Sunday, December 31, 2006

Use of sex as a manipulative factor

Don't be fooled by the subject this one is funny. This time from Frasier.

So, Frasier is having this discussion at home with his brother, his father and his nurse about how he kissed his lady boss in a heat of passion after a very hot argument. Question as to motive is raised and someone suggests that she might be manipulating Frasier.
Frasier prepares to go back to the radio station and ask her what's going on. As he's leaving, Daphne, the nurse, comments that men have also used sex to get what they want.
Frasier as he is leaving, stops with his hand on the doorknob, and says in an exasperated voice, "How can we we POSSIBLY use sex as a means to get what we want. SEX IS what we want!"


Friday, December 29, 2006

Thought of the day - 29th Dec 2006

Genuine beginnings begin within us,
even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.
- William Bridges

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

She's a woman

"....because she's a woman! You guys hear what you want to hear!!"       - Becker

Becker is right. People, especially, women hear what they want to hear. Never what he's saying, but always what they can turn it into. Nothing is concrete, everything can be nurtured, or developed into something else, something they really want.

Oh, boy!!

Thought of the day - 28th Dec 06

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you
just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.
You wait and watch and work: You don't give up.
- Anne Lamott

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Begins!

Well, my Christmas has begun. I don't care who was born how many thousand years ago and how millions of merchants milk it for their business. All I am thinking about is that I have continuous 5 days I don't have to go to work and on top of that, we got to leave office early today.

I left at 1300, went to the town center and had a haircut by girl wearing a Santa hat.
Bought supplies like I was a city expecting to be under siege. I
don't intend to stir out for the whole duration of the holidays.
And the weather seems to be tailor-made for that...dense fog, temperature -2 degrees celsius, happy holidays to me, I think.

Happy Holidays to everyone!!

Thought of the day - 22nd Dec 2006

You are either creating or allowing that which you are experiencing.
Stop complaining and begin to create a shift in your life!

It's definitely the thought that counts.

I have a simple arragement with my landlord about his mail that lands in
my mailbox, his mom's mail, to be precise. He left a bunch of addressed,
stamped envelopes with me and I periodically stuff all her mails into
one of the envelopes and drop it into a letterbox. Recently, I sent the
last of these big envelopes and put one slip of paper inside saying
"LAST ENVELOPE". This Monday evening, as I opened the door, I found a
big envelope inside, pushed through the mail-slot, containing several
more stamped, addressed manila envelopes.
And...with them a small card wishing me season's greeting and a
hand-written message from the lady herself, thanking me for forwarding
her mail. It's a small thing I do on my part, and the card was by no
means anything spectacular, nevertheless it brought a smile to my lips
and made me feel good.
Yes, I did reciprocate in the kind when I sent her the next batch of her
mails.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thought of the day - 21st Dec 2006

I will love the light for it shows me the way,
yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.
- Og Mandino

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thought of the day - 20th Dec 2006

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your
last.
The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed."
- Wayne Dyer


Comments: It's easy to say that you live your day as if your last but
it's not possible; my boss would never agree to it!
If it were my last day and I knew it I would spend it at home, calling
people to tell them that I love them and what to do with the money I
buried in the backyard. Also, I'll be borrowing money from all and
sundry, so that there are more people to remember me when I am gone. :-)
Having said that, it is astonishing how we take life for granted and do
not cherish the time we have. Hindu theory of reincarnation
notwithstanding this is the only life you have, the only chance for you
to do whatever you want to do. Anything and everything. Yet we create so
many limits and boundaries for ourselves, so many things we think we
couldn't do or shouldn't do...and we miss out on an opportunity of an
eternity, to have fun, to bring joy to others, to make a difference in
the world...

But there is still time, as long as you have a single breath of life
left in you, never say it's too late for you to do something, use that
breath for something worthwhile...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What women like!

Man, I must be getting really good at reading people (or watching too much TV...lol).

So, Becker gets shot and he's making life miserable for his nurses and his doctor in the hospital, I told you that much in a previos post.

As I watched it, even as they were each other's throat, I was feeling a chemistry between this female doctor and doctor Becker.

But in today's episode when she allowed Becker to go home, (I missed the first 5 minutes so don't know how he got back into hospital), I thought maybe I was wrong.



Hehe, not at all. She actually comes to his home, and tells him she likes him. How do you like that?



The cute female doctor falls for the one patient who made her life hell and from whose room she, in her own words "always walked out so angry I could strangle you."



Still think you understand women? LOL.

Thought of the day - 19th Dec 2006

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do."
- Dale Carnegie

Don't understand me, I hate that!

"Don't understand me, I hate that!" -Becker (TV show based in New York)



When I saw an episode of Becker, part of it actually before I changed the channel. Even though I was a fan of Ted Danson from "Cheers" I did not like him in this TV show. Dr. Becker was just too abrasive, opinionated, loud-mouthed and overall jerk.

But then somewhere, somewhen I liked one episode and then another, and now I make it a point to watch it every evening without fail and I am beginning to understand this guy.

Why? Because frighteningly enough, I am very much like him. I do not come off as abrasive as he does, (hopefully), but I am just as opinionated as he is, and I seldom keep these opinions to myself. "I don't mince words." is my motto.

But just like me Becker is also very sweet and gentle inside. He too, genuinely cares about people without being "politician sweet" about it.

The line in the topic is from the episode where Becker gets shot in the shoulder and his hospital doctor tries to patronize him. She has a job on her hands...lol. Finally, he leaves the hospital against her counsel.

Can't wait to see what happens next.

(P.S. There will, of course, be more posts about him).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thought of the day - 18th Dec 2006

Responsibility starts when you dare to dream.

Comments: As long as you are satisfied with life as it is, when you want
nothing more than just follow the events and react to them, you are
fine. But the moment you want more, the moment you have a dream, the
moment you want something bigger, something better from life, your
responsibility starts. You are responsible to protect that dream against
all odds, you have to lead it through the treacherous hurdle-path of
reality with all its known and unknown perils. It is upon you to
preserve and cherish that dream through tough times and make it come
true.

That is why dreaming is reponsible work.

Words

Every week I call home to talk to my parents.

Every week I have nothing to say other than that everything is fine. No news, as they say, is good news.

They have almost nothing to say either, except that everything is fine.



And yet, the weekly call is important, not only to them but to me.



Maybe words aren't everything...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thought of the day - 15th Dec 2006

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Pan American Day address, April 15, 1939
32nd president of US (1882 - 1945)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thought of the day -14th Dec 2006

Someone sent this to me today:

Winners never quit, quitters never Win .

Never expect things to happen. Make them happen.

Never expect yourself to be given a good value. Create a value of your
own.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quote from Becker

Women are crazy, they don't take anything at face value; everything has a deeper meaning...

-Dr. Becker



[Disclaimer: Just because I find something funny enough to quote doesn't mean I agree with it.]

Thought of the day - 12th Dec 2006

"Never let your memories be better than your dreams!"
 
 

First steps

Why are the first steps so well-celebrated?

Laying of the first brick,

Kick-off of a new project,

Initiation of a business,

Rising of the Sun,

Start of a new job...



Why?



Because first step is an act of confidence, the first step shows our faith in ourselves as well as in the Universe. The first step says, yes I am terrified of the future but I will act and see what happens. The first step says, yes I know 8 out of 10 new businesses close in the first 5 years but I'll start one anyway. The first step says, I know the odds are against me, but I am sure as hell going to try.

The first step is when you stop thinking what can go wrong and start thinking what can you do to make things go right.

And when you do, when you act on that thought, the forces of nature join hands with you, the Universe cheers you on, you just have to stay on course and keep going...



Monday, December 11, 2006

Thought of the day - 11th Dec 2006

The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.
-
Ivy Baker
 
 
For several seasons. I have decided to add the TOD to my blog also from now on.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A journey of 100 miles starts with the first step

It's an old Chinese proverb and it is such an inspiring little pearl of wisdom. So many times in our lives we get intimidated by a task, a target, a goal because it's too big, too difficult or just too vast for us to handle. And so many times we let this fear push us to the side where we abandon the idea only because it's too big. If instead, we should divide the task into small parts, and figure out the first few steps, I think we would not be so terrified.

Social Cakewalk

SCapitalist said...



Interesting post. I wan't aware of this cultural difference. It amazes

me how different cultures can be, which often makes it hard to navigate

through the "unspoken" rules that most take for granted.

Well, what this gentleman says makes a lot of sense. It also reminds me of the first time that I traveled to US. I was simply terrified. Unlike most people I knew that in real life Americans don't run on streets with guns in their hands. I am quite proud of the fact that I had quite a lot of insight into the American way of life that went beyond understanding their language. But I was always afraid of a social or cultural faux pax because I didn't know what was expected of me.

Consider this, it's my second trip to US. I fly from Delhi, stopover in Europe, land in Detroit. I was supposed to go to Philly so in my mind this was still a stopover for me. As I am walking out of the restroom, (that's what they call the men's room), the guy ahead of me, holds the door open for me. And immediately it strikes me, "I am back in US!".



Fortunately for me, I was able to learn small, subtle differences like this over time in my first visit, with help from some nice colleagues in Philly and didn't make a single faux pax that'd humiliate me or my friends.



Beddy 'bye

I know that human body has a routine of its own which is clock-regular and doesn't need a clock. It involves eating and sleeping times, mostly. The whole concept of jet-lag is based on that.

My question is: Can a human body have a weekly sleep schedule as well as a daily one?

I go to bed around 1AM every night. But this is Friday night and I generally don't go to bed before 4A.M. This Friday though, I was feeling tired and went to bed at 10:30PM. Couldn't sleep. And I had a glass of sweet, warm milk just a little while ago. Still, no sleep. Kept trying, didn't work. And then my doesn't quit, keeps thinking of all those great ideas, things I could be doing if I were at the computer instead of flopping around in bed.

So, I did a couple of productive things and tried again. No use.

Finally, I got hungry.

So, here I am 2:06 in the morning. And I look like this:



Just had pizza and planning to try again at 3:00AM.

But the question remains, does the body have a weekly rhythm?

If yes, then I am doomed. :-)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shoot for the stars

I started blogging..erm..er..this is embarrassing..I don't remember why exactly I started blogging. And to think that it has just been a small time. Oh, I just checked, it's been 3 months since I started. So, basically I still am at it and not yet grown tired of it, and O'Reilly and the whole web 2.0 thing includes blogging as the in-thing and a cute girl called Shai thinks it's kinda fun to have a blog with 1000 or more entries, so....I have decided that I will shoot for it and try to achieve that within 2 years from now.

It can be done, that's not a problem. The challenge is to maintain the quality of the content. I am up for it. You'll just not see all blogs written by me, but some useful and/or interesting content referred to by me also.

So, here's to the first step of a journey of a 1000 miles. Cheers.





Web 2.0

It's a wonderful concept.

I have always been excited by the thought of communication bringing people together, combining ideas, joining forces, creating synergy..well, web 2.0 seems be geared about that. You can read about it here.



http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html





And this is where I read about it first.

http://stubborncapitalist.com/2006/12/05/welcome-to-web-20/

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A random thought

Ae naye dost maiN sam_jhooNga tujhe bhii apna,

Pehle maazi ka ko_ii zakhm to bhar jaane de.

Mind Your Language

Interesting post by my friend. That's why I like her blog.

Fraternity Blog: Mind Your Language

What kind of people are they?

After spending a lifetime in India when I went to US for the first time and called home, my dad asked, "How are the people there?" and I said, "They are very nice. Very helpful, courteous and ...nice!"
From all that we knew of America, not just my dad but I was also expecting people to be more business-like, to-the-point and well, detached! They were not!
And then I said the same thing of Germans.
And more recently the British.
 
I got to thinking, were there no bad people in US? Of course, there were. Not every human interaction was as silver-lined as I'd like it to be. But that was true everywhere. I got to the conclusion that no matter what country you are in, people are everywhere the same. You will find your helpful, going-out-of-their-way nice guys, you'll find your me-first-who-the-hell-cares-about-you assholes, your I-know-it-all-and-you-are-stupid smart-alec's and so on.
But majority of people are nice. Everywhere!
 
I still remember the mobile-salesman who, when I faced him after a 30-minute wait in the queue, and asked, "Do you speak English?", said, "No!" with a curt and cutting tone that made me want to find an ice pick!
But I can never forget the nice lady behind the SubWay counter who tediously pointed to each and every item, just so she could get my burger exactly the way I wanted even though there was no common language between us.
 
It was people like her who made Germany bearable for a foreigner who had crossed the border with a limited vocabulary of one phrase, "Danke Schoen!".
 

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Perfect imperfection

I am not one of those people who say everybody is beautiful and beauty is skin deep and blah, blah, blah. I am blunt, I am outspoken and I say what I think. If I see someone ugly, I'll say it (though not to their face) and that's why I have no illusions about my own looks.

But one thing that I have observed all these years.

No matter how ugly or how pretty someone is, it's a 100% sure chance that their face looks the best when they smile. Even an ugly face looks less ugly, most times a little pretty, when lit up with a sweet smile.

/>I have always considered mine to be a very ugly smile, all uneven and crooked. It surprised me when my martial arts teachers in US named me Sunny (Sunil is hard to pronounce for them) and attributed it to my "sunny smile". I thought they were just being polite. But somewhere, somewhen, someone convinced me that this was really the case! :)

What about you? You think you are not pretty, why don't you smile and check...





Saturday, December 02, 2006

Our logic

Following the alleged insult of a statue of B. R. Ambedkar, riots started in almost all Parts of Maharashtra and by the time I checked the news the tally was 3 people dead, 60 injured.
 
So, it's a well established fact now, that concrete statues are much more valuable than living flesh-and-blood people. At least in India.
I find it ironical that the same people, Ambedkar, Jinnah, Gandhi, who worked all their life to erase the boundaries and bring people closer, are being used as an excuse to tear people apart, to incite violence, to kill people, to rob cities, to burn trains and create mayhem.
 
As Indians all we care about is temples, mosques, statues and certain selected animals. What happens to the little kid who loses his mother in the mindless violence, nobody gives a shit.
 
And then we wonder why we are not the superpower?
 

Something to do

"The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
Man does long for that "something to do" with every bit as much craving as for ther other things in this magic formula.
"Devil finds work for the empty hands."
"An empty mind is the devil's workshop."
"Busy have no time for tears."
"Work is the best antidote for sorrow."
There are numerous dictums and expressions to endorse this opinion that work is a basic need of human beings.
 
And face it, you enjoy the movie the best when you have the finals the next morning. I personally, enjoy goofing off, when I have a lot of things pending. And I always do.
 
 

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Internet in Hindi - Hinternet

This morning my sister sent me this link for a Hindi search engine, I have to admit I was not very interested but gave it go anyway. I was surprised to see there are so many sites available in Hindi these days.



http://raftaar.com/search.aspx



I have never been very fanatical about Hindi-izing the web, (call me unpatriotic) but it does feel nice to see sites in my mother tongue. I actually consider it an addition to all the English material that I can enjoy on the web. :)



While I am able to think, communicate and express myself in English, there is still some material that is un-translatable from Hindi to English and vice versa.





Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

What is an impossible dream?



Did Leonardo Da Vinci thought his dreams were impossible when he conceived the aeroplane?





Did the Wright brothers thought their dream was impossible when they tried to make an aircraft and people laughed at them?



Did people laugh at the team that started with the plan to "develop a plane that could fly faster than the speed of sound"?





When does a dream stop being impossible?

When people stop laughing at it?

or when it is obvious that it can be done?



But then it stops being a dream; it becomes a plan. That's followed by activities, then results and then something is born that awes the world!



But every plan first must be a dream. And to be a dream, it must be impossible.



A dream needs only one person to believe in it, just one person - YOU!



Monday, November 27, 2006

Photo test from oakflickrpff

I hate to log into blogger just so I can post a photo with my blog entry. Let's see if this one works.

What the hell is a "Free HUG"?

Remember how I was talking about the quality that makes us "human"? I just came across this link in someone's blog. And it touched me. I am quoting it here the full story and video is here:
 
 
Let me see if the video embed link works:
 
Start Quote
Sometimes, a hug is all what we need.

Free hugs is a real life controversial story of Juan Mann, A man whos sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger to brighten up their lives.

In this age of social disconnectivity and lack of human contact, the effects of the Free Hugs campaign became phenomenal.

As this symbol of human hope spread accross the city, police and officials ordered the Free Hugs campaign BANNED. What we then witness is the true spirit of humanity come together in what can only be described as awe inspiring.

In the Spirit of the free hugs campaign, PASS THIS TO A FRIEND and HUG A STRANGER! After all, If you can reach just one person
 

How it all started:

I'd been living in London when my world turned upside down and I'd had to come home. By the time my plane landed back in Sydney, all I had left was a carry on bag full of clothes and a world of troubles. No one to welcome me back, no place to call home. I was a tourist in my hometown.

Standing there in the arrivals terminal, watching other passengers meeting their waiting friends and family, with open arms and smiling faces, hugging and laughing together, I wanted someone out there to be waiting for me. To be happy to see me. To smile at me. To hug me.

So I got some cardboard and a marker and made a sign. I found the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city and held that sign aloft, with the words "Free Hugs" on both sides.

And for 15 minutes, people just stared right through me. The first person who stopped, tapped me on the shoulder and told me how her dog had just died that morning. How that morning had been the one year anniversary of her only daughter dying in a car accident. How what she needed now, when she felt most alone in the world, was a hug. I got down on one knee, we put our arms around each other and when we parted, she was smiling.

Everyone has problems and for sure mine haven't compared. But to see someone who was once frowning, smile even for a moment, is worth it every time.

Endquote

Nothing like rain

There's no feeling like seeing it rain outside the window, the first thing after you wake up. On the weekend, I don't mind it as much because it gives me an excuse (not really needed) to not go out and laze around inside. On the weekdays though, it does put a damper on things. Don't get me wrong, I like rain. From the inside. Through the window. I am not much to muck around in the stuff, well, not any more. I can still remember a time, a few centuries ago, when I used to rush upstairs on the open roof at the sight of the first sign of rain.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Communi-keshan

Apart from the language, grammar and slang factor, there are other things that differ in communication in different cultures. For example, in India, when you are in a group of friends and even in an official meetings, the code that prevails is "slow hands don't eat". When you get a chance to talk, or grab a chance to talk, you talk, fast, before somebody can interrupt you which inevitably happens. It is that much more true of friendly gatherings. No matter how small a group. You grab your chance, you get your point across in minimum time...it's something like those sci-fi books where you zip-squeal the communication to the satellite at 60 to 1 speed to save on resources.
 
But not so in western countries...when you start speaking, you have to wait for the chance or grab the chance, people listen. You can take your time. They just look at your face and keep listening. It's nice. But sometimes I find it disconcerting too..lol...especially when I have not marshalled all my thoughts in advance.
 
And then sometimes, even in India, or any country, you get a chance like that when you are talking to somebody who loves to hear you talk. Then you don't have to worry about interruption, you can say what you want, you can take your own sweet time about it and they'll just be looking at you with rapt attention, waiting for your next words...
 
It's a damn nice feeling!  :)
 

Singles Auction

It didn't go as expected. Other than that it was fine.
The problem points -
* The crowd was very interactive. Among themselves and to me. So,they interrupted a lot.
* Most of them who attended the auction seemed to belong to the same group and knew each other. I was the new one there.
* They also had figured out who wanted to date whom beforehand.
* They were not interested in comedy or jokes.
 
But it was not bad after all. Once I realized that I had misjudged the opportunity as a place to try out my stand-up bit, I rolled with the punches. The starting spiel that I delivered was very well received. They laughed even when I started with, "I am a vegetarian, so if you don't like my jokes please don't throw eggs". After the first auction then, I heeded the crowd's demand for auction after auction. And limited myself to making witty comments as part of the auction process. That was also fun and the reaction was good.
 
So, as an auctioneer I did well. My colleagues and my friends liked it.  My organizer friends liked it. The auction was successful. We made 1600GBP from just the auctions!! Yippee!!
In the end, I don't know why but I put myself on the auction, against the signal from my friend and colleague who was watching. It happened at a very bad time cos people were already leaving. But we got 35 pounds more for the kids and I got a date with a girl I liked.
 
So, all's well that ends in a well! LOL!
 

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Test from FireFox

I am testing this plug-in from firefox called performancing, just to see if I can post pictures without logging into blogger. If this works, you'll be seeing more pictures in my posts in the future.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Buying shoes

So, here I am in Town Center on Friday afternoon, during lunch break, finished with the money-withdrawl that I had come for and too early to take the company bus back, looking around I see a shoe shop with big discounts - Shu-Time. I am thinking why not see if they have a decent pair for tonight's fundraiser function. I am the host for the Singles Auction and it might be a good idea to buy a pair of shoes that will match the formal trousers rather than the sports shoes that I wear for everything.
I go in, look around and find a few styles that I like. I wait for the shop-girl to come and offer her help and then I ask my standard question, "Is it genuine leather?". I don't buy leather. She assures me that the 3 pairs I like are all synthetic leather. So, I pick up the one I like the most and start trying it on. While I am pulling the shoe on, she asks if I am Jain. I tell her "No, I just don't like animals to be killed for my fashion!"
At the counter, there is another girl, she also looks Asian, it is confirmed when they start talking in Punjabi together, reverting to English everytime they talk to me. Don't I look Indian myself? Anyway, when the older one hands me the receipt and apologizes that she can't give me the credit card slip due to printer problem, I say, "Chalega!". They both look at my face and burst out laughing!
I leave the shop and find that I can't walk to the bus pick-up point, as the rain is coming down harder now. So I walk in the protection offered by shop balconies and look for an umbrella that I have neglected to buy for 3 months. My search for an umbrella takes me back past the shoe shop into Princess Square. I enter Burton's and ask a salesgirl if they carry men's umbrellas. She says yes and I am just turning around to follow her when I see the younger girl from Shu-Time, Gunjan, standing behind me, panting.
She explains that the older girl told her that the shoes I bought are actually leather. She saw me in the square again so she came running after me. If I would come with her she would exchange them. I was already wearing the shoes in rainy weather, but she said it's ok.
Both the girls apologized like a thousand times, and I assured them it's alright. They helped me pick out another pair, formal looking and cheaper. And you know what, more comfortable in walking with a thicker sole.
Now, isn't that nice of the girl to take pains to protect my principles? I had already told her it's not a religious thing, just my personal choice. She could have just shrugged and dismissed the matter from her mind with an "Oh well!", but she didn't. Sometimes people prove themselves worth the term "human".

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The cowards never started and weaklings died on the way

The cowards never started and weaklings died on the way.
- Robert A. Heinlein, (in his book Number of the Beast)
That is so true and so inspiring. What do we have if we don't have courage. There is a kind of mental sickness where the patient is so scared of the world that he withdraws unto himself and assumes the foetal position. So, supposedly, everything we do in this world, once we gain consciousness, takes courage to do. And the people who achieve more are the ones who dared more. Dared to live, dared to dream, dared to try even in the face of risk of failure.
I want to be one them!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Is there really no End?

After crossing the big Three-Oh line, I have lost some of that fear of old age, I mean real old age around 80 or so. But my thought process last evening was running something like this - going to US used to be a target, that is almost complete I can go anytime I want. Traveling the world on a work visa doesn't seem very difficult if I so choose.
Then what?
My own company? Yes.
And then? Making it bigger and bigger...
...and bigger until it's big enough to swallow Microsoft like a small fish.
 
Suppose I do that also, and I can, then what? I never want to retire, addicted as I am to fun and games...I do actually want to keep working till the last day of my life. So what is the next target? World domination? When I was younger, I always wanted to be all-mighty, as a world leader, but I have seen Bruce Almighty, who wants to rule over and take care of 5 billion morons?
But I am sure I'll find something to do, some small niche where I can make a difference, help out humanity, find a way to make a child smile...most of all, don't leave a vacuum behind me..prepare people who can continue improving the world making a small difference in their own place, one step at a time...there is really no end...
 
 
Am I deluded? Are these delusions of grandeur? Or just impossibly high dreams?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Emotion

Na jaane kaun se jazbe ki yuuN tas_qeen hoti hai,
Ba_zaahir to tumhare khat jalakar kuchh nahiN milta.
 

English Childhood

Living in England reminds me of my childhood. No, I was not born in England neither did I ever come here before. I started reading English stories and novels, when I was a child and continued the habit into boyhood. Mostly they were those interesting stories by Enid Blyton featuring a bunch of adventurous, nosey kids and a number of thrilling experiences. These stories were all set in England and now that I see those things, hear those same terms I am very vividly reminded of my own childhood with those wonderful books.
Another reason is the pronounciation and spelling of English words that we learnt in school was essentially British as India has inherited the language from Britain not America. In the meantime, working in America and with Americans, I had to change a lot of those pronounciations and my fingers are so used to the American spelling of words, it's like a reflex. And now I have to correct all those mistakes, mistakes as they are in British English...anytime I erase "color" to write "colour" I am reminded of school days. Ah, wonderful days!
 
 

Monday, November 06, 2006

Time to go wireless





Finally...after 2 years of wait they finally came out with headphones that don't need wires to stream music to my ears. Needless to say I bought them as soon as they became available.
This thing is very easy to use and looks stylish too. I can play audio or video on my pocket pc and listen to it on the wireless stero headset. Or hear TomTom's directions mingled with the music.

Generally, when I start from office, I turn on my bluetooth GPS receiver. Then start music on my pocket pc. And then start TomTom Navigator on the pocket pc since TomTom just takes over the whole screen. So, I can enjoy music over the wireless headphones and from time to time the lady from TomTom tells me to "go through the round-about 3rd exit on the left" which of course, I don't have to do as I am not driving the bus. I just enjoy the music and read my book until she starts using the word "destination" in her instructions. Then it's time for me to shut the book, press the "STOP" button for the bus and get ready to get down. No wonder, I am enjoying my life.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The lost art of making friends

"Hi, my name is Sunil, what's yours? Will you be my friend?"
 
That was all it took to make a new friend in primary school. Simple, fast and efficient. But, sigh, not any more. Somewhere, somewhen, we cross that line which separates the age of spontaneity, fun-focused frolic mindset from the mind-numbing, boring, work-focused existence we called adulthood.
New country, new city, new culture, no friends!
But can't say I am not having fun!
 
 

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Common sense is so uncommon

One of the things that piss me off immediately is the lack of common sense and logic. For example, people keep forwarding their friends these stupid emails which are just hoaxes dreamt up by some idler with too much time on his hands as he sits on the bench of some software company. This is forwarded by other "most clever" people who do not look at the email twice but just read the words "WARNING" "BEWARE" and "send to ALL your friends" and immediately set out to do just as the first idiot says.
There have been a lot of hoaxes over the years, so many in fact that there are a number of websites that research and denounce these hoaxes. Plus most major anti-virus and security companies maintain a section on hoax information on their website other than virii information. But do these super-intelligent people take the trouble to research the hoax? No. All they see is the Forward button and a list of their friends. As someone rightly pointed out person after person keeps forwarding it to all their friends and the list of email addresses keeps building up, and somewhere along the line it falls in the hands of a spammer.
I don't mind forwards with jokes and interesting things but the email about a little girl who is dying and has been dying for the last 70 years really pisses me off.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The joy of being lost

What I mean...lol..is ah! the joy of being satellite linked. The first time I saw GPS navigation system that was in 2001 in a friend's friend's car. I loved the concept of having one's own personal guide who tells you, "after 200 metres turn left" and keeps track of you even when you don't follow the directions correctly. But I got really fascinated by it in Germany where I saw my colleagues using it on their Pocket PCs with bluetooth GPS receivers. That's where I walked with my friend Thomas Diller to look for a GPS receiver for me, using his GPS receiver. It got us to the shop even through the confusing narrow streets.
But the quest for a new toy, or rather this new toy was fulfilled in UK recently when I finally had all the pieces of the system - pocket pc, GPS receiver, and the navigation software. So last Saturday, I set out with the small GPS receiver hanging from my neck, my QTEK 9000 in my hand trying to find an ATM, with TomTom showing the way. I could see each and every side street as I approached it and as I passed it. The turns are shown as a small diagram showing the other geographical features like round-abouts, sideroads to set the perspective for a clear decision. It was a simple journey, first the ATM then to the party venue, but it was thrilling.
Now, all I need is a car...lol.
 

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gandhigiri

Recently I watched Lage Raho Munnabhai on DVD. A good movie without a doubt. I concur the opinions of those who said it's better than the original. I have never seen a sequel so well-made, well maybe Back to the Future part 2 and 3 were good but not in Indian cinema.
One thing that it made me think about is Gandhi. My feelings and opinions towards Gandhi have gone through different phases. It is absolutely impossible to grow up in India and not come in touch with Gandhi. I read the excerpt from his autobiography in primary school. Then read the whole thing in book form. I liked him. God knows, I have even been to his tomb and the Gandhi museum. Truth, non-violence, national hero of India and all that jazz....
Then I saw Gandhi, the movie with Richard Attenborough and I saw rows and rows of Indians walking up to the policemen only to be stricken down, putting up no protest. And I turned off Gandhi in a second...I hated and loathed his philosophy of violence..
Well, it goes on and on...
But, in recent times I have been thinking about all the terrorism that's prevalent in the world today. Ever watched "Air Force One"? You can't convince the head of the terrorist group that what he is doing is wrong.
I have always believed that Indian independence was a direct result of the actions of our Revolutionaries, Bhagat Singh, Azad, Bismil and others. And though they resorted to violent means, robbery, disruption of machinery and even murder. I still support them. They did what needed to be done. But finally, didn't they also adopt the non-violence policy? What would you call the act of exploding a non-lethal bomb in the assembly and getting themselves arrested?
With all this as background and watching Munna bhai applying Gandhi's principles to the current, real world, made me think. True, some of the situations were dramatized but the principle was there...
Maybe there was something in what Gandhi said....?
 
 

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Weather

Weather here is getting chilly now, sunlight is welcome, wind not so much.
I have heard of places where the weather is the same all round the year; Bombay where it's always hot, Hawaii where it's always pleasant. I wonder what it would be like to live in a always-pleasant weather.
I am sure it's nice but some of the fun in life is from its unpredictability, isn't it?
If you know you are going to get an A why bother checking score on the noticeboard?
If you knew who's going to win would you watch the match?
Lol...that reminds me Jerry Seinfeld once tapes a match cos he is busy at the time of telecast. When he comes back and starts watching the recording, the telephone rings and he answers with, "If you know what happened at the game today, don't tell me."
Of course in the next shot Kramer comes in and starts with, "Too bad about the Nicks today, huh?"
Jerry shuts off the VCR...lol.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hair again

Let me talk about this hair thing a little more. The reason I was thinking about it was that for the first time in my life I changed my hairstyle. For a long long time (never mind how long, suffice it to say that I have seen a lot winters and a lot of summers) during which I have worked in 5 cities in 3 countries in 3 different continents, I have never changed my hairstyle. But when I arrived in this 6th city I made a new friend and she told me that my hair is one of the two things that show me up as a tourist, a foreigner.
Open as I always am to feedback and constructive criticism, I decided to change it. But I kept postponing it, not sure what I wanted it to look like and a little nervous. A colleague of mine, who by a fluke of chance needed a haircut around the same time as I, was looking strictly for an Asian barber, not trusting English barbers one bit. I don't blame him for when I myself got to the barber's chair finally and told him what I wanted I found myself more than a little apprehensive. The sound of scissors started and when I looked at myself in the mirror I found that I was cringing. Positively, visibly cringing. That made me think and the blog entry about hair was born.
Thankfully the change went well and next morning my boss was the first one to say that it fits here and looks good!
It was almost exactly the same situation when I decided to get rid of my moustache in US, but that's a different story.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Puzzle

For people who like to use their head for other than as a hat-rack
here's an interesting puzzle.
Have a go at this...............

its quite tricky but it tests the brain!!!!

http://www.freestuffhotdeals.com/hacker/1.html



EDIT: Just to keep you on track there are total 23 pages. Don't stop before that. And this is the final page, for your reference and to show you that I did finish the whole puzzle. :D

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hair

Hair...it's such a sensitive issue. Not only is it called the Crowning Glory, it does get a pretty big consideration in all matters pertaining to health and beauty. The same thing shows in our expressions and idioms which are always a reflection of the real social life. For example, to "have a bad hair day" is to have a bad day, to "let your hair down" is to relax, apparently informal mode of being.
Hair is always a social thing, it reflects on person's character and social status. A parent would readily trust a teacher with grey hair than otherwise. And whoever ever attended the discourse of a clean shaven guy?

Hair being such a sensitive issue hairdressers or barbers are also very important in our society. Generally people treat the hairdresser like a family doctor, they go to the same one that they trust and father will take the kids to his own trusted one etc.

Being under the barber's scissors is like being under the surgeon's knife - "Will I come out of it alright? Will I be able to go to office tomorrow? Face the society?"

Well, to cut a long story short; I got myself a haircut yesterday. :-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New toy





Ok so I didn't go for the new JasJam but it was a very narrow thing with the JasJar offering almost everything that JasJam can plus the big 3.5" screen. So I finally got a JasJar and so far I am happy with my choice. Well, yes it weighs more than my cordless phone and it is quite a handful to hold to your ear during a call but I knew that before I bought it. And the features more than make up for the extra bulk. Look what I can do on this baby. I can type this blog on it and post it directly from here without going near a computer. I can browse the internet in full color, send emails, make videocalls, play music, watch movies, voice chat, take photos, record video and a lot more.
It's kinda funny when I think about it. The first cell phone I bought was a little bigger than this, and much heavier. As I earned more and got more fond of cellphones, my next handsets grew more expensive and smaller and lighter. And now the trend is on reverse pattern, while my phone continue to cost more they are growing heavier again, but more feature packed. And I believe it's a general trend nowadays. Now it's not the handset that disappears in the palm of the owner that causes comment, it's the pencil-box shaped monster that is noticed across the room and makes people nudge each other "Did you see that?"
Of course I know this, why did you think I bought this 285g pencil-box? ;-)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sleep, dreams and life...

There's never a night when I am not awake past midnight. Generally it's my laptop for company. Most of the time I am chatting, if I am not chatting, it's something else. Like trying out new games, or downloading lots of software and trying them out, or MP3's or video clips. Recently it's been ebay.com.
But I did not always have a laptop. Ok, then it was my PC. But what I mean is, I didn't always have a computer. Then I used to stay awake late watching TV. But I didn't always have a TV either.
There was a simpler time, when I didn't have a 500-channel-cable-connection-TV with a CD player and about 500 video CDs. In those days I used to spend a lot of time reading. I can recall many a years that I have spent, sitting, half-sitting, lying on my cot, with a pillow under my head and a book before my eyes. I didn't say "a book in my hand" because it was not always in my hand. If you get really tired lying your back you can turn over, rest your chest on the pillow and read the book by placing it directly under your eyes on the floor..lol.
But the point is I never was the "early to sleep and early to rise" kind of guy. Those wonderful novels used to fascinate me so much I never wanted to go to sleep.
The main villain in the last James Bond flick, "Die Another Day" is rumoured never to sleep. When questioned by reporters on it he says that life is so short he doesn't want to waste it sleeping, and that since he can't sleep and dream he has to bring all his dreams to life.
On the other hand are the wise people who say that sleep rejuvenates us and dreams are harbingers of so many new, exciting, life-giving things.
I would tend to believe the second, but the funny thing is I never want to go to sleep until, like a child, I have no energy left to play anymore. What reminded me of it was that last night, I was reading Robert Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" which is as fantastic a piece of science fiction as any. I stayed awake till almost 1 a.m. and then had to go to sleep. If I didn't have to go to office the next morning, I would have finished the remaining 100-odd pages. :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Money or Work?

Recently I finished reading a book by Rober Heinlein called "For Us, The Living". The main gist of the story is that a man gets into a road accident in 1939 and somehow gets transported into 2086. The 2086 United States is vastly different from that of the year 1939. The main difference there is that the government takes care of everybody. There are some very complicated, (and I must say very well thought-out) economic theories involved, but the government pays a fixed amount of money to every individual on a regular basis regardless of whether they work. This money is quite enough to keep one living comfortably. So, basically, nobody has to work in order to make a living. Still, a big majority of the populace does work, and they get paid more for their work and paid handsomely. With that extra money they improve their lifestyle further.
Given that this can be economically achieved, would man still want to work? And insomuchas that the money can be utilized to improve one's life, no matter how good the government allowance is, wouldn't there still be crime based on money?
 

By post

Another thing I like about living in the western countries is the postal system. You can buy anything, new or used, from anywhere in the country or neighbouring countries (e.g. UK, US, Germany etc.) and it can be delivered to you by post, quick and safe. It is fun. Recently I bought a cordless phone that way and I was more than a little pleased when it was delivered to me in the office. I didn't have to set foot out of my own office and I made a purchase from a person I had never seen and never will. This kind of convenience would be hard to explain to someone who has not experienced it firsthand.
I can still remember a time when I used to go to the bank to ask my bank balance (which was never more than a couple of hundred Indian Rupees :) ). Ah, good old days!
 

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bowling night


I have found that bowling is very worthwhile use of time. The advantages outweigh the expense of time, effort and money by far.
1. It's a good sport, exhilarating, not too tough, not too easy.
2. It's a great way to make friends. People in bowling leagues are generally very friendly and helpful.
3. It's good exercise for people like me to who hate going to the gym.

So, last night, I went to a bowling alley and bowled with a bowling league. It's mid-season though, I'll have to fit in as a replacement bowler for some team though.
As expected, I met some great people, friendly, helpful and fun! I bowled 193, 136, 136. Not bad for a 120-odd-average-not-bowled-in-a-league-for-4-years guy, eh?



Thursday, September 28, 2006

Times change

How does one compare the life in different countries when the world keeps changing so fast?
Yesterday I subscribed to a set of Asian channels here on my UK cable service. When I was in US this was not an option. Now I gotta think, is it cos UK (and Germany also, I watched Zee Cinema in Stuttgart also) is close to India or because there have been considerable advances in the cable TV arena?
Be that as it may, for now I am enjoying my Zee Cinema and Zee music immensely. Hindi movies are so much easier to watch with parallel activities, English movies and TV shows demand too much involvement. The fact that I can enjoy Zee while living in England, brings life that much closer to perfection! :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Queue up!

In western countries, everything is done using queues. Even if you want a sandwich, you gotta get in line. But the good point in that is that once you are at the head of the queue you can take your own sweet time choosing which cheese and which lettuce you want in your sandwich and nobody taps on your shoulder to say, “Move it on buddy, it’s a sandwich, not the love of your life. Hurry up!”

 

In search for the perfect phone








Keeping up with my tradition of changing my cellphone every 6 months has never been very easy, but especially tough now that I own the i-mate K-Jam which has practically everything. Recently though, I came across the new model being launched by HTC (the OEM of K-Jam), it's called HTC P3300 and has everything that K-Jam has plus GPS, better camera and 3G etc. So, now I am waiting for it to come out, which will be next month.

Bus Travel

It is interesting how interaction between people in public changes in different countries. In Germany, I have actually gone up to the train driver and asked him, in my broken German, about my destination, and got decent, useful responses. The same is possible in India, you may go to a bus driver but be prepared for any kind of response from useful to useless to indifferent.
In England, people actually thank the bus driver when they are getting off the bus. I thought that was only the case when travelling by the company bus, but even in public buses people do that and the driver actually responds to each one with something like thanks or bye.
The driver stops the bus only at a stop where he sees someone waiting for the bus. If you want to get down you press the Stop button before your stop and he'll stop there. This morning, twice it happened that the guy at the stop shook his head in the negative before the bus driver could slow down, meaning that he was not waiting for the bus. Very small occurrence but made me smile!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Fun of being a Veggie

I can't help comparing England to Germany all the time. Most comparisons are favourable to England, from my point of view, of course!
Here they have a green V on products that says "Suitable for vegetarians". In Germany, I had trouble explaining to people what is a vegetarian...lol. True the language was a problem but they have a different concept of vegetarianism there. The first people asked after I told them I was a veggie was, "Can you eat fish?" and the next one, "What about eggs?" and so on. So I decided to adopt Phoebe's line (ref. American TV show "Friends") - "Nothing with a face!". That worked pretty well!

Monday, September 25, 2006

To Blog or Not to Blog

Why blog? Why send those random thoughts to air? Are they so important? Who wants to even hear what I am thinking? Well, the answer is simple - if I have time to write, someone, somewhere will have time to read.

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