Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Level 4 – the unofficial adventures – El FinalĂ©

[This entry is the last of a 3-part series. Click here to read the 1st part. Click  here to read the 2nd part]

Coimbatore railway station. 10.05 pm. Obtained a ticket for general travel on board the Cheran Express. I rushed to platform 2 where the train stood for departure. Found the general compartment coaches. They were full. Still I did not give up hope. Kept searching the coaches one general coach after the other, until I noticed a coach with only women seated inside of it. Oops, wrong coach! Retraced my path to the previous coach; got in. There was hardly space to stand.

I stood beside a woman seated on the floor. She looked all braced for the journey, wearing a scarf over her ears, and all. She kept a small green bag beside her. I was standing beside her in the small space I could afford. Even in this pathetic condition people were trying to move about from one end to the other either checking out if there was place or returning to their seats. I asked another person where he was getting down, and he said Chennai. Damn, all these people must be alighting there…Getting a seat was hopeless.

At the woman seated beside me I lend out my hand and offered to keep her bag on the top rack for the luggage. There was a fellow neatly squeezed up on that rack, but he wasn’t so much of a bother. Just wanted to keep the bag up so that people can pass about. Are you going to sit here? the woman asked. I didn’t reply, but thought to my self: No, but seriously what made you think I’d actually do that…?

Then all of a sudden there was quarrel. Somebody’s luggage landed on somebody’s head. They were quarrelling and quarrelling, until the owner of the bag protested: this is what to expect in the general compartment…I felt like this journey is definitely going to be a sour one. It was not the quarrel, or the lady who was about to offer me a seat on the floor, or the fact that almost everyone on that coach was headed for Chennai. I felt may be if I left, it just be one less trouble for all of them.

So I went and asked the owner who hurled his luggage at a fellow passenger: Can we refund a general ticket? He said that we could, but they’d deduct Rs.20 or so. I was a little happy on hearing this. I turned the other way, grabbed my bag, and made for the exit. The owner noticing my relative absence beside him called out to me and said,

Enna boss, dedinu plan maathithingala?
(Why boss, this sudden change of plan?)

I shrugged. Wanted to say something: God bless India. But I quietly got out of the train.

10.30pm. The moment I stepped out of the train it felt like as if a strange divine relief dawned over me. May be getting out of that coach must have been one of the best services I ever did for the Indian Railways.

Level 4 complete!

Getting back to chennai wasn’t that hard after this point. I went to the Kanthipuram bus stand. (Thats the same bus stand I got down earlier). I had to find a bus that goes to Salem. Instead, on reaching the bus stand I asked around for direct Chennai buses. Fortunately there were private bus services. But they cost a little more. What the hell, I’ve come this close to a direct bus to Chennai, I thought, and took the 1st bus I could find. It was a non-ac semi-sleeper video coach. There was a movie going on when I boarded the bus. Dhoom 2. Looking at Aishwarya Rai on the tv screen I felt a little repulsed; I saw Pink Panter 2 the night before on Star Movies. I had enough of Ms Rai for one whole month already…They played Dhoom 2 half way, and then switched on to one of Surya’s old hits – Kaka Kaka.

Don’t remember anything that happened after the 3rd song in the movie. Then I knew the bus halted somewhere; I woke up and got my self a new bottle of water. Activated the Google Maps app on my phone; it showed Thorapur. Heck haven’t heard of this place before. Who cared anyway. Got back into the bus. The next thing I knew, it was morning 7.30 am, and I was in Chennai.

Perhaps the holidays thought me a valuable lesson. Always book your return tickets. But this ride, though it seems like a crazy thing to do, was enjoyable. I don’t regret not booking the tickets. This was truly an experience – another small step towards celebrating the spirit of life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Level 4 – the unofficial adventures – Part Deux

[This entry is a continuation of another post with a similar title. Click here if you haven't read the 1st part]

The queue for the Coimbatore bus looked ordinary. I knew it was long. But I didn’t know where it ended, or how long would I have to stand in the queue. I passed the line of people, one by one, from the point just before where the bus stopped for boarding the passengers; followed it to the inside. The building would have been 10-15m in width. Standing on one end you can see the back entrance. I thought that was the end. But as I went closer, the line shifted to my right; the queue stretched down to the main road. When I reached the main road, again, the queue shifted right. It followed the building and back to the main entrance only just a few meters from where I had initially noticed the queue’s start.

While waiting in the queue my sister calls. She thought I boarded the train to chennai from calicut (whose departure was @ 5.40 pm, she imagined I’d be sitting in the general compartment of course). She was a little surprised when I corrected her saying that I took the bus instead. I told her that there are many options from Coimbatore to reach chennai. She specifically enquired about the train timings. I told her that I had no idea. Then she began to give me advice on what I should eat for dinner. Have only vegetarian…! she told. I said, I already gobbled up 3 porattas and a bowl of pepper chicken curry. For a moment there I felt like she had the doubt whether I was actually her brother! I had to console her saying don’t worry, everything will get digested as I come to the end of the queue. I’ll let you know 1ce I reach chennai, and wished her goodnight.

I enquired about the train timings and bus timings with a fellow co-worker via phone. By the time I got all information I was nearing to get into the bus. So my options stood as follows:
a) heard that the last state transport bus to chennai to was at 10 pm. But if I had to miss this bus, I’d have to get to take a bus to Salem, and then catch a bus to Chennai from there.
b) if I were to reach there before 10 pm, I’d could catch the Cheran express train which starts from Coimbatore. It departs @ 10.20 pm.

On reaching Coimbatore, I asked around for the state transport bus stand. Crud! People didn’t know what ‘state transport bus stand’ meant…I told them I wanted to go to chennai! All of a sudden their faces kind of animated with the joy of having understood what I initially meant to ask…There were 2 bus stands from where you could get buses to chennai. I wasn’t sure where to go. The guy I asked suddenly called out to an auto driver and asked me to take him to some place I never heard of before. And the auto driver again asked me where I wanted to go. Even he repeated the fact that there are two places you can get a bus from, and offered me a ride for about Rs. 60.

Didn’t really like the offer. Someone told me earlier, that all the important places (bus stand, train stations, etc are all nearby. Therefore I told the auto driver I can’t pay him that much. He was straight faced; didn’t even come to negotiate. It was about 9.45 pm. I asked him how to get to the railway station. He pointed to the main road via the terminal’s exit.

I was expecting the station to be somewhat at a walkable distance. But as I stepped out, there was no sign of a railway station. I asked around again, and learned that I had to take a bus. So I got into some bus. Fortunately all the buses that stopped there would eventually go to the station. So I took the bus, got down at the railway station, and made my way to the ticket counter.

[This post is intentionally a series…to be continued…as I cannot write everything in one stretch]
[Edit: Click here to read the last part]

Level 4 – the unofficial adventures

I am not affiliated with the actual site. But I guess there are some good photography available there to publicly view, albeit a little old.

The usage of this (unofficial) way kind of hit my mind when I realized that it was absolutely pathetic travelling via train to chennai (from calicut) especially during the holiday season with no reservation. Of course I should have done the reservation first a long time ago, but I somehow didn’t. Therefore I was rampantly finding out other means of getting to Chennai. Finally I chose to take the bus. And as most of you may know there are no direct bus services to chennai from calicut.

So yesterday after a bit of asking around learned that the best way to reach chennai was to somehow reach Coimbatore, and from there take either the train/bus. (Again, the former choice was a bad one). But unfortunately the frequency of buses to Coimbatore from Calicut is very rare. If I remember correctly theres only 2 services - in the morning and night. It was somewhere around 2.00 pm when I learned this…

Okay so how do I reach Coimbatore?

One of the state transport drivers told me to take the private bus to Palakkad. There are services to Coimbatore from there regularly from there. So I boarded one such bus. And this was my first journey to that place. Feel asleep most of the way though. I for some reason kept thinking that this bus had to go via Thrissur, Ernakulam, etc. Calicut to Ernakulam is a 5 hr journey. But after a late realization, I figured out that these buses fork at Ramanaatukara; it takes the road from there which goes to the Kozhikkode airport, Malappuram, Perintalmanna, etc.

And thus I finally reached Palakkad at around 7pm. To make it to coimbatore however you had to find the state public transport bus stand. No idea of the frequency of buses to coimbatore from there. Heck, no idea where the state transport bus stand was either…! After a little asking & walking around I finally found the state transport bus stand.

It was around 7.15 pm. The 1st thing I saw when I entered the station was a bus to coimbatore completely packed with people. Okay now when is the next bus? Is it the last one? If not when is the last one?! I went and enquired for the station master. Noticed that even the buses for Tiruvananthapuram (or Trivandrum) were packed, and people waited in queue hoping to catch the next bus for a seat. Looking at the passengers inside I told my self ‘God bless India’. (Even though I know I’ve not seen the worst – God bless India).

The station master was a patient fellow. He answered my queries patiently. So the last bus was at 10pm; buses were frequent – 1 every 10 min; it takes hardly 1h 15m to reach coimbatore. It was only 7.30 pm. So I thought it was best I dine. Had a very quick dinner; quickly visited the public urinal, and then headed towards the queue where people waited for the coimbatore bus.

[This post is intentionally a series…to be continued…as I cannot write everything in one stretch]
[Edit: Click here to read the next]

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pulicat and Tada Trip

Went on a trip 2 pulicat lake n tada falls last sun (13th Dec). Rented out a car n made our journey. 5 different paths converged that day. 4 of them repressed with the corporate life. (me, sitaram, jerry & ashwin). The last 1 was prob sick of eating too much sea food - ganesh, sita's cousin, the marine engineer.

Our 1st stop was Pulicat which is about 50kms from chennai. Initially we thought we'd take our bikes for a ride, but then due to uncertain weather forecasts we ended up hiring the car just to be safe. The pulicat lake is 1 which adjoins the sea (the bay of bengal). Its a huge lake. There are many islands streching the mouth of the lake. We rented out a boat, and parked near on one of these secluded spots. All of us brought clothes esp 4 swimming, but nev had 2 use it. We were just happy 2 mke it in2 the waves with just our jockeys, frenchies, vips, n other unpopular brand of underwear.

Sita made me taste the bay of bengal; I think this was first time too! Ashwin collected a lot of shells. (He also made some pretty decent credit card debt collection calls from his cell phone). Even I had some shells stuck 2 my body; they must have thot I was a coral reef or sumthing! I and Jerry did wht we do best everyday in the office...wrote SQL queries...on the beach! Well he wrote SELECT * FROM TABLE. I as usual, compiled that statement and wrote Syntax wrong. Screw u!

All of us were exhausted after a dip in the bay of bengal. On the boat ride back, we took photos of the scenery, the lake, and the birds. The pulicat lake is known as a place of rest various migratory birds. You'd see all sort of these birds during the month of May which is touted to be the actual season to visit the place.

We did take some explicit photography of ourselves there while on the boat. These photos are available online. We have branded certain pages appropriately (as lite and full versions) (pun intended).

After the ride back to land we visited some Dutch tombstones. (This place was once a Dutch settlement too). There is a grave yard; its entrance gate leads you through an arch. There are sculptures of 2 skeletons there, adorned with some Dutch writings. One of the skeletons is ready to welcome you to the cemetery. I wanted to take a picture. But the scene was probably too scary for the camera film.

We were totally exhausted after the dip in the ocean. if all that wasn't enough we headed straight to tada falls. The tada falls is again about 40kms from pulicat; somewhere after the Andra border. This was my first experience trekking. You have to do about 3kms of trekking to witness the actual falls. When we reached the place it was almost evening. We couldn't make it upstream as it required too much climbing. But fortunately there was a place downstream where we could take a bath.

Warning: unless you want to bang your head, and consequently suffer from amnesia, please do not take a dive head first into the stream. The bed is rocky, and the water is freaking cold! But it was damn refreshing; we were all so energized after the dip in the stream.

We were exhausted again after the trek back to our ride. And then we slowly returned to chennai. On our way back we were famished. We spotted a punjabi dhaba on our way back. (some 40 kms from chennai). The five of us feasted around 47 chappathis in total. Dinner there was exquisite, and lovely. We occupied those traditional cots they'd provided. This was my first and best experience eating from a dhaba.

After having dinner Ashwin, was seriously thinking of a change in profession. He wanted to take a 2-day internship from this place; come back to chennai, and start a dhaba on his own. I wonder if you are lost & stuck with this guy in a forest, he probably setup a dhaba there too...

When we reached Thirumanglam, our car gave off. The front tyre punctured. Hey something bad had to happen. It was a 2007 alto we rented. Guess when we returned it became a 1997 maruthi...Fortunately we were in a busy town area. We approached a nearby cycle repair shop and asked if they'd fix a punctured car tyre; thus the car was fixed soon.

Overall, this trip was fun; it was a celebration of life. And we all look forward to having more adventures like this...

PS: more photos to be uploaded soon. Keep checking the feeds for the same link

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New horizons & concerns

2 posts on the same day!!! Someone must be thinking that I am making up for my relative absence in the blogsphere.

Well I am not so absent! I am on twitter most of the time. And might continue to remain so if twitter doesn’t get blocked in my office anytime soon. Recently I find that I cannot be on twitter as frequently as I used to.

The reason: caught up with some work, away from my pc most of the time, and my mobile internet sucks. But mainly its work. It is researching new stuff, doing some web sites, etc. All of this because I have become a full-time developer in the ofc. Got recently designated as a sr. programmer.

I’ve done a couple of projects that has got me thinking about what is required to keep the show running from a continued production standpoint. You just can’t do the development and cut the ribbon for production to commence. You have to virtually be there all the time, even if it annoys those who have higher stakes in running the show. This is just another facet of the call center life – one that is not bragged about mostly.

But life is not without its share of criticisms and prejudices. I don’t know whats the road ahead. But who does? Life is still going to be like a coconut that fell into the river stream. It can only go where the currents take it to.

PS: borrowed those words from an education seminar I attended way back while I was in school. Still true today wrt students who do engg/medicine counseling.

Router Consequence

Got a new credit card and all. They said that I had to spend something above Rs. 1000 to activate that crap. And I was looking forward it. I figured I wasn’t so indulged into the world of credit cards; so why not venture into it.

So my thoughts were instilled with what to buy for myself that would cost around that much? I thought of buying a titan watch. So I visited, checked out on the prices, fixed a budget, and was prepared to make the purchase. Had a model and an appropriate price in mind too.

I shouldn’t have done that

I went to the titan showroom in velachery, and was disappointed to know that the model I had in mind was not there and the price was not what I expected it to be. ebay sells things cheaper! And then I was focused on buying a watch from ebay itself. Then as I saw all the models; titan was not really my style. I mean it wasn’t what I liked. There were cheaper watches that looked even better! Classic! May be prosaic, but classic.

The only dilemma was how am I supposed to spend Rs. 1000 with a watch which costs much lesser than that…?

At around that time (i.e. the same week), my room mate was demanding that we somehow share the internet connection we had. He had a modem splitter in mind. But I wasn’t too sure of it. We asked the broadband customer service if this was a good solution; they said it could cause network problems. It looked like a small device almost like a telephone socket. My room mate was suggesting we don’t buy anything too costly. But my mind was somehow fixed on buying the router. It would save us the headache.

So I went on ebay again, looked up at the prices. I was going to buy it from some shop in velachery itself. I was hoping to achieve a good bargain. And again the prices were dismally too high. Damn, ebay sells better and cheap! Out here most wireless routers start from Rs 2000. The non-wireless routers were priced around Rs. 1600. On ebay the same wireless router I looked at cost only Rs. 1500. Plus, shipping and that came up around to Rs. 1600.

I thought to my self, ebay it is… Thus I have ended up with a wireless router. And I used my credit card to pay for it too. Lets see how the bill haunts me though…

Because of my routers wireless capabilities I used my broadband connection to connect to the internet via the browser in my mobile phone. Gmail, and twitter mobile sites downloaded in a swish! It is awesome. I had downloaded some cool apps from the nokia ovi store for my mob (nokia 5800). It would have taken eternity if I had connected to the site and downloaded with the internet connection provided by my mobile network (aircel). Plus, now my room mate can sit and do his research for online stock trading and stuff and I can do my research and blogging at the same time.

This wasn’t my first purchase from ebay though. I purchased a clipper for my dad. In the end, I don’t know, a simple credit card ended up making me buy everything off ebay.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clumsy Gadget

Well, one night I was sitting and doing something on my comp when suddenly my room mate calls and says, there was an earthquake in our office! At first I blurted wha?!!! His ofc is on the taramani rd; not really that far if you go on a bike. I never noticed anything, and I didn't believe it was an earthquake at first.

Well some tweeters from chennai did post about experiencing mild tremors and the sorts. Thats when I confirmed there had been a tremor. I live on the ground floor so I couldn't feel anything. Mostly people living in high-rise buildings would have felt the vibrations. And if I am correct it was because of an earthquake in Andaman or somewhere near the coast of Japan.

That twitter search page came in handy for this particular event. The neat thing about it is the real-time info - the minute I post something, if you search for it, its there. However this was not the first time I've used twitter search. Remember the time when the news channels & papers announced there were about 7 deaths in chennai due to swine flu; I did actually think if finding out if people going to work were wearing masks!

Nevertheless, I found the thing useful to a certain degree. Then I wanted to keep track of such trends. In order to make this task easier I thought I get a iGoogle gadget designed to do so. I couldn't find the perfect one. So I built one. It is not so perfect, but it is more or less real-time. At least the posts will keep updating.

If you looking to add this gadget in your igoogle page there are a couple of things to do. First go to the page where you usually go to add stuff (click on the Add stuff link in your igoogle page). If you look closely there is a link which says Add feed or gadget. If you click just paste the url given below, and click on the Add button

If you are lucky this should work else you'd get a message saying not found. I don't have a solution to that as of yet. But if that happens I can suggest some workarounds.

PS: anyone is welcomed to change the look & feel of that app. If you ever decide to do so just preserve the 'by deostroll' part.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Facebook presence

Hi, I am able to post to my status line on facebook via twitter. All you need to have is a twitter account, a facebook application by the same name, and any one of the various twitter clients via which you can post your tweets to twitter. This may not be such an exciting news right now to some of you, but it saves the effort; I can just keep posting at one place, and both my twitter & facebook pages gets updated. Well, not that people are dying to know 'what I am doing' or 'what's on my mind' you can still keep in touch.

I was kind of researching if this particular feature is available in the other social sites like orkut & myspace. Thats when I learned about opensocial. Opensocial is very vast. And all I can say at this point is that applications such as orkut & myspace use opensocial to manage their social data - i.e. your friends in your friend list, and data pertaining to each one of them. Facebook uses (I don't know what to call it) facebook's own way to fetch social data!

I did get pondering sometime back about how my tweets actually possess the ability of creeping into my facebook, and I came to this: there is probably a middle man which communicates with my facebook profile and my twitter profile; something which is not part of facebook or twitter to be exact. It is a server running outside of twitter and facebook, and it is probably owned by some generous person. So is my theory. I really don't know how it actually works!!!

If the previous oara has struck you curious, you are probably en route to becoming a geek like me. :)

I'm also searching for blog service providers who are friendly to programmers. I mean I am not expecting a greeting card from them on friendship day or something; I am looking for a service which allows you to post code directly (you know without having to tweak the html and stuff manually) into your post while composing. Thinking of shifting my programming blogs...

Thursday, July 23, 2009


My life was like a documentary these past few days. :)

Parents at home are not doing their best in terms of health these past few weeks. I had to go home and be back a few times to take care of things. Presently they are staying in my sister's house. My father is suffering from diabetes, and it has passed a stage where he shows symptoms of damaged nerves and foot problems. He cannot walk these days without support. My mother on the other hand requested to have a home nurse around as she finds it difficult to manage my father alone. I am not all that happy with the way parents are suffering but I have to acquiesce with the fact that life is not without its slew of problems; we just have to keep moving on.

I on the other hand had an idea to shift to calicut in search of a job. But that is not a very good idea since the economy everywhere is somewhat down. But I've dropped that idea since my sister had given me assurance that she would take care our parents. Thank god I have a compassionate sister and a brother-in-law. And even so, I am still not happy, but I think this too will pass like everything usually does.

Although I am not desperate to settle down, I have told my sister and parents to arrange for a bride. But I don't think the TAT for that is going to be very soon. (Meanwhile I do have an MBA to finish). :) It seems my sister is also arranging for my cousin, Ajesh, who is currently in IIT, Chennai, doing his M.Tech. Perhaps I can expect to get married after he ties the knot. But I do hope that this will bring my parents to action and good health.

Yesterday on the way back to chennai, in the train, I was kind of thinking about all the stuff on the internet designed to make people interact with each other, and all; you know blogs, facebook, orkut, etc; I just kind of realised that you cannot simply take your entire life to the web. There is always a catch - a level of insecurity with most of our thoughts - and if you really look at them, they don't really last that long in a person's life. Our insecurities change, from time to time. If I did blog about them and people read it, they would react to it in different ways which could later on disrupt your peace of mind. But if you act on it wisely it is always healthy. This message goes out to all those who have recently found all/any of the above internet phenomenae interesting... And those who still want to let out what they feel they are perennially insecure about I suggest taking a book and a pen, and start writing...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 (for mobile phones only)

Built an app for tweeters. Nothing great to look at, and it doesn't tweet to be specific. In fact I just built it for viewing it from my phone web browser.

You've two options when tweeting. Do it from the main web page (i.e. the standard version) you have a list or trends in the sidebar. You can catch the current vibe on twitter (real-time!). On the light-weight mobile web version you can only view tweets that would appear on your profile, no trends!

So even though my phone can browse to the standard page, it is heavy, and you'd have to scroll a lot to get to the trending topics part. I've designed a page that just returns the trending topics only. (Notice the url in the title of this post)

Now when you are with your phone, and you feel like tweeting, and you don't have something to tweet about, you know where to find what is the most tweeted on twitter.

Happy tweeting.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Phone & Twitter

For those who didn't catch the news...I got a nokia 5800 phone somewhere in April. And, embarrassingly enough, I thought I blew the set on the 1st day itself!

You'd truly appreciate this product if there are certain services available in your area. Like for e.g. I have a Maps application on the phone. It has a 90 day trial period, after which you need to acquire license to use it; and this license is only valid for certain places, mostly metropolitan cities. (Or so I guess).

Initially I couldn't use the maps and all since my GPRS settings were screwed. I couldn't use a lot of apps. My boss had installed Google Maps on my phone with the hope of locating me, but he was turned off. No matter what he did that application would not work. He bluffed about being able to track me and all through that app. I don't know yet if this is possible, but I still sort of believe it. I was relieved when he concluded that Google Maps doesn't work! I mean, the last thing I'd want is to walk into a resturant and find my boss sitting next to me!

Nowadays if you happen to spot a lonely guy holding out a black-colored device that looks like a mobile phone high up and facing the sky it would most probably be me!

Yesterday at around 12am, I was standing outside Allsec's gate trying to get the GPS co-ordinates of Allsec. And then after I got them, on my way back into the office, some of my co-workers saw me, stopped me, interviewed, and started to get curious if I had an affair with someone outside the office.

I explored more about this gps stuff today. Its not only locations you can get; it can help you with navigation. Yes, I went to a mess near suterland, and "navigated" my way back to Allsec. For someone who has never witnessed this feature, it rocks! It even shows the speed at which you are travelling.

Well, theres more to come I guess. Currently I am researching on ways to share the co-ordinates I have. If I can upload it online ppl can download it onto their phones and "navigate" to my place if they'd like.

Lately I've just downloaded a twitter client app for my phone. Now my phone is officially a twitter client. You'd see more frequent updates on the sidebar. I was longing for this app for a long time. And now I have it. How I found it was even more interesting. I just searched twitter. Just keyed in nokia5800 in the search box; it listed posts related to the query, and I happned to see a tweet about an application called Tweets60. When I browsed to the link mentioned there...Eureka!

Plus there were a lot of new cool things I found about Twitter trends. If you really want to dig into the twitter vibe try tweeting trendy topics which appear on page. Here are some popular ones as of this moment:
A tip: if you want to see your tweets appear on those searches remeber to include that topic in your tweet with a '#' as prefix like i've shown above

Well I'm just too proud of my phone today, and feeling hyped about digging into the twitter vibe.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Just taking a break...

Researching ways to take break amidst a busy schedule...

I am not doing it for my self, so to speak. We are supposed to put up slides or articles on the subject for the weekend's jam session. If I go ahead and explain what that is all over again, I think it would be the most boring-est thing ever to be doing on a saturday. But what other interesting things do I do on a saturday anyway...

Moving on...Sometimes you know when you are in front of the keyboard doing something really serious, and you know you are done with a part of the entire job, being elated and all, you just can't help your poking your finger into your neighbour. You know, just stir up the other person. I don't reckon its a man/boy-thing. Even girls do it. Its actually part of a bigger thing called bonding at work. Here is aim is to make the work group cohesive. It is actually a stress reliever but however not an acclaimed one.


Because if your neighbour, without your knowledge, happens to be a good looking female from a conservative family who has four elder brothers, one of which happens to be your boss, you are literally in for taking a break amidst hectic schedules...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Argument against vegetarianism

I've been blogging about why I don't think a vegetarian lifestyle is the apt lifestyle. Because one does not often realize how we became what we are now. But I am not saying that a totally meaty diet is the apt lifestyle either. I say that a balanced diet is the best. :)

Check out this post. Beware it is a long post, but I'd say, you'd find it interesting.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tweet tweet, tweet tweet

I have finally got my twitter feeds to appear on this blog (check the sidebar). I was obsessed with this for the past two days. Phew! Now you can see my tweets refresh every two minutes. I’ve added an ajax-like capability which should hopefully avoid stalling your page when the twitter servers are busy. I acknowledge there are better implementations of the same exercise, but I feel as though this is going to be one of my (short-lived) feats. I mean, it is not something I am going to enjoy it for the better part of my life, and that’s a good thing. :)

Anyway I did stumble upon some painful discoveries about the internet and stuff. Plus well, I know you’d be sort of interested in trying to implement the same exercise for your blog too. Check out the two posts on my programming blogs (Show tweets on your blog & Thoughts on the Twitter Exercise ). Or if you can’t wait, just view the source code for this page and dive in… :)

In case people were wondering where the link to the rss feeds for this blog is…it is still where it is :) ; you’d have to scroll to the end of this page. Alternatively, (and if you do wish to keep in touch)(no sarcasm intended), there are two things you can do:

  • Get a blog account at Once you have that you can come back to this page and simple click on the Follow with Google Friend Connect feature. After you enroll you can start following my blogs and keep updated with happenings. Remember you'd only know of my new posts; and you can see this on your blogger dashboard, as well as on google reader.
  • The other way (if you are not fond of google reader), there is a Subscribe To section. There you have the option to subscribe to my posts as well as comments on my posts. You'd be automatically redirected to online rss readers, don't worry.

So...nothing more to say. Just keep in touch. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Grown up or overconfident

I've got an exam today – principles of management. Well, I've completely mismanaged to study it! I was too dug up with other things in spite of planning. I guess I never took it as a priority. I kept promising my self I'd study, but instead I got hooked up with some new discovery over the internet or with my pc. When I sit to study I cannot concentrate.

Okay, now with the above phenomenon running in parallel, and, as the zero hour approaches, I usually get irritated. Once (during college exams) this went to the degree that I actually decided not to write a paper.  Those days people, whether they prepared for the exam or not, simply sat and wrote the paper. I guess if they didn't do that they'd be under the stress of writing it again, and stuff. (A majority of the people I know had backlogs). Even otherwise, the thought of bunking an exam would have been suicidal for some. But for me it was a small relief!

Today I am not under any compulsion or stress. I can bunk the exam if I want to or not. I have decided to write it, in spite of the fact that, I still have 6 chapters pending. Coz I have faith – I attempted two online assignments and passed both of them!

This doesn't solve the moral issue here, but who cares!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bangalore visit

I had been to Bangalore to attend the Great Indian Developer Summit 2009. But don't worry, I wasn't a “great Indian developer” before nor I have become one after attending the event. :)

Apart from the jokes it was a well organized event. We only attended the first day of the conference. This is the first time my company sent me for such a thing. This was an event any aspiring/professional developer would not want to miss.

There were two souls living in Bangalore I couldn't visit. I remember studying with them in college. But I never realized they were put up there. It seems like I was “out of touch”. My apologies to Jaba and Ravi. And Ravi, if you are reading this I think I was roaming inside your campus while attending the event. And I am sorry, it never crossed my mind that you'd probably be roaming there too! Will make it up next time if there is one...

Thanx to Anoop (Jango), (my batch mate in college), who reminded of the two souls (Sandeep & Ravi – my college batch mates) living up there. I appreciate your effort. Hope you'd have the patience to do this again, and again... I have the opposite of an elephant's memory. :)

Friends, consider blogging like this (by keeping it short), to update about yourselves. Grab the rss feed (look of the link that says Posts (Atom)) of this blog, and put it in your rss reader. It will give you updates of new post I've made out here. I'd suggest google reader to do this job. But you have to remember it exists and visit it constantly. Or you can download an application to do the same. Or if you are too lazy to blog consider twittering (check out the intro video out there). In fact you can check out my tweets here. I usually twitter using TwitterFox. I guess this is the ultimate lazy way of posting your tweets...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My obsession with cloud programming

Ever since ubuntu has come in I've been obsessed with cloud computing. But I assure you it has nothing to do with me having ubuntu. I've blogged about this obsession here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ubuntu-ing all again...

Hey I got an ubuntu cd (intrepid ibex v8.10). I ordered it online, and it was shipped to me free of cost. Previously I had Ubuntu 5.10. It was quite unstable. I couldn't install most apps on it, like the new version of FF, or have the browser play flash objects. Now, in this release, its all simple.

Today I've downloaded some codecs for my Totem (similar to wmplayer in windows) to play mp3 files. These things don't get shipped default. You have to download them.

Overall I feel this is better than 5.10. Plus I hear they are working on a new release 9.04. Its time to prep my debian skills again...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


You know I kind of want to make this post really long, but I feel too lazy to type. So instead I'll dive right through it.

I never really understood the actual cause of this recession. I wanted to visualize the economic drama that lead to the current situation. But behold! I haven't analyzed facts on a deep scale. I asked my self whats are the two things that you'd blame for the occurrence of this recession - I thought over production & outsourcing. It turns out that you simply can't say that's it! There is oil prices, food grains, etc all coming into the picture. I did refer a couple of sites for that:
  • - Causes of economic recession
  • - Article about recession & outsourcing. (You can't scapegoat outsourcing as a root cause).
The first visualization I got however was a forwarded email I got. Its still in my inbox; those who want it can privately message me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yes Man (movie)

I’ve heard about this movie through a review on the Chicks on Flicks tv show aired on Sony Pix. The verdict was “Catch it”. Yeah, and, I liked those chicks too… Anyway, the movie according to me was an effort towards grasping a positive attitude. It actually informs the audience that this is one way you can achieve positivism in your life and, please I don’t really want to go to the degree to say that they do actually advocate it. You know that is actually being fanatical about a movie, when it's reason, purpose or ethos is clearly not…

Well, I really hope you watch this movie for yourself and come out with your own opinions (and comment about them here :) ). I really found the momentum, plot, screenplay, etc all practical. This could happen in real life to some person. This story is mainly Jim Carry’s character, Carl’s, story about how he transforms from a person who always said “no” to someone who said “yes”. Along with this transformation you see the hitches he gets into and how he deals with them. The conclusion I’ve derived from the movie, there is no point in living life not being open to anything. There is no point in living without discovering what’s out there for yourself. But to do that you need to first adopt a positive attitude to everything. Say “yes” to everything for a start, and you’ll learn the rest.

But watch the movie first. ;)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Purposefully mysterious comments

This post may kill your blogging enthusiasm, but it is not really meant to. Ever wondered why strange and mysterious people comment on your blog? If they ever do it?

clark said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


This is a sample of a mysterious comment I got in my last blog. (Note I've removed the links and stuff, and I've removed the comment temporarily from the last post too!). There are similar comments by people in some of my blogs. I never really paid attention to what those comments were doing there. They usually have a link to a website you've probably never heard of.

I've recently been to To tell you the truth, I was trying to make my blog more visible. Technorati is a sort of a blog search engine. If you have a blog you can claim it. The site actively lists all popular blogs. So how does your blog become popular? They have a ranking algorithm. Their spiders go about indexing the occurances of links within blogs they search. Your blog becomes popular when more number of (other) blogs link to your blog; it is not the number of links within that, rather, it is the number of blogs that link to your blog. The website measures this by an index/scale they call Technorati Authority. The more the number of blogs link to your blog, the more your authority. Hence your blog would probably get listed on their web pages too, i.e. if it had a high authority.

So what's my authority? Nah, I don't want to talk about it. :)

Ever heard of PageRank? Google uses an algorithm by this name to rank web pages on the World Wide Web. PageRank is licensed to the Stanford University. Ever since this patent got licensed, people have been actively spamming websites linking them to their web pages. The effect of this, well, you can probably write an essay on it now.

But you know what I should have actually done...? I should have gone to the other person's blog and commented the following:


Thanx for your comments on my post [link to that blog]. Y don't u comment on my other blogs too. They are

1. [link 1]

2. [link 2]

3. [link 3]

Have a nice day!

I don't know, perhaps I may even do it! ;)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Honestly, I don't like exercising. But if you've seen the animated movie Wall-E where in all the humans living in space are bloated, I can't help think otherwise. Actually I don't mind being a little "bloated" either, as long as my pants fit. Even the opposite is a concern to me: what if my pants fell?!! ;)

Every once a while, whether you like it or not, you are faced with a physical activity. For me the case is, even to fetch a pale of water, I'd have to pull a few strings, if you know what I mean. I wasn't always like this. So I've decided things have got to change. And thats when I decided jogging.

Why jogging? Because its risk free.

I usually do this activity on my own. I could have easily gone to the gym and started working out but the instructor over there says its a risk taking something more than what you are calibered for. Well, thats only relative. And if you have faltered, you probably need someone to take you home. I used to like running before, and now I am jogging.

But why exercise at all?

Well, its is better than not to exercise. It keeps your metabolism up, regulates blood flow to various parts of your body, increases oxygen supply, etc. The main reason I am in it is to build strong bones.

Monday, February 23, 2009

An unusual case of dementia and its after math

Written on 31st March 09,

Last month my MBA exams were up. They are usually online exams, but you'd have to book your seats well in advance if you choose to appear. I only opted for 3 (out of 5 total) subjects that time. The other two were pure management papers; so I thought I might need more time with it - Accounting & Principles of Management.

So I did my seat booking for those 3 subjects. I had lavishly placed a weeks time between papers. A week before the 1st exam I started preparing. That week I was involved with a lot of things (settings "standards" & stuff); but I still managed to learn a few chapters too. The exam was on a Sunday. So for a Saturday, I had to walk in first shift, get some sleep, and then attend the exam. And I did all that.

But there were a few more chapters to go. The thing is if you just read the book 1 time, you could easily sail through the exams. And my attitude towards exams in general is, if you leave something, the probability of screwing up is more. So on that Sunday, (probably towards the end of Feb), I woke up early and rummaged the books. In between, I felt so hungry, I had to go out to eat. I didn't notice how time flew, but it soon became 11.30 AM, and I was still lagging. Exam was at 2.30 PM. I need to lunch before I start, and I am still a few chapters behind. And to top it all I wasn't sure where my centre was located!

Ah heck, it seemed like those old college days again. And I sang a song I usually do for such occasions. Those who have probably studied with me in Bhavans would immediately recognize it. [Hint: it starts with the word "screw...", and it is a parody of a popular Michael Jackson song]. Yup, you've probably guessed it right!

Then I had to get ready, and stuff. When the time came to leave, I had to collect my hall ticket and stuff. So there I was checking to see if I took the correct hall ticket, all dressed up, and ready to go. I was still basically prepared for 'something worse' which was because of the thought of a few more chapters 'still lagging'... I got out of the room; locked my door; took the hall ticket to cross check, and then my jaw dropped, and I still couldn't help smiling at my own egregiousness. The exam was scheduled for the next day. *embarrassed with severe damages*

The funny thing is I booked the seats conveniently on a Monday, and for a purpos: usually Mondays are more like Sundays for me! But I still don't know what happened that week to make me think "it was on a Sunday".

How the software industry runs...

This is just one view. My manager educated me about this a few weeks ago.

My manager tells me that here is where the MBA graduates and IITians (who work in the software industry) all come to play. They will go the requirements and say "Well from understanding your requirements as stated in the tender, this is your product (Product A). But if we give you Product B, (which basically covers all Product-A), you get these [attractive] features, plus you don't need any support for the next three years. Else you can take Product-C, which is blah blah blah; it has more [attractive] blah blah blah". This is not intended to pun the software industry. In fact I don't know if firms actually function this way; I've never verified it.

I still can't figure where the MBA graduate plays in all this. How does his/her expertise actually help? I am only dying to know because I am currently undergoing a correspondence course on MBA - Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology. There are IT related subjects as well as management subjects. Its the latter causing all the fuzz. I am not able to relate to them. The question is still open, and I am all ears.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There are no facts

There are no facts, only interpretations - Friedrich Nietzsche

I have never done a biography on this guy, but this statement amuses me. This quote is starkingly true and I wonder what made Nietzsche to think about it.

There was a time I was pondering how to make sense of it, and I took the analogy of a rock:

A rock is for fact, not a rock. We really don't know what "it" is...however we
still have to call it something. And hence we stuck to the name "rock".

I am suggesting we could have called a rock anything we wanted to, but it still wouldn't be that for fact. ;)