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23 March 2014

From Blog Adda....

This picture is the screenshot of the 'Tangy Tuesdays' page from www.blogadda.com

You can see that two of my posts are shown here, one for this week and the other from 'This week last year'...

Jus showin' off...


22 March 2014

@BANGALORE Airport

This is the cutout at Bangalore Airport showing the location of Security Check for Gentlemen.
Hope it is just an arrow pointing from that Gentleman's abdomen...!


@BANGALORE Airport

Spice jet celebrating Holi. Also read this

Spice Jet seems to have gone overboard on Holi

21 March 2014

The Blind Man at the airport...

If you have flown thousands of miles (as I have done) in different airlines, you will recognize this announcement.

'For our visually impaired passengers we have safety instructions cards in Braille....'

The tone of this announcement is cursory, as if she is completing a routine task and you listen to it equally casually and then both of us go back to what we were doing...

Except this time it was different. 

There was a blind man in the aircraft. Blind man was our co-passenger. He was sitting in the front row.

(Why do they seat the blind people in front row of the aircraft where there is no handle bar support. Without a hand support, the blind people are one turbulence away from falling down)

What is the purpose of safety instructions in Braille, I wondered. Can he feel the life jacket as is being demonstrated by the listless air hostess? Can he feel the bored expression on her face as she 'Blows' into the red tube on that jacket as in 'In case you need more air, please blow into the red tube' ? How will he know when the oxygen mask has fallen from the 'panel' above? 

I had observed this gentleman earlier as he was being escorted by a friend to the departure gate. He was elegantly dressed in a blue jeans and a matching sky blue T-shirt. It was obvious that someone had adorned him with a lot of affection and care. He was wearing one of those belt pouches in which you carry the mobile phone.

He was talking very animatedly to his escort and the escort was also responding with equal elan. He had a serene smile covering his face and showing in his blind eyes. He was looking happy, contented. He was obviously in good hands. 

I felt respectful seeing this gentleman exuding energy.

And a bit sad...

---How difficult it must be, I thought, to live your life without being able to see the beauty around us? 
---To listen to those birds chirping at your window in the early morning but not being able to see them? 
---To wake up with the Sun God and not being able to see the brilliance of his arrival?
--- To smell a great cup of morning coffee without seeing the golden brown coffee and to feel the smoothness of the coffee cup without seeing the glistening whiteness?
--- To not be able to see the innocent smile on your grand child's face?
--- or the warm welcoming look on your pet dog as you enter the home after a tiring day?
--- To feel the spring in the air and not see the hue of colours spread out by the nature?....

Suddenly I realized something...

How many of us, having good eyesight, see all the above? We sleep till the morning has passed and neither see the chirping birds (we don't even hear them, let alone see !) nor see the brilliance of the morning sun. Whether it is spring or summer, we go thru the motions day after day, nay, year after year and do not see even a single spring flower, do not see a single morning dew drop, do not see single leaf shed by the trees as they prepare for the new season. We don't see the love in our partner's eyes or the stress on our kid's face. We let the days turn into months and months into years without seeing a brilliant movie or without reading a single life changing book. We fight among ourselves without seeing the big picture that we are all in it together...

That blind man had a reason for not being able to see. 

What reason do we have for our blindness?  

15 March 2014

Rise of the machines II

I had written a post on Artificial Intelligence a few days back. In that post, I had discussed on how I was freaking out by the possibility of machine taking over our lives and how I finally found out a way of defeating those monstrous machines...

The machines read the post. And they decided to take action....

The action was well co-ordinated. It started off with my TV.

I have two TVs in my house. I love watching Boston Legal, a series on Legal Professionals, airing on Starworld. Today morning I switched on my TV with a leisurely cuppa in my hand, and started Starworld. The program started and then my TV started behaving erratically. 

While the program was going on suddenly the screen went blank. Nor video, neither audio. After about 15 seconds the reception became normal. It went off again after about 5 minutes and came back after another 15 seconds.

Like a bloody peekaboo or something....

I switched on the other TV. 'Unable to receive the signal', came the message.

TVs were leading the war.

Given that TVs were revolting, I decided to get some actual work done. I had to submit a document for some official purpose. I thought that I would edit the PDF Document and take a printout. I opened the site 'PDFEscape.com', an online PDF editor. The document that I had to edit contained 4 pages. It takes a lot of patience to edit a PDF Document in this site. It took me almost an hour to complete the online editing. 

Having finally done editing, I downloaded it on to my Desktop and I opened it, only to see that the formatting had gone haywire and rendered the document useless.

Since I had some urgency, I thought that I would take a printout of the blank document and edit it by hand. My printer is connected to my WiFi network. I gave the 'Print' command. You know what is coming. Lo and behold. the Printer is not working.

Since I had to get the printouts, I sent my son to the neighbour's house to take a printout. While he was out, I thought that I would browse the web.

The machines must have been livid with me. They did not give me even a minute of relief. The internet refused to bow to my tune.

This was as good a coordination as the best. My TV was leading the revolt and it had conspired with my Printer, my modem and the other TV to deny me any pleasure.

And no messages. Printer did not tell me why it was not working. What can you make of a message like 'Your printer is not available'? If the message were more logical or intuitive like 'Toner down' or something, one would know what to do. Same with the TV. Suddenly switches off in the middle of the program. No messages. 

Like a sulking woman who will not tell you what is the issue and will say 'Nothing' if you asked her what is the issue, these machines were sulking. 

Now it is almost night time. The entire day was spent TV Less, Printer Less and Internet Less. 

I am sure that in the middle of the night my fan would conk off. 'Ha Ha' it would say, 'You should have known this when you wrote that article'.

And I will be spending a sleepless night, I am sure...

Update: Power went off for sure at night, albeit for five minutes...

06 March 2014

Oh no, not another blog...

Caveat: This article is written purely as a humorous post. Any resemblance to any blogger out there is coincidental. Please try to read it and give a smile. This post falls into the attempted category 'Humour'.

The internet is filled with so many blogs that it freaks me out. Apparently everyone has something to say and believes in saying it. You throw a stone in the internet and it will land on another blog. People are expert in something (or everything) and has no qualms of flaunting their knowledge. 

Here are some of the types of bloggers that one comes across. 

Humour Blogers: Anybody who has read one PGW novel is a humour blogger. The net is riddled with Humour Blogs. Most of the time, you smile after reading these blogs just to humour (see the deft usage of the same word to convey different meanings?) these bloggers.

Check out my 'Humour posts

Cooking Blogger: Normally a purview of the ladies. Every lady and her mother-in-law, who has set their feet in the kitchen has a Cooking Blog. As soon as the food is prepared, the first task is to update the blog before serving it to their hungry husbands. Blog names have to end with the word 'Kitchen' or 'Cook Book', as in 'Sindhoos Kitchen', 'Kamlas Cook Book' etc. With the food habits changing every 10 Kilometers in India, the country is a gold mine for Cooking Bloggers. 

Ideally they should blog on the cooking style they know. But they won't do that. For instance Sindhoo, who is born, brought up and had been living in Kerala all her life, will write about 'Panneer Butter Masala (Kerala Style)'. How can PBM be 'Kerala Style' for God's sake? By adding Coconut Oil and Curry Leaves? But does Sindhoo even care of the stress that she is creating in the minds of Sardars? No sir, no way. She doesn't give a 'Kripaan'..

Check out 'My Cook Book'

Child rearing (Also Parenting) Blogger: Any lady who has given birth for the first time has to blog about being a first time mother. You don't see many blogs on being a 'First Time Father'. Or about being a 'Second Time Mother'. Apparently, they (the first time moms) have never learnt any life lessons so far and the arrival of the cute, new baby,  has suddenly filled them with all the wisdom in the universe. The range of their penmanship spreads far and wide. They write everything from 'Changing Diapers' to 'Teaching Discipline' with the same flair and elan. They spread their new found wisdom with gay abandon, but will correct their mothers if they (the mothers) try to give some parenting advice. Apparently moms do not know anything about parenting...

Check out my posts on Parenting

Photography Blogger: This is normally the purview of the IT Consultants. In their world anybody who has purchased a digital camera is a Photographer and if you have an SLR (No idea what it is) you are a photography blogger. Their oeuvre spreads from  photographs of Crimson Horizon to Old Buildings to Close ups of Flowers. They are liberal in providing advice to the newbie 'photographers' (who have purchased a digital camera) on everything from focus to smiles to anything technical about photography.  

Investment Blogger: This is a genre normally occupied by males. Normally they hold MBA degree or are accountants. It is easy to become an investment blogger. Only qualifications required is that you should have lost money in the stock market (under that logic, I will make an excellent investment blogger) . If you have purchased a stock at a high price and sold it at a low price, you are qualified to become an investment blogger. They spew out advice on everything from Equity, debt, Mutual Fund and even on retirement planning, even though they are just out of their schools.

Travel Blogger: Like photography, a domain majorly occupied by IT Consultants. The moment they are out of their base city on a project, they start a travel blog. Many of them visit a city for two weeks without going out even once out of their hotel room. But looking at their blogs, you will not know this. While going from hotel to their office, they will click some photos in their digital camera and become Photography Bloggers as well.

Checkout my Travel posts.

Health Blogger: Did you get up today and drink a glass of Grape Juice? Did you eat a fruit yesterday? Did you walk in front of the Gym last week. Did you ride a cycle to go from home to the neighborhood market? Did you take a bite of that low cal salad when you went to that swanky restaurant about two months ago?

If you have answered 'Yes' to any of the above questions, you are qualified to become a health blogger. These are Generally men.  Their blog is filled with the nutrition information on all the food items in the world. They also know how many calories you burn if you walk at a speed of 6 KMPH for 30 minutes at an incline of 5% (Answer: 225 Calories). And since they walk regularly (They walked 2 Kilometers last Tuesday), they are very liberal with their advice and are very critical of those 'Couch Potatoes'. They give a sigh of exasperation when they espy an overweight person on the road. They will come home and blog about how that fat person can get a better life 'if only' he exercises. These guys are insufferable in their blogs and even outside of  (blogs).

Marketing Blogger: Since these guys are into Marketing, blogging for them is work. Blogging is just another 'Media Channel' which has to be regularly updated with 'Quality Content' and mined for 'Actionable Intelligence'. They have no idea of the misery they are inflicting on the unsuspecting population that accidentally visits their blog.

A special group of marketers are the bloggers who inflict your Facebook and Twitter accounts (and even emails) with latest updates from their blogs. The moment they update their blog, they have to let the world know. 

Book Reviewer: If you have read a book, you have to write a review of that book in your blog. The Book Reviewer doesn't care a hoot if they liked it or not, or if the book is fiction, non fiction or philosophy. If they have read it, they will blog about it. Since they have read the book, they will also try to look intellectual.

While you are here, why don't you check out the Reviews of the books that I have read recently?

City Walker: These are a special combination of 'Travel' and 'Photography' bloggers. These bloggers roam the city streets with a camera in their hands and blogs about their experiences. Any time you see a sly guy with a camera in one hand and a note book in the other, you know that you have set your eyes on a 'City Walker'.

Fashionistas: Again, a section of blogging community flooded with ladies. Any girl or her sister-in-law who has worn a Tank Top or a Spaghetti or a Camisole (I got these words from Myntra.com) is qualified to be a Fashion Blogger. They fill their blogs with images of various dresses that in their opinion are 'Trending'.

General Bloggers: These are the worst kind of bloggers. They have nothing to say and believes in saying it. Their tentacles extend to anything that comes along. If they prepare coffee, they blog about it under tag 'My Cook Book'. Read a book? Read their review under the tag  'Book Reviews'. They think something is funny? It is labeled as 'Humour' in their blogs. They give advice on Parenting, on Self Development, impart Wisdom....

You name it, these blogs have it.

While you are here, check out my posts on Self Improvement and Wisdom.

Just to round it off, I mean.

04 March 2014

Why I am proud of Indian Police......

About 3 months ago, the cousin of the lady who comes to clean my house was hit by a truck at night. In this 'Hit and run' case, the driver of the truck vanished into the night.

This was a major accident, and the injured person spent about two months in hospital. The poor family had to spent a lot of money on hospital care.

Yesterday the lady came and told me that the Police had arrested the culprit, impounded the truck and the owner of the truck paid them 60000 rupees to cover the hospital expenses.

It made me very proud of the Indian Police. The wheels of justice turn in this country, may be slowly, but that is understandable in a messy country like ours with such huge population. 

Today, I read in the papers that Police has arrested the murderer Esther Anuhya, an Employee with TCS in Mumbai who was stabbed to death about a month ago. This was a sensational case where the lady who came to Mumbai from Machilipatanam in Andhra Pradesh was found murdered in the Mumbai Suburbs. Police arrested Chandra Bhan Sanap or Choukya. After the murder, Choukya was hiding in his home town of Nashik from where police arrested him. 

The way things work in India is they work slow. But they work, definitely. Common man may have a negative perception about Indian Police System, but as these examples show, the system works and works very effectively. 

There are many such cases where the Police System has delivered. Just look at the massive task of managing traffic in Indian cities. The police system works exceptionally well here.

So here is my three cheers to Indian Police system. Indian Police? They rock...

02 March 2014

What is your 'To Become' list?

Remember when we were kids?

'I want to become like Sachin Tendulkar'
'I want to become an astronaut'
'I want to become a pilot'
'I want to become an engine driver'
'I want to become a doctor'

And so on....

When we are children, preparing a 'To Become' list comes naturally to us. We want to 'Become' something, We want to show off our capabilities, we want to 'do something' and 'Be Something'. It may be a wish list but it is there.

Our 'To Become' list changes as we grow up. What started as 'I want to become an 'Engine Driver' will turn to 'I want to become an engineer'. 

What happens when we become what we wanted to? Or if we did not become what we wanted to? When we have a job, when we have a family, when we have work?

What happens?

What happens is that our 'To Become' list slowly gives way to 'To Do' lists. We have all those task lists and check boxes and post its that remind us, day in and day out, that we have to do so many things. We have work related activities 'To Do', personal task 'To Do', family work 'To Do'....

Where is our 'To Become' list? Don't we want 'To Become' something? What happened to the dreams? Have we become what we wanted to become? Is there nothing to look forward to other than completing those 'To Do' stuff?

May be all those 'To Become's are replaced by one 'To Become'. 

I want 'To Become' rich...

In his book '7 Habits of Highly Effective People', Mr.Covey reminds us that we can group our tasks in two different parameters. One is Urgency, which can be high or low. The other is Importance, which can also be High or Low. The combination of these two together leads to four different possibilities.

Low Urgency, Low Importance
Low Urgency, High Importance
High Urgency, Low Importance
High Urgency, High Importance

Most of us categorize our 'To Become' lists, if at all we have, to the category 2 above. 'To Become' lists are very important, but most of us assign very low urgency to it and hence we do not take time to prepare our 'To Become' lists. Without a 'To Become' list, we do not have a base to benchmark ourselves.

So go ahead, prepare your 'To Become' list. Think big. Dream big. You don't have to limit your dreams to your current constraints. You have to base your dreams on your potential. 

'To Become' list is different from 'To Be' list in that the latter deals with Behavioural attributes like 'I want to be nice', 'I want to be acting fast', 'I want to be kind and gentle' etc. 'To Become' list is the list of your goals and ambitions unconstrained by your current situation. 'To Become' list is the listing of all that deep down we think we have the potential 'To Become'.

So go ahead. Prepare your 'To Become' list, your 'To Be List' and your 'To Do' lists. Ensure that all are in Sync with each other and with your true self.