July 31, 2003

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
As he sank lower in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within him. There's no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature. If I were to learn so much about flying, I'd have charts for brains. If I were meant to fly at speed, I'd have a falcon's short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a poor limited seagull.
There in the night, a hundred feet in the air, Jonathan Livingston Seagull - blinked. His pain, his resolutions, vanished.
Short wings. A falcon's short wings!
That's the answer! What a fool I've been! All I need is a tiny little wing, all I need is to fold most of my wings and fly on just the tips alone! Short wings!
He climbed two thousand feet above the black sea, and without a moment for thought of failure and death, he brought his forewings tightly in to his body, left only the narrow swept daggers of his wingtips extended into the wind, and fell into a vertical dive.
He closed his eyes to slits against the wind and rejoiced. A hundred forty miles per hour! And under control! If I dive from five thousand feet instead of two thousand, I wonder how fast.........
His vows of a moment before were forgotten, swept away in that great swift wind. Yet he felt guiltless, breaking the promises he had made himself. Such promises are only for the gulls that accept the ordinary. One who has touched excellence in his learning has no need of that kind of promise.

- Jonathan Livingston Seagull a story, by Richard Bach, photographs by Russell Munson.

Finally, I'm getting used to the fact that my interaction with girls has decreased to a minimum.It's all due to the fact that in my company, out of a batch of 15+ people shifted from the main building to another one(mind you from a total of 80 freshers), I happen to be the only girl!

July 30, 2003

Last week,I was supposed to give a sort of thank-you speech. These happen to be the ones I typically hate to give. If someone asks me to talk on any topic for an hour, I can do it, but mention a thank-you speech and I go weak in the knees. Lots of procrastination and very little research made me finally give an impromptu speech. It is said that Hitler, who happened to be a great orator, used to practice his speeches in front of the mirror. Practice does make Man perfect. But for the lazy ones, here's some stuff that is really useful-

1.Be either the first or amongst the last to give a speech. The advantage of going first is that you have all the territory to cover, the advantage of going last is that you know what not to cover:-)

2. Even then prefer going last. Since everyone is bored of speeches, you can conveniently cut down the duration:-).

3. Just have one good quote ready. It is your saviour.

4. Jot down your points while the actual function takes place.It has the added advantage of you making some good use of your time.

5.You don’t need to use the word ‘thank you’ in the speech at all:-)

6.Relate the relevant incidents back to the audience in a witty manner.

Saves me every time.

July 29, 2003

Husband Shopping
Disclaimer: Could not resist posting this....please read further at your own risk....:-)

Recently a "Husband Shopping Centre" opened in Dallas, where women could go to choose a husband from among many men. It was laid out in five floors,with the men increasing in positive attributes as you ascended. The only rule was, once you opened the door to any floor, you HAD to choose a man from that floor; If you went up a floor, you couldn't go back down except to leave the place,never to return. A couple of girls went to the shopping centre to find some husbands...

First floor:
The door had a sign saying, "These men have jobs and love kids." The women read the sign and said, "Well, that's better than not having a job, or not loving kids, but I wonder what's further up?" So up they went.

Second floor:
The sign read, "These men have high paying jo bs, love kids, and are extremely good looking." Hmmm, said the ladies. But, I wonder what's further up?"

Third floor:
This sign read, "These men have high paying jobs, are extremely good looking, love kids and help with the housework." Wow! said the women. Very tempting, BUT, there's more further up! And up they went.

Fourth floor:
This door had a sign saying "These men have high paying jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework, and have strong romantic streak." Oh, mercy me. But just think! What must be awaiting us further on! So up to the fifth floor they went.

Fifth floor:
The sign on that door said, "This floor is empty and exists only to prove that women are impossible to please."

Currently reading The Inscrutable Americans by Anurag Mathur ,which was later made into a movie .The book begins with a letter full of content like "Most surprising thing about America is it is full of Americans",all in the typical way we're advised never to, during Technical Communication Lectures.
Though I was initially skeptical,the first few pages made me want to read it further.

These people have become my Aunties & Uncles,a far cry from Sir & Ma'am a week ago. Cliched as it may sound,the warmth they exude,the way they fuss over me like my own parents,the fun I have had & will have with them will make a wonderful story someday.

July 24, 2003

Niagara Trip Photos
At long last, I managed to develop, scan and post the pictures from the Niagara Falls trip from the Fourth of July weekend here. The photos are, apart from being from my camera, also from Tavya's (the proud owner of a Canon G3) and Sameer's collection.

Pride and Prejudice
Rarely can you read a book, find it very absorbing, and go back and read it a couple of times more some time later and find it, if possible, even more better. And even more so, find its adaptation on television to be as good. This happened in the case of "Pride and Prejudice", which was made into a mini series by BBC with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. It consists of 6 one hour videos, which in fact was aired on Star Movies in India on Mondays some years back. Nowadays, when even sitting through a 1 1/2 hour movie can be a painful ordeal, we managed to watch all the 6 videos without getting bored!

July 23, 2003

Want to experience the first day of school at the age of 21?Well, here’s a perfect way to do it. When 350 people joined a huge software company this year, parents were allowed to come with their wards, on the first day, to see to it that their children did not feel out of place. They were also allowed to have lunch with their children. Doesn’t it ring a bell?

July 17, 2003

Two new links make it to the sidebar- one who has been blogging for a long time, but whom I met recently, and the other who I have known for a long time now, but started blogging recently!

July 16, 2003

I happened to meet one more blogger, Samrat yesterday, all thanks to Ramanand's bulletin board;-) So even though I may not meet all the bloggers together, I am meeting them individually, and everyone I've met so far has turned out to be nice:-)

The PM comes avisiting!
As it always happens when a VIP decides to visit Pune, I was stuck outside office for quite sometime.All that I wanted to do was to cross over to the other side which was free.I was just three metres away from freedom.But there was no choice.I had to wait As it is said,'So near ,yet so far!'
And as I waited, one of my colleagues couldn't resist adding how some people are more equal than others!
Nor could we let go of the ironical fact that while we had to wait, a stray dog was given full freedom to roam the roads.Either this dog had the amazing capability to be invisible to policemen, or they thought that the PM's entourage would just fly over it!

July 15, 2003

Doing Something Different
Got tickets for white water rafting, but in the process, in order to be there at the SAC on time, hand-eye cordination happened to be something out of the ordinary, and managed to spray some Elizabeth Arden Green Tea into my left eye.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
- Benjamin Disraeli.
A sentiment relating well to benchmarks .

July 12, 2003

The nostalgic mood continues....a good English teacher can help you appreciate poetry, a bad one can make you stay away from it forever.....luckily for me I happened to meet a teacher of the first type before I met the second, so when it did happen, its effect was thankfully voided by the first. :-)


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

- William Wordsworth

July 10, 2003

Way to go COEP!(Wish I could say it years later too)
This year too COEP seems to be maintaining its reputation with lots of quick placements taking place. Add to it the fact that among the last year placements, COEP students were given preference over all other colleges for early joining dates, in all companies. The name says it all. But the current batch is the last one who will have the COEP tag attached to them.
As the time draws near for changing this famous name to its hated version, I cannot but say it will never be anything other than COEP for hundreds of us. For all those who love this college, it’s like snuffing the soul out of a person. It really is a shame that in its 150th year, the college should lose what is most cherished about it-its name.

Here is Pankaj's first article on Sulekha.....nostalgia for those days gone by, when I was in school, and the days went by in a blurring succession of "The Times of India" in the mornings, school, playtime, TV, dinner (which you did not have to make unlike nowadays), a good novel and of course, sleep.......oh, and not to forget, homework done by catching a few moments in between all that!

July 09, 2003

Modern Day Ramayana

LAN, LAN ago, in the SYSTEM of I/O-dhya, there ruled a PROCESSOR named DOS-rat. Once he EXECUTED a great sacrifice PROGRAM after which his queens gave an OUTPUT of four SUNs - RAM, LSIman, BUG-rat and SED-rughana. RAM the eldest was a MICROCHIP with excellent MEMORY . His brothers, however, were only PERIPHERAL ICs. Once when RAM was only 16KB, he married princess 'C'ta. 12 years passed and DOS-rat decided to INSTAL RAM as his successor.

However, Queen CIE/CAE (Kayegayee), who was once offered a boon by DOS-rat for a life saving HELP COMMAND ,took this opportunity at the instigatio of her BIOSed maid (a real plotter), and insisted that her son Bug-rat be INSTALLED and that RAM be BOOTED to the forest for 14 years. At this cruel and unexpected demand, a SURGE passed thru DOS-rat and he collapsed, power-less. RAM agreed to LOG INTO forest and 'C'ta insisted to LOGIN with him. LSI-man was also resolved on LOGGING IN with his brother. The forest was the dwelling of SPARC-nakha, the TRANSISTOR of RAW-van, PROCESSOR of LAN-ka.

Attracted by RAM's stature, she proposed that he marry her. RAM, politely declined. Perceiving 'C'ta to be the SOURCE CODE of her distress, she hastened to kill her. Weeping, SPARC-nakha fled to LAN-ka, where RAW-van, moved by TRANSISTOR's plight,approached his uncle MAR-icha. MAR-icha REPROGRAMED himself into the form of a golden stag and drew RAM deep into the forest. Finally, tired of chase, RAM shot the deer, who,with his last breath,cried out desperately for LSI-man in RAM's voice.Fooled by this VIRTUAL RAM SOUND,'C'ta urged LSI-man to his brother's aid. Catching the opportunity,RAW-van DELINKED 'C'ta from her LIBRARY and changed her ROOT DIRECTORY to LAN-ka.


RAM and LSI-man started SEARCHING for the missing 'C'ta all over the forest. They made friendship with the forest SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR SU-greev and his powerful co-processor Ha-NEUMAN. SU-greev agreed to help RAM. SU-greev ordered his PROGRAMMERS to use powerful 'SEARCH' techniques to FIND the missing 'C'ta. His PROGRAMMERS SEARCHED all around the INTER-NETworked forests.

Many tried to 'EXCITE' the birds and animals not to forget the 'WEB CRAWLERS'( Insects) and tried to 'INFO SEEK' something about 'C'ta. Some of them even shouted 'YAA-HOO' but they all ended up with 'NOT FOUND' MESSAGES.Several other SEARCH techniques proved useless. Ha-NEUMAN devised a RISKy TECHNOLOGY and used it to cross the seas at an astonishing CLOCK SPEED. Soon Ha-NEUMAN OWNLOADED himself into LAN-ka. After doing some local SEARCH, Ha-NEUMAN found 'C'ta weeping under a TREE STRUCTURE. Ha-NEUMAN used a LOGIN ID (ring) to identify himself to 'C'ta. After DECRYPTING THE KEY, 'C'ta believed in him and asked him to send a STATUS_OK MESSAGE to RAM. Meanwhile all the raakshasa BUGS around 'C'ta captured Ha-NEUMAN and tried to DELETE him using pyro-techniques. ButHa-NEUMAN managed to spread chaos by spreading the VIRUS 'Fire'. Ha-NEUMAN happily pressed ESCAPE from LAN-ka and conveyed all the STATUS MESSAGES to RAM and SU-greev.

RAW-wan decided to take the all powerful RAM head-on and prepared for the battle.One of the RAW-wan's SUN (son) almost DELETED RAM & LSI-man with a powerful brahma-astra. But Ha-NEUMAN resorted to some ACTIVE-X gradients and REBOOTED RAM and LSI-man. RAM used the SOURCE CODE secrets of RAW-wan and once for all wiped out RAW-wan's presense on earth.

After the battle, RAM got INSTALLED in I/O-dhya and spreaded his MICROSOFT WORKS and other USER FRIENDLY PROGRAMS to all USERS and every one lived happily everafter.........

July 08, 2003

A Memorable Weekend
A Tour Diary

Day 1 July 3:
Maybe this is how good holidays are supposed to start. Had to attend a research meeting that I had quite forgotten about in the morning. Put the alarm for 6.00 am, got up at 7.30 instead. But was on time to catch the bus, finished the report and attended the meeting, which inspite of showing signs of becoming a big discussion, ended up finishing on time. So far so good...then inspite of a zillion phone conversations, no concrete decisions....I ended up in Penn Station and managed to get to Times Square in time for buying the tickets to the musical "The Phantom of the Opera" or so I thought! After getting some last minute cash, and an interminable wait of something like 2 hours, listening to "Vaseegara" about a zillion more times, I get to the box office, only to be told "No tickets".....had a solitary meal at the McDonald's across Time Square, plotting and discarding various plans on putting an end to vacations in general and Broadway shows and standing in lines for such things in particular. Then went to Grand Central to wait for the junta from upstate NY to make an appearance, which turned out to be more a case of disappearance.
So then the decision being finally made, which was in two apt words, "No patelgiri" scheduled for Thursday, I finally took the train to Yorktown Heights. Then after some food shopping for the trip to Niagara Falls, (which was based on the fact that places everywhere would be closed on account of it being the Fourth of July, and we might end up starving......which hardly turned out to be the case :-D ), we had a good meal and then some tea. Also had a good time examining some very fine china pieces, which did make a few people, one person in particular, quite anxious. (:-D)... since the china pieces belonged to none of us, rather to the landlady, and really were very delicate and beautiful. And then off to sleep.

Day 2 July 4:
Managed to leave quite close to the time that we had actually planned to leave! Quite some heartburn induced due to the fact that I could not drive at all nor did I navigate on this trip. :-(
Apart from all that, developed an unwanted case of motion sickness on the way to the Falls. Then quite a few breaks for lunch, breaks taken just so, switching the passengers between both the cars, deciding that we gals wanted to drive together, discussing VLSI fundas simply to bug one person in particular :-D, listening to some really good songs, something akin to having your own jukebox, asking for a particular song and getting it, only live instead of a recording! Thinking my cell phone was lost, panicking as usual, worrying about the phone insurance, getting a replacement, all the hassles involved in doing so, and finding it 5 minutes later! Some good naps in between and finally we are in Niagara Falls!

Getting to the hotel, and getting "A Room with a View", watching television in Niagara(!? of all the things to do! )..and we are off, clicking snaps and eating out at a desi place. Then some splitting up of people, the reason being some "important stuff" had to be obtained (for those in the know, please read in between the lines :-)), and others went for a first look at the Falls.
They are, in a word, simply majestic! Got a glimpse of Canada, right across the river, and watched the Fourth of July fireworks. Clicked some more snaps and then back to the hotel. Had a really good time playing Dumb Charades. Then had an equally good time discussing/arguing about myriad subjects such as "The Reason for Being a Vegetarian/ Non vegetarian","The Iraq War", "Being Pro-Israel", in general everything under the sun (or moon rather), till one sleepy person forced us to stop the "peaceful discussions" and go off to sleep,which was finally done at 4.00 am.

Day 3 July 5:
Got up at 6.00 am, which was the result of a very strong determination to not waste a single moment of the vacation. Having slept in "The Room with the View", I made good use of it, Niagara is a beautiful place in the quiet of the morning, no tourists, no noise, I could even hear the sound of the waterfalls from the hotel room, wanted to freeze the moment forever, but then everyone started waking up, get back to reality! Everyone got ready, checked out of the hotel, off to the Falls we went, took some more pictures, and queued up for the "Maid of the Mist ride. This ride is offered only in between May-Oct. The ride takes you to the Canadian side of the Falls as well, the blue raincoats, marching to the boat like an army of soldiers :-), getting drenched, admiring Nature's fury and beauty, this is not a ride that I will forget soon. Decided to head back home after that, started the drive, endlessly listened to the same 3 CDs (A Tamil one with songs from Alaipayuthe, Minnale, Indira, Thiruda Thiruda etc., One with songs by Kishore Kumar and one by Jagjit Singh), played Twenty Questions, found out that Eva Peron and Nadia Comaneci are not as well known personalities as I thought they were, and again took quite a few naps. Reached home, just in time for GJo's birthday, we made her cut a cake disguised as a mango, and generally fooled around.

Day 4 July 6:
Finally decided to indulge in some patelgiri, before that though, we went to an amazing Thai restaurant called Sea for lunch, feasted on lichis and then took the Staten Island Ferry after innumerable trips between Grand Central and Times Square and Penn Station, and booking and cancelling tickets for T3.

Day 5 July 7:
Was supposed to come back home early in order to go the lab, but after a train delay, decided to visit the Guggenheim Museum along with the others.
The building in which the museum is housed, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is worth a dekko, for its design and the lighting effects. About the paintings, you really need to be interested in Modern Art to appreciate the paintings and sculptures. I personally liked some of the paintings on the second level of the rotunda, which were more traditional, by Picasso, Degas, Pissarro et al. rather than the Cubist or the Surrealist paintings. Took some more snaps, and finally caught the train home.

For ASHA - Work An Hour - One of ASHA’s projects with an interesting concept behind it. Also, published here recently.

Blogger's Heaven
Blogging and reading blogs after so many days, so much more to read, am in blogger’s heaven right now! So a collection of today’s readings….Found this quiz from Gaurav’s blog, and is quite funny, found out from it that I actually am a Frenchwoman! Also from Hirak's blog, these aptly worded lyrics.

July 06, 2003

How obsessed are we with other people in our lives? I am talking about forming an emotional attachment with a person, intentionally increasing contact making it impossible to not do so in return. How do you distinguish between someone who just wants to be noticed by being with you, & someone who derives some emotional satisfaction in interacting with you? What if that doesn’t give you the same satisfaction? Isn’t it your responsibility to inform the other individual about this one-way traffic even though it may not have pleasant consequences? On the other hand if you do derive the same satisfaction, why should you hesitate to spell it out? How come it is correct for you to be curious about somebody, but wrong when someone else is curious about you?
The lines keep on blurring, even changing their course, just like a river.

July 04, 2003

Left or Right ?
Today I went for a treat towards the Baner Road-Aundh area.I am always quite lost in this area, so stopped to ask directions. The guy in the shop asked me to turn left (showing a right turn with his hands). When I asked him whether he meant left or right, he said “right” (and showed a left turn). When I again asked him, he did the opposite. Finally I just thanked him & walked out, more confused than ever!

July 03, 2003

Blogger isn't exactly being co-operative. Since the new version was introduced a few days back, I was not able to publish any posts for quite some time.When I finally managed to do so,the same post was published multiple times in many forms.Some posts then automatically disappeared.Then my blog wouldn't open.Now I cannot find a way to delete the multiple posts, coz they show up as only a single one in my account!

July 02, 2003

I chanced to meet one blogger I hadn’t known before.During the first day of my job, I had a pleasant surprise when Pooja turned out to be my tour guide:-)

July 01, 2003

My first day at my new job. Wasn’t very exciting though. The usual stuff. Had to sit through lots of presentations. Found some old classmates. Some more routine stuff.Interacted with some nice & some not-so-nice people.Mostly nice.For the not-so-nice I guess mutual dislike would be the perfect explanation.
The interesting part was when we were given a tour.As a pleasant surprise Pooja turned out to be my tour guide.
The rest was again the same old stuff.I’m waiting for the time we actually start doing some real work.If you are still reading this(yawn), you’re better off reading some other post else go back to your work!


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