Dec 28, 2005

Cellular Nuisance

Time : 10.30 PM .
Mood : Tired..Really tired after the days work. Just reached home.

Cell vibrates ,
Message : "Hi wanna make 'frandship' with u. Interested ? "
Response: I already had enough for the day. What else I do..Delete.

10 minutes late..
Cell vibrates , same message ..
Response : "I'm a guy. U still want to make friendship ? "..Reply sent

Deleted that too as capacity of Nokia 1100 is less..
No response till now.. i could sleep peacefully.

Woes of desparate seeking souls and free sms packages.....Hmmm


Dec 25, 2005

The future India...

Just saw one of the most inspiring and touchy video I've ever seen.. An organisation called Akshaya providing mid-day meal to about two lakh under privileged children every day. Never knew an organisation of such a huge operational scale existed in Social service sector in India. It made me think deep into the issues that they pointed out...

Why our nation is still underdeveloped ?

Indians don't lack intelligence. Neither do they lack self confidence. Many people say we dont have the right infrastructure.. But infrastructure is a part of development.. Just by making lots of roads and rails do not make a nation developed. Imagine we implement world class metro railway systems in all of our cities. Will there be enough people to use it ? No organisation, be it public or private can survive by making losses on and on. It needs to be self sufficient. Or in other words we need a vibrant economy. By the term 'vibrant economy', I dont mean lot of ppl doing white collar jobs. Just by infusing lot of IT companies or BPOs, we dont get developed. I agree that these organisations mean a lot to the youth and nation now.They are providing jobs, generating economy because of our advantage in exchange rates, giving a meaning to the life to the young generation.. I'm not an American basher. But the point is we , as as a nation needs to do much more..

I work in a very comfortable environment.In an air conditioned cubicle , a swanky office space, enjoying all the comforts that I've earned..Just two kilometers away,I can see the real face of India..Children about 10 years old, or perhaps less working in hotels, stores and all. Their face tells me a lot about their lives..True as they say, India is a land of extremities.. You can see abject poverty and unparalleled opulence side by side.. Even though the globalised economy has provided a lot of changes to the nation, life still remains the same for more than 80% of population..And thats where the heart of nation lies.

Well, why is this contrast ? Development should mean human resource development. And as the Akshaya video rightly identified, the root cause of problems carving our nation is hunger and lack of education . Why ? Because its a vicious circle.. Young children dont see education as worthy because it doesnt bring them bread. It further drives them back to work.
In return they are exploited. And this chain continues..from generation to generation..Disagreeing with many people, I dont think over population is a trouble for our nation. But,an uneducated and impoverished population is certainly a big trouble. An educated population is certainly an asset.

Can a mid-day meal program change their destiny ?

The answer is 'NO'. It cant change the nation altogether. But it is a good starting point. It prompts more children to attend schools and helps in keeping the existing students there itself.
The next step is education. By education, I dont mean just learning to read and write. It means imparting the capacity to think independently, design their own careers, enabling themselves to contribute to the nation... To understand this argument, I present the case of my home state..
We boast of having a highly literate population. Thats infact true if you take literacy as the ability to read and write a little bit.. But I see no big difference in the situation of kerala..Yes, we have better living conditions, better health, ..but the unemployment scenario is just as bleak as other states.. There are scores of unemployed graduates. Perhaps the highest percentage of that figure is in kerala. This is where the modern day education has failed in its bid...and also its where we need an attitude change...

Government / private companies alone can't provide employment to all. We need to find jobs on our own.. And we need an attitude to view any job with dignity. This is one area where we need to learn from the west.. An Indian is looked with contempt if he works as a daily wage labourer or a coolie. But if he does the same abroad and sends back money, he's viewed with lot of respect.. This feeling has to go. After all, every one can't be a doctor or engineer or something like that..We still need people to do other jobs. And it is where education should play its role. It should instill the right kind of values in the youth. They should have a capacity to think on their own..understand exploitation, avoid being sycophants to the religous pranks..
And that is precisely where Indian education has failed.. I would say, unless we reform and reorganise this sector, we'll be still bearing this 'under-developed' tag even after 100 years.

What is required of the youth ?
India needs individuals with good values . Remember the 'page-3' dialog - "You have to be in the system to reform the system" . More educated youth should come into politics.They should be into decision making...decisions that will shape the destiny of the nation..There is nothing wrong in pursuing a career of your choice or making money by right means.. But,to make the life meaningful, we should give some thing back to the nation..the nation that provided you the education, the job, the comforts that enabled you to read this blog...
One day,I'd follow this path...



A weird stuff from blogthings.. Try it out.

Your EQ is

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!

51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.

71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.

91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.

111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.

131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.

150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

Dec 24, 2005

One night @TCC

I'm not a regular reader.From the childhood, I've preferred magazines and news papers over books. My old quizzing friends know, i sulk at the mention of literature round in quizzes, though my guesswork has helped me sometimes.I think I can count the books which I've read using my fingers.. Perhaps I'll be the only one who has stopped reading Da Vinci code midway, not because i didnt like it...but I didnt find it captivating enough...( I've the book and I hope to read it completely one day)

Perhaps the only previous book which really captivated me was Chetan Bhagat's 'Five point someone'. That was really engrossing.. So, today i though I'll give the second one from the author a try. Bought 'One night at the call centre' and yeah, finished it in about6 hours..partly because I didnt want to come back to this book after some more days as the interest would be lost..

Now about the book.I cannot say that it is bad..But if you are expecting the same level of 5 point some one, then u r in for a disappointment. In the first book, it was elements of fiction interspersed in the more or less real life incidents..Here its the other way round.. By the end,it becomes like a Hindi movie where hero and heroine unites and kisses in a busy road...The so called 'plot' to set the call centre right, prevent layoffs -- is too ridiculous to say the least...I see far too many elements of impracticality creeping into this work...But yeah, he might have picturised the life of call centre employees correctly... Can't really comment on that aspect as I'm not from that industry. But somehow, the combination of drinks,drive and sex wrapped with post modern attitudes of both women and men didnt look good to me....Even, the casting couch
comes into the story....

But the point in the story is not that..It is about what one should do in his/her career. Or rather, this Q comes from a more elementary Q.. -- Whats the purpose of ur life -- . Either way, I'm not dwelling much into those aspects...I'd write on and on if i go into those topics..

Overall, a reasonable book to read... 95/- is the MRP. So , worth a try especially for the IT folks like me.


Dec 19, 2005

The Orkutting Chronicle

It has been about one year since i joined this bandwagon. Was initially a bit curious..But now,it has turned out to be an integral item in my browsing list. A conceptually , very brilliant idea. The origin of Social Networking Sites (SNS ) started from friendster, etc. But orkut has taken it a step further through the ideas of scrapping and user defined communities.

Created by a Turkish computer science student Orkut Büyükkökten and owned by Google, this has immediately caught the fancy of computer literate youth. Some interesting stats about this from wikipedia,
  • The most number of users, i.e, a whopping 75 % or more are Brazilians.
  • Estonia is the nation in which it is most popular .. 3% of its population has profiles in this. And, Brazil stands at 2.5% in this aspect
  • The word 'orkut' in Turkish mean - The holy meeting place.

Now, a little bit about the interesting features that it presents...

Scrapping - Realistically, I dont like this. It is the marketing of our exhibitionist tendencies.To understand this argument if u are a regular orkutter,think about the time u spend reading the scraps in other ppls profile..especially when u go to scrap them.. For me, mails are more welcome than scraps...But, the overwhelming majority is behind this..and hence, I'm going with the flow.. I've some friends who dont reply when mailed , but they make it a point to reciprocate when u scrap them.. Anyway, I'm happy that they keep in touch.

Testimonials / fans - A refined and controlled version of the above feature. Though I've not received / given many , this is an OK feature which should be present in any SNS .

User Defined Communities-
Perhaps the most debated feature in Orkut.From oxymorons like 'This is not a community' or 'I hate Orkut' to fan clubs and hate communities of various celebrities and mere mortals, ( I've seen profiles of ppl who create communities of his fans -- perhaps the greatest exhibitionist ..I can't think of anything greater than this) you can find them in any flavour. Because of the racist and sexual issues arising out of this, a lot of people are arguing for a ban on this...maybe, the way user defined yahoo chat rooms went off. But thats no solution, maybe there is something better.

But whatever be its demerits, this has been a wonderful platform for me.I've made some very good friendships and got back in touch with some old friends. Really, its something special for me :) .. And yeah, why stop like this ? A little bit (perhaps a lot) of exhibitionism from my side too.. Click here to see my orkut profile .


Dec 18, 2005

A gruesome murder.

One of the most shocking murder tales in recent times.. The rape and murder of a BPO employee working in HP , shocked the corporate world. I've heard of IT employees returning late night being robbed at knife point..but this was beyond them all..Had the company helpdesk reacted quickly after the regular driver informed them, maybe this could have been avoided.
Her family and relatives would have to live with this terrible incident for the rest of their lives.
What makes this more worrying is that this happened to an employee of a reputed multi national firm which has the capacity to provide adequate security arrangements..Think about the situations in those numerous 'fly by night' BPOs. Had this incident happened in US/UK , the government would have punished the employer ...

Telling BPOs not to put women at night shift is impractical. But, its high time that the companies provide adequate security arrangements to women.. Corporate world does not want trade unionism in this sector...Well, fair enough..Being from kerala, I can understand the rationale behind that thought...But unless they correct their mistakes, improve the infrastructure, its going to be tough..


Dec 17, 2005

An agonising wait...

It has been about a month... All kinds of speculations going round..Tried almost all kinds of analysis.Almost on everyday,I come across some news either 'klang' or exciting. ..Finally , the outcome is going to be 'fingummy' ... bitter/sweet ,i don't know.. have to other go...It is indeed a dicey game... perhaps the greatest ever game in my life...
( Dont try too hard to decipher... only people in a similar situation will be able to make out..If u make out, dont put the straightforward answer/clues in comments )


Dec 15, 2005

The most intriguing personality of Indian history

Yet another twist to the tale of the unsung hero... The man whose disappearance still remains unsolved..I wish the truth come out on some day. Read the latest report about him.

Dec 14, 2005

Another political salvo.

This guy seems to be well on the path to emulate indian politicians in uttering nonsense in public.. I think this has been the third 'quotable quote' from him in about one month..
Read the latest from Iranian president at,7340,L-3184170,00.html


Dec 9, 2005

A day in a s/w engineer's life


After a long time, today I had to work really hard...

My normal routine on any office day is like...

1. Reach office by about 10.30..
2. Check mail .. not office mail , but yahoo and gmail,orkut and then office mail
3.Take all important news sites - google news,rediff,expressindia,indiatimes... open all
the interesting news links in tab pages in firefox.
4. By then time would be 11.00-- all my team mates would have reached by then and we go
for our first coffee session. If my PL is late, we almost invariably go for the next
coffee session as soon as he comes... And,as usual the coffee session talk centres around the
latest babes in oracle, ( as members of the fairer sex are low in our group, diversion to this
topic is almost natural..can't really help it ) ,latest movies etc..
5. Then I start my work. 11.15- 1.50 peak time in workI'm not commenting anything
about the work..but I'd say that there are good as well as bad parts for that.
6. 1.50 PM - Go for lunch..I've shifted to this late lunch timing as this suits me better..
7. 2.30 - 4.15 -- post lunch session is not usually great for thinking..good for
concentrates on most reviews/reading kindof jobs during this time..
8. 4.15 -- coffee session.. relaxing break..
9. 4.30/4.45 - 8.00 -- Perhaps my most productive time..I do most of my work in this stretch
10. Wail time till 8/8.30 , do work/browse/chat depending on the mood of the day / work load.

( all the day, I'd be signed in to yahoo messenger/gtalk and will take a welcome break if somebody pings me ... and ofcourse,I'd switch to my gmail screen atleast once in half an hour to see the latest mails..--if it comes )

But really, I'm sort of bored by this routine...When I came out of the campus, I had felt a sort of relief ...I was excited about the new life. But now, I miss that life a little bit..Bunking classes,coming at 8.15 for 8.00 AM classes..Nightout studies for sessionals, copying assignments mercilessly, begging for free hour to the teacher as soon as he enters the class, roaming around the campus, movie shows in hostel common rooms, sarcastic comments, cultural fests,wondering by seeing the 'politricks @NITC' --( I would dedicate another post to my perceptions about politics )...and many more... that was good and bad.. I miss some of those
..and I'm relieved that I no longer have to confront some of those..

Like that, this life too has good aspects and bad ones...It moves on and on.. u can't roll back the
time...I'm trying to find out / conjure up something interesting to this monotonous software life..
Le'mme see.. I need a good diversion.
Feeling a bit sleepy..blogging off for the day..


Dec 7, 2005

A day in history.

December - 7 ... 64 years ago this day changed the course of world history.. On Dec- 7 , 1941 Japanese launched what can be described as one of the most daring attacks in history on the US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawii islands.. Some years back it was brought back again to celluloid by the Ben-Affleck movie by the same name..
Its not a day of celebration. Its a day of remembrance. The message that America learned from this is "Never to neglect a strong nation on racial backgrounds".. True to its spirit, America recovered out of this catastrophe.. As admiral Yamamoto who led this attack said..""I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.".. Americans made Japanese learn this... Both of them carry very relevant messages to the world...
Hope nothing like this happens in the nuclear age....


Dec 6, 2005

A little bit of laughter

Couldn't resist posting this.. TimesofIndia never had the reputation of being a family newspaper.
You read the city supplement which comes with it..and see all sort of masala news, like who's the n'th girlfriend of bollywood heroes, who went for which party...The typical 'Page-3' image..

Keeping in with that tradition, i thought its the usual gossip about another MMS in circulation when i stumbled upon this .. But it proved to be too good ..

Its worth a look :)


Dec 5, 2005

Apaharan -- Ajay Devgan does it again.

After Gangajal, another stellar performance from this class actor.. This movie really makes fun of law and order situation in Bihar.. Mafia dons running their crime syndicate from jail, the cunning politician cum kidnapping mastermind - Tabrez Alam - played by the mercurial Nana Patekar.. Really this flick is worth watching.. At times you wonder whether politician really stoop into such levels. Maybe, Prakash Jha ( he campaigned against Laloo in the recent Bihar elections ) has exaggerated a bit.. Or maybe these things do exist.. Either way, the movie portrays the degradation of the system in Bihar... Traders dont feel anything while paying ransom, beurocrats and politicians practicing bribes and corruption as their birthright , police colluding with the goons to orchester the kidnapping industry, and the people who want to be honest simply not able to do that due to prevailing circumstances... the movie captures all these images perfectly. .One dialog -- "Aaj ki zamaane me Gandhi hone ki koshish mat karo..." -- sums it up very well..

Ajay Shaastri ,the character played by AjayDevgan is the quintessential image of a honest young man getting disillusioned by the system.. Politicians block his attempts to get into police force based on merit because he hasn't paid bribes and he happen to be a member of upper caste.. This instance brings to the fore a very important reality.. Although lower castes are victimised in most parts of the nation, the reverse also exists...The minority is victimised. Its just circumstance which determine who happens to be on the wrong side.. The root cause of all this is the beurocratic setup which asks for religion and caste for anything and everything..Starting from birth certificate through job application and death certificate, this evil is prevalent every where..
"Caste is a reality" -- I accept that.. But it doesnt get into the governance that we receive.It is against the very basic principle of our constitution ...

Coming back to the movie, another aspect which differentiates this from the usual bollywood flicks is the style of action and absence of masala.. ( Dont go for the movie expecting lot from Bipasha Basu..She's just there for the sake of having a lady character in the movie ) ..
The action sequences are very realistic... The ending is also , sort of OK.. Unlike the normal hindi movies, the hero doesnt eliminate all villains or get back his lady love.

On the whole - " A highly relevant movie in the present socio-political atmosphere in India " ..
Do see it...

Dec 4, 2005

Another Day...Another Start

Couldnt think of anything else after hours of aimless browsing... After weeks of CAT preparation which kept me busy, i'm sort of free now.. Infact, i'm feeling a kind of vacuum.. Not that I dont have anything to do..JMET is coming up next week.. But somehow, not in a mood to study after CAT...

Now, a little bit of my thoughts... I'm looking back at my career now.. Can I call it a success ?
Dont know... I began to look at my studies with an earnest mind only after 10th..Slogged throughout plus two for IIT.. Reached NITC..I cant really complain about that..Maybe, I was not that talented. Like this, my life has been full of near misses or I never really got what i wanted..

Now, i'm at the threshold of another turning point.. MBA..Can't really say at this moment whether I'll do it or not..

Perhaps , I would pose myself a question at this point..What made me take up this pursuit ?
Well, every year people churn out numerous SOP's for applying to various institutes..And atleast 90 percent of that is crap..What really drives a person to M-tech or MBA.. The frank answer would be money and success. Stepping a bit further into these areas, how can a teenaged boy/girl decide to take engineering / medicine when he's abt 15 - 17 ?
I would say, perhaps no other profession gets into ones head at that time.. It is just peer and parent pressure which prompts the teenage brigade ( atleast most of those ) into these sacrosanct
career avenues..

At this stage, I feel I've to look into what I want to do in my career... I dont want to do mundane coding and bug-fixing throughout my career ( There's a chance that I'd , if i dont get into another arena ).. Neither do I want to end up in an i-bank wasting the prime of my life just making money and losing out on life... Or , like many ppl do, i dont want to do some job abroad for some time , make money and settle home quietly..

I need to strike a balance..I know the value of money very well..I need to have a decent amount of money so that I dont have to suffer... I need life..Friends,family..everyone..
And I wish I could contribute something to the nation..A land which provided me with this much comforts..i need to giv back something to India...
It is this balancing act which all of us search.. I hope my search doesnt end in futility..Neither do yours.. In this journey called life, we take many routes.. and endup somewhere wondering whether we really intended to take this path. .

At the end of the day,it doesnt really matter which route you took..What matters is whether u succeeded or not... And success in life , is again another relativistic term...
I've read somewhere.. "If you manage to contribute something , for which the coming generations will respect , if not admire you, then you have turned your life into a meaninful entity"...

I wish each of us could do that and make this planet a better place to live...