I believe...

--in truth.
--in speed.
--that justice delayed is justice denied.
--that what one man can do, can be done by another, as well as undone!
--in quality.
--that the pen is mightier than the sword.
--in paying tax for betterment.
--that corruption has messed up India and we need a dictator to clean it up.
--that cleanliness is next to Godliness.
--that teachers & parents can make or break students.
--in early retirement, but to work till I die.
--that love can only be selfless.
--in India.
--in myself.
--in God.

Kanchi: questions

I'm tempted to blog this after reading so much of media junk and replies on Shenoy's article on rediff (http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/nov/17flip.htm)

--Madhava's view on Shankaracharya or Dvaitin's of an Advaitin?
If Shenoy hadn't said it, people would've said he's a Madhava. Now that he said it, people think he said it as an alibi that his is an unbiased viewpoint! So he loses both ways. What kind of logic is that? All he said was that despite his not following the Advaita way, he had the comments on the Advaita leader's arrest. He probably mentioned that to say that there are some things that he agrees to, some he doesn't, in the same person/issue. With that, he's my kind of person.

--Manner of arrest?
Absolutely shameful.

--Common man?
His Holiness is not a common man, if kings weren't, politician's aren't and to this day the way people treat their own managers! He is very much a VVIP considering the millions that follow the faith, the mutt and the acharya himself. Moreover, he's an *accused*, not a *criminal*.

--Comparison to Laloo, etc?
People thinking that we ask that he should be let free because Laloos (to mean: and the like) are, is wrong! Its exactly the opposite. If Laloos were (are???) treated as kings till proven guilty, atleast give the acharya the rights.

--Case of murder against case of others?
Its ridiculous to say that since the crimes were different, the way they're handled is different. Sentences need be different based on heinousness, but not the treatment prior to the verdict!

--Tulsi's interview?
Good to see his neutral views. But what was he thinking of when he's praising Jayalalitha? (http://specials.rediff.com/news/2004/dec/01inter.htm) He's literally glorifying her! Look at her past, mister; also look the inhuman things that your officer Prem Kumar has done and even *convicted* in one! (http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=39174&
now%7Ehe%7Eheads%7Eseer%92s%7Ecase). I hate the law in this country if even after conviction, a person like Prem Kumar is part of the team investigating against the acharya!

--Is my opinion biased?
Yes, because, opinion is defined as a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty... and only God can take an unbiased viewpoint! If you need all articles, go to www.kanchi-sathya.org. They're doing a good job by posting all the legal documents that have been filed in the HC, not the assumptions made by media!

krishNA nee bEganE bArO

Fed-up, tired of everything,
thinking of mortal limitations,
willing to give up everything,
pondering on never-so-early retirement,
in search of truth...

...indifferent feelings, again!

krishNA nee bEganE bArO _/\_

Microsoft sucks, consistently.

MS sucks. No surprises there, but here are some findings on VC 6 v/s VC 7 (.Net whatever hell), not by choice!

VC6 against VC7 goes:
--Alt-EI against Alt-EFI
--Ctrl-F2 against Ctrl-KK
--F2 against Ctrl-KN
--Saves files while building, against asking you. VC7 asks if you really want to save while building. Mostly, VC7 screws up if you save while building, whether or not you're saving the file that’s being compiled!

I miss Linux...God, are you listening, please? A little more help won't do you harm!

Also, MS sucks consistently even if they make inconsistent products. Following are some examples:
--Ctrl-F for find everywhere, except Ctrl-F on Outlook forwards mails!!!
--cmd versus command to open command line prompt on various so-called OSs.
--How the hell do you launch applications from command line or Run window? Here's how: mspaint, versus winword, versus excel...

(If any MS fan does read this in coming days, feel free to bash me up. In my defense, in advance, I don't care to RTFM about MS if this is how they maintain compatibilities across their own products. Let this also be a warning to MS *standard* followers: WM, sweetheart Sony 's BluRay products..., whatever!)

Most absurd Diwali!

The shocking news of Kanchi Shankaracharya's arrest spoiled the Diwali completely!

This event marks the Indian politicians reaching the pinnacle of success in ruining the country. They've been irresponsible over the years, making money, taking the country to the dogs. Whatever good some of the still-alive ministers tried to do in favour of the people, were never re-elected by massive booth captures and the like. Its a country of Lalus, Jayas and Mir Zafars... very rightly has Shri Rajiv Dixit questioned: when one Mir Zafar gave India 500 years of slavery, how much misery does India need to go through with her being run entirely by Mir Zafars?!!!

Many a ministers have to their account a few crimes to say the least. Still, they're on the stage of the country, taking decisions for us. No one bothers to open their books for verification, leave alone arresting them, even after having ample proof to hang those anti-nationalists. But based on some investigation-pending statements made by peace-unfriendly goondas, our responsible police have gone ahead to arrest one of the topmost religious leaders in the country! That too with such hideously planned act: arresting at an odd hour, on an odd day, so that the Swami gets delayed help, if any. They didn't bother to ask the pontiff to co-operate till the investigation is over; instead they just put him behind bars! This is the same pontiff who helped negotiating the Ayodha issue when we all felt that the country's about to go through another mishap on the Ram mandir account. Nevertheless, none thought of the impact this is to have on the sentiments of Hindus, the so-called majority of a secular nation.

Such are the great people we've elected, stood by and are tolerating. These are one of those rare moments that I feel ashamed of being an Indian. How wrong was I when I felt good of Gurcharan Das' The Elephant Paradigm! Yes, we do have a long way to go; but, now I ponder, is the path right? The country sleeps on...

(Reminds me of a song: rAmachandra keh gaye siyA se *aisA* kaliyug AyegA!)


My food habits, camp Cambridge, seemed to tend towards starvation due to the exhaustive driving and samosa sandwich lunches. Moreover, currently, I'm on a restrictive diet, leaving me with less choices among almost nothing thats there to eat out here! The TV channels and the music aren't entertaining and they leave me with a good time on hands to think back of good songs, movies, etc that we have back home.

Once you get into thinking such things, you're bound to miss your family and friends, especially, when you're not travelling with people you've spent more time with. Slow it is... my life here. The good things back home: all of them, feel a long, long-- eternal-- time ahead. I keep on thinking of what I could, would, and should do in India. Why didn't I do all that? Its really strange: you don't seem to really value what you have, while craving for other things in life. That takes you farther, from where you should be, to almost a point of no return.

And, I read a blog entry and started feeling more miserable, missing mom, dad, brother, friends, er... life?

Irresponsible driving!

I used to consider myself a responsible driver, until yesterday. Thursday morning, when a colleague and I started off, I was to reverse the Mondeo from the parking lot. There's this edge of the shed on my left and another Mondeo parked on the right... we were late for office. Usually, I do not accelerate the car in reverse gear. But the Ford had got cold enough to switch itself off and I'd to race. I could've chosen to warm the machine up on neutral with a little race. I didn't. I put it in the r-gear, raced it a bit and drove it back. While doing so, I didn't realise that the wheels weren't straight enough for a sharper left turn and definitely not so early. We were almost out of the parking lot, when the right-front of our office Mondeo hit the neighbour's left-back! I swore some thing when I realised that I scraped the cars badly, leaving scratches on both and a dent on ours!!!

I immediately jumped out and studied the damages. The green Mondeo that the neighbour's car was, had a few lines that went off on rubbing; a few more remained on the panel just over the wheel. Ours, however, had some green lines on the silver car, with a dent and some scratches on the headlight!

I haven't been able to think straight since then, not to mention work, food and sleep. And we're still researching on a good solution to get things upright.

Whatever the outcome, this was a shameful experience for me... and it'll remain so.

Lost in Cambridge

Thursday evening, we drove (read as I drove) back from our office at Histon to our apartment at Cherry Hinton Rd. It was pretty dark and I, unfortunately, trusted one of my colleagues to have studied the map that he took a printout of, tracing the way between the two pin codes. For this same reason, I asked to place himself in the front seat and let the other good colleague on the back seat, so that he could guide me.

Cambridge, for that matter anywhere, is not the place that you can take a left after you've missed it! This is how my company was guiding me. He was guiding me into more and more darkness, I felt. It was getting cold in the evening and we were almost nowhere in no time. This is how it went: In all fairness towards me, I'm going to say that it was the first time I was driving a Ford Mondeo Zetec-- a big car that it is-- without a localite (just a day before, I'd taken a test drive to a nearby restaurant with someone sensible), first time in Cambridge, UK, and first time outside of India ever, not knowing many official driving rules here.

I announced that I'll need to know which road to take next, way in advance, to everyone's agreement, but only in theory! Cambridge has pretty thin roads that split up into lanes or merge back at various places. At these junctures, one is to make a decision to stream into one lane or the other. The traffic can be pretty heavy at peak hours and not knowing your lane at the proper time can put you uncomfortably off the track.

We started at 1830 hrs from Chivers Way, Histon and on we went to Station Road. Our man didn't know we were on Station Rd, while I did, and by the time he registered that, I'd taken turns and was at the Bridge Rd junction! That was the time to have pulled over and asked my two colleagues to swap places. The fella yelled "right-right, there's Brigade Rd". I regretted my decision of seating arrangements already! After our right turn over to Bridge Rd, we went straight ahead over a big roundabout that forks a road onto A14 motorway. Now, we were to go down till we get a left for King's Hedges Rd. This one, we missed somehow. Having missed it, we didn't find a King's Hedges Rd around and I was told after one of the stupid lanes: thats the left we should have taken. In fact, there was this lane at the signal junction earlier where our man said: "left... wait... not here... next". And guess what, I ended up being in the middle of two lanes!!! I'd a little trouble getting back in the lane, that I'd almost left, but somehow managed to, save for a little honking from the car behind.

After that, we went around most places around Chesterton Road, trying to find Milton Road, Arbury Road, and God knows what all! There was this one particular time when I made it to the wrong road, on the directions given by the map-expert we had, that led to a major highway A14. This motorway had cars ripping by, from what seemed like all directions known to me! As it turned out, we entered A14 in the rightmost lane. Since I hadn't ever been on such fastlanes while I was on wheels, the ongoing nervousness turned into instant panic! It took a few minutes to really come back to senses and lead ourselves to the left side exit back to Cambridge... by now, we'd learnt that we were outside of Cambridge! Well, this exit helped us get back to smaller roads of confusion and residential areas where turning around the mega-sized Ford was quite difficult.

After maneuvering in lots of small roads that led nowhere and turning around in front of people's houses, I was pissed off. I took a little break from within the car and stood by (perhaps, praying) in the cold. It wasn't any comfortable outside, but peeking into the windows showed that someone ought to read the map right. This is when I decided to study which part of the world we'd ended. That moment, somehow, things looked a little better. Driving back, we spent some time back and forth map-listed roads since we'd hit Elizabeth Way. This one seemed quite a long road that narrowed to a single lane and sometimes grew up. We also spent time circling the roundabouts getting to read the road names on the small boards almost invisible at nights. This one time, the backseater showed a board that led to Cherry Hinton, but for the board seeming to point in the reverse direction. I wasn't sure.. so we decided to check the other end of Elizabeth Way. Interestingly, this way met a roundabout, across which the Elizabeth Way continued. So my guess was that one of the roads spawning off this round about ought to be Milton Way (this is where we should have come from, as per the map). With that reasoning, I drove back to the Cherry Hinton board and decided to continue across from there although the sign pointed in not-so-helpful direction. It was a good guess. We ended at a crossing of Mill Rd, where from, I knew how to proceed to Cherry Hinton!

At the end of the day, thank God, we didn't end up in the American Cemetery that A14 was leading us towards.

Now, now... it didn't turn out as bad as the title, did it? :)

Cambridge Times

This year, almost the same time as last, I'm back in Cambridge, UK. Though I flew via hometown, Bombay, I couldn't break my journey due to project pressures. I hope to do so on the way back, either three weeks hence or six, depending on whether or not our stay here is extended.

I reached Bangalore airport around 1920 while the Sahara flight was at 2040 hrs. Till quite a while, my colleagues hadn't arrived. After having checked-in and offloaded my painfully-heavy bag, I went out with not-so-very-painfully-heavy shoulder bag! They didn't seem to be around until it was a little late to check-in. Somehow, I'd missed them or so I thought. I decided to enquire at the check-in counter. They had data about one person. The other was not found, but I knew he was also past the security point. There, I also met Parag Bhide; an old time colleague from L&T. That was like 7 years before! We recognized each other, spent some time chatting, and followed that we're on the same flight to Bombay! Okay, surprises never end. Past the security check, I found my colleagues waiting, who had sneaked in behind my back, or so I thought. The plane started late, was crowded, uncomfortable with noisy people, extremely small seats and I got the second-last row. I was quite happy when it landed, except for the stupid bump as we touched the runway!

Transiting between Bombay airports was a pain carrying huge bags of ours. Somehow I neatly forgot that I needed a bigger-better-faster-more kind of a check-in baggage since last year's travel. We managed to reach the international airport, but my brand-new haircut nearly got me into trouble at more than one place. I'd a few suspicious looks and a couple of questions to answer at the counter. Fortunately, it wasn't so at the London airport.

The in-flight movies were boring; so was the food distasteful. Moreover, I didn't have any wine but put myself to sleep. In the wee hours of the morning, while in this British Airways flight's toilet, some idiot knocked on the door. As it is, the place was inconveniently small for my height and this knock made things no easier! Stepping out in a few minutes, I saw two people waiting outside, one of them an Indian. Although I said sorry (for nothing) the other chap seemed to be highly irritated and made some smart-ass comment to the effect that I fell in asleep inside. I managed to ignore him, and being pleased about myself, returned to my seat. Later, I was wondering what the heck was he doing all this while, if he was in urgency! I gave up the thought.

Parking the flight at London took a real long time although we were not much late when we landed. After what seemed like 20 to 30 minutes, we got off the airplane. It was a long walk through the immigration and then out via the baggage collection. Our taxi was already around with the huge, tall, driver waiting. After some trouble shoving the baggage in, we rested in the good Lexus till Cambridge was around. The Andy guy welcomed us from Cambridge Apartments and showed us around one of the flats. We were stuck with another apartment not being ready till 1400 hrs as told, and being handed over only at 1800 hrs! Between these times, we shopped groceries and loaded our fridges! A very tiring day ended with a bath and a light dinner.

Lights out!

About thanks & apologies

Okay, I confess that this one's a selfish blog entry. I use the words: thanks and sorry, very liberally, while meaning it too. It always turns out that people don't know the usage very well; they end up using one more than the other. It also depends on the company you keep, though.

For me, it irritates much if people keep me thanking every now and then. Moreover, it puts me into an awkward situation when this kind of thanking or praising is made public.

Unfortunately, thats not true with apologies. Although I don't want others to thank me even for my biggest goodwill gesture, I do expect atleast a simple sorry when I deserve it. Its not an ego issue, I feel. It just helps me forget things faster. Mind ya, forget, not forgive. Because, I forgive way too easy. Its just that the pain sticks on into memory long enough to make forgetting difficult (Maybe thats why I've a short memory in other things!). Its like telling me that you don't feel sorry at all.

I'm reminded of a song by MLTR...

There is no excuse my friend,
for breaking my heart again
This is where our journey ends
you're breaking my heart again.

Down to basics, if you don't like to say sorry, don't do things that'll make you say it; simple.

A good day

Its a surprise that yesterday was one of the good days of recent times! You generally don't end up being in the middle of all the happy news in one day. But it sure was so.

The day started early at office with a blogged ode. Much work was already done before others joined in at work. Prashant called in to say that there's a flat in Thane that he would really pursue this time. That statement, in itself, was a good start for me! I went around asking people about the area... and ended up with just the right people showing up on chat.

It wasn't late until both Sandy & Rags came in and we had an early tea break. That hasn't happened in a while now.

When I was following up on the flat thing, Raghav spread around the great news about Vathsala being blessed with a baby girl. Thankfully, she was available on the phone to share her happiness. All this was just during the morning session alone!

Out of nowhere, I also received a call from Veena aunty. We had some nice talk about her daughter's marriage. The day was turning out into a blast by now. Mind ya, this wasn't all... I got quite a lot of official work done too. By evening, I'd talked to Prashant some three times, mailed up a couple more, and got to a bit of understanding about how the Thane area is to settle down.

The day ended late by a visit, with Raghav, to see Vathsala and her baby. This niece of ours even looked at us both, one at a time... my God, was she adorable... and she's not even a day old! May God bless all of those who made my day a memorable one!

Prayer to Maya

I remember the time spent with you
All you said seemed so true

Such was the binding faith I had
I couldn't tell good from bad

My true Self I really miss
I was blinded right from your first kiss

The illusory traps, they made me wait
Now that I know, would you please help me liberate?

Until then, I'll recall the time spent with you
As there's nothing much I can do...

Art of loneliness

  1. Switch cities for work.
  2. Be available only during work hours.
  3. Stock what you need on Friday evening... step out only on Monday morning.
  4. Visit areas less frequented by acquaintances.
  5. Ride with a helmet, or drive with pulled over windows.
  6. Put cell on mute, or low volumes.
  7. Dump sms schemes.
  8. Return calls; never make unsolicited calls.
  9. Neither a lender nor a borrower be. (But, neki kar kuen mein daal)
  10. Defy mortal existence.
  11. Don't freak out, even after reading this blog :)

A lonely bike trip... part I

We'd been planning treks, long drives and what not, for what seemed like ages then. We had to start somewhere. With the time constraints of our group members with all individuals being free at different times, the plans were leading nowhere. This was it... a day off on Monday was to get us five continuous days of vacation. We all had been waiting for such an opportunity. But
then again, I forgot Murphy (from the Murphy's law, who else?) while I planned out something. Sriram was busy with his CA studies, Raghav was to look at his house construction, Anya was tied up with something else. That left me stranded alone to keep to my own commitment of kick-starting something. I decided a to-and-fro native (Honnavara) trip: going via Mangalore and returning via Shimoga.

Well, I started by luring Raghav by proposing a bike trip instead of a car drive! He got tempted but my motive was unmet when he reported this back home. They didn't want him to go then. There was no point in messing with others' plans. So I thought, on behalf of all, I'd to get a do-it-myself package. The deal was clear: it couldn't have been my second wife, Maruti Suzuki
WagonR... I was just not too comfortable with her! Thats when I made a so-called brave decision to ride with my first one, Suzuki Fiero! All of this was decided on Thursday, Aug 14, 2003. Mentioning this to my landlady led me to some hitches. She refused to allow me to go and even threatened to call my parents. The fear came from the fact that the rains were crazy and the coastal highway drive is too dangerous when Karnataka rains were to go crazier with the cloud-seeding plan! Some convincing got me luck and I began backpacking my gear.

My initial plan was to start in the wee morning hours, but Sriram insisted that one shouldn't start on a long ride/drive while its still dark. There's some scientific analysis that seems to say that most accidents occur when the person starts out while its dark and gets carried into the light through hours of driving and that the body can't adjust to the changes. Well, had he known me as such a lazy fella, he wouldn't have probably spent such time explaining; I started only quarter past seven. It took quite a while to pack stuff at night and I woke up late enough not to be able to start at 0600hrs. Finally, I started with my obeisances to the Sun.

As I went over the ring road towards Mysore Road, it felt really nice, but with a slight fear of this seemingly arduous ride. Within a short while, I touched West of Chord Road. As per Sriram's instructions, I'd kept the pace well below 70kmph till I hit the outskirts of Blore. I passed by ISKCON in some time thence and took a deep left towards Peenya and passed towards Nelamangala. I'd to stop by and enquire to ensure that I don't miss the NH-48 I was looking forward to. There was quite a bulk of traffic at the start of NH-48. These trucks and buses that go a longer distance than what I call long-distance ride are really rough on the poor riders. They seemed to overlook the fact that small vehicles also belong on the tar for atleast having paid their taxes! Those juggernauts had my confidence lowered till bad negotiating between vehicles got me out onto visible empty stretch of tar. Thats when I sped up to decide on safe consistent speed. That struck out to be a good 80kmph and this is what I maintained through my journey.

The weather was comfortably pleasant needing not more than my windcheater and the surroundings appeared to be increasingly scenic as I rode away from Blore. I soon found a comforting position on the bike: resting the feet on the pillion foot rests, while my backpack was hooked on to the handles and laying on the petrol tank! There were break times when I shifted my legs over the leg-guard for a change of position. The surroundings gave a picture of true India, the beauty that it is. I didn't have to change gears from 4th to below it for a real long time, but it sure reminded me of how badly Fiero needed a 5th too!

The journey turned out to be becoming more blissful than ever and I could feel the confidence building... what this was, I can't express in words... it was a feeling I've been yearning for and always will. Somewhere down the line near Hassan, I'd my breakfast at Kamat's. I was told that this one's a nice place to feed yourself; so I did. The food didn't mean as much as the wash did. The countryside had blown quite a lot of dust on my face due to frequent lifting of the visor for fresh air breathers. I also made it a point to share this freshness with my brother, Prashant, over phone. My parents didn't know till then that I'm on this (crazy) tour. I very much managed to convince them of my safe riding, or rather had to!

When I set off back on the bike, I thought I was maintaining good pace. I knew well that I'd to improve it because the average speed is going to decline rapidly once I get to the Sakleshpur ghats (the biggest in Karnataka). The weather kept me company till there. Just when I saw the ghats rise in front of me, I pulled over to put up the monsoon wear. The rainywear trouser (?) belonged to Sandip and was way too short for me, but I'm much thankful for having borrowed it. It'd begun to drizzle and my avatar was funny for passersby. I wasn't too much in a mood to even let that bother me. Fiero's roadgrip has scared me many a times; still, this ride had let Fiero prove itself. Thus, the test began.

The curves and V-pin bends, all had me sure that no speed is low speed for such zones. Twice, I landed on the opposite lane after the turns! Although the upstream traffic seemed too slow to cause any harm, one can't assume so about all of the vehicles and be sure that other vehicles are the only ones that cause damages. One could lead off the road, into a tree or stuff like that. I was more careful following these thoughts. Its like telling yourself to apply brakes, not to the vehicle alone, but to your life too. Maybe, its going faster than you can handle. Its worth taking a pitstop in life once in a while and seeing whether you have led yourself well enough? The speed may have enthused you so much as to not let you think if the direction is right!

Anyway, so here I was riding safer than ever. Okay, the speed was higher still, but safer... somehow I think I know well enough that lower speed doesn't necessarily mean more safety. Enjoying the ride, I reached the viewpoint of Sakleshpur ghat. There was this hoarding that read the huge rainfall mms that this region receives. My memory fails me here. Maybe, if I'm able to dig this info out of somewhere, I'll update it over. There was an elephant's picture on one board that meant something I forget now. Forgive the old man, will ya all? The view was beautiful and I felt like spending a lot of time there. I must've spent over an hour there trying to click some photographs, before I started downhill.

So far, the tar was laid enough smoothly. The ghats showed otherwise at one stretch on my downward trail. These potholes made it miserable while the rain didn't make it easier to brake on a downward journey. It was much steep to allow indecent braking on a plain road, even on a sunny day, without having to meet unpleasant incidents. As I made past some of these unavoidable pockets, I saw small water streams on my right making their way beneath the bridge I was on and forming a good waterfall on the left. This, I stopped by to click. The weather and my skills, both, made photos turn up bad. There on, the road just seemed to drop into Mangalore. The sun showed up as I picked speed on the road fast losing its curvature and straightening up into a plain highway. Soon, the jackets weren't helping me keep my comfort and I pulled over by Surathkal to pack them back. There, I'd made it a point to make my geographical location felt to Raghav. He studied at KREC, Surathkal and was pleased to have a chat with someone who's just in front of its gates!

Since I'd planned to have Udupi Krishna's darshan, I sped by on this dangerous NH-17 that I'd gotten onto. Most people have no traffic sense whatsoever, or lose whatever they have, once they reach this infamous national highway. I say this from my childhood memories of accidents told of on these roads. My native village stands off this NH-17. I found this road to be less exciting than the earlier ones I'd taken, the stink of the coastal fish adding to it. I wanted to get as close to Udupi as fast as possible. So I did. The arch on the highway seemed to invite everyone to pay a visit. I wanted to gather my blessings and in I went, riding between crowded lanes not really guiding me anywhere as I reached close enough to know that I was in the vicinity of devasthana but not knowing where it was. Parking the bike and walking seemed to be an only option when I met a deadend. Finding the mandir, I felt blessed already. It has a small entrance that might go unnoticable save the shops around that people bought offerings from. This is one temple where the presiding deity, Krishna, faces away from the door.

The story has it that a Shudra was forced to pray from outside the temple and Krishna turned around to give darshan to him alone! That shows how all are equal in God's perspective. Since then, everyone was forced to go around the pradakshina to have a peek at the Lord from a small window. Finishing my darshan, I went over to other mandirs in and around the campus. There's a go-shala where I could see cows wandering about, feeling at home and making me feel so too. There were these beautiful kids dancing on stage, perhaps belonging to some school run by the sansthan or so. Just outside the temple there was a guy with his elephant blessing people who give it something. I also tried it out. Smartly, the elephant took the coin with its trunk, gave it to its master and then put the trunk on my head to gesture a bless.

On the way back to the highway, I lost my way and quite some precious time. My hunger found its fill just when I reached NH-17. It was 1800 hrs by then and high time I'd lunch too. I'd a quick snack and was on my way while it was darkening. Sriram had asked me to witness the beauty of the sunset at Kundapura, but I was beginning to get panicky not knowing how far
I was from my target and after having driven much distance from Udupi.

I reached an overbridge besides which was a small temple with an idol of Shiva majestically sitting over it. This, I'd to take a picture of. It didn't seem like a convenient location to park with vehicles ripping by. I managed to click one or two shots when the drizzle that had just begun warned to be a pour soon. I decided to pick up more speed and try to arrive before 2000hrs atleast. This was not to happen. The road seemed never-ending since I could no longer enjoy the surroundings, not being able to see them in the approaching night. It wasn't until the clouds above dropped huge drops of water that I felt I should've driven faster before the rain. The rain drops drilled their way into the layers of jacket that I'd worn some time back. Within no time was I feeling as if I was being swept away in river, with little control, if at all. The heavy coastal highway rains, with no lights whatsoever, intimidating passing by 4-, 6-, 8-, etc-wheelers, seemed to threaten the safety of my riding I was harping on. The world around me seemed to vanish into the night as I knew not -- through my glasses, visor and waterfall-like rains -- where the road was. At one point, I started doubting whether there was a road below the wheels! I was wiping the visor & specs every now and then with my hands and hanky, atleast enough to be sure that I could see through the glasses if a pull-over place is around. Sometime then, my prayer was answered and I saw a petrol bunk that I somehow got to, over unseen puddles filled in kind of ponds that were formed beside the road. It felt as if my bike jumped off some height off the highway but still it was a relief to be able to be seeing something.

What a view it was, mighty scary rain it seemed, as I stood underneath one of the structures. Even there, I was being lashed by the rains almost from all directions in a few minutes. Enquiring at the gas station on how far I was from my target gave no comfort. To top it, I was worried of the rulers of the highway --truck-drivers-- getting drunk and driving beside me. I knew I had not more than an hour before these enemies of the fellow-riders step on the pedal. I felt the burden of having to decide between the devil and the deep blue sea!

From nowhere, I was given a solution to ride by following some visible vehicle, keeping only safe-distance between us. I refueled just to be sure I don't push my baby along on a rainy night. This trick worked wonders, except for a couple of wrong judgements. One of them was to follow an over-speeding car while the other was to follow a truck that pulled over too soon. Over a period, I was back on my confidence of driving in the rains. It slowly turned into a blissfully pleasant ride. I, who always found riding in the rain unsafe, felt being accompanied by some great level of reassuring faith. The bike itself seemed a friend... the rains telling us a wild story... meaning no harm though. I found myself listening to the music of the tapping waters, with no hurry of reaching anywhere. I was around Bhatkal when the rains turned their volume low. I knew I was around 60kmph all this while and that went up a little with pinching rains hurting the skin lesser. Since then, the downpour switched back and forth into a drizzle. About that time, I approached some hills on my sides that appeared to have been cut off to make these roads. These were visible as the lights of moving vehicles flashed on them. I knew I was nearing Honnavara. But it took me a longer ride than I thought it would be before I saw Honnavara. I'd crossed Sharavati bridge that had made me wonder if I was riding over the waters as a ship sails.

From Honnavara, it was a known road that I'd travelled earlier on vans, buses and as a pillion rider on motorbikes & bicycles. I knew this stretch of the journey would make me nostalgic. In these thoughts, I took a deviation off the NH-17 into my village lane, Karki. I looked up my watch that ticked 2130hrs. My aunt and standees around were shocked to hear my mode of transport. I took a pleasing cold bath pulling out loads out of the fresh well waters. I called up Bombay to mention my safe-reaching and to assure them of no back-breaks, thanks to the grand machine that Fiero proved it is.

The tasty dinner was followed by a blissful sleep that took me back on the ride into the night... the night that I'd slept as well as stayed awake!

(Fri, Aug 15, 2003: 0715 BSK- Iskcon- Nelamangala- [NH-48] Kunigal- 1500 Channarayapatna- Hassan- Sakleshpur- (Shiradi)- (Uppinangadi)- Mangalore- [NH-17] Surathkal- Udupi (Udupi Krishna Mandir) 1800- Kundapura- Bhatkal- Honnavara- 2130 Karki)

Ano BhadRA...

... krathavOyantu vishwathaha. So says Rig veda: let noble thoughts come to us from all directions.

Unfortunately, my wavering mind can't stick to this thought-of-thoughts forever. The honking on the roads, noisy autos, dug up roads & footpaths, ripping two-wheelers, painful co-workers, long hours at work, missed meals, corrupt politicians, morning news, gross tasteless advertisements, selfish circles, fake promises, mAyA pitfalls, blah blah blah, just drive me wild. The worst of the lot is my first response to all that. Its not to be seen or heard by others...

As Swami says, Patience is all the strength a man needs. Here's another I have on my desk from Hindu Dharma: Tapas is to focus the mind & mind force constantly on an objective, discarding the comforts of hearth & home, heedless to the demands of hunger & thirst, sleep & rest. In all this exercise, it is necessary to eschew the awareness that 'I am taking all this trouble and making all the effort and, therefore, I am bound to arrive at the Truth'. Humility should permeate through all the effort in the belief that, notwithstanding all human endeavour, the grace of God is a vital ingredient to the success of any mission.

Blind men and the elephant

While returning from The Terminal... Sriram and I got into talking about the movies I watched over the past weekend. There were some four movies of Meg Ryan that I was trying to recall names of, when Sriram suddenly mentioned What Women want! I've a miserable memory, but I knew for sure that WWW doesn't have Meg Ryan. I didn't remember who it was, though. Sriram kept on insisting its her and I kept on saying its Brooke Shields! Then I wondered where did Brooke Shields come from? More fun...

me: is there a Brooke Shields? Who's Brooke Shields?
Sriram: wait, she's not an actress... she Agassi's ex-girlfriend.
me: I'm sure she's the one. Nah, its the one from some serial on TV... why can't I recall her? I can never recall names.
Sriram: Bhattaa, it is Meg Ryan... go home and look up the DVD. Why worry now?
me: okay, I'll googleize & let ya know right when I'm in office. I'll even tell ya who's Brooke Shields.

We lost the topic of which Meg Ryan movies I saw :)

(The next day we both agreed that Helen Hunt is the one we talked of as Meg Ryan & Brooke Shields, the Blue Lagoon starrer)

Screening the weekend

After having finished the series F.r.i.e.n.d.s and M*A*S*H season 7 due for release only next month, I was bummed out on what to watch the weekend that went by. So I decided movies, and movies they were. The Godfather trilogy was the one I started with. Amazing is an understatement... its definitely the mother of all mafia movies. The continuum is so well maintained that I miss not having watched the parts 2 & 3 earlier. Well, I'll make up for those days bygone by watching them over and over. The background score is so good that it may have been stolen by so many movies of yesteryear. Direction is unbelievably consistent across all, with the flashbacks & makeup doing wonders, making you feel that the sequences are really shot across generations. The dialogues seem to live forever with quite a few movies drawing their links to Godfather.

Kill Bill 2 was worth a watch. It is not as much full of action as part 1, but the director of photography makes you still breathe on the edge of your seat. The filmy parts are also shot so realistically. And the 34-year old Uma Thurman still looks young enough to be the bride. Well, all that was just Saturday!

Sunday started with a fresh flick of French Kiss and there started a run of Meg Ryan movies: You’ve got mail, In the cut…etc. (French Kiss is the same movie that the Hindi Pyar toh hona hi tha is dittoed from). The movie is a little bit of a fairy tale, but then, so love is too. You’ve got mail is a slightly girlish movie as someone had told me the first time I’d seen it. Then also, I’d confessed my liking it anyway… as an aside, I used to be a chat/email addict myself.

In the cut came a little bit as a shock to me as the kiddy-looking Meg Ryan didn’t seem too right to play the Sharon Stone kind of role! I haven’t managed to complete watching the movie with the same interest as other Meg Ryan movies, since the steamy scenes were as bad as the critics said. Still, that was one heck of a weekend’s screening.


There's a thorn or more for every rose
Some of my friends have turned foes

A fool and his monies are soon parted
I thought that others were kind-hearted

But then all the goods, they departed too
My problems had no boundaries and always grew

I wish bliss would come back to stay awhile
For all of my bads, you act like bile

You're the one who makes my life go
Oh! dear God, I need you so!

My first crush

Doesn't seem true at this age, does it? Seriously, I've had stupid crushes before, but this one's for real. I want a Skoda Octavia! I've been tempted for long now. It started by liking the first looks. Then, it grew when I took Octavia taxis a couple of times while at Cambridge. Later, I'd seen Skoda ads in newspapers that talked of environment-friendliness. That just touched my heart (any Skoda personnel reading this? :) Thence, was the onset of falling in love. There have been many a loan ads that seemed decent except for my being able to afford it!

I'm not so decent at wheels, but whenever I ride or drive, I just let The Octavia go by and watch it. She's sheer beauty. I thought of selling all my assets and get her but it doesn't seem a good idea to live in the car. I'm not too much of a live-in freak. I wouldn't dream something unrealistic or even optimistic: its not Merc I want to be able to buy off; but Skoda, yes... not too much to ask for... should be doable some day.

Till then, a WagonR-er.

(PS: Although not good at it, I'm a C programmer. So when I said my *first* crush, I actually meant second. Zero would preceed one as per C norms (factually, any norms), putting zeroth crush above first. My zeroth crush was Opel Corsa and I would do all the same things I do to an Octavia now! )

Force Majeure

There is no such thing as gravity; the earth sucks. Unfortunately, I do not have a quote to relate life to; but I'm tempted to say: There is no such thing as karma; the life sucks.

No matter what I do, there's always a mess. If I'm on schedule at work, someone else would have created so much trouble that everything that follows my work, just to close it, will fall apart. It has to. If I'm happily enjoying a weekend, someone or something will bring back junk memories to put me back in depression and screw the rest of the weekend... that factually would have just begun. Ever heard of Murphy? He's present everywhere around me, always writing out new laws. He never dozes; not even when I'm asleep. He even has laws for my dreams! I live a life full of Murphy's laws. I'm a textbook example of Murphy's laws.

Someone somewhere is always cursing me. Or maybe others, who were affected even a bit by all the wrongs that I did, are against me... all at once. Its true. There isn't any other explanation. I've tried finding reasons, hitting only voids.

Enough cribbing for the day. Now, I feel better. Oh, wait... Murphy's around!

King of crashes

I've been writing code that junks the machine that I code for! Time and again my code has shown the box how to sleep, not work & irritate everyone. Surprisingly, this time it seems to have spared me. I fixed the bug and my fix was a bug for another co-worker.

It isn't so much of fun as it sounds, especially if the bug is due to someone else's code and you're breaking your head to find one in yours. You end up rewriting most of what you've coded and then, someone tells you that he's crashed your box. You've not only lost time, but your peace as well. But then again, on the brighter side, you've learnt some very good lessons... the most important one being: till next time, build more patience :)

Losing Money

They knocked off the tax-saving scheme out here. We'll be shelling out lotsa money as tax from our pockets. I always believed in paying tax, albeit it goes into politicians' pockets. Most of the collected tax is not put to right use but I used to pay tax, now its just multifold.

If the govt doesn't know how to utilize collected taxes, they should allow people to decide whats good for them. We see flyovers flying all over, even if not needed, each taking an era to build and sucking up huge money; potholes that are manholes, factually, and ones which have been there since eternity; no drinking water for many cities & villages; promises unkept, always, blah blah blah. God knows when the area-wise tax utilization will be effective.

Below are some of the snippets from some of the songs that I recall. (In my defense, beforehand, I do not like Prince, but this is one song that was somewhat close to find mention)

Pink Floyd
Money, it’s a crime.
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it’s no surprise that they’re
Giving none away.

Dire Straits
Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the mtv
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free

Money don't matter tonight
It sure didn't matter yesterday
Just when you think you've got more than enough
That's when it all up and flies away
That's when you find out that you're better off
Makin' sure your soul's alright
'cause money didn't matter yesterday,
And it sure don't matter tonight

I guess that this phase is one where I can remember the taste of money: when money talks, morals walk! Time always meant money to me, and the vice-versa also being true... losing money, I've lost time too.

Junk day at work

Started late, drove around for 15 minutes for parking. Finally, got parking space but had to move because of some road repair work expected. Some day, they'll dig under my car!

Went to the photo studio for UK visa passports after tea. Did no work till then. Went over to watch a waiting crowd. The guy who took photos was speaking his own English and made me laugh. I'd skipped b'fast, so naturally, I was hungry and ate my luncheon around then. Just post-lunch when I was about to code, I recalled of the stupid photos. (The earlier laugh had caused the camera capture a strange expression; I'd be lucky to get a visa based on that!). Got them and as my colleague & I rode back between the school-time traffic, we were just in time for the project meeting. This ended in tea and a little later, while Rags & I tackled some compiler surprises, I forgot the other weekly update meeting! Thats typically an old man's memory. Well, old, I am.

More and more sleepy coding led to some more junk code that wouldn't build. Its 2230 hrs and I don't know what the heck's happening. I'd rather go home to my bed. Good night, cruel world!

The only good thing that happened in work hours is that I bought Memories of Malgudi.

I think, therefore I am?

I'd heard of this quote by the French philosopher René Descartes long back. For us mortals, true.

But I believe there are levels of consciousness beyond the thinking element. If the thoughts originate in the mind and if the mind sleeps in the dreamless sleep state (among awake, sleep, dreamless/deep-sleep states), then I wouldn't be thinking in deep sleep. In such a case, wouldn't I still exist to say I am? I would probably... or would not. If I wouldn't, then the world sleeps with me and with me waking, up it does too. When I'm dreaming, the world changes for me. Am I dreaming now? I wouldn't know. I'm thinking... so I am, now. But I may think of another thing apart from this world many a time, be it a dream or not. Then, I'll have created a different world for myself. The duration of this waking state as compared to that short dream state I go into every now & then tells me of this world that I currently blog in. If I dream longer of something, long enough to forget this world as a dream, mayhap I'd believe that to be a real world!

These are the wonders of the mind that dreams; these are the pitfalls of the mind that craves. Insanity?

Another hat trick

Yes, skipped dinner for consecutive three days for the umpteenth time, followed by next day's dinfast instead. Most of my hat tricks are such skipped meals, being good at almost nothing else in sports.

By the mercy of good health that I've been carrying since a couple months now, my doctors & well-wishers have advised me not to eat outside food and cook at home instead. Thanks to so many late night trips back home from work, cooking hasn't had its share of devotion from me. In essence, my health--more hours at work--skipped meals--and back to my health make a downward spiral that hasn't, surprisingly, hit rock-bottom yet! Weekends are usually lazy and by the time normalcy meets me, its almost start of another week. Did I leave Bombay for Bangalore, just to end up such? Well, just a thought!

(NB: This has been blogged in response to Rags' repeated accusations that I do not tell people about my so-called ordeals with food. Now he doesn't have a word to say, does he? :)

A blissful dream

Some are scary, while some are fair
But blissful dreams are verily rare

Where the only love is the love for God
And every other feeling seems a fraud

At Thy lotus feet, each moment I pray
All this while, I was led astray

Notes to myself

If I could fly
Before you said goodbye, I'd be up there in the sky

Watching you while you (couldn't) watch me
Thanking every moment that I'm free

Far from the noise that you earthlings make
Away from your senses and promises you fake

I would say "No" when you asked if you could join me
I know you'd be hurt but I never could do much to please thee

I'm your spirit and deserved much more respect
While you were forgetting me, you ruined yourself imperfect

My expectations from life seemed so high
I knew all that would make sense now that you've let yourself die!

Fighting desire

(originally posted elsewhere on Friday, June 18, 2004)

For one, why? For another, how? Why is a question that is as difficult to answer as is the how! I'll take a simpler route by assuming that the reason you are reading this topic is you know the answer to why. You're reading it to know how. Be whatever the desire, a person intends to derive pleasure off the results. The aim is pleasure, thats what one seeks. As one can very much see the law of averages, the world is pretty balanced with everything. And with that, as much as a person chases pleasure, the pain seeks back too. Giving up desire to be pleased is sufficient to keep the pain away. The balance is maintained while the quanta is neutral. It seems feasible, doesn't it?

Well, I feel desire could be good or bad depending on how intense is the desire, the purpose, and whether one feels the consequences of the desire are the results of one's own doings. Lets take this piecemeal. According to the Gita (Bhagavadgita), there is no result thats been achieved by anyone apart from God. Thats easily quoted by *karmanye vaadhikaarasthe maaphaleshu kadhaachana... * Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj, in his Advaitic style, says that the desire needs to be strong to achieve anything. All exists or happens because things are as they are... the Universe is as it is. That is, the desire is not an individual phenomenon, it arises because the Universe or the Universal energy desires so. If its strong enough to be executed, it is done. There are Westerners who have portrayed it in a different manner. Like Richard Bach's Illusion wherein the story of Messiah has things like swimming in land, walking on water or through the wall. These may well be someone's own desires that are met in the form of illusions. It could also be seen that, not only could the things witnessed by Bach be illusions, but also the very fact that he met a Messiah is one! The movie series Matrix has a similar myth about the rabbit hole. This brings us to something that we are aware of being quoted as *Brahma sathya jagat mithyaa* Its said that the world itself is an Illusion.

You may be wondering where does the topic on desire meet the one on illusion? It does. It does because the desire itself is an illusion. The fact that the world doesn't exist and that there isn't any multiplicity/dualism points to a fact that there is no causality. If there isn't a cause, the desire can't be too, and there isn't an action that needs doing. An action appears to be acting since the causality appears to be the cause. Both are illusions in the mind, that itself doesn't exist!

Its a journey from nothingness to nothingness. So moksha or liberation doesn't seem to be a goal that one travels towards. Its something that exists and is uncovered. Till then, as Steve Jobs says, *the journey is the reward*.

Great Expectations

Expectations are like mother's milk... *essential* (there was this movie that had a dialog that stuck with me). Sometimes, it seems so true, kids betray their parents & blow their expectations. Others do too.

But the other way is not true with parents. They do have expectations from children but all of them are so-selfless; they are not ego-based (except in Hindi movies: "Papa kehte hain bada naam karega...") Parents do not expect things in return when they do good unto us. People say that parents take care of their kids so that the kids can inturn take care of them when grown-up. Recently, with the floods in north-east India, I saw a newspaper photo that had a mother neck-deep in water carrying her child on the head. Now, in this fight for survival, the mother wouldn't even know if she'll live on... but she wants her child to survive. She's not thinking that this child will take care of her because she's crossed him across the flood! The child may easily forget, but the mother won't think of this. Its pretty saddening that most of the children look back on how their parents treated them and then decide of how well to treat them. Parents don't have such point of reference. They mostly like to give their children more than what their parents gave them, no matter how the kid.

Why can't children be so? Or friends? Some friends always end up pointing out your mistakes in an argument. They dig into your problems just to say that they're wiser. If you do a few good things unto a friend, you expect her to live her life according to you! Why have such expectations? Be a parent. Just do good and forget about it. As an old Hindi saying goes: neki kar kuen mein daal.

When two elephants fight...

...it is the grass that gets trampled, says an African proverb. This reminds me of the lesson we had back in school English: Burning the candle at both ends. It talks of quotes as being only partly true. There are examples such as birds of a feather flock together. Then, the author mentions the bird (I forget) that doesn't even fly with its own parent.

Coming back to the subject, I kind of believe a little different from the proverb. Its the middle-class who suffer more compared to the other classes (when things change around). For the rich, there isn't a matter; as for the poor, they always suffer! So whenever there's a change in economy or if two political elephants screw each other up, its the middle-class who take a hit the most. Its due to what I call the middle-class attitude: whatever is earned is spent. If a middle-class person gets a raise, she usually plans how to spend it even before getting the cash at hand! That leads us to a very sensible quote that most of the middle-class ignore: penny saved is penny earned, which is why things are the way they are.

So its not the grass that suffers, its the branches of the trees uprooted that suffer when two elephants fight.


Friday (Aug 27, 2k4) was to be Nikhil's drama and I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to make it -- thanks to my slow pace of office work. Finally, some time on Thursday, I was sure to be able to see Nikhil on the stage and meet Amit too. Sriram had been with me since around an hour now and we were walking out for the pre-drama grub when Amit showed up with his wife at 1930 hrs. They were here at the right time even with the Friday evening's hardly-moving B'lore traffic! Anyway, we went on to collect our tickets from Nik as he was to hop out for only couple minutes. Till the time we went to the seating, all I knew about the drama show was that there were to be two short plays based on something unpronounceable (thats German for me). Of course, I also knew that Nik was to play a role in the English version. So we were seated waiting for things to happen. The wait was due to Nik's warning us to be well before time, we won't be allowed after 2035 hrs and that the seating was on FCFS basis.

Finally, something happened... some thuds... people were running on to the stage and... wait -- before that, I ought to mention that this was just my second visit to a drama theatre(in grown up times)...

My first visit was about five years back when I accompanied my office group to watch a drama that was supposed to be in Hindi and turned out to be Bhojpuri! I cursed everyone of pulling me too, giving high hopes on the act. I couldn't sleep either, since we went in a little late and had to adjust ourselves to the staircase-cushion! The only saving factor was that we were drunk. (Drunk-- as in "we sipped some spirit before" and is not to be confused with "we were carried in"). The worst part, though, was that the cost of tickets could have bought us almost a pitcherful each!

Okay, back to Bishop Cottons' school, where Niks' drama had just begun. The people who ran on to the stage started beating in flags, etc. I was eagerly waiting for Niks. Then came the narrators and started off in Marathi! I was shocked. I could see another Bhojpuri incident. I saw Sriram hitting me for lying that it was an English drama... he'd specifically confirmed this from me when I invited him for the drama. I started praying that I hear some English. I was looking around for subtitles, if nothing else! All this happened so fast that I didn't realize that people were speaking English already. Well, I couldn't gather much till the narrators got off the stage and I saw Niks walk up there, followed by a Merchant & coolie.

Niks was supposed to be the guide in the play: The Exception & the Rule. Its about the merchant who has hired a guide & a coolie to search for oil in the desert This merchant ends up shooting the coolie in his crazy thoughts and being tried in court. Some of the scenes were really good. The one where the coolie crosses the river, another where he makes the tent & of course, the good singing. Among the actors, the merchant, coolie, judge & our own Niks, playing the guide, made a good crowd.

The second drama was about the elephant calf. The scene where the moon loses his hand was very well executed while the elephant's mother sang well. The chorus, as usual, chipped in for support. Also, the lady narrator did a good job.

Apart from this, I lost focus of the drama. I missed quite a lot of both the plays because of my stupid photography. The digicam I borrowed from a friend was good but I was an amateur with it, more so without lights. As such, most of my photos came out either under-exposed or shaky.

All said and done, the team deserved a better stage.


Indeed, its a very difficult state to be in. The other types of bankruptcies are as hard-hitting as the cash. The other banks we have are: technical, moral, spiritual, etc.

The technical bank has more to do with the work we do, the day-to-day chores that keep our life going. Generally, a fresher at work starts with the best enthusiasm that gets her to do whatever it takes to make ends meet. She's very excited to go out of the way and trying out new things at job. Then the so-called professionalism hits her that expects her to do most things in only pre-defined ways at work. That pulls down the efficiency. Next, the intrusion at work, irresponsible management, workplace politics, etc turn the person into run-of-the-mill... and bingo, she's company!

In a moral bank, things vary from person-to-person. Whats proper for one need not be so for the other. (Its more like one man's food is another's poison). Factually, whats morally right for one at one point may be quite wrong on another occasion. Its a balance of ethics! But these days, there are more moral bankrupts than earlier generations saw.

There's another bank. Well, its one's faith in some thing... a blind faith, that is. Its that inherent thing that exists for you since time unknown. You feel those values at thanksgiving, when in dire straits, its the fear while you do something wrong, after you've done it... or at other times, but they've really been with you at all times. If you doubt that to be a spiritual bank, then perhaps, you're spiritually bankrupt!


Its a familiar word for software job seekers: consultants. They come in all varieties, from down to earth goodies to real jerks, who would have probably ended up nowhere without such jobs. I'm not going to mention the nice ones, but have some incidents to talk of about the wise guys.

My very first interaction was with one from the latter type. This guy sent me to an interview and asked me to carry a resume with his name superscribed. I wasn't too sure if the company was going to entertain me with my background and a mere six months of s/w experience for a job abroad. But there I went, on this consultant's assurance. It was held in some 5 star hotel and it so turned that they showed me the way out as soon as I stepped out of the lift! I was told that they were looking for candidates from only premier institutes: IITs/IISCs. Well, this earlier jerk who sent me should have known. That left a lasting impression on me about consultants.

There are a whole bunch of these who do various things, the most common being to search for the keyword in your resume and not knowing whether the keyword belongs to the project, or your skills, or for that matter, your geographical address! Expecting them to know what it *actually* means would be quite demanding then. Other things these gems do are to call on your office phone, email on your office id, ask you everything thats in the resume even if they have your resume, mailing the same things time and again, asking the same questions in loops, not knowing that they've called the same person a day or two back, send you a posting of something you don't have experience on, or try to send you some place that you don't want to go to. But the laziest I have known are the ones who forward the entire set of requirements and ask *you* where you fit in... of course, they expect to get paid for that!

Elementary, Watson!

We all remember this, don't we? I wasn't a voracious reader (I'm not now, either!) but as a child, I used to watch Sherlock Holmes' serials on the idiot box. In later years, we put the good dialogue to insulting use... er, ummm, I mean: to good use, for insults :)

There was a time when we used to troubleshoot problems with medical equipment (that was my job then, as a part of technical support work). Having noticed/solved the problem, my colleague and I were addicted to using the quote *against* each other to say: "Grow up... don't you still understand this?" or more soberly, "I got it... I got it first". It seems very childish, but it was fun.

We'd lost touch of each other since a few years now. Very recently, I used the trick on this friend's birthday by sending an SMS and not signing my name. Instead, I ended by saying "The kind self that I am, I'll leave you with a hint: Elementary, Watson!"

Heart versus mind: a perspective

More often than not, we are stuck with decisions between the heart and mind. My heart tells me a way that my mind is against. Why does it happen? Because the heart is selfless, whilst the mind's selfish! There are various ways to deal with such times; the best ones get you to thinking back in loops and leading you nowhere!

What could be done then? Here's what: Take a break and do what you like best, that is, focus elsewhere for a few days. Pray, read, go for a trek, watch M*A*S*H or a few movies, listen to music, whatever. By the time you've finished all this, the problem under consideration earlier would be:
(i) solved... great!
(ii) unsolved (as is)... it doesn't really matter then, since anyway you've continued living your life.

Both cases sound good enough. Ignorance *is* bliss.

If there's a case (ii) that matters, then you're back in *circles of thought* scenario, leaving one very good solution that always works: Toss a coin. You didn't have a choice anyway.

caveat: The title reads *a* perspective, not *the* perspective :)

Passion of life!

What do you think is the aim of life? We love, hate, eat, drink, sleep, etc and as we look back each day on our achievements, where do we stand?

To what extent will one go to live her own life? Or as the case may be, to live someone else's? What is fair, whats not? Whats good, how bad is one? Who is to decide that? We vote for a govt. We don't. Either case, we crib later! What do we want? What do we all want? What qualifies as a successfully lived life?

These are some of the questions that run around in circles for me as I look back. The moody self that I am, I turn momentarily happy at small things in life... like the fresh breeze of air while on a bike, a kid's smile, sunrise/sunset, birds chirping. Then there are times that make me upset. Be it a lonely afternoon or for that matter, no reason at all. These ups and downs take me through each moment of the day and will be so till I die. But all experiences teach me that no matter how happy or sad I am, I live on. This, I do blissfully.

So isn't life meant to brush the day to day things aside and look within for the eternal bliss? As I write this, I age and take one step closer to my death that awaits me to ask: what have you learnt this life?