Monday, December 04, 2006

Show Me The Snow

Show me the Snow
Show me the Snow

Show me the skates
Show me the skis
Show me the flakes
Dropping from the skies

Show me the mountain top
Show me the pristine white slope
Let me on the snow-board
And let me slide

Give me the gravity
Give me the velocity
Give me the pull
Down the hill as I roll

Spare me the Man
Spare me the Machine
Spare me for the Weekend
Lemme free my mind

Spare me the CO2
Spare me the horn
Spare me the rat-race too
Give me just the Oxygen

Let me hear the hustle of the leaves
Let me feel the chilly winds
Let me hear rock and roll
Let me hear my heart speak and swell

Give me the 6-count
Else give me the 8-count
Show me your hip move baby
As we dance the Lindy

As we dance the Lindy
And let it snow as we dance to the Lindy

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A couple of things

1) I am not after all as funny as I think I am or, or not as funny as I used to be ! This I realized after reading some other people's blogs. I am too obsessed with serious things these days to be of any real good with humor.

2) I wonder what the point of this blog is. Except that it contributes to my typing speed, and that it keep a friend of mine updated, there is nothing else. Basically blogging is not a very guy thing, especially not with the kind of things I write about. These days doing a lot of guy things like squats (some of them deep) and a lot of sports (both on tv and on the ground) so this blog is deteriorating

3) A tough gym regime is making my lungs real healthy and also making my mind real strong.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I mind is sharp but it is kind of weak, in the sense that I can not think hard or focus hard for a long time, I did not know this could be fixed with paining exercises that rip your ass off.

4) So reached a stage in life where I can dribble past a guy or try and fake a guy in basketball, most people achieve this when they are 10. Better late than never. Its like I have more me now, as if I was not enough. Feels darn good.

5) Realized that the number of female acquaintances are raising by the day and the time I spend with the other sex is usually high these days. But the fact that I am not having sex, is kind of unbalancing. Just realized that a girl used the word asshole in a conversation with me. I am not sure if it is a first time or if it happened before.

6) There are rumors in my Digital Communications class that I worked in the Comm field for a couple of years, so thats what makes me darn good at this subject and all. People ways of going to denial about my skill at this subject, I guess. Anyway, I feel like a star.

7) I am graduating in a month and do not have a job, or do not have any interviews also. i should be pretty upset about it, but this gym, sports, dance, friends, homeworks (yes homeworks) etc that make school what it is are definitely worth it.

8) Couple of things were long over, bye.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


What is the most important thing in life?
And once again; a glamor to life, a completeness, a symmetry, a perfection; like Carnatic Music.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Problem With Me

The fucking problem with me is that I think I am a really great person. I think I am the saviour; that I am here to make a difference in the lives of all those around me. I am here to live the lives of a hundred men, when all I do is stare at screen coated with phosphoric material which illuminate when an electron hits it.

I think, I am here to save a whole bunch of pathetic losers from themselves, from their low self-esteem; from their total lack of a broader view of things; I want to save them from throwing shit on to their neighbours houses; not knowing that shit bounces back. With a sight so short they can not see if they are running into a wall or onto a highway, a perception so feeble that they can not judge if they are hitting the accelerator or the brake.

A whole civilization that has started rotting, that has metamorphosed in to a pig while the water pool around it turned from a flowing mountian creek to a stagnant puddle of city sewer. In semblences of progress, it takes solace; ever insecure; comparing it self with civilizations it's borrowing so much crap from these days.

May be its just me.
Well may be I am fucking good.
May be I know too much about great civilizations.
May be I am just a person who can not let the past go, but at the same time knows what it takes to be there in the future.
May be I am too sharp, but at the same time too weak.
May be I am too strong, but at the same time too artless.

Any way, why should I care?
Why can not I just sit back, indulge in some materialistic pleasures?
Or am I just past that spiritual point where I am too smart to convince myself that materialistic pleasures are everything?

I am the sum integral of aeons of this civilization. Of sages that sat on mountain tops, of housewives who never asked questions, of hosts who let themselves starve for their guests sake, of farmers who passionately loved the land, of loyal warriors, of loyal servants, of devotees of Durga, of Rama, of the Ganga Dippers, of the wandering monks, of the poets, of the kings who encouraged them, of mountains that talked, of eternal bachelors, of grihasthas, of the drama artists, of the folk singers, .... of idealists, of beautiful lives in a pure country.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Why I did not apply for the Job

Here are the qualifications required for a job I was looking at on a 'good' company's website. My status on each of the requirement is in red.


  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science, or equivalent required. MS preferred
  • MS in EE from great school with great GPA. Cool
  • Three or more years of C programming and DSP assembly language programming experience with profiling and optimization experience
  • Got all the experience in C that you need. Cool
  • Texas Instruments C5x or C6x programming experience and familiarity with TI DSP/BIOS, and the XDAIS programming standard preferred
  • Got this Experience too...
  • Understanding of DSP peripherals and device interfaces
  • Sure thing ...
  • Experience with ITU-T communication system standards preferred
  • Familiarity with ITU-T communication system standards MPEG Video or G.72x or MPEG Audio compression standards a plus
  • Familiarity with UDP/IP, RTP and RTSP multimedia streaming protocols preferred
  • Decent amount of familiarity with all the above.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • No problemo
  • Powerful problem solving and debugging skills
  • Got it all pal.
  • Superior motivation, positive attitude
Superior motivation? Well the others I can learn or fake, but superior motivation?
Lets face it, this job sucks; people are there only for the money; you can not buy motivation with money, not that of superior quality, not for a long stretch of time, which in my case was over long ago. Sorry Matey!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Forgetting Names

One of the most embarassing situations can be when you forget the name of someone who remembers yours (or at least who you are afraid remembers yours).

There is this guy who I meet regularly in college who comes and talks to me I never remember getting introduced to him, and the first time I remember talking to him, he was all so jovial as if he knew me from a long time. May be he mistook some other acquaintance of his to me; but we have been meeting on the bus on the footpath etc. and I am in a constant fright of having to introduce him to someone else.

And it happened today! There was this Malayalee NRI girl with a wierd name, that belongs no where in the world, a name she attributed to her mother's creativity. She has a class near mine at the same time; she live near my house too, so we find ourselves waiting for the same bus. I have a vague idea of her name but not the actual name.

This morning I met the lady above and the guy above at the same time while waiting for a bus; to avoid an embarassing situation, I did something that if presented before the jury from the "Association for hopeless bachelors who should be extra extra nice to eligible women" would sentence me to the capital punishment.

I said Hi to the lady, and was about to embark on the 'being extra extra nice' journey as recommended by the AHBWSEENEW; when the guy started approaching me to avoid the embarassing situation of having to introduce two people whose names I do not know, I took two steps towards this guy and started talking to him, leaving the lady behind! Lord, bless my soul.
(I later made compensations by sweat taking to the lady after alighting the bus)

Later today in the bank, I met this Spanish guy, who adressed me by my name and asked me how I was doing? This time I jumped the boat and asked him what his name was? He said it was #@#$! at least that was what I heard! I asked what? He said that again. I gave up, he said it is Spanish for William. I later found out it is, well I forget, let me try Guillemo no Guillermo (pronounced Giyyermo) .

Yesterday, I also forgot the name of a girl, who knows that I already forgot her name once! This time I was careful not to tell that to her. AHBWSEENEW would not forgive forgetting names of people whom you should be 'extra extra nice to'; and telling them that you did is blasphemous.

Moral of the story: Like Brendan Fraser says in Blast from the past, use the name right away so that you will remember them!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Destiny to Make

These days it pisses me off to read some 'great' person's life story that begins 'Ever since my childhood I always wanted to be an X', where the X happens to be the 'great' thing they are now.

Well how do people who do not know the difference between beer and lager know what in the big wide world they want to end up as? Come on, spare me the loose talk. When has being nerdishly mono-minded since your childhood become so cool? When has spontaneity lost its charm? Well may be I am over reacting.

I as a kid had this rich uncle in America, who had a lot of money (at least after converting to rupees). So then all I wanted to be was a rich uncle in America. Well now I am almost there. (Depending on whether the department of Electrical Engineering at Tech thinks I am good enough to correct some exam papers in return for a huge tution waiver) .

So right from my childhood that was what I wanted to be. Rich so that I can buy Five Star choclate or a music system. Basically all the things your dad can not justify buying in a joint family. Once I was on the road to becoming a rich uncle, I hit the accelerator so hard that there was no stopping me; halfway trough my ride, I realized life is much more than money; that glory had many more faces. I hit the breaks hard, but my existing speed, with some help from Newton's first law of motion, lunged me into this rich uncle state and to drive back from here is going to be an effort. It is when I miss being a stupid from whom people do not expect anything,
where you can start a shrimping business anyday!

In my last days of college, I knew so well that I am going to be a technology-coporate bigshot that I did not care to apply for the armed forces. That was a big mistake. A man looking for glory, looking to satisfy his insatiable thirst for greatness, I would send him to the army.

Well, that is one of the disadvantages of being two years younger to your classmates, because two years after college I realized what a good option the army was. It would ahve 'fixed' me for ever. The best 'treatment' I would ever have got! Neway here I am at twenty three having seen it all, done it all in the corporate world. Too much appreciation at too less an age, there is no more challenge!

May be this is not very serious, may be I would have backed off in the last minute. Well if I am that serious, I can go now. You and I know it is not so straight forward. There is always the option of SSC. Well this may be only the pensive talk resulting from watching Forrest Gump for the hundreth time. It could only be the confusion of an old fashioned guy lost in the new world of technology. May be the voices of a lonely kid. May be they are for real may be they are not.

Well as mama says 'Life is like a bunch of chocolates, you never know what you'll get', lets see what appears this time when I open it. Somewhere between the so-far-yet-so-near lives of Jenny and Forrest lay your own destiny. Destiny to make or destiny to endure.

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet Home Alabama
Lord, I'm coming home to you

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Basic Need To Blog

Well I have ditched four drafts in the last as many days. So I thought I will write some of it today.

As my friend Smitha was saying in one of her earlier blogs, in those good old days when she had less work at office and more time to contribute to the literature of the blogdom, blogging could be an addictive thing. Once you start a blog of your own, your thought process gets a new nagger. While on the road of thought, when you encounter a beautiful one, you say to yourself 'I should blog this'. There are a couple of things here. One, the train of thought has hit a serious speed-breaker, once you get back to your thinking, it does not continue the way it would have if it had not hit the 'I should blog this' break. Two, face it, noone is interested in reading your blog.

Anyway, I am living a lonely and quite depressing life right now, the bad news in that nothing is really wrong, I am being a cry baby when compared to all those people who do not know where their next meal is going to come from. Where as I know that it is right there in the refrigerator, that frozen food cooked a couple of months ago, half way across the world. The same kind of thing that I have been eating for a couple of months now. The good news is that there are only
two weeks left of it, and I am going to India after this, to meet a lot of friends and relatives.

A trip to my home is a zero-sum-game. I am tired of the world, I go home, and my mom drives me nuts. I am back the same way I left, if not worse. The house to me does not make sense, and the fact that I can not make my parents change any aspect of it, frustrates me. Its like living with the fact that your parents have messed up with your childhood, which btw is in vogue these days. That's why I visited Chicago thrice in eight months, to find a new home with new parents, I guess. This time back home, it is going to be different with all the parties around. To get rid of all the mental sediment from the 10 weeks of internship, which left in the subconscious gives nightmares later on.

Well I want to vent out here in this post. Lets get it done with. The things that are driving me low these days are.
My roommate is an ass, precisely the same kind of ass he thinks I am. Well isn't that what roommates are for? To teach you that the world, or atleast the house you live in sucks! That too they do that for free, ofcourse except for the same free lesson you give them back. My boss does not care. Well, he does not care if I am getting fed or not; along similar lines, he does not care if I took five days to do a job that takes well, two hours. That leaves me with having to walk one hour to a grocery store load my back pack as much as possible and walk all the way back to stay alive. Or leave office in the middle of the day, walk for half an hour get some food for 10 minutes and walk back again.

Though this is my first time in the heart of America, outside the protection and comfort of the Desi Zone, I am not hasty into judging that all Americans are mean, because I have seen some very very good American friends at Georgia Tech. The rest of the country should really work hard and mean to change that. Though the info-mercials, that out right lie all the time and the commercials, that do not mean a word they say, make you want to catch the next flight out of the country. Did I forget the news? How the fuck can they convert someone' pain and real issues into plain entertainment for commercial interests? Now, I know why I am depressed - too much TV and too many ads in between.

Here is another mixed news. Well for that matter all my work has been mixed news. I write a silly piece of code that does something and after days of debugging, it kind of works, but throws up errors, leaving me with mixed results. God save my career.

Well the mixed news I have got now is that 'I am out of love'. Like in a matter of a couple of lines of dialogue, It was gone, like the warmth of a tea. What was previously a sizzling cup of tea is now a damp over-sweetened milk. It happens all the time in the Jane Austen novels when the heroine discovers that the cool guy was infact an asshole. But mine was more like Gone with the wind where Scarlett discovers in the end that she has been in love with an imaginary character for twelve or so years.

I used to rely on this love-thing in those long boring days where everyday is like the next. Like a pig wallowing in the filth. Now that comfortable filth is gone. Should this pig be happy for getting cleaner or sad for losing a comforter?

Now what do I do to escape the boredom of this repetitiveness? I watch TV! I watch serials that kind of show that life is beautiful with a lot of friends around and that a lot of exciting things happen each day. Like Friends, That 70's Show, Grey's Anatomy, Daily Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Office, My Name is Earl, The Wimbledon, The World Cup etc.

Well at the end of it, howmuch ever I might feel pensive watching those serials in my current state of mind, I got to remember that those serials have absolutely no resemblance to normal lives whatsoever. Why? If they did, my current roommate, who is also a surgical intern at one of the country's best hospitals, must have been as hot as Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

After Three Years

Prolouge: This post is a letter I wrote to six of my friends a while ago. The six of us joined the same company after college three years ago. We had a blast in the initial training days, which lasted for 10 weeks. Now we are scattered all over the globe! We were a great gang except for things like only one person read my mail! etc. I would blame the self-centred-blog nature of the mail instead of them though. We have 'grown' a lot as individuals since then though! This is a nostalgic one.

Well some people are not very good at letting the past go.
Especially when the past has been so dreamy with all
its ups and downs, with people taking you to the skies
and leaving you there, only to watch you fall !!!

Now, would I trade in 10 weeks of roller coaster in a place full
of friends, full of learning, full of excitement, full of open alleys;
a place where the dreams were bigger than the obstacles,
where money was just what it has be: sufficient.

For 10 weeks in a place, where friends are rare, dreams are
a ramshackle, money is a plenty raising the bid on your soul,
where boredom is the most exciting thing, and dreams are
just what they are: dreams.

Would I trade in...
Incorrigible hope for clear vision?
Unsolicited advice for calm apathy?
Juvenile mistakes for cynical maturity?
Glory addiction for soothing resignation?
Waves of the ocean for ripples of the lake?
Gusto of the winds for sturdiness of the mountain?

Would I trade in
Enthusiasm for experience?
You name the price, because I know I can not pay it.

- RakA

Friday, June 16, 2006

The milestones you do not see coming

Along the path of life, there come milestones.

Well it is beaten-to-death sentences like the above that make me hate metaphors. Well but then for every million attempts of mankind at metaphor, there comes one that makes all the mediocre oft repeated crap worth it. Well I should not be complaining about metaphors, my name is one after all. Thanks to the ingenuity of the Sanskrith language at forming words.

The usual milestones are like your first job, your first suit, your first mobile phone etc. I make sure that all such materialistic milestones are as ignorable as possible, by say, not buying mom and dad a nice gift with the first salary, resigning your first job as soon as possible etc.

Then there are the 'turning big' milestones like, the first time you felt a women, the first time you touched her breasts, the first time you had sex etc. Well I am an Indian and I am ashamed of my non-existent record here. Hence I try best not to think of it.

Some where between or above or below the two kinds of milestones mentioned above are the ones that I care for.
The first stage performance. The first tournament participation. The first cheering a bunch of girls gave you (you should see me blush here) . The first class trip. The first flight. The first time you talk on stage out of popular demand etc. .

After coming to the US, I have been having a lot of milestones in quick succession, I guess its because of the average speed of traffic is higher here. There are the usual milestones that all foreigners count like, First time overseas. Getting the damn SSN. Getting a Credit card. Getting the Driver's License etc. .

But on the more beautiful road of American life and the more exciting ride of a global life , are stones that read
The first snowfall. The first ski trip. The first ice skate. The first road trip. The first time you dance ballroom. The first time you surf. The first time a girl gives you a quick teasing hug (you should have seen my face then).

These are all the things you see coming. Off late there have been milestones that I never saw coming. Some of them good some of them bad, but all of them memorable.

1) Spending an entire day without meeting anyone who knows your name!
Well, in this remote suburb of North Carolina, I had to spend a couple of weekends all by myself. It was a very weird feeling and I would not wish it up on even an enemy. And I swear by my life and my love of it that, I will be there for the sake of another man or ask another man to be there for mine.

2) A foreigner asking you 'Baagunnara?' (How are you doing?) and 'Dhanyavaadam' (Thanks)!
Well, I went to see a Telugu movie here in the USA. The lady at the counter with her heavy American accent asked me, in my own mother tongue 'How are you?' . Well that is the power of being a consumer I guess. But cynicism apart, it feels great to see a foreigner trying to speak your language. After all language is a very endearing thing. Alas the English miss this feeling.

3) Getting drenched completely on the way to office
4) Discussing racism at lunch table with three white guys.
This June the monsoon hit India pretty early, eager to see their most ardent lover. Alas! were they disappointed at not finding him after raining heavily North, South, East, West. Well then the little rains of the American east cost wired them about a guy here. The next thing you know it stops raining in India and there are thunderstorms here.

As I started walking to office in the slight drizzle, the excited clouds on spotting me, could not control their love and started being very generous. So there I was fifteen minutes in a down pour. When I reached office, I had to remove my shirt and shoes. Thankfully I was wearing a brown sleeved vest bordering on T shirt inside my shirt. In an office where you can wear punctured t shirts, I was dressed enough to go out to lunch.

At lunch, a world cup match started playing. A colleague of mine remarked how racism is more prevalent in European soccer according to a report by ESPN. We engaged in an interesting discussion about racism, the best part of it being; they were never like, "Oh ok this guy is an Asian so we should be careful in what we speak."

It is good when people are not worried about being politically correct and speak their mind. That is the least racist way to be!

I gave my own 'refreshing' insight into it; which premises on the fact that 'racism is as much in the white head as in a black or other minority head'; its only a natural tendency to group. Instead, we could be counting on how welcoming societies can be rather than trying to spot those black dots on the huge white wall.

Sorry for that banal metaphor again! Its hard to control an age old river of tasteless water in a single day! Ok... Not another word...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Quarter Life Bliss

About me: I used to grab life by the horns.

First things first, I am not in requited Love or on Marijuana, so I am not the best qualified person to speak about Bliss; but then when has 'not being qualified' started being a reason not to do things? George Bush for example.

Right from the day my birth was complete five years ago, I wanted to excel. My birth started about eight years ago, when I was transfered to a class with a lake-side view in junior college (some places refered to as high school) and ended as I said five years ago. The start of this process was marked by my making some of the best friends for life and the end of the process was marked by my psychologically manipulating some of the best friends for life.

Now into my sixth year, I am undergoing quarter life bliss. People who have been following my life closely may choose to call it among aother things, 'crisis', 'mess' or even 'chalupas'. But I would rather stick to bliss. It all started when I friggin gave up!

I and the guy I replaced five to eight years ago were always perfectionists, glory addicts.
I did what ever it took to be 'successful'. I did or tried to do all the things people write in their 'about me's. Like 'living life to the fullest', 'living life king size', 'having life all figured out' etc. and some things that they do not write in the 'about me's like 'failing in basic subjects', 'loving one sided.. again and again and again', 'learning slang in various languages' etc. etc.

It all payed off I guess. By the end of college I won the oscar equivalent of the sex-ratiotically-challenged college; that is a bunch of girls form my junior class came and talked to me. Here stress is on 'came' and 'talk'; because girls in junior classes are generally like you 'go' and they 'do not talk' to you.

Well all this continued, I was party hopping from job to job, being a 'star'; was kind of enjoying it. In those days I chose money over love, destination over journey, GDP over Olympic medals, Bangalore over Mysore and milk shake over beer. Yeah I can hear you say to yourself 'Oh all wrong choices! hmmm'

When I reached what is the Mt. Everest equivalent of 'Aadarsha Telugu abbayi's' life, ie. the highest GPA at the best MS schools, I gave up. Right now I do not have any major aspirations in life. When somebody asks me "what are your plans?", I say "Well, good question". Which transltes from Well-lish to "I do not know". I am more concerned about "where is the next dance party?" or "Where is the nearest skating rink?", "Where do I buy a cheap car so that I can go around?"

About Me: I am forced to live life in the moment.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Techie Found Dead in Code

Client machines Sita and Gita are suspected of killing their patron Raka.

Raka, a 6 year exp programmer from C-Land has been found dead in code at the return of function dbgLog(). Raka uses this function frequently in his code while working on computers Sita and Gita. "But in that Run of the unfortunate program, it was not mandatory for Raka to be single stepping trough dbgLog", friends lament. "We used to envy that he had two machines, both 64 bit Athlon, with flat screen LCD monitors and a combined 150GB! But we never thought they would do this to him" they added.

Raka's baap Munna says that Sita aur Gita were never happy with Raka and his patronage and were schemeing to kill him for a long time. They run him down with a huge stack, as he was about to leave dbgLog for the entry ramp to the freeflow of main . Investigators how ever think Munna's comments have no basis in virtuality; but the agents Nagraj and Mukundam were lost for explanations themselves.

Meanwhile, Techie groups domain-wide have stepped up protests against the glim lines of code they are made to dwell in and fix when necessary. They also demand a full fledged investigation in to the incident and bringing the culprits to law. "It is time the aristocratic machines, with pull, and hard-coding techies are treated equal", a techie protester appealed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Chic Life : Episode II - Me Loves This Game

Well not very much, but I do like the game (it should be sport actually) a lot. For those people still in the dark, "I love this game" is the tag line of NBA. They also use this ultra cool quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson in their ads: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail".

For the 100th time, I miss life in India a lot; but there are some compensations America has to offer. Like, for the 101th time, ballroom and ice skating. A close third, fourth, fifth and sixth are NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA celebrating American football, ice hockey, baseball and basketball respectively.

Well even if you are not much of a sports fan, once the playoffs begin, the temptation becomes too hard to resist. I tuned into ESPN to watch the first few minutes of the Suns vs Lakers' sixth playoff game. It was a must win for the Suns or else they are out of the league. Well there were six seconds and needed three points to tie or go home. You guessed it Tim Thomas shot a three pointer.

They won the next game to come back from a 3-2 lag, to beat the lakers to the Western conference semi finals. Now they have the honor of being the first NBA team that I am a fan of. Not a mean achievement considering, when it comes to me, I am all! And Steve Nash, the two time MVP of NBA, becomes the first God representing basketball. He joins the likes of Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Roger Fedrer etc. in my personal and customized religion, which is an off-shoot of Hinduism.

That inspired me and the rest of the Chicago holiday was shooting baskets. My uncle has this mini basketball hoop installed in his garage. Thats good, but there are no ppl around; now how do I play? An idea struck. Me vs. me! I keep shooting, if I get three-in in a row, the good-me get a point, if I get three-out in a row, the bad-me gets a point. Like I said when it comes to me, its all about me! So me and me played some six games. Good-me won all of them, though two of them were pretty close 10-9, the rest were no contest.

It is a mile stone in my mini basket ball career. Phew! That's the silliest thing you have ever heard? Yeah me too. The moment when my in-probability goes higher than 50%. Hoping to repeat this tremendous success with the regular basketball also. Now that we are speaking in probabilese, the chances of my reaching that milestone are a modest 10%! Lets see if the game loves Me. :-)

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Chic Life: Episode I - In Love, It's ok to Fall

Well it is one of those childish titles. All I mean to do is blog about my four to five days in Chicago. There are only a couple of things I will write about . This is the first one; the second will be about basketball.

I went Ice skating. Well I came to Chicago promising myself that I will go to ice skating every other day. It was not a promise well kept. I had my limitations, transportation, transportation and transportation being the three major ones. It was over come, I just had to cycle myself across eight kms of suburban Chicago to reach the skating center. It was a good warm up exercise. I went in what are called public skating hours. I had to cycle back too, obviously.

This was my second time in the rink. The first time I went to a rink was in Atlanta, a much warmer (less icier) city on a Friday night, where as now it is in Chicago, where there are rinks every five miles. In that rink there were more than a hundred people here I was all alone. It was a wonderful feeling, standing alone on a big hockey field on flimsy skates, it was a white unspoiled world out there for me to leave my footprints on err.. skate marks on :-) Yeah, nothing comparable to leaving my finger prints on the Stanley cup.

I soon started to miss inspiration, I mean people. In Atlanta that is on my first date with skating, it was very inspiring to see all the people out there and it was very easy for me to step right into to the middle of the field and skate on for the next 10 feet after which I would fall.
By then I was in love, and in love, it is ok to fall. I saw her in the winter Olympics, it was love at first site. After a while, my inspiration was back, there was this small three year old girl who joined me on the rink, it was so nice to have someone smile to you, we were like two kids on a secret adventure. That made the rest a smooth sailing err.. skating.

Here are my tips for twenty three year olds comparing themselves to girls twenty years younger to themselves on skating rinks. The two things in ice skating (as you do not have much time to play it safe) are don't be afraid of a fall and don't be ashamed when you fall. After all what counts is after three hours on ice, now I can skate Mr. 'It-is-so-embarrassing-little-kids-can-and-we-can-not' can not. Apart from learning to skate, you will also develop a very good learner's attitude which I was taught gives you a lot of money in the long run. I made quite some money myself that way.

After sometime, I thought I saw a thin figure move smoothly across in a glass window, the size of a TV. 'Don't tell me there is another rink beyond that door there'. Another figure moves. I go over to the door (walking on blades is worse than walking in the proverbial 'tight shoes' trust me). Yup there it was another rink! Boy these Americans have a lot of money and a lot of infrastructure. Two rinks side by side ?

In the other rink were two couples moving at the speed of light (that is relative to mine, as einstine said everything is relative you know). They were moving so fast that their dresses were waving in the air. It is the next level. It is grad school for a freshman like me. Before you start envying them and all, they fall! Trust me they do. As I mentioned in a previous blog of mine, everybody falls, winners are who can rise faster. But they fall attempting things much more difficult, pushing the limits of what they can do, given two blades and ice.

If you are not falling, it only means you are not trying hard enough.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The death of Average Joe

When Joe ceases to be Average.
He ceases to be himself.

The suspense is over. Average Joe is dead! Wait! Is he really dead or is he just laying dormant to strike back with vengance. No! That is too scary a thought to contemplate the possibility of. He better be gone for good. This is not an obituary! It is more like an opposite to an obituary. Yes, given the life of Average Joe, the things he did or rather he did not, his life story is rather a silent autopsy of a terrorist of the intellectual domain.

Before the death there was the man. Or was it the spirit? The spirit of the Average Joe lingering around, waiting to jump on the body he would come to reside in, when its actual owner makes a few bad decisions. Like every spirit, the Average Joe died a slow death, typical of a spirit. But there was this smile frozen on his face. The smile of a teenager on a tropical beach full of babes.

On a typical day Average Joe woke up at 9am. Logically all the days in the life of Average Joe are typical. The attibute of staying typical no matter what happens, is what renders Joe Average. He hates to be late to office, this is one of the many things he hates about his office, not to mention his hatred for the office itself. His hatred for being late makes him want to wake up at 6am, but his hatred for office makes him want to wake up at 10am. The latter with all its several components being stronger, Average Joe wakes up at 9am for the office that starts at 8am. He reaches office around 10:30am; only to wonder why he went there in the first place. There is the obvious financial interest and there is nothing else. His presence like his absense is never felt.

On the way to his office, he walks across a newly laid lawn after alighting the bus. Then walks past a sun-bathing area by the pool side, to cross a deserted road and climb a hillock to reach his cubicle whose inhabited-or-not status baffles the best detectives of the world.

In all our previous discussions, we were skipping a very important and un-intuitive aspect of Average Joe's personality. By his very nature of existence, Average Joe is a contradiction (hence like all contradictions, his demise is only a matter of time). The anamoly rendering him self-contradictory is his nature to make his life less Average. It is this property that kicks Average Joe out of his cubicle onto the deserted road across the new lawn and beyond; in the lame excuse of lunch. It must be noted that in this entire process, he passes by the pool side twice in a couple of hours. This performance only increases when he does it again to get back to his office after lunch; however long his lunch might take and how much ever unwanted he might be at his office.

After lunch in the world beyond, Average Joe pulls himself up to one of those couches in the student centre. The ones that are laid in leather with a view for a flat screen telvision. Both of these luxury features are above the Average Joe standards. He is not the secretary of any association, not even the Average Joes Anonymous, since such a thing does not exist; these guys are too average to start a thing like that. Noone misses him across the length and breath of the planet. So he goes into a marathon ciesta on the luxury couch. Wakes up late in the evening and gets back to office along the poolside route, picks up his back-pack and leaves for the swimming pool.

All this ended. On this day Average Joe woke up at 6am, travelled sixty kilometers in five connecting busses and five connecting trains. This is when the illness struck, so much work within five hours is lethal to even the strongest members of the Average Joe community. After the journey, he went and had a lunch in the cafeteria. And this not being an Average day, Joe skipped the slumber on the couch, a luxury he hates to miss; but a faint hope that someone in the office has been missing him owing to his absence the entire morning hurries him.

He walks across the lawn and the pool side. Hark! the blow is struck. This Average Joe is not your Average Average-Joe. Average Average-Joes do not get blogged about. This chappie is a special Average Joe, he has his own mysterious admirer or watcher. On this day as he was walking by the pool-side, he saw her! He saw her seeing him intensely; Average Joe's life which has truned Average a couple of months ago has ceased to be Average any longer! You do not call a day in a Dull Jack's life Dull when he sees a very beautiful woman giving him the looks. Dull Jack is Average Joe's cousin, he has been rendered dull unable to endure Joe's Averageness among other things.

Average Joe instantly entered a trance and an instant later, the building atop the hillock that is his office. The question still hung in the air, "why am I here?". Only that this time it was in the foreground while the background was a trance. The rest of the day was so, things were changing in the foreground while the background remained the same, like the blue sky, only that they were the frozen blue eyes of a woman rather than the sky.

This trance was ON when Average Joe's manager (as if he needed one) asked him what his plans for the summer and beyond were? "I am quitting at the end of the month!" replied Average Joe with resolve. "Ok then I need to get you some work for the next three weeks" replied his manager. It was as if "we can not send this guy away without getting any work out of him at all!" The consequence: two senior ladies in the office approached Average Joe with a proposal for a project that could take three weeks.

There is no choice, Average Joe has to work from tomorrow, his days are over, it is true this time. Being the third stroke in a day, Average Joe could no longer take it. He died slowly while the words of the two mangers-with-a-proposal were dancing in the foreground. The letters were too small, too dim for such a bright background that held him.

There was this smile on his face. There were these words at the tip of his toungue "Oh sure, it will be done" as he died. His funeral will be on the 28th of April at a local Chinese restraunt. 'May peace be with Joe' a weak Dull Jack would say on that day.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The way we love

I have promised in a couple of posts ago that I will be blogging on a couple of things. Like any movie-director worth his salt, me the aspiring movie-maker is keeping my promises in the increasing order of the interest it can generate in the audience, well readers, ok reader, ok ok (what the heck lets face it) me, the only reader.

Now I thought I will post on the way we love changes over the years. This thought like all the good ones, struck me while I was on the road waiting for the walk signal. There is this beautiful girl in my college and she just crossed the road from the opposite side and walked past me. After I do not know how many years, I had what can be loosely called 'butterflies in the stomach'. You know the way love used to be in the teens. For the purists, lets call it infatuation. The 'I-felt-the-smell-of-the-gutter-and-had-a-deja-vu-of-the-days -I-lived-in-an-apartment-by-a-gutter' experience passed; and I ended up promising people I would blog about that. I would not have kept this particular promise, but some important developments gave this post a kick in the butt.

I was in love among others with this particular girl in Bangalore. Apologies for using the word love very loosely, at the end of the post you would be screaming at your innocent monitor, no that is not love that is just a crush, get over your infatuation and grow up pally. You could rather spare your monitor the trouble until we communication engineers make telepathy official. As I was telling, she is getting married and the usual stuff, I knew this all along but the time has neared it seems. Like how poverty-in-the-world stays dormant at the back of our mind and hurts us only when we are uncouthly reminded of it by a documentary, I also felt sad when reminded of the up coming marriage by a friend. I felt bad for a really long time, the time in which an average satellite communications carrier signal would have oscillated roughly two billion times (let me do the math for you it is half a second).

Well now what is wrong with me? I am supposed to be totally upset, drink some vodka or something and do some stupid things. Here I am hale and hearty watching sitcoms, eating bananas, sleeping for 12hrs a day, solving Bessel equations and what not. You may say well then it is not 'pure love', it only 10% love, 50% infatuation, 25% crush, 30% admiration, 40% youth messing around, 30% attention I was getting, 90% nothing better to do. And guys if anyone is starting an association or a cult or a mailing list or even an orkut group that has members claiming to believe in soul-mates, pure-love, holy-crap etc. Count me out.

Its like saying only one cloud can pour rain on one person. Why today, I got drenched by a Persian cloud I saw in the swimming pool (boy it hurts when a girl, especially a beautiful and thin one does twice the amount of swimming you can), and saw her being very very courteous with the gym door to a fellow student with a load. She is at Tech and wears glasses, which means she is slightly geek, which is a turn-on btw. She is extremely beautiful, she can dance (at the next Swing Dance party, I know one more person I am going to ask - that will make it three - not to worry an average night can accommodate up to 20). It is impossible not to love such a person after you get to know them better.

Err now what am I trying to drive at? There was a butterflies-in-the-stomach kind of love, then there was this-woman-has-an-awesome-attitude kind of love, then there was this we-think -alike kind of love, then there was this we-need-not-talk-our-eyes-communicate kind of love, then there was this her-life-must-be-having-a-great-time-being-her-life kind of love, then there was she-knows-me-so-much kind of love, then we are back to the simpler she-dances-so-well-and-swims-so-well kind of love.

Get wet it's not going to rain for ever.
It's ok to miss, it is going to rain again.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Vanity Stall

I thought I will write a small post on good things that happen in my life. Trust me, though for the most part of it my blog sounds cynical, I have what most people would call a very successful life. However, remeber that most people are wrong most of the times about things that matter the most to you.

I had this interview for a summer internship today. It was telephonic, within two hours of the interview, I was made an offer. I think by now I am damn good at these interviews. It is one of those moments when that old raka with his love for coding and analytical stuff momentarily comes out with his friend the business savvy and confident raka to win things that give the present 'sick-of-it-all' raka a confusing time!

It feels a bit good to know that you are being wanted. For a second there, I felt like Mishti Srivatsava. It is this girl from college who used to have a long following, who used to win them all without doing a thing except being herself (I guess, was not one of those guys in college so no authority on that). But atleast I be myself, its a lot easier that way.
Now, Did someone say vanity is a sin?

Passion River

If there is one thing that needs to be mentioned in a blog titled 'anything passion anything', it is the olympics. The winter olympics just got over and I feeling like a kid who is weeping when the prosession is over. I am not sure if it is the NBC coverage or just the love for the sport, but I miss the olympics a lot.

Passion is a word that is used very loosely. Ambitious marketers just throw it around and the word tends to get too hackneyed. I hope my attitude towards life does justice to my using it in my blog a lot.

Anyway, the Olympics had their tag-line as 'Passion lives here'. For once, for a change it was not a trite usage. Infact it is no exaggeration to say that it was one of those rare occassions when passion as a word falls short to decribe; to describe the spirit of the olympics. The sage like existence the atheletes lead, the life they dedicate to the games. It is just so great, there is a glamour to it, a completeness, a perfection, a symmetry to it (to quote 'Gone with the wind').
You can feel the love of the atheletes for their games. I would say Passion flows around there. I know I am just rambling about a personal love.

My favourite events in the olympics were. All of them! But the most favourite was, you guessed it - the figure skating. Especially the couples. The event was the greatest display of the olympic spirit. The winners were Tatyana Totmiyanina and Maxim Marinin. They had an amazing tale of recovery to tell. In one of their earlier perfromances they had a terrible accident where he had dropped her on the ice, where she fell unconscious. Now they were back in the olympics after six months to claim the gold. The way he was handling her was so careful, like how you treat a bird. They performance was very catuious, thus rendering it very graceful when most skaters tend to make it very animated at the cost of grace. The chemistry, which I would attribute to being trough rough times together, was so good. I do not think the joy of winning the gold medal was much more than just participating in the olympics and doing it flawlessly.

Speaking of flaws, are we not entitled to our own share of them! The pair that came second were Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang. Mid way through their performance, the Dan had to suffer a nasty fall while attempting a a throw quad salchow. I thought they were out, the lady seemed really hurt, but when asked by her coach, she said that she would continue. Participating in the olympics is a great honour, its a dream and its about living that dream, more than anything else. Inspite of deducting a point for the fall, they come second. The spirit of that lady is so admirable.

Other fascinating stories include Cindy Klassen. This beautiful lady resorted to speed skating after she could not make it to the national hockey team, to become the most decorated olympian in a single winter games. The sad story of Michelle Kwan who could not make it to the olympics but has won all the major titles in figure skating. Sasha Cohen who won the silver in womens' figure skating inspite of falling twice. And the lone medal winner for Japan Shizuka Arakawa. God! is she so beautiful. What are the women made up of? Gold? The Germans who are always at the top. The scandinavians who have the highest medals per capita. The list just goes on and on.

Well I think thats all for now. I am planning to go to the Vancouver olympics in 2010, before I go back to settle in India, let's see if the united states can hold me here for so long. When will India ever win a medal in the winter olympics. I want to live to see the day, what the heck I want to make these few things happen. i) India winning a medal in the winter olympics ii) Participating in the football workd cup iii) Hosting the summer olympics. Hmmm... ambitious? Thats me!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Soul Sellers Inc.

Regulars at this blog know that the lines they read are from the finger tips of this very talented software engineer who hates technology and hence computers and hence software. A lot of people say that I am very difficult to understand. A 'successful' person who is dissatisfied. A tech-hater at one of the world's best tech schools.

Neway, software giant Microsoft thought I am in computer science and sent me an interview offer, and as a preparation, I was asked to go trough one of those 'we-are-such-a-cool-place-to-work-at' web pages. A strong believer of preparation is the key to success(how ever dis-interested in that succsss you might be), I was going trough those 'oh-so-cool' job profiles. I was depressed, now who wants to develop software systems, how ever kewl the HR people may make it sound? Acknowledging life's great capability to suck, I went on to the other pages.

Now there was this page on the locations of Microsoft. They have one in the Silicon Valley like any software company worhty of its code does. They have this stuff about how close it is to SF, Palo Alto, LA, LV, Lake Tahoe etc. To quote them verbatim 'Did someone say road trip?' Suddenly the dream of SW descends on me. How cool it would be to go to Stanford at Palo Alto for the dance classes and parties. To SF for some football and fun. To LA on road trips, to Lake Tahoe for skiing. To Vegas for some sin. In that BMW that you bought within a month of joining work?

Being a rich bachelor (thanks to your lousy job) sure does help. Though that still leaves us with our having to the 'lousy' aspect! Is life like this? You work those 50 hours a week just waiting for it to be over to earn some money to spend the 25 hours of weekend? Is it impossible to make your passion your profession.

PS : Please do not wish me all the best for the interview. It does not matter, if or not I get the internship offer. It will only be a painful reminder of the pros. life.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Road to Dumb-ition

A lot of thoughts come to you when you are on the road, or when you are in the shower. You will think to your self, Hmmm.. I need to blog these. But by the time, you can pull your self to the nearest computer and get yourself to logon to blogger, the wave of thought ebbs away. But sometimes when a computer is at hand, and you get a thought, (well, it is highly improbable that you get a good thought with a computer before you though), yeah well, when a computer is at hand, you make a hasty promise saying that these are what I am going to blog about in the near future. Now good friends who do read your blogs (even though you think you are writing for no one to read) ask sweetly, "when r these gonna be 'up n running?'".

After first wondering, how such a football coach type (or is it a running coach) statement could be said sweetly, and later wonder how anything, like a blog could be up and running, and later wondering "what can I do to while away three hours of time in front of the computer giving the impression to my boss that I am working?" This 'wonder'-ful idea strikes you. Let me get my post err.. well.. up and running.

I am a strong believer in the 'first things first philosophy'. Generally, anything I believe in, I believe in it strongly, except a couple of things like 'the first man on moon', 'fighting pairs are a signof mature love' etc. Any way, lets not digress here. The first thing as I mentioned is 'How grad school makes one dumb'. Though this is not what you would want 'up and running', I stick to my strongly believed philosophy.

You know, I was a smart guy. Now, when was that? Let me recollect. Yup, right after college. My dressing sense if not great, it used to be much better. After that a series of events took place, one thing lead to another and here I am dumb. These are two incidents that happened in the last two weeks.

Situation: I was playing pool with my friend. I was attempting a shot into one of the holes, and saw that the hole was almost full to its brim with balls that were previously in. It still had place for one more. But the sight of a full hole was kind of deterring my concentration, so I thought I will empty it up. But then there was no place in the room to put them. I was lost, I gave up. My partner in the game, saw my plight and took some balls out of the hole and placed them in the other holes. Boy, was that a great idea. I was impressed. I thought to myself "Boy are these IITians smart".

Second incident, I brought myself thirteen hangers. Now why thirteen. Did I want to keep the devil outside my closet? I do not know, for what ever reason, Wal-Mart sells them in sets of thirteen! I think it is a way to increase sales. After all, everything in the US is a way to make you spend more. The problem came when I realized that I had more than thirteen garments. I was baffled, after a day or two after being in the closet for sometime and pondering over the crisis, it struck me, I can hang more than one shirt to a hanger. I was thrilled again.

Now why is it taking so much time to get even half decent ideas. I just got dumbed. How did it happen? There are three prime suspects.

Software. The world of Software is a grim one. Like a silent coal mine, or like a graveyard haunted by the cyber ghosts also called bugs. It is bereft off all creativity. The only time creativity ever comes anywhere near it is when people frustrated by software write blogs like this or make movies like The Matrix. The bug falling on your head like water dripping from a leak, slowly seep trough your brain and render it dumb.

Second: PG Wodehouse. We are speaking the genius of dumbness here. Oxymoron it may sound, but true it is. His third greatest achievement must have been to remain sane among all the dumb characters that populate his books (and his mind before they enter the books). I read too may of them at one point, that I started to become one. So I would say. 'Wodehousers ye' be warned'.

Last and the greatest of them all is the great grad school. You are given assignments so abstract that you, who opened the book with a ferocity, only a chinese warrior could have possessed, soon find yourself confounded by a seemingly small problem that keeps on blowing up as you poke it. For example I was given this problem as a part of the assignment.
Prove that c.O = O. Where O is a null vector (which is the equivalent of zero for vectors). Of course, anything times zero is zero, now to prove that, phew!

Now here I am intimidated by every little challenge that comes along. Am I getting old-minded or is just that I am realizing that life could be far more complicated and hence I far smaller in the big picture? I guess this is what Jorge Cham is trying to tell in these comics.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Coming soon to this blog near you.

There are a couple of things I need to write about, but I am not finding time for. So let me list them down, before they are lost down the abyss of my memory.
First, how being in grad school makes you dumb among other things that can achieve the same.
Second, how the way your love grows, changes over the years.

Ofcourse there is this third thing that I will have to write about
'Passion lost pasion found'
Episode II : The eternal confusion of the Creative mind.
This third one will never slip my mind though.