Friday, June 29, 2007

Thought of the day - 29th June 2007

I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another
step forward.
- Thomas Alva Edison

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thought of the day - 28th June 2007

The question for each man is not what he would do if he had the means,
time, influence, and educational advantages,
but what he will do with the things he has.
- Hamilton

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thought of the day - 27th June 2007

Unless you're willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go,
success won't happen.
-Phillip Adams

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The taking of risks

26th June. This morning as I locked up my house, rented house, it
rankled in my mind, it felt like today was important. I didn't think any
birthdays were close and the date of my passport expiry had already come
and gone this month, then what...I thought of the date, today is 26th of
June. I had no trouble recollecting it then, 26th of June, 2000, start
of an era that has not yet ended!

21st May 2000: I bought the first motorbike of my life. That was a
courageous action, in every way. For one thing I did not have enough
money to really buy the bike, even with finance. You wouldn't think
anyone would be foolish enough to not allow for the cost of helmet with
the bike, would you? Well, I was. By the time I was done paying for the
sundries, by the time I had the bike out of the showroom, I did not have
enough money left to put petrol in my bike. Can you believe that? I had
to borrow money from my friend Deepak P...LOL.

The second courageous thing was to buy a bike when I didn't know how to
drive and had no licence. Well, Deepak taught me to drive, in one day,
several hours.

At night about 9PM, when I left him near his house, I wasn't sure I
could get my mechanical monster home without assistance. But I did, and
it felt so great I can't describe it!

26th May 2000. I was a software faculty with the dream to be employed as
a developer. Ah, the dream! It was never easy and not a lot of people
made the transition. But the minimal probability of success did not kill
the dream. 26th May is when I appeared for an interview with NIIT, the
software services giant. Hamdard university was so far from my place
like the other end of the city, but by now I could drive good enough to
take the risk. 6 levels of tests and interviews later I knew I was
'almost selected'.

Another personal interview in NIIT's own office and I was 'selected'.

26th June 2000. That's when I started my career as a software
professional. 7 years. 7 long years, each filled with its own challenges
and rewards.

Remind me to tell you what happened 7 months after my joining NIIT. :-)

Thought of the day - 26th June 2007

With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be
compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble.
Courage is the foundation of integrity.

- Keshavan Nair

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thought of the day - 25th June 2007

Unless you change how you are,you will always have what you've got.
- Jim Rohn

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Geek King


Recently, I checked what I look like. This is the result. :-)

My destiny

dast-e-falak me.n, gardish-e-taqadiir to nahii.n
dast-e-falak me.n, gardish-e-ayyaam hii to hai
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz

दस्त-ए-फलक में गरिद्श-ए-तकदीर तो नहीं,
दस्त-ए-फलक में गरिद्श-ए-अय्याम ही तो है
-फैज़ अहमद फैज़
(Wow, the blogger Hindi thing works amazing!)

Literal translation of this sher will be very confusing. What Faiz has said, as per my understanding, is that, while God or the powers that be, do control the universe and eternity, they do not control my destiny!

What a fantastic, daring, bold statement! That is a really admirable quality in man that he will pit himself against any powers, staking everything on the worst kind of odds but he will do what he thinks needs to be done.

So, while the world is busy telling me that I should mind my limitations and follow the path, I will be believing in Faiz and trying to blaze my own trail!

Corny? Maybe. But I believe in it - 100%.!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Don't fight the weather!

A joke that I made after living a few weeks in England.

Question - "How do you know it's Friday afternoon?"

Answer - "Look out the window, if it's raining, it's Friday afternoon."

But as Lazarus Long says to his great-great-great grandson in "Time
Enough for Love" - "Don't fight the weather!".

I am trying to learn that these days. Even though born in the country
where rain means better crops and more food, I am not a big fan of rain
because it means muddy streets and water-logged roads. What I am
learning is that the rain will come down, no matter if I say, "Damn!
It's raining again!", or if I say, "Wow! It's raining again!". Rain will
fall just as it wants, the only effect will be on my mood depending on
my outlook.

So, when it rains this weekend, I am going to open the curtains, crack
open the window, pull a chair close to the window and enjoy the rain
while I read Heinlein.

The same applies to so many other things in life, things you can't do
anything about but you insist on wrecking your mood for them. Next time
you are going up in fumes about something, take a second and think, "Are
you fighting the weather?".

Sulman Rushdie Gets Knighted

I don't think he needs any introduction, after all he has been an
endangered man for long enough to gain limelight and public sympathy.

You can see a cartoon and a small write-up about his knighting here
<http://beyondthepunchline.blogspot.com/2007/06/salman-rushdie-awarded-b
ritish.html> and I will say my piece here itself. I have not read his
Satanic Verses. The only book of his that I ever picked up was
Midnight's Children (If I have the title right in my mind after so
long), and I could not read more than a few pages. It was incredibly
boring. But yes, I did see his contemptuous attitude towards religion
even in the first few pages.

Now, I consider myself a rebel, and I have several reasons to support
Rushdie.

I do not believe in organized religion.
I do not accept anything just because it comes from High Up, be it from
God or Pope (one and the same, right?).
I strongly believe in the freedom of expression.
I don't believe in the supreme authority of maulvi's and priests to run
everyone's life.

And yet, I don't support Rushdie. I believe that nudity must be an
integral part of the story, otherwise it's just vulgar. The same way, if
you have an axe to grind against any religion or religious practice, you
should be free to say so. But with freedom comes responsibility. Just as
you are free to say what you like, millions of other people are free to
practice anything they like, as long as they are not interfering with
other people and their right to live as they want. So, both parties
having the same freedom, Rushdie seems to like to abuse that freedom by
purposefully and uselessly hurting the feelings of millions of people
(possibly billions, I read that he makes fun of both Islam and Hinduism
on this blog
<http://sidsphere.wordpress.com/2007/06/20/i-just-finished-reading-the-s
atanic-verses-and-for/> ).

I was born a Hindu and currently I consider myself an intellectual as I
do not feel the need to go and kneel before any so-called God in order
to ask forgiveness for my "sins". Let's leave my confused beliefs aside
for the moment, might be too long a discussion. But having an open mind,
I can name many bad customs, religious or otherwise, prevalent among
Hindus and Muslims. Raja Ram Mohan Roy, a well-known Indian reformer,
saw the same things in his time and worked against them with great
success. That is a good, responsible use of the freedom of expression.
Making cheap jokes about something that others hold sacred is just abuse
of the freedom.

Either he writes for sensation, to make money from the hatred he
propogates, or he has a perverted sense of humor. While I was not in
favor of the fatwa to kill him, I am not in favor of his knighting
either. But who asked me, eh?

Growing up is optional

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!"

There is a lot of talk about "men" and "boys", and "woman" and "girl".
What is the difference? The most obvious answer notwithstanding, I want
to question the fact that we ever grow up.

When I was a young "boy" I used to love reading comics. And I knew that
grown ups don't read comics, so I resolved to myself that once I start
making enough money to rent or buy all the comics I want, I will never
stop reading comics. Of course, that didn't hold up, not entirely. I
still read comics, Archies mostly, but I read more novels than comics.
Novels and other books. Is that growing up or just a channge in taste?

Boys don't like to do their homework, more focus is on playing. Or in
today's context, watching TV. Grown ups? Don't they settle down on the
couch with the remote as soon after getting home from work as possible?
Don't they wait for the weekend eagerly so they can play?

Look at these differences carefully between boys and men and see what
you can spot.

A boy is very disappointed when something goes wrong or he doesn't get
what he wants. A man is also disappointed but not that much. He deals a
little easier with the losses. He knows that losses are a part of life.

A boy asks too many questions about everything he sees or hears about. A
man makes peace with his ignorance. His questions are not that many. He
is always afraid his question might be considered a stupid question. A
boy has no such restraint to hold him back.

A boy is impatient, a man, yes, but he learns not to express it.

A boy says what he wants, a man is more diplomatic, expressing things he
doesn't feel and saying things he doesn't mean.

"Wow-eee!" is an oft-used term in a boy's vocabulary, not so in a man.

A boy's affections are steadfast and very intense. Same with his hatred.
A man's feelings are more tempered, he has seen things change over time.
He has learned that feelings change, people change and nothing is worth
attaching his heart to.

A boy cries, often openly, when he suffers a loss or pain. A man learns
to hide his tears, his experience with pain has taught him to deal with
it. He has become a little numb over time.

A boy plays with toys, a man with different toys. (New car, new
computer, new mobile...?)

A man can never laugh the carefree laughter of a boy.

As I see, the change from boy to man is that he is moderated. The sense
of wonder and curiosity is diluted, the capacity to feel immense joy is
lost, the capacity to endure pain is more, honesty is moderated by
prudence, impulse is curbed by fear....

Even though, having attained the "Grown-up" age, I have never felt that
I have become a grown-up. I have changed. Yes! Grown up? No! The world
is still a place full of wonders, I want to know as much as I can, I am
never afraid of asking questions and making a fool of myself. But yes,
pain has come and gone, and I have learnt to deal with it. I have learnt
many things from life. And that is part of my experience. As I grow
older, I will acquire more experience, more knowledge, but is that a
reason to grow up? I think not!

I can't help growing old with the rest of the world, but considering
that growing up is optional, I never plan to grow up! :-)

Thought of the day - 22nd June 2007

God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.
-Swedish Proverb

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Life is...

Har nafas umr-e-guzishta ki hai mayyat 'Faani'
Zindagi naam hai mar-mar ke jiye jaane ka.
- Faani Badauni

[Translation: Every breath is the death of past life (life passed so
far, up to this moment),
Every moment I die, and every moment I live again.]

I am not skilled at this kind of translation, also the idea being put
forward by Faani is novel, quite unique in itself, beyond my
capabilities of translation. Like all classic, classy, excellent sher's
this one can also be taken 2 ways depending on your point of view. You
can focus on the death part, every moment you die, or you can focus on
the life part, every moment you live again.

It is fantastic how these champions of poetry say something
thought-provoking and amazing in two simple lines. Every moment, you
start a new life, every moment you get a choice, every moment you can
change your life, every moment you can choose to change history. Or you
can extend your feet and keep watching TV.

Thought of the day - 21st June 2007

Do it now. It is not safe to leave a generous feeling to the cooling
influences of the world.
- Thomas Guthrie

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wikipedia.org

Abraham Lincoln said, "I don't like that man. I must get to know him
better!"

When I shared that thought I got responses like, "Why should I try to
know him better when I already don't like him?", "What if I don't like
him?" or "What if I dislike him even more after knowing him better?".

The point where Lincoln and these people collide is a basic one, "There
is some good in all people." or, "Most people are usually good.".

Some time back when I was reading about Web 2.0
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2> ,I came to know this astonishing
fact that the web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia was not only free but was
fueled by information supplied by its users. My constant quest for
knowing more than I did yesterday had frequently led me to Wikipedia and
I have learnt a lot of new things from there. But I did not know that
literally anyone can go on the site and edit an article or create a new
article. I know, we all know, the collaborative power of the internet
(Ref. Linux), but to have uncontrolled, uncensored access to something
that is supposed to be a source of information and knowledge? I was
shocked!

All kinds of questions came to my mind, - deliberate misinformation,
vandalism, uninformed people, prejudiced people posting anything they
like, so on and so forth. But Wikipedia was there, intact and working,
providing sensible information, no graffiti on its pages....as we say in
Hindi "Haath kangan ko aarsi kya" (You don't need the mirror in your
ring to see the bangle on your wrist) or as my friend taught me
recently, "The proof of pudding is in the eating", Wikipedia was, and
is, living proof of its method. Maybe the best argument would be to
quote Descartes, "Cogito Ergo Sum" (Latin: meaning "I think, there for I
am). (You could hardly blame me for that one, since my blog's title is
based on that. :) )

I searched Wikipedia for "Wikipedia" and found that every bad thing
that I feared could happen does happen, but it's all short-lived. In the
long run, Wikipedia keeps going, information keeps flooding in and it
stays one of the best, for me the best, source of authentic information
on the web. Fast, easy, free and fun.

Since the costs of running such a huge web project are supported only by
donation, I am thinking of it as a worthwhile project to donate to.

I think, after all, Lincoln was right in his thinking!

There is too much to say about this wonderful project but my time and
space is limited. If I have aroused your curiosity you can read more
about Wikipedia here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia


If like me, you find it a project worth supporting, here is their
donations page - http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Fundraising

Thought of the day - 20th June 2007

Never be a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.

-Robin Sharma "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Company Policy

This experiment is one of the classics, most people have read it, I
think. Since I never went to management school, I read it recently and
found it very interesting.

========================================================

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs
under it.

Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards
the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold
water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result -
all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other
monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water.

Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.

To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.

After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the
stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a
new one.

The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.

The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one.

The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.

Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not
permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the
beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys
that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.

Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here.


And that's how company policy begins ...

Thought of the day - 19th June 2007

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.
Know how to give without hesitation,
how to lose without regret,
how to acquire without meanness.

- George Sand

Monday, June 18, 2007

ViralTags

Important Update - Please read here!

1.) Copy and paste the matrix of “ViralTags” below courtesy

of Founders Cafe (to support Jimmy’s quest of launching his own Internet Startup with a shoestring budget, please

consider subscribing to his Full RSS Feed to

see his triumps and struggles in real time
).

2.) Substitute the Host Tag and one of the

“Viral Tags” in the matrix with your anchor text of choice with your blog’s URL.

Please keep anchor text to a max of 3 words to keep the matrix size manageable.

3.) When you get a ping back from someone that has your link

in one of their “Viral Tags”, practice good karma by copying his/her Host Tag’s anchor text (automatically the associated link will also be copied) and paste it over one of your “Viral Tags” below.

4.) Encourage and invite your readers to do the same and

soon this can grow virally.

Host Tag: IBlogThereforIam

International City Travel Fort Wayne Left Asian Celebrity News One Million Shirts Tech at Hand Rich Minx Internet Marketing Austria Ageless Beauty Web 2.0 Tutorials Technology Music Life infokarir jobs Manila Mom Link Love Blogging Money Secret Internet Startup Blog Web Design Blog Daily Life Technology Make Money Blogging Steve’s Tech Blog Agloco Internet Marketing Daily Bulls Investing Tech Gadgets Stocks Affiliate Program Computer Seventy-Five Learn about e-Learning Tech Hack Ramblings Jack Book Screen Writer Guy Overseas Filipino Worker Premium Content Free

Startup Entrepreneur Money My Tv Musings

Cheezmizan with Chuva Earn Money Online Really Smart Guy Earn Income Online Day Mind Xpression Entrepreneurship Internet Web Make Money Blogging Create a Blog Pie Hole start

a blog
Make Money Blogging Marketing Made Simple Tech Startups Web2.0 Music Videos
California Web Designer Left in Aboite ViralTags Build Rankings Fast Mrs Sparrow Hot Buzz Weight Loss Really Funny Jokes Best of Blogs Heroin Addiction Codependence Internet Marketing German German - USA Domain Development Blogs Sundhed og Helbred Giving Link Love Business Blog Web Photoshop Tutorials Anitokid Chronikos Klapkids Chronikos esofthub’s web finds Everything iPod Jason’s Random Thoughts Fun Web Development Monetize Your Blog Yung Silent Whisper Stratz’s Blog My Journey ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags Blogging for Money Wealth Blog ViralTags Gadgets Technology Make Money Home ViralTags The Broken Bow Find an Agent ViralTags

Fanatic Space Cheezmizan with Chuva Catepol Wolly’s Weblog Profitable Productive Blogging

Cat on my Head Bloggointestinale 2012 Movies iMod Lorad Zarcon Instruzioni Sid05 Weblog Bayle Random Access Life Mario’s Weblog Acchiappasogni Dietro e a Casa Make Money Online Anchor Text Alex 2000 My Life Personal Finance Hanneng.net Tech Blog Business Twins Pixie Tail Gold Rushing’s Blog Trade CDs Business Chats Paid to Blog Make Money Online ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags
TheTechThing Bubba Sounds Off ViralTags IBlogThereforIam ViralTags
Mariuca’s PerfumeGallery Make MoneyOnline JLS Cisco Networking Humor Jokes Mik3 Web2.0

Founder Interviews
Political Social Media Master Engrafter Making Money Online GoldyWorld Fun Static Thinkbox Malaysian Stocks Inc. Investing Women Online Shimmer Feedget Heroin Addiction Codependence
premium content 10021 ny socialite 7forallkind findanagent robtencerpr.com ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags Anti-Aging Info ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags ViralTags MSU Spartan Sports The SOHO Quest Make Money Online Caribbean Travel Blog Jehzlau Concepts Nonsense Tears Time Clock Software SEO Blog Anything and Everything Father of One Web Comic Artist Justice Investmets Terrible Horrible Evil Russian Jokes Videos Personal Development Blog

Important:

Once I get a ping back from you (I promise to do the best I can), I will add your anchor text and the associated link you designate as “Host Tag” here, replacing one of the “ViralTags” from the matrix above. As more and more bloggers copy and paste this matrix, the more backlinks you will have with your anchor text. If everybody who copy and paste from your blog does the same, pretty soon this will spread and go viral. So, the sooner you participate, the more links with anchor text you will receive.

Rules of life



I am careful to have as few rules in life as possible. What with the government and the society imposing so many laws and rules and customs and whatnot, I don't need to add to all that. Still, I do have a few rules for myself. One of my rules is - "Never say NO to ice cream!"



I believe the quote that I heard in an old Indian TV show, "Life is like an ice cream, enjoy it before it melts!" I insist on enjoying both - life and ice cream!



In my teen years, I used to read a lot of Enid Blyton's wonderful stories involving children and in all the stories the children had a dog. Five-Find-Outers-and-dog was my favorite series. And there was, of course, the most famous of them all, Famous Five. All these children used to eat a lot of ice cream. Their dog used to get his own share and then they would comment,

"It's wasted on him, look at him gobble, he eats it so fast he doesn't even taste it."



Till that time I was not familiar with this concept - eating something so fast that you can't taste it. Tasting something is different from eating it!



If you look at the people around you, you'll find a lot of them who go through life gobbling it, eating it like food but never enjoying it, never pausing to really taste this wonderful gift from God.



We always give stress on the wrong things - job security, money, house, mortgage, never do we learn to enjoy and 'live' life as it should be lived - enjoying the pleasures of every moment, living instead of passing time!



That is why I have this rule - to me, ice cream signifies life, you have to enjoy it in that moment, it won't wait for you, and you have to make sure you don't just eat it but taste it fully, cherishing every smooth bite, letting it melt in your mouth, not in the bowl!



Damn! Now I want ice cream! :-)

Thought of the day - 18th June 2007

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind.
To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get
worse.
To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better.
To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make
things better.

- King Whitney Jr.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I can't live without you!

"I can't live without you!"

This is a typical line taken from 99% of the Hindi movies, it's a
standard part of the expression of love. Even in English movies.
It's a standard line, it's an oft-used line, it's a sincere line, but
it's not true!
Long time back when I was a teenager, I had a friend. At that age when
you are not allowed to travel too much, and don't have a big internet
circle (come on those were the 80's, and that was India), then the
friends who live on the same street mean a lot to you. This guy was a
little older than me and not considered good company in the eyes of my
parents. I didn't learn any bad habits in his company. I did learn to
read in his company. His dad's business was such that they used to get
a lot of second-hand books which I had full access to because of my
friend. But other than the free-books facility, he was a daily-meet
kind of friend and fun to be with. A cool kind of guy, you know. I
learnt a lot of things from him.
And then he moved away! The period just before his going away was one
of the saddest of my life. Till date. He was a close friend and a damn
good friend!
The last lesson that I learnt from him was not from him but from his
moving away. I had been dreading the time when I would not have him to
hang out with but I could not do anything about it! But then, after he
was really gone, I found that life still went on. Not only did I learn
to be happy without him but I did not miss him that much as time went
on.
That was my first lesson in life that people come and go but life goes on.
Yes, my point is that we can live without anyone. Even the ones that
we think we can't live without. My opinion is that it is better to be
the kind of person whocan live without anyone. Sure, the homo sapiens
is a social animal and sure we should learn to love and be loved but
we have to have that zest for life, that happiness within us. I forget
the source of the quote but I read one that said that we cannot rely
on our mate, present or any imaginary perfect someone, to make us
happy.
If you are able to live with yourself, not needing anyone, then you
have found that source of happiness, the fountain of youth, the stream
of life which makes you complete! Then you can easily share that
happiness, that flow of energy with anyone and everyone who comes in
contact with you. Then you don't have to worry that the other person
is not a 'special someone' or a friend or a family member. Then you
are like a stream of happiness, a source of love and life that anyone
can dip his hands into.
Then when you meet someone, that special someone, they will not
complete your life, they will make it overflow with joy!
On the other hand, if you 'cannot live without someone', that someone
being a particular person or one you are searching for, you are
accepting and thereby creating a void (,
read about it here Ontological Undecidability or more accurately Schrodinger's cat) in your life.
And when you are incomplete, your expectations from the other person
rise, and that may easily cause a relationship to fail or a search to
go unfinished.
In one of Seinfeld's stand-up comedy bits he was talking about those
advertisements that say, "If you watch just one movie this summer,
make it this one". He says, "I don't like the kind of pressure it puts
on this one movie. If I was going to watch 4 movies, this one has to
be as good as those 4."
He was joking but we are not joking when we want a lifetime of
happiness from one person, real or imaginary. We are putting too much
pressure on that one image, the one Mr. or Miss Right. That in itself
is a recipe for disaster.
The equation for interpersonal relationships that I like is the one
described by Stephen R. Covey in his book 7 habits of Highly Effective
People: 1 + 1 > 2.
You can live without them but living with them is added bonus, a
celebration of life, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! And
that, is worth searching for! :-)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thought of the day - 15th June 2007

It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.
- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pay your money and make your choice

Last night, I was talking to this girl, on chat of course, we were
talking about personal life, hers, and I said, "Well, as long as you are
happy!"
And she replied, "I choose to be."

And I thought, what a fantastic choice of words. It goes to show the
attitude. She chooses to be happy so she will be happy no matter what.

Most of us don't realize when we make this choice but we do, all of us,
make this choice, to be happy or unhappy.

In Leo Tolstoy's words, "If you want to be happy, be!". Notice that
there are no actions involved, there is nothing to "do" before you "be"
happy. Happiness is not a circumstance, it's a state of mind, a simple
choice. And we make this choice every day, every moment.

You don't really need a sandy beach, a motorboat or a waiter called
"Mario" to be happy. I am sure, you must know some people who can't be
happy even there. And some who can be just as happy anywhere.

If you want you can be happy just with a cup of tea, or you can be happy
stopped at a traffic light, or be happy reading a spam email. Everything
is as much a candidate to be a reason for happiness as otherwise.
Thankfully, real, major tragedy does not strike every day and everything
else is open to choice, our choice, on how we want to use it.

The first step in making the choice is to observe our own life and
behavior and see that we are indeed making this choice, without thinking
about it. Once we realize that, to change the choice is the next step.

I will close with Abraham Lincoln's words - "Most people are about as
happy as they make up their minds to be!"

Childhood lessons

Interesting post. Some of the lessons are funny.

http://leftinaboite.blogspot.com/2007/06/childhood-lessons.html

Thought of the day - 14th June 2007

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.
-Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Normally crazy



Becker - Season 1 - Episode 14 "Larry Spoke".

Becker is examining a guy and this guy has been painting and repainting
his apartment in different colors. When Becker asks him why, he says,
"Larry says so. He can't make up his mind."
Becker: "Larry? Who's Larry?"
Man: "Larry is God's first name."

LOL.

Is this man crazy who thinks he can talk to God?

And what are the other billions of people doing when they go to the
temple, mosque, church or whatever they choose to call it, and "pray"?
Are they not talking to God?

What is "normal"? This is a huge, really vast topic, requiring of hours
of long discussion, arguments and counter-arguments but I am tackling it
because it's a recurring thought in my mind. I will try to keep it
brief.

Let me clear my position at the outset. I think that there is a very,
very fine line between a so-called normal person and a certified crazy
one. In order to illustrate my point I imagine a situation where a
person is being examined by a psychiatrist in order to ascertain if they
are crazy or not. And that person is me. I wonder quite often if I would
pass that test. :-)

Look at some of the things that "sane" people do. They drive high speed
automobiles filled with an extremely inflammable fluid. There have been
incidents of this "catch fire and die" kind in the past, quite a lot of
them, yet the sane people don't stop using such dangerous things like
cars and motorbikes. Why? Because it's a faster way to get there.

Now, consider a person who's sitting on a tree branch cutting the same
branch he's sitting on. It is his way of getting wood and climbing down
fast, in one go. This person you'd call crazy. Why?

A couple who work at some job and know that they are neither happy nor
rich still they put their own children through the same course destined
for the same kind of life. Are they normal? You'd say so.

A man who doesn't send his kids to school but puts them to work or gives
them seemingly stupid and sometimes risky assignments in order to "build
their character", is he crazy? Highly eccentric at least.

A person who spends hours in a plastic seat looking at other people
playing with wooden sticks and balls (call it cricket or baseball or
whatever you like), and he spends his hard earned money to do this, is
he crazy? Nope.

A person who sits on a log at a riverbank, silently, looking at birds
and squirrels, for hours. Is he crazy? Questionable at least.

A person who collects stamps. Philatelist.

A person who collects toenails. Crazy.

A man who blogs. Normal.

A man who talks to himself. Crazy!

I have about a thousand more examples in mind but I think you get the
pattern. Normal is what everybody else is doing, no matter how crazy
that is. In Osho's word, "The world is afraid of original people."

In someone else's words, "Those who dance are considered insane by those
who can't hear the music."

Thought of the day - 13th June 2007

Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just Ask Anybody!


In the land of India, where GPS devices are still not commonplace and Google and Expedia dare not map the unplanned cities, the primary source of directions is by word of mouth. When you ask someone for directions to their house it is common for that person to end the directions with something like, "once you get there, just ask anybody...", the impression being conveyed that the person is so well-known in the area that anybody will lead you to his house once you get in the vicinity. Sometimes the "vicinity" mentioned is as large as a small town consisting of several thousand people.
Of course, as you might have guessed, once you get there you find that your friend is living under an illusion and not only by name, but noone can direct you to his house even by the address.
To be known is a need, sometimes for vanity, sometimes for the convenience of your visitors and quite often for commercial purposes. This last is why there is such a thing as Search Engine Optimization where a team of skilled web designers/developers can optimize you website in a such a way as to be easily found by the popular search engines.
This is one face of the coin - information providers. The other side is the information seekers. The word "Google" has become a verb because it is a common practice to start the search from www.google.com no matter what you are looking for. I have no first hand experience of it, but I have read that people living in big metros like New York City do actually Google their dates prior to meeting them in person.
Now, let me mention the fact for which I have carefully laid this foundation :-) - If you enter the words "Sunil Goswami" (with or without quotes, lowercase or uppercase) in Google's search box, the first link that is returned is this blog. After spending about a decade on the internet I have become "Googleable". I was on the first page before too but now, on top. I don't know if I should feel proud about it but I do. :-)
Go on, try it. I know you want to. LOL.

New Item on Wishlist


I was remarking to someone recently that buying an ultimate phone/pda/pocketpc has one disadvantage that you can't look to upgrade simply because there's nothing you can upgrade to.

So, I have this QTEK 9000/i-mate Jasjar that I really, really like and there's nothing I can upgrade to even if I wanted to. There is nothing that gives me the features that I miss in this great pocket pc - a built-in GPS for example.

Now, there is one that dares to take my fancy even though I am not yet convinced that it deserves to be my next phone/pocketpc.

It's called O2 XDA Flame, its big boast is that it has an NVidia graphics processor and an Intel XScale 520MHz processor.

The reason I am considering coolly instead of drooling all over it is that it lacks some things - like a built-in keyboard, EDGE, built-in GPS etc.

The things that attract me are - USB support (the possibilities are endless), NVidia graphics (must be amazing), SurroundSound, 2GB of onboard memory, and the coolness factor of the latest in mobile electronics.

It's about £600 in UK. Plenty of reason to deliberate slowly and coolly. :-)

Thought of the day - 12th June 2007

He who has so little knowledge of human nature
as to seek happiness
by changing anything but his own disposition
will waste his life in fruitless efforts.
-Samuel Johnson

Monday, June 11, 2007

Belief me not!

"I have no beliefs. Beliefs get in the way of learning."

I read this from Lazarus Long in Heinlein's wonderful saga of the
long-lived Howard Families - "Time Enough for Love", it sounds like the
title of a XXX movie but it's science-fiction and damned good one at
that.

This one made me think about my own beliefs, about God, about religion,
about a lot of other things. I had to accept that there was a lot of
truth in this simple statement. Once we acquire a certain belief we
close our minds towards other opinions or facts on that topic. That is
why science fiction is so dangerous. Not because of the way gadgests
change and improve but because of the way it shakes our beliefs -
cultural and personal. Whatever you think, whatever you believe,
everything is acquired from the society's conditioning, right from birth
to present moment. And once you start thinking on the lines of "I have
no beliefs..." you realize how many beliefs you had, what an astounding
number of beliefs that you thought your own you picked up from the
society and how many of them can bear to have a question mark against
them....

The topic is such that I am not sure I am making sense, but if anybody
can understand any part of it, I'd love to hear their opinion on this.

Making a difference

The story speaks for itself.

A small boy was walking along a beach at low tide, where countless
thousands of small sea creatures, having been washed up, were stranded
and doomed to perish. A man watched as the boy picked up individual
creatures and took them back into the water.

"I can see you're being very kind," said the watching man, "But there
must be a million of them; it can't possibly make any difference."

Returning from the water's edge, the boy said, "It will for that one."

Thought of the day - 11th June 2007

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

-Unknown

Friday, June 08, 2007

Melody's Moods: Status Drama

I like people who think straight like this - read all about it here:

Melody's Moods: Status Drama

Thought of the day - 8th June 2007

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
-Attributed to both Jonathan Swift and Benjamin Franklin

Lazyasses of the world unite...

Of course, I realize the irony of this call...if they are really lazy
they'll just ignore my call to unite and roll over...

But I wanted to take this opportunity to defend all the lazyasses in the
world like me. The way the word "Lazy" is used in a derogatory tone is
really stupid and offensive. If you stop to think (or listen to me)
you'll realize that all the progress in this world is made because of
lazy people.

We invented the wheel because we were getting too lazy to want to walk
everywhere. That led to carts and in due course, cars, when our laziness
increased to the point that we didn't even want to go to all the trouble
of harnessing the bull.

The man who invented the pipeline (Parable of the Pipeline - Burke
Hedges), was too lazy to carry buckets of water all day.

The elevator was invented by someone who was too lazy to climb the
stairs.

In computers, the hard working people are operators and the lazy people
become programmers. The lazier a man is, the better he will be in
programming.

And so on and so forth. When a man is lazy, he wants better, easier way
of doing things and new devices are invented...

So, applaud the laziness in you and your fellow beings, do not be
ashamed of your laziness!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thought of the day - 7th June 2007

"Failure is not the worst thing in the world. The very worst
thing is not to try."
-Unknown

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The limit of flight

Some things just simply give inspiration. I have quite a few small
things that inspire and motivate me just by thinking of them. For
example this small Urdu sher:

MaiN kahaN ruk_ta hooN arsho-farsh ki aawaaz sey,
Mujh ko jaanaa hai bahut ooper had-e-parwaaz sey!

I think it is by Allama Iqbal but I am not sure.

Translation:
I cannot be stopped by the call of the Earth or the Sky,
Higher than the limit of flight itself, I must fly!


Hehe, first time that I was able to make a translation rhyme. Should
make it the last time...lol.

Thought of the day - 6th June 2007

Don't ever say that you don't have enough time.

You have exactly the same number of hours in a day

That were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur,
Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci,
Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

Make best use of all the time you have.

Once lost, you will never get it again........

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thought of the day - 5th June 2006

No one will ever see me quit, because I simply won't. If I start
something, I will finish it and do it well."
-Steve Belmarsh

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thought of the day - 4th June 2007

Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.
-Michael Landon

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Plus ce Change, Plus ce la Meme Chose

"The more things change, the more they remain the same!"

That's what I was thinking when I got my bike today. It was a long time ago that I used to ride a bike. Then I moved on motorcycle. Then to a car. And then, when I moved back to India, back to motorbike.

Then finally to public transport in UK. Maybe that's why I never liked UK. I never like public transport no matter how clean or how punctual it is. No, that's not true. In Germany, I loved the trams and trains, they were clean, and they were punctual not like here.

But biking is different here, or rather, now. Or are they just words that mean the same thing? Ok, I'll use the time-traveler's vocabulary and say, here-now. So, mountain biking is different from the kind of city-biking I did and the bikes here-now are also kind of different. But I had my good friend Steve to guide me through the starting hassles and also to actively help where I was too much of a novice.

The final result was that in the span of a few hours I could actually ride this bike which was not fit for use when I got it.

This being a Sunday evening, I decided to make use of the lull in traffic to do a dry run to the office on the bike.

The journey was not really long, only about 3 miles, but very educational. I know you are going to say that I philosophize (hope I spelled that right) too much, but I can't help it. Every Indian is half-philosopher by birth, life has pushed me the rest of the way. :-)

I had my bluetooth GPS receiver dangling by the handlebar while the sweet female voice whispered directions in my ear. I left my pocketpc on my belt clip as I did not have a bike clip for that yet. There came a point in the journey when the lady in my ear was telling me to "take the roundabout" repeatedly and no matter which way I turned on the bike lanes, I could not get into the roundabout nor find the road she was indicating. Yes, I checked the pocketpc screen but it didn't make sense either.

Time was not in my favour and I seriously considered turning back. And the factor that made me decide was not biking but life, it signified turning back, from a challenge, from adversarial conditions, and it signified giving up, something that I do not like to do. The thought in my mind was, "...that's not how I do things!"

The solution was in the same factor as in life - Risk. I had to leave the safety of the bike lanes and ride on to the big bad road if I wanted to reach my destination. And that's what I did! Never have I smiled so happily to see my office building come into view, any office building that I worked in!

As I stepped off, or rather jumped off, as it was the bike, from the curb to the road, my GPS receiver went "splat" on the road. No, there were no tears in my eyes as I picked it up in 3 pieces from the road. It was not just a loss of money but it was a special GPS receiver, the first of my life...I had spent so many hours looking for it in Germany, with the help of my friend, Thomas. I had it when I had no GPS software. When I got GPS software, I was riding in buses. No use for GPS.

And today, when the first time in my life I had use for it, it went and broke, with me so far from home. But did I cry? No! It's all part of life.

Well, I did make it back in one piece. One, tired, sore, sweaty, smelly, piece. But happy!

That last word is all that counts with me! Only that one!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Thought of the day - 1st June 2007

No life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it.

-Ellen Glasgow


I will try to think of this when it rains this weekend.

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