Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A long long time ago

Once upon a time in a land not so unfamiliar, there was a 19 year old computer engineering student who had no clue where his life was headed. He just happened to attend a meeting for volunteers for an upcoming event by a society. The organizers were asking for volunteers and he was wondering whether he should have gone to have lunch instead. After much hesitation, he raised his hand. The rest, as they say, is history. If you haven't heard this story, please wait for my autobiography to come out.

Most people have trouble believing the fact that I was the President of ISTE (Indian Society for Technical Education) in my college.

A lot of batchmates from my school are now my friends on Facebook. It's a different matter that the only time we write anything on each other's wall is to write birthday greetings. I talked to some of them and their initial reaction was "Are you the same person? The Anurag in our class was very quite and reserved. He never talked unless spoken to. And you... you are just the opposite" (quoted verbatim without permission).

So, what could have brought about this change? Just an astute observation: chicks dig confident guys. Being a person who likes to see things from the sidelines, I decided it was time to take matter into my own hands. Yes, it was hard. Whenever I was stuck in a rut, I would ask myself: What would Shahrukh Khan do?

Yeah. The last paragraph is not true. The actual event that changed my life happened just before the beginning of my third year of college. I had just completed summer training and was raring to get back to college as the average, ordinary joe. And then, $#!T happened...

For the sake of continuity, I've put a link to the earth-shattering event here.

And what is the puspose of this post. Simply put, I had forgotten why I behave the way I do. As doubts crept in, I had started to question my ethics (or whatever's left of them). After reading that entry, everything became clear.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Gentle Reminder

It’s been exactly two years since eleven men held an entire city hostage. Only one of them is assumed to be alive, currently spending his life in luxury in Jail. For two years, he has said everything that a movie director can ask from his writers. “I came to Mumbai because I wanted to become an actor”, “They are targeting me because I’m muslim” and whole truck-load of non-sense.


For two years the common man has been paying for his security. Dear government, please let him go. Set him free. Deport him back to Pakistan. What’s the use of this charade when nobody’s interested. He will not suffer in jail. People from Amnesty and Human Rights Commission will make sure of that.


If you don’t have the guts to hang him, please stop wasting the public’s money. The Common “Wealth” is already depleted because a few people like playing games. Besides, the media is no longer the neutral friend of the people. Big shot reporters are too busy acting as touts for political parties.

Kya hoga iss desh kaa?


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brain Vs Girlfriend

FW: Brain Vs GF, awesome!!

Akash was waiting for his love ....
"30 minutes late!!", his brain shouted at him, "Last time you were 5 mins late and she had literally gobbled u up ... remember??"
"Yeah yeah", he said to his brain, "You know her ... all moody and stuff .... oh there she is"
"Scold her OK?", his brain adviced.
"OK I will try"
Sweet Sheetal comes with the cutest smile and says "I
m sorry honey .. I was shopping for shoes .. totally forgot about you"
"What if you had said that line buddy?", shouted his brain "she would have had a nervous breakdown"
Akash ignored his brain "It
s OK honey! its only half an hour. No problem."
She smiled once again
, held his hand and asked "Hope you remember what occasion is today"
"OMG!!!", thought Akash...
"Brain... search database for reminders, anniversaries, silly anniversaries, birthdays and birthdays of people I don
t care about"
Brain got into action ... he started delegating work to different parts
parallel processing .. multiple search .......... complete memory scan.
Sheetal stared at Akash .... "Hello!! you have been staring at me for 2 minutes now ... you OK?"
"Huh!!!", he said, "Oh ... nothing's wrong .. was lost in thought"
"No records found", said the brain ...
"Da**mn!!", thought Akash
"So what say ... how do we celebrate this day?", she asked.
Akash is all confused ... "Ask her ...dumbo?".. said the brain
"OK OK ...stop pushing me"
"Honey .. U know my lousy memory.. I guess I can’t recall what today is"
"WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", she shouted ... and started crying.
"How could you forget!! ..... its my doggy's birthday"
A moment of silence.
His entire brain staff was laughing at him.
Akash was dumbfounded.
"What the hell am I supposed to do know?", he asked his brain.
"Damage control sequence initialized ... don’t worry our specialist will comeback with the perfect line to make everything all right"
"Better do it fast ..brainy"
The brain was working at 90% capacity .... gathering and analyzing all data on 'How to handle women?'
Finally an answer was computed and communicated to Akash.
He looked up to her, and said "Of Course I remember your doggy's birthday .. how can I forget that sweet mutt's special day"
She looked up with utter surprise ...
"HUH!!!!!!! ........ Doggy is the name of my cat you je**rk!!!"
She stood up angrily and left.
Akash and his brain were left there clueless.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Over to Bangalore

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on my Blog. But then, a software engineer without a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection can do very less...except blog during company hours. Now why would a software engineer do that? Probably because he's lost.


My stay in Infy has been like a dream. Five months training in the lush green campus of Mysore DC, recruitment into one of the best groups in Infy; Knowledge Management (KM), shifting base to the IT hub of India, finding a new family within the team et al. A lot happened in the past few months that has changed my perspective towards life - maybe for the better (or worse?)


It has been almost 6 months since I last saw my family. I did have a few video-conferences with them in a cyber-cafe - but it's not the same thing. I had made a lot of friends in Mysore. Now I'm in Bangalore and they are spread across the length and breadth of the country. And maybe for the first time in my life, I'm feeling lonely. The people in KM have done their best to make me feel right at home - but I still miss everyone.


Thanks to some unfortunate series of events, I can only go home at Diwali (which is in the first week of November). Till then, I have to find my way in this congested city of lost techie souls they call "Bengaluru". Being from Chandigarh and knowing zilch about south Indian food/culture also doesn't help. Life has become all about "Eat, sleep, study, code, grumble...". Poor small town guy adjusting to the big city life is beginning to question his motive for leaving home in the first place.


This is just an update.


PS. I'm in a sad mood right now. I will tell you how awesome KM is when I'm back in my groove.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

This is why I didn't take up GRE

Have you tried to give the paper for GRE? This is what happens when you study too hard:



A Normal Person: People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
GRE Student: Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting perilous projectiles.

Normal person: Twinkle, twinkle, little star
GRE Student: Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minim.

Normal Person : All that glitters is not gold.
GRE Student: All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.


Normal Person: Beggars are not choosers
GRE Student: Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.

Normal Person: Dead men tell no tales
GRE Student: Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.


Normal Person: Beginner's luck
GRE Student: Neophyte's serendipity.


Normal Person: A rolling stone gathers no moss
GRE Student: A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.


Normal Person: Birds of a feather flock together
GRE Student: Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.


Normal Person: Beauty is only skin deep
GRE Student: Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.

Normal Person: Cleanliness is godliness
GRE Student: Freedom from incrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.


Normal Person: There's no use crying over spilt milk
GRE Student: It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lactile fluid.


Normal Person: You can't try to teach an old dog new tricks
GRE Student: It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.


Normal Person: Look before you leap
GRE Student: Surveillance should precede saltation.


Normal Person: He who laughs last, laughs best
GRE Student: The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.


Normal Person: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
GRE Student: Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders Jack a hebetudinous fellow.    


Normal Person: Where there's smoke, there's fire!
GRE Student: Where there are visible vapours having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.  



And that’s why I did not take up GRE!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The State of the Republic

The sovereign, socialist, democratic nation of India adopted its constitution on 26 November, 1949 and began commemorating this iconic feat every January. Yesterday, we celebrated 60 years as a Republic. On this momentous occasion, lets go through how our constitution has helped us develop as a country:

The Fundamental Right to Freedom
Everyone in this country is allowed to have his/her own opinion. Let me illustrate with an example. Suppose you are a notable bare-footed painter. You will realize that people who do not like your works can express their disapproval by ransacking exhibitions and burning your paintings in broad daylight. The right to freedom of expression stops the police from checking this menace.
We also have freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India and practice any profession. I wonder whether Raj Thakeray knows about it.

Right to Equality
All men are equal, some men are more equal than others.
Have you ever stood in line in front of a government office and spied the occasional bureaucrat taking his acquaintance aside and pushing his file before any else? If the answer is no, this blog isn't meant for you.
Women of our country want to be treated as equals and yet scream for reservation when it comes to seats in the Parliament and the Metro. Plus, I believe I'm going to be labeled a sexist because the first line of this paragraph does not contain any representation for the fairer sex. Damn!

Right to Vote
A right/duty given to every Indian above 18 years of age. Mumbai registered 45% voter turnout in the last elections. I wonder why they complain when corrupt politicians get elected. Votes can bought everywhere in the country except on eBay (they should change their advertisements).

Right to Education
Only 44 deemed universities were de-recognized by the Education Ministry before the apex court ordered a status quo. How does anyone shoot one's self in the leg? Its quite similar to the way our country introduces self-defeating reforms.
Remember Slumdog Millionaire? 'The Three Musketeers' was never in our syllabus. But we have read saffron-ized history that changed with the change in regime. Here's an interesting story on the plight of education in India.

Right to Constitutional remedies
I wonder what our fundamental right to approach the courts for justice was called. In India, Justice is blind. Absolutely blind! Try going on a shooting spree in a busy city at midnight and leave behind CCTV footage of the carnage as well as a hundred corpses. Years would pass by while the Supreme Court would let the government spend crores on your protection while you call yourself an aspiring actor in Bollywood. Why don't you simply rape a minor and get staggering 6 months in jail?

Right to Freedom of Religion
According to our constitution, no person can be discriminated against on the basis of his/her religion. Ironic, isn't it?

Right against Exploitation
The Wikipedia article on our fundamental rights says that the Right against Exploitation covers:
  • Child labour (below 14 years of age)
  • Forced labour
  • Trafficking
  • Slavery

The middle/cattle class and lower classes have long been exploited by the upper classes. Nothing for us down-trodden folks. Even OBCs have it better than poor old 'General' category.

And this concludes our lesson in Social Sciences. Be proud of our heritage - the land of Narendra Modi, Bal & Raj Thakeray and L K Advani (Names represent only the creamy layer of villainous evil-eyed fly-bitten ruffians).

P.S. The right to vote is not a fundamental right.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Here's a list of events that shaped the year that was (categorized according to the title of the post – the G, B and the U)

Annus Mirabilis

Jai Ho became a national pseudo-anthem with the advent of Slumdog Millionaire. Everyone in the film fraternity was raving about the fabulous work Danny Boyle had done, before they were reminded that the movie officially released on January 23rd and they should hold their tongues for a few weeks. Meanwhile, A R Rehman reached the same league as Yanni, Kenny G and Steven Vai.

James Cameron showed the world how mankind was responsible for destroying the planet and humans were completely at war with Mother Nature. However, we were totally bedazzled by the breathtaking visuals of Pandora created using cutting edge technology and too awestruck to take notice of the implied message.

Valentine's Day passed smoothly without any of our culture brigades putting up a show. What we had instead, were ladies from all walks of life contributing their rose colored undergarments to the collection of a certain leader of a Bangalore based Sena.

The Indian government suddenly turned brave in front of our red oppressors. First, it was UPA kicking the Left Front in the butt. Then it was the Chinese. The Chinese said they did not like Manmohan Singh roaming about in disputed territory. Instead of meekly apologizing like he was used to, the PM told the Chinese to get their eyes checked and the territory was Arunachal Pradesh – an integral part of the Republic of India (Take that, chinis). Basking in the glory of two red victories, the government turned its attention to the enemy within – The Maoists/Naxals – the toughest enemy among the red brigade.

Nano finally hit the Indian roads. Tata is making the people's car at a loss but as Ratan Tata said – Its not about the market forces. Its about the promise he had made to the average Indian.

Dan Brown released “The Lost Symbol”. Although the book created history of sorts with with record-breaking opening sales, it really was no match for certain angst-ridden teenage vampire romances that emerged in a new avatar on the silver screen.

Microsoft launched Windows 7. Hackers around the world rejoiced. All viruses they had written for Vista required hardly two lines of code to become Windows 7 compatible. All thanks to Microsoft!

Kaminey taught uf that lifping waf and ftill if Cool.

Even after fifty years, one small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against invaders. And life's not easy for the Roman legionaries that garrison the fortified camps of Totorum, Aquarium, Laudanum and Compendium.

The new-age ministers in the UPA government turned the bureaucracy on its head. Shashi Tharoor was tweeting away to glory and connecting to the cattle class while Kapil Sibal tried to massacre our age-old rote based education system.

Chetan Bhagat finally learnt how to write. 'Two States' actually brought out the best in him. And depicted the truth when it said the only Tamil word that North Indians understand is ille.

Rahul Gandhi turned out to be great strategist and politician. He showed what he meant by connecting with the people – he was traveling in a Metro, eating dinner at a Dalit's home, journeying economy class by train and generally being nice to everyone around him. As a bonus, the antics of his sycophants took the news to the humor section as well. (One had dinner at a Dalit's home but not without a special order from a 5 Star hotel, napkins and mineral water)

The divide between politicians, celebrities, film stars and the common man blurred within 140 characters or less. Barack Obama, Shashi Tharoor, Priyanka Chopra, Mallika Sherawat, Gul Panag, MTV India and even Anurag Saxena – everyone who was anyone was sharing with everyone what they had for breakfast.

Annus Horribilis

In sync with the American military antics of 'shock and awe', 'preemptive attack' and the like, the Nobel Committee went for a 'preemptive strike' of its own – awarding Barack Obama a Peace prize.

Recession officially arrived in India with major IT companies like TCS going for corporate restructuring (for non-management types, read layoffs)

We always had corrupt politicians. But it was Madhu Koda who upped the ante. Rs 40,000,000,000 – estimated amount of money he siphoned off. Unfortunately, they say he is just a scapegoat.

BJP turned on itself. The whole country watched in amazement as the party entered “Self-destruct” mode. Jaswant Singh, a founding member, was expelled without so much as a show-cause notice. Advani's bid to become PM forced him to make unnecessary sacrifices and he ended up without friends. And now, we are faced with the threat of Narendra Modi, a genocidal CM, becoming BJP's nominee for the post of Prime Minister of this country.

Some of us really entertained the possibility of going to war with the Red people of the Yellow river. We had cultural exchanges along our borders – they showed us how to intimidate neighbors by painting graffiti on rocks and we showed them how to get intimidated by harmless graffiti.

The King of Pop finally became confined to the pages of HIStory. He may or may not have been a lover of children, but Billie Jean was not his girl. The smooth criminal beat it before his grand tour kicked off. His unbreakable memory would remain in our hearts and we all would definitely remember the time.

I no longer wonder why we still haven't attacked Pakistan yet. Its because we don't need to. Pakistan's already crumbling under the weight of the unholy nexus between Taliban, Mujahideens, ISI, its Army and the US troops. And now everyone's gunning for the head of this toxic alliance - Asif Ali Zardari.

It was with deep regret that we were informed of the demise of “Hamara Bajaj”. And with it, two of the greatest marvels of automobile industry – Maruti 800 and Bajaj Chetak, faded away into the history books.

Anyone with cable TV at home was bombarded with reality shows left, right and center. We had a music channel that stopped airing songs (Guess who!), a channel with dropping TRPs that resorted to showing shower scenes in a jungle during prime-time television, a channel that tried its hand at philanthropy by marrying off Rakhi Sawant to a Canadian (but tragically failed, kudos for trying) and is now trying its hand at public service again by tying Rahul Mahajan into wedlock.

Hollywood, looking at the global meltdown and Wall Street collapse, went into a state of depression. As a result, disaster/doomsday/zombie/conspiracy movies were churned out by the dozen. We had 2012, Zombieland, Knowing, Watchmen, Transformers 2, G-Force and around 50 other zombie movies among many more that had mankind's destruction as the main theme.

Annus Catastrophicus

Representatives of almost all countries gathered in Copenhagen to pen down a concord to stop global warming. Jairam Ramesh forgot whether our country is a developing or a developed nation. The Chinese did what they do best – whatever that may be, but it had something to do with escaping from the Summit without any strict regulations to follow. Finally, the Summit ended with only one resolution – where to meet for next year's summit.

A certain Rao showed us the power of human will. He showed us how to get our own state under the sovereign secular republic of India by suppressing the need to feed. We now have demands for Gorkhaland, Bundelkhand, Telangana and numerous others gaining momentum just because P Chidambram couldn't handle a person starving. Hopefully, maybe he'll listen to the demands of the BPL next.

Mayawati is still the CM of Uttar Pradesh.

Another Indian made it on the Forbes list for the first and probably the last time – Ramalinga Raju was in Forbes top list of world's worst CEOs. But he must be on the top of the “People who would never have been caught if they had not confessed” list.

The feline entrance test to the Meccas of Management went completely online. It would have been great, if only there weren't any virus attacks, if only all papers were of the same level, if only the papers had not contained questions from old papers, if only all examinees had been able to complete the test with their tests not ending prematurely, if only...

Finally, after spending four years in a madhouse called MMEC, I was finally declared fit to rejoin civilization as just another harmless software engineer. Infy, beware!