Monthly Archives: March 2011

Proud to be a lurker

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Imagine living in a house which opens up to a busy street in a notorious town. You wouldn’t want to leave the door open, for obvious fear of the rogues breaking in. You could still keep the window open. It does allow evil to take a look inside, however it also provides a chance for that ‘one’ friend to reach you. You can now control, whom you want to open the door to. This does not rule out, the occasional villains who deceive your judgement; however it does leave a fair chance for the known/unknown friends out in the city.

Virtual world has provided so many rogues, it gets scary at times considering how much of information is out there for them to break into. Stalkers have so much of data to play with. I some time wonder, I would be out of challenges if I were to be a stalker today.

Lurkers in the blog world too have been equated to stalkers by many people. There was a time when I used to look out for a lurker who used to frequent my blog so often, and would give me no trace of him/her. I would look at my stats, the numbers, the location, and come up with various theories who this person could be.  It never occurred to me that person could be dangerous, or a snooper, on the contrary I was very curious to find out, who this curious person was.

The  lurkers have been more of a pleasant  surprise to me till today, more like a fantasy where you discover this one person who is obsessed with your ideas, has a potential to contribute a lot to your ideas but chooses not to. Having lurked on your blogs for years, he/she must have be a one sided profile built of you, considering how their perception would change after a conversation, really fascinates me.

Recently there were quite a few posts about the topic of “too much information on facebook”, “lurkers who don’t leave a comment, and possible reasons behind it”, “and how a fellow blogger perceives a lurker”.

For a long time I have lurked on various blogs,  I have kept myself uptodate on various people’s life. I do not think it was because of an voyeuristic fun. I think it was my way of living many lives, being part of many other’s lives. When suddenly those people have stopped blogging, I have wondered what are they upto now; the problem they had talked over various posts , did it get solved?; now that it has been an year since the last post was published, I wonder what is the author’s state of mind now. I have been a stalker who hasn’t really stalked anyone, a lurker who hasn’t damaged anyone’s intent. As I have been one such lurker, I have a feeling there is one or more lurkers like that for my blog as well.

For my fantasy lurker out there, thanks for the keeping alive the element of unknown.

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Wife’s envy My pride

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Every time I look into your eyes
My wife goes green with envy
My ears listen to her, but,
She knows, my eyes are on you.
The side of my bed, which is hers
Once belonged to you,
If anyone’s going to replace her,
She knows for sure, its gonna be you.
That dark skin of yours,
yearning to be touched,
No body gets me like you,
All you need is a few little words,
And my wish, is your command.
I sneaked you into our wedding,
and had you on board for our honeymoon,
As my wife stood by my side,
you were right beside.
You cheer me up when I am moody,
And share my happiness too.
Wife’s envy, owner’s pride
My little netbook.

The banyan moment

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I heard this new word “Banyan Politics”  about how politics in India has the dynastic tinge to it.  This concept, of children getting into parents profession is not new to Indian at all, how else would we explain the star kids in bollywood, a bunch of really bad doctors at the whelm of rich and famous hospitals, or bunch of useless law firm owners employing outside lawyers to keep their reputation in tact.

Banyan professions sounds so alien to the new age IT professionals. Have you heard of people joining Apple, cause their parents worked there?,  sounds funny even thinking about it.

My father worked for the government.  He studied science, worked as an auditor [commerce], for the telecom sector. Sounds strange how a science graduate ended up doing a so out of field work in an alien sector.

I claim ‘I work’ as a software coolie in one of the MNC.

Strange coincidence though is knowingly or unknowingly we both ended up in telcom sector.

The banyan moment 🙂

Newspapers

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Newsmakers no longer require traditional media these days, they have started providing updates via tweets, facebook updates, and tons of other micro blogging websites. They don’t even have to wait for media, they are broadcasting the news [which are now being termed as updates] live, as and when it happens.

Our news channels too, are not far behind. They are running around the city, covering anything and everything which is of some interest [If not to the viewers, atleast to them]. They are at places even before the event happens, making sure they have the edge over the rival channel. There’s regional news, state news, national news, international news and almost 10 channels in each of those categories. I am sure within no time, we will have a basavanagudi news channel, and within no time three more rivals for that channel too.

Internet is not far away either, we have news websites ranging from regional to international, we have archive websites which have a collection of similar news, and even portals like google news which provide us a combined buffet of news items.

And there is epaper, the online version of our good old newspapers, ready to be downloaded onto various readers, and gobbled up by the fast paced world, which has now been shortened into a 8 inch ipad.

With world around us so eager to let us know whats happening around us, in various forms, with various interests, still one medium that has survived over a long period of time are newspapers.

There is something about newspapers which any of the above mediums cannot replace.  My earliest memories, includes the easy chair, and my grandpa sitting on it reading newspaper for hours together. I am sure, I am not alone, who has such an early memory, almost every one of us would have seen people at house reading paper early morning, mostly with a cup of coffee/tea to accompany it.

When I was a kid, I used to hate newspapers, because my dad used to spend so much of time with it, which I thought could be better spent talking to me, or watching TV, which to me was the best possible pass time. I always used to wonder, why on earth people actually read the complete news paper, shouldn’t the headlines be enough.

As I entered high school, we had something called NIE [News paper in education], I remember getting a copy of TOI everyday at school, and wondering what on earth are these people wasting money for. Slowly, TOI became my means of looking at all the glamours people, celebrity gossip and of course sports. NIE had worked, it finally interested many of us in reading, even though it was the garbage news, we had to start somewhere.

We never know when we get addicted to things, and newspaper is ne such addiction of mine. Over years, there have been so many days where I have waited for my copy in the morning, and scolded the news paper delivery boy for being late. Even today, I get visually annoyed when newspaper is not delivered in the morning before 6:30. There is a certain joy, in spreading the print on the table or my pillow, and reading those headlines, and drilling down the articles which interest me. No day begins without the news paper, and ends without reading the left out articles from the morning.

For a person who has internet almost all time, on the phone, on the laptop, and access to huge number of news pages, For a person who has TV for most part of being home, with channels ready to tell news anytime everytime, still newspaper has not lost its charm. I guess it never will too.

Oh, By the way, I am off to my granny’s to flick the easy chair that belonged to my grandpa.

 

Book list 2010

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I have finally accomplished a task that I was postponing for a long time now. Its like one of those special things, which you want to do, you hardly have any reason to not do it, but still not do it.

So here it is, I have finally updated my book shelf page here.

I want to do detailed reviews for each of the books, which I might finally end up doing for a few books. Until then, may be I can do a little recap of what of these books  remains in my conscience.

Have a Little Faith Mitch Albom ***

This book was a gift from a group of friends. Its strange an year down the line I hardly have contact with any of them for various reasons. Any how, Mitch Albom who wrote “Tuesday’s With Morrie” has tried hard to reach the brilliance of that book. The book is similarly structured as a bunch of conversations between a Rabbi and Mitch. There are several parts of the book which I liked immensely, but I ended up mentally comparing everything with the former book, and that in a way made this book inferior. On the whole a good read, a little repetitive though

Wings of Fire A P J Kalam **

I wanted to read this book from a long time, I have been intrigued by this former President of India as I have heard conflicting remarks on this person. A lot of people treat Mr Kalam with high regards, and some have an opinion that he is a better manager than a scientist. This book though, is well written, and gives us an insight into various missions and difficulties. It was kind of motivating for the nerd in me, but failed to motivate me enough to quit my job and join one of the premier science institutes.

English August by Upamanyu Chatterjee **

This was a fun read, I really liked the pun, conflicts and the monologues of this IAS officer Augustine who gets posted in a remote town in India. Its a fun journey as he understand how an office works, and the perks and problems of being an IAS officer. I have heard there is a movie about the book, It would  be fun to try catching up on that as well. All in all, a fun read, for people who have my sense of humor.

In Xanadu William Dalrymple *

A travelogue, one of my favorite genre’s, set in a region which I have never explored in person and in books. Did I need any more reasons to pick this book?.  This book is about a journey of couple of people, in the path of Marco Polo, to the mythical destination “Xanadu”. The places and problems they go through are interesting, and at times unbelievable. Somewhere it kind of becomes a bit boring. Even though it should have got a 2 star rating, I reduced it to a single star, considering my passion for travelogues

Sea of Poppies Amitav Ghosh *

If Ekta kapoor ever wrote a book, it would be of this kind. Its long, never ending, boring tale set in rural India. If this was every made into a serial, I am sure it would be a big hit. To me it was a total waste of time, and at the end to discover this does not have an ending is even more disturbing.

Broken Wings Kahlil Gibran *

Kahlil Gibran has  some serious insights in a simple manner, I have always liked his books. But this was slightly not so interesting, I felt that most of the works were a little time[era] dependent.

The company of woman Kushwant Singh *

This is my first book written by Kushwant Singh. He is one of those famously infamous authors, whom you hear so much about. I wanted to start with one book, which has caused a lot of controversy, and I got hold of this one. I didnt find the humor, nor the sensitivity I was looking for. Its just an overdose of the physicality with no emotion evident.  I was really sad that I started with this book of his.

The Fountainhead Ayn Rand ****

Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand ****

Two of the best books I have read, not just in the last year, but in my lifetime. There is no way I could summaries or talk about the books in few sentences. This is one of those books, which will remain with you forever, till death and beyond. I just love Ayn Rands take on selfishness, and her hatred for altruism. I wish I could find more people who are passionate about this book, for me to discuss the book with them.

Japanese Wife Kunal Basu *

This is a collection of short stories, popular because of a movie made on one of them. The Japnese wife, well after an year of reading the book, I dont remember anything about it. I remember that I didnt like many of them, nothing special in it

The Angel’s Game Carlos Ruiz Zafon **

A sequel to one of my favorite books “The shadow of the wind”. This is in a way continuation of the intriguing cemetery of the books. I am big hater of fantasy, but the mystic nature of this continues to intrigue me. The story is a well woven, interesting, and keeps the reader interested till the end. Its not as good as its predecessor, but a real good read.

The next set of books are in Kannada. The number being just 3 kind of makes me sad. May be next year I will have more even numbers.

Avarana S L Bhyrappa ***

A very controversial book. Well all books by Bhyrappa are controversial, however this one must be the most talked about books in recent times. There are more than 30 books published, just to debate this novel from him. It has a lovely style of narration, something new, and something really unique. Its about islamic routes in india, woven around a modern day tale of an hindu women who marries a muslim. The problems she goes through and her challanges forms the backbone, and the history of islam in india forms the other part of this book. One of the must read books for every indian.

Parva S L Bhyrappa ***

If you are a big fan of Indian mythology, and love the interpretations of it. This is the book for you. Parva is Bhyrappa’s take on the epic Mahabaratha. You shouldn’t be reading this, if you cannot take the sacred epic deconstructed. I remember my relatives discussing this book long time back, and the subject had intrigued me even back then. Some of the aspects of the mahabharatha, which you couldnt even think of are so well told in this book. Well what can I say,  if you want some reading fun, pick this book up.

Samskara U R Anantha Murthy **

A very short books, very different line of thought from Bhyrappa. The book is about a person who has died, and people fighting as to who should do the final rites of the person. In a way its a satire on hindu society, especially the brahmin community. It is good in parts, and in subject.

Remains

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She, whom once I knew, once knew better.

She, whom once I chose, once chose better.

Was I jealous, I wonder,

I have already got, what she has now.

I chose what I have now.

I wanted her to choose, what I have now.

But still her choice,  pricks me,

Was it her choice, or the fact that she chose, that bothers me more.

Am I worried, that she settled?,

or is it the league that this, puts me into, that worries me.

I will never know.

What they have become, and not what they were, remain.

She did become, and she indeed was,

The question is though, which of her will remain.

 

What do you do?

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When you are given a problem, what do you do?.

a. Try to solve the problem to the best of your ability.

b. Try to ignore the problem.

c. Try to listen to the problem, and ask questions to make sure you understand the problem fully.

d. Try to listen to the problem, ask no questions, offer no solution, do all this while not ignoring the problem.

 

All you engineers out there, if you thought answer is a combination of a & c, you are wrong.

If you don’t agree, ask your wife.