Decade in Post

•December 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Last 10th of  False-Millennium

Ours was the last batch of 10th std of the second millennium…at least that’s when the world bid good bye to it…1999. Though the new millennium was not to start until 1/1/01, people could not care less…Yes yes yes…you all remember the Y2K…now don’t you??? and Aamir sang…”dekho 2000 zamaana aa gaya”.

Small Town

So…it was a bye bye to BEML nagar…place I was born…grew up…went to school…made friends…played marbles…tops…tyre race…frisbee with bro…made bow-arrow out of used Rockets and Sparklers after Deepwali…cricket…badminton…basketball…Swimming…Kho-Kho…had lunch on the hill behind the school with mates…threw chapatis towards the sky to see the Kites dive and grab it stunningly…learnt karate…cycled to school everyday with Sunil and Santosh…those thursday-friday films in the Officers’ Club…cricket at the Oval…long chats under the street lights with Sunil and Santosh and who ever joined in after that…Chandrika Ma’am’s frustration at being unable to stop me and Santosh from chatting away in our world in her class…those tense cricket matches with B and C section (we beat the hell out of them each time…well okay…most times)…trip to Cochin, Hyderabad and finally nationals at Calcutta for swimming competition…lost the inter-house cricket tournament…won the basketball tournament…and oh…yes…Studies…it was fun…hmmmf…that was my life for 15 years. I vaguely remember all that now…and I miss it…a bit too much.

Big City

And here I was…in a city that was nothing like BEML nagar…new faces…new lifestyle…new everything. I felt completely out of place for the first couple of years…I guess I was trying a wee bit too hard to fit in…identity crisis???? probably!!! made super friends during my PUC. Studies???it was going allright…I guess🙂

Was introduced to the world of computers at college…Got a new computer and dial up internet connection at home.

Veerappan kidnapped Rajkumar. As serious a crime as kidnapping is…but to kidnap “Rajkumar”…you got to be seriously insane. At that time…I could not fathom the enormity of the issue. But when I look back now…from the context of what he meant and still means to the people from Karnataka…I think Veerappan dug his own grave with that move. You can’t kidnap a person whom 5 crore people love and hope to stay alive for a long time…whatever the real story behind his death might be…fact of the matter is…for once…people did not care if politicians conspired to kill him for their benefit.

Talking of politicians…I caste my first Vote this decade.

I remember playing Lagaan audio cassette at max volume…just when my neighbour’s cassette had stopped playing it…and then would hear the songs from another neighbour who would play it loud after my cassette had stopped playing!!! yeah…we all liked the songs…and we all had got new music systems around the same time!!!

And then there was frantic chaos about doing well in the 2nd PUC…you HAD to do well…you really didn’t have much of an option there!! I tried. My highest score…as it turned out was in Chemistry…of all subjects…I did not know how to react honestly!!!

Just before we wrote our 2nd PUC exams…we witnessed one Cricket match that in my view was kind of a preamble to what one could expect from India in coming years as a cricket team and as a nation. That partnership of Laxman and Dravid at Eden Gardens in 2001, was something out of this world. I still see the highlights of that game and it still fills me with joy and pride. What made this all the more special was it came at a time when the Indian cricket was all but disintegrated because of the Match fixing scandal of 1999-2000.

Gopichand brought back the All England Open Badminton Championship…a long time after Padukone did. It was a fantastic moment.

Then came the life in a professional course. Telecommunications and Engineering…1VI01TE004…after more than 150 internal and external exams you cannot really forget your roll number. About the time we were settling down in the college…two planes crashed into WTC…date was 11/9/01 (or 9/11 for the more AmericaniZed world). The world has not been same since…is it worse? I am inclined to think so. It must just be a coincidence that 911 is the number to call in emergency in USA. Sheer number of people killed in that incident and since in the terror attacks alone is plain cruel and waste of life.

This was also the time when I read a complete book for the first time in my life. “If Tomorrow Comes”…not sure if its the effect of first impression…I have read all his books since and I still think that’s the best Sydney Sheldon book.

The college life was fun…but only after I finally came to grips with my priorities. I drove from home to college. Driving in Bangalore then was not as much of a pain in the back as it is now. I especially enjoyed the drives in the heavy rain…I liked getting drenched…as long as it was on the way back home. Will never forget the fun we had in HR Ramesh’s classes. There was never dull moment in his class. Innumerable lunches in dhabas with mates…that Watermelon juice at Juice Junction with Palak Paneer Sandwhich. I made a lot of friends…quite a few good friends…few very good friends. Trip to Goa…a friend recently complained that we didn’t plan the trip well…I said…if it weren’t for us…he probably would not have seen Goa in the first place. 4 years now sounds like a lot of time…but when I look back…I can’t say for certain whether it felt that long then. Before we realised, friends were joining their jobs. I for one, had decided to pursue my education.

There were a few sad moments too…Godhra Riots…I do not possess nearly enough vocabulary to describe my disgust at what happened. It was disgrace to us as Indians. Then there was the unfortunate Tsunami. I hope the people who suffered have been able to get on with their lives now. My mother met with an accident. Akshardham attack. Attack on Indian Parliament. Attack in Bombay. Serial blasts in Bangalore, Surat!!!

Sampras retired in 2002. Federer won his first Wimbledon in 2003. Nadal won his first French open in 2005. Agassi retired in 2006. I find it extremely immature to compare them. Paes-Bhupati split in 2006…which was very unfortunate considering they had reached all the Grandslam finals in 1999. Sad.

I prepared for GATE…for 6-7 months after BE. Didn’t get through. It was disappointing. But I am thoroughly convinced that the decision to spend those months preparing  for GATE  was the best I have ever taken. I worked for almost an year and a half after that…it was a stop gap arrangement. But hey…it proved to be fun…all paid trip to Australia and all…well…okay…it was an official trip.

TATA took over Jaguar-Land Rover. Infosys was listed in Nasdaq. Pt Bhimsen Joshi was awarded Bharat Ratna. Dr. Abdul Kalam served as the President of India. India as a nation is oozing with confidence now…and the last ten years have been very significant.

My brother got married…was a wonderful moment. My friend got married…was a wonderful moment. My dad retired. The last two years have been very productive for me…both professionally and personally. I am much more motivated to do things now. Doing Masters in UK was a nice experience. Time away from family and friends is allowing me to get a clearer perspective of my priorities. I always told my friend…”I seem to be waiting for something to happen”…this probably was it. I now know what I would want to do in my life…but “HOW” is a completely different question…which I am working on.

Ten years is a lot of time if you ask me. I have grown older…wiser??? I would like to think so🙂

Have a nice…adventurous…eventful…and peaceful new year you guys.

Cheerio

Top 5: #3 Questions

•November 21, 2009 • 3 Comments

My mother woke me up one morning and introduced me to a guest who had come to our house…she said he wants to speak with me…It was quite early in the morning by my standards…so I was keen on keeping the discussion short and sweet…with a nice bye bye at the end of it. But instead it turned out to be something very different…

after a brief hello good morning…how are you

Guy: “why are you working?”

(I was a bit surprised to say the least…and then I realised where the discussion was heading after seeing a pamphlet he was holding) all the same…

Me: (smiled…”you have no idea why I am working” and what’s more…”even I have no idea why I am working” was the thought in my mind…but din’t want to get into the philosophical discussion early in the morning. So…told him what he wanted to hear) “For MONEY”.

Guy: (looking pleased and proud he hit the nail on its head) What if I tell you I have a proposal from which you can earn a lot more than you are earning and for the rest of your life AND after you…your children will continue to get the money AND their children and so on.

Here is the situation…he woke me up early in the morning…I am leaning on the door of my room…trying to make him realise that I don’t want to sit down and have a lengthy chat…he is discussing about a business proposal with me…a  26 year old…and he has already KILLED me.

Me: I am really not good at doing business…I don’t have that aptitude.

Guy: I hear you have done engineering and also masters…and I hear that you are working in advanced technology field and you are telling me that you don’t have the aptitude?

Me: (a bit embarrassed…if only he knew what I do) (smiling) I don’t know what you have heard…but its completely different from doing business and interacting with people and stuff…I am not cut out for that…I can hardly manage what I am doing…and more over I really don’t have time.

Guy: Don’t you have 6-7 hours per week…that’s ALL is required. To be successful in life…you should never say you don’t have time…See…I am a doctor myself and I am earning a lot more from this business than my practice…and I don’t have to work hard…there are examples of some big celebrities who are in this line…even people from IITs…

Me: (trying to remember where I had heard those exact words before)  (came straight to the point) how much are you earning per month?

Guy: after a second’s thought…you know Bangalore’s mayor right? I am earning more than him…and after me…my kids will continue to get money…this scheme is bullet proof…we will help along…i will send you a couple of CDs…go through them…and then you can attend a meeting…they conduct all over the world…it might be near your city too.

Me: (wwwooo wwwwo hold on) what is the business?

Guy: Its called Private franchising….

Me: (aaaah…now I know where I had heard that…very recently a friend of mine had mentioned it) Amway?

Guy: Its not like you are selling the product…that’s why we never bring Amway into discussion while talking to some new member.

Me: (New member???) See sir…I really am not good in doing business…aaannd

Guy: (now started to play the same record over and over again…and I had heard enough)

Me: (fail proof strategy being used now…a lot of questions)so you are saying this company has been for 30-40 years and you are saying I will get money all through my life…and after I die…my kids will get…and the next generation too. Okay…what is the guarantee?

Guy: see the track record…for the past 10-20 years…

Me: Have you heard of Lehman Brothers? they were around for close to 150 years…and you are asking me to trust a company that has been around for 30 years to give money to my kids and grand kids and their kids?

Guy: Some people keep asking questions and the rest earn money because they trust !!!

Me: (controlling my giggle) If you are not able to convince me and if I am not convinced myself…how do you expect me to convince others to become members? And for me to get convinced…you should answer my questions…(slowly moved towards an empty chair…just to bully him🙂 )

Guy: I have to go now…but I really want you to go through these CDs…

Me: (trying to look disappointed)oh is it…okay then…

Curiosity killed the cat…the story goes!!! But surprise surprise…we are not cats. Asking questions has always been a big part of any learning process. The marriage of Success and Curiosity is what you call…”the one made in heavens”. Curiosity is a necessary (not always sufficient) condition for some one to be successful…not just in career…but every aspect of life in general.

Often, Curiosity goes into war against two other titans…”Faith” and “Trust”. We can see this all around us all the time You are not supposed to question the GOD’s ways…you should have faith in HIM we are told !!! But sadly…this attitude does not just confine to the godly topics. You can see this in the class rooms…you can see it at work places…you can see it in the above conversation. If anything…being curious and asking questions help you get a clear perspective…helps you to be convinced about something…to be confident and have conviction in what you say…and even helps you to keep conversations short in some cases:).

=================================================================

“The power to question is the basis of all human progress” – Indira Gandhi

=================================================================

Life…there’s more to it than just colours !

•November 7, 2009 • 5 Comments

Taking a break from the TOP 5 posts (Top 3, 2 and 1 will be up in a few weeks time)…

I was listening to the radio the other day. A lady was being interviewed. The lady took all of 10-15 mins describing how emotional she is about her mother’s black wedding dress…and how much important the colour “black” is in her life…how much strength she draws from it because her mother’s wedding dress was black in colour.

If I had heard that a couple of years back…I would have chuckled and switched the channel and completely forgot about that all together. My reaction was different this time. It was of disbelief bordering on anger…do they spend so much of time and energy on thinking about a COLOUR…really !!

I am increasingly becoming passionate about everything in life these days…I see things from a very different perspective now than I have ever done in the past. I no more attach importance to things that are…well…not important. The thought that comes to my  mind ever so often these days is…”there is so much to do and learn in life…what the bloody hell am I doing?”. It all probably changed for me the day I saw death from so close that I mistook my heartbeat to be that of dead guy’s.

Lets face it…we all have at some point in time wanted to do something…but for some explicable or inexplicable reasons we just din’t end up doing those things. Well…I want to do ALL those things now…every last one of it !!!Engineering in Architecture included…okay…that’s after retirement🙂

A few from that list…

  • Trek to Himalayas.
  • Scuba diving.
  • Click a good black and white picture of a baby holding mother’s/dad’s hand while asleep.
  • Learn Linear Algebra and Calculus.
  • Trip to Amazon forest

===================================

“Kabira Garv Na Keejiye, Kaal Gahe Kar Kes

Na Jaane Kit Mare Hai, Kya Des Kya Pardes” – Kabir

===================================

adios

Top 5 : #4 Destiny

•August 26, 2009 • 3 Comments

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle says, you cannot simultanously measure the speed AND the position of an object at any given point in time. This simple statement utterly disqualified Laplace’s theory that everything in this universe (whatever UNIVERSE means) is deterministic, inlcuding human behaviour and end, provided you know its state at any point in time (something that Indian philosophy long believed in…you know…the horoscope). Meaning, if you can’t determine even the position, how the hell are you going to determine someone’s destiny?

Aaah!!! But the uncertainty principle is true for the mere mortals like us, you may say. Not for the almighty God. God can observe everything without disturbing the cosmic structure, thus is able to determine the position AND speed AND whatever interests him (damn…this english forces me to use He and Him for God, never mind), so that he can arrange for your destiny. Agreed, but wouldn’t God become redundant if everything is already determined and fixed and rigid?

So, if you believe in the eternal existence of God and also believe in destiny, its an utter contradiction…isn’t it?

The science and logic apart, destiny I think, like a lot of other things is just another escapist idea. We like to think that something  else or someone else is responsible for everything that happens in our lives. In my very humble opinion, believing in the idea of destiny only makes you give up or run away from your responsibilities or worse give up AND run away from your responsibility.

Question of the day:

Some exceptions aside…why do most of the UFOs sighted around the world by very special people almost have identical shape…you know the saucers that are shown in movies!!!

PS:  Most of the facts here are from Stephen Hawking book “Brief History of Time”…and you thought I had become an expert in Physics😀 ….oops!

Top 5: #5 Swear Words

•May 10, 2009 • 2 Comments

It may surprise you to know that I too am proud to be a human. But, every now and then I feel (as am sure most of the human race does) that “damn…if only we (as in humans)  had not come up with that idea. World could definitely do away with such nonsense”. So…I have decided to make a list of 5 things that I think are the worst human creation/idea/mistakes/habit, one in each of the next 5 posts.

#5


Its become a fashion, the “in” thing so to say, to use swear words in every statement of your conversation, no matter what language you are speaking. Funnily enough (hey…i looked up before using that “funnily enough”…it is a valid expression)…if you use swear words in your regional language…you are considered down market!!! You HAVE to be up to speed with all the new slangs of the same swear words, more the English/European words…the better.

I have always missed the point as to what possible reasons could force people to use them…is it to vent out their anger? is it to look/sound cool? is it to get attention? is it to prove that they are watching a lot of hollywood movies? or is it plain “sheep” nature? Be as it may…foul mouth is definitely something we can live without.

Question of the day:

Is there a bigger male chauvinism than referring to GOD as “HE”? What does this tell us?

(on a lighter note…am surprised that Mahila Mukti Morcha has never raised this issue :D)

Adios

Leo the king

•January 16, 2009 • 3 Comments

Quite frankly…I have been a no gooder in any art form…drawing…painting…singing…dancing…NONE. Im rather a “how does that work?” kind. My artistic quotient is limited to the geometric shapes and diagrams related to my technical studies. But I do appreciate the art work all the same…any form…errr…almost any form…Poetry goes way over my head…most of the times. I just can’t imagine/appreciate a boy and girl walking hand in hand over moon😛

I have always believed that anybody who can do anything that I can’t is worthy to be admired. Admiring is one thing…but to be overwhelmed by some one’s work is completely another.

Scientist, Mathematician, Engineer, Inventor, Anatomist, Painter, Sculptor, Architech, Botanist, Musician and Writer…yup…that’s Leonardo Da Vinci for you and me.

Honestly, I have heard of only one other person who is just as impressive…Ashok Gehlot…for those who haven’t heard of this name…you really are missing one of the wonders of Indian politics. He is the Chief Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister, State Excise Minister, Public Works Minister, Urban Development Minister, Housing Minister, Forest and Environment Minister, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, Mines Minister, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Waqf Minister, Information Technology and Communications Minister, Food and Civil Supplies Minister and finally….phew…Energy Minister of RAJASTHAN…at least as on 08-Jan-2009. Frankly…this is just inhuman…i mean superhuman…ooops😛.  Am just wondering if DaVinci is any match to this guy at all !!! Way to go Ministerji.

Coming back to DaVinci, though I have never really come to appreciate the speciality of Monalisa, what i can really really appreciate is the fact that it has inspired many artistes worldover and still continues to be considered a master piece. His work on anatomy…well…he is someone who proved that  heart is not made of two parts like heart…instead is slightly more complex :)…not to forget all the diagrams for the human bones and skulls!!!  His work is equally ashtonishing in all the fields. You can ofcourse get more precise and interesting insight from Wikipedia.

         j-102-0013_vitruvian_man_5001                    airscrew1                         mona1

There is nothing you can’t learn…all you need is the motivation and interest!!! I truly truly believe in this…and atleast two people have led me to this realisation…Da Vinci and Ashok Gehlot…

Cheerio

Are you a Veggie? Jeeeeeesus!!!

•January 2, 2009 • 3 Comments

I have had enough of this rotten expression when people know that I am a veggie.  All the same…what I find fascinating is the variety of justifications people have for eating meat and believe me…I have heard the most bizarre ones. For instance…a friend of mine is of the opinion…and I am quoting him here…”GOD created all other creatures to be eaten by Humans”. oooops…GOD must have forgotten to add salt and spices  into the flesh when he cooked the dishes for humans…Didn’t GOD know that Humans like Ready made food better😉 ?

One reason that I was fortunate to over hear is…”well…survival of the fittest mate!!! So…if animals cannot defend themselves from Humans…not my problem !!! ”   Darwin’s theory has become like the religious books that we have…every damn guy interprets it in a way that suits his bloody convenience. Darwin’s theory is for the jungles people!!!! If you are so very interested in upholding and proving the theory…please pack your bags and go live in a jungle and try competing with the wild cats over a piece of  meat for dinner.

There is plenty more such arguments…”My religion doesn’t bar me from doing so”…”Well you eat Plants…what’t the problem in eating animals?”…”Don’t you kill rats and mosquitoes…so what’s the trouble in killing other animals?” and the list is endless…

PEOPLE…listen up carefully…there is only ONE reason why you eat meat…IT TASTES GOOD…period. Any other justification that you might want to give others or yourself…is clear bullshit. Everybody wants to eat tasty food…so…why not just accept the fact like a man? And besides…meat provides some nutritions that are absolutely essential for the body…right??? 

Oh btw…any more reasons that you might have heard/overheard/have yourself are most welcome to be listed…most interesting one will get a one way trip to Neverland😉

Have a lovely peaceful year ahead…

Cheerio