Friday, February 29, 2008

I Don't Pod

I don't generally regret things. Even try not to be materialistic, that is I try not to be sad for things I would want and don't get.

Till date there were two things I felt sad for. Namely, I do not have a digital camera (not even a camera phone yet), and second, that I do not know how play an instrument, not any one of them.

But it seems the list is going to expand this time.

I was yesterday in a train. From Katpadi to Bangalore. Having nobody with me, I got a boring book called 'The world is flat'. Well, the book is not actualy boring, cause had it been boring, I would not be able to cross 500 pages of that. I know I am not that good at reading boring things. That much I know from 'The Hindu' and 'Frontline'.

Anyways, I managed to read the book for 2 hours. 45 pages, that is. 25 in the first hour, and being complacent, 20 in the second. (actually that tells me its a boring book)

Got to confess something too. There were two girls sitting on the seat behind mine, most probably from my own college. But even though I thought of talking to them (just generally, maybe for yet another so-how's-the-college talk), but part for their almost continuous sleep, and part for me being me, I did not.

Well, the essence is that I was in the train, getting bored alone. And then I could see some guys who came into the coach probably at Kuppam station. Most of them were having i pods in their hands and earphones in their ears. (of course!!!) I have always been content with me singing on my own and listening to myself. (I do not bother others in public places generally, though 2 days ago my neighbor Akshay asked me to sing as he was feeling I had reduced my singing time)

But this time I was feeling different. Seeing so many people with i pods, or their counterparts from other companies, like the one I saw with Saurabh 2 days earlier, one from 'i ball', I have started feeling that I also need an i pod.

Not that I have started feeling that my own voice is not that good as before or something, just that I have started feeling that I want to listen more than sing to myself. And since I am reading that boring book, i mean my flat-world, I'm feeling I am left behind people. People who know less than me. (nothing like I have done some research or something, its my self-decided notion that I'm more intelligent than most of the mortals on the earth, and in the opinion of this intelligent mortal, its very very wrong, making it a paradox)

Anyways, I think I'm gonna get an i pod as soon as I get my salary (thanks to Mr Chidambaram, my taxes are gonna get down by almost 25k this yr), even before my camera, that is in queue since 2000, or may be I get an N82. (I loved the phone, has a 5 mega pixel camera embedded and of course i can listen to what i like with that)

Well, for now, i can just keep my fingers crossed, until I get my first salary. Hope to get it soon (and my passport too, that is mandatory for joining)


Sunday, February 24, 2008

In a flat world 1.2 (or) I've gone mad

Believe it or not. It's hillarious!! (nothing to do with Hillary Clinton)

Google is tracking what we are all listening. In all the countries. Based on those who put current track in their Gtalk. Big deal. But not much.

The much big deal is the results I saw. For the first time I entered the Google music labs (as they call it) and checked the results under All countries and All genres. And Mohit Chauhan's 'Tum se hi' was the third topper on the list.

So, in the flat world, Indians are participating in everything. Congrats India! The world is listening.

By the way, if u want to know what India is listening, u can select India instead of All countries. And if u are still not surprised, select genre soundtrack and all countries.

In a flat world 1.1

Dudes, this is a running post. For those who are interested in Google. (or rather obsessed with it)

If u want to know more about more of Google things, and how Google things work, just type 'Google blogs' in your search box and start reading the results one by one. They may be all new to you, or some of them known. But I can assure you may not know all of these things so well. Actually much of this can be geek stuff and may be it's out of range/above head, I think its worth a watch, especially if you think you know a lot about Google.

So, Happy Reading!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

In a flat world - I

I do not know how many parts I will be writing in this post. But since I have been reading the book 'The World is Flat' by Thomas L Friedman for a long time now, that is almost since the first week of January, completed more than half of the book, and liking it continuously, I think I can write a lot on this Flat world.

The author has given a list of things, ten in number, that are making the world flat today. But there is, to be very specific, one, that I have been using for a long time now. And that flattener is Google.

Friends, maybe I am obsessed with Google. But I think if it is so, it's worth it.

Well, I do not know how many of you use Google how efficiently but I would like to tell you here how much and in what manners I use Google. As long as I am online.

Google starts with web search. Web search for general knowledge, studies, projects, movies' details, songs, or simply time pass. May be I have left a number of categories I search for. Then, the very next, image search (going by the order on the Google home page). Image search of Google is used for various reasons, to find various things. From pictures required in assignments to movie posters. From beautiful girls (under censored language) to my changing profile pics on Orkut. Google image search only gives meaning to all JPEG, PNG, BMP and other such words. The next one, news, is though a thing I do not search through 'Google News'. But still, almost all the news are found through the standard Google homepage.

Then comes my dear old Orkut. Whatever I say about Orkut is less. I have used Orkut for a lot, lot many things. I have found lost friends on Orkut, have talked to them sending 200 scraps in a day (to one person only) when the reply option didn't exist, have talked to anonymous people on scraps, spent whole nights visiting profiles of girls with different algorithms, collected people of my own town from around the world under the community called Najibabad, gathered information regarding admissions, colleges etc, even provided information to many, shown my power (when there was a race among us friends to have the maximum number of friends, though trying to lessen the number now), and what not.

Then comes the Gmail. A forever favorite. Currently I have at least 5 Gmail accounts running out of which i use 3 regularly. Also, my college has assigned a new mail account in the name of college provided actually by Gmail, making my new Gmail id. Basically after using Gmail I do not want to use any other mail. Recently I tried AOL mail after using which I could say it was 'Not Made for India'. I was really pissed off as I could not send even one mail properly from the American giant's mail.

Then come the two things, Google Books and Google Scholar, which I rarely use. Actually I have hardly ever used Scholar except for the main Google search engine but after seeing the papers available there, I must say it is going to help people, including myself, in their assignments and projects.

Google blog search is another interesting thing. It has found me things I could never reach through the normal web search. One day I simply searched the name of a friend and I came to know he's running a blog about which hardly anyone knows. I also search blogs when I simply want to know people's view about something, be it Raj Thackeray or my college VIT Vellore.

Photos is one thing I could not use yet as I do not have proper internet connection to upload my pics. Still, I find Picasa really useful and better my photos using Picasa as Adobe Photoshop is too heavy a tool for me.

Then there is 'Blogger' through which I broadcast all the crap that comes to my mind. And those Google alerts in which I used to write any person's name I wanted to know about and get all the info on my mail (I had hundreds of mail alerts in the name of Sania Mirza once, to keep me updated) And the desktop search that searches every item on my hard disks with the speed of Google. Wow!

And even though I don't use Google's docs and spreadsheets as I have Microsoft office on my computer, I cannot afford to forget Gtalk that I use to talk to a number of people simultaneously. In fact I have talked to 4 people at a time in the Gtalk embedded in Gmail too.

Well, being a computer engineer, I do not want to tell you how much I search on google code. It'll tel you too much then. :)

Well, that is how Google makes my world flat. that is how I access information from all the corners of the world today. And that is how my life goes on Google.

Frustration gets a name

1. I think this blog is primarily for those who are ignorant of the world's happenings.
2. In this fast moving world, it seems everybody is ignorant. Of something or the other.

Well, don't ask me what it was. Just a bit of my mind. Nothing to mind. Let me start on what I have to.

Today, there is no doubt that Orkut has become the 'janta ki networking site' in India. If you want to know about the youth of the country, it's a simpler option to scrap a few and check their communities' forums rather than wasting time in meeting them. You can get information about almost anything on Orkut today. Be it a question from History or a song from the latest movie. Whether it's about the last Cricket World Cup finals or your admission to a college. Every information can be accessed on Orkut.

But today I tried something different. In a guy's profile, who had sent me a friends' request, I saw a community on FOSLA. I was interested and the very next thing I did was typing FOSLA in the search column on the top of the Orkut window.

And here it was. Almost 500 communities on FOSLA!

Don't tell me you do not know what is FOSLA now. Well, still if u think u don't know, I feel its my duty to tell u. FOSLA stands for Frustrated One Sided Lovers Association. The name provided by the movie 'Dil Dosti Etc', especially featured in the song 'Dum Laga'. Well, the song had to be a hit among students (don't tell me again u didn't listen to the song) and the result... 500 communities on FOSLA, ranging from 630 members to 0 members (now its possible to start communities with zero members too, do not know how).

The interesting thing here is that though there have always been a number of frustrated people on the net here and there, there has never been a single name under which so many people have put themselves. There has never been such a brand for frustrated people. It is interesting. In fact there are hardly 200 plus communities when u search for the word 'Frustrated' and 30 something for 'Frustration'. And brand FOSLA has got more results than any of these standard English language words. Phew!

Finally, frustration gets a name. It's branded now.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thanks Shashi...

This morning I was reading The Sunday Times of India (our library gets the ToI one day late, else this sentence 'd not be a news) as I had to pass time before marking my attendance in the department office (Alas! have to do that daily) when I came through the column of Shashi Tharoor called 'Shashi on Sunday' in which he had given example of schools where students were taken from the families that were too abd in condition and earned extremely low wages. He tells in the article about Parikrma, a school in Bangalore where eligibility criteria for admission is 'family income less than Rs 750/month' and the students after receiving education get as good as those from general convent schools.

The essence here is that there are organisations out there which do a great deal for our country but are unkown to the most of us. If these organisations get some recognition, many people would like to help them as it is clear every such institution needs a lot of funds. And Shashi Tharoor here has done a good job by informing a lot of people about two such institutions.

I would like you to go through his article, which is in The Times of India, 17th Feb, 2008, Sunday.

The link is:

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Ticketless Valentine's Day!

My Valentine's day had to be good. It was displayed on my department notice board a week back. I had to give my project review on 14th Feb evening.

I don't remember myself doing many humanly activities in the past one week. I have been out of the hostel since last Friday, today being Friday again. And I don't remember which day before today I had taken a sleep of even 6 hrs. That was my condition in my project work. Nothing abnormal, just to tell those who don't have projects.

On the V-day (or D-day), I woke up at almost 10. Pretty early, considering I had slept after 5 in the night (Homo Sapiens call that time morning). I had to be ready for the review presentation which was supposed to be at 2.30 pm, so considering the time, I decided to study a little. My studies got over by 2.10 and I ran to the college with my teammates. We reached the college almost in time and met our examiner who told we had to present after 2 teams that were in queue.

We finally gave our review to our examiner who seemed not so interested in listening due to a lab session going simultaneously and the twenty minute review was soon over, the dial ready to strike 4.

Free from the review I had an ice cream and Daal-roti with my teammates and went to the hostel for a change. Around 5, I messaged my friend who had to leave for Chennai and told her that my review was after 5.30 and so I couldn't go with her to station (don't get confused, my review was over). She, somehow, said it was okay and I need not worry about her as she could go alone. But she wanted to meet me once before going if I had time.

I told I was busy setting laptop for the review and hardly had any time but still could find some (Wow! that's me). After a lot of yes-no-why-how-okays she came to meet me and was puzzled to see me coming from the wrong side (I had to come from college campus, not hostel) but still didn't get my lie. Later when she asked how was my prep I told my review was over and I was free to go with her. And she tried hard not to look angry.

Anyways, I love people getting angry with me, except a few I'm afraid of. I went to the station with her and kept saying sorry for telling lies (of course, to irritate more). Finally, when it was the time for the train to come I asked her to move in first as there was too much rush and it was tough for her to get in with the luggage. When she got in, I gave her the luggage but while trying to make way to go back I couldn't find a way in the crowd and was almost forced in. And thus I was in the train. So I kept on moving with the crowd thinking I could get down at the next door. And while I was still moving with the crowd in the train, it suddenly started moving. And within a few seconds I realized there was a difference between the electric trains and the diesel trains. Though i didn't know whether the train was electric or not, yet I could guess it was.

And after a few more seconds, I decided to leave myself to the fate. And i found there were hardly any problems, until i felt i didn't have the ticket. I was standing with my friend (who had a seat reserved) until i saw the ticket examiner (TTE as I've been listening since my childhood) and searched for a place to hide and found some place. (And I should tell u I have never in my life seen such good toilets in Indian Railways. NO drop of water on the floor, NO scribbling on walls.) Anyways, I somehow reached safe from the TTE to Arakonam, the next big station I knew, and jumped down from the train as soon as I got a chance.

Now I was safe from the TTE and completely innocent (if u r not caught, u r innocent) roaming on the roads of Arakonam. Then I cam back into the station from the way I could find and went to the ticket counter (and not inquiry) to ask for the next train for Katpadi. The guy there asked me for the money and gave me the ticket before those in line, along with the info that the train was almost there.

I got the ticket and reached the platform to know that the train had gone and the next train was after an hour and a half. I came outside the station and found an elderly person to whom I asked for how much I could get an auto for the bus stand. He told if I could speak Hindi and told me I could get one for almost rupees ten and the way to the bus stand. Within ten minutes, I was talking to second such local person who talked to me in Hindi at his own will, in Tamilnadu, a state where politicians claim Hindi to be 'hurting' people, telling me once again it was all about politics, be it Madras or Mumbai.

Anyways, I reached the bus stand and found a bus just ready to leave for Vellore. Fortunately the bus had enough space. Although after an hour and a half I was wondering how much more you can travel here for any amount of money compared to that in the Northern states of India. When I got down at the Vellore bus stand, I took a 5 rupee auto to Lalit Vihar and had a refreshing 32 rupees Daal-roti there.

Finally, I was back to my Project partner Anish's room at 12. My Valentine's day was over.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I had seen Aarti on flash, on my computer. But I had not seen a whole multimedia presentation on Maa Saraswati ever before. It thrilled me, really.

Udayan, Utkarsh and a few more had told me they'd be arranging a Saraswati Pooja on the Basant Panchami, today, 12th Feb, at 5:30 pm in Channa Reddy Auditorium. Yesterday again I got a message from my friend Ankit that he'd be in arrangement of Pooja and I was invited. I told them both I'd try my best to come. I wasn't sure cause of my review scheduled for Thursday, 14th Feb.

At 5 when I was in campus it struck my mind that I could go to the Pooja, and sometime before 6, I was in front of the Auditorium where I saw a notice saying that the venue was changed to Gallery One in the Technology Tower. I reached there and saw that the Auditorium, rather lecture theatre was almost 80% filled. Interesting.

I sat down on a chair (mentioning as some people later didn't get even chairs) near my friend Amit (basketball champ) and waited for the program to start. And when it did, it was a thrilling experience. I was watching a multimedia presentation which told about the Goddess of knowledge, art and wisdom, Maa Saraswati and asked for her blessings.

After that, there were a few Mantras being chanted on the VLC player and the lamps were lit. The entire theater, which was overcrowded by now, stood up. Something I could never think of. I mean the overall experience was something different. It was telling me what the future of our mythology was. It told me that with the change in generation, current technology was merging with everything and our culture and rituals couldn't be kept away from them.

Later students offered flowers to Maa Saraswati's photo (not online this time!! actually i hope this will be online by the next year) and finally, there was a QUIZ!!!

A mythological quiz. Where the questions ranged from the Avatars of God Vishnu to the names of Hindi months.


Is there something that the Hindi Literary Association people have not done? Actually it wasn't officially an event from them but then we all knew who had arranged it all.

Last but not the least there was my junior Suby Anthony who was, for the first time in this college (as far as I can remember, and I think I'm not wrong), was seen in a salwar-kurta. A yellow-white one.

I didn't tell the notice had urged people to come in yellow, the day being Basant Panchmi when people wear yellow, as I was not in yellow (Sorry, I had not read the notice). But at least half of the people were in yellow.

So finally it was a "RANG DE BASANTI".

Any doubts?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

My fortune

And here is something from Orkut.

My fortune yesterday said:

A friend asks only for your time, not your money.

Today's fortune:

Time is money.

Let's see what my friends ask for. :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Talk Addiction

Well, you must have heard of the cellphone addiction. Cellphone addiction was something that kept people sticked to their cellphones. Be it games, SMS, or calls. But have you heard of people losing some sense because of cellphones, the way people get high on alcohol and drugs. In case you have not, just observe a bit more.

Yes, there is something in talks. When talking on phone, people do things which they generally don't. Some 4-5 days ago, when I was walking with a friend, I saw a girl with a long leaf of the tree she stood under, breaking the leaf into small pieces, in front of the whole lot of people standing there. I asked my friend what that girl was trying to do. And she told me the girl was talking on phone. That was when I noticed the cellphone sticked pressed between her neck and shoulder. 5 minutes later, the girl had two leaves in her hand, and I could hear a friend of hers shouting in front, "Hey X, I'm gonna tell people you're doing deforestation here!"

Today, when I was coming back from food court after having some plain dosas (3 to be precise) and a coffee, sort of a bit high as I could feel I was sleepy and had taken a coffee and had started feeling lonely (a normal effect of having a strong coffee on me), I saw a girl who looked a bit different, to be true, a bit like the crazy girl from the SASTRA's play in Riviera (maybe because I couldn't see the face of either due to their hair falling on face, the striking similarity). I was myself feeling a bit high but the girl was visibly high as I could see her walking on the fine line made near the footpath. The road was of course empty but the way she was walking made me feel something was wrong with her. And once again I noticed a cellphone in her hand she was talking on, walking unconscious of people watching her, at least me, if nobody else.

In fact, I have found even myself doing things which I would not do otherwise, while on phone. I remember walking on a pipe once (one pretty big in size, horizontal, over a big, clean drain inside my hostel area, and of course, not tough or risky to walk on) which I still look upon and think how I did that.

Actually this is pretty interesting. Although it may not be considered good by many people, in the world today where people do not do things they want to do and where everyone is afraid of bringing outside the child sitting inside themselves, this is something that makes people do they really want to do, things they do not even realize they want to do. And the world outside too watches. Amazed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Jaago India

India has over 180 million cellphone users and 200 million people without drinking water. We are a young nation with over 55% of the population under the age of 30, yet 49% of our children under the age of 5 are underweight. We produce the largest number of engineering graduates every year through over 2500 colleges; but over 3000 schools do not have teachers. And the list goes on...

These are the starting lines of the official website of 'Jaago India' that is a trust promoted by the tata tea. 'Jaago India' "intends to create an an online community for the awakening and empowerment of the youth." The site has its discussion board of a different type in which topics are already present there and anyone can go and post one's own views there. Of course there is a column where we can add new topics.

The site bosts of big names in its advisory panel and is probably a brainchild of Sheetal talwar and Bhavna Talwar, the producer-director duo who made the much acclaimed, thought provoking movie Dharm that reached even Cannes.

The site talks on topics like corruption, illiteracy, poverty, child labour and female infanticide and has a collection of figures that can force you to think about these problems but still finds itself unable to find solutions to many of these problems.

Basically the site seems to be having a small number of members yet and there are many things that need to be put into order to make the effort a success.

For now, all I can say is that the step of starting JaagoIndia has been taken with a good intention and it would be good if you look at the site once, and also do something positive if possible.

The link is: