Dec 30, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust :)



Another one from our B-tech batch losing his bachelor status.. My project partner (a.k.a partner in fraud ) Ibrahim getting married on Jan-6.. He's special in many ways..

-- Only student in perhaps the entire NITC history to have his home nearer than hostel from class.( his home is couple of plots behind Mamachan)
-- Even with that proximity , he took a room in hostel with the intention of studying :-)
-- He studied quite a bit..And at the end of 4th year, he became an expert in FIFA-2000 :-) .
-- NITC Football captain with a rather awesome victory streak in Calicut league :-).
-- Now enrolled in M-tech @IITK, he aspires to come back to NITC and join there as a lecturer few years down the lane..I sincerely wish he succeeds in that.

( Hopefully he won't read this post :-) )

His wedding ( or rather reception ) gives me another opportunity to visit NITC Campus..I'm off to Calicut on coming saturday eve... Last time I visited college was in Feb-07 for Raagam.. Heard quite a few changes have come up in campus. So,would be back next week with some snaps from NITC and hopefully some campus gossips :-)

..And yeah, Happy new year to all

Ajith

Dec 26, 2007

The Alchemy Of Wrong Times



When do you realize that you are going through a bad patch ?

-- When you take a wrong turn at a very familiar traffic junction..
-- When you get problems from the least expected sources..
-- When things which you'll normally do within an hour takes you about one day..
-- You blog when you should be sleeping..
-- When everything that u do hit one roadblock or other..
-- When you forget things that you should be remembering
-- When even your cellphone fails ( My motoming is getting switched off automatically
once in a while..any pointers to probable reasons?? )

Suggested solutions by various people

-- Take a beer :-) ..( New yr party coming up :-) )
-- Be professional..Do one task at a time and be focussed on it.. ( I try to do that ..but in the long run, man is not a machine )
-- Assume nothing is wrong..Do things the way you do ( Thats a good one..but things will go on till one thing or other breaks down )
-- Find a girl ( I remember a famous quote which someone forwarded -- " Statistically every average looking girl in b'lore has atleast two boyfriends and 4 other guys who claim to be her boyfriends " ..I don't want to add more chaos :-) )
-- Travel ( Just back from a 4 day break which involved quite a lot of travel )
-- Blog these things ( Yeah..thats what I'm doing )


Ajith

Dec 18, 2007

The Dairy Circle Junction



This is a unique place in the road-map of Bangalore ..or even in India.. The unique features of this place ..

1) This is a four-way junction under a flyover and over an under-pass with 8 roads , 2 each in each direction , all one-ways with well visible & working signals..Technically a well-thought about and well-designed traffic plan - an extremely rare piece of engineering in India perhaps ..

2) 90% of the people don't bother about the signals at this place.. Even if the signal is green, you'll have to look to all four directions and then take your vehicle. All are alike in breaking signals at this place..bike riders, auto-wallahs , bus/car/lorry - drivers and even cyclists.

3) Only place where you can see vehicles taking all possible directions and U-turns simultaneously even if the signal is red .



-- See the snap of this place..Taken at a time when there is not much traffic..but you can still see vehicles moving in all directions.. I'll upload another one once I get a full-traffic-jam picture at this location.. Sigh!!!.. Games Indians Play ...Also, read Vinay' post about driving at this place..


Ajith


Off-track news :- Nayantara is 'hot' in Billa :)

Dec 10, 2007

Dilbert pokes fun @ IIT again :-)



Scott Adams comes back to the IIT topic again..See the latest strip @ http://www.dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilbert-20071210.html ( Link Will be active for about a month ) .. The intern Ashok claims to have learned "Guided Reincarnation & Advanced Shape Shifting " ( Phew !! ) @ IIT .. Some of Dilbert's best IIT linked comic strips can be located @ http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in/~ajitb/dilbert.html

People have varying opinions about this IIT aspect in Dilbert..Some say it is a testimony to the success of the IIT system...Some say he's being sarcastic beyond a limit.. But either way, it is a good stress-reliever :-) ..

Ajith

Dec 6, 2007

Why I didn't study Computer Science further ??



I keep getting this question again & again from various quarters..professors, friends, relatives, acquaintances .. when they hear that I'm studying management.. Recently a lady whom I knew during Pre-degree popped the same question "Why I didnt study Computer science/Technical Stream further ? " .. The reasons are a lot.. I'm describing it in a nutshell below. These views/experiences are extremely personal and if it offends anyone studying technical stream/ Computer science, sorry for that...

1) A good portion of research in Computer Science happens in areas which does not have the potential to do any immediate benefit to human beings..I mean, algorithms, theory of computation, graph theory etc..Even if you theoretically establish something new, it may take generations for it to be of any good use to an average human being... And I'm not that innovative or extra-ordinarily talented to something really path-breaking ...

2) A good amount of thesis work in Computer Science happens by improving complexities of existing algorithms.. And that too at an extremely low level of performance improvement.. I didnt find those attractive..

3) There is something called Chaos Theory in physics.. It deals with things like "how a bird's wing-flapping in Philippines would cause a hurricane in Argentina" and stuff like that..I strangely felt studying advanced theoretical computer science was somewhat like that..Studying things that are of abysmally low use to general public..

4) Most of my studies in B-tech were focussed on how to get a job rather than how to appreciate the subject ( Not the fault of anyone else ..but personal reasons.. ) . I regret having had that attitude during those days.

5) I did attempt getting serious into studies , reading a lot on subjects , reading tech-journals etc from 2nd yr end and 3rd yr in engineering..partly to push up the grades to make me eligible for placement, partly to forget a personal problem.. Those were the days when placements where not expected to be that good ..Hence, I did put in lot of effort during those days..Got placed in Oracle somehow.. ( thats again a weird story ..would publish that later ) .. After that I decided to do a system-level B-tech Project to revive my passion in CS.. But exactly opposite of that happened.. The project report ( linked) might seem impressive..But I've to admit, this is perhaps the most fraud-project that I've ever done.. It does not mean that we didn't put in effort..we did..but we learned that it is extremely difficult to make hardware listen to what you have coded...This was the final nail in the coffin of CS :-) .. Strangely , this B-tech project turned out to be extremely popular.. After I passed out , I've got atleast about 3 / 4 phone calls or mails from students of different colleges in Kerala and NITC , who got 'inspired' by reading that report and wanted to do something like that ( I'm not bluffing here ..but I really find it intriguing about what is so inspirational in that report :-) )

6) Perhaps the only technical subject that I was really interested in my B-tech days was 'Digital Signal Processing' ..This I studied in third year as an elective..And this was the paper in which I got the maximum marks in my entire B-tech life .. 49/50 in sessionals and 92 /100 in finals .. Murali Sir took that and his style of teaching was extremely impressive.. Strangely the interest towards this died down very quickly in final yr..I don't know why..but it happened...Maybe I feel, if I had done my final yr project in something related to software aspects of DSP, story might have been a bit different..

7) I started to read a lot of general things starting in final year.. This somehow cultivated an interest towards management.. This I'll admit anyday, the fat-salaries in investment banking and all were never a determining factor..I'm not suited for that life.. Rather it was a desire to do something different..something useful to the society..People may argue what real help does MBA graduates do to the nation & society other than inflating the foreign exchange reserves.. But there are exceptions.. There are people who really do useful things after MBA . And management education , be it in any form , equips you really well for that..Its a different matter whether you really do something or not.. But it definitely prepares you. These 'realizations' ( some friends call it fallacies ) somehow fueled my desire to do a management degree..

8) Professional factors.. I definitely see lot of scope in ERP sector if you have work exp in that & have an MBA degree.. More than MS, MBA makes sense here.


-- Thats all I can recollect..I think I've covered most.

Ajith

Dec 3, 2007

How good is Amazon's delivery in India ?



I see a lot of interesting books and DVD's on Amazon's site.. And quite a lot of them are not available in book-stalls in b'lore like Landmark.. How is Amazon's reliability over these online purchases ? I've stayed away from that mode of purchase after an irritating experience with Indiatimes .. And anyday, I'd prefer going to a huge bookstall like Landmark/Crosswords rather than buying online because of that atmosphere.. But, maybe owing to low demand, lot of books & DVD's are not available even in these top-class stores in India.. So, I'm thinking of trying Amazon..

If any of you are regular/one-time customers of amazon, could you please comment here or mail to ajithprasadb - at - gmail.com over their reliability/speed of delivery etc in India..

Thanks
Ajith

Nov 28, 2007

Capitalism at its best !!!



See how a Wall-street investment banker addresses the queries of Ms. Pretty .
Have to appreciate her honesty though :) . Isnt it ? I thought of drawing a2x2 matrix over this..But would be an overkill.. :-) .


Ajith

Nov 23, 2007

An Interesting Interview



In this age of social-networking , most of us would have got some survey links from friends who are doing their MBA courses.. Now,there is an interesting thing about these surveys..They are not just random questions. An ideal marketing survey is supposed to give you responses using which you should be able to derive some quantitative stats..There is a lot of thought process that goes into ( or, it is supposed to :) ) this question setting phase..

Leaving out the quantitative/marketing side, whenever one is conducting an interview the set of questions that he/she is asking should be ideal.. Often lot of interviews that come in top-notch magazines convey very little information..Infact an interview can be most useful only if the interviewee & interviewer are well prepared..And today, I came across such an interview . Thats a link in which Rashmi Bansal ( founder - jammag.com, IIMA alumnus ) interviews an IITB-IIMB alumnus Vibhor Agarwal , who quit his AT Kearney consulting job to take up his family business. The striking thing about this interview is the the set of questions.. Infact, the questions which she asked covered most of the aspects that is relevant to the context. Without that set of questions, I think the interview would have been a total waste.

Good job :)

Ajith

( PS:- This is my 100th post in this blog :) )

Nov 15, 2007

Entrepreneurship bug biting more NITCians



This is about a venture started by two of my seniors ( Jeswin & Hemchand ) of NITC( erstwhile CREC ) - 02 batch. The venture is http://www.skillda.com . Its a professional networking site like Linked In.. However,I think they'll have to progress much to be anywhere near Linked In. If this attains a good critical mass, I guess they can think of selling this to Naukri/Monster etc ( just a personal opinion ) .. Anyway, worth a look right now..They have done the web-interface reasonably well and its pretty fast...Though don't expect much on the job/career front from that now.. But definitely worth a look :-)

Another venture owned by my immediate senior Zerin, an IIML passout is http://www.indigoedge.com/ ..This has been there for a while.

Interesting Times !!!!

Ajith

Nov 7, 2007

Devasuram -- A look back



One of my friends pointed me to these you-tube links of an old Malayalam movie - Devasuram. One of my all-time favorites in Malayalam.. This rekindled lot of memories...I regard the lead character of this movie, Mangalassery Neelakantan played by Mohan Lal as perhaps the most masculine characterization in a malayalam movie ever.. Unlike the superhuman / super-action hero based movies which came after this, Neelakantan / Neelan is a typical character having his own vices ( perhaps a lot of them ) .. And it is these vices & mistakes in his life that adds more than a human touch to the story line.. There is a subtle distinction between masculineness and unrealistic superheros ..And perhaps this is best illustrated by Neelan & Karthikeyan ( the role played by Lal in the sequel to this movie - Ravanaprabhu ) ... Karthikeyan in Ravanaprabhu is portrayed as an invincible super action hero.. But Neelakantan in Devasuram is essentially human.. Yet reckless, brave & intense ..

Known to very few people, this is actually based on the story of a person named "Mullassery Raju" . The transition that happens in Neelakantan from a rogue village guy squandering away his property to a man of virtue and values is really superb. This transition is second to only to perhaps the transition shown in Kireedam ( again a Lal movie, which earned him Bharat award ) ...

Current music : "Sooryakireedam..."

Ajith

Oct 25, 2007

The Waste Dumping Story



Earlier this week, I got this link from a friend. It tells about an incident where customs authorities seized some containers at Cochin, which were supposed to contain brown paper mix, but actually contained municipal waste from NewYork.. These are a few more subsequent links from other media [1] , [2] and [3] . The third link cites the name of the company which 'exported' this waste as 'Belsun Corp' .

I dug in a little bit into this using Google. I couldn't find the any website for this 'Belsun Corp'. However, this link gives details about its operations in NewYork. It seems it has been in operations since 2000 ( How much Garbage would they have 'exported' to India ?? ) . However, the striking thing is that its president seems to be an Indian ( Sanjay Kedia ) .A google search on Sanjay Kedia listed threw even more interesting results . Now, there is no way that we can conclusively establish that the 'infamous' Sanjay Kedia and the Belsun's Sanjay Kedia are same. After attending the Statistics classes by Prof: Shankar Venkatagiri @ IIMB , I know the pitfalls of going into such generalizations and gut feel even based on comparable backgrounds .. Hence , I'm a little bit reluctant to conclude that both Sanjay Kedias are same based on those Google searches.

However, another Google search on 'Belsun Corp' resulted in this link .Thats a PDF filed with SEBI - Securities & Exchange Board of India by an Indian company , Sarju International .They claim that Belsun is their subsidiary . Whats the most disturbing from these facts are that, this actually seems to be a big racket organized by Indians themselves to 'import' garbage from abroad to here ( as if the garbage here is not enough ) . As I've heard all political parties are up in arms in Kerala against the "imperialist western world" for dumping their waste to developing nations ( Have they declared a Bandh ?? ). Little do they realise that Indians themselves form an integral part of this racket.. Obviously as developed cities pay people huge money to dispose their municipal waste, it is an extremely lucrative thing for people to collect money from there , import municipal waste to here and throw it here and there in cities like Cochin. The Cochin firm which handled the 'client operations' is 'Kochin Kadlas' ( no worthy google links for this )

Though belatedly , SC has criticized Center over its failure on issues like this . I sincerely wish at-least this issue is well-handled & implemented.. These municipal waste could be one of the main sources of diseases like Dengue & Chikungunya which spread far and wide across the southern states sometime back.

India has enough waste to dispose or reprocess..Why for a few bucks these people are doing all this nonsense, which'll ultimately cause great harm to themselves ? In this connection, its worthy to read about Alang , the largest ship-breaking port in the world itself located in Gujarat. The wikipedia link has enough information about that.. Alang is another instance where the cost-advantage and lax environmental regulations bring money, but cause great harm to the Nation.


( Updated later: All Google Ads appearing for this post seems to be from various waste-management companies.. This is the first time I'm getting such a high correlation between the content in the post and the Ads appearing. I never knew that this waste management is such a thriving industry in the West.. Who knows how many Belsun Corps are there among these ..Sigh!!! )

Ajith

Oct 18, 2007

Any takers for Vidya Balan :-) ?




Quoting the ubiquitous Masala news paper - TOI report about Vidya Balan, "does she have anyone special? Nobody. That’s because most of the people I work with are either married or have girlfriends. So I guess I will have to look outside the industry more sincerely, she says." .... Well..by any chance is she looking towards software sector :-) ? ..

Also read this link too. Quoting TOI again "I've been single for too long:Vidya" ... Tempting ..Isn't it ?

PS - I love the way these people
report and make masala news :-)

PPS - Current music - " Pal pal pal pal ...... "


Ajith

Oct 16, 2007

NITC - Code of conduct



Couldn't resist posting about this.. Got a mail in NITC alumni group about the 'code of conduct' published recently in NITC..The document link is this

Some quotable quotes from the pdf ..

1. "Students are expected to spend their free time in the Library/Reading Room.
They shall not loiter along the verandahs or crowd in front of the offices or the
Campus roads. Students should refrain from sitting on places such as parapets,
stairs, footpaths etc"

--
Sitting in Raj-path & "looking around" used to be one of the favorite time pass of NITC'ians (or CREC'ians ) from long time back itself.. I wonder who's going to enforce this.. Are they going to appoint someone who'll chase out the students from Raj-Path in a typical school master style ?

2. "NITC Campus is a “Smoking free Campus”. "
-- I didnt know that :) ..I'm not a smoker, but I really don't find anything wrong in someone smoking within their confines.

3. "Silence shall be maintained in the premises of the Institute "
-- The best way to do this would be to appoint a class leader and ask them to note down the names of students who break the silence and hand it over to the director himself ..God save them :)

4. "Possession or consumption of narcotic drugs, tobacco, alcohol and other
intoxicating substances are strictly prohibited in the Campus and hostels."
--
Drugs, yes they should be banned .. Alcohol, I don't think. But then thats a highly subjective opinion.

5. "Politically based students’ and other organizations or outfits are not allowed
in the Campus. Students are strictly prohibited from organizing, attending or
participating in any activity or agitation sponsored by politically based
organizations."
-- A point which I agree whole-heartedly .. If there is something that still differentiates NITC from other engineering colleges , its the absence of strikes for totally ridiculous reasons.

6. The most funny one .. " The possession, distribution or
exhibition of any item by any means which is per se obscene is prohibited
within the Campus or on any property owned/ managed by the Institute. "

-- For people who don't know the facts : Be it anytime, its very easy to locate a humongous
collection of categorized porn ( by any variety - x, xx, xxx, actors , country , type ...... ) in any engineering college LAN . So, if your son comes and tells you that he hasn't seen any porn movie or part of it in his 4 yrs of engineering college life, there are 3 possibilities

(a) He's lying
(b) Something is wrong either physically or mentally with him
(c) He's trying to be extremely ethical and is likely to be a very big failure in life unless he changes himself . ( this is perhaps the most problematic category )

A Tail-piece

Nobody would succeed in life just by scoring a very high CGPA or by getting a top-notch job..If that is your sole aim in college,you are on an awfully wrong track.. Infact to succeed( or rather survive ) in corporate world itself, you need skills to understand , interact and work with people. I believe my biggest gains from NITC was the ability to interact with different people, different situations, and handle failures.. I wouldn't say I've been extremely successful in that..But those lessons still stays with me.. Life is not all about meritocracy..There is much more to it.

By churning out an academically supernatural, but otherwise dud 'species' , college would be doing much harm to the students than good.

Ajith

Oct 13, 2007

Media Conclave @ IIMB - Vista




This thing came at a moment when I’m nurturing an idea of blog-based media business. And I couldn’t afford to miss this.

Too many cooks spoil the broth.. And spoiling is catalyzed when the cooks are individually great, but kind of fiercely independent .. This started with a topic something like this – “Media, for public good or for business“. The first 10 minutes was something like a typical IMS / TIME GD with some individually great speakers, who spoke great from their perspective, but lot divergent from the central theme.. Perhaps an exception was Business World head Jehangir Pocha

Not surprisingly, Arnab Goswami of Times-Now, was quite pro-business.. In between Arnab’s speech, I tend to get a doubt whether this is an extempore or a discussion :) . News channels and news media are basically businesses – Not something that I can digest completely -- with morality and ethics in which they should operate. Even his examples of one-off instances of ethics and morality failed to impress me.

Sohail Seth spoke in a typical Khushwant Singh style. Arrogant, laced with humorous ( lurid ?? ) comments, yet quite honest :).
Jehangir was quite level – headed in his views..

Some of the questions which came in discussion –

Should media really invest in reporting the news or does media have a responsibility to change the society ? – I believe yes, but how many of the media channels invest in that?

Is media justified in entering into equity arrangements with businesses? Or in general, is a pro-profit socially responsible media kind of an oxymoron?

Towards the end of the meeting – quite the same impression that I had initially itself. Moderator asks something, Arnav answers something totally different – the content impressive – audience applauds -- but has no connection with what the moderator Sonny Abraham asked for. I wonder what would Rajdeep Sardesai / Barkha Dutt have done if he/she was the moderator :)

Career options in media – Jehangir’s take is that the scope is more for entrepreneurs. .Hmmm.. good :).

To sum it up , individually the content was impressive, but collectively not good.

Quotes of the meet -- “A man is as young as the woman whom he feels“ -- Sohail Seth. :)

“You can’t be half pregnant in case of ethical media” – Again Sohail Seth :)

Ajith

Oct 11, 2007

Iphone - Hands on experience finally !!!




Finally I got to operate an iphone.. And man..what a device..No wonder ppl queued up in front of Apple stores to buy this .. The safari browser, video/audio quality, touchpad keyboard, image quality...everything.. all looks too good..

So, my next phone has to be this or Google should come out with their G-phone soon :)

Oct 8, 2007

Latest 'Acquisition' from Landmark




The picture shows my latest collection from Landmark.. Thanks to my team mates for gifting me Landmark coupon as a b'day gift :) .

Any opinion / comments about any of these books are welcome..

The books are

1) India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha
-- Heard lot of good reviews..And I being a history buff couldn't neglect it :) . Supposed to be an authoritative book on Independent India ..

2) The McKinsey Mind by Ethan Rasiel and Paul Friga ..
-- Any comments from any MBA grads / students ??

3) The Mind of a Strategist by Kenichi Ohmae
-- Suggested umpteen times by our strat-management professor Rishikesha Krishnan.. When u admire the classes of a teacher so much, its quite natural that u'll end up buying these .. Finally I bought it after the term got over :)

4) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
-- I know its quite popular, but haven't had the opportunity to read it yet..

5) The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
-- This is a book for which I might write a review soon after I finish reading it..Have read lot of quotes and excerpts from this book..And they were quite thought provoking ..
Its supposed to be a classic political book ..

--- Only tough thing is, I've to find time to read all this :(

Ajith

Oct 7, 2007

Review: Online Casino Blue Book



Sponsored Review : Online Casino Blue Book

Have
you ever wondered why people are addicted to gambling ? When you see James Bond movies like Casino Royale , where people splurge cash like anything , have you wondered whether this level of a gambling really happens ? The answer is a resounding yes... And the site that I'm reviewing has got lot to do with being a gateway to online gambling :)

Best things that I liked about this site

1.
The simple game explanations..Baccarat, black jack , poker ..and so on
-- When Daniel Craig won Poker in Casino Royale, how many of us truly understood that game ? Hunting for online tutorials is a pain..These people have a nice intro to all those popular casino games.. No matter what people say, I love learning card games .. And whenever I get some free time, I'm going to learn these things..

2. Online Casino Links
-- I don't have money or credit to gamble.. Hence I cannot test those..But they have a seemingly good collection of top casinos ( online ) refreshed regularly..They are promising welcome bonuses..But I'm yet to try those..Those dollar figures are somewhat astronomical to me :)

3. Individual casino reviews ( available through sitemap )
-- This appears good..and I had a quick look at some..They seems to be writing from a neutral perspective.

Whats still lacking in site

Histories, strategies, advanced casino game guides ( atleast good links to those ) .. Also, maybe getting a VISA/paypal certification would bring in better reputation.

Also, a google search of online casinos does not throw up this anywhere in the top..Understandable as it is a new site..However, the surprising thing is that there are no sponsored advertisements in Google Search for Online Casinos, which means bidding for 'Online Casino' through adwords should be easy.. I guess with more marketing , this site can do better.

Ajith

Oct 4, 2007

Review Me: Does that work ???



I knew my blog is reasonably popular..But I didnt know that its popular enough for web-masters to get their site reviewed through my blog..Sometime ago I signed up in ReviewMe!, partly out of curiosity , partly because I had some free time.. Yesterday, someone placed an offer through ReviewMe!, to review their site through my blog..And the promised amount is 20$ .. ( which is almost equivalent to 800/- Rs ) .. Just curious about this particular site..Has anyone tried ReviewMe! before ? And do they pay as they promise ? Their payment terms promise that once the total amount that they owe us crosses 25$, they will pay..Now for thats just completing this review and scouting for another review through their site...But still skeptical about their payouts..Anybody had any prior experience with this ? Please comment here or mail me if you had any experience with ReviewMe!. Anyway I'm giving a shot..Will be putting up the site review soon..

Ajith

Sep 23, 2007

Three Stress busters for Software Engineers



Last week one of my friends was talking to me about the insane levels of stress that the IT professionals go through in their profession...Yes, at times this profession is demanding..and this cubicle life has kind of transformed the friendships and networks that we otherwise build over a glass of beer or a stroll in the park into different domains like Orkut & Facebook, where ppl are more or less doing a kind of virtual interaction.. Ofcourse there are immense benefits for these social networking sites, but then the shift from real life to online life has more or less happened with the Gen-X ..
Now how you handle your wellbeing in this online life ? While drawing up plans for your day-today life, realize that you are a human..not a machine..Because if you plan things like 6 - 9 PM movie, 9 - 10 PM Tech design review or something like that, the probability that you screw up the review is very high..Because at the end of the movie, your mind might not be in a comfortable state to switch to work.. I generally find myself to be more productive in work if I read a few Dilbert comic strips every hour ..And I find myself to be even more productive if I take a look towards the Christ college gate once in a while :) ( My cubicle in office is at a such 'strategic' location that if I turn and look out of window, I can see the 'colorful' crowd at the college entrance :) ) . These 'distractions' tend to refresh your mind to a very high extend..
Here is a list of such 'online distractions' which can give you a good laugh anytime and 'refresh' or de-stress your mind :)

Stress Buster 1:) Dilbert
-- Most of the online folks would definitely be aware of dilbert..But here are some of the less known dilbert 'features' or strips which'll definitely give you a good laugh

(a) Mission Statement Generator

-- Every time you get a company mission statements from your CEO / VP / whoever it is , go to Dilbert Mission statement generator and generate 10 random mission statements..The tool is basically a script which generates random mission statements from a collection of verbs,adverbs, pronouns etc .. And see how closely your company mission statement corresponds to these 'Dilbert mission statements' that is randomly generated :) .. You'll be surprised with the results :)

Some of the random mission statements from Dilbert MSG are
"It is our mission to quickly supply world-class products while promoting personal employee growth"
"

Our challenge is to quickly build principle-centered technology so that we may endeavor to competently integrate mission-critical solutions while maintaining the highest standards"

"
We exist to assertively leverage existing corporate solutions as well as to continually initiate diverse content"

"
It is our business to proactively coordinate inexpensive deliverables while maintaining the highest standards"

"
We envision to quickly customize professional technology while promoting personal employee growth"

--
These strike a chord with you :) ???


(b) Dilbert & IIT -- IITians are world class..No doubt about that..Now, read those Dilbert snips where he pokes fun at IIT-grads :).. This is why Scott Adams is the best cartoonist around.

Stress Buster 2) -- Ouch My Toe
--
This is a good site for all guys who are trying to understand the fairer sex..And the other way too for girls who think about why these guys act like this :-) ..This has got enough articles than can hook you to this site for ages.. So, read in moderation :-) .. And he has taken pains to consolidate those into PDFs for folks who would like to print it and keep for reference :) ..A good link for bachelors. :)

Stress Buster 3) -- CNN Wild wacky World
They have an ingenuous ability to dig up all the crazy stuff happening around the world..And most of them are hilarious too.. Some might be objectionable , but all are good source for a good laugh atleast :)


--- So, have a good laugh , de-stress yourself and enjoy your life :)


Ajith

Sep 13, 2007

Google Phone : Fact or Fiction ?



Caution :- Heavy technology – business related article.. Quite long too.. People who are not interested, please skip .. This is an article which can bring brickbats or bouquets to me some time later :)

Over the last few months, blogosphere has been abuzz with news about a mobile phone that Google is about to launch. The frenzy over this so called G-phone has reached such proportions that people have started coming out with imaginary designs of the G-phone.. Being someone who is extremely interested in this search – revenue related Google business or rather g-business, I’ve too joined the group by launching a g-phone blog and hoping to rake in some ad-revenues :) .. However, this post is not just about speculation ..This post is about some facts of the search industry and why does it make sense for Google to get into mobile phone related business .

The Search – Revenue Entangle

Some people laugh at Google’s pay-per-click policy. And most of us can count using fingers the number of times when we intentionally clicked a Google Ad or a sponsored web search link. Then how do these translate into revenue for Google?

Initially I too was highly skeptical about their business model. But the answer lies in the sheer size and scale of penetration of internet. Billions of web searches happen every day.
Millions of web pages have Google Ads (These Ads are rendered based on keywords) on them. And if you take an approximate count of the number of times, a keyword
like say ‘DVD player’ comes into relevance in day-today web surfing of people across the world, it would give you a staggering figure. Infact, for a globally operating company like ‘Canon’ , the kind of returns that they would get if they do an online advertising campaign based on a relevant keyword like ‘digital camera’ would far exceed returns from any other traditional advertising channel.

Coming closer home, have you noticed ‘magicbricks.com’ ads ( they are into real estate business ) appearing in TV as well as in Google Ads in Indian blogs.. I’d say, they have smartly managed their advertising campaign. With just a few dollars, they have successfully ‘resereved’ select keywords like ‘Cochin’, ‘Vizag’, ‘Mysore’,’Gurgaon’ etc ( basically all new emerging townships ) .. Throughout blogs and news portals where these keywords show up, Google Ads of magicbricks.com show their head. They might not have succeeded in generating much online transactions from those Ads..But they would have atleast generated thousands of curious phone calls, thousands of new housing/plot related advertisements in their site. And, if you see something on TV, which you have already noticed on web, you tend to attend to that a little bit more..In other words, successful bidding of a few keywords in Google search has been an integral part of the magicbricks’ advertising strategy. And I believe they are reaping returns from that.

So, the key point is, a seemingly innocuous Google search on ‘Cochin’ might result in a commercial benefit for sites like magicbricks.com and Google too in the long run. That’s the power of smart online advertising.

So far so good.. But then, why does Google have to look at mobile phone sector ? Why can’t Google remain in web-search itself? ..There are lot of reasons for that. But everything boils down to an inherent problem with Google Ads –

Tracking of true value generation for the advertiser.

Like any other TV ads or wall poster Ads, it is extremely tough to measure the true returns from Google Ads on web. As an advertiser, I would always like to measure the returns to my invested money in monetary terms. Or in other words, I’d like to measure how many of the Google Ads resulted in a financial transaction of benefit to me. Of-course you can always argue that most advertisements create brand / product awareness and those indirectly result in monetary transactions. But those indirect transactions are not easy to measure… Hence, any advertiser would prefer a medium of advertising through which he’ll be able to measure the direct returns from advertisements or the direct financial transactions arising out of that. Or in more technical terms, e-commerce industry is eagerly awaiting a paradigm shift to a ‘pay-per-transaction’ model (I’d pay Google when a transaction of benefit to me happens out of their advertising ).. from the existing ‘pay-per-click/impression’ model ( I’d pay Google when someone views my Ad – hoping that those views would result in a direct or indirect Ad-benefit to me ).. Now there are lot of technical and business difficulties in implementing a true ‘pay-per-transaction’ advertising model on web based on just internet and PCs.. Here comes the importance of mobile phones.

How mobile phones may function 10 years later ?

Imagine you going to a shop. You like a product..instead of paying by cash, you pay through your mobile phone by sending an SMS / RFID / Bluetooth / Wireless communication to the shopkeeper’s mobile phone , which inturn would debit money from your bank account and credit it to the shopkeeper… U think this is a technological fantasy or something totally ridiculous ? Well, take this news .. Google has applied for a patent on such a software system dubbed as ‘G-pay’

Ok, so you think it is possible ? ..Now think about a more advanced scenario.. You go to a wineshop.. You see a bottle of Bordeaux Wine and notice the price..Apparently you get a suspicion whether it is priced at a higher level.. You take out your cell phone, use the cellphone bar code scanner to scan in the information about the wine .. And using that scanned in information you do a google local search, which would list the nearby shops selling the same wine and their prices.. And you go to the appropriate shop to get the wine bottle at the correct price.. This part is not my creativity .. Its taken from John Battelle’s “ The Search ” -- perhaps the most authoritative book on Search Industry Now, this is a bit of scientific fantasy at the moment. But note that it is not technologically impossible.. I mean, all parts of that scenario like barcode scanner, google local search, GPS etc exists even now.

Now as an extension of that scenario, assume that you pay for that Bordeaux wine bottle using ‘G-pay’ ( i.e, SMS based payment that I described earlier ) -- Isnt it possible to visualize a true ‘pay-per-transaction’ model based that scenario ? You have done google search, you have viewed details of the wine at the relevant shop, you have paid using G-pay --- Now it is possible for Google to charge a certain percentage of Wine bottle’s cost as advertising charge because they are able to uniquely trace back that wine-bottle purchase to a Google search… Isn’t this the ‘pay-per-transaction’ model that the e-commerce industry is truly awaiting?

Where in Mobile phone Industry will Google come into?

Ok, so agreed that mobile phone is going to play a bigger role in future? But then Google is a software company. Forget a tough job like mobile phone manufacturing. They don’t have much expertise in hardware itself. How are they going ahead with such a niche job like handset manufacturing.. Afterall, it’s the forte of elegant designers in Nokia / Apple / Motorola etc ? And doesn’t it make sense for Google to roll out a mobile phone OS clubbed with G-pay?

The answers are pretty intricate again… To start off with, take these news too

1) Google interested in bidding for a wireless spectrum that’s up for sale in US

2) This is actually a Google link itself over the available openings in Google UK

What kind of openings you see there :) ?

Now I’m explaining based on mobile-phone industry, about which my knowledge is extremely superficial..If Google rolls out a mobile OS integrated with G-pay, do you think established players like Apple ( which is actually quite nitpicky about the software that it has in i-phone ) , Nokia and Motorola will take it up ? The answer is a straight NO. Nokia would never think of discarding its Symbian OS.. Neither would Microsoft mobile OS or Motorola’s linux based systems disappear from market..They have invested millions in developing these. And they would not throw it away at one shot

Now, what would happen if they release G-pay as a third-party application ? .. This is a move that’s quite possible.. But then, there are lot of tricky issues in such a case.If G-pay is being released as a third-party App, Google will have to provide different versions to suit different mobile phones..And, in the absence of a dedicated carrier frequency or spectrum , it would not succeed in a big way..And third-party systems are more prone to hacking/security issues..

Ok..now, both of the above scenarios, even if they seem to be possible, does not seem to be a killer combination..Now lets imagine another science-fantasy scenario.. Imagine you have a google-phone integrated with Google-talk.. And assume that Google has a dedicated wireless spectrum ( which it may get soon ) . Then you might be able to talk to your friend using Google phone (indirectly using Google talk ) without paying anything to the so called ‘SIM card’ provider J .. Doesn’t it look appealing? ..And what if you are able to pay some shopkeeper sitting in SanFranciso from NewYork by using Google-phone SMS over the wireless spectrum ? -- Doesn’t it look even more attractive ? ..

Infact I believe Google’s interest in bidding for the wireless spectrum by investing billions of dollars is a very strong indication that some google-phone ( hardware ) is going to come..Because, without a dedicated handset, its not quite possible to get good return on those billions that it would put for bidding the spectrum.. But then, who is going to make the handset ? Does Google have the required expertise to make it ?
Actually based on the business , the handset does not have to be quite sophisticated like the iphone or any of those N-series. It should have wireless interfacing capabilities , it should have integration with Google talk, it should have the G-pay integration..And obviously , tight integration with all google products like search, checkout , maps, youtube etc.. Infact I don’t think it would even have a dial-pad kind of facility.. I feel calling a person would be more or less based on Gmail ID .. And more than the phone functionality, it may function as an electronic wallet for sending and receiving payments.

Doubtful about whether a customer having a normal GSM / CDMA phone would switch to a number-less ( but gmail ID based ) phone world ? They might be reluctant initially..but in the long run, they would..because in a g-phone based communication, they won’t be paying anything as cell phone usage charge to anyone else other than Google.. And quite likely , in such an environment , Google may discount on call charges in return for Ads ..because Ads served in G-phone – G pay system would be based on a ‘pay-per-transaction’ model..And advertisers will be quite willing to take that... But still, the issue of expertise with handset design remained a tricky issue to me ..Until yesterday when I got this link ==> http://www.tech2.com/india/news/smart-mobile-phones/htc-may-develop-google-phone/15741/0.. They are going to outsource the design of the gadget to someone else..

After that link, everything seems to be fitting in perfectly well…The entire business model looks to be fitting in in an excellent way :) ..It remains to be seen when Google will actually come out with such a phone at-least in US.. Contrary to what many analysts think, I don’t think the release is immediate, though I’d be happy to be proved wrong .. The first hurdle – Wireless spectrum bidding – is yet to be surpassed..Only after that , will some solid information come into the public.. And I guess it’d take at-least an year for them to actually come up with the business model in US. Until then, happy speculation :) Happy G-phone designs :) Happy G-phone blogs too :)

Ajith

Sep 11, 2007

Interview by Cuckoo



This is a kind of different 'tag' which I came across last month.. Cuckoo is interviewing people based on their blogs..When I signed in for the interview, I thought it was going to be very superficial..But she dug up and read many of my long forgotten blogposts and had questions based on that.. Really when someone spend such time and effort on your blogs, you ought to give as detailed answers as possible.. :) ... Only difference on this tag from my side is that I'm not going to interview you ppl as a continuation of the tag..This requires a lot of time, which unfortunately I dont have ... So, anybody who is interested in having such an interview, please contact Cuckoo herself... But believe me, you'll enjoy the interview..

So, here it goes..
===================================================

Good Morning Mr. Ajith Prasad. If you don't mind I will call you Ajith. Well, before we start, let me put a few things a little straight to you. As you know I would be taking your interview, you are expected to remain seated calmly without questioning my questions or no. of questions. There are going to be five main questions with some sub-questions. Treat them as parts a, b, c etc. please be as detailed as possible, it'll give you some practice for your exams. And now, for God's sake keep your face a little more cheerful. It looks like you have come here for a mourning.
Yeah, that's a little better now. Keep smiling like that. You do look good after that wonderful haircut. Here we go..

1 . You have started blogging since July 2004. That's a long time. But your first post is of June 25, 2005. Have you deleted some posts? And I can see you have as many as 6 blogs !! That should go for some kind of record I guess. Can you elaborate what these blogs are about and why have you kept them, specially when you are a busy person struggling thru your FinAcc and your studies. Well, most of them have only 2/3 posts but still we want to know.
How blogging journey has changed your life, your perception over the period of time ?

Ans : J
uly 2004 is the month when I created my gmail account.. I started blogging in June – 2005  . I think I’ve deleted just one post… but that was much later.
6 blogs – mostly created at the spur of the moment ..Those are not updated frequently. Couple of them are used for testing my entrepreneurship idea – check http://blogs.edotte.com
Blogging journey has given me lot of new friends.. And I’m a firm believer of the Godfather message – “In your life its your contacts, relationships and acquaintances that matters the most “ ..I believe blogging has really widened my network. I has also helped me to develop my language.. As a result of this, my speaking skills have also developed… I mean, ideas or intentions crystallizes into words quickly now.. For someone like me who has studied in a more or less Malayalam-dominated environment, it has been really a boon.


2. I can see you, in your own small way, are trying to help the society. That's an applaudable gesture. Do you think blogs can make a big difference? What do you think of the society we live in? Like many of us you too get affected by things happening around you e.g. when a friend's marriage was breaking up and you wanted to help them. Were you able to do something for them ? What do you think when someone calls you philosophical ?

Ans :
Blogs can make a big difference in generating awareness. And to a certain extent it can motivate people too. But there is no substitute for the ground work that you have to do to make a difference.. Spending a day cleaning a park or hospital is much much more valuable than blogging about those and generating 1000 chain mails. Indians have a general tendency to form 10 committees for a simple task and all committees end up doing extensive planning but not much action. I see that every now and then. Even I’ve been part of some such non-functional committees. But really, ‘making your hands dirty’ as some people say is really what the society needs.
All societies have certain plus points and minus points. And no one can afford to live a totally disconnected life.. What might seem to be good for me might seem to be bad for you..Its all perceptions. I believe for anyone to call their life meaningful, they have to make some contribution to the society that would motivate the coming generations.. All might not be able to do that. But atleast we should try for that
Over that friend’s marriage thing – No I was not able to do anything for them.. However, time has more or less mended their differences I believe..They r together now.
Yes, at times I’m really philosophical.. Especially people who have had long dinner conversations with me would vouch for that.

3.Can you please tell us about the funniest moment of your life till date ? What was your age then ?

Tough to classify the most funniest moment.. Maybe its upto you people to evaluate..Go through http://ajithprasadb.blogspot.com/2007/02/some-lighter-moments.html
and http://ajithprasadb.blogspot.com/2007/05/absent-minded.html

4. Which movie made an impact on your life and why ?

The movie - book ( actually book is far better in this case ) combination of 'Godfather - part I & II ' ( Godfather III is crap -- courtesy Sofia Copolla ) has definitely made an impact on me.. Why? Because Godfather is an institution on its own.. Every-time I re-read this book, I tend to realize something or other that applies to my life ( or in general to everyone's life ) .. I'd say, if you haven't read Godfather, you are missing something in life ( read the book first,then see the movie ).. Books like this prepare you for life better the than the so called self-improving books like "The seven habits of highly effective people" ... The point is that, the story, scenes , screenplay& dialogues of Godfather would remain etched in your memory for long ( consequently, the messages conveyed through those ) rather than pure verbose description of those principles....Thanks to Mario Puzzo, Marlon Brando & Al Pacino :)

5. You have been given unlimited wealth, you have already saved the world and given generously to every charity. How are you choosing to spend the rest of your life? Don't copy my answer.. say something different.

Unlimited wealth + charity + saving the world – hah..interesting.. I’d spend the rest of my life doing two things – Roaming around every possible tourist destination across world with my wife ( hope she would like to travel :) )..And I’d acquire a bookshop chain like ‘Landmark’ / ‘Cross words’ and make it my personal library ..And read and write as much as I can :)

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

So guys, contact Cuckoo if you wish to have such an interview

Ajith

Aug 29, 2007

Perfect Vs Imperfect



Learning from the past:- " The problem in trying to be perfect or atleast posing to be near-perfect is that one mistake would crush up that entire edifice..And it would be a pain to recover. " ..

Recent Learning:- " The problem in being imperfect is that you might get blamed for mistakes happening around you because of your imperfect nature even-though you are not responsible for it ".

Current Mood :- Philosophic & Confused.

Aug 24, 2007

Mohanlal's Best...



An old comedy scene from a mallu-movie in the 1980s... Seldom has Lal acted like this in recent times.. Non-Mallus, please excuse.. Ask your mallu friend to see this and explain it to you..
Mallus , Enjoy!!!!

Aug 15, 2007

An Independence Day with a difference




Have you ever tried going back to your high-school for Independence day celebrations ? I did that today..Was lazing at home for the last couple of days.. So, just thought of going to my School ( N.S.S High School Calicut ) for independence day.. And it was a different experience..Standing near the school assembly,hearing the band set, national anthem etc..Phew...It has been 9 years since I passed out of this institution ( 98 SSLC batch ).. And when you go back to such a place , nostalgia will strike you quite heavy..I go there once in a while,but this trip was special.. Some of the teachers who taught me are still there..One of my classmates is a teacher there now..It was quite nostalgic when teachers recollect the experiences they had with us.. It seems they too miss us sometimes. :) ..

There was nothing extraordinary about this school..But yet, it is quite special to me..Its a school which gave me lot of freedom..I remember one of the prime activities during my 9th and 10th was going through the newspapers every morning, getting info about all the quiz programs in city and going for those ( Calicut has a very vibrant quizzing circuit ) and ofcourse, bunking classes for those :) . . And NSS formed a crack-team during those days along with Silver-hills, Central school etc . Those days were really great ...I'm quite different from what I used to be during those days..My ideals, my principles , my vision..all are different now.. But yet, the school still attracts me a lot ...

The school also reminded me of my adolescent crushes.. The 'discussions' we friends used to have ( ofcourse about the gals :) )-- Yeah , we were quite naughty during those days.. Among our classmates, we had a guy whom all of us used to make fun because of his 'ignorance' in those matters..But, apparently he 'invested' his time very well during engineering college..He got married 3 months before :) and we 'scholars' are still single ( and eligible :P ) .. In this connection, check out this article by Jiby about his Loyola days..Somewhat filmy & funny :) . It would remind many of you the 'games' you played during your school days.
Guys,gals ..Do make trips to your school on such occasions .. These things are really nostalgic :) .

Ajith

Aug 1, 2007

My first tryst with Entrepreneurship - Blogpane



An idea which came to my mind around 6 - 7 months ago finally culminated in this => BlogPane. I and my friend Antony Jerome in our spare time worked on this and today we are presenting you a tool to keep in touch with your college alumni and students who are into the blogosphere .

Blogpane is a javascript application which fetches the blog URLs of your college alumni and students from a centralized DataBase and presents before you it in a Tree format. Look at the Sidebar of this page and see the 'blog directories' of NITC and IIMK - two colleges which I'm part of.. To know more about blogpane, please visit our homepage ..There is much more to this product than being a simple Javascript application.. Its integrated with RSS ( Not Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, but Really Simple Syndication ) and the benefits are much more..

No hassles like registering on a site or creating usernames or anything like that..Few clicks, you are on a different plane in blogosphere !!!!

If you liked the concept, please give us a promotional post too.. ( U can be a critic too ..we appreciate criticism ) :) .. Any doubts over this, as mentioned in the blogpane homepage, send a mail to blogpane@edotte.com .. Or comment here too :)

Ajith

Jul 27, 2007

A must watch you-tube video.






Got this from a friend..I couldnt resist posting it. Its an award winning Indian - Ad for a cause.
Don't miss it .

Ajith

Jul 4, 2007

Eight Arbit/weird things about myself !!!



Taking up a tag after a long time..Now reasons for this

1) The blogger with the most innovative blog-name has tagged me ..

2) Time is 8.30 PM.. I got to wait till 9.00 here...( No..I'm not waiting for any date ) .

3) I want to wake up some ppl who are having some serious writer's block by tagging them :) .

4) Long time I've tried creative writing :)


Rules :

1) Put down 8 random / weird / habitual facts about yourself..

2) Tag eight ppl

3) Ask, bug, coax , bully them into taking up this tag :)


There was a similar tag which I took up sometime back..And I'm putting the first point as a copy paste from that because thats one of the most weird things about me

Point 1:) I hate jackfruit like anything.. I can't even stand its smell.. I've tried many times to tide over this.. This smell itself gives vomiting tendencies to me...I dont know why

Point 2:) Someway or other, there is an opinion among my cousins that I have lot of girl friends..I vehemently ( is there any other stronger word ) deny that notion :) .. If it was said during my PDC time, yeah , there was some truth in that. :) But that was mainly because we studied in a class having about 50 girls and 30 boys.. and in the neighboring classes during that time, ratio was some 1 : 4 .. Proportion matters :) .

Point 3:) Taking a cue from NC's post , I usually dont get instant crushes on any girl..But if I get a crush, it usually persists for quite some time :) ..

Point 4:) One of the my most favorite activities was to make some stupid comment loudly in a movie hall while some very serious senti or action scene is going on.. -- and ofcourse, receive reactions from the fellow audience .. I remember making the entire audience laugh by passing some comment during Titanic .. and I remember inviting the ire of entire audience by saying something stupid while watching Asoka :) ..This is a skill which I've kind of forgot to cultivate in the recent past..Will make an earnest effort soon.

Point 5:) For about the last 5 years, I've been getting some injury/disease without fail during March - April time ..The latest one in that list was my injury @ vizag this year. The previous year, I got a bee/wasp bite before my IIMB interview ( PGP ) which led to a surgery the day after the interview. And the year before it was a fall from my bike resulting in a burn on my palm and leg..I havnt yet found any astrological connection to this..but often I wonder, whats this all about..

Point 6:) Ok.. something light.. One of my ambitions is to direct a malayalam tele-serial and irritate viewers so much that they won't bother to see serials anymore... Anybody having some
suggestions on this, please contact me ..Tele-serials is the only thing that I dont like , but I've to face while @ home.

Point 7:) In food matters, I'm a born non-veg.. I can eat beef for breakfast, chicken & mutton for lunch and rabbit for dinner :) .. And maybe some fish fry for snacks in between :) ..I'm yet to try eating pig / cockroach / snake -- But yeah, willing to experiment on those too :)

Point 8:) I'm running out of more ideas for the eighth point ... Ok, let me put this differently..
The only person with whom I had a pact in orkut that we'll be mutual fans, give 100 % ratings in cool, trusty and sexy factors is Attitude Nine , a.k.a Antony Jerome..The reason for putting this is a bit different..We'll be coming out with a small blog based entrepreneurship venture soon..And we'll be contacting quite a few of you for a bit of popularity via promotional posts.. so, please help then :) ..


Now time to tag people..

Flyaway mind , Hitch-hiker , Sanjiv == > All of who seem to be having some serious writer's block ..

Serendipity == > Because u tagged me last time for writing on dreams :)

Paro == > A good new generation blogger :)

Bullshee ==> Who seem to be having lot of time counting the number of posts .

Attitude Nine == > I'd like my future business partner doing it :)

Jakes == > put in some time :)

Ajith

Jun 28, 2007

Iphone Review - From Wall Street Journal



The most awaited gadget of the year / perhaps the decade , hits US markets on this friday - June - 29th at 6 PM . Below is a link to review of apple i-phone from Walter Mossberg.


After seeing the video ( I cannot embed it here..Go to that link and see it ) , my impression is .. " This is really something very good " . I wonder when it'll be available atleast in the grey markets of Delhi and B'lore :) , Not to buy at the first go..but atleast to check it out.

( PS:- Apple's Safari - 3 browser was made available for windows about one month ago.. I tried it out.. Looks kill, but bugs also kills you :) .. It seemed to be a classic example of beauty without brains. )

Ajith

Jun 21, 2007

Extremely Busy!!!!!



For the last couple of dayz, my gtalk status message has been "Extremely Busy", and believe me, I've been really busy. I don't think I've worked this much in the recent times... On a co-incidental note, I found that many of my friends in gtalk have status messages in a similar sense.. In addition to the usual"very busy" & " do not disturb" messages, some of them read

(i) "Making me work is Cruel"
(ii) " Not @ all Available "
(iii) " Ping only in case of extreme emergencies "
(iv) "Work is worship, but sometimes hardship too "
(v) " Bugs bugging me too much "

-- I notice that the number of people with such status messages have got way too high over the last week.. I know its a crazy thought, but has this 'too-much busy' schedules got to do anything with the increased duration of day-time ?? 3rd week of June has the longest days in an year..And today(June - 21 ) is the summer solstice , longest day in the Northern Hemisphere :( :( .... Hope there will be a lull in work soon

Ajith

Jun 14, 2007

How about joining this company..???



Following is a video showing a typical new-joinee's first day in Aditi technologies. :)



Atleast for enjoying this , how about joining there once ?


( PS:- Another off-track news..This years IIT JEE topper is looking for a girl friend..All the eligible single ladies, wanna giv a try ??? )


Ajith

Jun 7, 2007

God's own country, Devil's own people, And these are a few among them



Some people just refuse to change

Link1 :- 5 HIV+ students shown door from a school .

When will people change ? I feel very bad reading this report.. The stigma associated with HIV casting its shadow upon kids less than 11 years old.. And that too the ostracization coming from educated people from a state supposed to be among the most literate
ones in India...

Link 2:- Guruvayoor Purification

You can play the devotional songs of Yesudas in a temple.. but you cannot allow him inside the temple.. If a child's grand-mother happens to be a Christian, the temple should be purified after the Child's entry to the temple...These are some of the 'rules' @ Guruvayoor. Disgusting to hear such news really.. Though I'm no communist in a classical sense, I'm a great admirer of A.K Gopalan and K . Kelappan for their struggle to throw open the temple gates to people from all stratas of society... Thats something which was left in between.. In this 21st century, its high time that Hinduism throws open the gates of temples to all religions..

Inspite of having a population acutely conscious of their rights and forgetful of their duties,
incidents like this are very common in Kerala..

Two questions to the non-keralite readers..

1) How much is the intra and inter-religious intolerance in your state ? Is it because of the fact that media is very much active in Kerala that these incidents are reported more from Kerala than from outside ?

2) And have you come across any such incidents mentioned in Link 1 ( HIV story ) .. ?


Ajith

Jun 3, 2007

Orhan, Kar is Fantastic...



This book really kept me engrossed for quite some time..I wanted to read it again before writing a review..But, didnt get enough time or patience to do that... 'Snow' ( Turkish - 'Kar' ,which explains the title of this post) by Orhan Pamuk is a classic.. It deals with different faces of conflict between Islam ( both political and Radical ) and Westernism.. Philosophic at times, yet smooth .. a bit dry in the middle, yet interesting enough to keep us hooked.... Its also a romantic tragedy..It has its own lighter moments, though very few and far in between..


The story is set in the town of 'Kars' in North-Eastern Turkey.. Now, why Turkey becomes the center of such a islamic-western conflict ? Lets go back into a bit of History..

A brief History

Turkey was the land of 'Caliphate' or in other worlds, Turkish ( Ottoman ) Sultans were considered to be the religious head of Muslims all over the world..India's 'Khilafat' movement traces its roots from the deposing of Turkish Sultan by the British after World War 1. At the height of its power, Ottoman empire extended from the borders of Vienna in the west to the Persia or Iran in the east..Turkish society was a predominantly Islamic one, though there were attempts during the Ottoman period to westernize it.. After the collapse of Ottoman empire at the end of first world war, Turkey slipped into a brief period of civil war... An army officer - Mustafa Kemal - united Turkey and established a millitary rule there.. He's known as the founding father of Modern Turkey -- something akin to Mahatma Gandhi here.. More popularly or reverently known as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk ..

Ataturk carried out perhaps the most difficult cultural transition ever attempted in modern world history... Transforming a traditionally Muslim society into a secular and westernized one. He established western system of education, banned religious symbols ( veils, crosses , beard,turban etc..etc ) -- Think of doing that in India ??? -- .. It is an example were a military rule setup helped achieve something which would have been unthinkable in a democracy.. ( Ofcourse, an army rule has its own drawbacks and many of those instances are seen in the book itself ) ... Ataturk succeeded in doing that and Turkey is perhaps one role model for Islamic states.. But as it is, the reverberation of the changes in the post-cold war period are being increasingly felt there. Eastern Turkey is a confluence of lots of races - Armens, Azeris,Tatars, Turks, Kurds... the list goes on..

The plot

An exiled poet Kerim Alaku_howlu ( in Turkish ) , known as Ka' returns to Turkey after spending some years in Germany..Its to investigate the phenomenon of suicides happening in Kars, a small town in Anatolia , in the north-eastern border of Turkey..He also wants to re-connect with his former romantic interest , Ipek.. In the course of investigation he meets lots of interesting characters.. Ipek's divorced husband and his former friend Muhtar, a sufi-sheik , a student from one religious school, Ipek's sister Kadife, an actor Sunay Zaim who dreams of becoming the modern Ataturk, and most importantly a charismatic Islamic terrorist named 'Blue', who attracts almost everyone he meets towards him..

The elements

Ka is a human..Unlike the demi-god heroes portrayed in typical political novels, this character is completely human..He has his own vices..Does virtually anything to get Ipek to his bed, ..and as a rather too-ordinary human, breaks down and fumbles when Ipek's past is told to him by another person.. Due to circumstances, or rather his personal motives he ends up being sort of a double agent between millitary and Islamists.. Many people who have read may deny this, but I essentially felt that finally his conduct was rather unconsciously or unintentionally transformed into a double-agent.. But, it is this human touch of vices and mistakes that makes this novel very much attractive..

Even though the novel starts as a probe into the mass suicides by women, it certainly turns into more complex social and societal issues.. The identity of religion, limits
of secularism, the military doctrine suppressing religion , the emerging Islamic voice there.
The characters struggle to assert the supremacy of the belief that they are part of by all
kinds of propaganda..

Summary
I'm not going into further details of the story as that would be a spoiler to a prospective reader.. :) . .If any of you like reading social issues with a touch of history and politics, this book is for you.. Dont miss it :)

Ajith

May 29, 2007

Absent minded!!!



I think I'm thinking a bit too much about my work nowadays.. Yesterday after work, I went to a hotel lost in thought and ordered "2 porotta and a compilation schema ( a technical term used in my work ) " .. I don't know how that word came to me then..The waiter had a puzzled look..Fortunately I realized my mistake and quickly changed it to a veg-curry..

I hope I don't do anything more stupid like this :( :( :(

Current mood :- Embarrassed

Immediate diagnosis :- I'm just back from a totally drenched up trip from Ooty last weekend ( We went to botanical gardens there and heavy rains started in 10 minutes ) ..So its not a problem with lack of outing.. Maybe I should get a few new books or see some funny movies.

Ajith

May 18, 2007

Pachakam -- Is it a mirage for the new generation?



Dedicated to all bachelors who r bored of hotel food , who live in an utopia dreaming of marrying a girl who knows cooking, who still keep sms recipes from parents,who do a bit of phone-cooking , and to all spinsters who dream of impressing their future hubbies, or even married guys and gals who r still going out to hotels for dinner, see www.pachakam.com ( For the non-mallus, Pachakam is the malayalam word of cooking )...

PS:- I dont think I'm gonna improve in this department even after stumbling upon this site as I'm too lazy to invest any time into this now. Maybe if I get a gal who knows cooking, why unnecessarily waste time now ? Or even-if I don't get, we'll learn together :) ... My mother trained me for about two months continuously in cooking , and yet I'm still the same :)

PPS:- Experiment at your own risk..I dont have any connection to the pachakam site..
And yeah, I do have a mail forward of some 100 recipes..If anyone wants, I can 4ward that.:)

Ajith

May 10, 2007

Visakhapatnam a.k.a Vizag



A bit late to put this up.. I was @ Vizag as I mentioned in this post on the 'Abhiwarya' wedding day - April 20 , for another marriage and some sightseeing...Vizag , situated on eastern coast of India is the head-quarters of Eastern Naval Command.. Landed there at around 1 PM..The view that u get from the aero plane above Vizag is awesome.. A serpentine coastline abutting several hills, a magnificent four lane beach road , naval and cargo ships...Unfortunately , no photos of that [:(]..
We stayed at Rushikonda, about 8 - 10 KM away from the city, in a beach resort.. ( Punnami beach resort ) .. This snap shows the view from the hotel room where we stayed.. Isnt it beautiful ? ..
This place is simply awesome. I'd recommend it to anyone.. About the hotel, only the location is good..food is not good, neither the service, despite being a 3-star ( they claim so ) .. Yours truly slipped on the beach sand that got carried to our hotel corridor and had a wound on my lower jaw..They didnt have even a first aid box in that hotel..Finally had to use the good-old engineering days method of old-spice lotion as first aid :) . Most of my friends and relatives are not believing this story of 'slipping' on beach sand and getting a wound..:( . I swear, I was not drunk .. neither did I go behind any honey-mooning couples :( ( We couldnt spot any ) .. Aaj ka zamaana to sach bhole bhi aise sochte hai :( :( ..

Anyway, the view of sunrise from this place was also good..but a bit cloudy..so photos didnt come properly..
Guys, how about studying in an engineering college next to such exotic beaches ? To supplement the monotonicity of engineering college, how about having a dental college and medical college nearby to take care of 'proportion' ( U know what I mean :) ) .? .Thats what GITAM College of Engineering is.. Its one of the best engineering colleges in Andhra.. I dont think even the KREC or NITK has such beaches.. The beauty about these beaches are that, these are sort of 'bays' extending inwards between hills..No huge waves, so u can swim without much fear..
The beach road is too good.. Calm and serene unlike the crowded Marine drives of Kochi /Mumbai.. And it has multiple tourist spots near that.. The most notable one being Kailasagiri hills, which you can go up using a ropeway..

There is a decommissioned naval submarine ( INS Kursura )
at the sea shore..You can
go inside it and that too was an amazing experience.. Remember the U571 movie ? Going inside and seeing it brought back those memories.. It is said that it took more than 3 years effort to tow this sub to the shore..
The naval officers explained working of the sub and parts of it..Was very good.. One regret here is that I couldnt go to the millitary port there..





While coming back a strange thing happened.. Everybody at the airport was looking towards me..Even the air hostesses..Nah, it was not kingfisher, it was Air deccan..
For engineering graduates like us who suffered from this Attention Deficit Syndrome from PYTs ( Pretty Young Things ) for quite a few years,it was a pleasant surprise.. Finally I realized
that it was due to the dressing on the wound that I had on my jaw :( :( ..

Overall it was a very good experience..A nice break from work :)..

To signoff, a bit of trivia about Vizag

-- Old name is 'Waltair'

-- Sometimes referred as 'City of Destiny' ( I dont know why )

-- Only city in the Indian subcontinent to be attacked by Japanese war planes in second W.War
( Leave out N.E India and Andamans )..

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