Friday, April 29, 2005

A Disturbed Family

A cat gave birth to 2 kittens near my house. The mother and children are healthy but i am not sure if they are happy. The mom and kids are trying to hide in all the possible places but they are being disturbed by the cricketing kids of my road. Scooter to window sill - everyplace has been tried out.
Obviously I too was a disturbance for them. First I caught them when they were on the window sill.
Together on teh window sill
Then the mom jumped over the compound, but the kittens were not able to jump and were stranded on the cement floor.
Scared kittens
Mom cat was in agressive mood when i tried to capture the kittens in my camera.
Mom's stare

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tough days

The last few days have been very tough for me. The work pressure is very high. It is going to remain that way for this week. I miss blogging.
There is a demo for a group of Americans and last minute bug fixes are taking some time. The existing customers find new bugs in the existing projects and they want it fixed within notime. This increases the pressure.
I am off on a long weekend to my native tomorrow and so things are bright. I am waiting for Friday 9pm to catch my bus.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The best F1 race

It's a Monday again. And invariably my mind is on the sports I watched on TV over the weekend. All I remember on a Monday morning is the football and F1 races. I wanted to write about my site today. But I decided to postpone that for a later day.
I have to write about the best F1 race I have ever watched.

Imola was the venue for the San Marino race. Ferrari's home circuit has always been the bastion for the reds. So all eyes were on Schumi. Schumi had told that he would go all out for the race as he has nothing to loose. 1st qualification he drove well and finished 3rd behind Kimi and Alonso. But the Sunday morning qualification session had something else for him. Brakes were not applied at the right time and so he drove over the gravel. This meant that Alonso would not have a dangerous red beside him in the starting line. But what happened in the race would have surprised all the other drivers including Alonso. Starting 13th Schumi was 2nd at the beginning of 50th lap of the 62 lap race. Good aggressive and strategic driving got him to 2nd spot. But then Alonso showed how to drive when under constant pressure. Alonso used all his skills to keep Schumi out of the top spot. The Renault driver won the 4th race of the season by 200th of a second. Schumi overtaking Button was a treat to the eyes. It was a blinder and I don’t know how he pulled it off. The drama continued after the race too. Button's 3rd place was confirmed 6 hours after the race. The battle for the F1 title has just begun. Renault and Ferraris are in for a long battle.

Rooney produced a gem of a goal to lift Manu against Newcastle Utd. Manu eventually won 2-1 after Brown headed home for this first goal of EPL. Chelsea is all set to take the title. Robben was back for Chelsea after a long injury layoff. He provided one of the best pass of the match tp Lampard, who made no mistake in sending the ball past the Fulham goalie. The pressure is now on Arsenal. They need to win against the Spurs to remain in the race for the title. Chelsea will win.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Goof up

Yesterday evening we had a party at my friend's place. The guy has quit my company and is at his new job since a week. He and his wife invited us for dinner. The party as always was total fun with lot of leg pulling. By 8pm we decided to have dinner. The guy had a new cooker which does not whistle thrice to indicate that the rice is cooked. It is a modern model and you need to track the time and switch it off. We were immersed in deep conversation and so he and his wife forgot to switch off the cooker. It was switched off 5 minutes late and so the rice was very sticky. There were lumps all through. We ate the rice and finished it off. Mid way through the dinner we needed more rice and so host's wife began to cook it in the more traditional cooker. One guy in the group was waiting for rice with rajma in the plate. The jovial conversation continued. He said that he will get good rice to eat and teased the guys who had finished the food with the lumpy rice. I replied "you expect to to get good rice...too high expectations". I mean this statement could be one of the most horrible statements that can be made. I dont know why i told it but the moment i finished it, i knew i had goofed up. I am really feeling bad about the statement but i dont know what to do. Once uttered, thats cannot take it back. It is giving an odd feeling.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Kannada movies

I am very desperate to watch a Kannada movie. Its a very long time since I watched the super hit "ApthaMitra". It has completed 34 weeks adn still it is difficult to get the tickets. The Tamil version "ChandraMukhi" is running well now. My friend gave me some suggestions on the good Kannada movies. Ayya" is a hit among the masses. Darshan Thugudeep has created a big fan following for himself and his movies are doing well. After the massive hit "Kalasipalya", Darshan is a police inspector in "Ayya". Another film with the hero as a police is "Rakshasa". Shivraj stars in this Koti(Crore) Ramu venture. The music by Sadhu Kokila is ok. Sudeep's "Kashi - from the village" has nothing special in it and is on the verge of becoming a flop. "Rishi" has good feedback and is supposedly shot very glamourously.

But my friend asked me to wait till May 29th for the mega budget (4.5 crore) Ravichandran's movie "Aham Premasmi". Lot of publicity is given to this movie and the hairstyle has evoked a cult feeling. Talking of hairstyles, Shivraj kumar sports a similar hair style for his next venture "Jogi". The songs are very good and the storyline has evoked lot of media interest in the movie. Uppi's much awaited "News" is hit the big screen in May. Hope this gives a life line to Uppi as an actor.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Digital Fortress

I just finished Digital Fortress. I had lot of expectations because it was a Dan Brown book. The book was a huge let down. One of my friends had told me to skip this book, but being a hard core fan of Brown I just could not skip it.

The story starts off with lovers separating for some secret assignments and ends with a the guy proposing and she agreeing. And they lived happily ever after. There is a mystery agency in the US which spies on all the messages which the terrorist groups etc exchange. A guy fools this agency and introduces a virus into the agency's decoding machine. There is lot of turns and twists in the story line but there is no clear villain. Finally the agency is rescued by the hero and the heroin. Both guess the secret pass code to break the virus at the same time (which happens to be the last second before USA is otherwise destroyed in typical filmi istyle).

The story drags a bit in the middle, but the last 30 pages or so is super and you cannot keep the book down without completing.

There are some typical features of Brown in the novel. Some anagrams, some ancient code breaking techniques, origin of words etc. These are interesting.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Media Astrology

I got this link from a friend of mine. Though it is pro Google and anti Microsoft, it is interesting to check-out the ideas.
The google grid concept amazed me. The epic is a great stuff too. Do listen to it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

EinbahnStrasse and Ondu Nimsha

It was the first day in Germany. I came out of the hotel and saw a board on the pavement which said "EinbahnStrasse". My limited knowledge of German told me that this is the name of the street because I knew that Strasse meant street. In the evening I decided to walk around the place and suddenly I got lost. I went to a police car and asked him the way to EinbahnStrasse. It was a foolish decision. I could have asked for my hotel. May be i wanted to show off my knowledge about the place! The policemen immidiately could make out that i was a tourist (my skin color helped them in this khoj) and asked me where I wanted to go. I told them the hotel name and immidiately they told showed me the way. Back in the hotel, I asked the receptionist for a map of the place. He gave a map which had many EinbahnStrasses. Then I checked with the receptionist again. He said "EinbahnStrasse" is "One-way street".

A north Indian friend of mine went to his new office. He was introduced to the guys with whom he had to work. But after sometime he thot that he did not know 1 person. He also assumed that this person is a big shot. Whenever there was some discussion on phone or during coffee breaks he could hear this person's name. Finally he asked his collegue "Who is this Won Nim Shah?...You people talk about him everytime but you never introduced him to me." They had a hearty laughter and explained him that Won nimsha was 1 minute and not a person.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Games all the way

One of the high points of last year was India's thrashing of Pakistan in Pakistan. India had won the test and one day series there. I had hoped that India would retain the trophies here. But unfortunately, it was not the case. We lost the one day series and allowed the Pakis to draw the test series. So sad. This would be one of the low points of 2005 for me.

John Wright is no more the coach of Indian cricket team. It was the worst possible send off for him as India crashed to thier worst defeat in Indian soil. Wright had lifted India to some very high levels. A 2-1 series victory over Ausies, world cup final, 1-1 draw over Aussies in australia and the Pak tour wins. Under his guidance India have won more test matches abroad than ever before. Hope we find a good replacement.

Ganguly's 6 match ban stands. ICC stood by their match refrees decision. So we wond see the Bengal Tiger in action for the next 4 one dayers atleast.

Manchester United displayed one of their best performances of the season as they hammered the Newcastle United 4-1 in the FA Cup semis. All eyes are now on Cardiff where ManU take on Arsenal on May 21st in the finals. Ronaldo was at his best and all his crosses seem to land in the net somehow. Super show. Thursday Arsenal take on Chelsea in an all London encounter. Hope Chelsea wins this and seals the fate of the other title contenders.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fire Safety Week

Fire Safety Week is observed all over India from April 14 - 20 every year. I got to know through the compnay website that Mumbai(then Bombay) had a major fire on April 14th 1944. That is the reason for this safety week to be observed during this period.
I read about the incident on this site. The accident is stunning. I write a gist of the explanation given in the site.

It was 2nd world war time and a Bristish ship carrying tons of weapons and ammunitions had come to Bombay port. It had loads of gold bars too. The Indian ruppee value was low fearing Japanese invasion. To boost the ruppe value, Bristish had sent gold bars. At around 12pm crew of neighbouring ships saw smoke coming out of this ship, but ignored thinking that the crew would take action. By 2:45 pm, fire fighters were on the ship to extinguish the fires. But the fire and smoke was too strong. The heat radiation from the ship was so high that the dock yard shed was set ablaze. Fire fighters decided to get the weapons out but finally they decided that it was difficult and abonded the ship. Some brave guys still stood there. The fire showed no mercy and by 4pm the ship exploded. The article says
"Molten metals and lethal debris killed the crew still on their posts. Blazing cotton bales, flaring oil drums, blobs of melting metal flew up, showering down over a vast area killing and maiming old and young, starting numerous fires in sheds and ships in the Docks. The shock waves generated by the explosion were so powerful that the Meteorological seismograph at Simla, more than a thousand miles away registered it. The explosion was so loud that windows rattled and shattered as far away as Dadar, a distance of 8 miles. Buildings shook as if in an earthquake. About 300 acres of the dock was devastated and 12 other ships in the vicinity perished!"

By 4:40pm there was another explosion which ripped apart the remaining part of the ship. The article describes the blast in this way -
"The force generated by the second blast started a tidal wave that lifted the 400 feet, 4000 ton S.S.Jalpadma clear off the water 50 feet high and slammed her down. On that fateful Friday there were 23 ships berthed in Victoria and Prince's docks, only six remained after the disaster struck."
This is something like a tsunami.

Gold bars were thrown all over the Mumbai.
"Almost all of the other gold bars were subsequently recovered from different parts of the city; the last ones to be found were hauled up from the bottom of the sea in the docks."
Bars were found even in 1970 and this was returned to British government.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Who or What is the culprit?

Ganguly is fined and banned for 6 one day internationals. Reason - India bowled their overs slowly and we were consistently doing it. The key here is consistent.
For more than 3 matches the ICC guys have punished the captain. But we have not yet figured out a reason for the slow over rate. The press and the experts start talking about Ganguly's career, the appeal against the ban etc. But what is really important is to find the reason for the tardy rate. Tomorrow Dravid may face this problem. Paying fine and appealing is never going to be a solution.
Why is nobody trying to find the reason for the problem? Is it one or two bowlers causing the problem? Or is it the pressure that slows us? What is the team management doing about this?

It is important to find the reason and a solution to the problem than crib and complain about the laws, match referees and ICC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Attitude saves

There is a big group of people standing around an old man who is lying on the pavement. The old man is holding an iron piece in his hand and saliva is pouring out of his mouth. People who are moving in their vehicles stop by, have a look at the old man and continue with their job. A motorbike comes to a stop on the road. A man who has the typical look of a don gets down. He has rings on 8 of his 10 fingers, sports a thick gold chain and an even thicker gold bracelet. But what stands out is his attitude. This person walks towards the old man, calls 4 guys from the group that is watching, asks them to lift the old man up, calls an autorickshaw, and sits inside the autorickshaw as the guys put the old man into the autorickshaw. As the auto is about to start towards the nearest hospital, the old man’s relatives arrive and thank this person as they sit in the autorickshaw. The saviour moves out of the rickshaw, hands the driver a 20 rupee note. The auto moves on with the poor old man and his poorer relatives. This guy then gives a mouthful to the people who were standing there, without helping the old man. Gets on to his bike and drives away. What was not done for 15 minutes was done in a minute by this man!
Amazing attitude by this unknown savior!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Exams and no tension

It is result time for the kids in school. I got a bit nostalgic when my niece explained me her results. She just finished her 1st year of schooling. The teacher hugged and kissed her good-bye as my sister received the file that had all the so called “class work”.

According to my niece, the highlight of the result day was the ice-cream that was distributed by the school authorities to all the children. I was as innocent as my niece at her age. No thots about the ranks, no tension about the scores…eat, play and enjoy. Life was beautiful.

I even think that I was like my niece during my engineering. No care for ranks and scores. Just read on the last day and finish the exams. Started studies with no tension and finished studies with no tension. How I wish life was like this always!
There is another interesting stuff about her exams in the 1st year of school. Tying the shoe lace was an exam. The other exams were playing in mud, making clay models, making self portraits, writing the home address and parents’ telephone numbers. I liked such exams. They are more practical and necessary.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Personal and professional life

A group of girls join a software company. All of them join as fresher and are from the same place. They are assigned to the same project and they stay in the same working women hostel. They become close friends and start moving together. They share their personal secrets about marriage, boy friends, managers, leads, crushes blah blah. One fine day one of the girls gets a promotion. Things started changing very fast. The girl who got the promotion just stopped speaking to her friends (who are now reporting to her) on personal terms. The other girls feel that she doesn’t deserve the promotion. They now behave as if there was nothing common between them. I met the girls on Friday. It is so pathetic to listen to their views. A promotion has changed human beings. I do not know who is correct or who is wrong but one thing I know is it is hard to keep personal and professional relationships different in India. Why are we like this? I don’t know.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

In support of Ganguly

There have been so many discussions on Ganguly's form and his captaincy. People like Bedi are supporting the ouster of Ganguly not only from captaincy, but also from the team. One word reaction to those arguments is "RIDICULOUS".
Ganguly certainly deserves a place and the captain's cap too. What is seen is his scorecard and because he doesn’t have good scores, people say that he should be axed. What we cannot see is the motivational Ganguly who has inspired the knocks of Shewag, Dravid and today Dhoni.
He was not in form when India drew Australia in Australia, when India beat Pakistan in Pakistan.
Today’s match was won because of his captaincy. Dhoni was promoted in the order. Bowlers were shuffled in such a way that every bowling change resulted in wickets. Nehra gets a wicket of the 1st over of his 1st and 2nd spells. Yuvi gets wicket in the first over. Field placements were too good.
Just because we loose a match and he has not scored runs doesn’t mean that he has to be dropped....every batsman failed in Bangalore test 2nd innings. The so called greatest Sachin became the top scorer and gave a lollypop catch and went. Why is he not to be blamed?
Ganguly's aggressiveness deserves the captain’s place. Dravid has proven to be a great player, but his captaincy skills haven’t been thoroughly tested even as a captain of Karnataka.
Also dropping the captain in the middle of a crucial series like this one will boost the morale of Pakistan, which is the last thing any Indian wants.
The press should discourage this discussion and people like Bedi should just shut up. The best way to shut them would be – A Ganguly ton in Jamshedpur with a 5-1 series victory.

Monday, April 04, 2005


I am back in India. Wow what a feeling!!
The stay at Germany was good. Work was very hectic and there was lot of pressure too. But things went well. The trip gave an oppurtunity to visit 8 European nations (Thanks to the schengen visa concept). The trips were very nice and every trip had a uniqueness.
I plan to write about the trips when I find time.
But my major concerns there were the chilly winter (initial few days) and the veg food. Its interesting to see the expressions of people when one says "I dont take meat and alcohol". Some just ignore it thinking that it was not a funny joke. Others look at the person as if he/she is an alien.
But I survived and I am very healthy too.