Friday, August 31, 2007

Today, when in office......

There was this sudden, piercing, high-pitched wail that rang out. It took a couple of minutes, of hurriedly trying to prevent premature deafness, for our rational side to start functioning and we realized it was the fire alarm sounding in the building. And even as that realization was dawning, we could see the security personnel outside approaching our office. I opened the office door and poked my head out and before I could utter a word, before my larynx even thought of working, I was firmly and politely shown the entrance of the fire escape and asked to get out of the building.

Now, smart guy that I am, I understood what that meant. So I calmly pulled my head in and, after locking my PC and informing everyone else about it, walked out of the office and onto the fire escape. There I joined a whole bunch of people involved in the activity of calmly but quickly descending down the stairs. And as we hit the exit door, we all spilled out of the building and joined the multitude of people who were, in a similar fashion, spilling out of the various fire escape exit doors around the building. Reminded me of tributaries flowing down and joining to transform into a mighty river on the plains!!

So there on the ground level I became just another drop in that river of people and found myself being carried to the far side of the building. And even as we started filling up the far side, we all heard it. Around a thousand odd necks turned in near perfect unison to catch sight of what we all knew would be the source of the sound. The huge, red fire engine with its huge sky lift and posse of personnel was already turning into the main gates. And behind it was the much smaller, both in size and siren-sound, ambulance. Parking right in-front of the main entrance of the building, teams on both the vehicles immediately got to work. While the sky lift team got ready to be hoisted up, the water gun teams secured the hoses and the ambulance team got ready with their first aid kits.

As this drama was unfolding on the ground-level, the traffic outside had come to a stand still. Passers-by were watching open mouthed at the person screaming his lungs out from the 6th floor window. A couple of groups of people even ran out of their vehicles, wanting to help but were turned away by the security persons who were fighting a losing battle trying to keep the road in-front of the office free for a fast ambulance get away and were already stretched.

By this time I had started to wander around, bored, and finally found my way back into the building. As I made my way back to my desk, I heard a huge applause from outside and heard the ambulance leave the grounds, siren screaming. And then the people started pouring back into the building to get to their respective offices. I could see the excited look on a lot of faces and noticed that a lot of folks had put their camera phones to good use, capturing the whole thing. But I couldn't have been bothered. This was my 6th fire drill in as many years and I somehow haven't gotten around to appreciating these play-acting rescue operations.

May be I am weird in that way!

Nothing in here

I am now watching black paint dry. And this is what it looks like.

I will probably be in this state of mind the whole day and vegetate. Oops! I meant to say meditate.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gods must be crazy. Or something

I am not someone who is very devotional and stuff, but there are sometimes when even I have to take notice and recognize the Presence. And yesterday was one such occasion. Yesterday I felt the presence of the Gods.

There I was, merrily motoring down the road, thinking and planning my day when all of a sudden clear skies turned dark, hot and balmy air turned cold and everything dry became everything wet. All this in a second. Or probably in a time much less than that. Where my thoughts had, moments before, been about my day ahead, there, suddenly were a couple of un-printables and I was frantically looking around for the nearest place which could keep me reasonably dry and safe from the cloud-burst. I fortunately found one such place fast enough so that the damage was limited.

There I waited, looking at the cars whizzing by, the occupants unconcerned about getting drenched. T'was one of those rare times when I wished I had a car. But that soon passed and I got back to waiting and willing the rain to stop. And stop it did. After a longish 15 minutes of watching the cars speeding past and the rivulets of water from the road threatening to turn into full scale river, I suddenly noticed the water disappearing faster than it was being replenished on the road and looked up to find the skies clearing. And with a sigh of relief, I got my planning-for-the-day thoughts back online and re-started my journey. Only to suddenly find myself surrounded by the ninja deluge and be forced to make an emergency stop again.

That previous paragraph repeated itself thrice before I got within shouting distance of my dry destination. That was the last traffic light before I sped into the basement parking of the office building and down came the rain. Trapped in the traffic at the light there was just no way to escape it. And this shower was the fiercest of all. Or may be because of the in-escapable situation I found myself in, I felt it that way. Whatever it was, the final score: Rain-1, Vishnu-0.

Or so I thought.

Having had to spend my entire working hours in soaking wet clothes and equally soaked pair of socks, I somehow managed to get through the day and was looking forward to getting back into something dry and warm and comfortable as I started my bike for the journey back home. And no sooner had I thought that thought than it started raining again!! It waited the whole day to pick exactly that time to start again!! Seemed like someone was keeping a watch on my movements and switched it on as soon as I was back on the road. This was a little too much for me to take. So I just made my way back home, not stopping anywhere for shelter or waiting for the rain to stop. I reached home, soaked to my bone marrow and cold as a piece of ice.

Now why did this happen to me? No idea. May be they were just getting bored with running the universe and decided to have some fun. I was their 'fun'.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

United Colors of ....

What is Yellow and Black with a dash of Red? I will give you a clue: It's the same thing that was White and Blue and Beige yesterday. Got it? Not yet? Here's another clue. On Monday, it was Beige and Black with a dash of Red. Give up yet? If you haven't got it by this time you better just give up, whether you want to or not. Because I don't have any more clues to provide.

Ok the answer is me. I. Vishnu, owner of the to-be-renowned Noodle House blog.

Are you wondering whether I got badly beaten up on all these days and have taken up so many hues instead of the regular black and blue? Thinking that dash of red is me bleeding? Well, wonder not. And perish the thought.

Those are just the colors I was dressed in these last three days. And the dash of red is my tie.

:) Got you, didn't I? ;)

Are you wishing you had your hands around my throat right now?? Or are you googling to see if you can find where I live? Planning on how you will enjoy making me stop writing?

Got three words for you: Keep Dreaming.

PS: Ok, so I can't count. Sue me!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My very own Travel Blog

Have you ever tried to blog when you are completely exhausted, when the only thought in your mind is to lie down and sleep. I have. Just now. This post is a result of my attempt to conquer my exhaustion and stay awake.

There is a reason behind this attempt and it is not as masochist as I am trying (so hard) to make it sound. My exhaustion is very true and the urge to sleep is overwhelming (So overwhelming, in fact, that I had dozed off twice while typing the word 'overwhelming') but my non-masochist reason for persisting with this endeavor is pretty simple. I simply am in no position to do so.

At present, I am not sitting comfortably at a desk typing this. I am traveling down what passes off as a road in what manages to pass-off as a car, returning from a client meeting which started late and ended later. Lots of rough cut stones, and I mean a lot of them, held tight by tons of sand and dirt is an apt description for this road I am traveling on. And I am not “vocabularily” qualified to comment on this contraption purporting to transport me back to somewhere more comfortable. And as such I did not want to fall asleep in here, to get tossed around like in a blender, and wake up to find myself scattered all over the backseat of the car. That's why this rather desperate attempt to keep myself awake by blogging.

Now I have this massive throbbing in my left temple. Could it be because of trying to type this thing while traveling down that excuse for a road? Naah! I think it's just my left temple trying to wake my right one which must have given in and fallen asleep during the ride.

Monday, August 27, 2007

When Inspiration Strikes

I want to really find out how this inspiration thing works. I mean that non-physical, totally mental (pun very much intended!) thing which helps in converting simple two word ideas into a 500 word blog post. How does it work? Is there a method to the madness? Or is it just that, mad!?

If you are wondering why I am going on about inspiration's modus-operandi, please read on. Actually, doesn't matter if you are wondering or not. Just read on.

This morning I realized two things. The first one was while I was taking my bath. The second one was, hmmm, while I was taking my bath! Anyway, so I realized two things this morning and both in the bath. The first one was that I had this great idea and even as I thought about it, as if on auto-pilot, I started fleshing out the idea to convert it into my post for the day. There I was, under the shower, deciding on how to start the post, deciding the path I would take to meander all over the place before coming to the point (which usually is insignificant), the title I would give the post and such.

Before I go further, a question: If I am thinking about my blog in such circumstances and in such surroundings, does it mean I am addicted to it or does it just mean that I am compulsively and psychologically dependent on it?

Coming back, I was deciding the topic for my post. And was happy I didn't have to spend too much time thinking about what to write today. And that's when the whole oddity of the thing struck me. How is it that when I actually sit with my ideas, I have to coax the post out of the deep, dark recesses of my brain, but there in the bath, the post was voluntarily rushing out, as if to say, "Here I am. Publish me."! And that is the second thing I realized this morning. That my mind seemed to work - very unlike it to behave in this manner - when I was taking a bath.

And even as I have been writing about my blog-post inspiring bathing experience, I have just realized one more thing. That I don't remember my ready-made post which practically wrote itself. Leave alone the post, I don't even seem to remember the idea I was supposed to write about. *%#$@^%.

Ok, got to go and take a bath now. Adios.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Attire Specification

If you are an 8 to 6, sit-at-your-desk-and-work-in-a-cubicle kind of person, you would probably have come across this term. It's called the 'Dress Code'. Organizations these days seem to go to great lengths in specifying what exactly the company dress code is. For men it would be something like this: A pair of dark colored trousers worn with a light colored, full sleeved and collared shirt. The trousers and shirt can be plain or pin-striped. This has to be matched with clean, black or dark tan leather shoes worn with a matching dark colored pair of socks. A black or dark tan belt can be worn, with a conservative buckle. A tie can be worn based on the occasion and ...blah ..blah ..blah... and so on and so forth. As for the ladies, everyone and their favorite pet already knows that they have a much wider range to choose from when it comes to their wardrobe. So I am not even venturing to attempt listing what their dress code specification would look like.

The point I am trying to make is this. What started as "Your attire should be formal when you come for work" has now grown to be a couple of pages long and lays down, in the minutest detail, exactly how we are supposed to appear at work. The only difference I find between this and the uniform prescribed in an army is that the corporate dress code lets you choose the colors you want to wear. To an extent. But I guess it's just a matter of time before they realize this gap in the dress code and move to close it!

The one tiny ray of hope in the above depressingly starched and pressed scenario is what is increasingly being referred to as Friday Dressing, which lots of organizations are adopting. This is basically a dress-down day allowed for the employees. This is when they are finally allowed to get rid of the stuffy collars and unbending creases and give rein to their inner fashionista. (Ok, Friday Dressing may be not exactly mean one can go the ‘fashionista’ route but I just wanted to show the contrast)

But you know what I think? I think some bright spark in management came up with this Friday Dressing thing too. And not out of the goodness of heart. He/She/It probably realized that employee resentment at the formal dress code was reaching a boiling point and convinced the stuffy shirts at the top to throw out this tit-bit. Voila!! Employees are happy to get out of the stuffy clothes at least once a week. Management is very happy they don't have to deal with resentful employees. Bright spark is extremely happy with the bonus, the car and the corner office he/she/it got.

Now let’s just wait till the Friday Dress code grows to be a couple of pages long!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Shade of Red

There have been moments in life when I have had to shed my natural color and don various shades of red. That's just a circuitous way of saying I have been embarrassed lots of times. :). The good thing is that I have usually managed to put those moments behind me pretty fast and get on with my life. But for one moment, which is still very fresh in memory notwithstanding the fact that it's nearly 15 years old!!!

It was the local office of the department of forests. And I had gone there, along with a bunch of school kids from different schools, to attend the closing ceremony of week long 'Afforestation Drive'. This had mainly been targeted at the various schools in the locality and as part of it we had a few seminars and exhibitions and competitions. And that's where the whole 'going red' part started for me. Those competitions I had mentioned, well I took part in one of those where we had to speak about afforestation. It was one of those competitions where they give you the topic a couple of minutes before and then you have to come up with meaningful, logical and topic based speech. And till this day I don't know how or why they picked me up as one of the three winners! Man, at that time I was over the moon. And come the last day, I was present at the closing function to pick up the trophy. Or so I thought. Sadly for me, they had a little surprise for me. Again, I don't know who picked me for it, but it must have been someone I had pissed off pretty bad. When they called out my name, I went up on stage to collect the prize and pose for a photo or two. But once up there, I heard the announcer say, "Now Vishnu will give us his views on Afforestation." and instead of posing for a couple of photos, I was suddenly facing a crowd of people with a mike in hand.

I guess they expected me to say something but boy, were they in for a surprise!! I stood there, with a huge, silly, you-can't-do-this-to-me grin on my face and an absolute absence of moisture in my mouth, looking at all the faces on the stage, at the announcer, at the audience (which looked pretty eager to hear my 'views') and finally, at the group of other school kids who were gathered there. This last bunch was the strangest because it looked like they were pushing and jostling each other to get a look. It took me a moment to realize that they were trying to hold on each other to keep from falling down because they were laughing like there was no tomorrow. Then I went back to giving the announcer the same stupid grin, hoping that since he put me in that spot, he would be able to get me out of it too. I hadn't uttered a peep yet. I could see, literally, the 'Did we just now announce that this guy won something for speaking about Afforestation???' thought running through the minds of the organizers there. That visualization, finally after a few minutes of showing the crowd there my stupid grin, put some words in my mouth. I don't exactly remember what I said (that's just another way of saying, "I am not going to tell you how much of a fool I made of myself after I opened my mouth.") but it didn't last as long as my silence had.

That was it. My attempt at public speaking ending in something that was a whisker away from being a disaster. But I at least discovered a new, deep shade of red that day!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wake-up Call

The day started normally enough. Woke up, got ready, had breakfast, fought and cursed my way through morning traffic, reached office, parked my bike and entered office. And walked bang right into a boat load of work. It was one of those days when every time I lowered my bottom to sit in my chair, something came up for me to handle. At work I am usually expected to handle training, visit clients, call them, fire-fight for them, prepare for POCs and such. Today, there seemed to be too many of all them to handle at the same time. Phew! After praying for the umpteenth time that the day should end earlier than usual, it finally did. The prayers were only half answered, though, since the end of day came around a couple of hours later than usual. Well, I was just happy it did come to an end.

Back at home, the day finally got better. Opened Noodle-House to find that today my blog had been swamped by visitors and I am not talking about my 5 to 10 visitors a day suddenly morphing into 50 to 60 visitors. I am talking about the kind of swamping which involves getting hit by nearly 10 thousand visitors. In one day. No, I haven't tried to figure out why and how this had happened. After all, haven't we been taught not to look a gift horse in the mouth!? Anyway, barely able to contain my glee, I checked to see if this massive influx of new patrons to Noodle House has had an effect on its balance sheet. And what an effect it was! My Adsense revenue, which was a high $3 and some change to spare before today, seemed to have got an unhealthy but very welcome kick up its backside, to land on the other side of the $100 mark. And the icing on this cake? About 600 odd votes for me in the Blogger's Choice Awards - Humor Blog category. This was all too much for me to handle, especially after the kind of day I had had. I wanted to let out a whoop of joy, jump around in excitement and break down and cry, all at the same time. I did.

The next thing I know, I was on the floor looking at the security guard who looked large, and strangely distorted, to my wet eyes, as he bent over me with a mixture of concern and alarm on his face. That's when I felt his hand on my shoulder, the pain in my knee and the bump on my fore-head. As I sat up and saw that I was in my empty office, realization came flooding into my excuse-for-a-brain. I had whooped and cried and jumped in my sleep, which resulted in me hitting my desk and falling to the carpet and brought the security guard running inside to check the noise. And the blog and everything else that had happened was just a dream. Damn!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fancy a trip into Space?

There is this site where they say they are going to take your blog and transmit it into space. This got me thinking.

Here I have my Noodle-House, which I religiously update everyday, pouring my heart into it along with anything I might be drinking at that time and whatever remnants I can scavenge from my brain. So what will happen if I arrange to have the contents of this blog beamed into the great beyond? I don't know for sure but here are my 2 guesses worth the proverbial 2 cents.

For the first half a cent I would guess that it perhaps would end our search for alien life. I seem to remember that for some years now, we have been sending off random, meaningless-on-earth-but-hopefully-meaningful-to-them signals into space hoping that someday we will get some kind of a response from some far off intelligent life form. Once they start getting this feed down their antennae and up their receivers, they will come and personally deliver the message to us humans that if the gibberish doesn't end now, they are never going to show themselves.

For the remaining one and half cent, my guess is that I would become a space visitor myself. With us humans having run out of space, on and above terra firma, to pollute, we have now started looking at the great beyond for new, uncharted territories to do the same. And this enterprising nature of mankind has resulted in that un-inhabited space, that we refer to as 'Space', becoming fairly well-inhabited with human folk. These believe that being tethered to home base is all that is required to live. But once they start getting my beamed-up blog, they might find the idea of a free float in space very attractive. Especially, if it is me doing the floating.

These two possible outcomes, which might become very probable very fast, and my compassionate nature, which refuses to let me hurt life forms in outer space (human or otherwise), are right now stopping me from letting the whole wide universe know about Noodle-House.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I have been tagged

As a kid, I never listened to my folks. Like the time when they asked me not to step on the wet tiles; I ran on them tiles and still have the scar on my busted chin to remind me. I used to be a real handful for my folks to control. And this inevitably lead to me collecting a variety of tags like 'Naughty', 'Disobedient' and some more that I have not bothered to remember. As the years went by and I found myself in that impressionable age called teenage, I kept my hobby of tag collection alive and kicking. Only, there weren't any more tags, plural. Now there was just tag, singular. And it read 'Rebel'. Not the tattoos and spiked hair kind. That wasn't me. I was a rebel in the "doesn't-have-to-try-too-hard-to-look-cool dude, who just did what he wanted, didn't listen to others and didn't care what others thought or said" mold.

Ok, that part about being the 'doesn't-blah blah-cool dude' was pure, un-adulterated fiction. That can be safely ignored without taking anything away from the truth oozing out of the rest of what I said.

Well, with the 'Rebel' tag more or less intact, I bid adieu to my teens and entered the great twenties. Where my tag was changed, yet again, as recognition of my advancing years and the supposed mental development that’s supposed to accompany said advancement. It now read 'Non-conformist'. Don't ask me how that is different from the previous one, it's supposed to be. And I accepted it because it has a better ring to it than the plain, old 'Rebel'. I guess it came about because of all the things I was doing which were going against the normal trend of events. Everyone was opting to study computers, I opted for the grease and grime of engines and machines. Everyone was opting to go for further studies after school, I opted for a job. Everyone was going for a car, I opted for a bike. I was accused of going against the tide just to get noticed, but they forgot to tell me who was supposed to be noticing! Anyway there I was, a 'Non-conformist' if there ever was any.

I have come quite some way since those non-c days. Now I have a job and know what they meant when they had said things like 'Responsibility' and stuff. As part of my job, I attend conferences using my desk phone and stare at a computer terminal trying to figure out why something was working. And I work long hours. And, as I have done all my life, I do exactly the opposite of what all the others do. Everyone calls it a day at around 7 in the evening, I sign into the office at that time. Everyone is in a rush to finish breakfast and be on their way to office in the morning, I am starting to climb into bed for a hopefully peaceful sleep.

Having taken a peek at my past tags and seeing my rebel and non-conformist activities, it looks like fate has conspired to keep me going down the opposite route. I work the graveyard shift at office. And now I have a brand new tag to add to my collection. It reads 'Crazy'.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Waiting for some condensation

I am sitting here, all alone, thinking about what to write. The solitude is not helping one bit. The juices, that my brain usually marinates in, are not flowing. Instead it feels like my brain is on a slow boil in those very same fluids. I have a bad head-ache to prove it. I also have a list of titles like 'Disadvantages of finishing first', 'Writing Adventures' and 'Soaked to the skin' waiting to be converted into those one page, trying-to-be-funny gibberish that appear here posing as my blog posts. Oops, did I just describe my posts as trying-to-be-funny?? Strike that out. Noodle-house posts are naturally funny. They don't have to try. And one man's gibberish is another man's words of wisdom. So, I leave it to the people reading this to make that call. Ok, where was I? Yes, I was telling that I had a list of insanely funny topics waiting for their equally rib-tickling subject matter to be added.

Now, I was neither born with a stylus in hand nor am I a self taught writer. Which roughly translates to 'writing doesn't come naturally or easily to me'. I work, really hard, to write as much as I manage to write. By hard, I mean the sweating-at-the-brow variety. Sitting in an air-conditioned room. The brilliant little thoughts that I think and write about would probably last all of half a line if I didn't put in so much hard work and use so much of my supposedly non-existent creativity.

Today, though, nothing seems to work. Like I mentioned, my brain's on a boil. Literally. I can see my posts evaporate in front of my eyes. And there's nothing I can do about it but hope that they hit that cold air pocket so that condensation and the subsequent rain of ideas can happen.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Today's been a busy day. Really hectic. Haven’t spent even one single seated moment in office doing anything other than official work. And somewhere in between completing user documents, conducting training and preparing for up-coming demos I had used a couple of facial tissues which got me thinking, albeit very briefly. It was my only non-official thought the whole day (Of course I went for a couple of coffee breaks and lunch but those don't count).

Now that it's the end of the day, I have decided to come back to that box of facial tissues. I am talking about those that come packed in a rectangular box (pic) which is kept on the table or in the car or, as in my case, on the desk at office. And I am reasonably sure that everyone has, at one time or the other, used these.

Let’s first take a look at what I am talking about. Here we have an ordinary looking box made of flimsy cardboard with a slit down the centre of one face and tissues kept inside it. As you pull out one tissue another one automatically takes its place in the slit, ready to be pulled out. And this keeps on till the very last tissue has been pulled out.

Anyone ever stopped to think about the genius who came up with this tissue packing solution? No? Surprised I'm even referring to that person(s) unknown as a genius? Well, why not? Think about it.

That guy (or girl as the case might be) must have first seen the need for something like this. May be (s)he got plain bored with tissue rolls rolling away leaving a big tissue tail behind that had to then be painstakingly rolled back just for the same thing to happen again. So out came the box and in went the tissues. No more rolling. Then (s)he must have spent some time, which could probably have been more gainfully utilized, to try out different folding methods that would give the tissues the auto pop-up effect. It's after all only card-board, tissue and air. No other device, mechanical or otherwise, to be found in it. And yet, from start to finish the tissues just keep popping up, one after the other.

There you have it. Both the inspiration and the perspiration. And as everyone knows, these two together (in some one-sided proportion I don't remember right away) equate to genius.

So, if this isn't genius what is?

Sunday, August 19, 2007


I bet a lot of people would have someone or the other to thank for some timely advice that has helped them improve, become better. Well, this post is my idea of saluting all those people who have given me a lot of good advice to improve my communication skills (Think I don't have any? Well, you can blame said people. And could you please not mention it to my boss. Thank you.)

Before I go into the whole saluting stuff, the mission statement of Noodle-House:
"To be the only premeditated and exclusive target of netizens logging in to get their regular fix of facetiousness, flippancy, farce and fun irrespective of theme."

Confused? Thinking why I suddenly brought in my Mission Statement into a tribute post? If you are reaching for that 'X' on the top corner of the page, hold that thought for a while longer. Please.

Back to that Mission Statement, how about if I re-word it? To read something like this:
"To be the 'Go To' place on the internet for all the people looking for general humor."

See the difference? It's still the same, just a lot neater and cleaner. And this has been the gist of all the assorted advice that has come my way. To K.I.S.S - Keep It Simple Stupid. And this here is a tip of my hat to all those well-meaning folks who have, so generously and graciously, asked me to K.I.S.S. Mwwaaaah. ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

One Day In The Life Of....

"My day starts at..... What time do I say it starts at? You see, I am unfortunately at the disposal of a psycopath who seems to take pleasure in seeing me sleep deprived. He may seem to resemble a regular human being but, after nearly a year of being tortured slowly and deliberately, believe me when I say he is a certified psycopath. If they had been handing out grades to psychos, I am sure they would have to come up with something over and above A+ to hand over to this speciman."

soft sounds of sobbing fading into silence.....Deep breathing......Air exhaled...

"I am very sorry. Got carried away there. Let me start again".

"My day starts, usually, at 4 in the morning. That ‘guy who owns me’ presses that all important button and I am instantly awake. And from then on, there's no respite. Don't really know what he gets out of it but I have to bear with his merciless, relentless pounding for the next couple of hours. After which he stops and literally packs me away. There I wait, for what is to come next. Suddenly it feels like I am being taken somewhere, fast. There is a cacophony of honking and cursing, lots of jerks and bumps. After what seems like an eternity it all stops. There's only silence. And as suddenly as I was packed away, I am jerked back out. The surroundings have now changed. It’s very bright and cool. But before I can wrap my mind around the differences, he is back at me. With a vengeance, it seems. He pounds away at me with what looks like a fury. At least that's how it feels!! There's a change in his persona too. Where he was benign and calm during the early morning stint, he is all agitated now, cursing and talking aloud to himself. And all the while, pounding on poor me. The exercise even takes on a whole new demeaning twist when he starts playing music as he continues his violence. It’s as if he is being artistic!! The only thing I can look forward to is when he gets tired and has to go for a cuppa or for lunch. Surprisingly merciful of him that he doesn't drag me along during those breaks. But the downside is he is back with new vigor and gets started again, intending to make up for lost time. And this goes on for eternity (Actually around 8 in the evening, but by then I have been pounded so badly that I am not in any shape to differentiate between that and eternity). I can barely register that I am being bound and put away again. This is the best part of my day. In-spite of the being transported blind, in-spite of barely being alive after hours of physical mishandling, in-spite of knowing what is in store for me tomorrow, I know that I get sometime to just be with myself. And after what I have been put through, that is a gift I am going to enjoy, no matter what. The pounding however is just a few hours away, when that alarm of his shouts its top off at 4 in the morning.

I would have given in and been broken by now had it not been for that extra hard layer beneath my soft-to-the-touch exterior. He can pound on me all he wants, but pound me into submission he won't. And that is my only thought, always, as I drift off into an all too brief, dreamless sleep."

--- As told to Noodle-House by Vishnu's Laptop Keyboard.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Major Blooper

There have been a whole lot of names I have been called during my current tenure on this earth. Names ranging from nouns indicative of various beings in the animal kingdom to nouns which didn't really indicate anything and thus came to indicate me!! Of course there is every possibility that I have been called some un-mentionable names as well but since they haven't been mentioned to my face, I am not mentioning them either. I have also been accused of being lots of things. Like lying, being lazy, being smart and handsome and some such imaginary and non-imaginary things. But I have never, ever, been accused of trying too hard. Never, that is, until now.

I have a female sibling. My part of the world, we call such people sister. Not to be confused with the sister in 'Sister Mary Clarence'. My sister is a full 3 years older than I am. And believe me, that's all the 'oldness' she has ever needed to boss me around (With that one, I can see myself losing one of my two regular readers. But, let me not digress. I shall mourn the loss of half my readership later). And she is the one who has had the temerity to accuse me of trying too hard!

Ha! Imagine that. Me - the life-long, self-declared and self-proclaimed master of 'The Take-it-as-it-comes Technique of Happy Living' - trying too hard!!! And for what?? To appear funny and humorous on my blog!!

Yo sis, you can make mistakes, but this one is a blooper!!! ;)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Uniting Factor

It's one of those few, and exceedingly rare, things that is truly plural and catholic in nature. It makes no differentiation between man and woman, young and old. Nor does it take sides based on region, money, religion, color, cast, creed, language, height, weight or sexual orientation. Or any other differentiating factor we humans, as the top-rung occupants of the 'intelligent-life-form-on-earth' pyramid, might come up with.

From the top of my 'increasingly-and-rapidly-getting-sun-tanned' head, I can right now think of examples like cancer, aids, malaria et all, to name but a few, as the only other things that could and would give this thing company in terms of being extremely and unbiasedly universal. But the crucial difference, and thankfully so, is that this is no disease. Like life itself, this is something that goes on for as long as we live. There is no escaping it, though it's been found to stop sometimes, on its own, usually after having run its full course.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that it is a life-long problem none would voluntarily live with. But like I said before, we can be happy that it is not a life threatening disease. It's just a problem we haven't yet figured out the solution for. And being oh-so-intelligent and oh-so-creative, it's just a matter of time. But all these peripheral things should not take away from the plurality of it.

May we have more such things to truly unite us.

PS: By the way, I was referring to Hair Loss. What did you think??

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My defining moments

It's the 15th of August. Independence Day. And here I am. Back, like I promised to be (in my last post). Having stolen the lead over the others (whom I had labeled 'bandwagon jumpers') I am back now to complete what I had started yesterday.

First, to bring you the so called '10 defining moments in 60 years of Independence'. These have been put together by a news channel. I say 'so called' because, though I don't know enough history to actually contradict them, I am not willing to accept their view blindly and make it mine. Anyway, it’s an interesting hour long video made in 5 parts. Take a look.

There. Now that I have done my bit to celebrate the I Day, let’s get down to business. Presenting to you, on this momentous occasion

'The Four and Half defining Moments in the 27 years of my Life':

1. Born in 1979, I was a healthy kid. Strong bones, a very healthy pallor, good appetite and a strong, thick skull. My parents were over the moon. Healthy baby. And that too, healthy BOY baby. But as the days passed, doubts started arising. About the state of my mental development. Not in terms of me being "mad" but regarding the development of my other faculties. Compared to my elder sister (who is a bit of an achiever actually) I was slow in developing my linguistic skills. As they despaired over this and exhausted their cache of prayers, I, almost 3 years old then, came up with my first coherent and properly pronounced line (Sorry don't remember what I said!!). That there was my first defining moment, the moment I spoke. Last time I checked, I was still going strong!!

2. Kindergarten is that part of my memory that doesn't even lend itself to sepia colored or black and white continuous images. Rather, it's a fast, blurry film, moving forward in jerks and jumps. And amidst those jerks and jumps, suddenly some faces come to the forefront very clearly. And almost all of those faces are female!! From the class teacher to the principal to that girl with whom I shared my lunch to my sister's class mates and her class teacher. Don't know what else I learnt in KG but I realized the considerable charm I could exercise over the ladies!! My second defining moment.

3. I had to really wait a looooong time before I could ride a bike. I mean the human powered, thin wheeled variety. After falling and scrapping my knees and elbows, and everything in between, numerous times, I finally managed to sit on it and stay there. And that's when I discovered speed. My third defining moment. No, not 'Speed = snorting' kind. The 'Speed = rate-of-motion' kind. After that, going slow, on two, three or any number of wheels, has been anathema.

4. My fourth defining moment is something I really can't pinpoint. I am unable to give exact timelines as to how I started blowing spit bubbles or when I started with chewing gum bubbles. I don't remember the first time it happened, probably because I never imagined at that point that itwould have such a profound effect on the rest of my life. But over time, as I continue to see and learn from life around me, spit bubbles or chewing gum bubbles have started representing the bubbles we live in. We hope they keep growing and never break. But more importantly, it's a mess if it breaks.

And my final defining moment, the one I term the '4 and 1 Half', is a work in progress. My Noodle-House. And it's a work in progress because I am yet to figure out what this defines.

:). Ciao.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stealing the lead

Today is the 14th of august, 2007. Bet you knew that. Today is the last day before we turn 60! And I mean 'We' as in this country called India that I am a citizen of. Am not sure how many know that. It's Independence Day in this neck of the woods on the 15th of August. This is the kind of 'special occasion' that usually has the media at its hyper-active best. And knowing that, I didn't want to look like any other bandwagon jumper by having a post here about the 15th of August on the 15th of August. Instead I am planning to steal a lead over all of them by posting today about tomorrow! :) (I am, of course, very conveniently ignoring all those other people whose posts, about exactly the same subject, I have been reading over the last couple of days)

So the big question is, "What am I going to write about Independence Day? That too in Noodle-House?"

Hmmmm, let's see. I could probably write about quite a few things. Like how we seem to be on a roll, relentlessly moving towards being recognized as a developed nation. Then, I could probably go and contradict myself equally well. I could probably come up with a lot, and I mean a LOT, to say about the sorry state of our political class. I might actually be able to make a logical and plausible argument to illustrate how we readily inherited the bad from the erstwhile occupiers while turning a complete, 100% blind eye to a lot of good that we could have benefited from.

But I wont. Why? Short answer - That doesn't belong in this page. Long answer - First of all, there are those who are more knowledgeable, more eminent and a damn sight more qualified to tackle subjects like that. Moreover, Noodle-House being a noodle house, I am really not sure what kind of trouble I will invite if I go ahead and poke fun at something even remotely linked with the Independence Day. And finally, after having just de-contaminated my funny factory yesterday after an attack of seriousness, I wouldn't want to publicly prove my lack of brains by attempting to write something serious.

Now that I have stolen said lead, check this space tomorrow. :)

Need for vigorous head shaking

My big, spacious holder of laughing-gas like thoughts, perched in the upper reaches of my cranium is, for some reason, acting uncharacteristically weird. In the sense that though it is still big and still spacious and still continues to function as a holder, the contents being currently held seem to be devoid of the laughing-gas like property I was talking about. No funny anecdote, no interesting event I can put a witty spin on, no nothing that I can actually use. Zilch. Absolutely no presence of anything distantly resembling humor to be found there. Instead, everything there seems to be seriously boring or boringly serious. Or somewhere in between the two.

It must be because I came back from work early. Earlier than my usual time, that is. It's been a while since I actually did that. Usually I return home from work fashionably late. But today I couldn't really justify sitting in office after hours, even if my job depended on it. So I came home. As it turned out, I was unfortunately in time to catch that most depressing, enthusiasm-sappingly bleak piece of broadcast software ever conceived by man, woman or for that matter any other living or non-living organism in this world. The evening news. That, I am sure, is the reason my funniness quotient has taken an unscheduled leave of absence for an unknown period of time. In fact I am more than just being sure, I am very sure!

I need to go and shake my head vigorously to try and get these thoughts out.

"Sorry folks. Production in the funny factory is temporarily put on hold. There has been an attack of seriousness which is being dealt with even as you read this. We hope to have this contamination contained and cleared before it causes any serious damage to the cranium. Expect regular funny production to start by the time you realise something is wrong. Thanks for your understanding support."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I better not Think!!

From here onwards, I have decided not to think too hard. And if possible, not to think at all. Immaterial of how necessary it is for me to do so. And I have decided to take this extreme step in the interest of humanity and their well being. Wondering what the connection is between the two?

Consider these:

  1. -Year: 2004. Date: Sometime in December - Was in the US that time (my firm had sent me for a 2 month visit) and I had to decide if I wanted to push for an extension of my stay or to just go back. Thought of all the reasons why I had to get an extension and thought of everything I had to go back to. I thought long and hard and decided to go back.
  2. -Year: 2005. Date: Sometime in August - 4 years after supposedly having completed my formal education, I thought of going back to school. At that time, I was comfortable in my job, earning a good name for myself and was taking home a not so good but adequate pay packet. To give all this up and go back to school was a big decision to make for me. And so I thought long and hard about the pros and cons of taking such a step and finally decided to up and leave.
  3. -Year: 2005. Date: Sometime in September - I knew I didn't have the dough to pay my way through but I wanted to get into the Indian School of Business. This again was a situation where I had to think hard about my options and the positive/negative aspects of such a move and take a decision. Finally decided to go ahead with it.
  4. -Year: 2006. Date: Sometime in May - In spite of my failure to get into any of the IIMs or into the ISB in my first attempt, I was determined to make it into the hallowed grounds of one of these schools in my second. And I had to think hard again, but this time it was about how to convince my folks to go along with the idea. Somehow managed it.
  5. -Year: 2007. Date: Sometime in May - Decided to quit my then current job and look for other opportunities. Easy decision to make but had to think a lot about where to go. Finally decided on the place I am currently employed in.

Now consider these:

  1. -Year: 2004. Date: Sometime in December - Devastating Tsunami hits South-East Asia, rendering tens of thousands home-less and base-less in addition to killing thousands more.
  2. -Year: 2005. Date: Sometime in August - Two words. Hurricane Katrina.
  3. -Year: 2005. Date: Sometime in October - Indian stock markets crash. Thousands of investors are literally left bankrupt.
  4. -Year: 2006. Date: Sometime in May - Indian stock markets crash yet again. And this time its bigger than the one in Oct '05.
  5. -Year: 2007. Date: Sometime in May - Un-seasonal and continuous rain is making life hell for residents in Chennai.

There you go. Didn't realize it that time but now I have. It's about time I stopped thinking.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Welcome, once again

Phew that was a long day. What did I do? Well, I woke up late (later than usual that is), lounged around the house, watched TV, was on the comp and had food in between. And now I am here. But if I made it sound like it was one of those lazy weekends, please excuse. That part about me being on the comp, that was when I did my most work. There's this scheduled training starting Monday, about which I was informed on Friday evening. So was preparing for that. But during the course of that, I started thinking about my blog layout. Now don't ask me why I started thinking about my blog when I was doing something totally not related. I don't know. And isn't that how all great ideas are born?? Kekule and his Benzene dream, Archimedes and his Eureka moment, Newton and his Apple moment!! I guess there are a lot more examples out there, well-known and otherwise.

Anyway, so I started thinking about my blog layout. I have a 15.4" widescreen screen and on it I was seeing huge, vast acres of real estate unused and barren. There was just this thin strip, covering about a third of the screen width, which had some construction on it. In those cramped quarters, my writings, those pearls of my wisdom, were fighting for eyeball space with the well known unnecessary essentials of the blogoshpere. Guess this state of affairs left me really hurting deep down, for it to intrude while I was busy thinking about legacy modernization tools (by the way, that’s my job description - Legacy Modernization Tool!! ;) ).

Finally decided to do something about it and now what you see here is the result (I am guessing here that if I were to read this post on a feed, all this talk about blog layout wouldn't make much sense but hey, you can't please everyone. And who knows, may be people will come here because of the curiosity factor!!). This new template, with the 3 columns, is almost exactly what I wanted. And for this I would like to thank Thur Broeders and his Blogger Workshop. I spent the better part of my afternoon tweaking the template, getting my widgets arranged and everything else set up (by which I mean I got those same un-necessary essentials, the Ads, back) and am kind of satisfied with it now. In future I will tweak it a little more or maybe I will go back to the same old template but for now, Welcome to the new look Noodle-House. Enjoy the same old arbitrary servings in an all new surrounding.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Writing from an Inspired Mind

The inspiration for this blog comes from all those other blogs out there that carry posts advising people on what they need to do when suffering from a bout of writer's block. They usually come under the heading "TOP insert a number here Ideas/Things to do when you can't blog" and have pointers like 'Clean up your page', 'Correct old typos', 'Quote other blogs/Do blog reviews' and stuff like that.

So, taking a cue from all those well-meaning and helpful folks, I have decided to come up with a list of my own. But not just any other 'top-so-many' list. This is a list of the First 10 things to do. And please let me know if you think the pointers here have been copied (any copying, if proven, is entirely and purely unintentional). Here goes

First 10 things to do when afflicted with the afore-mentioned malady - writer's block:

  1. -Heave a sigh of relief. You don't have to worry about who is getting ready to sue you because of what you write.
  2. -Try and stand up. Be careful though, your leg muscles might not be up to it because of all that sitting on your behind.
  3. -Explore your surroundings and familiarize yourself with it. It won't look good if you get lost looking for the loo, in your own house.
  4. -You might find pieces of paper lying around which look like blogs - lots of Ads with some columns in between. Pick them up and try reading them. Loud. (Just to check if your vocal chords are functioning the way they are supposed to).
  5. -Try and practice opening and closing your eyes repeatedly. There are things called 'eye lids' and they are there to be used. Use them.
  6. -Go and look out of the window. Then look at a calendar. Find out what date it is.
  7. -Play back the answering machine and start returning those calls. Warning: Given the number of calls you missed since the last block, you might need to spend some considerable time on the phone.
  8. -Try and remember if you are married. If you remember and if you are, all the best!!
  9. -Hear some rumbling noise?? Well that's from your starving stomach. And while you are taking care of it, see those cobwebs and maggots crawling in that dusty pile? That was food once upon a time. You might want to clean that up.
  10. -And that overpowering stink!! That is you. You might want to clean that up too.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I have a problem

The problem statement:'How to get traffic to my blog and how to get them to start clicking so that I make cart loads of money and live happily ever after.' The solution might look rather obvious, like 'Write-what-people-will-read' or 'Have-posts-with-keywords' or some stuff like that. But if I were to do the obvious, I wouldn't be writing a blog at all. Let me be very clear. I am not writing to make money. If I start doing that I will not need to go to the gym for weight reduction anymore, I will starve my way to it! Nope, I'm not that stupid. Rather, I want to make money because I am writing this blog. And to find the easiest way of doing that, I have been scouring the WWW (obviously).

That was an unintentionally long explanation for something that is not even at the core of what I wanted to write about today, but then that’s how my ideas wander around, so please excuse. Granted, that I actually don't know what I wanted to write about, but that still was long and it was unintentional.

Ok, so where was I? Yes, I was searching the net for a solution to my money making problems. And as part of that search, I landed up at this place called the BlogCatalog, which is, in its own words "The premiere social blog directory on the Internet". To cut short a very long story, about me registering in, hosting my blog, making friends and all that, suffice to say that my blog is now part of that directory. And I usually go through the discussions on the board there 1. To see if someone has the same problem as I do and 2. To see if someone else provides the solution.

News Flash:
I haven't found an answer yet (am not giving up though. I want the dough!!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Yesterday I was one, Now I am 3

Milestone time!!! Yep, yet again.

Yesterday I completed one month as a blogger. Have already written about that here.

Today I celebrated another mini milestone. And though its mini, this one has a little more significance as far as its consequences go. I mean, anything that is putting food on your plate, clothes on your back and a roof on your head is something you ne.....err that should have been roof over my head!!! My bad (silly sheepish grin here!) What was I thinking?? Anyway coming back to what I was saying, anything that provides for your basic necessities in life is something you need to give significance. And since my current job is providing for all those, and then some, I would say it assumes a lot more than just simple significance in my life.

Therefore when I complete three months in the job, it becomes a significant milestone, albeit a mini one. And in these three months, I have grown from being a wet-behind-the-ears (have a feeling I have been using too much of that term!!) trainee to a trainer myself, have finished my prescribed course of certification and am now a product consultant.

And just to ram home the point that I am three months old with the firm, they left me a gift. It's 9.45 in the evening and I am still in office, expecting to stay for a while. Nice gift! Enjoying it. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just completed One

I am one today. Seriously. un. ein. uno. um. one. Completed. Done. Dusted. Archived. Phew! Long journey. Looked like it wouldn't end. But end it did and thank God for that. Is there a 'Happy-Birthday-to-you' clone available that I can sing for myself on this occasion? Well, seeing how cloning is considered un-ethical and against nature, I don't think anyone has come up with one yet. In which case I will probably exercise my gray 'need-to-exercise' cells sometime in the future and come up with one myself. Provided someone doesn't do it before I do (which, I am hoping, is what should happen!).

Now that I know I can last for one, I know I can do it for another one as well. And after that, may be the one after that as well. And the one coming up after that one as well. Yes, and as I pile up the numbers I will also probably have something to show for it (which right now, after just one, I don't). Yep, that's a definite possibility and a motivating factor. But any kind of longevity in any field ultimately depends on quality of work, so here's hoping that my work exudes quality like it has been doing for the last one month.

noodle-house is one month old today. :). And on this momentous occasion I would like to thank all my supporters without whom I wouldn't have been able to survive this long. A big, heartfelt Thank You to Google, Wikipedia,, Webshots, MS Office, HP, Dell, IE, Opera, Firefox and last but definitely not the least, Notepad.

Monday, August 6, 2007


I can not, for the life of me, face a camera with a straight face. No sir. Not possible. I don't know why, but that is just how it is. The moment I even sense a camera in my immediate vicinity, my face starts contorting. It's as if there's this proximity sensor built in that sets off the contortions on its own without me having to intervene. The camera, and the person behind it, has to contend with my eyes all crossed or my cheeks sucked in or a dazzling display of my 64 pearly whites or my tongue sticking out or any other funny face I can conjure up. Like I said before, this is not something I do on purpose. It just happens as a reflex action. So much so, that I have actually gotten into trouble when I stuck my tongue out at the guy taking my snap. For my driver's license!!

Of course, all snaps of me don’t show me playing the contortionist. There are exceptions, like when I had to get a snap taken for my US visa, when I had to get one taken for my passport, when I had get one for the ID card in office and that one time when I got my driver's license. But apart from these 4 occasions, I don't think anyone has ever noticed the flash of a camera and me with a straight face at the same point in time and space.

All this sort of leads me to think that I was probably destined to make a living out of being in front of the camera! Seeing how making faces comes to me naturally and given the fact that I am good looking (ahem!!), have a good sense of humor (ahem!! ahem!!) and have perfect comic timing (!!??!?) I can probably become a famous comic/comedian in no time at all. Hmmm, and here I am sitting in front of a comp, slogging from 9 to 6 (or trying to appear as if I am slogging. See, more proof that I can act!!). What a criminal waste of a God given gift!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Out of Control

Have you ever felt too much is expected out of you? Felt that, because of this, you are losing control of what you are doing? Well I have. Quite a few times. And the first time it happened is still very much clear in my mind's eye.

The first time was when I was about 2, going on 3. I had just about started walking confidently, on my own, and was pleased as punch about it (of course that walking of mine resembled that of someone punch drunk but still, I was walking). That was when I was in control.

Or rather thought I was. I say that because apparently I was not. There's this other skill called talking that I was supposed to have gotten a grip of by that time (Someone did mention this to me but hey couldn't I just finish one and then come to the next one??). And since the communicating sounds I was using didn't fall under what they recognized as speech (snobs!!!) they almost branded me a 'retard'. I, for one, really didn't understand what the big deal was about. If the reason for talking was to communicate, then I was doing pretty well for myself at that point in time. I was getting through to whom ever it was I wanted to get through to. If I wanted attention, I would shout. Or bawl. Or cry. Or wet myself. Or a combination of all of these. If I wanted to show something to someone, I did the tug and point routine. If I saw something I liked, I would just say its name! For example, I saw a fish, I said "IF", "IF", "IF" and they understood. I saw a plane flying, I pointed up and just went "AAAA", "AAAA" and they got the point. My point here being that with my communication skills already so well developed, I didn't understand why they were making a song and dance about me not being able to 'Talk'!!

But that's what happened. And, totally disregarding my opposition to being forced to learn something useless, I was taught how to speak. And everything else that goes with it. Hmph. Talk about not being in control!!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The 'Quan'time

It's that time of the year again. When we all (at least the salaried part of us) are half full. Half full of anticipation. The other half is actually full of dread, despair and anything else that might give you a nervous disposition. But being the positive, optimistic kind of guy I am, I will stick with the half full part. Anyway coming back, if you are salaried, if you report to a boss, if you travel distances, that any normal, sane human being would consider to be cross country distances, to reach your desk, you would have understood what I am talking about. Appraisal!! You might be the cynosure of all eyes in your team (or project or module or whatever you are grouped as) but unless you are the guy doing it, that three syllable word is sure to see you sweat more than a little in office. All of a sudden, you wonder if your boss remembers that small but important contribution you made to that project some 9 months back. You start thinking if you have sufficiently highlighted your role in that huge 40 person team you work in. You start thinking about the various big, small and even microscopic things that might show you off in a better light than your team mates, because you are being compared against them. What we all want from the appraisal is the same. More money. If it comes with a promotion, that's a bonus, but what we are actually saying is 'Show me the Quan' (expression borrowed from Rod Tidwell, of Jerry Maguire fame!). And how much of that 'Quan' is going to find its way to your bank account at the end of the month depends on how your appraiser thinks of you with relation to the rest of the group. And the better you compare against them, the better your chances of seeing the 'Quan' flow. And that is what the anticipation is all about.

So, to all of you waiting in anticipation, nervously, all the very best. Hope you all get whatever you anticipate. I am off to calm myself down by feasting on my finger nails. Ciao.

Friday, August 3, 2007

One of those days

Another week has come and gone. As fast as the week starts, it just takes half the time to go. And it has been filled with work, bone jarring rides, brain cramping traffic and nothing else. And all this against a constant and ever present background of rain. All these have combined to make jack a dull boy. ??!! Ok that is not what I actually wanted to say, but if you think for a second that I am Jack, it's true. What I wanted to say was that all this together have given me a scrambled brain. And with this scrambled brain, I have been attempting to write about one of a lot of things that I have thought about today. I have thought about being diurnal. I have thought about there being no numbers. I have thought about the movie Apocalypto and how they show the violence but leave the horror and the gore to our imagination. Good technique that, by the way. I have thought about some of the funny mail forwards I have got. And there were probably a few more thoughts I had thought up which are currently lost in the scrambled chaos that is my brain. As an aside, I just looked up the word "chaos" and found "rat's nest" listed as a synonym ( Hmm it does feel like a couple of rodents are up there, chewing up everything they can get their tiny paws and jaws on. But wait, if its the rodents up there, my brain can't be scrambled. Right? Aaarrgghh I don't know. And right now I don't care. May be I should change the name of this place from noodle-house to egg-house or rat-house instead!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Inside My Head

Hello. Gather around folks, since I will now be taking you around on a brief tour of the facility. As you will be noticing throughout the tour, the interiors and exteriors have a rather simple color scheme, mainly utilizing gray and white. You might also, occasionally, notice some highlights in red. The facility essentially consists of 4 chambers, each one similar to the other but distinguished by their placement and use.

The entire facility is arranged in a rough 2 tiered layout to avoid spreading it across too huge an area (which is of course not available) and also to keep the length of the communication channels and wires as short as operationally possible. Beginning at top, we have the chamber in front acting as the control tower, where all the operations are planned and coordinated. This leads to the chamber situated directly behind and slightly around the front chamber we just came out of. This is the image processing control room, tracking, combining and integrating the feeds from the various sensors, most importantly from the basement, and carrying out visual and spatial processing. From here we proceed to the basement chambers, the first of which is situated directly below the chamber above it and slightly around the chamber in front of the chamber above it. You will notice that the first of the basement chambers, where we currently are, is a little to the sides of the IP chamber (Image Processing) appearing as if it's starting to wrap itself around. This basement chamber is where the audio snooping equipment is. All the sound, noise and voice stuff is taken care of from here. Besides which a helping hand is extended to the IP guys with some of the imaging work. This leads us to the final chamber, located in the back of the basement. This far corner of the entire facility is where the all the visual equipment is present, collecting, filing and finally channeling the visual sightings to the IP chamber for processing.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the end of this tour. Of course the facility is empty at present because of the large scale maintenance work being carried out. It should be operational soon and I would be happy if you take some time to come and visit again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

10 Years back

I remember making the rounds of the science and arts colleges, collecting and filling out applications, hoping that come May, at least one of them will let me into their campus. This was of course apart from the entrance exams I had written to get accepted into one of the multitude of colleges offering professional courses, in multiple states across the country. So there I was, waiting, to see which course of study I was destined to get stuck with, with an application sent to literally every college I could get an address for.

And then slowly they started trickling in. The rejections from the science and arts colleges. That was the first time in my life, and so far the only time, that I had been rejected on the grounds of having higher than necessary scores!! Thankfully they explained this saying that given my scores I would be ending up in a professional course. Which, after a nerve wracking wait of a few weeks, thankfully happened (if this hadn't happened, without a chance to pursue either of the streams, I wonder what I would have been doing right now!!) And, like they say, the rest is history. Or rather 'My'story. ;)

Now, nearly 10 years after the fact, I still think about it sometimes and wonder what might have been. May be its a sign. That I have not yet come to grips with my present life. Then again, may be its not. May be this reminiscence is just a sub-conscious way of me taking a breather from worrying about the present and the future. Anyway, the only thing I am sure about is that I still think about it occasionally. It happens. And right now I am putting it down here so that I can capture it for posterity. Or for as long as they decide to leave this content floating around in this networked electronic ether.