Everyday's subtle realities

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Just for her...

The fairer sex has always been a topic of hot discussion among guys...and as it turns out to be..discussion is the only thing that we have (at least most of us). Its uncharted waters for the majority..May be, that is why it has never failed to elicit an overwhelming interest in the minds of all alike, no matter how 'decent' or uninterested they portray themselves to be...Whatever may the discussions be about..all roads finally tend to lead there...:)..The hunt for the better half has always provided good stories haunting the protagonists for ages...

There are many schools of thought as far as the other half is concerned. Some guys just see a girl on Orkut or messenger and the next thing that you hear is the customary "Babezz, what planz for the weekend??"..and by then they would have been 'close friends', which has sort of become a cliche these days..some talent these guys have!!! There are others who are at the other extremes, (who form the majority)... the not-so-fortunate hence not-so-interested (or the other way around ???) with an 'i don't give a shit attitude' but their subconscious minds are probably waiting for that right female to understand the good hearts (??) they have and eventually fall for them (yea right!!..a chain of highly improbable events!!). The list would be incomplete with those in between, the small-time flirts, who will no doubt , perform when the opportunity comes, but it seldom does. Well...it is quite obvious that the first category continues to invite the wrath and envy of the others and it is often seen in all the get-togethers,when all the goals are almost always directed at those who are capable of taming the other half. Well...that is the working of the jealous mind..:)

More often than not, the only thing that the intoxicated mind speaks of is the fairer sex..there are some people who blabber only about them..when the mind is 'free and flowing'..The others just sit back and watch the performance..you can call that sadism..but looking back..you can feel that it's just pure unadulterated fun. The guys who don't talk about these things and maintain a fraudulent veil of innocence are the most dangerous, as the saying goes in malayalam "Mindappoocha kalamudakkum*", who disappear one fine morning in the pretext of visiting a distant cousin (???) of theirs and are finally exposed (after all..it's a small world you see !!!)...Also there are some who have a compleete list of the n number of females they have come across, but haven't even talked to one..and have no intention of doing so..Yet others , who do not admit the obvious just for the sake of it..and finally the Cupid-incarnates (as in the movie 'Hitch') who just seem to have the magic to make things click !!

Removing the chaff from the grain, you see the dedicated and committed of guys...who spent long nights chatting with the to-bes. Those guys are respected in these quarters.. although jealousy prevails..that's some sort of a fait accompli..and they are left unto their own...

Well...sometimes i often wonder...why all this.?..may be it's an attempt at fun, by the poor souls doomed to spend their day and night in corporate jungles...or may be just a time pass...but still that is just the way it is...

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lance Armstrong: In Spite of the Odds!!!

"I want to die at a hundred years old with an American flag on my back and the star of Texas on my helmet, after screaming down an Alpine descent on a bicycle at seventy-five miles per hour. I want to cross one last finish line as my stud wife and ten children applaud, and then I want to lie down in a field of those famous French sunflowers and gracefully expire: the perfect contradiction to my once anticipated poignant early demise" so begins the autobiography of Lance Armstrong . Titled 'It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life', it gives an account of how he beat all odds to pursue his dream and went on to clinch the mother of all cycling races : Le Tour de France.

Brought up by a single mother, he had learnt life the hard way right from childhood...but she took care that he was not deprived of love and she lent a supporting hand in all that he did...which was one of the very few things that would help him to shape his own destiny. He started his athletic sojourn when he was only 12 as a tri-athlete (running, swimming and cycling) ,and in no time became the talk of the town. He was full of energy and at first he was a rebel who always shot out from the crowd even when he was miles away from the finish line and used to end up exhausted and barely able to finish the race. But he was learning..and as his fortune would have it, he was crowned champion at 18 and 19..a prologue of what he was to become, years down the line. History was being made..as he became the winner of the triple crown of racing , a feat achieved by no man till then and was rewarded $1 million for the same. He was enjoying his victories in the sport...and then one fine day fate played it's dirty trick on him. He was diagnosed with stage-3 testicular cancer. ..and it was a late diagnosis. Worse still, it had spread to his lungs, abdomen and even the Brain.

At first he was afraid that he would not be able to resume his career...but now he realized it was his life that was at stake. And when you see death face-to-face , there is not much that you would wish for, except getting through alive. All other things become secondary, no matter how much importance they had earlier. After a successful brain surgery he was admitted to the impasse of chemo cycles. Adding to it was the special treatment he was undergoing, so that if he were to come out alive..he could possibly resume his career. But the question of life and death loomed large. The chemo was just as bad as the cancer itself, if not worse. The poisons that were pumped into his blood day and night made life miserable for him...they were their taking toll on him. He lost his hair, became emaciated, his body became frail and he was down to nothing but a bunch of bones, the last nail in the coffin was his team ditching him He was not one to give in so easily, and fight he did...one which very few of this whole race could emulate, and it is that which distinguishes the greats from the ordinary....and later he would deem cancer as 'the best thing' that had happened to him.

He underwent four such cycles - as different from the usual count of three administered to the most severe of patients - a week or two in between each. But he did try his luck on training , only to have nearly fatal accidents on quite a few occasions. After all ...the poisons did the job and he was recuperating from the illness. The disease had taken toll on him physically and emotionally. Nothing would better exemplify it than the fact that he pulled off the road on a cold and bitter race in Paris, which incidentally was his first race after the cancer. He decided to call it quits, but a formal announcement was delayed until he ran the race for his own Lance Armstrong Foundation, thanks to his close friend and coach Chris Carmichael. He was asked to go back to the US ,where he would rediscover his passion for the sport and the courage to folow his dreams. What should have been his last race turned out to be a new beginning in his career, yes he won the race for his foundation on home turf, and his winning streak continued with several other races as well.

It was the year 1999, and with the high morale and confidence gained from his fight against the disease and the victories in cycling, he set his eyes on the most coveted Tour de France. He cut down on as many races as he could and underwent a gruelling practice session for months, come rain or shine, so that he could sport that Yellow Jersey in Paris. The tour couldn't have started any better for him; he grabbed the yellow jersey in the first time trial itself. From then on, there was no turning back . His never-say-die attitude prevailed and he was on top of the world when he finished the winner in Paris. That was just the beginning of a new era in cycling. An era that saw one man clinch the tour seven times in a row, a man who showed the world how much mankind is possible of stretching the limits.

Thomas Alva Edison once remarked, "Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up". True indeed. If not for the fight he had put up, would have lost one legend, who has become an inspiration for people from all walks of life, be it cancer patients , athletes or anybody for that matter who believes that every failure has a lesson in it, and that they are nothing but the stepping stones to glory....with this I rest my case

Saturday, April 28, 2007

BRILLI's World

The man who used to be called Ferguson(no offence intended to Sir Alex Ferguson), has really proved his passion for football. He could only be compared to the die-hard Man Utd fans in the movie 'EUROTRIP'. If it was the "enlightening" GYAN that he used to give on anything down to the latest newcomer who has joined some God-damned club, now there's even more in his kitty. Our very own Brilli(sometimes called Jose Mathew) has created a site exclusively to cater the interests of his genre. : http://www.eplvideos.com/.

It has featured second only to FOX Sports in the Google search for EPL VIDEOS . Please see the screenshot below:

As interesting as the name is, so are the contents. Initially this was created as a site where users could only post videos . They submit links to videos dug out from sites like YouTube / google videos. It is reviewed by the moderator (Brilli) reviews the submission and accepts/rejects them. But after a lot of include a forum (not the one in Bangalore!!), where discussions are carried about all what matters to the die-hard fans of the world game. For those dont have the time check the site regularly, the site facilitates RSS feed.Also there are regular polls and the one running now is "Who is going to win the Premier League? " (Personally I would go with Man Utd...so would Brilli.) It has got users from around the globe. It has even got translations in Chinese, Portuguese , German etc. What more could you ask for?

Well...who knows.. One fine day we could very well wake up to hear the news that some Big Shot like Google or Yahoo!(that's a little way too much exaggeration...:)) acquiring this venture from Brilli in a multi-million dollar deal. Fingers Crossed !!! Keep up the good work Brilli!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Water , water eveywhere!!!

It was one of those saturday evenings..and as usual all of us were at home...recovering from the hangover of the nightout the previous day and the heavy lunch from Rice Bowl. We all settled down for the Man United- Middlesbrough match...which was a disappointing draw...(but this disappointment was mitigated when Chelsea too drew their match the next day...)....tense moments !!!..for us Man Utd fans. Also add to it the constant blabberings of Unnikkuttan (Haynes)-die-hard anti-Man Utd and a not-so-die-hard Arsenal fan - about how Chelsea would narrow down the lead to a point. Fortunately enough that did not happen..:)

The match over, we were all left with nothing much to do. This was when Denzil was browsing through one of his harddisks (he has a lot of them..laptop, PC..you name it...he's got it!!!). Someone noticed that there were lots of good old college photos in it. Some solace for all of us. So all of us (with the exception of Karikk) joined...and we were looking at some of those not-so-often seen photos . Our discussions about these were way too wild and full of chalis (PJs). We were so engrossed in it that we did not notice that it was raining outside. This went on for sometime.After an hour or so... in the adjacent room, Karikk feels a bite of cold at his feet (we would admit later that it was he who had saved the day). He got up and looked around...and then he came to us shouting 'Water' . We found that there was water all around the place and had seeped in through the balcony door into his room and the hall...and it was heading to the other rooms. Instinctively we made some small dams with the newspapers to prevent the other rooms from getting wet. We headed straight to the balcony to see if there was some outlet for the water to go. Can you imagine???..there was none... (In fact, this was only one of the many shortcomings of an apartment constructed by some corrupted construction company...viz Slanting doorsill,sockets without any wiring,geysers with no heating and last but not the least..bathrooms with no water supply... and we are paying 16.5k to live there!!!). So we used our legs to remove the water from the balcony. The apartments right in front of us would have got the feel of it had it not been raining.

We spread papers all over the floor and got bucketfuls of water mopped from the floor. And all those who were against buying newspaper did admit that they did come to our help. (Our home is split on the issue of which newspaper to buy. Three of us vouching for The Hindu for the quality of the news there and the other four for TOI for the masala that it would bring home every morning...its either TOI or no newspaper for them!!!) .

Mission Accomplished !!!

By the time all this was over, we had lost our enthusiasm for what we had been doing before...and it was back to the miniscreen again. Some time whiled away in front of it...and as time went by...we settled into deep slumber with the satisfaction that the rain had infact made our home cleaner...

Monday, April 16, 2007

This time last year...

Around this time last year, our four years of college life was coming to an end. With the exams over we were all eager to overcome the last hurdle in our path to become the first batch of true- NITians all set to join the big corporate world...the project submission. And as usual, all of the guys started with their projects after the end-semester exams.What had to be done in a year's time was being crammed into ten days. There were few who were sincere to their work and were particular about doing their projects all by themselves, come what may. Another bunch had outsourced their work to the well known project-makers in and around the state or their passed out seniors . .and the final pack of guys, who knew nothing of what was to be done, but had the confidence that they would get away with anything. And needless to say , we fell in the final category. We had confidence because we had got away with almost no work the last time. And this time too, we looked like doing the same.

By others' standards we were very industrious in our project work...or atleast so we were told (sarcasm...may be..but we didn't realize ). We had the routine weekly meetings on fridays with our guide Ms. Hemarani which was a 15-minute affair and it always ended up in PJs ,pulling each others' legs and an occassional treat..all sponsored by the only girl in our group, Silky. We told to her about the project so much so that she thought we were all doing something great and that it would come out great.We hadn't actually started doing anything, but had lots of flashy stuff to show off to our peers. And so the time went by smoothly.

It was post-examination- pre-project-presentation time, when all the people were running around trying to finish off the project somehow. We too were and it was only then that we realised that our project was way too out of our scope..or any of the others..for that matter. In our desparate attempt to make up something, we went to coimbatore (myself and raghav) only to know that the IC required for our project was only available in Mumbai. We rested our case with funda, the only person in the group who had some idea of what was to be done. From then on it was all of us just trying to cover up the whole thing. Days went by and it was the day before the presentation.

As is the practise we went to our guide . With her usual emotionless face she asked "What is your project about?". We were dumbfounded and then she started firing questions at us about our work and what not and asked us if we had informed her about the various stages of the project. We had our own justifications ,but she simply did not care. Well, we left all fingers-crossed and still hoping that we were going to do it.

So finally arrived the D-Day we went to her with the report ,but she was too reluctant to give us the green signal for the presentation. But after a lot of negotiations she agreed. We had thought it was a good sign, but only later would we know that it was just the calm before the storm.
And so finally there we were, the four of us in the limelight, we fiinished our presentation and after that came the question round. After two or three customary questions which we were able to answer convincingly, our guide wanted to take charge of the show. We saw her talking to Ashok sir, the most dreaded guy in the panel of profs there. It was the beginning of the end for us. It was rapid fire for us. This was what followed...

Rejil : Your project topic says ' Speed Control of Induction Motor using Indirect Vector Control'. Tell us what you have done
We: We have done the hardware part of the sinusoidal PWM and it is working fie

Rejil : Where's the Speed Control of Induction Motor, where's the indirect vector method??
Is there some result that you can show me??
Funda : " This cannot be simulated in Matlab or any software for that matter"...he said emphatically...

There was a moment of silence in the room as the panelists pondered over it..within few seconds Ashok shot back
Ashok : You say its not possible in Matlab... is it? Well...I will show you that the same has been simulated . It can be done... he said with arrogance.
Left with no words , we were silent for a moment.
Rejil : As per your report, you have only written what can be done. you have any results or outputs to show us?
Again we could only be silent.
Then came the last nail in the coffin.
It was Rejil again: You say your topic is "Speed Control of Induction Motor using Indirect Vector Control" and you haven't done anything to justify the topic. You people don't even have any results to show us. We are not convinced. We would like you to discuss with your guide and get back to us in a day or two......

That was it!!!!, we were defeated...our worst fear had come true. We walked out of the hall with bowed heads, both indignant and sad. There was an outburst of both just outside so that she could hear it. We invited the empathy of all our classmates who were also furious...but there was nothing to be done...the very person who was to help us had taken her rage out on us...we thought. We even thought that we would have to stay back the next year for project...in NITC you never know..All the jobs and dream jobs just seemed so distant to us. When the initial surge of all the emotions settled, we had a meeting with our guide and she asked us to come up with a simulation..Back in the hostels, the news spread like wildfire. REPEAT in PROJECT !!!..it was unheard of in the history of the college...and our guide soon entered the hitlists of all our juniors...the very fact that noone did a project the next year under her is the evidence.

We burnt the midnight's oil (in fact funda did!!!) and were able to come up with some sort of a simulation by the next day morning. All over the college people were bidding adieu to each and everyone they saw,...peons, canteen guys..et al..and were struggling with the proj..in fact a struggle to pass out with the rest...Some sort of a simulation was made up...When we went to demonstrate the same, it would not work in the computer there. Then we took the harddisk (which was full of unsolicited material, as is the case with all of the same kind in colleges) in which we had done it..and took a laptop just in case. Our guide wanted an external evaluator for the project and she asked us to choose between Vaidyan , a very naive person and Rejil, who had butchered us the previous day. By instinct we chose the former and managed to show him what we had done. We finally came out with a big PHEW to the joy of our good friends who were waiting ouitside. We had done it..and we were on cloud nine !!!

After all that we settled ourselves to the last one or two days in college..and with all the time we had left there...we were busy copying photos from first year onwards..Gigabytes of photos and songs that we would take back after the four years...As far as the project was concerned, we did manage to get a B, it was a great moment to reckon. By then all the fury and anger at the guide had vanished..or at least it was not explicit. An what more could you ask for..after all "All's well that ends well'. Looking back..it was a different experience..and experince no doubt is the best teacher. Thus did end a chapter in our lives too, the wonderful four year vacation called B.Tech...

Friday, March 9, 2007

The HEBBAL Odyssey...!!!

All good things come to an end, they say...pretty soon too was my learning. Well this "learning" happened when my shifted office to a place called Hebbal. It was the hard way as usual. It was inevitable, i would agree, but that joy we got in postponing the ordeal gave me a joy which can only be compared to pressing the SNOOZE button on your alarm only to be bugged five minutes later. After all...who doesn't love to procrastinate??? ;).

Anyways there it was... that 'fine' day, when I had to eventually give in to the tryst of destiny. Mentally prepared for the day, I woke up early (a little too early by my standards..;))..had to go to a place 2kms away from my place for the first pickup..determined not to miss the very first time. An hour of reading and sleeping went by before I reached. The place was miles away from civilisation..hardly qualifies to be called Bangalore. A great place to keep an office...i was convinced that it was part of some corporate conspiracy to keep the employees in office for obvious reasons. Some sort of a Kalapani or the Alcatraz. All that you could see outside was the OUTER RING ROAD looming large!!!. I updated my gtalk status as "Incarcerated in Hebbal!!!", which brought in a flurry of comments from many of my friends...All of them were unanimous in appreciating the aptness of the same.

Adding to the misery was the fact that there was no known food outlets anywhere nearby..forcing me to have food from the cafeteria which wud have the same taste for all the curries no matter what they name it. And as always i had gone there a little late, and as i coming to have food, i saw the guy who was serving hiding some chapatis in some place. I was there all hungry and asked the guy for chapatis. He replied "No chapatis, sir, closed for today". I was furious and saw the contractor nearby and told him abt it and resolved the issue and sat down with the pride of having achieved something. Only later would I come to know that they were better left with the guy and felt sorry for both me and the guy.

There was more to the day that made it miserable for me. This time I had to collect my bus pass from another block of my company which was a km further into the campus. I missed the shuttle service while returning and waited for some cab that was going empty to my office. It was like them playing boss...Oh Boy!!! none of them stopped for me and I had to walk all the way back. I was so pissed off swearing at anything and everything.

Well somehow managed to finish off the day's work...and reached home after another tortuous journey. And after coming home i was too tired to anything..after some time of TV, dropped dead on my bed...with nothing to look forward to. I was too tired to have nightmares even. Then I called that a day...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

finally...off to a start!!!

It has been months since I have created this account..that was way back in college when ...one fine day...when boredom was taking it's toll on me (as the name suggests..:))...but then that was it.I just created this but was too lazy to post anything in it...My part of mind bent on procrastinating won...and the ambitious side lost!!!

But now with all the determination I could gather, I have started yet again...

Life these days are pretty monotonous..it's the same sleep-eat-work vicious cycle 5 days a week. It seems so mechanical, pre-pragrammed or whatever you may choose to call..And its all fingers crossed till the weekends arrive.

Ever since I have joined work, weekends were something I was eagerly waiting for ( anybody working would be...for that matter). Not that there are lots of freaking out to be done during weekends. Frankly speaking a typical saturday or sunday would commence only by 11:00 in the morning. Finally after settling down there wont be much to call 'day'. But it's the realisation as you wake up from bed that " Thank goodness , no work today!!!" as different from the usual "Oh God Im late..yet another encounter with the manager". Whatever time you have at your dispoosal..you can afford to spend it at your own pace..no deadlines, no deliverables,no team lead breathing down on you. That's precisely what gives a good feeling to the mind.

As far as the activities for a typical weekend are concerned, there are not many.There's this perpetual bragging about how there was nothing to be done.
At home, there are the regular visitors(???) who show up at our place (read Siby and Shashi) and the weekly get-togethers which is always hosted at C-201, not to mention our 'sweet' neighbour aunty shouting for all the 'Gallata' the next morning. One occassional shopping trip to the Brigade, one movie and that Sunday afternoon Pizza Hut meals (always followed by a quarrel with the delivery guy about which medium Pizza has got 50% off)... Not to mention and the goal mazha directed at the usual goal posts sometimes interrupted big time by some 'major setback' for those who asketh for goals.

And that we call a weekend......

PS:The oxford dictionary definition for ennui : Listlessness and satisfaction arising from boredom.By now you guys would have probably figured out that!!!