue with the lectures. I can’t, as the suckers have distracted me and left itchy sensations all over my legs. I switch to FM, some ballistic tune immediately compels me to the next station - the tame Vividh Bharati. A play offers me precious moments of respite. The good thing ends soon.

My nightly dubba is brought to my doorstep. Just as the guy is leaving, power bedazzles us.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Question

image Heard about 146 pilgrims dying at the temple of Shri Naina Devi Ji due to a stampede? I wonder what the presiding deity was doing while innocent devotees were being trampled to death. Perhaps she was digging into a pizza at the Domino’s!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Benjamin Zander: Classical music with shining eyes

One of the most inspirational talks I’ve ever heard.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Yahoo! Annual Shareholders Meeting

I have tried (successfully) to avoid covering technology in my blog since the past one month. However, I’m too passionate about Yahoo! and the annual shareholders meeting was something the entire tech industry was looking forward to, especially since the high-profile and unsolicited  acquisition bid from Microsoft fell through. I’ve thus exempted myself from the constraint just this one time.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I have a drinking problem

Startling, but irrefutable. It was time to finally come out with the truth and face the problem head on. My friends don’t even have an inkling. Fie on them, I say! Each fill leaves me on a high and I promise never to crave for it again. But it’s only a matter of hours before I have this irrepressible urge for yet another fill. Alas! I’m seriously addicted to mango juice.

Heat of the moment

I’m down with fever and my body aches like hell. It’s a good thing I decided to stay home today.