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So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail? A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change? And did you exchange
a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,
year after year,
running over the same old ground. What have we found?
The same old fears,
wish you were here.

This is one of the mails that I received recently.. Simply great!

2005 Has sped by


Now, we need to face 2006
There may be risks involved
We may need to face roadblocks
So stay alert
Share time with friends & family
Jump over obstacles
With care
And caution
Face challenges
Remember to laugh
Cooperate
Discover
Make new friends
Above all…be ready for adventure
Stick together
And you will be able to go far
Very far….
Well, not quite that far….
Always take time to smell the flowers
Don’t forget to relax and enjoy
Merry Christmas
&

Happy New Year

My college campus (IIT Madras) is huge with 650 acres of land. Out of the 650 acres, around 86% is the forest area inhabited by wild animals like spotted deers, blackbucks, monkeys and a large variety of reptiles and birds. Only 14% is occupied with the academic buildings, hostels, play grounds,shops and staff quarters. A really great campus indeed.

Today, I happen to come across the carcass of a male spotted deer. This deer was full grown, and the workers in IIT were burying it. I just hung around the place out of curiosity, so was a female spotted deer. Was there a drop of tear in its eyes? I guess so! I thought it was recalling the priceless (copyright: Mastercard) moments spent with the stag.

Later on, I recollected the fact that spotted deers live in large herds having a large number of females and a few stags. If that is to be true, the female deer that was around was just another curious bystander like me. But I am sure I have seen a drop of tear in its eyes.May be I am imagining things, but I refuse to admit it.

There are very few species on the earth other than humans that is bounded by emotional relationship between the couples (There is a reference in ramayana about the krauncha midhuna , a really touching story). Monkeys, for instance, has relationship that looks more physical/mechanical than emotional.

The stag leaves this wonderful earth, without leaving a trace of its life on earth, with noone to lament over its death, or noone to remember about its stay on this world.

I am lucky to be born as a human being, with a lot of people caring about me.

To the dead stag and its eternal soul, I dedicate this post.

(Talking about the word “eternal”, there is a very nice movie which I recently happen to see
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It is one of the best movies that I have seen recently)

Time for yet another warm new year and the dawns of 2006 are knocking at the door. Before moving afresh into the new year, its customary for me to write out the new year resolutions. About the new year resolutions, I have always made it a point to make a list of resolutions,ever since my school days. I find it very easy to make a list as I need to just append the previous list with some more resolutions as the years pass by. Shady me!

{On retrospection, 2005 has been a yet another year, which was action packed till the end (hmmm… it turned out to be somewhat sluggish in the end, thanks to the weather at madras).
I had a lot of accomplishments as well as failures. I made many acquaintances, and many left me without leaving a note of good bye. I learnt new things through out the year, many of them as it came and some them in the hard way.At the end of the day, I am satisfied and happy with what I am and who I am, and the rest is immaterial. I thank God for providing my with another totally different year of life on this good earth.

An incident that will remain with me forever, is the loss of one of my closest friends Kannan, who was in NIT Jaipur, in an unfortunate Bike Accident on the black saturday of January 8th 2005. It has been the shocker of the year so far}

Coming back to the New Year resolutions, my resolutions for 2006 begin with the routine ones.

1. I need to manage my time in a better way. A timetable should be made and followed
2. I need to devote more time on academics. After all, that is what I am here for.
3. I will not postpone things to the eleventh hour
4. I will do sandhya vandan once in a while, and pray to God daily
5. I will not waste time by stumbling upon arbitrary websites (new)
6. I will not skip anymore break fasts.
7. I will not lie to my mother, and try to be as truthful as I can to her.
8. I will reduce the frequency of checking my mails from 300 times a day to 5 times a day (new)
9. Reduce the no. of sms from 30-60/ day to a bare minimum
(The last two are concentration spoilers, I need concentration for longer periods)
10. I will try my hand in more serious reading than the regular cheap fictions.
11. I will clean the room daily, and wash clothes regularly.
12. I will not blog again in my anonymous blog id, where I have put all my dirty fantasiesgiving vent to my emotions (I have already deleted the posts, but the blog remains!)
13. I will try to stick to these resolutions as much as I can, irrespective of the situation and logical justifications

The list is highly incomplete, and will be updated in due course before the new year. Now its time for me to enjoy to the fullest, the breaking the resolutions that I made last year, so that I won’t be tempted to break them again next year :P.

This issue has been in the news for a while now and the discussion on the issue has somewhat subsided by now. But I just wonder about the mental state of call center employees now. Have they recovered from the mental shock that raises serious questions about their security? This issue has been a wake up call to all the BPOs, to tighten the security measures in their “outsourced” transportation services, especially those that are sent to pick up women. I believe the bus services are better than the single cab that has been sent (it’s similar to carpooling, where three or four of the employees go in a single car).

Another observation is that women need to be more precautious while getting into the car that has been sent to pick them up especially at the night time. I read somewhere that the same person who did this heinous act, the “faked” car driver tried to pick two other women working in the same firm, but they smelled something fishy, and refused to get into the car. And the actual cab was on its way to pick these ladies. This calls for a minor negligence from the part of the lady, who had to unfortunately pay a huge price for that act.

I believe it is always better to confirm in case of any doubts than take the word of the driver. A call to the center to confirm the identity of the driver probably would have saved her life. Moreover, there has to be some kind of identity card for the cab driver that can ensure that she is being picked by the right cab / person.

Hope the BPO companies learn a good lesson or two from this unfortunate incident.

Another thing that I found interesting is Bush’s message to the Americans

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/12/18/bush.transcript/

This is a rather funny speech by the great President of United States. Especially his comments on the so called “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq are extremely hilarious.
I believe Bush has realized that he cannot still cover up his motive behind the Iraq attack, under the pretext of destroying the “weapons of mass destruction”. He admits that there has been a flaw (he tries to trivialize it!) in the intelligence reports about the weapons of mass destruction. Hence he changes the objective of Iraqi attack to eradicating the dictatorship of Saddam, hence freeing the Iraq Junta, now providing them with security, democracy and reconstruction. Very easy to change the war objectives at the hindsight, right?

Moreover he calls for patience from the US Citizens regarding withdrawing the troops. He feels that the credibility of American War against terrorism will be questioned if he withdraws the troops before completing the rehabilitation of Iraq. I just cannot understand how is he going to withdraw the troops, and what great explanation will he give at that point. He tends to understand and acknowledge the sentiments of the American citizens whose kin were sacrificed for the noble act of fight against terrorism.
Wow! Great Mr. President! Kudos to you!

Finally some entertainment too! Found this website while browsing,

http://www.pandora.com

A pretty neat radio station, if you like western music, Pandora is much better that yahoo radiocast.

Wishing everyone who happen to stumble in this webpage a great week ahead, and happy Christmas and a warm New Year..

One of the songs that have always been at the top of my favorites list is “But it rained”, composed by an Indian rock band named Parikrama. I have listened to two of their songs and I found both of these songs very good. They have tried to create an identity of their own through these songs. If I can rate them based on these two songs that I have heard, they are nothing short of world class. Ever wondering since then, what it this band up to these days? I have not heard about this band making any headlines anywhere.

Then I happen to stumble upon this news. Parikrama is singing a song, on the occasion of Bill Gates releasing the next generation of integrated computing platform from Microsoft – Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 in India on December 9, 2005. I found this band over there, with their latest song, named super hero, dedicated to all software professionals. The song can be downloaded from the Microsoft website. Parikrama, again has been able to come up with a very neat song. Though I would not rate this as high as “but it rained” or “till I am no one again”, this song is very decent, and the band has yet again proved that they are as good as any other band around the world.

I believe Parikrama and Moksha, will come up and represent India in the arena, which so far has been untouched by us,

Rock. They really rock!

Their songs have the attitude and identity required to be noticed…

Yo… they really rock and they can make it big.

Kudos to these front runners in the Indian rock!

The songs can be downloaded free from their websites.

Song: But it rained
Artist: Parikrama

Wrapped in a polythene, tucked away safe in my mind
A little goodbye, maybe, or just a passing smile

The birds fly away to the sky still searching for home
a bunch o’ paper flowers, or a little child left all alone
Can somebody hear me, I’m screaming from so far away
morning who’ll calm you, the evening’s eclipsed again

Well does life get any better
more yesterday than today
how I thought the sun would shine tomorrow
but it rained…

They justified the cause for which Daddy might give up his life,
it’s been so long, so long a time but still I miss Daddy at night
The ache is long gone but the never keeps staring at me
the waters in the seas are high, and all the sand castles have drowned

Well does life get any better
more yesterday than today
how I thought the sun would shine tomorrow
but it rained…

It was raining heavily in Chennai. Many of the roads around, namely the kotturpuram road and Nelson Manickam Road are blocked due to the rain. Moreover, it is very difficult to travel in the rain. So I thought of communicating with the outer world through the World Wide Web.

1. Switched on my computer; logged in, stopped gtalk from logging in (this is driving my hysterical..!@#@.. Every time, I remove it from startup, somehow it finds its way back to the startup.), closed msn (I will kill sabeer bhatia for selling hotmail to Microsoft)

2. After 5 minutes of great effort, I managed to open the firefox browser.

Blink

There has been a black out… What the hell… I don’t have an ups, and the power connection is very unstable these days with black outs every now and then 😦

3. Immediately power was restored. I wonder if this is done by some sadist to see how many computers core dump by doing so. These guys should be caught and shot.

4.. Back to step 1 and 2, and then jump to step 5.

5. Checked my mails. My yahoo id is more or less a junk inbox these days. I get mails congratulating me for winning the million pound British online lottery, mails asking me to pay back the loan that I never took from a bank that I have never heard about in my life, nth invitation to the names database, sent by some idiot, and which keeps me sending the reminders. I wish to forget about it, then wtf? Another two mails, one from Ringo, and the other from birthday calendar.

Some nonsense.

After deleting all these, I am welcomed by a very sentimental mail that says, if I don’t spam all my friends with that mail, I will have my b@!!s cut off by none other than the God almighty. I should be lucky to meet God, if that is the case. Then comes the junk forwards (many of them are nice but) and to add to my woes, most of them are forwarded by me to these guys (yup! I am also a spammer!)

6. After painstakingly going through all the mails, I log in to orkut. These days, orkut are better, because they are yet to understand the eternal satisfaction of spamming. After signing in, I am welcomed by this beautiful screen.

How tragic! I felt like killing Mr. Orkut Buyukkokten, who developed this nice thing called orkut, and making me addicted to it and then paining me like this. I have told those guys infinite times that I don’t need your f!@#ing donuts First of all I hate donuts. Secondly, if I want a few, I am rich enough to buy them. After all, it costs below 10 bucks here.

7. So I closed the browser, and started making a call to one of my friends. Its ringing, I went out of my room in search of a better coverage and he picked the phone up. After that, we both can hear someone else talking through the phone.

Adaa Paavi… enna pannaray??


WTF! I don’t know any Mr. Paavi..The airtel coverage sucks these days. A lot of crosstalk these days and most of the time, the coverage is fluctuating, and the calls get disconnected quite often. I am getting pissed off. After spending money on a couple of unsuccessful calls (Their tariff system seems to be up and running well! thhuu)

So I started smsing my friends. I am having free sms, and I want to exploit that facility. Here airtel outsmarted me again. I got the message: Service not available.. I would have killed them if I got them then.

8. After calming down, I decided to call the customer care. I tried 121, 123 and 124, to be greeted by a dumb lady who kept on narrating about the new schemes and facilities provided by airtel, aiming to fool unsuspecting people like me. And they have removed the option to talk to airtel customer care personnel.
Finally I fished out the customer care number 9840012345. After waiting on line for few minutes, and explaining my problem for a few more minutes, I realized that this line is meant for post paid customers. I blew that personnel’s head off by blast
ing at him. He apologized and patiently gave me the no 9840198401. To add fuel to my fire, the call was charged too.

9. I have been trying to reach that no. since then. Everytime, I am greeted by the on screen message “Wrong Number”.

10. I changed my philosophy. I have finally decided to give up on these worldly issues. I have become a sadhoo. I have cut the contacts down, and I am meditating a lot these days. I am getting sound sleep now, and I am enjoying the eternal pleasure of Giving up. I guess I will attain salvation soon.

(PS: Please forward this message to as many people as possible. On failing to do so, you will have painful death, either by gingivitis or ant bites. This shall be the word of Guruji. So forward a.s.a.p and save yourself. Hail me!)




Yesterday, Vibin, Vimal and I paid a visit to KFI at Greenways Road, 20 minutes from IIT Main Gate. On reaching there, a big pool of water welcomed us. After rolling our pants up and virtually swimming through the pool, we entered the “Vasantha Vihar” as it is called.
The whole vihar is very serene, with absolute silence and freshness around. There are guest houses and villas, where one can take his weekend off, away from the otherwise busy and tense outer world. We went straight into the study, and were assisted by a foreign lady, who has taken over the charge of the study yesterday. In the study, there are books, cds, cassettes and video cassettes. Most of them are the talks given by Jiddu Krishamurthy at various places in the world. As there was only one of the T V sets that were free at that time, I went on to watch an introductory video about Krishnamurthy, while Vimal and Vibin were scanning through the books that were available.
The video more or less covered the life of JK. It also had excerpts of some of the most important ideas that he had about life. As he has given talks for more than 45 years in his life, he has more or less voiced his opinion in all phases of one’s life. So it is very difficult to comment on his opinions, as there is bound to be huge differences in opinion from his views. What I gather about his basic principle in life is to be free from all prejudices, and do what you want, without getting influenced by any entity. He calls us to go ahead and be free from all dogma, and live a life of our own.
Before leaving, the lady asked me: “How does it feel?”
I replied: “It is too early for me to comment about it, I need more time to go through his works before coming out with an opinion. The opinion that I have now is very premature, and I am afraid, it might not be the right one”
True. I am yet to frame an opinion about JK. One hand his principles and ideas about life in general is great and very much true. But on the other hand, his opinion about the aspects of life is somewhat difficult to digest. So I appreciate some of his teachings, while detest many of his ideas. I really need more time to think about it.

“The teachings are not something out there in a book; what the teachings say is, ‘Look at yourself, go into yourself, inquire into what is there, understand it, go beyond it’, and so on. The teachings are only a means of pointing, explaining, but you have to understand, not the teachings, but yourself.– Krishnamurthy.

Next Destination: Osho.