an "a to z" of thoughts, conversations, remarks, observations,musings about

Monday, August 28, 2006

more later

stats for this week....surprisingly internet explorer is just 55% of the browser share among people visiting this blog.

This was one of my best weekends in a long while.... met some old good friends....visited boston... took in the MIT campus... and even managed to wrap myself around some excellent masala dosa's... will write has suddenly heated getting less time to blog...but its due... dont go away....i have few readers anyway... if you are reading are one of the extremely rare species.. a literate friend.

thought of the day

an old Chinese saying

"To steal a book is an elegant offense."

Friday, August 18, 2006

tricolor in NYC

rambling along

its late at night on thursday...the motel staff are behind bulletproof glass, late night customers drive up in fancy cars with lots of bling. Its been a full working day, part of a busy week and I am tired out.

I had a nice talk with my boss on the way back from work. He was explaining to me how things worked and how important the right environment was. It was a strange situation to be in, because usually I am the one trying to preach this message. I usually talk about thinking big and providing the best possible environment for people to work in and it was nice to be taught a lesson that I thought I knew. Goes to show that one often forgets what one knows.

This set me thinking about events and people that taught me something in this past year and I thought I would list them down...lest i forget.

Rule #1 - This would be the lesson learnt at the new year party. The rule is, if you have a party in the winter, make sure theres lots of firewood. Charu reminded me of this, when he went and sourced a 30 foot long bamboo pole at 2 am from a nearby construction site, which was impossible to cut or chop or burn...still the message was there.

Rule #2 - No matter how pissed off they make you, do not strike back at someone you share a house with. You have to live with it..better to turn the stereo on at full volume and get your message across. Break a few bottles if you have to, but dont break any heads.

Rule #3 - Two dogs are better than one. One dog chews up your trouser legs, two dogs chew each others ears.

Rule #4 - Before attempting any tricky technological undertaking, take a deep breath, read it up on the internet, check out the manuals, talk to someone who knows about it and then sit down with a calm mind and just do it step by step.

Rule #5 - If you have a plan and you realise certain flaws in it and drawbacks to implementing it then do not question the reasons for the plan. This is sometimes tough to remember. Hold on to the original plan and work around the problems. It may be harder than you thought, but you may be stronger than you estimated.

Rule #6 - Give all possible freedom to people, but take a daily report. If you cannot get them to make a report everyday, theres very little chance that you can get them to do anything else. If you dont have the time to read the reports then you probably dont have time to mentor them either.

Rule #7 - If you like someone, dont be afraid to ask them out for dinner. Coffee is fine and beer is nice, but dinner is what counts.

Rule #8 - Its always more lively in a bus than it is in an aeroplane.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

check this out

interesting story of a girl with a one track she blogged about it...and how the blog went on to become a book...all with her remaining anonymous..and now the media outed her... read her blog here

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964):Speech On the Granting of Indian Independence, August 14, 1947

Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of Inida and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

read the full speech here

Monday, August 14, 2006

coke and pepsi banned?

The state government of Kerala in south India has banned the production and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi in the state. The companies will be asked to close their operations entirely.

Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan stated today that the ban was being imposed because of the health hazards posed by Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

This must be the shot that will be heard around the world. First the US will protest and put lots of pressure on India to stop this...then there will be an outcry in the US media and senate..then the Indian government in the centre and the media there will launch a PR blitz to counter this. Then the Supreme court in India will declare the Kerala governments actions unconstitutional, then the CPI a coalition partner in the central government will make a big fuss and bring down the government...

earlier...someone once said... they dont have bread? why dont they eat cake ?...

now its.. they dont have drinking water? why dont they drink coke ?


diving in

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

first friday evening in america

so a week has passed. Spent a full working week here and it was fun. After a long time I was working in the daytime. Since it was the first week, i was treated rather well. Both the bosses took turns to pick me up from the motel on their way to work and drop me back. They also stood me lunch a few times. I visited a place called Panera breads which had some awesome onion soup and sandwiches, a place called Pastablitz which was nice, a subway and an indian buffet which was very satisfying. Had roti and dal after quite a while and just filled myself up.

Workwise the pace was good. Got quite a few things underway and the next week should see some results start to come in. Today I worked from the motel and that was nice too. Went for a lunchtime swim, which is pure sinful luxury on a working day. Cooked me own lunch, which was heating up a matar paneer thing and making some rice. Also some nice bitter chocolate to top it off.

I went to meet a writer with whom I had a correspondence some time ago. She lives in downtown Baltimore near the John Hopkins Uni and that area is very lively and vibrant. I set out at 5:30 and caught a bus down to the city. Bought an all day pass. Once I reached downtown, I took a look around. Had been a little shocked by the neighbourhoods the bus had passed through. They were not like the pretty little white parts of town, but were more grungy and rundown. The disparity is pretty starkly visible. They are nice enough places compared to the ones in india, but compared to the rest of the town, they are just glorified slums.

The inner harbour area is nice with lots of tourist attractions. I got a little lost and walked into an area where there were pretty girls standing around on the street looing bored. A bit further on and the signs saying "hustler" and "you must have a drink at all times" made it pretty clear that this was a place where sex sells more blatantly than usual. I made my way towards the more shiny and bank type of buildings and asked around. I was directed to a bus stop where the #3 bus would take me to John Hopkins Uni where I was to find a cafe called Donnas.

Sitting in the bus, I suddenly spotted Donna's through the window and got down in a hurry. Waited around but couldnt spot my friend. So I asked the bar guy if this was the only Donna's around and I found that it wasnt, the one I wanted was another couple of miles down the road. I walked on, but couldnt find a bus stop, and a few more buses passed me by without stopping. Stopped and asked a policewoman for directions and she said it was another mile or so off. Said not to worry since it was a safe neighbourhood. So I walked on again..

Finally I got tired and stopped and asked an asian looking guy for directions. He told me it was still quite a way off, and I gave a loud sigh. He said that if i waited a couple of minutes, he could give me a lift part of the way. Soon he reappeared and I got into his car. He drove me straight to Donna's and I got off. Thanked him profusely and asked him if he was indian. Nopes he said, Pakistani.
Same thing I said, and he smiled. We exchanged numbers, and I thanked him again.
I believe he just came back to drive me out to Donna's and after that would have driven straight back to his house. Asian hospitality for you, and in its full glory in the US of A.

Met my friend, and we had a nice dinner, then caught the 10 pm bus back to the harbour, then the other bus, which was surprisingly crowded back to my motel.

My first adventure in the wild wicked west and it was quite fun actually. I think I shall buy some more day passes for these buses and see more of the area around this far so good...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

tuesday in america


My fourth day in america is about to get over. Its been a busy two days at work. Today I got a cellphone. I also got the advice to use it sparingly and try and call as much from a landline phone as possible. "Ok I have to just pretend its 5 years ago in India" I said. That brought a chuckle from the boss, and he admitted that America is now beginning to catch up to India.

The hot weather has gone away a bit, and there was some rain yesterday. Its nice now not unlike how delhi was when I left it.

I got a new cellphone today... now i am at 917 664 5442 . If I get too many calls selling me magic pills or credit cards then I will have to delete this post. According to the stats, 4 people visited my blog yesterday, so hey...feel free to call...would like to hear from you.

Been eating out a lot, thanks to everyone wanting to make me feel at home. Today went to a mexican place and it was really good. Wonder why everyone feels compelled to pack along packed greasy indian food while coming to america.

Theres nothing much to do in the evenings unfortunately. I dont have a driving licence and so no car. no car means no nothing. stuck .. so i am looking to make friends with someone who has a car... :)

Its a nice time to be in america I think. Theres a lot of greenery and its vacation time..

Saturday, August 05, 2006

travelling on

My first visit to the US of A. Left friday night from Delhi. It was a close thing... we were stuck in traffic on the way to the airport and it was looking pretty rocky. I had to get out twice to direct traffic and try and get our car through the insane clutter of tractors, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles, autorickshaws, cars and jeeps. Reached the airport at 9:15 pm and the flight was to leave at 10:45..but luckily everything went smoothly from then on...had to stand in queues and answer a lot of questions and get searched a few times..but made it on to the flight in time and settled in by the window. It was a 15 hour direct flight and the service was pretty good ( continental airlines). Our plane flew over the cities of samarkand and bukhara and the skies there were cloudless and the cities glowed like jewels in the night. Would love to visit there sometime...looked really pretty.

Slept off intermittently, woke up again when we were flying over norway and then when we passed over the glaciers of Greenland before finally landing in Newark NJ. From the air newark and the area around was just one huge sheet of yellow light...stretching as far as the eye could see. When the roads came more clearly into view, it looked very unlike india. The carlights were evenly spaced and were moving at a constant speed in a straight line...there were no clusters of cars or zigzag patterns....everything was relaxed and in order.

Stood in a few more queues and then had breakfast with a guy from work. Then got onto a plane to Baltimore and got settled in a motel here. The cars are nicer, everyone wears shorts, there are no people on the streets, traffic never stops and all you have to do to eat is to buy food and warm it.

I miss home already :( but am looking forward to work on monday. It seems like a great place to get work done. Theres efficiency in the air :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

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