In hindsight

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The kingfisher experience

I had this "much awaited" trip to my home by the kingfisher airlines ( hereafter refered to as KFA ) ... Much awaited not because iam coming home for christmas after a long hiatus ... much awaited cos I was travelling by KFA ..
It all started with an online bidding and winning .. ( surprisingly no one over bid me .. and it seemed like the prices were pretty much fixed .. but I saved Rs.1500/- over the usual prize ! )
The hype was worth it .. the money too. Now what was the kingfisher experience afterall ?

a) great hospitality ( ghmmm .. starter's courtesy)
b) good looking & pretty ( pretty is ofcourse not the word ) .. gorgeous ( yeah .. iam closer ) ..air hostesses... ( see for yourselves )
c) good food.
d) PERSONAL mini TV screens with 5 video and 7 audio channels ( now thats something !! )
f) compliementory pouch ( contains a pen , a freshner-towel , a candy, a mouth freshner .. and a few other things like a head phone)
g) bright colors and interiors
h) artificial smiles ( who cares as long as its good)
i) unprepared lucid talk from the pilot..
j) and finally ... ofcourse the much hyped red mini skirts !!

I found a few couple of rare photos of the kingfisher airhostesses .. and here they are for your viewing pleasure .. As the media rightly says ... Malliya is our own Richard Banson ... ( aah for sure ) ..

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Goa Ahoy !

I took a break from work ... and yeah Goa it was ... Sun , Sand and Songs .. Fish Fun and Frolic ... and amidst the predominantly Eurpoean crowd .. Indians and animals ( sorry for the bad association ) stood out prominent ... Have a look at this pic that I could capture .. ( Exhibit 1 ) ...

Now ... enlarge the pic ( Click on it !! huh ! ) and see what he is offering the beast ;-)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Reshmi Bansal v/s IIPM ... the story so far !

Recent outcries by the blogger community, against one of the major Management Institutes in the country ( IIPM), for "threats", "legal notices" and "libel" against the editor of a youth magazine ( JAM ) has raised serious concerns regarding the authority, authenticity and credibility of blogs and needless to say has created much vigor among blog enthusiasts ( bloggers, readers and ones who leave their erudite comments ) to further their search and keep track of the events . Since I happen to fall under this category, it was but natural for me to follow suit.

This is how it all started :

June 15 2005 : JAM runs an in-depth matter-of-fact report exposing IIPM of wrong use of data ( polls and surveys ) on its website .
The article can be found here in JAMs webpage.

August 5 2005 : Gaurav Sabnis, ( an IIM grad ) and an IBM salesman, based in Mumbai , also an avid blogger, links the JAM report to his blog, Vantage Point, titled "The fraud that is IIPM"

October 4, 2005 : IIPM sends out a legal notice through e-mail as a "first notice of proposed legal, judicial and criminal action" to Gaurav Sabnis, asking him to remove these entries.

October 10, 2005 : Gaurav quits IBM , after IIPM students threaten to burn their IBM thinkpads in front of the IBM office in protest against his entries in the blog, to avoid a possible embarrassing situation for the IBM PR authorities. ( IIPM buys 2000 laptops every year from IBM )

IIPM issues a 17-page legal notices to the editor of JAM , Reshmi Bansal ( IIM grad ) ( in the picture ) , for the apparently "false allegations and wrong facts " about IIPM and in her personal blog and sues her for defamation.

October 24, 2005 : Outcry on the blogsphere invokes the mainstream media to take a look into the issue and CNBC-TV 18 runs a story that IIPM did not have the approval from UGC ( University Grants Commission ) to offer an MBA.

Here are a couple of other links vaguely or directly related to the same :

BMVP or Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Party , the party floated by MK Chaudhury, founder IIPM, who contested in state assembly elections in Orissa ( 2004)

The story as covered by Outlook magazine's online version .

The aftermath of the story and future implications :

a) This blogger v/s Corporate war has surely raised many a few eye-brows among the policy makers . Should blogging be broadly termed as independent journalism ? or should everything be generally brought under the much evolving Indian IT law outsprung from the Information Technology Act, 2000 ? Who or what would be the domain of this law ?

b) Blogging has surely turned into a source of understanding and general awareness among the general computer-literate world. Surely a media for mass-communication and one-click publishing, blogs are surely set to play a major role in bringing up the awareness among public.

c) Questions on what is responsible journalism. Should any sort of journalism owing to its linguistical eloquence be termed authoritative or credible ? What is responsible journalism ? In an argumentative society like ours, it is often very difficult for someone to be impartial on both sides and still put across her / his point.

d) The credibility of educational Institutions especially the management institutes that pool in huge amounts of money for advertisements and brand marketing should be questioned.

e) Prospective students , parents and public in general should be aware of the modus operandi of the annual surveys conducted by magazines and the results published there after. Selection of institutes for higher education based on these rankings/ ratings should not be such that they put your future at stake.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lost in Traslation

Somewhere I read ... Nothing is more beautiful that something that will not last ...
Sophia Coppola
has attempted rather well to picturize the craving for humanity to find someone of their kind in Lost In Translation ... Somwhere ... somehow you find that person who just tries to complete you .. for a moment though .. but then it feels like a life time ... and then suddenly even before you start enjoying the moment ... you realise that its past you .

True .... Everyone wants to be found.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Todays changing feminism

Encountered this strange chain of thoughts of changing attitudes of the male-dominated society towards the feminine gender. Twenty years ago, it was unimaginable to think of wives earning more than their husbands, now the male-society has more or less accepted this fact ! ( even though in India , its sometimes considered ... awkward )

Consider these ..

a) Lots of wives earning more than their husbands, therefore turning out to be the obvious bread winners of the family ( and males tending to be more free-er and taking up the job of looking after the kinds )

b) Elderly women dating much younger men .

c) on a higher contrasting but surprising side .. University-topper girls increasingly moving towards a stay-at-home life . ( dont mention the waste of their degrees ... maybe not a waste ... afterall ... education is not merely for earning money ) .. that reminds me that ...

Education is for a life ... not for a living .

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why do I write ?

Almost all the people whom I email say that I write long and absurd mails .. but once you get the drift of it .. it seems as if Iam talking to them somewhere from a distant corner of cyberspace ... Its wonderful how you can express your thoughts in simple words ... writing somehow is a perfect way of bringing the world a step closer to you or taking you out to the world....
For me .. it just makes me feel good.

And when Rushdie was asked .. Why does writing make you feel beautiful ?
He said .."When you write, you write out your best self. Everything else drops away...."
How very true !!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Change of clothes

I decided to move out of this place which was 'home' for me for little more than a couple of months. And yeah my wagabound gypsy instincts told me thats its time to move on. Plus i have tonnes of reasons ( justifications ) to back my decision.

a) The workplace is far from here . And the place where iam moving to is just a stone throw away ( there are no stones near to where i stay .. and the windows are not made of glasses ;-) )

b) I need privacy. This place with my room-mates ( yeah I have varying numbers of room-mates , on and off .. in and out .. as random and unpredictable as the weather here ) .. Not that I dont enjoy their company .. I can come down here anytime ... on the weekends , have a nice time .. and still do justice to myself !

c) There is no time for independent thinking and relaxation.( gradual lengthening of my neurons , with the number of connection remaining the same ;-) )

d) Iam into something new ( maybe later on this ) and that needs a peaceful environment without any distractions. There was a TV in the new place and I told the owner that I didnt need one. ( "voluntary abstinance" from non-informative and random time wasting pleasure rides of the tube )

e) Iam like this. Its my nature. ( remember the Frog and the Scorpion story ? ) ( )

In the previous city I had stayed around 7 places in 2 years and finally settled to some place where I stayed for almost a year and a half, unless not completely happy ... I dont settle for things .. Its again nature. History ( and my-story )... repeats itself .. well not quite the exact way though .

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A few good things

Off late the media is a little kind to the common man ... They seem to have slowly shifted from the grotesque picturisation of murder, theft, cheat and corruption .. to better happenings around us .

A few news that make me happy :

a) Somewhere in the north India , a beggar was elected as the sarpanch ( the village head ) .. In a caste system where untouchability was banned 50 years ago .. but still is practised clandestinely, this seems to be a fantastic achievement. This newly elect was known for his integrity, hard work and dedication ( It is heard that he had funded the education of his brother ) ...The vision of the Mahatma ( Gandhi ) is finally coming true .. ( slow but sure )

b) Mumbai is hit again by its second wave of "floods" . But this time the government is better prepared .. the people are cautious and the media is a little kind with the pictures. ( those cicatrisations are still fresh in the nation's mind)

c) The sensex spiralling up above the 8000 point mark .. And still the p/E ration is evaluated to be a moderate safe one . ( read ... the market is not over rated .. and is not working on sentiments ... it safer than the maddening zoom of the Harshed Mehta ( the big Bull ) times ..

d) Indian youth is becoming more aware of the F1 races, there are pubs that screen these live on very big screens and serve beer ( 1 free for every 2 ) ... free just after the lights go off and the chequered flag falls. ( Call these fast happy hours ) ... Today is the Belgian GP and yeah iam sure to be there gulping my share of beer and cheering for Kimi Raikkonen ... ( though he is just behind Montoya in the pole positions) .. F1 is something that demands the undivided attention of the racer ... not to dither from the tracks even for a spilt second. ( and thats no exaggeration .. you know it ! .. )

e) Kim Clijsters enters into the Finals of the US open . She was/is my all-time favorites ( in Ladies Tennis after Sabatini .. and Capriati) ... I like her ( Kim's ) fighting spirit ... calm composure and her ability to stay on ! ( this is a game of stamina, discipline and com posture .. )

More good news later .... Stay tuned ! :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Left to swim in cold waters

Is it better to be taught something or to learn it the natural way ?

During my school days I was always a little ahead in knowing about the things that were new in and around us ... ( blatant self promotion ) .. but when it came to learning about it and then mastering it ... I would be the last one to do it ! ( sceptic and questioning still ! )

I learnt cycling when I was 14. ( 4 years late than an average kid ) .. I learnt swimming when I was 18 ( very late ) .. but by then I had put my fingers in almost everything ... It was just the initial fit of excitement.. it would never last long ... As a kid I learnt dancing for more than 4 years ( Bharatnatyam, a traditional dance of south India ) .. I was trained in carnatic music for almost 8 months .. was trained in table tennis for almost 6 months , personally trained in guitar for 8 months, was professionally taught chess and painting, I tried Japanese for 3 months ( yeah i got a certificate for that ) and French for a month . And if I were to list the things I tried myself ( and soon gave up ) ... that would be more than lengthy ...

I always believed that learning should not be imposed .. it should come naturally .. let me underline this fact by citing an example that I thought of when i was travelling today morning .. Given a chance to train two dogs to swim ... which one do you think would be a better swimmer in a month ? One trained by a human in a controlled environment or one who is thrown into a pond and left to itself ? Now lets extrapolate this to humans .. who do you think would be a better swimmer in a month ? One trained in a warm swimming pool ? or a fisherman kid ... who has the urge to learn swimming for his survival ..and has the cold ocean as his testing bed ?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Argument for Arguments sake

This is probably the tenth or twentieth time Iam "arguing" with my (elder ) brother on the lamest of all topics -

Are first-born children better achievers?

My argument ( along with my sister-in-law's ( "incidently" my brothers wife ) was that first borns are prototypes of nature. The second borns are the real product out of the engines of creation. My brother simply refuses to accept it .. he has his own ways of getting to a conclusion ... and he replied back in a mail with the following link ... here is BBC for you .. on the same debate ..

But I think the more I try to debate .. the more I move away from a fruitful conclusion.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Guilt ,Shame and ethics

What is the difference between guilt and shame ? Read a page from a book that goes ahead in helping the reader find his perspective on it. And the author provides a generous helping of this thoughts thus ... Guilt is when you feel that you had done something wrong. Shame is what you feel when others discover that you have done that wrong . Why do 'adolescent children' run away from homes ? Is that shame or is that guilt .. or an un-proportioned mixture of both ?

Guilt and shame could happen together. And its not necessary that either happens too. That brings us back to the question of morality, ethics and whats right and wrong. ( Probably I have read, thought and written about it more than a dozen times ) .. but something that still has not been satisfyingly answered by myself. ( This is purely subjective and a matter of ones perspective .. the generic laws of society fail to suit all individuals in the same way , therefore it necessitates the framing of ones own personal commandments )

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The man who knew infinity

I was always enthralled by Mathematicians though I never had any particular fancy for Mathematics. Ramanujam is one of them .. ( John Nash and Turing are other ones). Currently the book that i have delved into is a biography about the strange but naive life of Ramanujam the super mathematician of India.
The life is more interesting than his works ... The house in which he was born, is still intact . Someday I plan to go to that place, walk around , smell the air , go into all those temples and walk my way down to the roads that he used to travel while in college .. That should be cathartic .

Monday, May 23, 2005


One good thing that I came across today was the poem by Rudyard Kipling.. "IF" .. Here is the one ... Have bolded and underlined a few lines that I felt was good ... maybe I would come back again to this entry ... whenever I want to feel good .

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Paul Graham

I was reading Paul Graham's site that talks about (almost ) everything to do with programming intelligent softwares or .. intelligent programming languages ..while I randomly came across when I was searching for some instructions on some pet project Iam into these days . If you didnt know ... All programming languages have an underlying philosophy behind them and the creators are more or less philosophers themselves.

Paul is one .. his essays are good read ... and hmm pretty well makes us accustomed to his philosohy . ... more all less its all about computers !( )

He also says why teenagers do almost anything : because of their boundless confidence in anything coming out of ignorance . !!

Larry Wall ( creator of perl ) is another one ! "Theory is good, in moderation ... and Moderation is good, in theory" ;-)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Angels and Demons

I simply cant conceive the fact that angels are good looking and devil is not good looking !!! Why should it be like that everywhere .. in all religions ??

Usually we* like to imagine that demons are ugly,dark and scary and angels are beautiful young and good looking with glowing skin and youthful clarity !

Imagine this ...

Angels - old rusty folks with beard, are over-weight, can hardly move around, donot have any teeth and hardly any good at anything other than giving advices. ( And yeah they have a bad breath too .. ) Hmm the wings and halo doesnt serve any purpose .

I generally had an idea of devil to be a male !! Devil should really have been a female !!! ...that too extremely beautiful and tempting too ! Too good to resist, too smart to outwit, too prominent to ignore.. charming young and sexy !! That justifies why people are easily lured to evil . ( and then again .. why should evil be always bad ?? )

Why should it be that God is male too ?? He is always referred to as He not She !! This way I see justification of God getting jealous and being irrational ..

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Past Perfect , Future Tense !

Spent most of the time in useless thoughts about my future ... only to realise that "worrying about it is as effective as trying to solve an algebra problem by chewing bubble gum."

Accompanied my parents ( rather uncomfortably ) to go to one of our relative's place ( branched from the family tree 3 generations ago ) who stay pretty away in the country-side leading very normal lives. The place was so silent and still ... the only moving thing was the pendulum of the old grandfather clock prominently hanging on the otherwise dull looking wall. Everything was silent ... the tick-tock of the clock was thankfully breaking the monotony. I slept there for a good 3 hours.

Once I was back, I settled down with a book. Rushdie was luring me again.

"One may read and like or admire or respect a book and yet remain entirely unchanged by its contents, but love gets under one's guard and shakes things up, for such is its sneaky nature.

When a reader falls in love with a book it leaves its essence inside him, like radioactive fallout in an arable field, and after that there are certain crops that will no longer grow in him, while other, stranger, more fantastic growths may occasionally be produced. We love relatively few books in our lives and those books become parts of the way we see our lives, we read our lives through them, and their descriptions of the inner and outer worlds become mixed up with ours, they become ours. "

-Salman Rushdie

Sunday, May 01, 2005

In the name of the son ...

My parents were here at my place, staying with me for a couple of weeks ! And they were "taking care" of me ! Making food, arranging my clothes and things ..doing chores ... etc etc .. I told them ... probably these would be the last few days I would get to spend with them before my marriage ! ( I dont plan to get married any soon now anyways ! )

My father has this rather unusual habit of writing MY name on everything thats mine ... He writes my name on my books ( atleast in 3 places ), on my scissors , my pen , my clothes , my pillow , my bed sheet , my keyholder , my iron box , my TT racket .. phew ... you name it ... I have my name on it ! And Iam pretty annoyed of that !!! Sometimes I think its rather his fear of me loosing things, or maybe .. his fear of forgetting what his son's name is ! ( the name bears a constant reminder of who's who ! hah ! ) . And I told him to get over his unusual hobby ! but it was a little too late ... There are only a few things of mine that has escaped the torture of having to have my name inscribed on them !

Friday, April 29, 2005

Nat Geo

Read National Geographic all day yesterday .. I lend this from a nearby library . Unlike the usual libraries, this one lends the latest magazines ( and books ) for 2 days, for a "fee" of Rs.10/- per magazine. ( that comes to around a quarter dollar ) ... to read ! and the older issues come for half this price ! ( this is the May 05 online edition .. almost as good as the paper based edition ....but never as good. )

Did you know that the US govt tried to deliver to Cuba a box full of cigars soaked with botulinum ( a lethal biological poison ) during the 60s to kill him ? (him = Fidel Castro ...)

Did you know that India is a country with 80% of its population as Hindus .. ( India's population is a billion+ and growing steady ), with a sikh ( not sick ;-) ) Prime minister , a muslim president and with a Christian leader for the ruling party ?? ( can it be more politically secular ?? )

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Living the Brdige way !

In the last few couple of days .. I read more than I had read in the last month . Read Bridget Jones Diary ( yet another time ) and towards the end of the book she writes "silently spending the weekends reading books and listening to classical music ... " . Mine was almost like that just for the 'subtle' difference that I took a trip yet another time to pondicherry ! Visited Auroville yet again and ate from the same beach side hotel yet again ! ... ( sometimes I wonder i used to like to ask myself "When was the last time I did something for the first time ??" - ad from Malaysian airlines . )

Started to read this rather interesting thing called Google Hacks and Iam pretty interested in that already ! I generally dont read tech books that rampant. But I felt this was quite interesting and try-it-out kind .

Thought for the day

Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.
— Jef Raskin, interviewed in Doctor Dobb's Journal

pretty interesting huh ? ..well ... why dont we complain .. and rather just restart ??

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Back to a sense of hollow-meaninglessness

All my work at office is done . I got the necessary appreciation and it is all over with it .. now it feels like .. All-is-done-we-dont-need-you-anymore kind of feeling. The better side is I get a lot of time to read. And Iam reading two books at a time . I switch between them when I feel like ..

  • Time quake - Kurt Vonnegut
  • All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten - Robert Fulghum

Both are good in their own ways . I like the insight in Fulghum and the language in Vonnegut ( Haven't you heard about the email hoax with Vonnegut's MIT commencement speech ( sunscreen speech ) for the class of '97 ?? )

Thought for the day :

Do one thing every day that scares you. (.. from Kurt's hoaxed commencement speech at MIT )

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Random Review of Music and the Lyrics 'behind'

Miss Sarajevo ! and The hands that built America - U2

Taking you slowly to the move, raising you to the mood and the rising tempo makes you go higher and then just carefully dropping you high up there .. just to let you float back to ground like a little orphan feather coming from an unknown bird . Slowly as you approach ground you realise you have been falling ... and the end is near ... but you still want to glide.. Alas its all over a little too fast.

Where the Streets have no name . - U2

The seemingly "endless-monotonous" guitar at the very end makes you spin around in circles

Hello - Stevie Wonder ( "Infact here's just another Ordinary day .... I just called to say I love you" )

You probably wont have a reason to call up the one you love ... but still when you call .. and talk.. it goes on for hours ... and you end up talking nothing !!

.......... to be continued someother time

Monday, April 04, 2005

I lost myself in the summer rain.

What more could be the signs of a beautiful day ?

  • Finishing the 15 day-stretch of work early in the morning ( 0430 ) and going to sleep with a happy feeling.
  • It rains after almost 9 months .
  • standing out in the open and just watching it rain... and patiently waiting for it to subside ( and all the way enjoying it ) .. so that i can start to office ..
  • Singing while riding bike on the way to office.
  • Absolute feeling of refreshed enthusiasm and the false feeling of a different world in the office.
  • Having coffee with someone whom I knew for the first time . ( known for three years )
  • joining the people who are standing outside the office .. just to watch it rain and talking to them.
  • and ... calling your best friend just to tell that its wonderful seeing the rain after a long time . ( I hear from the other end .. that its unbelievable ( but wonderful ) to see it raining !! )

Water and Rain ... I know how much it means to the people here .. And staying here for 3 years .. I have started to share their feeling.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Less-than-a-Million dollar Baby !

My brother told me to watch that movie .. when ever my brother suggests a movie .. I bet its worth it ! .. he suggested My Life as a Dog, Pulp Fiction, Dog Day Afternoon and Shawshank Redemption. and now ...the Million dollar baby .. Somehow I just could not fully appreciate it .. though partly I got into the swing of it . It was much hyped for me . Maybe its the company that matters.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Peter Pan .. and Finding Neverland

Sometimes life "offers" too much to worry that you feel like flying out of your window into the neverland and spending sometime with all the dwarfs , fairies and the little men ... This land is much better .. you sometimes feel a lot happier there and tend to believe that you belong there more than you belong to the real world.

Watched this wonderful movie .. Finding Neverland ... excellantly made, touching and cathartic. And later in the day ... I went to landmark and bought Barrie's Peter Pan.

The question remains .... Have I found my Neverland ??

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Just a confession that I was lonely

Yesterday I went to a socialising pub with my colleague where you could play pool and listen to a live band and ofcourse have some costly drinks ( after a loooong time ) . ( Yesterday some Filipino band was entertaining the crowd with two good looking ladies who incidentally sang well too ;-) It was called the "The Lounge - Your cue to unwind" ) . .. and the three odd hours we spent there were mostly spent in silence.
They played good music - the Righteous brother's Unchained Melodies ( one of my all time favourites ) and some Eagles and some Bob Marley . The crowd was mostly foreign except for some local interventions ;-)

Spent the Sunday afternoon and almost whole of evening writing down the incidents that affected my life. It almost made a 20-sheet-document ;-) and then when someone called me and asked what I was doing .. I told I was writing my autobiography ;-) That was a very different reply than what he would have ever imagined to hear.

Quote de jour :

When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.
- Tennessee Williams

Seems to match with the present state of my mind ... so I thought I would think about it and let you all think about this too ;-)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

HBR , Office politics and Spelling Bee

A long entry ( very unlikely of me ) to compensate for the many days of absence ..

For the past three days I was immersed in the spectacular world of magazines mostly biz .. ( HBR , Economists et al ) . And i found this issue of the Harvard Business Review to be good .. actually fantastic !.. I usually donot read HBR. It talked about office politics and personal management and how to cope with change and a few advices from the top . And there was a work sheet on keeping your priorities and setting time, money and energy to your commitments ! ...wonderful .

Today morning I watched this documentary called Spellbound ( the story on 8 self driven kids in the 1999 National Spelling bee contest ) The documentary is excellently made with excellant background score ! .
1. Sometimes wonder if their parents are pushing them a little too much .. Else i think that these are really talented kids who by now are in some top notch Ivy Leagues or doing their majors in Microbiology or Economics or Nanotechnology .

2. Another particularly interesting thing is the percentage of Indian kids who make it to the finals every year !! ( India as in Asian Indian. The ones with the dots on their forehead ... not the feather :-) ) The 1999 spelling bee champion ( in this documentary is an Indian .. sorry for the plot-spoil .. but there are many indians in the finals ;-) ) First generation Indians in America are particularly known for their hard work and determination ! ( out of the last 6 years .. 3 spelling bee champions are of Indian origin )

3. Kids become scared of loosing . They tend to develop anxiety and fear towards loosing . Their parents fail to understand that loosing is a part of life ... Listen to this ...
" Akshay, an eighth-grader who attends Mountain Ridge Middle School in Colorado Springs fainted during Round 6. But the boy quickly stood up and correctly spelled "alopecoid," which means like a fox. Akshay received a standing ovation from the audience ! " ( from the 2003 Annual Spelling bee contest )

Quote de jour !

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting
something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."
– Frederick Koenig

This was sent to me by one of my colleagues I sometimes wonder how much it holds true . When I sent this quote to one of my other friends, she told me it was not happiness it was contentment that Koenig really wanted to say .. ( a day after that .. after "hours of contemplation" she said that probably it really IS Happiness !

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Life without purpose !

"I do not fear it (death ) because I attribute little value to a life without a purpose. And if I should have to sacrifice my life to attain its goal, I'll do so willingly. "

Netanyahu, Jonathan (At age 17)

This quote was from an article called the Entebbe Diary that I 'found' on the net . Jonathan was killed in the operation .. ( It was about the hijacking of the Air France airbus by the PLO and grounded at Entebbe, Uganda during the rule of Idi Amin )

This somehow ( along with other readings ) changed my views of the Israelis and the PLO . As a child at high school I used to support the PLO and Arafat and hate the Israelis .. but now after years of thinking and reading and meeting a few Jews, ( my client was Jew who had Finnish roots , she used to tell how her father had a pro-Jewish-elitist feeling ) I have slowly started to change my point of view.

Yesterday I spent time just reading new things and I somehow cultured a respect for Jonathan Netenyahu ( the second-in-command?? of Operation ThunderBolt .. later renamed Operation Jonathan ) and also towards the IDF ( Israel Defence Forces) I later came to know he was the brother of Benjamin Netanyahu ( ex PM of Israel ) ..

And the quote reflected on me slowly down the day .. Do I have a purpose in life ?? What do I want to make out of this life ??

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Faux Pas

As I was just exploring some new words in French on the net ... I came across this common terminology to represent violation of unwritten social rules , ... Faux Pas ( pronounced Foh-pau or foh-paus ) ... A good example for this ...

In Russia Giving somebody an even number of flowers is Faux Pas !!. This should only be done in funerals. ;-) pretty strange huh ???

I was thinking what are the Faux Pas in India ? May be these are a few that i noticed ...

1. Touching women ;-) especially married .. unless she is related to you .

2. Walking in a house with your shoes on !

3. Coming for a marriage function without gifts . ( i think this is global )

I cant think of more ... ( Is it because of our extreme social openness or my inability to recall the last time i was civilized ?? )

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Musings over a perfect cup of coffee

Yesterday I met my friend whom I had not met/talked to for almost a year. I asked her out for a coffee and talked almost like 2 hours over a cup of coffee ( yeah A cup of coffee . She was not the caffeine kinda person' ) in a place called the Barrista ( at T-nagar ) ( a more crazier version of Starbucks merged with a funky designer studio ) where the coffee is costly and the cake is three times costlier !

I remember meeting her first on chat ... and then took the relationship to the next level by calling her ... and then meeting her ... the talks were mostly intellectually stimatinig ... and probably I 'managed' to infuse a little of me personality into a willing victim ! Now Iam happy that I have helped her get a better vision on the intricacies of life on this planet.

And then ... when looking back at the coffee place , I could not but quote the line from "You've Got Mail " ...

"JOE: The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall! Decaf! Cappuccino! "

The only thing is they price it exorbitantly high just to make the cream of the society ( or atleast those who want to be ) come here, loaf their time in endless purposes and walk away in so called 'newly-gained-self respect' and feeling as if this was a coffee worth its price , where as down the other side of the road , you could get a much better coffee a tenth of its cost and you dont have to wait for it more than 40 seconds.

Definitely the people dont come here for the coffee .. the coffee comes to them ;-)

A hitchhakers guide to who Iam

For anyone who 'accidently' or .. out of curiosity .. or out of reasons unknown to anyone .. happen to come across this entry of mine .. this should in a nut shell provide you with all the essentials of who Iam ...

Nationality : Indian ( and occasionally proud of it ;-)

Languages used: English ( mostly ) , Hindi ( a little ) , java and tcl ,someone is teaching me french though these days .. so soon i should be adding a few words in French too .

I dont wear specs though i respect ( i dont know why ) girls who wear them ... they sort of look intelligent .. artificial intelligence ?? ( Maybe iam wrong .. maybe not. .. but so far .. its true )

What do i do when iam not sleeping ? .. I read lots atleast try to ... these days a little bit of fiction ... I love lucid writings .

Whats my dream ? Sometimes i think i should not reveal this .. lest this should not come true.

Usually an introvert .. but at times I fake that iam an outgoing person .. and try my pick up lines on smart girls . Iam cautious with timid girls . Usually they are far reaching and profound.

Best times I had ...

a) when i used to drive for 4 hrs without any destination across Wisconsin-Illioins-Indiana-Michigan ..and back and ofcourse the countryside drive during thanksgiving ( i almost always drive alone ) ... Its like taking drugs .. in the end it does not take you anywhere but the journey is scenic .

b) whenever i get surged to do something .. ( iam tempted almost instantaneously .. though iam not much of a spontaneous person .. )

Monday, January 03, 2005

Knowing people

I talked to a colleague of mine .. and I asked him what he wanted from life ... He said .. I want to do a Phd in Economics ! Wow , i thought , people do have some concrete goals in life .. and that set me thinking again ... What do I want from/ in life ?

I decided to set some new rules in my life .. Get to know people more .. or get to know more people ?? and meet a new person atleast once in a week ! Hmm noble idea ... maybe that would bring me better insight on people and myself .

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out and meet it".
Thucydides (471 BC - 400 BC)

"Florentino is so in love with Fermina that he eats gardenias and drinks cologne so that he can know her taste. He becomes drunk on the cologne, and his mother finds him the next morning, in a puddle of his vomit, in a cove of the bay where drowning victims are known to wash ashore" - Love in the time of Cholera