Friday, December 21, 2007


Being from the field of computing and computers, we inadvertently use a lot of "slashes" everyday. Thought I make a stupid tutorial for all those of us who are confused between the terms "back slash" and "forward slash" :) !!

Imagine a slash to be a guy ---> |- with a head and a toe.

If he leans on his back he becomes a back slash like this --> \
If he leans on his front he becomes a forward slash like this --> /

If he can hold a guitar in his hand and wear a hat and play with his hair on his face, while smoking a cigarette, he becomes Slash and is a part of the Guns N' Roses :P

And if you didn't find this post funny, its absolutely okay, neither did I :) !!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Food for thought

Going by the title, I bet most of my regular readers are anticipating another blog where I talk about food, fat and other pleasantries :) !! Naah, don't you worry, this time, I am actually thinking, so this ain't a stupid blog on food.

I read this particular comment on Slashdot by a user "Opportunist" and it got me all thinking about our responsibilities as netizens sharing a common information highway. Have you ever wondered that to do anything in this society you need a license, a permission? To drive, you need a driving license, to possess a weapon you need license etc. etc. This licensing scheme though has many pitfalls, actually makes you liable for your actions, and brings order in the otherwise chaotic society. I remember my Indian license has these words on its last page "Driving is a privilege, not a right".

However, when it comes to sharing the Internet (hey you can't deny, the entire Internet is a giant interconnected web) we somehow don't seem to have any responsibilities. In this world of always-on Internet if your computer gets compromised, you are not only hurting your own self, but also hurting others on the Internet (which means, technically you are a threat to everybody!). If a user doesn't know how to protect his/her computer on the net, then he/she shouldn't be allowed to use the Internet. Cause every compromised computer is a time bomb waiting to wreak havoc ....

Well, on a lighter note I remember two years back there was this particular virus that infected my client organization's computer network. Around 10:00 AM in the morning I got a instant message from my boss which said "Hey Girish! Check this out, photo of you and me from last night ". Luckily for me, I didn't click on the link, cause well I didn't expect my straight faced boss sending me such messages outta context and secondly I wasn't with him the earlier night :P !! But all said and done, there were at least 100 other users in the network that clicked on similar messages that they received, and in no time the entire network was infected by the virus. We lost most of our network functions for more than 2 hours after that. Imagine 40000+ users not working for 2 hours because some people were fullish enough to click on links that weren't relevant.

Hmm, so what am I trying to say from all this? Well, since we are not as computer savvy as the brains behind these attacks are, our only defense is to be street smart while on the Internet, and behave like responsible citizens, who are sharing a road!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Diet Control

Though I regularly cook lunch or at least have one in the cafeteria everyday, the friendly vending machine still happens to be my chief source of nutrition (the bad kind!). So everyday around 4:00 PM, my stomach growls and then I go and spoil myself crazy with a high calorie snack or two.

Every time that the vending machine dispenses the oh-so-tempting forbidden fruit, I promise to myself that this will be the last time that I will ever eat outta the evil machine, but come tomorrow ... and the cycle continues... so much for self-control :) !!

But the last week has been funny! I have been outta dollar bills. The vending machine just accepts 1$ bills and loose change. So, though my stomach growls, the poor me can't feed the vending machine a credit card and make it spit out poison! And everyday in the evening I promise myself that I will get change tomorrow.

Today happens to be just one more time that I did that, and I suddenly realized that procrastination is not all bad. Sometimes it does good to your health :) !!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mona had eyebrows

I am not an art aficionado nor am I remotely interested in history, but yesterday I paid a visit to "Da Vinci - An Exhibition of Genius" in San Francisco, and the 4 odd hours that I spent there were truly unforgettable. My knowledge of Leonardo Da Vinci was limited to his role in my history textbooks in school and thereafter his passing references in "The Da Vinci code", but yesterday I got a glimpse into the life of a genius. The breadth of his knowledge and the contributions that he has done to a vast spectrum of fields is amazing.

Also, yesterday was the first time that I studied Mona Lisa so much. I mean, I had heard about the painting and that it existed in the Louvre in Paris. But I almost attended an art appreciation class yesterday :) !! From figuring out that there is a bridge behind the left shoulder of Mona and a road on the right, to the presence of an "H" written behind the painting for no particular purpose, I did learn a lot about her :) Other than helping rookies like me to understand how to look at a painting and genuinely admire it, the exhibition also lists the in depth analysis that was done by Pascal Cotte (I can't believe there is no Wikipedia entry on him :( !!) on Mona Lisa using his multi-spectrum 240 megapixel camera.

Coming back to my subject line, well, the research done by Pascal Cotte indicates that Mona indeed had eyebrows, laying to rest some of the most profound questions of history :) !!

If you live in San Francisco bay area, and are remotely interested in art, technology, war or history, this exhibition is a "must attend".

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Blogging in plain English

Found this funny video by common craft about blogging and thought I share it with you guys...

That reminds me, I have been using for more than 2 years now. Everytime some one asks me what it is, I have to sit and explain a million advantages. Some helpful soul from (Common Craft again) has made a video explaining too :) ... check it out:
The video is titled "How to explain to your parents :) !!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Grow with time

I have been cursed to be clumsy since July this year. I have dropped everything and anything that I lay my hands on. So, I have been consciously trying to avoid holding anything nowadays, lest I drop it and cause a mess :) !!

All said and done, I dropped my dear watch a Casio G-shock in the shower today and for a moment missed my heart beat. She (I have decided that all things that I own are going to be of feminine gender from now on :P ... my car, my computer and yes my watch!) has been my faithful companion for approximately 3.5 years now. I know you must be wondering what I was doing with my watch in the shower. Which reminds me, practically the watch has not been off my hand ever since the time that I bought it. May it be while I am swimming, bathing, cleaning, working out or just generally being clumsy, the watch stays on.

It stays upto its reputation of the toughest watch in the world, and with a solar panel, it never even would need a battery replacement. This has got me thinking on a new business idea ;) !! Let me explain....

Casio should tie up with all the hospitals that deliver babies all around the world. Immediately after the baby is delivered depending on whether its a boy or a girl, a watch should be put around its wrist. The parents can ofcourse choose the kind of watch that they want to put on their baby's hand. So along with the name, the genes and the fat cells, parents also get to choose their baby's watch. Now to make it more useful, we could have some other defaults embedded into it like the kid's SSN, its Passport no., blood group etc etc. Also a built in RFID tag would make it more geeky and we could program more things into it as and when required. It should also be designed to grow along with the kid. With interchangeable face plates and other whiz-bang, it will be a product of the future! Haah, I can only pat myself for the amazing ideas that I come up with :) !!

And here is a thought for the day --- do not write a blog when you are dripping wet right out of the shower, cause your chair will get soggy .... God should have given us the amazing shaking power of a dog. So right after my shower I shake myself crazy and there I am dry and ready to rock :) !!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Happy Diwali

A very happy Diwali to all of you and I wish you have a healthy and prosperous year ahead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Support Wikipedia

Since I rely so much on Wikipedia for all the information I need or I provide, I guess it is my duty to contribute towards Wikimedia Foundation's Fundraising drive. If any one of you would like to donate, here is the link. Also watch the video, it is inspiring....

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I know I lost some of my very loyal readers thanks to my being lazy and not writing a blog for one whole month. So I thought I give the rest of you some genuine excuses for my delay in writing ;). Please understand! There are 6 reasons I can think of as to why I didn't write a blog:

  1. My dog ate my blog (yikes, it rhymes!)
  2. My car felt that I was neglecting her because I spent too much time with the computer. So we spent some "quality" time together.
  3. My keyboard randomly put "l" while I was typing. "Slo thle blog thlat lI wlote clame lout llike thlis. lI knlow thlis slounds slupid blut thlats whlat hlappened. "
  4. My horoscope said that I should not write more than 2 blogs in the month of September.
  5. I was researching on the global warming problem and searching for alternate sources of energy.
  6. And the ultimate ... I was helping Steorn to violate the law of conservation of energy :) !!

The 6th point needs more elaboration. There is actually a small company in Ireland named Steorn, which claims to have found a novel way of producing energy without consuming any. If proven true it will violate our fundamental foundations of thermodynamics :) !!! Yippee, time to go back to college again.

I hope this is not a hoax, but somehow it reminds me of one Mr. Ramar Pillai (sorry no Wiki entry for him :( !!) who claimed that he could produce gasoline from a "magic" herb that he found in some village in rural India. He actually took the country for a ride for a couple of months (including a few IIT professors) only to be later proven to be a hoax.

And I hope at least one of you believed the 6 reasons I gave above were responsible for me not writing a blog :) !!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Before I know it, its been one month since I last blabbered out here. The cereals put me into deep slumber and I only got up after I realized that I am three days away from the go-live of the biggest and longest Project of my life! Can't believe that I have spent 30 days doing nothing. Hmm, actually this time I managed to squeeze in a lot of things in these 30 odd days. So if you have insomnia and that sleeping pill isn't really taking you to your "happy place" ... read on...

3 things that I did in the last month


I still can't believe that I tried my hand (and leg?) at kick-boxing. Well, the gym that I go to has got these classes for lazy bums like me to be motivated. So there used to be this amazing workout routine for 1 hour once a week in which the instructor would teach us to kick box and in doing so help us burn some calories. I attended quite a few of those sessions. It kinda helped me figure that there are many muscles in my body that I haven't used since the day that I was born. Also the jab, cross, hook, up routine kinda helped me hit the hell out of that imaginary pillow and release my pent up anger :) !! However the sad part of the class was that right since I started attending it, the room in which it was being conducted received irreparable structural damage (That reminds me, some one has asked me to no longer crack any "fat" jokes :) !!) because of heavy pounding and it has been stopped for ever :( !! So much for enthusiasm.

Bryan Adams:

I had the time of my life last Saturday. Bryan Adams had come down to the Greek Theater in Berkeley. Not only did I get to visit UC Berkeley (the University that I adore soo much!) but also I got to see Bryan Adams :) !!! Well its been quite a while since I have heard his songs. I was a big fan of his in my junior college days , but this time his show got me all nostalgic (signs of old age?) ... For a change I also figured that I remembered the lyrics of most of his songs :) !!

Astonishing as it might seem most of the crowd seemed to be 40+. All the young people were mostly Indians. Kinda shows that as far as music is concerned we are at least a decade behind the Americans in our choice of songs :) !! Anyways, I got to work out a lot (thats a good way of putting down the fact that I shouted at the top of my voice for 2 hours and jumped like crazy. That also reminds me, my doctor has asked me to be good to my knees, so I consciously jumped on my toes and not on my heels :) !!)


I ain't gonna explain what geocaching is out here on my blog. So go read the wiki link that I have provided. But I sure would like to say that this sport has got me hooked. An aimless treasure hunt combined with a GPS can very well be interesting :) !! You will also find a photo of a "happy me" at the end of this blog; with a cache that I found!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Here is a question..

What do you do when you come home from work at 2:00 in the afternoon after having worked for more than 12 hours? If you are a sane person you sleep for 2 hours and get up refreshed and ready to rock. But if you are me, you eat a lot of cornflakes.

I am not kidding. Its 4:00 PM now and for the last two hours I have been eating cornflakes. This is the third bowl of cereals that I am munching on, as I write this blog (hear the crunch, munch, crunch?). I have this stupid thing called bio-clock of my stomach, and it always yearns to eat the same kinda food at a particular time of the day. I somehow missed my regular dose of cereals in the morning today, and the only thing I can think of is cornflakes. I tried to get some sleep now, but I had a bad dream in which a giant Steve Jobs, in his trademark black turtle neck t-shirt was pouring huge flakes on me from a big box. And he was laughing aloud like a typical Hindi movie bad-guy (muha-ha-ha-ha-ha!). I was trying hard to survive ( watching a lot of Hollywood movies has told me that when anything falls on you, if you can't dodge it like Neo, then duck and cover thyself). I guess he too figured out what I was doing and then poured a lot of milk on me. Finally I startled and got over that dream. I do not know the significance of Steve Jobs in that dream, but I bet if you read Sigmund Freud he will have a rather esoteric explanation.

Anyways, now I am trying to save myself , by finishing off all the cereals that I have at home. Sorry for the worthless blabbering, but some how I guess cornflakes make me high :) !!

Goodnight. Sweet Dreams. Burp ...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Random rambling

I start my blog with nothing in mind, no topic to write about. Lets see how long I can stretch this one before I sign off :) !!

Its a boring Saturday evening, saw a couple of movies since morning, made lunch and have been lazying around in the house. Have been listening to Yanni now and like always feeling very very nostalgic. Yanni first happened to me at a very good point of time in my life. I distinctly remember listening to Yanni for the first time way back in 1993. Those were the days, in my tweens :) !!! School was fun, homework wasn't hard, life was all about listening to what your parents say to you, listening to your teachers, playing in the evenings and generally being merry. No responsibilities, no thoughts of future to nag you. No jobs, no salaries, no taxes, no bills. Satellite television was just introduced in India, and movies were still a novelty.

Eating out was actually something that I looked forward to :) !! Not that my mom did not make amazing food, but it was always that my parents would take me out for dinner on the evening of my last exam. It became a conditioned reflex. Eating out was equal to being happy, kinda like Pavlov's dog :) !! (I desist eating out now, but somehow now I can't avoid it either!).

There was no Wikipedia then. Any technical question I had, it always had to be my dad who answered. So from how car engines work, to Newton's laws of motions, it was dad who answered. My mom was everything else for me, from Maths to History to Geography to languages and ofcourse grammar. I still fondly remember the English grammar exercises that she took :) !! When my stupid questions got progressively difficult to answer, my parents took the wise decision to get me an Encyclopedia (The Dorling Kindersley Science Encylopedia). It was amongst my most prized possessions then!! I devoured the book. Sunday afternoons were no longer boring. The book laid the foundations for making me a wanna be geek :) !!

Badminton and table tennis were my favorite games then. Evening time was all about playing. Rain or shine, I had to go out to play. I remember distinctly, the last lectures in school were always spent waiting for the school bell to ring. No students wore watches, so we would have no clue when the lecture would end. Yet all we were really bothered about was the sound of the bell ringing.

Summer vacations were all play and no work. Never worried about getting tanned, no sunscreen lotion :P !! Get up in the morning eat breakfast, disappear, reappear at lunch disappear again, come again in the evening to show your mom that you still exist :) !! When TV happened later in life, a part of time was spent watching cartoons, and a funny serial called Giant Robo. I can't imagine I actually enjoyed such a show considering that the special effects are well, ahem .. not so special :) !! I happened to fish out the intro video on youtube, and here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Nostalgia always gets me writing. When I get low, I can write pages together, which apparently make no sense to the reader. On second thoughts, my engineering papers were also pages making no sense. I guess thats a personality trait then, and not a mood thing :) !!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Have been listening to Dido since morning. Off late she has become one of my most favorite artists of all time. I simply love her melancholic song "White Flag". Now that none of my posts have ever spoken remotely about love (except my undying affection for my car of course ;) !!), I thought I get all sentimental and pour my heart out on this one. So without further ado (I bet this is the most overused cliché of all times!), let me present you five of my favorite (read "depressing" .. heart break songs!)

  • 1 - Solitude - Black Sabbath
No song I have ever heard can ever depress me to the core like this one! Considering that it comes from a rock band like "Black Sabbath" really shows that everyone cries in a heart break :) !! You can read the lyrics here (sorry no Wikipedia links for lyrics :) !!)

  • 2 - That's why (you go away) - Michael Learns to Rock
This song made me buy the entire CD (not that I repent), but it sure is all sentimental. Sure to cause a involuntary tear out of your eye if you pay attention to the lyrics.

  • 3 - White Flag - Dido
The most sarcastic heart break song I have ever heard. I like it very much, and you have to see the video to see Dido's expressions on this one. Lyrics here

  • 4 - All out of Love - Air Supply
I have a history associated with Air Supply. Its a funny anecdote that I have to share. Around my 15th b'day Air Supply had toured India. Since, I was a kid there was no chance that my parents would allow me to go for a concert. So there I was ranting how much I wished to see them. Finally, my sister decided that she would surprise me with a Air Supply audio cassette (yes, there were no CDs then .. I hadn't seen Windows too, so forget the Internet ...) for my birthday. The sweet sister that she is, she went to the only English music shop that we had in our vicinity, and lo behold, she forgot the name of the artist. She just remembered that they "supplied" something. So there she was in a shop looking for all kinds of supplies. I remember she telling me that she searched for "Oxygen Supply" and "Water Supply" in vain :) . All said and done, I did get the cassette in the end and it is still amongst my most prized possessions !!!
Lyrics here

  • 5 - Smile - Michael Jackson
This is a relatively unknown song by Michael Jackson. I found it in his "History" album. I think this is a cover that he did for a original by some one else. I have always liked him for the complete entertainer that he was. I feel bad for what has happened to him now. Lyrics

So that was my take at the songs that can put me completely down in the dumps for no reason at all. I know I didn't mention many famous senti-songs by Bryan Adams, Lionel Ritchie, Steve Wonder etc. Well, they are so common place now that I don't feel low any longer listening to them.

If you guys have actually gone through all the songs, cheer up ... this is just a blog :) !! Until we meet again...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Holy Cow!

Sorry folks! This blog has been in draft state for more than 2 weeks. I keep it any longer and I bet I will forget I ever did that! So here it comes (as it existed in my draft)...

This weekend I finally did something fun. A few of us drove up North along the Pacific and visited a couple of State Parks and beaches. Thought I write it down so that all you guys get jealous of what I did :) !!

Like all excursions that I plan, I usually visit the place before hand on Google Earth. This helps me to know what to look for when I finally reach my destination. Also if you use the community tagging layer in Google earth, you actually discover a lot of interesting information about that place, stuff that you wont find in travel books..

Anyways, we *planned* to start at 7:30 AM in the morning and like all other plans of ours, were still @ home 8:15 AM. However, a 45 minute delay is good by all standards and we hit the road immediately after that. The drive up north is pretty treacherous and I gave my roomie the pleasure of driving on Highway 1. So he happily drove the car while I generally did the task of being a good co-passenger: skip songs which he likes but I don't, karaoke with the rest of the songs, fiddle around with all the controls that I can find in the car and generally annoy him to the core. Yupp, I also like to open up the map and trace the road on which we are driving. This act of mine also drives my roomie nuts, cause I keep on telling which road is going to intersect us next :) !! All this helps him not to fall asleep (not that he does!) and generally raises his temperature. Once he is red hot, I break an egg on his head and have scrambled eggs for breakfast!! I know, I know, enough of my foolish jokes!

So the first stop was a beach (Dillon Beach). The problem with the beaches that I have visited along the coast of California is that the water is pretty cold, and if that was not enough, there is always a chilly wind blowing. So even if you have the urge to jump into the water, the moment you do you are frozen like a ice cube. Then you need to sit in your car and thaw yourself for a while before you can start doing anything again. We did hang around there for a while, with several unsuccessful attempts of getting "used" to the water in vain. Finally, we did what we can do best. Fool around in front of the camera, take photos with the beach in the background (been there done that!). Life is all about orkut now. Every photo taken is critically examined to study its feasibility as a profile photo on orkut!

Anyways, from Dillon beach we headed north to Bodega Bay. Nothing I can write about what we did there. To describe 2 hours in one sentence, we further froze to death. We further got tanned. Yupp, forgot to mention, even though it is cold everywhere, the sun tans you all the while. Hehe, a million years from now when a very fat fossil of mine will be found somewhere, all the scientists will be discussing.. "People in Northern California were fat, they toiled in the sun to make their living, and always wore warm clothes." They will put me in a class of idiots who wore warm clothes when the sun was shining bright and would call us "fatowarmoclothwearus" (or something ending in a "us" .. I hope you got my point).

My geography teacher had told me that the norther I go from the equator, the colder it be comes. So we decided to go further North. (Ok, well that was a joke .. we decided to go further north from Bodega bay to see Fort Ross (a former Russian settlement from the 19th Century)).

Some of my friends had come with the hopes that it would be a palace like Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, India. Well, it wasn't anywhere close to that, but I liked it anyways. It looked cute small and well managed. And if luck would have it, a "Cultural Heritage Day" was being celebrated on the same day that we visited the park! Lo behold, I had never seen soo many Russians in my life. My knowledge of Russian girls was limited to Anna Kurnikova and Maria Sharapova and I must confess, they do are perfect representatives of a majority of their population :) !! Finally, after a long and tiring day, I saw my roomie smile and his eyes glitter with inner happiness. We did spend a long time in the fort staring at the architectural wonder that it was (mind you!). But then we couldn't stay long because the park was to close within an hour of our arrival.

Our drive back home was sad and the setting sun on the right accentuated our mood. However, I finally managed to come across cows on the road!! Imagine, Highway 1, had actually cows sitting on and around the highway!! Haha, finally I can prove to everyone, that India is not the only country that is soo complacent about animals on road. The cow was soo nice, she turned around for me to take a perfect picture of her, even though our car had already crossed her. She also asked me to post her snap on the internet. She also wanted me to register her for a social networking website, but I think that would be too inhuman to do (pun intended). So that's the subject of my title. And this post is dedicated to her... If you have reached till here, thanks for reading my post :) !! I bet this is one of my longest posts ever.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Night in the city

Gotta confess, I love the look of San Francisco at night. However tired or sleepy I may be, driving down to San Francisco, is always a different experience for me.

I always have the same set routine. Drive down to Pier 39, walk to the breezy wharf. Then drive up north over the Golden Gate bridge to the Lonely Sailor Vista Point and view the city in all its glory. From here, you can see the Alcatraz, Angel Islands, Bay Bridge, Golden Gate bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts, Coit Tower and of course the breath taking San Francisco skyline at night. The cold breeze blowing over the bay adds to the chill and the enigma of the entire moment. Since I always go late at night, there are very few people (read tourists) to spoil the mood. The Golden Gate looks magnificent like always. There is something about the bridge that attracts me, no matter how many times I see or drive over it. May be because its the most known landmark of the United States after the Statue of Liberty or may be just because I always feel how the prisoners must have felt when they got a glimpse of the Golden Gate from Alcatraz every night. Imagine how the guys in there must be feeling. Less than a geographical mile to freedom, yet soo impossible to achieve!

After that stop I drive down south and always go over the Crooked street. Not only the street, but the portions of Lombard St approaching it are amongst the most adrenaline pumping drives I have ever had :) !! Its enough to get you back to your senses even if you are a wee-bit sleepy. I love driving over it at night, cause (like you guessed right!) the 5 minute drive takes around an hour and a half (thanks to the tourist-traffic) during the day! Also the steep drops look a lot more scary at night....

Finally, the last stop somehow always is the Coit Tower, before I head back home. The Coit tower gives me a view of the Piers which I love a lot. You can actually see all the piers on the Embarcadero from there. Also I can see the Crooked street from there and admire the road that I just drove over!!

That was my idea of a romantic evening with my car. Of course on my way back, a coffee break somewhere, adds to the charm :) !!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Fat Friends?

This article that I read on the Internet recently has got me all thinking. The gist of the article is "Having fat friends makes you fat". Obesity is like a virus which spreads!! Hua.. can't believe? Read the article here.

Well its funny, but statistically two of my best friends in India gained a lot of weight since they became my friends. I was born fat, so I can't really blame anyone for making me one.

This means, I have a new business plan to make money. I am gonna advertise to all those underweight malnourished people out there (Paris Hilton, Naomi Richie included..) to be friends with me and see the results (in 6 weeks?) Hehe, I could make television commercials featuring my real life friends starring "before" and "after" :) !! Maan sometimes making money is soo easy :) !! I wonder, if I had not spent my time writing silly code and making boring spreadsheets I would have been a millionaire by now, using my ideas :P !!

I initially got the link to this article on Slashdot. I like the name of that site. If I have to ask someone to go to that site on the phone this is how it sounds like: "". Its one of those uber geek sites. And before you jump to any conclusion, I ain't a geek (yet), I am just amongst those millions of wannabes. Geekdom is far away for me.

And finally, since my blog is rated PG-13 by me, I won't get into the details of this article, but I strongly suggest you all to give it a read :) !!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

First Anniversary?

Hey, did you realize I just completed more than a year of scribbling my thoughts online? Whoa!! Thats an achievement, pat pat pat :) !! Not that I have been regular, but believe it or not, I have written 50 articles :), gained 8 pounds, slept more than 2900 hours, shaved more than 300 times and have made 4 dedicated readers in the 365 days!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Caped crusader

Three spills in a week. Would have been worst.

On Sunday, I vacuum my car and wash it to my heart's content. Then I pull into a Taco Bell to buy a couple of Chalupas and a Pepsi. Everything good till now. Then ... as the friendly lady hands over my Pepsi, I drop it in my car. The lid opens and in no time, I am drowning, gasping for breath in a car full of Pepsi.

On Tuesday, I come home after a very tiring workday and see utensils floating around in my apartment. Worst still, I realize that the mucky water that is hoisting them up so valiantly actually contains what my neighbours cooked for lunch. Before you get going in the wrong direction ... Well it happens to be the water that came from the sink of people who live above me. How you ask? Well, the kitchen water drainage pipe that is shared by our units is choked and the water comes back from the pipe, outta my kitchen sink and into my house :( !!

And if these two incidents were not enough...

On Friday, I decide to write them in a blog (the one that you are reading right now!). I make myself some chai, set the cup on my computer table and start writing. Two minutes later, I fumble with my cup and drop the hot chai on my keyboard. Kaput! Keyboard stops working.

Ok, now I understand that all you guys feel very sorry about me, and for a moment even sympathize with me. But then you sit back and actually ask, why the title "Caped Crusader"? Yeah, there comes the ego part.

Spill what may, I clean it up. I am "Spill-man". Dressed in green shorts, black t-shirt, yellow gloves and a face mask made out of my not-so-white-anymore handkerchief, I go from car-to-door cleaning messes up. My tools are Clorox Bleach, 409, Scrubbing bubbles etc. etc. You name a cleaning solution, and I bet I have it.

The sad part of being spill-man is, neither do I get to save a damsel in distress from a towering monster (hope you have noticed that all the super heroes always get to save good looking gals) nor do I get to do some suave stunts like flying or hanging on buildings and get an applause from people passing me by. My super heroism deals with cleaning up yucky and mucky things. And as a kid, I had always thought being a caped crusader was kinda cool :) !!

Friday, July 20, 2007

I am back

I guess I needed that someone to come and kick my butt to get me started writing again. Thanks "anonymous" for the comment...

Well, I was supposed to be back more than a week before out of my hibernation. But you know that technology called "snooze" in our alarm clocks nowadays? Well, thats the culprit why I got soo late in getting up. I think the guy who invented the first alarm clock with the snooze functionality is completely responsible for millions of people coming in late to office everyday and also for lost productivity and for bears like me for getting up late out of hibernation and delaying writing blogs :) . I live up to my moniker -- The God of Procrastination.

That reminds me, I just recently came across two clocks that take snoozing to the next level. The first one is an amazing piece of invention which actually flies off the moment it starts ringing. To stop the alarm, you actually have to fetch the piece that flew away and put it back in the base. Check this link out ..

Hmm, nothing has been happening in my life lately. Just have been eating out a LOT. Have completely stopped cooking, and have been chasing the clock most of the times. Sometimes you want to escape your routine only to find later that it is difficult to get back on track again.

By the way, this hibernation thing has really got me thinking. Have you humans ever wondered how peaceful this world really would have been had the human race hibernated 3-6 months each year? There would be no wars (you cant expect to pick up a war from the same place, 6 months after all the soldiers have woken up out of their sleep!! I can't even remember where I left my wallet after I get up from sleep :) !!), also we would have found a permanent solution to a billion other things starting with global warming, oil prices, and finally population explosion (I bet you wouldn't want me to get into explaining that :P !!). Guys like me would have grown a beard soo long in 6 whole months that I could sell ropes to make ship anchors for the rest of the year. Man, people would swear by my keratin rich ropes, and all ships would prefer the "Girish" brand of ropes!! Enuf said.

Before I sign off for today, wanted you guys to know that I was watching "Shall we dance" *ing Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. Nice movie, got me all in the mood to dance. Which incidentally will happen to be the topic for my next blog.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Long time no see .. 1 month to be precise :) !!

Yeah, I came to tell you guys that I am hibernating. Its winter over here on the North Pole and all of us (I mean the Polar bears) have gone into hibernation. I can hear my next door neighbor snoring peacefully. I just got up to have a glass of water, so I thought I say hi to my readers.

This by no way means that I have stopped blogging. I shall write again when I am more wide awake and can make my gray cells blurt something out for me. My blog shall remain inactive for another 2 weeks. So hold on till 8th of July.

Thanks for your patience!! And here is something fun for you..

If you like action movies:

If you fall for cute photos:

If you are a controversy theorist:

Goodnight sweet dreams!!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Treat and eat

Have you guys ever wondered that the only way that we please someone, other than giving them gifts is by taking them out for a lunch or a dinner? This is what we term as a treat. The literal definition of "treat" on Wiktionary is "To entertain with food or drink"!!

Isn't it weird? If a person is already over weight and diet conscious how in the world are you going to entertain him/her by stuffing with loads of fat rich food? Or for that matter, if the host is fat and overweight how do you expect him to be happy treating you out to food and eating along with you? Its my honest opinion that depending on the physical wellbeing of the host or the person that you want to "entertain" you should call that person out for a healthy workout in the gym, or better still take him/her out for a walk. This way you will end up spending quality time with that person and at the same time, "entertain".

This blog post came out of my upset tummy which has been fed outside almost everyday for the entire last week, to "treat" other people :)!! Next time onwards I have decided to treat people by talking them out for a walk on the Iron Horse Trail

On a related note, the cuisines that are grumbling in my stomach right now are:
Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Mediterranean. Unity in diversity in my stomach. Reminds me of this song...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How to spot an Indian?

Hello readers!! Sorry for the barrage of emotionally charged blogs that I wrote for a couple of weeks. I am back again to being stupid like always :) !! Hmm, I bet many of you heaved a sigh of relief.

Well, well, 'nuff said. Lets get back to work. I have been studying fellow Indians in malls and gyms and else where, and here I have listed a few of my observations. Note that even I follow all of these things religiously :) !!

  1. Drives around in a Honda or a Toyota. (That's not true, we also drive a Hyundai or a Nissan :))
  2. Does not buy any electronics unless s/he finds them in a deal.
  3. Stands outside Circuit City or Fry's at 3:00AM for the day after Thanksgiving Sale.
  4. Talks with a heavy nasal accent which sounds as if s/he is down with a cold.
  5. S/he puts more sugar and milk in the coffee, than the coffee itself!
  6. Gives you a blank stare if you are an Indian, gives a cheek-to-cheek smile otherwise!
  7. If an Indian approaches and smiles at another unknown Indian, then he is for sure in a Multi-level Marketing Scheme. Runnnn....
  8. Pays off all the credit card bills on time and keeps zero credit exposure.
  9. Refers to Wikipedia for anything s/he doesn't understand. It's our no nonsense survival guide in the US of A.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

War and Peace

I couldn't stop myself from posting this particular blog.

I couldn't sleep over the last spate of comments that I got on my blog titled Worthless. Somebody actually proved to me that I am worthless, that I use a lot of smileys in my blog, make a lot of grammatical and spelling mistakes and generally I ain't good for anything.

But I guess, I know that already, and I don't think I am gonna change. So I decided to continue writing with a vengeance :) !! Also I am not gonna stop using smileys cause those cute little creatures make me happy. I know my writing is not gonna change the world, but this is the only hobby that I have.

So I wish myself, all the very best and move on. I guess my blog is facing some midlife crises.

And before I end , I have taken Siddharth's comment to heart which said " hey..write what u want to...not what people want to listen!! there r enough places in the world where u can't do ur own thing..let this be an exception!"

Thank you! For me, I am still the center of MY universe :) !!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Had a pretty interesting week as far as my blog goes. I got two very constructive feedbacks, and I have taken them to heart :) !!

The first one requires a bit of a background, so read on. There is a particular Java API which calculates the worth of your blog using Trackbacks, links and your blogs ranking on Technorati.

Incidentally my blog is worth zero dollars :) !! Well, its predictable. To start with, mine is an absolutely ego centric blog and when I started off I had no illusions of grandeur whatsoever. I didn't even succumb to the temptation of making some quick bucks by using Google Adsense. All said and done you can check the worth of your blog over here.

The second criticism that I received was of the fact is that I try to write funny and with the poor frequency at which I write, it doesn't really make my blog worth reading :) !!

Hehe, I understand. So here is my mid year blog resolution.
  1. I shall write more regularly and shall not wait for brain waves to come.
  2. I will write what I feel like and not try to be funny.
  3. I shall continue writing till I have at least 1 subscriber other than myself :) !!
I love to write, and when my emails to e-groups started falling on deaf ears, I started my own blog. So thanks to all of you for being with me till now :)

And finally ... comments are highly appreciated.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Iron Man

There goes the month of April 2007. Very forgettable indeed. I actually managed to do nothing in this month :) !! Hehe its Sunday evening on the 29th of this month (remember, the saddest day of the week is fast approaching? ;) ) and I am struggling to complete ironing my clothes. This is one art that I can never master and have no intentions of doing so. To take a break, I thought I google some articles on "efficient ironing".

I know many of you must be grinning at the fact that I actually tried to search something like that. But to tell you the truth, I have the firm belief that if something does not turn up on a google search then it does not exist :) !! Don't believe me? Check this out, I actually found one great article on it ..

I find ironing a complete waste of my precious time. And I try to minimize my work by buying wrinkle-free clothes and hanging my clothes on hangers when they are wet to minimize creases :) !! I am lazy with a capital L :)

Anyways after my barber if there is one noble soul that I truly miss in India is the guy who irons my clothes. I am short of words here, but as far as my English vocab goes, I couldn't figure out a word for him. In India we affectionately call him धोबिवाला (Dhobiwala :) !!). That benevolent soul comes every day evening takes away all the washed clothes that need ironing and returns them to you the next day. If you are in a hurry and need clothes immediately, you just walk up to him, and he does your clothes at high priority :) !! What a neat concept!! And all this for less than 5 cents a shirt!! Whew!!

The housing society in which I stay in India is named Sapna which is incidentally also a common name of girls in India. Now this dhobi of mine has marked all my clothes with a "Sapna 3" to indicate that they are my clothes. The funny part is that, he has strategically written this at places that aren't easily seen from the outside. Which means that every time that I grope my trouser's buckle to unzip it, I see "Sapna 3" written on it. I am lucky that I don't have a wife, else she would always suspect me to be having an affair with a certain Sapna :) !! And I would have a hard time convincing her that my dhobi actually likes to write my Apartment's name there!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Apologies

My dear readers!! Sorry for vanishing for more than 23 days without a post. My creative juices (as if there were any!) have completely dried up, and I had no idea what to scribble here for a long long time. Not that I have a topic to write about now, but I thought I just come and prove my existence.

These 20 odd days made me realize that quite a few of you read my blog. I am very happy, and though most of you never comment, in a crisis situation like this, you did let me know :) !! Comments are my post prized possessions and thanks for keeping them coming.

I was trying to analyze where I lost 23 days of my 26th year in life. Hmm, and the culprit is, Nintendo DS Lite. For those of you who do not know what Nintendo DS is, you are too old :) !! Its the hottest selling handheld gaming console, and it was gifted to me by my friends on my birthday. This little devil now eats away atleast 2 hours of my insane life everyday. I have a game called Brain Age installed on it and I am busy burning my midnight oil (I love that phrase :) !!) after it...

I always felt that Sudoku was a fad that will die down soon, but now I am hooked onto it. I was never fond of numbers ... considering that the only numbers that I come across in my life are .. my weight, my waist size, my age, my salary and my bank balance and somehow I am not happy with anyone of them :) !!

Anyways, I guess I need to control this addiction, so I shall be a lot more regular from now on .. and here is a great video of what you can do with cars...

Saturday, March 31, 2007

10 Learnings

On the eve of my birthday I thought I treat my readers with a blog. So here I go summarizing 10 things that I have learnt since I landed on this planet.

  1. Never ask a women if she is pregnant, till you see a baby popping out of her.
  2. Writing funny without being offensive is difficult. Its much easy to be funny by teasing someone!
  3. People will like you the most when you keep your mouth shut. Your good friends are those who listen to you!
  4. Not everyone wants to read what you write. If you find yourself expressing your thoughts on a e-group and no one responds, its time you start a blog :) !!
  5. Not all left handed people are talented. (Yupp, you got it right, I am a lefty!)
  6. Girls don't like my kinda guys. (Statistically, I am the only one of my kind :P) You should be able to talk about more things in life than cars and computers.
  7. Money does not buy you happiness (accepted!), but happiness does not give you food, shelter, clothing, gas and that good looking car that you keep on eying all the time.
  8. Cake in your hair is much difficult to get rid of, than the one on your face. So on your birthdays, do not resist the cake smearing routine, unless you are bald.
  9. Singing in front of a crowd of 20 with a voice like mine needs GUTS. Period.
  10. Lists are always made of numbers divisible by 5. So your list can't have 9 points, the 10th one has to be made up :) !!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Undying love..

Okay Okay!! Thanks for your concern. I know that you guys are really worried about what has happened to my dear car!! Hmm, thought I write a blog and make it clear!! Whoosh, please don't express thy sympathies any longer :) !! When I said "I do" ;) (I mean when I signed the title in DMV), I made it clear that I shall accept her as my car "In sickness and in health, in poverty or in wealth...."

It all started almost a month ago when I went to Pepboys for a regular oil change (that mundane lowly thing that everyone does once in three months!). The friendly Pepboys mechanic advised me that I need a tire change cause the tread was wearing out. Being the gullible ideal customer that I am (I hate to call myself stupid, but I guess you get the idea :) !!), I succumbed to his innocuous suggestion, and then the ordeal started.

When he raised my car to change the tires he told me that there was a leak somewhere (and the stupid me fell for it too!). Looking at my "I am an idiot" expression, he thought he could trick me into buying a service. But, you guys know how spendthrift ;) I am, I refused.

Huh... I drove away my beauty in new tires, only to realize that she was somehow getting attracted to the oh-so-well-built Hummer in my left lane. I passed it off as just another fling (for her ;)!!), only to notice that she did that even when there was no car in the left lane.

Back, I went again to Pepboys, and the friendly mechanic advised me that I get a Wheel Alignment done. Huh, and then I had to go three more times to their place for them to just fix my alignment! I did some research on the Internet and figured out that wheel alignment is done by computers (no wonder they messed it up thrice then ;) !!). Being a computer programmer myself, I decided I forgive them.

Though I had declined service from Pepboys for the "leak" that they spotted (I had heard horrid stories of how car mechanics trick you into buying multiple services from them!)., I did my own research and went to an *exclusive* transmission specialist, Aamco. I thought, they are the experts, they will really let me know if there is a leak.

Off I went to Aamco, and lo-behold they could not find a leak at all!! If this is not enough, they told me that my transmission is in serious trouble and I need to change the fluid. I remember having done that before, but the mechanic is the God, and I decided to do that again.

All said and done, now my car has new tires, got her wheels aligned and now has new transmission fluid. Not that she gave me any trouble, but I thought I spend some hard earned money on some car mechanics around my area :) !!

That's about it. Now you know, don't ever go to a mechanic if you have no problem, cause they will create one for you.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Protect thyself!

This is a social service blog, and if you are reading this for entertainment, this one is not for you :) !! Also if you do not stay in Uncle Sam's land (US of A), then this ain't your stuff. The two of you who are left, read on :) !!

A few days back (7th March 2007 to be precise!), I applied for a new credit card and got it approved in a shopping mall ( you know those tempting offers which give you instant cash discount and stuff just for applying!). Now, I know that owning too many credit cards would harm my credit score, but I thought that applying for just one more wont do any bad.

The card was supposed to arrive in 5-7 business days. I patiently waited for the card for 8 business days, and called up the credit card's toll free number today. And lo-behold, they had already mailed me the credit card on the 12th of March. Under ordinary circumstances, I should have received it latest by the 15th. They have cancelled my credit card now, and will dispatch a new one in 5-7 more business days :) !! The error was that my address contains a '6' and they had mistyped it to be 'G'.

I was searching for articles on Identity and Credit Card thefts online, and I have come across couple of tips for my fellow naive readers :) !! First of all, I bet everyone of you must be getting those "Pre-screened" credit card offers which promise 60 second approval and a new credit card at your door step. Under ordinary circumstances you not only ignore them, but also throw them away in your dustbin or waste paper bin.

There is this interesting blog by a person who tried to obtain a credit card by sending a torn application. Its an interesting read, and you need to give it a look.

Torn Credit Application

Also, if you do not need Pre-screened offers of credit cards, you can opt-out of receiving them by going to the following address:

This is particularly important for people like me who live in the US for a short duration and are most of the time stationed in India. You do not want strangers to receieve your pre-approved credit cards once you are in India. Also you will do your bit for saving the environment by reducing the paper used for sending those applications which you anyways don't use.

And finally, sorry guys for the serious blog, I thought I help a few people by posting this message on my blog.

And now, some nostalgia for my aged friends .. a Doordarshan video...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Days

Two weeks past and nothing new to write. Blogging is much more difficult than I thought it to be. The typical life of a programmer is way too sad to write blogs...

As most of you have observed recently, I have been acting like a melodramatic Hindi movie hero with a over grown beard and a droopy look in my eyes (sans the pain relieving *intoxicant* of course ;) ), a complete social recluse!

I did a little bit of soul searching yesterday and I figured out that I am going through a *feel low* phase in my life! This made me wonder about the various moods that I go through, and here I have come up with a *catch all* listing of my moods.. This will help you to figure out when to approach me and when not to :) !!!

Happiest day of the week:
As you guessed right, it has to be a Friday. No questions asked :) ... Even if I have work over the weekend, this day for sure makes me happy. The last hour in the office on a Friday is the best time of my life :) !!

Happiest day of the month:
It has to be the day my salary gets credited in my bank account. It makes me feel as if I have been rewarded for spending soo much over the previous month, that I have been given some more to spend over the next month :) !!!

Happiest day of the year:
Well this is a difficult one to pinpoint on. But this year, I can tell for sure that it was the day I landed in India, and saw my mom, dad and sis patiently waiting for me at the airport. One look, and my fictitious jet lag was gone :) !!

And for everything happy in life, there has to be something sad. The concept of yin-yang you see ;) ...

Saddest day of the week:
Monday morning. Can you imagine my state of mind when I hear the sound of my alarm at 5:20 AM on Mondays?

Saddest day in the month:
Hmm, its the day after my salary. I mean, ok, I got this salary, and they expect me to last on this for a month?! Gimme a break...

Saddest day in the year:
Undoubtedly my birthday! How can someone celebrate getting old? I mean its okay to celebrate till you are 18 (you are actually growing into an adult till then!). After that its just getting older and older... I dread my birthdays :) !!

Now I understand why I am gloomy! Its just cause my birthday is fast approaching :( !! Somebody save me!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Tales of an Indian Barber

I am in the mood to write today, and so I decided to post a quick blog to thank and reward all my readers for sticking to my rantings for more than 6 months now :)!

2 days back I had my hair cut, and have been feeling low ever since. Every month when I get my hair cut, its soo terribly done that I spend the next few days repenting my look. By the time that I get used to my *new* look the dreaded day approaches when I go to my *hairstylist * again!

I analyzed my feelings and I realized I never had these depressing feelings when I was in India. Indian barbers are world class! You don't tell them numbers, and esoteric style names. Even before you go to a hairdresser in Uncle Sam's land, you need to learn their numbering convention!

I soo vividly remember the first time that I went to a hairdresser out here, and she asked me which number do I want. I thought it was *pick -a-number* kinda game that I was playing, and I chose zero (After all, am from the country that invented it ;) !!). Without blinking an eye lid she took out a mean looking machine from her toolbox and in no time did my head look like a barren land. I mean, before I could shout stop, she was done with her job and was expecting me to pay her 15$ with a tip for her stupendous work. I still have night mares about that lady with the machine and I wake up in the middle of the night pulling my hair (pun intended ;) !).

Your experience with an Indian barber is otherwise (I don't feel like calling my barber, an hairdresser, somehow it makes him wear a tie and jacket in my mind, and it doesn't quite go well with his trademark dhoti :) !!). You go in and you are greeted by your name. The fun part about barbers is that they not only know you, but they also know your entire family tree (the male ascendants only!). He will tell you about the latest movie gossips, and cricket stories by the time you comfortably settle in the chair. Then he just gives a quick look at you, and gets down to his business. I bet there is a software built into his head which he uses to decide what style will suit me the best. I can imagine him visualizing a bald me, and dragging and dropping various hairstlyes onto my head to decide what suits me best :) !!

After the awesome haircut is done he gives a pleased look, and without asking, pours a gallon of hair oil on your head. Thereafter he starts a ritual fondly called *head massage* in which he starts playing the beats of the latest Bollywood movie on your head. Then he holds your head and moves it in so many directions that for a moment you feel that you are sitting in a roller coaster. After everything is done, you give him a dollar (tips included!) and you walk out happy for another month before you return!!

This blog is dedicated in its entirety to all the barbers who have cut my hair. I bow down in respect to thee :) !!!

That reminds me, statistically, I have spent almost 25*12*0.5 = 150 hours (almost a week!) in the barber's chair and have had my hair cut at least 300 times!! Wow!!

Celebrity through notoriety

This is a funny example of "what you sow is what you reap!".

To proclaim my blatant love for cars, I have purchased 4 toy cars and have kept them in my office cubicle for everyone to admire. Earlier I had kept them on top of a cabinet so that everyone who passed by my cube could see them. One fine day, I saw that one of them was missing, only to find out three days later that it was hidden by a friend of mine who tried to play a prank on me.

However, he isn't aware that over the three days, I did a lot of frantic searching for the car, before I declared that it was "stolen". Also just to take care of the rest of my cars, I moved them from their original location. Doing all this attracted a lot of attention of my regular visitors and a few of my colleagues.

Finally, now that I have my car back, every now and then whenever an old visitor comes back, the conversation naturally drifts towards my stolen car, and then I have to explain how my friend had hid it as a practical joke and how he gave it back to me. And the result is, ahem, everyone wants to know who he is :) !!!

I never imagined I would give so much negative publicity to someone without intending to do so. But this is just another example of how negative gets highlighted in our society whereas the good things go unnoticed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Heavy duty

Belated Valentine's day wishes to all my readers! I actually forgot to wish everyone of you yesterday so I thought I do that today. I pity the guy who has to buy expensive gifts for his girlfriend/fiance, I have no such expenses :) !! (Yaa, I know I am that "glass is half full" guy :P)

Today I read a news about a very heavy baby born somewhere in Brazil. Lucky guy (got press coverage)!! For those of you who don't know, I too came close to competing for the title of India's heaviest baby (when I was born ofcourse :P)!! But the media in India when I was a kid was soo bad that they did not bother to report me. Else today you all would have been proud to have known me :)!!

I was actually the heaviest baby to be ever born in the hospital that I was born. And the doctor who delivered me was ecstatic to see my weight on the weighing scale (infact he couldn't believe my weight so he checked it on a couple of machines before telling my weight to my mom :P). Finally I was kept as a specimen for every nurse/doctor in the hospital to come and admire. So, many pretty nurses came and kissed me that day, that I was thinking to myself "If I am soo popular on the first day of my life, what am I gonna do later?!" (If someone wants to still admire one of the most heavy babies in the world, am still available :P). However all that kissing and hugging took its toll on me, and the fifth day of my life I was down with skin infection :) !! Luckily for me, I recovered before I could lose any weight and continued gaining it everyday of my life from then on.

Rumour has it that my parents developed their forearm muscles thanks to lifting me everyday. My dad was the intercontinental arm wrestling champion 2 times in a row (Hah .. I know you fell for that one :P)...

Actually speaking its a Thursday evening and my sense of humor has gone for a toss. So if you did not find this article funny, go see this video and turn on your speakers, cause you need to listen...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

For Feed readers only!

Hi guys!

This blog post is only for those of you who subscribe to my feed using a RSS/Atom Feed reader.

When I started blogging there were hardly a couple (read 2) of people reading my blog. But now I guess the count has increased to a number which I cannot count with one hand (read more than 5) :) !! So, I decided I change my feeds to a more professionally managed site (Feedburner)!

What this means to you?

If you are subscribed to my blog using an RSS/Atom Aggregator (eg Google Homepage/ Bloglines etc), the feed will go dead within a week. You will have to resubscribe to my feed using the following url:

If you were tracking my blog by visiting the site, then there is no change for you.

I am sorry for the trouble! And thanks for reading and keep commenting :) !!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Airline travel

Okay, so the procrastinating me didn't stick to my own deadline of writing two blogs before Feb end :) !! Right now, I am in the Heathrow airport waiting to catch my connecting flight. Its 2 hours from now, and 2 hours for me is too short a time to do anything... You can't sleep because if you do so, there's a chance you might oversleep .. you can't sit and chit chat with strangers (I don't need to explain why :P !!). So I decided to utilize this time to write something. I bet this is a lot better way to spend my time..

Have already had a 10 hour flight before and my entire body is aching. Airline travel is an interesting experience. First you say goodbye to your family and feel low about it... Then comes the security check and you are scanned left right top bottom with no concerns for your privacy. Your bags are probed to the last pocket, innocent looks meet no concern. Then comes the cramped airline seat. The seats are designed soo good that if they were made any smaller, people like me would prefer go standing in the flight :) !! I believe 5 years from now, all airlines will have one big floor and every passenger will have to get his/her own sleeping bag and find a spot on the floor and sleep. Business and first class passengers will be treated with respect by giving them complimentary pillows along with their bags :) !!

Then comes the nutritious airline food. The less said about it the better.... I bet most of us have no idea what we are eating. I once ended up eating up the container ...

If there is one thing that has always intrigued me, its the airline Toilet. Each time I visit it, I feel like bowing down to the person who designed it. How could some one soo efficiently squeeze in sooo many things in a tiny space of 1x1 foot? Next time you board a plane, get up in the middle of the night (when everyone else is sleeping and there is no queue to visit the heavenly abode!) and study this place. There are shampoos, creams, tooth pastes, brushes, hot/cold water dispensers, towels and any other toiletries you can think of! I bet there is a Playstation somewhere inside too, I just couldn't find it out yet.

Then come the duty free shops. I bet all duty free shop owners consider airline travellers jet-lagged idiots who have no idea of the correct price of an item. Imagine a serial shopaholic like me finds the prices on some of the things ridiculously expensive (not that I refrain from buying anyways .. there comes the idiot part in me :) !!)

Lastly comes your co-passenger. If you take a window seat, you will get a co-passenger who is horizontally challenged (read obese) and sleeps for the entire time of the flight. So you have no chance to move out. Then, if you take an aisle seat then you get hyperactive neighbours who want to get out every 15 minutes, and the friendly air hostess steps on your foot each time that she passes by you :)!!

Well all said and done, I love airline travel, cause it makes me realize I am just a population statistic in this big bad world. I am just a boarding pass holding airline cargo who is given a seat and carries with me tonnes of other mundane stuff from one corner of the world to another.

Sigh.. how depressing :( !!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Great Indian Art of Car driving

My apologies for getting lost for a while now. I have no lame excuses this time. My sister's wedding is less than 4 days from now. My computer at home is dead, and the net which is delivered by the infamous *cable walla* is not working because of an earthquake in Indonesia 1 week back. I have never felt more cut off from the (cyber) world, the way am feeling now!

Finally I landed up in a friendly neighbourhood cybercafe, and typing this blog cost me Rs.20 :) !! Hehe, so this one is an *expensive* blog, so you better appreciate!!

Most of you already know my undying attraction towards anything on 4 wheels (read cars!) and minutes after landing in India, I wanted to get behind the wheels of my stick shift (Santro..). However driving in US for more than 6 months made me realize that I had actually forgotten the *Great Indian art of car driving*.

Driving in India is an art. Period. No wonder not everyone in India can drive. Any monkey can learn to operate a car, but driving requires different skills. For the last week or so, I have been trying to understand this art again, and here are a few of my observations:
  1. When you drive, you are the king of the road, and everyone else must understand and follow your will.
  2. The bigger the vehicle you drive, the more respect you command on the road.
  3. You can either drive on the right or the left of the road, as long as you yield to bigger vehicles coming in the opposite direction (vehicles smaller to your's must take care of themselves).
  4. You yield to only those drivers who are more aggressive than you are. But the moment you yield, you let the other driver know your displeasure by honking loudly.
  5. Pedestrians, cattle, stray dogs, and bicyclists do not exist. As long as they do not directly come in your path, they are an illusion and they should watch out for you for their own good.
  6. Red traffic signals are used to decorate the road, they do not serve any purpose.
  7. You should honk every 15 seconds for everyone around you to know that you are coming.

If you understand these basic rules and you know the geometry of your car to the last millimeter, then nothing can go wrong. You can squeeze your car in to the last millimeter and cause traffic jams and be proud about it.

Once I started following these rules, I figured that I was back to my roots, now I can comfortably drive in India. I guess I will have to go through the "California Driver's Handbook" once I am back in Uncle Sam's land :) !!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Whirlwind tour of motherland

Most of my readers are my friends, so I bet you already know that I am on a 1 week work and 2 week vacation in India. I thought I say hi to all you guys!! Life has become a bit hectic (the bit part is an obvious understatement!). I am craving for sleep and food now :) !!!

All said and done, I do intend to continue blogging even while I am on vacation. So hold on... I have a personal deadline of writing atleast 2 blogs before February, so lets see how well I stick to it :) !!

Thanks for dropping in...

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Road Trip

Yawn!! Living up to my reputation of procrastinating, though I originally intended to write a blog before the *dawn* of the new year (yeah! dawn makes it sound all the more important :) ), I somehow managed to get into 2007 without a post. All said and done, I decided I force myself to write today, before I get out of your oblivion for at least one more week.

I had 4 whole days of new year weekend (I know you guys are jealous, but I couldn't help mentioning it :P) and I successfully managed to do .. ahem .. nothing. I am really proud of my accomplishments. How many of you can actually sit at home for 4 days and not do so much as even reply to emails?

Well, I understand most of you must be wondering by now, that this guy has no specific topic in mind to write about, and hence he is just wasting his blog writing this and that. After all, if 4 years of engineering has taught me one thing, it definitely is to *attempt* to answer every question in the paper, knowing the subject being strictly not imperative :) !! Its like the essay I used to write when I was a kid. Remember those essays in 5 sentences we had to write about our Mom/Dad/Grandpa/Grandma/Dog/Cat etc? And I would always have the first sentence as 1) I have a [put subject here]. and end with 5) I love [put subject here] very much. So there was no problem filling up the rest of the 3 sentences.

Nostalgia apart, I had been on a tour to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Death Valley on Christmas weekend. I know this sounded like a dream vacation for most of you (even I felt so, till I went on it). Let me describe the tour, so that you guys can re-live the pleasure with me :) !! It was a 4 day *Bus* tour, and we covered more than 2100 miles in 4 days. If you do some simple calculations you will realize that most of our day time was spent in the bus going to our destinations, and the evenings were actually spent sleeping at the destinations.

I kinda figured out that it was more of a restroom (RR) tour of California, Nevada and Arizona. We were actually evaluating the RRs that would come on our route once every two hours. You can very well name a city, and I bet I will be able to tell you how good the RRs in that city actually are.

Here is a rough itinerary of what we did:

Day 1:
1) Evaluate the RR in the Starbucks @ the Bus Departure terminal .. Rating **
2) RR in San Jose .. Rating ***
3) RR in some esoteric city (have you guys ever tried to relieve yourself while holding your nose? Tried doing that here ...)

Anyways, in short, neither did I see Las Vegas (I am lying, I checked out the RRs in Bally's, MGM Grand and Stratosphere) nor did I see Grand Canyon (the tour guide gave us 1 hour to see Grand Canyon and the RR line was longer than the Golden Gate bridge! So I had to make a tough decision between, whether I want to see GC or whether I wanna relieve myself. I bet you figured out what I did :P)

But the optimist in me refuses to die. I finally decided, I can be a RR critic. I have read columns by food critics, and lonely planet's guides to "Places to see in Las Vegas". But I bet no one has ever written "A guide to the best Restrooms in Las Vegas". I think I am gonna en cash on my idea and put my experience to every one's use. But since you are my loyal readers, I will give you the advice for free :P. I found the one in Bally's to be the best. Can you imagine a men's restroom complete with a fresh towel for everyone who uses it, and also a cologne to spray on? Wow, that's a nice way to attract visitors :) !!

Jokes apart, from my personal experience I would like to warn everyone that, "never ever go on a bus tour, if you wanna enjoy your vacation!". Bus tours just let you take photos of all destinations but they don't let you assimilate it :) !!

Upcoming blog ... the difference between a restroom, washroom and a toilet.. so read on...

Happy New Year

Hiya there! Just thought I wish you all a happy new year 2007. To ring out the old and bring in the new, I thought I change my blog design for 2007. So here is a redesigned layout to help you to sleep when you read my blog. Those of you who use RSS readers, I don't think you ever noticed my template, so no change for you :)

This is probably my first new year where I have kept no resolutions at all. And I am proud of it cause if there are no resolutions, you are not gonna be worried about not keeping them :) !! So I decided to take the year as it comes, starting with no alarm to wake up today morning :) !!