Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thought of the day - 31st Jan 2007

It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of
God.

- Mary Daly

May sound weird, but I believe in this one. I read somewhere that God
created Man so he could help Him continue the creation of the World.

The two-way street

Have you ever wondered how feelings work on a two-way basis? I read a quotation once that says, "Someone telling you you made their day, usually makes yours!". It is often that way. There are a lot of one-way relationship scenarios in the world. But are they truly one-way? I say, not entirely. When someone says they love spending time with you suddenly makes you realize that you don't hate it either! Even the girl who answers "No" to a guy's "I love you" continues to think about him. On a more pronounced level, even the hi-fi, super sucessful, movie actress thinks about that face behind the frantically waving arms, albeit for a second. Or so I believe.
The other side of the coin would be another quotation, "Distrust breeds distrust...", I read that in a Perry Mason once. So, if you are rude, inconsiderate, hateful or distrusting towards another person, chances are they will be able to sense it and the response will be the same.
So to use a cliché, What are you putting out there?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ideas

Ideas are everything. Everything starts from an idea. An idea is the
acorn that's hiding a tall tree inside it.
And then ideas are also the basis of conflicts. Ideas differ from person
to person and group to group. One person has the idea that people, after
they die, come back in a different body. Another person supports the
idea that they just lie there and wait for the final judgement day. And
that's the basis of their conflicts.
An idea that seems sane to one person might make the other person look
askance at the originator.
This past weekend I spend a lot of money, real money, to invest in a
business opportunity in an online world. A virtual world called Second
Life. It's not a huge amount of money from real world standards but
nothing to scoff at either. If I shared this with other "normal" people
I am sure I'll get some weird looks like I am crazy. What, to me, is a
business opportunity, might be considered a sign of insanity by others.
I guess that can be settled when I start making money, real money, from
this venture. End justifies the means, right?
Most of the ideological arguments can be settled this way, by their
result, unless you are talking about politics, religion, marriage,
morality or money. :-)

Thought of the day - 30th Jan 2007

Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and
looks like work.
- Thomas Alva Edison

Monday, January 29, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thought of the day - 26th Jan 2006

The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our
circumstances.
- Martha Washington



Still, Friday does make me happy. :-)

And also, Happy Republic Day to all the Indians.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thought of the day - 25th Jan 2006

Plan for tomorrow but
LIVE for today


Tomorrow being Friday, I am already planning for tmorrow. :)

Expectations

How much or what you are expecting has a direct impact on your
experience with people, places and events. I think it is best to expect
the most from ourselves so we can stretch ourselves to meet new targets
and achieve higher goals. In things that are beyond our powers, however,
it might be best to keep our expectations to a moderate level. Allow me
to illustrate.
Even before I came to the UK, I had heard about it, and from the
pre-independence Indian tales, I was expecting a high degree of
punctuality and adherence to time-tables with very good systems in
place. So, now when I have to wait for a bus in the cold, freezing
weather, and I face a 15-minute to 30 minutes delay in a bus service
that's supposed to be running every 20 minutes, it makes me curse the
English bus service and their disregard for time.
In Germany, I didn't have any expectations because I had heard nothing
about it, so when I saw their high level of punctuality, not perfect but
near-perfect, I was impressed.

See what I mean? English bus service sucks. That's all I wanted to say!
:-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Well, now I have seen snow in 3 countries, US, Germany and UK.



Ironically, not in India.

But wait, when we went for that challenging motorbike trip into the Himalayas, didn't we see snow? Yes, there were a lot snow capped mountains and we did slow also around on some of the high passes, though I can't remember if felt snowfall or not.

Snow is alright, as long as you don't have to walk in it, or shovel it. I have the same theory about rain.

Thought of the day - 24th Jan 2007

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose,
for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down,
but the staying down."
-Mary Pickford

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thought of the day - 23rd Jan 2007

Build upon strengths, and weaknesses will gradually take care of
themselves."
-Joyce C. Lock

Monday, January 22, 2007

O des se aane waale bata, kis haal mein hai yaa-raa-ne watan

It's kinda stupid really. All the time that I am in India, I am always
looking for opportunities to travel abroad, and I do enjoy that. And I
have said about a 1000 times that a 2-month trip is no fun, I need to
live there, create my own life and enjoy it there. But once I am out of
the country, once I am living in a foreign country I sometimes, not
always but sometimes, I do miss the life home.

There is this wistful feeling, every time I think about the life at my
parental home, there is not one but many things I miss. The easy rhythm
of life, that care by mom to the point of being spoilt, being fawned
upon by my many nephews and nieces, being the VIP visitor, re-uniting
with the closest friends, walking in those familiar streets, it feels nice!
The longer I have been away the better it feels!

There is a beautiful nazm, I don't remember the poet and as nazm's are
harder to memorize than ghazals, I don't know it all. But it's a
wonderful nazm that touches the deepest point in my heart and the couple
of lines that I do remember I cherish dearly. For my non-Hindi speaking
readers, if any, I will translate.

O des se aane waale bata, kis haal mein hain yaa-raa-ne watan

This is the beginning, which means O, visitor from my land, tell me how
are my friends in that country.
My favorite lines in this are:

Wo shehar jo hamse chhoota hai, wo shehar hamara kaisa hai,
Sab log hain hamko pyaare magar, wo jaan se pyaara kaisa hai.

Translation:
The city that I have missed, how is that city of mine?
Everyone is dear to me, but how is the one that's dearer than my own
life?


Of course, it doesn't rhyme in English, (I am not that talented), but
you get the idea, of the soft, wistful, nostalgic image it conjures up.

On the whole, I think it is a part of healthy life - something to do,
something to love and enjoy and yet something to miss, to look forward
to.

Thought of the day - 22nd Jan 2007

He who would like to have something he never had,
will have to do something well, that he hasn't done yet

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thought of the day - 19th Jan 2007

Udymen hi sidhdhanti kaaryaani na manorathai,
Nahi suptasya singhasya pravishanti mukhe mriga.

[Sanskrit saying]



Translation:
Goals are achieve by hard work and not just by desires,
As a deer does not walk into the mouth of a sleeping lion.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

George Bush and Iraq

A great post on one of blogs I subscribe to:



http://leftinaboite.blogspot.com/2007/01/real-reason-for-iraq.html

Thought of the day - 18th Jan 2006

Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out
in the ocean.

- Christopher Reeve

That's my city

Ok, so I am in US. No, not now, back when I was in US, in 2001-2002. I
am in the dressing room of the dojang and having a conversation with a
fellow student. He is a guy 68 years young, retired from the miliary and
the police. Knowing I am from India he asks which city. I told him
Delhi. He knows Delhi, he was stationed there for 2 years. And he
comments, "It's an amazing city!". I say yes, it is. Those were his
words "amazing city". Of course, I couldn't bad-mouth my city with a
foreigner even if he was a friend but I was thinking, 'amazing? really?
What's so amazing about it?'.
Later I moved to Poona for work reasons and met people from various
cities, all with their different views. Indian software engineers travel
a lot, in and out of the country. So, I came across a lot of opinions
about a lot of cities.
To this day, my response to a call or mail from a placement consultant
with a position in Bombay (or Mumbai as they insist on calling it), is
"Not even if it's the last job on Earth!". Why? I don't like Bombay!
But I know of people who love Bombay. There are millions who live there
and majority of them by their own choice, I believe. There are other who
used to live there, moved for work and still remember Bombay as a part
of their fond memories. Same thing about New York. Same thing about
Delhi.

My point is, it's not the city, it's you. Depending on what kind of
circle you had, what kind of circumstances you had and what kind of
events took place in your life when you were in that city, you will
think of that city as good or bad. It is possible for two people to have
radically different viewpoints about the same city.

Having said that I have never met anyone who liked, or advised me to go
to, Chennai. Not even the people who come from Chennai. And I have never
met anyone who didn't like Goa, myself included. Go figure! :)

P.S. Now I do think of Delhi as an amazing city. A great city! I love
it!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thought of the day - 17th Jan 2007

Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything
depended upon man.

- Francis Cardinal Spellman

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Thought of the day - 16th Jan 2007

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it
happens.

- Epictetus

First Life or Second Life?

The reason I feel guilty about spending time online, on Yahoo or Second
Life is because the people around me don't understand it and I feel like
the only one, the odd one! Giving it deeper thought though, how is
spending an evening drinking in a bar better than spending it online?
The drinking part of the equation is not good for health so leave it
out. What else do you get? Spending time in a noisy environment that is
not conducive to calm, intellectual conversation? What's left? Talking
to friends? I have those, just that they are in different parts of the
world, but people are people. They have ideas, intelligence, feelings,
aspirations, dreams. What else? Meeting strangers? I can do that, there
are thousands of people on there whom I can randomly meet, chat'em up,
create friendships, relationships.
>From my experience no matter how fancy your Yahoo id or how advanced
your avatar finally over the course of conversations and meetings what
comes out is the person behind the avatar, the real personality. That's
what you click with, that's who you look for when you come online,
that's who you spend hours talking to!
So why should I feel guilty spending 7 hours at a stretch online?
Oh yes, my back hurts!
But wait, that'd happen even if I sit that long, in a single spot in a
bar, too.

:-)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thought of the day - 16th Jan 2007

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first
suffering,

how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter
root, to raise perhaps many flowers.

- Leigh Hunt

On 15th I had no email access, hence the delay in sending the thought.
Inconvenience is regretted!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thought of the day - 12th Jan 2007

"If you want to accomplish anything in life,
you can't just sit back and hope it will happen.
You've got to make it happen."
-Chuck Norris

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Chatspeak


When I first started chatting, about 8 years ago, I came across the chat lingo. I pride myself on my short learning curve and I picked up the chatspeak very quickly. Within a short span of time I knew what ASL meant and what BRB stands for. (Age/Sex/Location and Be Right Back). There were so many others, some easy to guess and some I had to ask or look up on the net.

I could understand the reason for that. The bandwidth was limited, and the typing work more, so it made sense to say "i m good, how r u?". Somehow, over time that trend changed. Computers became even more closely integrated with our lifestyle and pounding on a keyboard became more common than picking up a pen. With that the trend changed, chatspeak began to be considered unwelcome and boring by more and more people. As a very addicted chatter and online gamer I have seen this trend develop. I have seen profiles where people specify that they don't want to talk to anyone who uses chatspeak.

Why?

I guess there are several reasons for that. One is the focus on time. Why are you saving time? If you are so short of time why are you wasting time on here? This is a pleasure based activity and not mandatory. On the other hand, if it's not for pleasure but an important communication then chatspeak is totally rude. Just as we observe table manners in deference to others, similarly, writing a well-phrased communiqué using full words shows that you care enough about the person to take time out to write properly.

I still come across people who use chatspeak in chat or emails. It turns me off immediately and sometimes infuriates me. It shows that the person is not in touch with the current trend and doesn't care about my feelings. Esp. after I have told them about it. Most of the time such people are newbies or out-of-touchers from the net, and sometimes just inconsiderate. It saves them 30 seconds by using chatspeak, they don't care if takes you longer to decipher it or makes the email look unprofessional and ugly.

Some of it, like LOL or BRB is kind of essential especially in chat where LOL is being used like 10 times every minute or you may need to say BRB quickly when the doorbell suddenly rings. I have some personal follies like saying 'cos' instead of 'because' which I try to avoid most of the time but let creep in, sometimes in personal emails or chat. Otherwise even in personal emails, I take care to write without using chatspeak and using proper punctuation. I think it helps me to write well and improves the flow.

Now I am debating the question of whether to boycott the people who insist on using chatspeak extensively in emails even after my telling them that it's not welcome!

Thought of the day - 11th Jan 2007

"Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thought of the day - 10th Jan 2006

Forgive many things in others; nothing in yourself.
- Ausonius

Second Life

I have so far refrained from mentioning Second Life in here, but now it
has become a pre-dominant activity in my spare time. I am talking about
the virtual world called Second Life http://secondlife.com. There are so
many things you can do, and it's such a realistic representation of real
life that I find it fascinating.
I spend so many hours there that I am even ignoring my Yahoo lifestyle.
:)
It has its own economy with its own currency that can be converted into
real money back and forth.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thought of the day - 9th Jan 2007

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, January 08, 2007

The need for warmth

Friday evening, that wonderful time when you know you can enjoy life for
2 straight days.

And then I suddenly started feeling cold. Further investigation revealed
that my boiler was broken down and there would be no central heating
tonight.
Calls to British Gas and the renting agent, yielded no results. Then it
became clear that the whole weekend I might not have any heating.

Suddenly, I started feeling lonely and depressed. This was a nightmare.
Even though my TV was on with the usual comedy shows, computer was
working, but the cold was seeping through the body to my spirits.

So, I spent the night on the couch in my comforter, on my computer,
doing the same timepass things I do usually in my free time, but I was
not feeling that happy. I went to bed in the morning, it was not that
cold now. When I woke up I was feeling even more dejected and depressed,
thinking this was going to be a horrible weekend without heating.

Then, as I was talking to a friend of mine on Yahoo, she suggested I
should have a backup, small electric heater or maybe borrow one from a
friend. That reminded me, the landlord had shown me something like that
while giving me the tour of the place when he gave me the keys. And lo!
There were two backups, one small one the other a little bigger. That
sure cheered me up! I put both of them in the living room, with the
small one pointed right at my cold, suffering feet. And then I put it in
the bedroom to warm it up before I had to go to bed.

So happy that I could sit in my shirt sleeves again! Now I know where
the phrases like "warm welcome" and "cold shoulder" come from!

That just left the problem of the hot water, but who takes a shower on
weekends anyway! :-)

Thought of the day - 8th Jan 2007

A classic but good thought today -

"He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare,
while he who has one enemy shall meet him everywhere."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 05, 2007

Rather amusing

It is a joke sent to me by a colleague, but something like that you can
really encounter in Britain. Funny, considering their love of the
propriety of things, isn't it?
================================================


I walked into a public toilet where I found two cubicles, of which one
was already occupied.

So I entered the other one, closed the door, dropped my trousers and sat
down.

A voice came from the cubicle next to me: "Hello mate, how are you
doing?" (I thought it a bit

strange but not wanting to be rude I replied)

"Yeah, not too bad thanks." After a short pause, I heard the voice again
"So, what are you up to

mate?"

Again I answered, somewhat reluctantly it must be said.

Unsure what to say, I replied "Umm, just having a quick poo. How about
yourself?"

I then heard the voice for the third time ....."Sorry mate, I'll have to
call you back. I've got some

dickhead in the loo next to me answering everything I say."

Ego is a bad thing

Or so I thought.

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend about things in general and I said, "Yes, I consider myself superior, not only to you but the rest of the world!"

"And" I added, "if I didn't think so, I'd never try to achieve the impossible!"



That started a chain of thought. Isn't it always that way? Even though ego is considered such a bad thing, isn't it always the ego that motivates us despite difficulties and impossible odds to try and achieve what we want?



When you try to get the first place, are you not saying that you consider yourself superior to the other 39 students in the class?



When you start a business are you not claiming confidence in your own abilities that can defeat the bleak odds against new businesses?



In applying for a job, don't you go with the feeling in your mind that you are better than the other 1022 candidates who have applied? Or that you can fool the interviewer in thinking so?





Every target, every effort, starts from the realization of ego that can be called self-confidence, determination or anything else you like.



The motivational mantra is "YOU can do it!" not "It is possible for one to achieve it!". Only when you talk "YOU" the person involved will take notice of what you are saying. Ego is everything.



Ego is a good thing!





The bad part I think comes from the thought-process where you start thinking of yourself not in terms of an excellent person but a perfect person and everyone else as worthless.



The moment that happens, you close down the avenues of learning and basically turn away from the truth.



I'd like to sum it up with one of my most favourite quotes. From Michael J. Fox, a personality for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration, he said, "I am very careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can shoot for; perfection is God's business!"



Thought of the day - 05 Jan 2007

One of my all time favorites,


"A hill is only as steep as it seems to the person climbing it."
- Don't remember where I read it

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thought of the day - 4th Jan 2006

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.
- Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD)

What do the ad agencies think of you.

Ok, I am watching TV, commercials are on. This one commercial comes on where a dog is talking to you appealing to you to sponsor a dog. As part of his normal spiel the dog also says, "and your new friend will write to you", and I am thinking 'wtf, what kind of people are they targeting with it?' If a dog could talk and/or write, I don't think they'll really need to look for sponsors, Walt Disney will rise to the task.

The answer comes later when the dog says, "Send WOOF as SMS to this number."! :-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thought of the day - 03 Jan 06

Take chances, make mistakes.
That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage.
You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

- Mary Tyler Moore quotes
(American Comedian and Actress, b.1936)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tell your story

An interesting and inspiring post that I found on another blog.

Anyone who knows me can guess why I subscribed to this blog in the first place. :)



http://daretodream.typepad.com/weblog/2006/12/tell_your_story.html

Thought of the day - 2nd Jan 2006

We will open the book. Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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