Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Principle of Good Blogging

Its been a long day. As in reeeaaaalllyyy looooooooonnnggg. Somewhere below I had mentioned that my day went by really fast and all that but that was then. This is now! Anyway, during this long day of mine I happened to stumble upon some free time and decided to make the best use of it. By browsing the world wide web. It was during this sudden and unexpected bout of browsing that I came across this discussion. It was about what the definition of a good blog was. Or rather, about what made a blog 'Good'. (You can find the discussion here but am not sure if non-members can see it). After going through it, I figured that though the answers were subjective most people who were in on the discussion were, more or less, saying the same thing. That a 'Good' blog for them was one which had material that they liked to read. Something similar to beauty being in the eyes of the beholder and such. But there was also something about long winded verbal spiels being frowned upon with one particular person saying 'A good blog should eschew obfuscation'! :). Made me smile. If I followed the 'eschew obfuscation' principle of good blogging, I'd probably have to end up being very lucid and unequivocal which would in turn mean that I'd have to stop blogging. So I shall have to just disregard that piece of advice in the hope that there are others who do not think like that person and they out-number those who do.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Faster than a speeding bullet

"It's a bird!" "It's a plane!" "It's Superman!!!!" As kids we must have heard these words repeated often enough. But what got me thinking about the Man of Steel was some other thing in a whole different context. It seemed like it had just been an hour back that I had walked in, early in the morning, half drenched and wishing it was summer again. I had stuff to do (which I kinda hoped would somehow happen on its own) and people to meet and a whole 8 to 9 hours for all of that to happen. And all of a sudden the 8 to 9 hours were up! Where did the day go? Of course the stuff to do and the people to meet parts had been taken care of but still it just didn't feel like it was time to pack up and leave for the day.

If you are thinking why I dragged Superman into this, I am just coming to that. So there I was watching my team mates leave one after the other and thinking about how fast the day had ended and it started me off this path of trying to figure out exactly how I would describe the speed with which the day went by. I was trying to remember the regular cliches-"In a snap", "In the blink of an eye" among others-and suddenly I am thinking "Faster than a speeding bullet"! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the tenuous connection based on which I have invoked the 'Super' name.

My day went by 'faster than a speeding bullet'!! :)

Rain Rain Go Away

It’s such a pain. This rain.

To start with it’s unseasonal. Ok, given the boiler room conditions which envelope this city during the summer, a little unseasonal rainfall is actually good and welcome. But mind you, I said a little. What we are experiencing, and have been experiencing for quite some time now, is a LOT of unseasonal rainfall. Incessant, persistent, mind numbing rain. Add to it the 'monsoon ready infrastructure' (yeah right!!) in the city and it’s not just the mind that goes numb. I won't complain about the people responsible for the infrastructure (or the lack of it) because I would then be expending my energy but have absolutely nothing to show for it. So I will just crib about the rain and hope that at least up there someone is listening.

It's such a pain. This rain.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Moment of Clarity

In that moment everything suddenly is very clear. Crystal clear. And the minutest of details is instantly apparent, as if it were highlighted, italicized and underlined, twice. The smallest speck of dirt in front of me looks like the Rock of Gibraltar. I am completely aware of what is happening to me and what is happening in my surroundings. Even behind me, though I don’t turn to see. I can very nearly hear people thinking. Time seems to slow down so much that applying the phrase 'slows down to a crawl' to it wouldn't do it much justice. It feels like I am the only one doing anything with everything around me frozen still. It’s that moment of clarity when I know what just happened, what is happening and what is going to happen. It’s that moment of instant realization of exactly why whatever is going to happen is going to happen. It’s a moment when the body doesn't receive commands from the brain. Rather the brain and body work as one.

And I am mighty fortunate that I get this moment of clarity because once it passes, time suddenly accelerates back to its regular speed and then I won't have much of it left to brace myself before my flight culminates and I make intimate contact with the road. Face first. It all started when I slammed my brakes to avoid that jay-walker who had happily jumped across the median on the road and landed right before my front wheel. And off I went on my private flight over public tarmac. But after the injuries heal, the bike is fixed and I am back on it, everything about that incident automatically gets put into the 'Forget' folder. Everything, except that moment of clarity.

In the Training Room

I work for a living. And as part of my job, I train people on how to use the product that we market. And over the past couple of days, training has been sort of an eye opener. The bunch of people attending the training sessions is very jovial and easy to get along with but their energy level is leaving me a bit drained. I can actually feel my brain exercising as I try and keep up with them!!

Usually, I set the agenda for the day and carry on according to that. Here, though I have set the agenda it’s they who carry on according to how they want the information. And, mind you, I am not saying this in a wrong or derogatory manner. What happens is that as soon as I start with the day's topic, I seem to start fielding questions from all corners of the training room. All are relevant, all within the scope of what's been laid out for the day. Some of them are really insightful too and sometimes it seems like they have already come equipped with what I am going to train them on!! But this sort of robs the session of its flow and structure. And I am not sure that is a good thing because, at the end of the day, in spite of having covered everything laid out in the agenda, I am really not sure if they understood everything or at least remember everything.

However there is a bright side to this as well. I have never prepared myself prior to any session like how I am doing these days because I know that any small slip-up on my part is going to be brought glaringly into the spotlight by this bunch. And I don't want to give them that chance. I hope they don't realize that they are indirectly, to borrow a quote from a friend, "training the trainer".

There is one more day left, of standing in front of them and trying to teach them amidst a shower of questions. After which they will start using the product which is when I will know how useful my answers were.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thought Scrapbook


I had been hearing about different people having blogs and had been a regular reader of some others before I decided to take the plunge and have one of my own. The way I look at it, this is just a place where I give form to one of the many threads of thought in my head. Nothing more, nothing less.

Recently, as I was meandering around the net, I came across the 'meaning' of blog. As in the dictionary definition of it. And according to the definition, blog is an online diary or a personal chronological log of thoughts put on the web. This got me thinking. According to this, does my blog actually qualify as a blog? If not, then may be I should just call it an online scrap book. So, to all you folks who have found your way here, welcome to my online scrap book of thoughts. Hope you find your stay here enjoyable.

On a different note, BLOG also happens to be the stock ticker for the company BladeLogic which is a Change Management software provider.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Of Force and Pressure

I, for some reason, am still stuck on Newton. (To see my other Newtonian writings, please read the post immediately preceding this one. Please)

Newton and Pascal are related. I recently found out. Got a mail regarding this. It seems, Newton actually becomes Pascal!!!!

Thankfully, instead of leaving me all confused, the same mail also had an explanation for how this transformation happens. It's quite a passable one at that.

Pressure = Force per unit area
1 Pascal = 1 Newton/m^2
Hence the proof.

Don't kill me. I don't deserve that.

The Falling Orb

Connect the following:
Gottfried Leibniz; Hannah Ayscough; Dan Brown
Got the connection? Yes? Good. You can stop now.

No? Consider these scenarios.
1.You are sleeping, peacefully, dreaming that nice dream you always dream while sleeping. Until your boss picks you out from the crowd of dozing people and asks you for an opinion on what he just said.
2.You are on that dream bike of yours, your dream sitting behind you, air in your hair and not a worry in your head. Until you see the traffic cop lazily walk into your path, big grin on his face and speed gun in his hands.
3.You are walking down the street. You realize there is one mongrel interested in you. Now you are jogging down the street. Suddenly you realize that you have the attention of the full pack of street mongrels. Now you are running full tilt.
4.You stub your toe, you yelp. You break your toe, you yell.

Now did you get it?

Google, a taste for popular fiction and knowledge of some physics will tell you that the answer is Newton. And Dan Brown 'influenced' the post title.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Alphabet

Some acknowledgments before I start:
The subject I am addressing today is an idea got from a phone conversation I had with a friend of mine some time back. So thank you friend of mine.
I have used material from different sources on the net (but of course!!). So thank you different sources on the net.
Apart from those mentioned, I don't have any one else to thank. So no thanks to any one else. And here goes.

First they start with the nursery rhyme. This is something thats taught in nursery (duh!! really??!) and 'Tis called the Alphabet Song!! Next, they have word associations. It goes something like this. A for Apple. B for Ball. C for Cat. D for Dog. And so on and so forth.

Accepted that all these are kindergarten stuff. But at that level why are those kg kids not told that a couple of decades down the line they will need to do the same thing again albeit in a slightly different manner? Who will tell them that a couple of decades down the line they will be playing the same word association games, but this time without following any alphabetical order? Is there any plan to bring about a change in the curriculum for these tiny tots so that they are made future ready? Or do they need to grow up and re-learn how to walk again!?

Confused? Or just plain bored to death? Or some parts of both? Well read on. I think I tried to explain myself below.

Ok today the kids are in kg. Whooooooosh!! Time flies, its two decades down the line and the kg kids are all grown up and all. And two decades from kg will find them just out of college (more or less. It doesn't work for those that are too brilliant or too stupid for their own good!!). And just out of college grads usually find themselves in one of the air-conditioned sweat-shops that are peppered around our country(side). And in here, they usually find themselves on the phone trying to get their point across to the other person. Who usually happens to be born, brought up and belonging to the U.S of A. Or U.K. Or Canada. Or...guess you got the point. Since our more-than-two-decades-old kg kids aren't native english speakers (I know we are fast becoming that but as it stands today we aren't that yet), and since the person on the other end might have problems with the non-native-english-speaker accent, they find themselves going back to spellings and that same old 'A for Apple, B for Ball' kind of word association games. Trouble is, they think they will come across as being childish and immature if they repeat their kg-learnt words. So they go in for new age words. Now it becomes A for Alpha, B for Beta, C for Charlie and so on and so forth. So CAT is no longer 'C-A-T' but 'Charlie-Alpha-Tango'!!!

So, in the interest of all the kg kids(ex and current!) who are reading this, this is the complete list of the alphabet and associated words. Have 'Fox-Uniform-November' - Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey XRay Yankee Zulu

Statutory Warning: Reading this can be injurious to your mental health. Now don't tell me I didn't warn you!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Time was when we were all using the phone as our major communication (as in talking!!) device. We were using postcards and letters. We were meeting friends at hangouts. We traveled to meet relatives.

Times change.

Want to connect to people, meet friends and make new ones, go to orkut, facebook, flickr etc. Want to send a note, get a free account in one of the multifarious e-mail providers and you are set. Want to talk to people, go the voip route. Want to meet your relatives in some other town, get a webcam.

So where you previously had a phone, a few postcards, a vehicle and a ticket you now have a computer, a computer, a computer and a computer. Actually make that just one computer. With an internet connection and a few accessories.

This doesn't automatically mean that the "tools" we used to use have become obsolete and useless. No. The phone, or the cell phone as it is popularly known today, is used for scheduling your day, storing notes, storing music, tuning into radio, watching movies, playing games and taking pictures to name but a few. Postcards are used to send in viewer votes for TV programs!! Hangouts these days are almost exclusively eat-outs (you still can't eat out of a comp yet!). And we still travel (using the same "old" means) but mostly only for business reasons.

They say change is the only permanent thing in this world. So expect this scenario to change too. A couple of years down the line, I might again comment about how things have changed. But in that way, I wouldn't have changed!! ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Can you read this?

Terhe was tihs old e-mial frorawd wcihh siad taht no mtaetr how the lttrees of a wrod are jbumeld, we wlil aaylws be albe to raed and unnaesdrtd it if the fsrit and the lsat lteretrs wree riteeand as in the oiiagrnl, pre-jeblumd vioesrn. The rsoaen bhnied bnieg taht we do not raed one lteetr at a tmie but rheatr look at it mroe as a gorup of lrtetes and sncie the frist and lsat leretts are the smae, we attullomaaicy map waht we raed wtih the wrod we konw aaderly. Semes lkie a good roasen not to bhetor wtih spilenlg armynoe!! Wetehhr ture or not, it srue mekas for setominhg ileesingrntty slily eguonh for me to witre auobt.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The missing part

You first mentally prepare yourself saying.....well, saying whatever it is that you say to yourself to mentally prepare yourself. I, for example, kept saying that it would be a bad scene at home if I failed and at least for that reason I shouldn't. This usually went on for a day. Two days at the most if I thought I had that much time to waste!! After that it really hit me that, for me actually not to fail, I had to fulfill at least the minimum requirement and start preparing. In right earnest. One of my friends told me some time back that I was very good at preparing a plan of action for things to be done! Don't know how true the part about me being good at it is. Neither do I know why or where he got that idea from. But yes, I do draw up some sort of a plan always (whether or not I follow it is a whole different issue though!). Anyway, the plan, roughly would be about what to do, how to do it and when to complete. Once this was done, I stopped because, for some unknown reason, I felt I had done enough by just having the plan!! However, I didn't take long to get out of that disillusionment. So there I was with my study material, being diligent and all, trying to cram in as much as possible. I sometimes didn’t mind burning the midnight oil as well (this was usually for cases where I had already blown 90% of my prep time not prep'ing!!!) And most of the times, somehow, I managed to finish going through all my material in time (This in no way meant that I was prepared properly. Only that I was at least familiar with all that I had to be more than familiar with). And then it was show time. Into the exam hall I went, praying to all those forgotten gods, goddesses and whoever else I thought might have enough power to help me out. And it had more or less always worked in my favor. I didn't enjoy any of the times I had to take an exam but I have also never failed to pass any of my major exams (touch wood!). So all that being my history with exams, I was more than relieved, to finally (and supposedly) finish my education and get a job. For me it represented the end of taking exams and end of the torturous preparation process. And more importantly, it represented my favorite picture - that which showed me raking in the moolah. Didn't realize at the time that a very important part was missing from that picture. The part which showed what I had to do to rake it all in!!

Today, a few years after I started "raking in the moolah", as I sit in front of my comp on a weekend, all my material spread out on and around it, making notes, practicing for that presentation that I have to give first thing next week, I realize what the missing part of the picture was!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Rise and Shine

I woke with a start. And it took me a couple of seconds to get my orientation back. Another couple to realize that the incessant high pitch sound in my head was actually the alarm going off. Another couple to reach for the button to shut the thing off. And then, just a fraction of a second to realize that my hand wasn't up to the task being asked of it! I knew I wanted to switch the damn thing off before the whole house wakes up (its needs to be that loud to get me to acknowledge it in my sleep). And I knew my brain (or whatever is there in its place) was sending the right signals to my hand. But then instead of the arm extending towards the clock, it was the pain-level that started shooting up. This woke me up. Completely and in a hurry. I took care of the now minor issue of the alarm shrieking its head off with my good arm and set about figuring out if I had lost the services of one of my hands (I have two). The hand was still there, attached to my side, so at least it wasn't the 'phantom limb' phenomenon that I was experiencing But curiously my hand, which under normal conditions of temperature and pressure is straight at my side, was bent in half and looked like a life size replica of one of the removable appendages you would find on a Mattel toy-man figurine. (I am not sure Mattel makes toy-men, but hope you get the idea!). And to add to the life size replica theory, it was numb. I could see the fingers moving but I couldn't feel them. But just as panic was threatening to take over, the pain of blood flooding into a numb limb re-assured me that I was not after all going to be consigned to the part-human, part-plastic part of the population. With the knowledge that I was complete, I set about straightening the bent arm and for the pain it caused, I might as well have broken it in half and ripped it off!! Old jungle saying - "Use a thorn to remove a thorn". And so I bit my hand (actually to keep from screaming). And bit it so hard that the pain from the biting caused my hand to actually straighten in reflex!! Well, in spite of the manner in which it was done, the hand was straight (and still paining). But I also figured out that there was nothing wrong with my hand other than some sore muscles around the elbow, which were taking an elongated nap and had stiffened.

So having finally figured out all the mysteries I had woken up to, I also figured I was quite tired and went back to bed. And now, writing this, I'm wondering why I had wanted to wake up early in the first place!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

For want of a name!

“The silence around the house is so complete, it is deafening. The proverbial pin dropping would sound like a grenade going off. Suddenly the sound of a door slamming, and screech of tires as the car speeds off, blows the tranquility to smithereens. But just as fast, the calm settles down once again like a heavy curtain settling down. After the brief pause highlighted by the fast diminishing roar of the car, the high heels click rhythmically on the cement pathway as they make their way to the door, oblivious of the havoc being wrecked on the placidity of the place. A break in the clicking rhythm amplifies the soft sound of contents in the handbag being moved around. An all too loud and all too brief jangle of keys followed by the soft whisper of the levers in the lock tumbling are just the harbinger to the devastation of the surrounding stillness by the almighty creaking as the door is pushed wide open. The totality of the darkness emanating from the bowels of the house matches the calm around it sending the first shiver down the shapely spine standing in the open doorway. With the first beads of sweat brushed away and the knot of fear forming in the gut ignored, the high heel raises to take the first step into the abyss look alike and..........”

Confession time. I don't have an imagination. There is something else up there where imagination is found in most humans. Am not sure what it is and even the doctors have failed to identify it. So I have stretched my lack of imagination to the maximum (and then some) to come up with....with... what would you call what you just read? I will tell you this much. After some hard work (I thought. Hard!) I started writing a story, which looked like turning into a screen play and finally ended up being that thing that you have read. Call it whatever you want.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rant of a Transgressor

I do not follow some traffic rules. There, I said it. I do not follow the speed limits; I like speeding. I do not follow the lane discipline; as far as I am concerned, every lane is my lane. I overtake other people on the road indiscriminately; be it the left or right, if there is space I am going to use it. So there you go, guilty as charged. But before you reach for that phone to inform the friendly neighborhood cop about me, let me finish. There are rules that I do manage to follow. Like stopping at a red light. Wearing a helmet. Hmmm, give me some more time and I will come up with more such rules that I do follow.

Given that I manage to follow some pretty easy rules while on the road, why do you think I break a few others which, going by face value, are equally easy to follow? I will tell you why. There are lots of reasons but I should be able to cover most of them by dividing them into the following few categories:
First category: Introducing to you, slow-mo on two wheels. These are the 'slow-motion-in-real-time' artists, mostly found on two legs or two wheels (and this includes everythings from man-power cycles to horse-power bikes of all shapes and sizes). For them being on the road is when they go into a state of trance where they are one with the universe. The traffic doesn't bother them, the heat and the smoke doesn't bother them, the time going past doesn't bother them and, best of all, you honking loudly in their ears won't bother them. Wherever they are at that given moment in time is theirs and they are the only ones who will decide when they will budge from there. Get caught behind them and you might as well join them because you don't have any other option.
Second category: Introducing to you, the all too ubiquitous "rapier on three wheels", the auto rickshaw. This sounds like a cross between a not so smooth electric razor and a very very pissed off hornet. And its with a reason that I call this contraption a rapier. It literally scythes through any kind of traffic around it.If you hear it coming up behind, better stop your vehicle in that nearby no-parking zone and wait for it to pass because there's a better chance that you can get away free with parking violation. And if you find youself behind one and you are in a hurry, just follow it. It will take you through the traffic in ways you never would have imagined (this is probably the only entity in the known physical universe which can put itself into spaces meant for something less than half its size and make it to the other end with not a scratch on it!).
Now the Third Category: Introducing to you, the once upon-a-time status differentiators. We also know them as cars. Generally these don't do much on the road other than occupy too much space! So just make sure you aren't caught behind these. Because once behind them, always behind them and you are not an auto rickshaw to conjure up a way past these slightly infuriating denizens of the road.
This brings us to the Fourth and the last category: Introducing to you the behemoths of these bad roads. If the roads are the lawn, these are your lawn mowers. The SUVs, trucks and buses that make up this category are actually a law all unto themselves. They intimidate by their sheer size and I am yet to see a traffic cop pull up one of these guys for any traffic infraction! Make sure you are either far in front or quite a distance behind these guys because one of the privileges they enjoy is not being able to see traffic in their immediate vicinity. So you can imagine your fate if you are close to these and invisible. Remember, you are grass, they are the lawn mower!

So, in the process of making sure that I don't fall prey to road rage and I don't become road kill, all I manage to do is break traffic rules. Those are my reasons. Now go tell the cops.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Or is it just me??

I am making an assumption that at least a few of the people seeing this blog know about Orkut. There is another assumption here that there are actually people seeing this but thats not for now. And no, I am not asking about Orkut to start a marketing campaign for them (though I might seriously consider it if the right people ask me to, with the right kind of inducements!! Sergey and Larry, you listening??). I'm asking because those familiar with Orkut would know that, there's this "Today's Fortune" entry displayed on every person's personal homepage which carries a different "Fortune" prediction everyday. I don't know how something like 'You never hesitate to tackle the most difficult problems' is supposed to be a fortune, but then may be they follow a definition of fortune that I'm not aware of. Anyway, this profound piece of profundity came up on my homepage a few days back - "Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought". Sounds very profound, doesn't it? So, knowing that it would disappear after a day, I copy/pasted it onto a scrap pad and have been looking at it almost everyday, trying to figure out how I could use this profundity to simplify my character.

I think, sometimes too much. And I completely relate with one Monsieur Rene Descartes who is supposed to have said (or written) "Cogito, ergo sum" which is supposedly Latin for "I think, therefore I am". But what would it take, to make any of my thoughts profound? The meanings, of the word 'profound', that I have come across could broadly be grouped in 2 ways which have only added to my confusion. 1. Profound - Adj - having deep insight or understanding. 2. Profound - Adj - low. Given these two meanings, how am I to figure out what a profound thought should be. Should it be a 'low' thought?? Or should it be a thought which would give me a deep insight into whatever it is that I am thinking about? If the 'low thought' interpretation is correct, then obvoiusly there is not going to be any resulting simplicity in my character. Rather my character would also become 'low'!! But then if the 'deep insight' interpretation is correct, how would knowing more about something simplify my character? It would actually give me more options than I know what to do with and thereby just increase the complexity of the whole thing. So seeing how both my interpretations don't seem to be giving me a reason to believe the profundity, the only thing I can say is that its wrong! Or is it just me??

Monday, July 16, 2007

The portable worries

I had to do it from the beginning!! Wipe the slate clean and make sure that the wiping was good. Then start off with the whole nine yards all over. And so far it’s been nothing but a pain in the wrong place!

For those of you wondering what I am going on about, “it” is my laptop. Which has been the center of my undivided attention for just about the whole day. Actually it's the center of my attention everyday since it happens to be my work lappie! But today was different. For a change, today, it wasn't my work that was keeping me glued to it but the fact that the laptop was refusing to work. Why? The other day the maintenance guy came to look at a fairly long standing issue with my m/c and decided I better go in for a complete OS transplant rather than trying to fix the issue (I think he wasn't sure why the issue was happening in the first place. That's why he took the easy way out! Ordered the transplant). There it was. The doctor had decided it had go under the knife. So on came the portable hard disk and off went the contents: from the bowels of my machine into the welcoming bowels of a stand alone hard disk. Then the doc took over, and like I mentioned in the beginning, the slate was wiped clean. Off went the current, faulty, having-a-long-standing-issue installation and on went a clean, wet-behind-the-ears version of the same OS. And with that the lappie was signed, sealed and delivered. To proud me; proud because now I had a m/c with a fresh OS installation. It doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore but hey you live and learn!! And learn I did, the hard way because now, none of my previous settings are available. None of my shortcuts are around. None of my applications are present (but of course! What did I expect!!?? But it's a pain nevertheless!). And as if these weren't drawbacks enough, I couldn't start doing my customizations as soon as I got my m/c back because the whole 'download and install security updates' thing for the OS took the better part of three hours (that’s close to half my working day!!). And to add insult to injury, sort of, my mail application doesn't work and I know next to nothing about setting it up.

So there you have it, the rest of day down the drain. Ok it's actually not that bad, but yes I could have done a lot more than I managed to today. And that means my work load for
tomorrow has just gone up!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Weekend

After a week filled with fighting traffic, handling the pressures of making a living and trying to look good at it, Saturday mornings give you the first opportunity to loosen up, take a breather and generally be slow!! Wake up a little late, loll around in the bed for another couple of hours hotly debating whether you need to get out of it or not, freshen up and have that first meal of the day called breakfast at around lunch time, plonk down in the most comfortable chair around, either before the idiot box or with that book you have been wanting to finish and spend the rest of day watching/reading (and dozing!!) till that end-of-day call, called the dinner call, is given at which point you reluctantly leave that comfy perch to get some much needed fuel in. Fuel up leisurely and catch a movie (or two or three!!!) before hitting the sack to take a well deserved and probably long nap!! Now Sundays are slightly different. You wake up late (as usual), have brunch (as usual) and then start the regular 'I-need-to-get-my-fix-of-TV-for-the-whole-week-in-one-day' / 'I-need-to-finish-this-book-or-I'm-doomed-to-be-a-failure-for-life' routine (also as usual). But what changes is that you can't take your own sweet time to finish whatever you are doing before moving on to dinner and sleep. Because, tomorrow is Monday, the day you get back into the rat race. And for that you need to start early which in turn means that you need to end the previous day early. Because, as the saying goes, "Early to bed, early to rise". So effectively Sunday’s dinner call is slightly early and there are no movies to be caught this night. It’s straight to ‘hit-the-sack' mode after the pit stop. And before you know it, during your sleep, the weekend silently gives way to Monday and a new week. Monday mornings, whether you are feeling blue, green, red or yellow, it’s invariably back to the pressures of making a living and trying to look good at it.

Now, I am not sure how many of you would agree with me, and I don't mean this is to be generally applicable, but there's inherently something very attractive about wanting to laze away a whole weekend.

I am on the way....

Yes!! I have done it. The investment is starting to pay off. The sessions have started bearing fruit. The sweat and toil, the pain and gritting have started showing results. The energy level has gone up. The flight of stairs is looking easy now. The mirror looks good. The measuring tape seems a little longer. The pants fit better. The shirt's forgotten to bulge. The tie falls down better. And my feet show up!! Yes, the time and money I have spent in the gym is definitely worth it. Yes!! I have reduced!! 2 Kgs!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

An attempt at being funnily creative!!

Was coming back home after meeting some friends (yes I do happen to have those!!!) when I saw an ad on a hoarding say "Those who live in glass houses should change in the dark". Now I don't remember what it was meant to be an ad for but it got me thinking of the other idioms/phrases that we commonly come across, which could be changed in a similar way. So here I present a few, the original on top and the changed one immediately after it. Mind, some of the changed ones are original!!!

Original : Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones
Changed: Those who live in glass houses should change in the dark! (This is what started the whole exercise)

O: Out of sight, out of mind
C: Out of sight, get new specs!

O: A friend in need is a friend indeed
C: A friend in need is the only kind of friend you will have!!

O: Behind every great man, there's a great woman
C: Behind every great man, there're a great many women!!

O: Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all
C: Better to have loved and lost than to have loved and being stuck!!

O: Cut off your nose to spite your face
C: Cut off your nose and improve your face!!!

O: Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration
C: Genius, now-a-days, is 1% inspiration and 99% publicity and hype!!!

O: He who can, does; he who can't, teaches
C: He who can, does; he who can't, manages!!

O: Marry in haste; Repent at leisure
C: Marry; Repent

O: To err is human; to forgive, divine
C: To err is human; to blame it on the computer, more so!!

O: Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them
C: Some are born mediocre. some achieve mediocrity, some have mediocrity thrust upon them!!!

O: Absence makes the heart grow fonder
C: Absence makes the heart look yonder!!!

Hope you liked them. This was just an exercise in fun, so no hard feelings. And please contribute if you have any.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Wo my gawd! Its been nearly a day and I haven't written anything yet today!! Now, I know that apart from me, no one else usually pays much attention to what is in here. And by the massive lack of comments so far, I guess the few people who have actually managed to find their way here won't be too bothered if they don't find anything new here today and that is assuming that they come back here to check this page a second time. And these are the exact same reasons why I am the one bothered that there is nothing here today. Given that I usually write inconsequencial stuff about equally inconsequencial things, this lack of anything from me today doesn' bode well for me. I have selected, for my writings here, a theme that looked like exercising my thought process to the least possible extent. But what is actually happening is that the 'exercising my thought process' is going so far that it is no longer an exercise but a full blown work-out and frankly speaking I am not built for that. That is why I am scared. Scared that, if the only way for me to come up with something to write is to actually put some thought into it, I wouldn't be able to keep this page active for much longer. And that will be bad because I so want to keep this active and open and fresh so that it will remind me of what I am and give me back my identity if, by mistake, I grow up and grow some brains. You see, whether its computer software or your identity, its always a good idea to have an up-to-date backup. Especially in these days when software virus infections are as common as a common cold and identity theft is as simple as typing 'identity theft'!!! Anyway, though all this ranting has helped me vent my steam build-up, there still is that issue to be addressed: What do I write today? As I have just explained, my identity is at stake here!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Did you know....

...that "SPAM" which usually brings up images of inboxes overflowing with unsolicited junk emails, is also a company that produces canned meat products? (primarily consisting of chopped pork!)

...that the term "VISA", along with representing the credit agency and being used as an entry permit to a foreign nation is also an acronym? It stands for 'Visa International Service Association' (It is what is usually called a recursive acronym!!)

...that "Steganography" is the art (or science. Suit yourself!) of writing/hiding messages within an other medium such that no one would know there is a message? (Usually the messages are hidden in a picture: may be that's why the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words"!!!)

...that the 'all-white' homepage of Google, would supposedly consume a lot less energy if it were 'all-black'? (Its 74 watts and 59 watts of power consumed for 'all-white' and 'all-black' respectively. And there is actually a site called Blackle.com created just for this purpose!!!)

...that the term 'WMD', was first coined and used by Rev. Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1937 after the World War I? (And to think it gained world wide notoriety only after nearly 60 years!!!)

...that Bill Gates is no longer the world's richest person? (The new guy is Carlos Slim, the founder of the IKEA furniture chain. But of course this could change again at a later date)

...that Monaco, with an area of 2 square kms, is the most densely populated country in the world? (If we consider countries having a more country like area, Bangladesh is the densest!!)

...that "In-Laws", when they leave, become "Out-Laws"??? (Ok, joke alert. Laugh!!!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I am 'Wonder'ful

I have noticed that I usually wonder a lot. For instance, even as you are reading this, I am wondering why anyone else would read this. But then thats neither here nor there. Its somewhere else. Anyway, getting back to where I started, I am having frequent bouts of 'wonder'ful moments. And one such came recently when I came across this thing called AdSense offered by google. It is the way, according to google, by which they would be able to display 'relevant' ads in my blog page. By 'relevant' they meant something connected to the topic(s) covered in the blog. Really!!?? And to sweeten the deal, and get me to sign on the proverbial line, they also said that I stand a chance of making some money by letting out my blog page space to this AdSense thingy. Well, where there is the lure of money, there is space to let out and so I did. Gave them the primest piece of real estate on my page. (What?? You don't see it? Stop kidding, its right there under your nose. There, under that green thing in the white cup. Yeah, there at the bottom of the page! Yes). And once I did that, I immediately had that 'wonder'ful moment I was talking about earlier. I wondered what sort of topical ads they would put on my page, given that the range of topics covered by my writings is quite extensive. So off I go to see what they have come up with and this is what I found there:

An ad for disaster relief?!!?!?! Now don't get me wrong, I am all for helping people at the receiving end of a natural calamity. But having a disaster relief ad on my blog page, where there is not even a whiff of anything close to being in the vicinity of what can be termed a calamity, tells me what sort of a disaster they think my blog is!! Wonderful!!

The 7 'new' wonders

So after several rounds of advertisements spread across several months, we finally now have the new 7 wonders of the world. Are they officially recognised by whoever it is that recognises such things? I am not sure and I am sure whoever organised this entire 'vote-for-your-wonder' exercise is right now not interested in finding that out since they must be, to use a popular phrase generally used in situations like this, 'laughing their way to the bank'. Taking a more cynical view of things, thats probably the only wonder they are bothered about!! Anyway, since the announcements have been made, I might just as well acknowledge them here.

So the 7 'new' wonders are:

The Great Wall of china - 祝贺 China / 祝賀 China

The ancient city of Petra - Jordan تهاني

Statue of Christ the redeemer - felicitações Brazil

Machu Picchu - felicitaciones Peru

Chichen Itza - felicitaciones Mexico

The Colosseum - congratulazioni Italy

The Taj Mahal - congratulations India
(couldn't find the hindi script on the net for this one!!)

Am still wondering why the Pyramids of Giza don't figure in this list. If any 'thing' qualifies as a wonder, the Egyptian pyramids do, given their sheer size, age and the surrounding mystery which they wear like a second skin. And since we are talking about 'new' wonders, how about hailing the computer as the most wonderful as this whole exercise wouldn't have been possible without one?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gift of Gab

Gab, as defined by no less than Merriam-Webster herself (or is that a 'himself'? or a 'themselves'? Anyway...), is to talk in a rapid or thoughtless manner. So gift of gab is basically the gift to talk in a rapid, thoughtless manner. I wonder why any one would call such an ability a gift? Using that as an analogy, if I drive a car in a rapid, thoughtless manner and call it 'cab', would they then say that I have the gift of cab?? Doubt that! They are more likely to hand me a bill for damaged goods, defaced faces and disfigured figures and call it the gift of 'tab' instead. So, at the risk of repeating myself, why is the gab thing a gift? And staying on the same topic, talking in a thoughtless manner is also called 'blabber' So does that mean we can call this gift, the gift of blab? Something behind me, I mean at the back of my mind, says that we can but then it wouldn't sound as nice as the original G.o.G. Instead we can change it to Bequest of Blab - B.o.B! Now it not only sounds nice, it sounds more complicated as well. 'B.o.B.' yeah!!

As an aside, the great online know-it-all, sometimes a.k.a google, threw up this interesting piece of info. GAB supposedly stands for Guojia Anquan Bu or the Chinese Ministry for State Security!! Hmmm, so now I wonder what Gift of GAB means. Could it be a state sponsored tour of the more scenic locations within the state penitentiary, free lodging inclusive!?!?!! Hmmm.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Fat 'n' Fit

Was thinking how it would be if I could change the lyrics a little, of the song 'I'm not a Girl, Not yet a Woman', by BS, so that I could use it to describe my current state of being in between fat and fit. So here goes:

I used to think I had the answers to everything
But now I know
That life doesn't always go my way yeah
Feels like I've bloat in my middle
That's when I realize

I'm not fit, not yet fat
All I need is time, a moment that is mine
While I'm in between
I'm not fit

There is no need to protect me
It's time that I
Learn to face up to this on my own
I've seen so much more than you know now
So don't tell me to loosen my belt

I'm not fit, not yet fat
All I need is time, a moment that is mine
While I'm in between
I'm not fit

But if you look at me closely
You will see it in my body
This flab will always find its way

(I'm not fit) I'm not fit, don't tell me what to believe
(Not yet fat) I'm just trying to find the flab in me, yeah
(All I need is time) Oh, all I need is time
(A moment that is mine) That's mine
While I'm in between
I'm not fit, not yet fat, no no
All I need is time, a moment that is mine
While I'm in between
I'm not fit, ooh
Not yet fat

Ok, I tried to sing that with a tune and failed. Guess my doctored lyrics don't lend themselves to anything closely resembling a tune. But then so what? An exercise in futility is an exercise in futility whether or not you can sing about it, right?!?!?

PS: For those of you who didn't know or who thought otherwise, BS is Britney Spears!!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

At the movies

Was recently in a theater trying to watch Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Big bad mistake that turned out to be. Trying to watch that movie I mean. All that the actors, Abhishek, Preity and Bobby, have to do is over act and they manage to do that admirably well. Really good display. Ah yes, Lara Dutta is in there too. But since she is the only one not over acting, you probably will miss her for much of the movie. Sitting in that darkened place made me wonder why the movie was made in the first place. To give credit where it is due, the premise of the movie is indeed novel. You dont see many movies made where half of it is shot just showing two people talking to each other sitting at a coffee table in a railway station and falling in love. But you would expect a movie running for a little over two and half hours to have a little more to it than just an interesting premise as a base. Like more intelligent content and atleast slightly more intelligent protagonists for starters. And the most unanswerable of all the questions regarding this movie is this: Amitabh. What and why is he in it? Just about the only thing that kept me sane and the sparse hair on my head intact throughout the duration of this so called 'movie' was the group of friends I went to watch this with. Though the movie didnt make us laugh, we had a good time laughing at it.

I might have just made myself sound like a snob but hey no probs. To each his own I guess. Anyways, I am now waiting for Ratatouille (for some weird reason called 'french', it is pronounced 'Rat-a-tooie'). From what I have read, seems like it is right down my alley as far as films go. Hopefully it turns out to be just that.

Friday, July 6, 2007

On the move

Office starts at 9 in the morning(or 10 or sometimes even at 11!!) but I am usually there by 8! Nope, I am not the over-zealous type out to score brownie points with the boss (and in case you thought of it, I am not the janitor either!!).

The reason for my presence at that relatively unearthly time is simple - Traffic. For nearly 17 kms from home, starting from my front gate, I go left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, right, left, right, left, right, right, left, right, left, left, right, left, right, right and finally left. In spite of sounding like a weird marching band routine, this is how I get to my office parking lot every morning. On a bike. With a backpack weighing anywhere in the vicinity of 8 to 10 kgs. Now let me tell you, I love my bike. And I love riding it. But taking 12 left turns and 13 right turns twice a day, every day, does sort of dampen that romance more than a little bit. Added to this already dampened experience is the traffic which, even as I watch it, is growing at an alarming rate (something akin to the bean stalk in that story I am sure all of you have heard as kids). A few years back 7.30 in the morning used to be that time of the day when I could do the 'zip-zap-zoom' and be in office in no time flat. Now-a-days, my ride is more like 'zip-2 traffic lights-zap-traffic light & traffic jam-zoom-3 traffic lights and heavy traffic' to office. And all this still at the same 7.30 in the morning!!! And if I am so fortunate to get delayed in the morning and have to start later, I reach office in time to 'do lunch'!

With the traffic growing at this rate, I will probably end up shifting to a place nearer to office (Hmmm need to find out if I can rent out that empty space in the Office basement!!!). Or may be I will just join the hordes of lemmin...errr I mean people and go in for a car myself. That way I can work while going to and while coming back from office and have a peaceful lunch while there!!

Me, Myself and I

Hola Gente.

For those of you who are wondering what that is, it's 'Hello People' in spanish. And for those of you who now think I know spanish, sorry. My spanish is limited to Hola Gente!!!

A little over two and half decades old, a little under half a dozen feet high and a little overweight is what I am physically. As for the mental aspect, almost everyone who knows me, and some who don't, agree that I am. So thats me.

'Arbitrary Servings from the Noodle Joint upstairs' is intended as an outlet for the sudden, spontaneous and not so spontaneous thoughts which, after finding their way in, grow roots and mutate into something big enough for me to acknowledge their presence in my already over-crowded mess of a brain. I invite you to read and enjoy this and share your thoughts here but please remember, I am in no way responsible for the after effects and would like to categorically state that I do not pay for either broken computer terminals or addled brains.