Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Brain & The Strain

Work!! work! work!! The last 4-5 months of my life has been only work. I don't quite manage to understand it always and that makes things even worse. I am not a techie and I am not passionate about the stuff that I work on, yet the sheer magnitude of work has meant that my poor tiny brain had no option but to store it in the limited memory available . Memory?? I wonder how much it would be? I guess it would be limited to some KB. My inbox size has however exceeded it's limit thanks to the n number of mails and the freebie documents that come along. The first thing that I need to do in the New year to delete all the unnecessary mails ( I usually don't do this on a regular basis) and free my inbox.

Going back to my poor tiny brain, its capacity and its likes and dislikes. ( For a moment, let me treat brain, mind, heart, soul and conscience as one and the same :) ). I believe the mind usually takes in stuff that it likes and leaves the rest. Given a choice, it won't like to take in anything that doesn't appeal to it. But sometimes in cases like mine, the brain has little choice. After working for all the Open hours ( eyes open ) in front of the computer with those Mainframe jobs and abends, it tends to carry with them even when in its asleep. Well, this is what happened to me in the last few days ( what actually happened and what I understood seemed to be quite different)

What Mom said : Hey , get up, you have been asleep for more than 10 hours now

What I heard it as : Hey, get up the batch has started more than 10 hours ago and is stuck with a job abend, you need to resolve it ASAP.

What Dad said: Get up now, you have been sleeping like a log .
What I replied : What's your problem mate? All the 3 output files are coming out fine as per the expected results. I have already sent out the abend log ( I was thinking that it was a damn testing team guy complaining about the results, My poor Dad is no tester and hence couldn't make head and tail of it )

Satya was my room mate in Melbourne. This is what had happened when he tried to wake me up. He had reached the office that day and was calling me on my hotel room number

What Satya said: Hi Good morning .. have you woken up? When will you be coming to office? Your PM is waiting in the office for you.
What I replied: ( I saw the time and it was 9:30 am. I was working on some damn Mainframe screen the last night). Hi Satya.. Good morning. Can you do me a favor please ? Please check if everything is fine with the "9:30 screen" ( The brain seemed to pick up the things that it saw last "The time 9:30" and the "screen" and made a combo out of it). At the other end, Satya was non-plussed. My PM let me sleep for another 3-4 hours when he heard of the "9:30 screen".

In one such instance when my Mom woke me up for the problem in the batch ( the 10 hour thing ) , I got up and immediately switched my computer on. I was trying to figure out what was going wrong. The only other thing that was active in the Brain's memory was the India-South Africa match. The brain ordered the fingers to do an F6 and open the cricinfo page. The match hadn't started for the day yet. For a good 5 minutes , I was trying to figure out how a cricket match is run by a Mainframe batch and if there was something that I could do to kick off the match. What could be the Mainframe job to get the Cricket match going ? How does it normally happen in a Live Production scenario? My mind was jammed with all such thoughts. It was only after the "Colgate Gel" effect in my mouth that I realized that I was going nuts. Ah ...My Poor tiny brain... you seem to more confused than I am!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The "5 Things" Thing

And so I was back to office today. Back to the good old office at Hyderabad. There wasn't any life at the office, with most of them on leave. The ones who came were sleeping with their eyes open, staring at the computer. I made sure I left the office by 5:30 pm and more importantly made sure I had Pani-puri and chat with Ana. Pani-puri rocks! Nothing in Melbourne came any where near that!

It was the usual topic with Ana. The "objectvity" one. I went blah blah again saying that one should always do what one loved the most. I believe that every human is gifted with at least one natural talent. For each one us, there exists a "work" that one would love to do. For Sachin Tendulkar it was Cricket and he realized that when he was a kid. For many mortals like me, this "passion" might not be quite obvious. Most of us don't even make an effort to find out what that "passion/talent" is. It would be just within you, it's only that you haven't made any effort to listen to that voice. "Apne Dil ki Suno"... Oh... I do sound like a Naseeruddin Shah in an art movie.. Don't I?

I came across this "5 things that you don't know about me" theme in a couple of blogs. I couldn't quite get the funda of beig tagged and the online theme but I do feel this would be a cool topic to get back from my long haitus. So here goes my list.

1.) Confused :

I am confused about girls, love and marriage. I have a blush on every other girl that I come across. I have had 8 serious blushes in my life...Huh..apart from these there are girls who glitter, tickle my heart and disappear before I verify the source of the funny tickle. Ah.. well.. if the word "Blush **" has confused you that let me tell you that I have coined this word and it has been generated has a result of all the confusion that I have had about the 3 things mentioned earlier.

** A Blush is the equivalent of Sigmund Freud's Crush. The Blush phenomenon is all set to rock the world somewhere between 2010 and 2015.

2.) Love afternnon naps:

I can stay late in the night upto 3:00-4:00 am without any kind of discomfort. However it require someone/something special to deny me the 2-3 of heavenly Sunday afternoon nap after a heavy meal at home.

3.) Hate curd rice

I find that most of my crushes( read blushes) love curd rice. I love all of them but I hate curd rice. I love pickles ( Avvakai). I gobbled around 3 bottles of that during my 6-week stay in Melbourne.

4.) I write more than I read:

Yes, I think I have really got to improve my reading habits. I don't even regularly read a newspaper. However I can't hold on to my felings for long and scribbling on a notepad/blog-site about my feelings gets me going.

5.) The dimple factor:

I am one of the biggest fans of Preity Zinta on earth . I can never really get tired of going ga-ga about her cute dimples. The dimple factor also helps me clear some of confusion that I mentioned in point one.

And I thougt I should make one honest confession apart from these 5 things. Hmmmm.. it is a bit embarassing for me .. but I guess it's ok since it is supposed to be a confesssion. I don't know how to tie a tie-knot. My Dad has been doing it for me all through the last 2.5 years. :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

That 1 hour without lights

The heat is well and truly on in Hyderabad. Travelling more than 20 kms from my home to the office drains me of all the energy these days. Phew!!! And this is just the beginning of the day. Perhaps I should start an hour earlier than I usually do. That would also help me escape the rude sunlight which glares right into my eyes and wakes me up these days. Winter is such a pleasure.. but may be you got to experience the Summer to admire the winter.

There was no electricity in my house for more than 3 hours in the afternoon. It reminded of the days ten years ago when there used to regular power cuts on a daily basis. Doing anything in the summer afternoon with the fan switched off is such a pain. There also used to be that 1 hour power cut in the evening from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Without light and fan is perhaps worse thn being without just the fan, but I really used to enjoy the evening power cut. A power cut at that time meant that I could keep my books away from me for a good 1 hour. ( remember annual exams usually happen at this time .. so that meant more and more books). This one hour was a break not just for me but also for my dad, aunt, uncle and cousins. That was the time for all of us to chat freely on the terrace or in the verrandah without bothering about any kind of work or studies. Listening to or narrating some kind of horror stories sitting in one dark corner of the terrace was something I really enjoyed. If all of us were in a real "josh" kind of mood, then we even used to play "Anthakshari". It was such a fun. The "end bell" at 8:00 pm would come in the form a loud yell from the children of the opposite house. I guess I used to unknowly wait for the clock to strike 7:00 pm every evening. The power cut thus brought out the social life that wouldn't usually exist on days with the fans and the tubelights on.

Later I passed out of school and entered the most crucial phase ( I really "hate" that phrase) of my life. My babu ( read dad) bought an emergency lamp to provide me the light but I guess it only darkened my life. After a few years, the power cuts stopped thanks this time to another babu...Chandrababu. Thus the Babus knocked the night darkness ( opposite of day light) out of my life. These days the electricity goes off just for 5-10 mins perhaps to harm my UPSless computer. On some days we do have the 2-3 power cuts in the afternoons which drives me crazy. But what about the 1 hour night life without the lights...I want it back. Any listeners??

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

8 reasons why I want to study further

Study again!!! Yeah.. I had this feeling for almost 2 years now. It has been almost 2 years since I graduated and ever since I always dreamt to doing an MBA ( or any relevant course) and studying further. Well, it hasn't happened till now. But I believe it will happen sometime. When I say I want to study further, I am talking about doing a full fledged residential 2 year programme. Residential because hostel life is fun. I want to experience the hostel life again for 2 more years. Hmmm.. may be staying in a separate room and studying is fine but it's not quite fun. Let me list out all the reasons why I want to be out in school again( or rather be in a hostel again). There are of obvious things like better salary, the Post-graduate tag etc etc which will come along. But then I am not going to go too much into them. After all there are so many other things. So here goes the list ( the first 7 in no particular order but the last reason is the last one )

1.) Loooooooooooooooong hair!!!

I failed to understand the importance of uninhibited hair growth during my graduation days. After that job happened and the bike came bringing the helmet along with it and my hair has suffered quite a lot. Looong hair.. Spiky hair...curly hair.. everything has flopped thanks to the helmet. I guess the it's only the Onida boy kind of style that goes well with the helmet.Two years without any kind of a load on my head is going to be a bliss.

2.) Bachelor Forever!!!!

" He is done with his studies and has been working for almost the last 2 years.He is well-settled. I think we should get him married" .

I wonder how each and every aunt in a marriage or a function thinks the same about me. Oh.. can't they leave me alone??. I dread the word "settled" ( which usually translates to he is next bakra... get him!!!(married)). Induction works in this case and soon parents start thinking the same. I believe two years away from home studying in some school will restore my "Bacha image". After all I am a Kiddo...( Oh... he is still studying .. will be the commom phrase then).

3.) Gully cricket!

Boy ...I really miss it! Nothing beats the fun of playing with the tennis ball in confined spaces with fielders breathing down your neck. I remember those days in college when we used to play with the Bret lee kind of passion and Shoaib Akhtar kind of aggression. And we never complained of excessive cricket and burn out either :). My job now leaves me with no chance of playing gully cricket( I am not the one who would play corporate tournaments). The best we can do in office is to dole out the cricketing fundas ( and cribs lamenting defeats)while catching the score live on the net. I want to extend my cricketing career by another 2 years.

4.) Movies on the LAN!

One of the things that I regret not doing during my engineering days is that I did not watch any good movies (especially the good English ones) on the LAN at all. Somehow the activty of watching movies on my computer never appealed to me. It does seem a good idea now and all I need an opportunity ( read Hostel with LAN) to do it.

5.)Home away from home!

There is so much of freedom associated with hostel life. You can sleep any time and wake up any time( of course the classes and attendance will be a factor). Sleeping at home after 9:00 am in the morning seems to be some kind of a crime for a my parents. My hostel record for getting up in the morning was 12:30 pm when I had to get up for lunch ( Of course there were cases of 5 pm and 6 pm also.. but in those cases I wouldn't have slept the previous night). I want freedom... freedom to sleep.. Azaadi neend ki.

6.) Night life!

Staying awake late in the mid night in front of my computer is now all the night life that I have. Even this invites the wrath ( not exactly that.. something less serious) of my parents. The hostel is a different place. There is that buzz during the nights when the entire hostel seems to busy playing games, chatting ( not the online one), watching movies etc etc. I will never forget the day and night gully cricket matches that we used play starting from mid night and going on and on till breakfast next morning.

7.) Campus walks:

I don't dare to go out on the roads after dinner at home,courtesy the noise and air pollution. Going for a long walk in the moon light on roads with trees on either side is a lovely feeling . There would be no air or noise pollution. It would only be cool breeze and the hustle of the leaves. At the moment, I am not rich enough to own a castle ( with lots of trees and gardens for me to roam around ) nor do I intend to build one in the near future. What I can do is study for 2 years in a good institute which would provide this kind of an ambience.

8.) And finally the course

I have listed 7 reasons till now for studying again in my life. But to fulfill all these wishes, I have no option but to do the "course" or the "programme" for which I have enrolled myself. I hope I will learn something from the course( just the "course" not the curiculum) at the end of programme.

P.S: If by any chance, you happen to be a professor or dean of any reputed institute in India or abroad and you believe that your insitute caters to my list of wishes (hmmmm.. there can't be a more honest SOP than this, isn't it?? ), please feel free to leave a comment :). I might apply to your institute or may be join your place. Get Lucky.. Huh!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Not quite News

There is so much happening these days ( or may be something or the other has always happened..isn't it???) But not everything that happens on the earth qualifies to be News. I wonder if there is enough news to cater to the 24*7 News channels. Having news updates every now and then with the headlines being scrolled is great, but the problem arises when there is no "news" around.( May be the term "news" is a very relative term).

A pity that in cases like that the News channels can't do what I did in the previous post . Imagine the line "Our channel is intentionally going blank at the moment since there is currently no news " flashing on your TV screen. Not the best thing to happen for the channel perhaps.

As a nation, we have always been interested about the private lives of the celebrities. ( Ask Aamir Khan, he will explain this better). So may be anything and everything about the "celebrity" becomes news. Last week there was "news" about the model's dress accidentally ( or intentionally I really dont know) coming off in a fashion show. There were a lot of ohhhhs and aaaahs going around about it with the MMS and video clips going around in the market. Nothing suprising. But what stumps me is the fact there was an elite panel discussing this event for 30 minutes on a premier channel. One of the panelists kept saying that it was just an accidental slip and hence shouln't be made an issue. Another woman activtist refused to accept it as a trivial accident( Good... let's announce a nation wide 2 minute silence for it!!!). My goodness .... was that anything to be discussed about? Anyway, I was one of the many fools who saw it. May be I am making a bigger fool of myself writing about it and treating it like "News". But then I am just trying to say that what's happening is not quite news

Nothing much to blog about

Friday, April 7, 2006

The Hero rises from the dust

Working full time in the nights has it own disadvantages. Yesterday was a day off where I slept for 4-5 hrs in the morning and then had my full quota of night sleep( 8-9 hours). Life in the morning failed to motivate me beyond the mediocre routine of mail check and nature calls and hence I slept again( although there were some tasks to be done, they couldn't really get me going). Sometimes I tell myself that since I got to work the entire night, a nap ( a looong one though) in the morning would do me no harm. Today was one such days and I slept about 3 hours in the morning when I didn't need any. Now at 1:30 am in the mid night, my already puffy face is bloated like a balloon and my eyes remind me every moment that they don't need too much rest at one stretch.

Day before yesterday was different. In fact it was at the other extreme. I came to the office, worked till 2 and then had a couple of hours of sleep at home (traveling 20 odd kms in the hooooot Sun). In the night I was back again for the shift. On days like this , there is a 2-hour period in the midnight ( between 2:00 am to 4:00 am) which gets extremely testing. This is the time when the beauty called Sleep throws all her guiles and tries to seduce me. I usually succumb and give myself the luxury of a half an hour fling with the beauty.( better known as the "nap"). This luxury exists because of the fact there are at least two members doing the work. But this night was different as I was all alone. It was about 2:00 in the night. Mainframes just like my life was dull and slow, and as such my work did not require my constant attention. And she was there again , this time at her seducing best. ( The goddess of sleep is perhaps the only female in our project who works in the night :D). I tried to resist her advances , but then I was too tired and so I put my head on the table and fell for her.( asleep)

A usually subdued and dormant part of my body, the mind was warning me to get up and have a look at the Mainframes screen. What if some job had failed? What if the Mainframes suddenly started sprinting? What if the guy at onsite pinged me? But my eyes were in no mood to listen to all this. I defied them and had a look at the Mainframes screen. Everything was going fine. But I couldn't carry on like this all through the night. I had to get up. My eyes were still battling hard. My right hand slowly moved towards the mouse and I found the mouse-pointer on the screen opening the Music India Online browser. Everything appeared blurred but I could see the image of a guy riding a horse. The mouse pointer moved towards that image and clicked something by its side. And then it started...

ding ding ding ding ding ding ding
ding ding ding ding ding..

My eyes were still closed. However I could feel something, something exciting, something that was telling me to wake up and get going. There was something abuzz in me.

thodisi dhuul meri dharti ki mere watan ki
thodisi Khushbuu baurai se mast pavan ki

My eyes now stopped the struggle against the instructions of the mind. It was as if they told the mind "Yeah... now don't bother us. We will be up and open in a couple of minutes". I wasn't dancing but I could feel the Aamir Khan in me shaking his leg. There was a kind of energizing feeling that was stronger and stronger as the song went on.

thodisi dhondhane waali dhak-dhak dhak-dhak dhak-dhak saansein

oh mohe rang de basanti basanti rang de basanti
(ding ding ding ding ding ding ding
ding ding ding ding ding)

My eyes were up and in business as usual ( staring at the Mainframe screen). My fingers were relentlessly doing the "ENTER ENTER " job. My feet were also in action, tapping the floor. So what about the Beauty of sleep and her charms ? I don't really know .May be it was her turn to fall asleep :D

I often crib about many aspects of Indian movies. The Protagonist is always portrayed as a Superman who can never loose. The Lead lady doesn't seem to have any work expect colliding with the Hero and ending up in a "dream song". The Police invariably appear before the "THE END" screen. But there is a kind of a energyzing Josh and excitement that only "Indian songs" (and the image of the Hero ) can generate. And for the moment.. I am not complaining.

P.S: If you haven't felt the josh that I am talking about, try reading the blog with the "Rang De Basanti" title song in the background.

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Tak tak tak

Cliched!!! Perhaps that would be an understatement to describe the kind of work that I do in the office. The other day I was doing this task of "batch monitoring", when the guy who cleans the office entered the place. After collecting the trash at various desks in a plastic tray kind of a thing ( don't know what this is called), he went to straight to the dustbin at the corner of the room to empty the trash. There were some dusty paper pieces that wouldn't come off the tray easily so he started tapping on the other side of the tray in order to empty the trash. "Tak tak tak.. Tak tak tak" . That's how it sounded as he tapped the tray. Hmmmmm... Wait a minute. I could hear a similair sound orginating from another source. I realized that even I was generating the "Tak tak tak... tak tak tak" hitting the "Enter" key repeatedly. "Good God... What a royal analogy !!!" I thought. There was not much difference in the kind of work that we were doing. He at least had an objective ,that of emptying the trash. Why was I doing this work? No idea!!! "Tak tak tak... tak tak tak". I started hitting the ENTER key more rigorously.

Long long ago, before I started doing this kind of work, there used to be a time in the academic year when I had to got to the school early in the morning, come back in the afternoon, have a nap for about 1 hour and then start studying for some kind of tests known as "Annual Exams".( I never did the last thing though.. used to play Gully cricket instead). The time of the year was called "Summer" and the schedule that we had was known by the name "Morning schools". I never realized at that time, but now I really feel those days were cool. There used to be this "Beat the Heat" slogan doing the rounds in ESPN and STAR sports which meant that there was plenty of cricket action round the corner. The timing of these cricket matches would invariably clash with the "annual exams"(and India -Pakistan clash before the damned social-studies paper). My parents, uncles and aunts would always grumble everytime me or my cousins swtiched the television on to catch the latest score. Many years have passed since these things happpened. No one grumbles now. I don't swtich on the televison either. I just do an "ALT+TAB" to alter from the mainframes screen to I see my Project lead walking towards my seat, I do an "ALT+TAB" again and continue with the "Tak tak tak... tak tak tak".

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The art of eating Pani-puris

Stautory warning: Panipuri consumption does not enhance one's physique nor does it help in increasing one's I.Q. Panipuri consumption is just about having fun eating junk. In better words, Panipuri delaaye sirf mazaa baaki sab bakhwaas.

As a kid, I hated Panipuris ( Gol-gappas or water balls or what ever you call them). The water always seemed murky and the taste just about ok. After having it for the first time, I felt I would do well avoiding it. But being the "chat" lover that I am, it was impossible for me to stay away from this kind of junk food. As the years passed, I explored and now finally I have come to the conclusion that Panipuri eating is a one of the most delightful activities that one can ever engage oneself in. Of course Panipuri consumption is not just about having a Ping pong size Puri with a mix of salty water. On the contrary it is an art. This post goes to all those who still haven't discovered its taste and for those who hesitate before having a gulp of this delicacy.

The place:

First things first. It is important that you choose the right place. As per my experience, the place has to be slightly above the standards of the normal road side chats.Just a bit bigger and cleaner.( I am talking about the standards in Hyderabad. It might be otherwise in Nagpur or Mumbai).There are lot of such stalls coming up in Hyderabad these days. If you are in a fix to decide the place, I suggest you go by the price. A good Panipuri usually costs something like Rs 5 for 8/10 pieces ( or more). Don't opt for places where you get 3 Panipuris for Re.1. They usually don't taste good.

The company:

Hmmm.. I am not going to talk about the kind of company that you need to have while having a Pani-puri instead let me tell you the fact that "Panipuri" should be accompanied by "Onions" ( In fact my first line before I start eating would be "Thoda Pyaaz (onions) dallo Bhayya"). These onions should be sliced into small pieces and should be present even before you gulp the first Pani puri. Munching the onions after each gulp of Pani-puri is real fun.

The Size of the Puri:

The bigger the better. Ideally the Pani-puri size( fully filled with the Pani) should make you open your mouth to the maximum possible extent. Once you have it in your mouth, it should give you the "I have done it" feeling. This happens in the maximum mouth stretch case.

The turn-around time:

Turn-around time, ( not the Opearating Systems one :D ) is the difference in time that an individiual takes between the consumption of two panipuris. Ideally, when you finish one Pani-puri, the next should be ready to land in your mouth. This means that gulp time( time taken to gulp a pani-Puri) should be equal to the turn-around time.

There are many places where about 10 Pani-puris are served on the plate along the Pani( in a cup). This really takes the charm away from the Pani-puri-eating. ( Pani-puris served in plate look good only in pictures like the one above)Trying to stuff the Panipuri ( while you eat them) will increase the turn-around time and as the TAT( turn-around time) increases, the fun is lost. So let the pani-puris be served by a professional. In case the place doesnt serve you that way, look around for other eatables . Home made Pani puris might be good but it takes time to achieve the professional efficiency.

Count per cycle:

The count per cycle is the number of people who are served Panipuri in a sequential order. I have seen places where the count is 6-8 . This again results in a lag of TAT. The ideal count-per cycle is 3-4.(certainly not more than 4 and you also need to ensure that the Pani-puri wallah does it fast). If one is alone, the TAT might be too short and this might result in one concentrating on the pace rather thn relishing the taste which is not desirable. ( Now you need "company" when you eat Panipuri)

The chat temperature:

By chat temperature, I mean the degree of hotness or coldness of the chat or whatever that is stuffed into the Panipuri. If this is hot,( as hot as the other dishes like samosa chat that are on the menu), then nothing to beat that. However a good Pani-puri tastes fine irrespective of the chat temperature. In other words, an optimum temperature is just an add on and not a necessity. Don't let the "hot' factor fool you.( Tasteless things are sometimes made "hot" just to make the "sale" happen.)

The Pani:

The water used in the Puri may be sweet( meetha) or sour(khatta). One needs to ensure that water is meetha or khatta to the right extent. It might not be a great idea of mix both the flavours( it doesn't leave a distinct taste in the mouth). Have just the flavour you prefer and in case you want have both, have 5 Puris of one flavour and then 5 of the other.(Don't alternate).

So then,I guess this is lots of Gyan for folks who are yet to start/or about to start as far as Panipuris are concerned. Members of the farier sex usually love Pani-puris( I mean.. if they are junkies) because it perfectly suits their diet and appetite. The best thing about "Pani-puris" is you can have them anytime ( before/in between/after the main meal). After all it is just about making that small space in your tummy. Happy eating!!! Just make sure you don't do the Don'ts.

The Don'ts:

* Don't eat Panipuri at a place where it is served in a plate.
* Don't exceed the ideal count per cycle.(4)
* Never forget the onions.
* Don't eat Pani-puris when the stall is just about to close shop (the size of the left over Pani-puris is usually small).
* Don't take health and diet freaks along for a Pani-puri snack. (Drink mineral water with them :D)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of Hari Sadu and the Best Entertainer

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." I thought almost all believed this just the way Shakespeare and I did. But I was in for a suprise last week when I saw a parent filing a case against( or may be planning to) against for the Hari Sadu ad. The parent alleged that his child "Hari" was being teased and ridiculed by his school mates who started calling him names like "Hitler" "Idiot" "Arrogant". The parent was upset due to the fact that his child "Hari" was being subjected to a trauma.

I feel the guy did what he was supposed to do when he made the ad. If not "Hari" he had to use some name that was popular enough and could be associated by the viewers. In that case some other child in India had to bear the truama and that parent had to be offended. But does one need to be offended? Of course children do get offended, but in that case wasn't it the duty of the parent to correct them? It is the parent's responsibilty to help a child to overcome things like this. I wonder what would have happened if Verappan's parents named him Hari instead of Verappan.

Meanwhile Indian politics continues to provide wholesome entertainment. Currently it is the office of profit issue rocking the nation's politicians. The BJP made it an issue and pressurized the Government for trying to pass in ordinance and modify the existing law. The moment Sonia Gandhi resgined, the hunter became the hunted. It was now facing BJP's turn to face the music since many of the MPs in the state government had other posts( office of profit). I thought of posting exclusively on the issue but lack of complete knowledge( research required) made me think otherwise. I regret missing Barkha Dutt's "We the People" episode on the "Office of Profit" issue yesterday. The sight of the politicians mudslinging in the midst of audience across the nation really gives me the kick. ( and of course the entertainment!!!). Hail the News channels!!!

Indian cricket meanwhile, I feel has dropped down the entertainment list after India was defeated by a fledgling England side in the Mumbai side. I don't want to take the cliched path of blaming the Indian team but the English team did not deserve to lose the series for the sheer magnitude of their effort and committment. "We don't deserve to lose the series " was what the English captain Andrew Flintoff said after his team suffered a reverse at Mohali. Any team or individual with this kind of self belief doesn't deserve to lose and that's what finally happened.

With the one-dayers coming up, the Indian politicians will need to compete hard against the Indian cricketers for the tag of the "Best entertainer". Let us sit back and enjoy the fun!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

What's in a speling?

What's in a speling? That which meant spelling when spelt "spelling" would mean the same even when spelt "speling".( Oops....The absence of "l" is more conspicious than I thought it would be). The same image of the great English play writer strikes my mind whether you spell it "Shakesphere" or "Shakespeare". ( That's better now .. the wrong spelling is less consipicious). Anyway my reason for saying this is simple. "Kiddo" has been wrongly spelt as "Kido" in my blog name. Even the redo, seems to convey the meaning of doing something again instead of souding as a proper noun "Redo" (read it as Red followed by o).

I have given this a thought. I was thinking if I should go ahead and change the name to "KiddoReddo". But even the sight of it seems to be too intimidating unlike the more mortal and simpler name "Kidoredo". After the blog-name should convey certain characteristics of it's writer. I usually hate when it people add letters to their names in order to lucky. I believe you make your own luck and not the spelling or the pronunciation of your name. So the name remains Kidoredo( and this post is a justification for the spelling cynics.)

I used the word "Kidobhai" in my last post and I realized that I have stumbled upon an oxymoron. Kido is a "kid" and can never be a mature "bhai" (and thus the oxymoron "Kidobhai).

Reel n Real

Sand!!! That is supposed to be on the beach. What the hell was it doing on the roads of Hyderabad? I am cribbing now because very recently my bike skid on the road courtesy the sand. Nothing serious except for a bruise on the elbow and the knee. But my left shoulder still finds the fall painful. When I told my cousin about this skid incident, she asked me if I was trying to perform any kind of "feats" on my bike like a filmi hero. Feats?? My foot!!! My bike, now automatically starts walking ( slows down like hell) when encountered with anything that remotely resembles sand or gravel on the road. And yeah I would never imitate a filmi hero while driving atleast.

Now then, there are so many things that you find in films ( especially the Bollywood and the regional lot) that are in no way realistic. How I wish college was something like what it was in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hain"? I wish I could do a Munnabhai and do a Journalism course in a good institute. ( It would be Kiddobhai, the journo instead Munnabhai MBBS :D). How I wish I had gals fighting for me just beacause it is me, the Hero. That reminds me of something. This happened just a few days ago when my latest blush( my equivalent of Sigmund Frued's Crush) told me that she is enagaged and will soon get married. This is what I had to say in a La Shahrukh Khan manner

Romeo( me me me):Did you ever love me? Atleast for a day? Atleast for an hour? Atleast for a minute? Atleast for a second? Atleast for a fleeting moment? ( Try to read this in hindi, "Kya tune kabhi mujhse pyar kiya hain, ek din ke liye, ek pal ke liye " and I guess you will have the sense of Dejavu)

Juliet: Yeah, I loved you for a moment, but I thought it was a "passing phase".

And that brought me dowwn crashing to the real world. Haa.haa!!! But then this is life and no cinema. Of course, there is always chance of her going for me just as her fiancee is about to tie the knot.( aaah.. many movies running in front of my eyes). But then it would be my turn to use the "passing phase" phrase. Biddu.. Life mein Aisa each hota hain!!!

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Kabhi Kabhi

There are situations in life where nothing works for you. It is as if the world has conspired to make sure that you are doomed for that moment. I have just faced one such instance where I thought Life was laughing at me. Left with no other option I joined the laughter.

I was responsible for monitoring the batch tonight. For the non-mainframers, a batch is a set of programs( around 1000-1500 in my case) that need to be executed in a sequence. Mainframes has this tendency or more appropriately the capability to make an ass out of you and mock at you. Space problems, CPU allocation and the Mainframe getting slow.. all these are problems that make you pay for no fault of yours. Today has been a eventful day and all the three problems decided to strike me together. First the mainframe was pretty slow. I thought it couldn't get any slower than that. The space-problem is an evergreen problem and today ( err tonight) was no different. The space problem can be tackled by migrating the datasets( read files). The mainframe getting slow will frustrate you to no end but finally you can do the work ( it's only that the pace or rather the lack of it irritates you). The CPU problem is different. There is not much you can do when the CPU is not allocating time for your jobs other than just stare into the screen and expect that the job gets a share of the time soon.

That's what happened to me. I was staring into the screen with 3 jobs running for well over an hour and the CPU% besides them showing 0. Why did this happen to me? What am I doing here in font of this screen? Is this work really worth it? All these thoughts flashed across my mind as the song in the background played( you need songs to work in the the late hours)

"Kabhi, Kabhi .. mera dil mein .. khayal aata hain".
Aaah.. How true I thought..

Suddenly the male voice stopped and the female voice started...

"Kabhi, Kabhi .. mera dil mein .. khayal aata hain".

Bloody hell now I felt as if the 3 jobs on the screen staring into my face and singing the song.. "Kabhi Kabhi..." ( there were no females in the office around :D)

The song continued..

"Ki Jaise tujh ko bulaaya gaya hain mere liye.."

How true I thought. The jobs needed me to run them. They needed me to be there in the late night when no else was there to do the job.

"Tu ab se pehle Sitaaron mein bas rahi thi pehele kabhi..."

I dont know what this exactly meant. But to me it translated to the jobs telling me that I was enjoying office before this without any kind of work pressure leading a life devoid of any hassles.Life seemed to be such a bliss.

"Tujhe Zameen pe bulaaya gaya hain meere liye"

"Now you have been brought crashing down to earth to do this job" the mainframe beings seemed to mock at me.

Hmmmmm... Life has come a full cycle I thought. It's not my boss but a non-living mainframe being that is mocking at me. Huh!! I gave a wry smile with one hand on my head lamenting it's fate and other moving the mouse to play the song again. It happens sometimes.. Kabhi Kabhi!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

The Wait

Have you ever waited for someone( need not be your boy or your girl) in a cafe or a restuarant or a Pizza Hut for more than half an hour? Have you ever waited for anyone at any place for that matter idling your precious time ? If you have, I guess you will agree with me that "The Wait" is not a amusing thing. Try to recollect carefully what you did during "the wait" and you might find that you thought crazy and acted crazier.

For all the reasons the person who made you wait could be blamed for ,I don't think even he or she finds it too amusing ( unless of course you have this habit of befriending psychos/sadists). The waitee ( my name for the person who makes one wait) would have been delayed by a genuine reason like office work landing all of sudden or the tyre going flat without any prior notice. The waiter ( yeah you are right the person who waits) turns hyper the moment he/she lands at the place of appointment. This happens even if the waiter had played the waitee just the previous day and was late by a good half an hour . "Oh... this guy has no time sense" would be a common thought after 5 minutes of wait.

Cometh the moment, cometh the mobile. Probably this is one instance where the mobile comes in very handy. "Hello.. Are you coming? I am already here waiting for you" goes the first call. Now the waiter, normally a person of normal eye-sight starts seeing the waitee in almost every person reaching that venue. The common comments being..

Oh.. I thought that was Abhishek( let's give the waitee a name instead of calling him a waitee always).He wore a half-sleeves shirt today.( Now all of the guys in half sleeves cannot be Abhishek. Isn't it???)

Oh.. I thought that was Abhishek's Blue Hero-Honda ( Hero-Honda does sell blue bikes to people other than Abhishek)

All the people except Abhishek seem to be making their way to this place( ???????... This is not your country-side farmhouse but a restaurant in a densely populated area)

Now the waiter runs out of patience.It's almost 15 minutes since "the wait" has started. It's the mobile again.

Waiter: "Hey, are you coming at all?"
Waitee: "I have just started.Actually... I had just started..."
Waiter: "Oh.. make it fast."

The waiting continues for the waiter. The eyes continue to deceive the waiter. Every now and then Abhishek seems to appear only to disappear again. The watch hardly moves it's hands but finds the most minute of its moments being observed by the waiter. The waiter's namesake ... I mean the waiter( in the normal "restuarant" sense) in the restaurant/cafe keeps now starts getting hyper and gets on to the already saturated waiter( in the context of the blog ). It's not even 5 minutes but the waiter now picks up the mobile again and gives a call to the waitee who replies that he is on his way. Someone please tell the waiter that mobile is a device that is used to communicate. It isn't any kind of accelerator and hence any number of calls to the other person will not make him/her come faster than normal. Visualize all this and try to look into the eyes of the waiter and you will find a couple of watches instead of the eyes.

Finally the waitee arrives and waiter is relieved. Just relieved and not pleased. The phrase " Huh.. All because you are late, this happened..". is used not less than 10 times in the next 1 hour. At the end, both are left with the feeling that having this "meeting/dinner" today was not a great idea at all. You see "the wait" is not such a pleasant thing after all.

P.S: This post has been waiting in the draft section for a while now. I have started hating the word "wait" after completing this post. Don't you feel the same???

Monday, February 27, 2006

Kab Tak Pukaroon???

The hapless victim is there, lying on the roads, naked, exploited by the all those who could (read the wealthy, influential and the powerful). She cries for justice and pleads the judiciary to punish the guilty. Tired of the long wait she seems to ask "Kab Tak Pukaroon???". Does the voice ring in our ear drums? Are we able to feel anything at least? May be slowly we citizens are able to feel the pain, thanks to the huge protest by the the TV channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN. But the question is will the judiciary hear it and more importantly will the "Andha Kaanoon" see the truth and punish the guilty?

No, I am not talking just about the Jessica Lall murder case. I am talking about the "victim" in the Indian society in general. 7 years is a long time. Why does the judiciary take this much of time ? How can one leave a "murderer" scott free on the roads? Isn't the judiciary risking the lives of many others by doing so? By doing that, we are giving a chance for the murderer to to commit more crimes( that's what I believe has happened in the case of Jessica Lall's murder case). Worse still, justice is not guaranteed to the victim at the end of this long ordeal for things like the "witness turning hostile" might always happen. I was moved when I heard what Sabrina Lall, Jessica's sister said in the NDTV programme.This is what she said when Barkha Dutt asked her if she was hopeful of getting the guilty punished.

Yeah, I have a glimmer of hope now. But there is always this fear that we might have to wait for another 7 years only to find the guilty escape without being punished.

That tells the entire story. And mind you her fears are very much realistic given that the Delhi Police are reluctant to carry out an inquiry again.( even after the nation wide protests).

A few days ago many youngsters like me all around the country were excited when a group of IITians established a political party. It is not difficult to see why there was so much of excitement. India needs good politicians and may be to begin with we need good citizens. Citizens who dont shy away from their responsibilities and instead fight for the truth whenever their fellows are metted out injustice. Till then, the "victim" will be there langushing in the dark, letting out that "Kab Tak Pukaroon" cry.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Don't police me !!!

It's been a while now since I have posted. These days I start writing about something and then after going through it half way, I loose the motivation to finish it, and proceed to click the "Save as Draft" button. Now some of my thoughts are lying around as drafts, waiting to assume a concrete form.( that of a post)

Breakfast before bath or after bath( on hoildays). This is a never ending argument between me and my parents. The idea of "breakfast only after bath" really puts me off. Dad always wants me to take bath early in the morning ( 9:00 am is really early when you get up at 8:30 am.). Sometimes I feel that he is too obsessed with water. I hardly even open my eyes and I get to hear the bathroom call "Hey.. hot water is ready. Go and take bath". Urghhhhhhhhhhh!!!! One can always bath after breakfast. Wiser souls in my hostel often used to preach that a "bath" should not be considered a daily excercise ( like brushing your teeth) irrespective of the avaibility of water. Some enlightened souls even used to tell me that act of bathing (rubbing one's body daily with a soap) daily would make one's body melt like a soap. Some soap for thought this now. However,I don't like to have lunch without taking bath. I don't like to bath early on a holiday only because a "bath" takes away the lazy idyllic delight from a holiday. An early bath robs the "holiday feel" out of it and makes it just like any other day.Hmmmm... I haven't been successful in convincing my parents yet.

Now that was an advice from my parents. If I can get pissed off for that, then what about the advice that any other guy on the road gives me? How do I react if some outsider imposes rules on me? Yeah.. I am talking about "Moral Policing". As long as one doesn't cause any trouble or nuisance to the society, why should one's actions be policed? I fail to understand why people get worked up when an youngster decides to spend an evening with his girl on a day called "Valentine's Day". And it's just not a few people who feel that way. There are quite a few organizations out to uphold India's culture and traditions. The dictionary defines culture as " the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought". Why is it then that the culture which is supposed to be a socially transmitted behaviour pattern forced on the youth? If the organizations are really serious on their intent, I believe they should preach the youth about the culture instead of policing them. After all an idea like the "Valentine's day" is also a socially trasmitted behaviour pattern( although from a different culture).

I sometimes wonder if the "moral police" and the various "Protect Indian Culture" organizations have a serious intent. Their natural reaction seems to be "To protest"- to protest against Valentine's day,to protest against Sania's dress code, to protest against the Danish cartoons. These protests can vary in the intensity and can go on the extent of claiming the lives of innocent people .( now we need to start another "protest" against this). The idea of salwar kameez clad women playing tennis never struck me . Also, I never imagined that the words Cartoon and Violence could ever come together to form the word "Cartoon Violence" . Now all these are possible( and have happened) thanks to these protests.

What does the "aam junta" think of the Moral Police? Do they take them seriously? Recently, on Valentines day some of my collegues in the office played the "Game of Moral Police" where they did'nt allow my friend who was recently engaged to speak to his valentine for the entire day. It was fun. Everytime they stopped him from receiving her call, the disgruntled exprerssion on his face was funny to watch. The excitement with which he called his girl at the end of the day ( when the Game was over) was a real "dekho" ( didn't deserve to be missed). May be an year or two down the lane, we will see kids who don't have girl friends playing this "Game of Moral Police" with the ones who have girl friends. Finally, Moral policing seems to be nothing but a joke. Haa.haa!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Who could it be?

I had just escaped the Red Signal. As my bike made its way through the narrowest of ways between the car and auto-rickshaw, the green signal turned red. But my bike was in no mood to relent and speeded away. Now then on the busy roads of Hyderabad, the traffic doesn't mitigate just because you have passed a traffic signal. Instead you are exposed to the risk of an UMO( Unidentified moving object) hitting you from any corner. Your ears are also exposed to the relentless horns of the corporate cabs whose drivers drive as if on a highway. Not surprisingly, driving is no longer a pleasure.

Amidst all this buzz, I can feel something buzzing in my trouser pocket. It was my cell. Who could it be now ? May be it's "her" ( No matter what.. no matter how many times my ego gets crushed by my "crushes",the romantic in me never ceases to exist. Is it really "her"? Or is it "he"? ( Now then don't misunderstand me.. Of course,I am straight.. "He" stands for my boss who might be pulling his hair because I slipped out of office without informing him.) Or may be it is a regular "When will you reach home??? " call from Dad. All these thoughts flash across my mind in less than a second as I slow down my bike and move towards the footpath in order to lift the call. On my way, I need to overcome the "Will you run me down" looks of the Hyderbadi Nawab ( In Hyderabad the pedestrian on the road does walk like a Nawab ). Fighting all these, I manage to apply the brakes, stop the bike and take off my helmet( bloody hell isn't it a pain). The call is from some "anonymous" number and that only increases the curiosity. I say "hello" and this what is what the person at the other end has to say "This is free call from Airtel....". Huh.!!!!!$#@#$%#!@#&%@!#@!#$@^. Life never ceases to surprise!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Random Vs The Objective

A few days ago, not very long ago I was searching for a "topic" to write about. This search continued for quite a few days. Nothing seemed to be happening in the world around me and I was waiting for the life to inspire me. That didn't happen. It was then that I had decided to get "random".

Getting "random" meant that I had the freedom to talk anything on earth from my bike tyre to the foreign policy of the U.S. I did not have to know about anything in full detail given the fact that I would only touch the issue without dwelling too much on it and end the matter in one or two sentences. I could also immediately shift to some other unconnected issue. Naming the blog was a fight initially but then as I got used to it and in a course of time even the title of the blog turned "random".

Getting "Objective" is the opposite. You need to stick to one single topic and the more you want to write about it, the better you need to know the subject. No issues with the name of the blog since it can every well be the "subject" of discussion itself. The title of this blog "Random Vs The Objective" tells the entire story. Objective is something very concrete, very definite aided by the definite article "The". "Random" doesn't seem to have any purpose and hence is not even accompanied by an indefinite article. :):):)

I have got used to writing random that I find it difficult to write on a particular topic(and stick to it). Flirting with the various happenings in the world around me seems to be an easier option at least for now and hence another random blog.

My thought on this blog: Saaala... I have just about 20 posts and I talk about getting random and objective as if I have 2000 posts and have been writing since ages.

Ha ha... after all it was just a thought that occurred a bit too early.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Random thoughts

Many of the roads in Hyderabad have a wide look now, especially the one curving road from Madhapur that leads to Jubli Hills (or vice versa). I was often disturbed when I was saw the numbers being marked on the houses which indicated the number of feet that the house needed to be moved in. "Such a beautiful construction... pity that it is going to be distorted" I used to think. I was also pained when many of the huge trees which provided the cool shading had to be cut. But then "All is well that ends well ". It is not too bad after all. That's what I feel now as my bike speeds away enjoying the new found freedom of space.

I am happy that I am not in Delhi. I was shocked when I heard the news that about 80% of Delhi has illegal constructions. If the Municipal corporation of Delhi takes a tough stand then the capital of India would be a city of ruins. But I doubt if that would ever happen. Almost every big shot of Delhi seems to be possess an ICA( my acronym for Illegally Constructed Assets)and the Government authorities in India are usually known to soften their stance in such cases. Whatever be the decison of the authorities, I feel that the destruction has already been done.

The word "destruction" reminds me of the destructor, Virender Sehwag. I can't but go ga ga about the airy off-side cut shot that he hits above the cover and the point region. Ironically that was the shot that brought about his downfall and a smile on the faces of Pakistani bowlers. It was great to see so many batsmen hitting tons, but what about the bowlers? Thanks to the one day game, cricket is alredy a batsman's game. More and more pitches like this will make the "bowler" a extinct species like the dinosaurs of yore. Come 2020, and we will be having 11 batsmen in the team with machines doing the bowling job. India, the technology super-power ( in 2020) will be churning out scientists who in turn will develop the Deep Green ( something like Deep Blue) bowling machines. The MRF Pace foundation would transform itself into the some AI( artificial intelligence) centre where young scientists all over the country would strive to produce Deep Greens with a higher BQ ( bowling quotient).

The leader of the pack will however be the United States with the NRIs there doing the batting and the Indian scientists in Silicon valley developing the Deep Greens to do the bowling job. India, despite being a technological super power and a cricket maniac nation will be a close second. The current non-cricketing nations like Japan, China, Germany will come next thanks to their respective bowling prowess'(read AI prowess). Australia, though technically equipped for playing cricket would'nt play. Instead the entire nation would be busy fighting for justice having filed a case in the International Court of Justice against the ICC for "machinizing the game" and thus negating Australia's strength. Pakistan, which claims to have the one of the best bowling attacks in the world would be forced to reliquish cricket due to lack of AI infrastructure. The Politicians in Pakistan would be in a dilemma unable to decide whether to allocate funds for military or AI infrasturture. All the former cricketers in Pakistan would be launching protests and strikes against the Goverment for not encouraging cricket ( Of course they wouldn't file a case like the Aussies) . The whole country would be in chaos. My dear cricket authorties of Pakistan, do we really need all this? Wake up and prepare a sporting pitch for the next test.

Monday, January 9, 2006

The Helmet

Helmet!!! What sort of a name is this? I believe it is weird when you consider it's applications. "Helmet" is a device which helps you to prevent fatal accidents. Assuming that many of the homo-sapiens are mean and bad, 'helmet' protects you from meeting "Hell". Now then the name "Helmet" seems to suggest the opposite. This reinforces my belief that English is a funny language. ( I love funny things by the way).

The person who had coined the name "helmet" would have thought of something more than the skull-protecting function of the helmet. In fact if he had thought like I am doing at the moment, the name "helmet" couldn't be more appropriate. Hmmmm... let me tell you, the helmet is a disaster ( a hell with a single 'l' ) as far as my hair is concerned. I somehow did not have the passion for long hair during my college days. The passion struck me after I started using my bike. ( and using my helmet). But then long hair and helmet don't go together. The helmet doesn't let the hair have its say, it doesn't let it sway, it keeps it on a tight leash. As a result of the bloody stress, and the heavy press the hair is forced to bend down. Bend down!!! My foot !!!(should have been My Hair!!!) It is almost as if the backbone of the each of the hair filaments ( couldn't find a better word) is broken and as if the hair is paralyzed for life. What a sad story! I told the same to my hair stylist ( euphemism for the word "barber"). He listened patiently and convinced me that he had an idea which when implemented would ensure that my hair is long as well as stress-free. It was only later that I had realized what he had in mind. He cut the hair short, so short that almost everyone in the office today seemed to find it funny. Grrrrrrrrrrr....Huhhhh... @#^@!^#*@!&#@(# the barber. ( This is how anyone would react when a pretty girl calls you a "Onida boy ( courtesy my round face and of course the #^^#(#*# barber))

Thinking ahead, can't we find something better? Why doesn't anyone think of any innovations? I suggest we make a device which stays 2-inches above the hair while driving and lands on the head only when it comes into contact with some material ( not air ). You know a "sensor" kind of device. This makes me wonder what they would call it? I would call it the "Gelmet" because it gels so well with the hair.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Food for thought

Good food. One of the necessities in life for me. Although I don't belong to the category of "Live to Eat", I am definitely a connoisseur of good food and a critic of not so good food. What I eat does matter to me. When I land up in a some distant relative's place ( as in.. a brother of the cousin of my aunt's husband's sister's husband ) I tend to get very circumspect about food. "Oh..please God..let the curry taste the same as the one cooked by Mom back home" is usually my first reaction when food is served on my plate. Back home at the dinner table, the situation is different. Eating is more a mechnical process devoid of any thought since I know that I will like the food.

Girls and food. This is an interesting combination. The amount of food consumed by a girl ( of age 13-30) has often left me bewildered.( Let me not generalize say most of the girls most of the times..). One of my friends who was supposed to be "very hungry" gets full after eating a mere two rotis. And it's not just her.. I have seen most of my cousins do this. To put it straight in the Hyderabad lingo , "Ladki Khana aisa kha ti hain jaise uspe "aisaan" kar rahi ho" ( girls eat food as if they are bestowing a great favor on the food particle by consuming it).

Hey .. I am eating you. You know ...such a big favor. Don't you have any courtesy . Why don't you blush like the boy next door!!! This is what a girl seems to say. Watch a girl playing around with two rotis in her plate for hours together and you will more than agree with my thoughts.

Hostel life makes one adapt to the "just about eatable" kind of food. One gets to see different kind of "eaters" in the hostel. Cribs about the quality of food is a daily phenomenon. There a few however who gobble just about any kind of food. While the rest just wait for the meal to get over, the glutton seems to look at the "morsel of food" and say " What the heck will you do? No matter matter how you taste... I will eat you.". Gulp..goes the food down his intestine. Ahem.. spare a " thought for the food".

8:30 am . 1:00 pm. 8:30 pm. What are these? In the same hostel, I came across a few souls who just did not care about the quality of food. The timings mentioned are the times in day a where you will find these souls in the mess.( Unless held up by a critical assignment or project). The quality of food just doesn't seem to make any difference to them. For them "you eat to survive" and " you survive when you eat food irrespective of its taste. They have this "monk" kind of attitude. There was one occasion when the breakfast was horrible and there was a monk sitting next to me.

"How does the food taste?" I asked, expecting him to join me in the crib.
His face did not betray the slightest of emotions.
"It is normal, just like it is everyday. It tastes like food", he replied.
I was stumped!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Within the box

The Man and the machine. What's the difference between the two? The ability to think. The ability to act depending on a particular situation instead of acting in a pre-meditated manner. That's what separates a human from a machine which is always programmed ( Huh... The job effect) to behave in a particular manner. But I wonder if we behave in any way different from a machine. We do the same things day in and day out to such an extent that we have almost mechanized ourselves to act like machines.

Just before coming to the office, I wanted the check the calendar since my relatives were scheduled to arrive next week. I checked the date. But I would not have noticed even if it was a 2055 calendar. My eyes were trained to read the year as 2005 for almost an year. ( The eyes don't even want to realize that it is 2006 and the brain obliges). I got on the bike. My bike was in the garage and I had to use my cousin's bike. It's 2 days since I am doing this yet the brain refuses to forget the gear system of my bike and the my cousin's bike complains making all kinds of odd sounds ( Grrrrr.. Urrr sounds). Is something wrong with me? Why don't I remain consicious? It's snacks time in the evening. I order "chat" and instruct the guy not to add curd ( I suffer from this thing known as curd-o-phobia) . But then he gets mechanical and adds curd to it forgetting my instruction. So we all act the same.

All these things seem to happen more at the sub-conscious level. It takes sometime to get used to new things and new ways. But the brain seems to enjoy doing the routine job even at the conscious level. My physics teacher in Class 12 would definitely agree with me. Despite his best efforts, my friends and I always used to try to solve a problem using the method used for the previous problem. ( however different the new problem might be). Our brains I guess were too lazy to search for a new method and instead settled for the latest one lingering in the brain space. The education system also stresses too much on the aspect of "revision". The focus is on the data ( which is repeated "n" number of times ) instead of the idea which needs to be understood. The examination again repeats the data instead of playing around with it ( keeping idea or 'funda' as it is called intact).

I was complaining about the documentation work that I got yesterday. I learnt working on a new tool today. The first time around I struggled. As I tried working on it again and again, I was more comfortable. It was a pity that the brain seemed to enjoy the repetitive task ( after I had mastered it after trying it out n number of times ) instead of relishing the challenge of learning something new. It was then that my heart intervened and prompted me to write this stuff.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Documentation!!! It's a pain

"I was born to write not to code". I am clear about that. The terms are also loud and clear. Writing and coding are as different as chalk and cheese. But then there is something known as documentation and believe me it is no joy . I need to rephrase my statement now. " I was born to write but documentation is definitely going to kill me".

People call me a developer. But what I am developing ? If I am developer,is development work so mundane and mediocre? I have added one line of code last week. Two days of this week have gone in writing something known as a Test Plan for that single line of code.( remember I haven't tested anything yet)I have reworked on that description ( or scenario as it goes in the Test plan) all these two days. My first draft bears little resemblance to my final one. When I compare both of them , I wonder what I had in my mind while documenting ( not writing) the first draft. It's a pity that I didn't go through the standards document( the word "document" again!!!) when I embarked on my task. But I doubt if the story could have been any different.

I now understand what a powerful tool my dear companion parenthesis ( ) is. It often comes to my rescue while blogging. ( ) helps me express any kind of subtle feeling or any kind of chatter going offtrack . I tried doing the same while documenting. " Why parenthesis? What's the difference between the condition inside it and the one outside it" came the comment from the reviewer. I never thought of that while blogging. Sorry dear paren ( pet-name for parenthesis), but I had abandon you.

Documentation is definitely a pain. I had to change the "is" to "should" , present tense to future tense, the language to pieces of code and what not. I worked and re-worked on it and finally when everything seemed fine, I realized that the template was not the latest one. Good God!!! When and why did the template change?

When I think about it, I realize that I am not alone. A huge chunk of the IT industry does it day in and day out. One of my friends in the canteen was explaining how his fingers have got used to the CTRL+C, ALT+TAB, CTRL+ V commands .All this in the name of development!!! Hmmmm.. then India is a developing nation full of developers like me.