21 December, 2008

My bucket list

Today wasn't exactly one of the glorious days of my life. While laying idly on my bed, I wondered what would Maria have done if she were in my place? Probably, thought about the things she likes the most. Would it work? Heck, I thought, lets give it a try. And with memories of "The Bucket List" still fresh in my mind, I decided to make my own bucket list. Things I want to do before I "kick the bucket". (Most of the stuff is taken from what I've seen or heard or what other people have been doing)

(Btw.. It works like a charm!)
Here's the list I made:

1) Be kids again.
2) One fine day, just take a back-pack and leave to explore untrodden yet wonderful lands.
3) Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world (Picked up directly from the movie. Isn't it a fabulous idea??)
4) Be an OS wiz (Now that might sound somewhat stupid, but, I always wished I was)
5) Affect someone's life in a very good way (Teach? Guide? Inspire?)
6) Have all my friends live in the same building. (Now, wouldn't that just be great?)
7) Go cycling in the Himalayas.
8) Draw an insanely beautiful sketch.
9) See the world from as high above as I can (Eiffel tower or Burj Dubai would be good candidates)
10) Become a monk.
11) Read the entire JRR Tolkein collection.
12) Play Basketball again.
(Descending order)

I wonder how many of these things will I be able to complete? Although, I always dream myself in one of these situations and it makes me high.

Now that I have my list, its time to fly ...

20 December, 2008

The time has come to reform ourselves

This is the title of an article written by a friend, Mithila Joshi, in the DNA newspaper. Read it here(Page number 2).

I cannot agree more. It is a very different perspective on the Mumbai attacks. There has been a huge vitriol hurled at the government and the intelligence. But, hardly anyone has cared to determine the root cause of the inefficiency of the authorities. This article, in my opinion, is a good start. Would these scum-bag politicians be our leaders, if only we were vigilant and not-so-ignorant about politics? How much do we know about the people leading us? Its time we stop giving petty excuses like "no one is worth voting" and realise that there are actually people who are honest and determined to serve the soceity and they deserve our votes. But, it doesn't start at stop at politics. It is time we started respecting our social obligations.

I really do wish that this article triggers a renaissance because all of us are in a dire need of one!!
Time for a self-reevaluation?


12 November, 2008

Story of a woman ....

Whenever I listen to "woman empowerment" stuff, I am always disgusted. Mostly because all of that is only pep talk. It is all in our minds. We are showered by the "woman is weak and easily manipulated" shit-talk so much that we actually start to believe in it! But, then you come across someone, who by the strength of her character proves otherwise.
This is her story.

She stays is a small town, about a 6 hour drive from Pune. Happily married to a very respectable and upright husband, she has a daughter and a son. They used to live in a joint family with three brother-in-laws, all of them married. They had a family shop run jointly by all the four brothers.

So, these three brother-in-laws were anything but honest. Embezzlement in the shop business was like a daily affair. But, her husband totally trusted all of them and never even bothered to check or re-check their accounts. Typical story. About 6 years ago, one fine day, this man realises that they are in a debt of Rs. 22 Lakh. And then he gets the picture of whats been happening for the past many years etc etc. So starts a family feud.

They were asked to share the debt (which is obviously outrageous) and they denied. So, they were thrown out of the house. Nowhere to go. Nothing to eat. They didn't even know where they were going to sleep for the night. The husband was badly affected by the turn of events. His hands started trembling and he became too wary of everything. Unable to make decisions and afraid of everyone. He receded in a cacoon. Imagine a woman with 2 kids (11 and 9) and a husband to take care of.

She sent her children over to her mother's place. Somehow, they got a very shabby place to live. It was the backside of a shop. Nothing more than a passage. No cupboard, no rooms, nothing. Even a small gas and a bulb was a luxury. They couldn't even afford the meagre rent.

So, they decided to open up a shop. They had their now-shut-down old shop. But, the other brothers won't let them use it. They did their best to keep them away from it until they bore their part of the debt. Finally fed-up with all this, she decided to take matters in her own hands. She instructed her husband to act as if he had no control on her. Then she inaugrated the shop (with nothing to sell.. even keeping it open was a big deal!). Everytime anyone came to pull down the shutters, she used to go and stand beneath the shutter. The brothers even went to the level of sending some men over to threaten her. But, she won't budge. Finally, they gave up.

On the other side, the situation of her kids was equally bad. Her brother is a bit whimsical. He used to torment her kids. Swearing and expletives were common-place and calling his sister names was no big deal. So, the children had to be taken out of there. She brought them back tp her. Two more heads to support. But, no income.

Now, at the shop, they had another problem. No one would give them goods on credit and they didnt't have any money to buy the goods. So what would they sell at the shop?

By this time some of us got to know about her situation (she didn't even tell us until then!) and help poured in. So, she was able to start a small shop with only rare interferences from the brothers.

Today, 5 years after the drama, she has no debt on anyone. Her shop has goods worth more than 2Lakh. Her husband is doing better. Just a few days ago, she got an order of 12 television sets. Things are coming back to normal.

It would have been impossible without her courage and strength. Hats off to her!
Does she need empowerment? She made her own life!
We have heard thousands of stories of courage, but when you see one from so close, then you realise what it takes to live the story!

27 October, 2008

Klueless 4

I've just started to solve Kluless 4 (I know I am late :) )
Here's the link:

This one's good and simpler than Klueless 1 (didn't solve 2 and 3 :( )
18th level is fucking amazing !!!!!!!!!

stuck on 19th .... Look out for updates !

Update : 23 !

Update: 26..
25 is a damn amazing level!.. too cool !

Update: Officially done with Klueless
(Switching to Nirvana mode :P ....)

04 October, 2008

A Wednesday

** Possible spoilers *** 

I apologize for posting two consecutive movie reviews. But, some movies are just too great!.. Truly truly great! And to be coming from bollywood, known for its stupid movies, I was  shocked and  pleasantly surprised!

While I write this piece (lets not call it a review, for it is inappropriate) I don't have Wednesday as a movie in my mind, but a concept. I can't elaborate. Sorry.

Frankly, I didn't know anything about the movie before I decided to watch it (except, ofcourse, that it was a terror flick). I expected another film on the Aamir lines. But, the final few minutes just blew me off. And not only because of the surprise-factor. It is the insignificant part of the movie that impresses me. The little things. Like, there is no crap about "mashab" and "hindu-muslim". NO! Infact, we don't even know to which religion our "common man" belongs to! 

And the last scene is permanently embedded in my mind. The one where Anupam Kher shakes Naseruddin Shah's hands and asks him his name. And the scene stops as Naseruddin Shah says " My name is....." (Well, you have to watch the movie to feel it!!)

Naseruddin Shah is superb! No one could have done it as well as he has!!

I wanted to write a lott... but I am out of words! Guess I'll savour this post-movie feeling for a long time! Also, I feel terrible because I could write such a long post on a terrible movie and not a single good paragraph on a great movie! Anyway, that doesn't matter. What matters is, Wednesday is great! (is that 101st time I am saying that?). Please Please do watch it !!!!!!! 

02 October, 2008

Kidnap: The classic !!

I thought "Saas, Bahu and Sensex" would be the best ever movie I'd see in the theatres. But, little did I know that in another shady corner of this world, a clique of talented artists (?) were working on a equally breath-taking piece of art : Kidnap !!

Kidnap is a classic!! It has all the ingredients of a classic (The first such "classic" movie was.. Gunda: The Classic)

Let me list them down for the ignorant readers:
1) Amazing dialogues. Let me support the claim with examples
Sanjay Dutt "Mere assisstant se keh do mere dushmanon ki list banake rakhe" (Applauds!!)

Imran Khan "Jail main sirf ek cheez khali rehti hai. Dimakh. To maine computer sikh liya" (WTF?!?!!? ... I get paid and I am even provided with TWO computers and yet I am not yet as genius a hacker as he is.. shame on me!!)

Minnisha Lamba (there are 2 n's in the name) "Maa.. main roj ghar pe rahugi. Mujhe bas birthday pe ek gift chahiye.... Papa!!" (Well, I thought only babies are made...)

Let me not reveal all lest you lose interest in the movie!!

2) Skin show. Minnisha Lamba is effing amazing! She starts off with a bikini on the beach and never looks back. Man! But, our villian, Imran Khan, is also one helluva smart guy. While he has kidnapped Minnisha (Oops! Was that a spoiler?), he always keeps her in amazingly skimpy outfits. May be for entertaining himself?  He takes her to beaches so that she can have a bath and he can bathe in serenity. 

3) Acting. I must say, all the actors in the movie are soo good at hiding their feelings. Spot ONE feeling in the movie and get goodies from me. Too good!

4) Climax. Climax is just too good and mind you, VERY VERY unpredictable. Watch the movie to find out more!!

5) Message. Every Classic movie must have a message. This one has one too. Swimming in a bikini can get you kidnapped. (Oops... another spoiler!.. I hope I havn't revealed the great scheme of the kidnap!!)

It is a must watch movie!... Please book your tickets now lest you miss it!
My rating : Unrateable!

17 September, 2008

The decision...

He stood at the edge of the cliff.
He stretched his arms and felt the wind pass through his body.
He was ready now. Ready to take the plunge. Decide his fate.

He looked up. The beautiful sky beckoning him. He spread his wings. Conquering the intimidating mountains, he rose. High above everyone else. The world was beautiful.

Then he looked down. The deep trench. Even the quick fall seemed long. A thud. Silence.

Higher the rise, deeper the fall. Thoughts tumbling in his mind. The beckoning skies. The pulling trench. The beautiful world. The long fall. The thud. The silence.

He was afraid. What if his wings fail him?
He had one long look at the sky. Then, he turned back. May be some other day.

15 September, 2008

The thing about eggs being vegeterian ....

Let me get a couple of issues cleared before I start off.
First. I've been hearing a lot lately about eggs being vegetarian, especially infertile eggs. Obviously, I think it is outrageous and just another excuse to avoid moral scruples.
Second. I, myself, didn't have any facts to back my opinion. So I decided to dig deeper, for myself. Not for anyone else.

Here's the issue: Claims are that infertile eggs are vegetarian as they do not lead to birth of an offspring.

Let me first clarify my definition of non-vegeterain:
According to Jainism, organisms are divided into 5 categories. Having 1,2,3,4 and 5 senses. (skin, tongue, nose, eyes and ears in that order). Also, Jainism gives prime importance to Ahimsa (refrain from violence). Ahimsa is not only about the slaughter of animals but extends to any living thing (including microbes and trees). But, it is impossible to totally abstain from being the reason of death of other organisms because merely our presence kills millions. So, we reduce it as much as possible. We eat only one-sensed organisms (that too not all) that too aganist our will and that too only if necessary. Trees have only one sense.

Lets me start the reasoning by quoting the research by Philip J Scamble.
"Whether the egg is fertile or infertile, life is essentially there; and it has all the symptoms of life, such as respiration, brain, feeding ability, etc. There are 15,000 porous-breathing holes on the shell, the cover of the egg. The egg begins to rot at a temperature of less than 8^ Celsius, 00^ Fahrenheit. When it begins this process, its rotting manifests itself through evaporation of the water content. The egg becomes infected by germs and thus becomes diseased. The progress of the rotting soon reaches the shell of the egg." Clearly, egg has a life. I need not say more. The cynics will find a way out eventually. I don't care about them. As I said, the post is to satisfy me!.. not others....

Secondly. "Hens are given five kinds of violent-generating foods: bone meal, blood-meal, excreta-food, meat-meal and fish-meal." So, even if eggs won't be directly non-vegetarian. We are indirectly promoting violence. It is like endorsing a mass-murder but not actually committing it.

Thirldly. "The hen gives infertile eggs during the absence of the male bird. But it has been observed that she gives an infertile egg before the day of contact with the male bird - and also the next day. In other words, she can give a fertile egg even without contact with a male bird. On the fifth day, again she gives a fertile egg. This means that the semen of the male bird remains lying in her body for a considerable duration. In some cases, this duration has been observed to be as long as even six months" .. Also, there is not much difference between a fertilized and an unfertilized egg. So, it is difficult to say which is which. Would you rather risk eating a fertilised egg which could have produced life !!!!

Lastly, the yolk of the egg contains various microbes having 2 or 3 senses (i.e. skin, toungue and nose). That, according to me, classifies as non-veg.

Also, I will not talk about the beak-cutting and all other miseries of their life because that is a current-day tragedy which can be avoided.

I hope I am clear enough... I feel satisfied!! Also, I hope people stop queiting their consciences by stupid arguments. If you want to eat egg, why find an excuse!

24 August, 2008

Project Looking Glass

Project Looking Glass is a 3D desktop environment. It is java-based and so platform independant (So it can run on Windows/Linux et al). Sponsored by Sun Microsystems.

Personally, I havn't tried this Desktop environment, but it fascinates me. May be some day.

Check it out here
The sad thing is that, I couldn't find a decent screenshot on their site. So here are some screenshots I got through google
Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Screenshot 3

The project is still open for active development, so there might be some opportunities for those desperately-searching-for-prob-def BEs.

17 August, 2008

Windows sucks?

Tired of shelling out money on crap that brings alongwith it another load of crap (anti-virus softwares, anti-spyware softwares, blah blah) ... well here's something to cheer you guys up



(thanks to Yugandhar for the link)

14 August, 2008

Who wants this life full of care.....

(Ok... the title "might" be borrowed from another of my friend's blog, but this post is in no way related to that one.... the title just suits best!.. and I love the poem !)

Ever since I left college, I always thought I am going to miss college because I am never going there back again. Never meeting the same people and all that bullshit. But, I never missed school or Junior college that sorely.

Now I see why. Although I am working for a semiconductor giant, on Linux (which I have come to love) and a job description that many people will envy, everything is different. You have to act responsibly. You have to follow a "time-table". Because now you are a "grown up". Basically, you are sucked into the treacherous whirlpool of survival. Do hell with it. (Might be a self-made illusion, but anyway it is atleast partly true, isn't it?)

I don't hate my workplace, infact, it is quite the contrary. I just hate what we have made ourselves into. We work ourselves out to "survive". And what do we do when we manage to survive? We WORK!... Its so hilarious. When I am idle, just laying on my bed talking philosophy with myself, I literally laugh out loud. Whats the point?

If I were God, or one of those people on planet Magrathea, I would have called this "total failure" (something like Windows?). But, anyway thats the way we are. We make gigabit neworks, not because that'll reduce our workload and make us less miserable, but because that'll enable us to do more work and make us more miserable!.. and how excited we are at the prospect of a gigabit network! damn!

We have made travel faster, not because we want to make the world a smaller place and ourselves less miserable, but so that we can make 10 business trips a week and make us more miserable! damn!

We have invented mobile phones not because that can help us in emergencies and make us less miserable, but so that it will make us ubiquitously reachable and more miserable. damn!

And yet, we marvell at these inventions, because we as people are miserable!

Inspite of what I am saying, I still want gigabit networks, I have a mobile phone and I take the fastest travel method available! And people say I don't adjust?.. Well, I have accepted all the things that make me miserable! What more do you want!

So, lets come together and stay in a jungle. Sounds great, ain't it? damn!
Go survive yourself! (nice expletive, isn't it?)

08 July, 2008

Happiness :)

"Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching"

Nice quote.. Here's the original article..
(What the author wants to say is that happiness is our state of mind.. it doesn't come from incidents but from how we think ...)

Well not that I am all inspired by the article... The author has merely put into words what we already know... not that he has written a great article.. yet something tells me I have to post it on the blog :P

Anyway ... nice article.. enjoy!

29 April, 2008

Chasing an illusion.....

In the haze of depression,
I had an enlightening vision.
Shaken back to reality, I realised
I was just chasing an illusion

21 March, 2008

let Conscience be your mirror....

A war raging inside me,
A battle everyday.
How can I face thee,
I lose to myself each day.

17 March, 2008

Beginning of the end.....

I've canceled out 6 beginnings and I still don't have words to write this post....

The last 4 years was a pleasant journey... I've learnt so much. I've met people who have changed the way I act, the way I think and the way I am. PICT is probably the best thing that happened to me.

I've seen people wasting their life in vella and others wasting their life in over-dedication... I've met the breed of "politicians" and others so good at heart, that you are simply amazed... people who crib about "what they are doing here" and others who still manage to find time to do what they like... people who have been ignored all their lives, yet bear that radiant smile!... people who inspite of all the mockery hurled at them, still have that zest to learn, still keep trying.... people whose silence you can hear louder than anything else!...
This place is NOT a factory of bookish-geeks. I've seen people doing so many different things that sometimes I find myself wondering - where to am I leading myself.

But its not just about the students... without our project guide, BE would have been just another year... now thankfully, I know what I want to do. No one could have done it better than him. Someday, I'd like to be him.
However depressing, frustrating these past few months were, in hindsight, this was the best period of my life and I want to live it all over again. Probably I can live it better this time.

Finally, I've had friends that I absolutely adore!.... its not just about the friendship but what kind of a person they are!... I've never felt so much of a positive energy around me. Someday, i'd like to be them.

And finally as I come to my senses, I realize that I set out to write about how the project era has affected me, but, ended up writing this. Anyways, I really adore all of you guys. I had the best time over here, and am pretty sure this is NOT the end.... it can't be...

19 January, 2008

Words sting. The lack of them sting deeper.

There are situations when you just cannot think... no matter how direct the hints are, you always assume the worst case (may be he didn't like it and he said xyz for totally different reasons?? or may be she meant it as friends and I took it the other way?)... there are times when you need confirmation, reassurance... not just hints, but plain crude facts. And when they don't come, it is depressing and annoying and irritating and disturbing and getting to your nerves.

I always thought words would be the poorest form of communication, but now I see they have their own place. They are as important as others are.... Silence is golden, but when applied to the wrong places it can be as disastrous as it is useful.

10 January, 2008

Switched back to Suse

forget the Suse being microsoft-ed thing.... as of today, suse works for me !!:)

Well. it isn't that ubuntu isn't great... only that getting the developement environment to work for you is *very* tough .... and i don't have that kind of time at my disposal... so sadly, have to switch back to beloved suse!!

may be i'll go back to ubuntu after the project!!....

08 January, 2008

Switched to Ubuntu

After a long time using suse... finally switched to another distro : Ubuntu

Not that anything is wrong with suse (except that it going to be Microsoft-ed), the reasons were entirely project related.

Now that I am using Ubuntu...here is a brief review
The look and feel is really grand... very easy to use.. you no longer have to care about the horrendous dependency problems and unsupported file formats... Ubuntu automatically downloads support for them when you try to run them!!.... no need to search frantically on all repositories:) ....

On the other hand,
Ubuntu dosen't have a GUI for dial-up connections... so you have to use the terminal to connect to the net.. also, it is not as customisable as suse... the arrangement of menus leaves more to be desired...

all-in-all... if you are only an end-user.. Ubuntu is nice, just that you'll take time to get the hang of it.... but once you do, it is really really really cool... and with compis installed, its time to say adios to Windows!