Thursday, December 13, 2007

I like google quotes...

and these are just few of the MANY that made me smile.

If you stay in Beverly Hills too long you become a Mercedes.
- Robert Redford

There's so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
- Dick Cavett

preserve wild-life. Throw more parties

The world is round; it has no point
- Adrienne E. Gusoff

CNN is one of the participants in the war. I have a fantasy where Ted Turner is elected president but refuses because he doesn't want to give up power.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Never knock on Death's door: ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!
- Matt Frewer
"The future" has arrived but they forgot to update the docs.
-- R. David Murray, 9 May 2000

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

movie mania

Just saw "Live Free Die Hard".
Was a gripping movie until the end, when they decided that they needed to show Bruce Willis more heroic. Destroying fighter-jets with a stone, dodging cascading-ly collapsing bridges, balancing on the wings of a plane... Good god! We really shouldn't laugh at Mithun movie sooo much.

Also, one of those rare movies that brings out a very cogent/convincing and strong argument by the villain. Bruce just bullies him with his "macho talks"... whereas the villain is actually more hero-able. They did everything right, except laugh at logic. Not a good thing at all. People are expected to like the hero and detest the villain. And then in a twist of events, the villain happens to be actually more agree-able. This totally confuses the people who continue praising the ruthless (and dumb, in this case) hero, and laugh mercilessly at the wronged and correct villain.
Not good, I tell ya! :)

Which is why, "Gangster" shined out. It was similar. The villain had a very valid reason for his actions. And they didn't confuse the audience by making a mockery of it. They just provided several viewpoints for the audience, without revealing their take on it. As un-biased as it could get. THAT (when Emraan Hashmi says that he does this for the country, and when Kangana says that the gangster was a good human being) was the outstanding part. Both stand-points appeal. And they can't co-exist.

So, that was good.

Apart from watching movies, I am doing little else.
I tried watching "Snatch". It has been praised by all the praise-worthy people. And not just praised but revered. I chose it over the jazzy posters of the new Desi movies on bestdesiblog or some such site.

it took me 10 minutes of incomprehension to doze off.

Tooooo bad! I miss out on all the stuff that totally gives kicks to many others.

But what to do. One ought to accept one's handicaps (American movies are hard to get... but English accent... too ambitious of me!).

Will watch something like "Haseena Maan Jayegi". What humor man! Totally kickass. No locking, no stocking, no barrelling... just collapsing in laughter fits.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ekdum Jhakaas!

What a movie! Aaja Nachle is a thorough entertainer...
If the critics had not interfered with the general junta's psyche, it would have surely been a hit.

None of the flaws were unpardonable. And the dance and dramatizations were brilliant... in choreography, in the theme... and in the performers.

Madhuri shines brighter in the title track than most of her previous numbers (Akhiyaan Milaaon may be the only serious competition). And a lot of bold dancing in the Laila Majnu act.
Not too complicated, and not outrageous. A simple storyline that is predictable yet interesting.
Konkona does her typical atypical role of uncouth-transformed-to-subtle-beauty. Kunal somehow isn't the drop-dead hottie he was in RDB... but his presence is felt. Akshaye's smile still rules all hearts (I want a dimple too!).

Madhuri is the uncontested performer.

The list of people whom I really admire.. who are right up there now has another permanent member (other ones being Rehman, Shiamak, Farhaan Akhtar et al)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

So close.. yet unsure

A good thing happened. I am not proud... yet a 'milestone' has been achieved.

"Yen ten prakaaran"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dying to be Alive.

It is time for "moving on"
It's time for a closure and a new beginning.

Lets press Ctrl+R... or perhaps Ctrl+N.

It may or may not be an end formally, but it ends in my head. Can't continue without wnting to.
And don't want to.

It's the swan's last song for sure. After it, it dies... happily and satisfied.. or burning with raging desires to 'prove its worth'.
Either ways, it is worth it. Perhaps burning with raging desires is better... to keep the fire alive... the passion going.. the life button on bright green rather than a pale standby.

But happily satisfied seems to be more desirable, given one's proclivity to a peaceful and normal life.

But the current test is the toughest ever. God is being pinged every other minute and bombarded with random and desperate prayers.
If only he would reply back with positive content!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Haseen Daastaan

An honest laughter...
a stint of vicarious pleasure...
the moment of finding someone who thinks EXACTLY like how you once did (and then laughing boldly at your old self)..
spinning yarns of self-obsessed wishful thinking/dreaming..
getting a quick reply to a desperate question posted on a forum...
seeing the thinner version of Adnan Sami and being convinced that India has changed drastically in the passed months...
Giving genuine answers/advice to someone in distress and realizing how much it applies to you...
creating music in the piano class...
loving a professor for changing your life so greatly...
going shopping with a friend who is so typically annoying and you love him for being himself!
Harboring a burning desire...

Figuring out what has to be done with life... and surprisingly finding a concrete answer that is satisfactory.

These mark the current state of thought.

I am not sooo lost anymore... there is a dim focus... a non-zero focus, as I can hear someone say :-)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

change of state

I stare at the phone. And I refresh my email.

There was a time when personal emails would go unread and unanswered, and incoming calls would be thoughtlessly and mercilessly rejected. When I said "I'll call back", I knew I wouldn't.

There were too many people. I wanted my space.. my peace..

And now I have all the space I can ask for, and more. And all the privacy.
And no incoming calls.. and no personal emails.

It's not a complain. It's just an observation.

Finding the fine balance, as with everything else, is the solution.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My first

long distance drive!

Now I understand the personification of a car and the connection its (or his/her) owner feels with it (him/her).

All thanks to my brothers Kai and Pam (and my skewed geographical sense), I decided to meet them mid-way between LA and SB, which by my calculation was Malibu.
I left the home feeling a sense of 'picnic'... carried with me fruits and all that.. and left on a high note.. only to realize that I didn't have the directions and that my mobile didn't have much of a charge on it (hail Murphy for the nth time).

But being the pseudo-brave girl that I am, I went on to go to fill gas and then hit the Freeway. FiIlling gas was an adventure in itself. All the stations were occupied, and no matter where I parked, I was blocking someone or the other. And reversing the car is so not my forte!

Anyway, after a couple of maneovers and all, I thankfully managed to fill gas and then off I went on the freeway. Wow! The world suddenly looked so much more beautiful than I last remembered it. And the weather was perfect what with the sea staring at me with it's brutally wild waves, and the weather being that of the teasing rain. I pulled down the windows and put on Reshammiya to the loudest. I dont remember feeling so benevolent in a long time.

And then I thought, of what use is a convertible if you can't convert it. So I halted on the side, put on my sweatshirt and rolled down the cover. Agreed that hot chics in halter tops and sunglasses covering 3/4th of the face, with just the right tinge of tan and hoops adorning the ears look awesome in an open-top Mini Cooper... but chics in earth-brown sweatshirt with covered head in the hood and nakli rayban, clinging on to the steering wheel look no less interesting :-)

So there I was, traveling at 55mph and brrrring in the cold and totally loving it. I screamed the songs and eventually lost some of my voice. And I openly cursed and laughed loudly, all the sound drowning in the 'zooming' of the car.

In all this frenzy, I drove on an exit-only lane and went on the wrong route. Normally, I would curse myself, analyze the US roadway system, think of a better alternative and in general spend a lot of time musing on all this. But not yesterday! I laughed louder at my callousness. And instead of calling up/asking for help, I went with my instinct. Thankfully I retraced steps correctly, inspite of all the excitement. Glee!

And then came the unexpectedly mountainous route : 23 south! It was no less than the typical routes of Garhwal, excpet that instead of a bus full of 50+ passengers and an extremely experienced driver and conductor listening to Altaf Raja hits, this time it was a puny car with a highly inexperienced driver listening to "Kya Mujhe Pyaar hai.." (yes, in spite of my mood, I switched loyalties from Reshamiya to I-dont-know-who-all).

It reminded me of Tennyson's poem somewhere... I am not at all that literally bent or literarily bent... but some poem that had "canon to the left on them, canon to the right of them.... but theirs was not to ask why?, theirs was to do and die!"
Analogy - canon:bikes and their:gargi (glee!)

It seriously was the most confounding journey... I tamed down and symbolically put the hood up, and covered the car. And drove very seriously, and took breaks only to blink!

After making Kai, Pam and another person wait for about 2 hours I reached there.

We had a great time - cracking crazy jokes on each others, Gujaratis, Kailas pariwar and all that. We immitated the servers, laughed at our incompetence at immitating them.. We discussed Narendra Modi, 20-20, weight-loss... the Fortune 40 list and all that.

The eventful evening ended with Kai doing trick photography and us posing in front of the beast. I need to coin a 'cool' name for the Mini pretty soon...(obviously a guy's name).

The drive back was not that challenging... came back on Highway 1 all the way. It was fun.
Was reminded of the google quote that I had read a few days back:-

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
- John le Carre

When I finally took the Glenn Annie exit, I felt a changed person. Really. I wondered why.

I went to Albertsons... had a super-surprise bump into an old friend... whom I havent met in a long time now. It felt rather good to see him.

The day ended with me eating very delicious food cooked by all the others...

Life is good... if only God allows our plans to get executed... well, if only God astutely selects the plans that should get executed...
May be he does!
At least there is faith... an unquestioning faith in the judgment of the Almighty.. although one has been warned of it being misplaced... One continues to live and learn...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A moment to cherish

for a lifetime.

I've always thought that 'when I do THAT', or 'when I achieve this' or 'when this will be accomplished', I will feel on top of the world.

Twenty three years of existence passed without me ever feeling even as high as the Eiffil Tower, leave alone top of the world (I think I reached Marathon Heights at most ;-) ).
Loving myself never stopped/reduced. But the sense of achievement never really hit me even if I did manage to achieve what i set out to.

It was generally about grades in school, admissions in college, GRE scores... and more of such flimsy criteria that would translate to a celebrating-worthy achievement.
I often 'celebrated' as well as ridiculed the celebration an equal number of times, if not more.

Today, something beyond grades and something beyond the conventinal yardsticks to measure academic proficiency, happened.
I was talking to 4 Computer Science professors, and they were listening to MY OPINION.
And they wanted to know more.

I could not believe it.
I still can't.

A small thing to them, but to me, it was unbelievably uplifting. People who obviously know a lot more than you, who have 'been there done that and know it all', are listening to your opinion on someone's recommendation.

I am happy. Tearfully happy. Somehow, it seems that I redeemed myself. For what, I don't know.
But I always had the underlying lurking faith in the way I approached academics. It is not 'good-studentish', neither is it 'bad-studentish'. Its just an approach that I think is right... not always, but most of the times.

Scores, grades, admissions are touted because they are perhaps (and unfortunately) the standard and the only widely acceptable way to confirm a person's intelligence/smartness/curiousity/

Having said that, I have yet to meet someone who is genuinely happy and feels a sense of achievement based purely on grades and admission (which is isolated from the thoughts of a brighter future, whatever his/her idea of that might be).

Anyway, all I know is that no matter how high I score or whatever academic success I get, nothing could beat today's experience.
It may be the case of grapes being sour, but I think not... and I care not :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

kuch is tarah...

Lying on a surfboard, in a wet-suit on a sunny morning out in the sea is the definition of 'serene'.
Surfing is difficult.
Even with 10 foot long surfboards, I nose-dive into the salty, oily, weed-filled water and have my ears, nose and what-nots filled with the water. And then the naughty board magically finds the farthest spot in the ocean to lad after it;s high and might jump in the air.

Once located, I try to cover up the distance between me and the board. But it tries its best to drift away. I smile victoriously when the gap between us is converging :)
And then it reluctantly gives in after its swan song of jumping again in air.


And then I have to go all the way back into the ocean.
THIS is when all the big waves come, right when I have to get in.
And I swim like crazy, only to realize that I am still at the same spot, if not closer to the shore.

Somehow I make it. And then, I just lie on the board, eyes trying to calculate a wave, and whether I can catch it.

I like surfing. I should do it more seriously though. And that's true of most things I do.

Apart from that, the daunting driving test has been passed.

Now I have most of the things that make me belong here - a credit card, a debit card, a driving license, a car (but I still use the word dicky instead of boot), a social security number, an acquired habit of inquiring into the fat calories of every edible item, a pair of cool sunglasses, a bikini (glee :) ), a notion of weather (but I still can't identify the molecules of smoke that others can so easily do), an active facebook account.... and a close firang friend :)

I look forward to the India trip, but not as eagerly as I once thought I would.
I like it here.

Apart from that apart, I talked to Aditi today. The only decipherable communication was laughter on both sides. We laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. It was crazy.

There is always sunshine after rain :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One of the best

Just can't figure it out.

My New Family

It's 9pm. I am at a friend's place. My cell rings. I ignore it, and the call is missed. And it rings again. I take the call this time.
"Kab aa rahe ho ghar? Khaana khaaoge na? Hum ruke hai!"

I wrap up, and head for home. I haven't heard such words in years. Even when I was back at Mumbai, the calls from mom were more out of unfounded fear than anything else.

Here, there is someone who is cooking for me, and waiting for me, and all that.

Shalini is probably the funniest girl I know. The only one who can match her wits is Prasanna. And the duo make our house vibrate with laughter and sarcasm.
Anjini and I can't do much except explode in paroxysms of laughter.

Anyway, it reallly is fun to have such an atmosphere at home, where everyone is friendly, easy-going, humorous.. and where everyone has a bunch of idiosyncrasies.

Now it's time for me to put rice in the cooker (as per Shalini's instructions :) )

Monday, October 08, 2007

Shrugging off the Remnants...

She walks out of her house, and suddenly a flash of images strike her. She knows that paying heed to those images can only bring in pain. She refrains. Successfully. And she is surprised by the success.

As someone had told her - "One lives and learns".
True. She finds it now truer than ever.
The wounds that once seemed impossible to heal and the memories that once seemed impossible to delete... and the flashes of images which were inevitable... and the random thoughts triggered by the all-powerful "if only..."s, all these seem to now become handleable.

Is that a good thing? Is 'getting over' something a good thing?
Perhaps not until there is something to look forward to, after 'getting over'. If there isn't, the memories form a convenient substitute of that which is not.

But probably pointless memories are... pointless, and reliving them in the silent hours is an anti-antidote.

She looks around.. and smiles. She suddenly has an eventful life again - new set of friends (un-complicated and funny), new bunch of roomies (very very interesting and super-fun).. almost a family. (She gets woken up and offered tea.. something that never happened even in Mumbai!). She has newer things to learn (too many perhaps).

She has laughed so much, and gone out too often for it to be true, and all of all that.

She is happy again. She still remembers. But now the pain translates to a momentary lapse of focus on her current life, and eventually it'll be a distant past to ponder over in times of retrospection, with fondness (hopefully). This, like many other things, is a stolen belief.

"Have the experience and miss the meaning"
She didn't let that happen... not this time at least :)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

the funny things

Humor is not so rare anymore. Laughed a lot today, thanks to Poker and the players (some of them too smart to outwit easily).

In other news, read this, and I had to post it.

Kalam’s words came true ………
Kalam: INDIA will become a Superpower in 2020

INDIA did it



Friday, September 21, 2007

In other news...

this made me happy

A black eye isn't the end of the world...

thus spake Panda :)

Another post!! Right!! ... after 2 months of religious abstinance, I am all into 'penning my thoughts' (before they get replaced) mood and writing 3 posts in 2 days.

Guess what it is this time?

The weather!!!

Ha! It really is the weather. Its not a summer day anymore. Its raining. No, actually its drizzling. Since the time I have stepped here, I never got a chance to discern between a heavy drizzle and a light rain! Today I have it.. right at my doorsteps and right outside my window, I see the drops falling. It is not exactly Lonavla, but not too far from it either :)

I feel friendly and generous. THIS is when people should ask of me whatever they want, and they shall not return unsatisfied :)
Somewhere deep within me, there is a Jerome K Jerome (or so I badly wish!)

What was his line?
*After Google search*

Hmmm.. lets insert a stand alone 'anyway' here ;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Truth is a bully we all pretend to like"

She walked past the houses with gay abandance. It was a cold day for summer. But she was now more prepared to brave the cold. However, she chose a porch outside the bookstore, where the sun rays hit her directly. She liked the warmth.

She read through the pages that talked of her city. She looked up from the book. Her city! Was the sight she was seeing a part of her city, or was the city described in the book her city?
She didn't know. She thought, both were her cities. And like they say, "She was a part of all that she had met". She was a part of both the cities.

As always, the inevitable comparisons. A solid infrastructure where bikelanes were separately carved out. That versus a place where cars didn't have space on 2 lane roads because of the people occupying it, righteously.

There were a million things she thought. She doesn't like reading some books. They unnecessarily disturb her. She was happy thinking about the fact tht they liked her at work, and that she would spend a couple of years at that company - an experience tht would give her a lot of insight.

But somehow, all those plans seem to crumble cascadingly. All it took was a book and some vivid imagery of the author to make her yearn to 'do something'. But that's where it always stopped. She didn't know what to do! And THAT was partly the reason she wanted to stay back. At least she would be preoccupied learning some new technlogy and doing whatever Web 2.0 meant!

But then...

She read some lines in the book further. Something that said something to the effect of "sometimes, by attempting to improve something, we end up worsening it".

She knew exactly what she meant.


Because she had read another book that had that same 'worsening' as its theme.

She gives up all these thoughts. And walks back home... with the same gay abandance. She sings a song.

She looks around at this city. The sky is light blue... there is greenery everywhere... if ther eis no place for a big tree, there are shrubs, and if there is no place for shrubs, there are small patches of grass. the streets are so clean that the beggar at Dadar station would find it a luxury to make them his home. The cars don't honk, the streetlights work with a deadly precision. The waitresses smile and ask her how her day was. Even the random guy on the street looks and smiles. Genuinely. She sees mountains. She sees her house - 815 Bath Street. Behind it are mountains, and the greenery. It is one of those houses whose postcards she had seen, and those which she had attempted drawing in her drawing classes (but she always drew bullock carts with beautiful houses).

It was one of those times when she had 'stood and stared'!

Stared at all the beauty... or all the 'beauty'.

Yet it was not romantic. It was the beauty of an actress who had taken such good care of herself that she got lost amidst other actresses who took similar meticulous care for their beauty. None stood out, all spotlessly and perfectly pretty.

Romance, for her, was in the train journeys at night, shared with the gajra lady whose children ran around in the train... in gay abandance... where the chhaka gang teamed up and laughed, in oblivion to the fleeting glances of other well-dressed ladies... where everyone was lost in their own world, and yet united by journey... where Gujarati ladies talked boisterously, where south indian ladies talked of their work and sarees, where the college going chics smsed with an alarming dexterity... where she saw the face of an angelic kid being carried around protectively by his elder sister.... why can't she forget that face? It always comes to her in the strangest of situations... that cherubic beauty...
THAT was romantic.

Perhaps that happens to all foreigners... to all those who leave their homes to find another... they are sometimes agonized... and then when they return, they miss their new homes.

Perhaps... she should not stand and stare for too long.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Dancing after 3 drinks is much more fun than dancing after 2 drinks, which is much more fun than dancig after 1 drink, which is... you know what!
I can feel the 'spirits' rise again.
If only it were Indian music... and all those things that can.should be generously added after an 'if only..'

Writing anything on the blog means defending it when all those myriad people who don't understand comment on it verbally. Dam them... except that I don't :)

Anyway, laughters and carefreeness is a lethal combination. It can take you places, and make you feel on top of the world :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

svn ci -m "gs - current update" :)

As I sit in my room thinking about the potential things to write about, I feel dazed. Too much happening, and too little record. But must everything be recorded? Sometimes I struggle to hold on to memories by way of videos and photos and write-ups. Sometimes they are permanently etched. But most of the times it is some random event that triggers a random memory.

Life has become rather involved with work 'and such' :)
The usual buzz words that linger around me everyday are Continuous Integration (CI), rake, Selenium, Test-driven development, fixtures, broken build, agile and what not. I feel superior just because I know of the existence of these words. When the tests are running, we digg! Lunches are spent discussing JSunit. And jokes are on the advantages of IntelliJ over Textmate.

Supper is a burrito bol from Chipotle. I can't get over my love for it. However, sometimes, when I am in mood to induce jealousy, I look towards the Natural Cafe :)
My tummy shows signs of a pampered organ. It is bulging and beeming with pride. When pictures are taken, I have to suck it in though :)

I am also following news these days. (yes, I know that a mistake on orkut caused a death in India.. I also know that some astronomers are not super-impressed by google sky).

The new favorite quote is:-
I am kinda paranoic in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy :)

The new favorite Song:-
Alvida and such from Life in a Metro

New fav serial:-
It's too good to be true. Totally engaging.

new favorite app:-
Posterino (image editing et al for Mac)... finally!!!!!

New favorite phrase:-
'My point being'
Seems like I need to use it too much. Not a good thing, probably

Same-old fav website:-

New favorite friend:-
well, deep touches deep :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

plain old updates

The new favorites:-

Main jahaan rahoo, main kaheen bhi hoon
Teri yaad saath hai.

In dino - ijaazat - mohobbat - interesting lyrics.

Job is fun. LMAOTFL with Jennifer. I learnt that the best way to make someone learn something is by placing responsibility on him/her.
Also, no matter how 'high up' you are, it really matters how you behave with others who are not so high-up.

'A suitable boy' is being used for recreation ;-)

A suitable companion is needed for sanity check. An infinite capacity mug is needed to pour out stories.

All is well... all is great.

The only complaint : I don't laugh as much I used to.

Monday, July 09, 2007


There is something to be said about dinner in a balcony of a lovely restaurant, what with wine to drive the wit buds (toasting before every sip) and a mouth-watering dessert to satiate the inner epicure.
There was dance after that, and dance after that too. We danced in unison.

The walks in the wind, the pointed humor, the twisted theories, the teasing and nagging and giving up and making up... the looking into eyes and getting senti.

Ah! Life becomes charming with good company.
And what could be a better way to capture it than a poem?

As for me,
Ladka hai dakshin ka, isiliye uttar dena mushkil hai
Par agar kahaani poori karni ho, to Hindi zaroori hai :)

Saturday, June 30, 2007


A couple of days since my first job has begun, and I already feel a lot wiser (probably a little too much than I should).

The days were marked by curious inspections of undecipherable code, eye-opening meetings by the 'CEO', super-funny talks by a co-worker followed by the typical laugh I used to laugh when in Mumbai (with tears streaming down and all), luncheons discussing surfing, feeling of awe and comfort, and some misplaced 'aha' moments :)

Another important thing. I discovered that there is more to life than talking on phone, checking mail, orkutting and reading arbit stuff on the net. (I am afraid that THIS discoverey is the little-too-much wisdom part of it... coz when I think deep, I think there could not be anything beyond talking and laughing and socializing and some vague intellectual kicks... what more can one want... but there seem to be other things)

Oh ho!
As always, I write and erase and rewrite not-yet-good-enough lines.
What to do? Probably comment out some lines (haha).

Anyway, the only joke that still makes me laugh is the one that's on me.

Friday, June 01, 2007


She sits in a room... that's not hers.

She can visualize things... She hears those words, sees that expression. She laughs at the sight of that yawn... that I-know-I-got-up-from-sleep-but-I-can't-help-it yawn.
She sees that focus in the eyes - that focus to help. That drive to help. That determination.

There are fond memories in this room. Too many of them. The peccadiloes committed in the thrilling stealth, the assignments 'completed' in the unbearable din... well, the moments!
The fond memories.

Dam! There always are these annoyingly unnecessary 'fond memories' that are impossible to shrug off.
If only life was not a state machine with transitions from one state to another. It's these transitions that are bothersome.

She is in a 'mess' (or she likes to think that way). But she physically is - her eyes are burning with lack of sleep and exceesive abuse, her stomach is complaining about the dumped substance that is misleadingly called 'food', her hair is disheveled - uncombed and uncared for, her face is trying hard to exude exhuastion as a convenient replacement for frustration.
It's only during those dark hours at night, when she bikes alone, do her lips betray a sharp shriek.

She hasn't known this feeling. She doesn't want to.

But she likes the side effects of this. She hasn't thought this incisively in a long time. She hasn't been so truthful, and so acceptive of herself in a long time.
She is.
She has lost care.

She doesn't feel like an outsider. Places, people, cultures, movies, billboard signs... everything is universal.
Space and time.
Or place and time. Two important things.
Important enough to have all alogorithms assessed on this. Important enough to make a project on by comparing Jemmy and JPF.
Why aren't algorithms assessed by their 'intuitiveness quotient', or 'ease of understanding' quotient, or 'ease of explaining' quotient? (this was a total tangent).

Why do total tangents come up while writing? What is a tangent? Can there be a legitimate tangent when there is no particular issue addressed in particular? What is important? To write as if it's my blog post, or to write keeping in mind the response? What is important anyway? To strive to be a perfectly acceptable (and admired) embodiment of desirable virtues? Or to be oneself without a care in the world? What is important - one moment of ecstatic bliss or several of a puritan existance? What is important - how do we measure time?
What is a lifetime? What will it be when I would have lived the major part of it? A collection of photographs and uploaded youtube videos? A series of lost memories of restaurants dined at, of shared bus rides and laughter, of insignificant brain waves that make you proud, of chance encounters and the joys that follow, of the train rides in the monsoon, of the praise you could not handle and could not forget either, of incomplete conversations and of things left unsaid?

Aren't these the important things? Then why is their importance brushed under the carpet? Why are these things 'by the way' ?

She hates revolting. She hates to feel the nascient upsurging of a revolt. But sometimes, the facade collapses, and the raw emerges. She doesn't know whats oppressing her, she cant fathom why her robust logic and intuition should give way and give in to 'conventional wisdom'.

All she knows is that something is wrong. And unless she corrects it, she'll be living a lie.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What to remember while preparing for Presentations?

This is one of those topics that should be written about 'pronto'

Soooo, I had to make a presentation today... on a subject very alien to me.... in front of people whose knowledge/ experience was daunting.

I spent the whole of yesterday (apart from Kick-boing and talking to family and other important beings) trying to make sense of the paper I was to present. It took much more time than anticipated.
Lesson 1: The most touted trick is to BE PREPARED. And one can never under-emphasize its importance.

I spent too much time trying to understand. And too little time on the actual presentation.
Lesson 2: Don't lose focus on the goal. You have to ultimately present it. Its a very good idea to understand, but unless you are going to teach it or unless you are going to be held accountable for every word that emanates from your mouth, it is important to balance the time well between understanding and preparing.

I started the ppts too late.
Lesson 3: Start ppts early enough (especially if you have less (in my case, NO) experience in making them). The ppts are really important (though not as important as your talk... but they do cover up for a lot of things, and they, most importantly, serve as hints to YOU).

Understand the audience.
Lesson 4: Again, a common idea. But its true. Your presentation should be tailer-made to the audience, and if it is a small focussed group of people then you have no excuse for not customizing it appropriately.

The audience is understanding
Corrolary to Lesson 4: When the audience sees that you have made an effort and you are trying to put accross a point, they nod. (They were exceptionally nice to me). So don't go with the mind-set that 'they are out to get you'.

Lesson 5: Unless you imagine the audience and go through the presentation with the slides, you have conquered only 20% of the battle. (80-20 principle?). When you present it to a dummy audience, you realize that the slides are not in the right order, the matter does not flow right, it doesnt sound convincing, some things are not clear, some things are redundant. You might come to a point of editing every slide until the ppt is nowhere close to what you had initiallly made. This is a good sign.

Become the audience
Lesson 6: Present to yourself. Do you follow it? If YOU don't, there is very little chance that anyone else will!

The slides
Lesson 7: Big fonts. Big images. Less words. Fun words. Flowing concepts. Intersperse with questions. Don't make them very animated and fancy (perhaps a personal preference here).

Time yourself.
Lesson 8: Either you will get too excited and finish it early, or you will start being repetitive and take too long. Ideally, be prepared for either case. Have some 'extra slides', just in case. I didn't, and the audience was so smart that I thought I was saying redundant stuff, and ended up skipping some slides. Finished it earlier than expected. Not a bad thing, but its a good idea to do justice to the paper/matter that you are presenting.

Be prepared for the actual presentation
Lesson 9: Definitely don't be late. Coz you are going to realize that you forgot the 'adapter', and now you cant connect the projector to the computer. Some nice soul will offer his laptop, but you won't have a pen drive. Another nice soul will offer a pen drive. Now you realize that your ppt is in KeyNote (a Mac presentation tool) and it wont work everywhere. So you have to convert it to a pdf. Basically, there may be initial hurdles. And unless you trust the stars to be aligned in just the right order at the right time, be prepared for the actual presentation and the technicalities.

Google the paper!
Lesson 10: Very very important. Most of the questions the audience shoot will be anwered by the Google Search results of the first page. It is very important to know some background (defiitely not a good thing to not know when and where the paper was published).

Have an opinion
Lesson 11: Your presentation may be unbiased, but eventually in one way or the other you will have to evaluate/compare/critique the paper (and so will others want to do it). Ideally your presentation should not put the paper in a bad or good light. But at the same time, you should have an opnion on it.

Smile before you begin
Lesson 12: Its a presentation after all!

My audience was reallly good. Although they obviously knew a lot, they interestingly and attentively heard it. They put forth lots of questions (some of them I was embarrassed to not know... hence the lessons :-) )
In the end, the instructor and another student praised me.

Final lesson: Appreciate genuinely. It helps ALOT.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Earlier it wa all happiness interjected with periods of loneliness.

Now it is all loneliness interjected with periods of.... loneliness!

As I was explaining my student the code during office hours, she was amazed by some of the super-basic tricks. She didn't know that 'tabbing' can help one browse thru the directories and the up arrow gives the previous command. She was amazed.
I realized that I was in the exact same position just 5 months back.

I then realized, I am jsut accumulating some information. But is it simply appending stuff to the data repositiry residing in my head, or is anything being appended to the knowledge/wisdom repository as well?

I hope so... But I think not.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last Weekend

was gooood... what with ma and pa here... and oter events/people.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder... and the legs go weaker :)

The dance was good. The audience was fun (P and S cheered alot.. Ma says she did too.. btu didn't hear THE voice)

The color thats 'totally in' is Tango Red
The lines of Dhoom2 that are totally in:-
and when love comes your way
you'll know its here to stay
you'll steal the chance 'cose you're
the thief of hearts yeah
you'll win with a galance
walk away with your romance
there's no more ther's no backing out now

There were many other things that were 'totally in'.

Learnt new lessons:-
1. Expressions are probably the most important part of the dance.. If you enjoy dancing, others enjoy watchin
2. What goes around, comes around.
3. If you correct your students, they will correct you too :)
4. Tongue is the strongest muscle of the body
5. Reading is often more thrilling than watching.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The bookstore problem

You are in a bookstore with the intention (and resources) to buy ONE book, and all the books are wrapped in plastic. Is there a way other than judging a book by its cover?

And what if you find the covers of more than one book interesting? How do you judge different books based on the cover?

One would think that based on apriori knowledge/information/wisdom you buy a book which had the most interesting cover. But what if AFTER buyin the book, you happen to read the preface of another book... And now THAT book ALSO seems interesting...

Is that a start of something?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The ice-cream problem

I go to an ice-cream parlor. I haven't tasted an ice-cream earlier, but 'heard' that it tastes delicious.

There are 27 varieties. I have to make a choice between these flavors. I choose a flavor.. educted guess, I would think. I like the ice-cream. It's not AS good as I had heard, but it's good.

I presume that I had not made the BEST decision about the flavor. But now I have more knowledge (Experience) and hence, the next decision wil be better. And next time, I summon the courage to make a choice of another flavor. A more educated guess, again I think.

And I like this flavor much more... But then, the mind is not happy. It wants to 'explore' further.
And it has seen the pattern - more educated the guess, the greater chance of the flavor being tastier.

So, next time I go to the ice cream parlor, I choose ANOTHER flavor. It's delicious. It's as good as it can get. I think it can't get better. But the weak mind tempted... to make the next guess... to explore a vertex on the next level of the traversal..

I do that. And this time, I also gets toppings... peanuts, oreo cookies etc. Now the ice-cream is thoroughly tasty. I am GLAD I took the step.

But there are questions:-

1. There is a modification to the problem. Once I choose another flavor, the previous flavors are discarded for good, and I cant get back to them. Under such circumstances, when should I stop exploration?
Should I stop when I find a GOOD flavor, even though there are chances that I might find a better flavor in the next step of exploration? (It is MY belief that the next educated guess will be better... but that need not be true).

2. Was the last ice-cream better because of the toppings? Or was it inherently good?

3. There are ice-cream flavors that are reallly popular (recommended). Am I biased towards those?

There are so many subtleties that are not captured in this analogy, although they can be.

Anyway, my roomie suggests a similar story - about a shishya (student) and his guru. THe guru asks the shishya to go to the forest and pick up the tallest branch, on the condition that e cannot pick up a brach on his way back.

Well... this is easy to solve... coz one can keep hold of the tallest branch SO FAR, and then discard it when a taller branch is seen. (FInd the max number in an array algorithm).

But this solution UNFORTUNATELY does not hold for all situations!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The bike-path Teaches

I enjoy enjoying the scene around me when I bike.
I like to leave the clutched handle and free my clenched fists.

If I am biking up-slope, I can never leave my hands.

If I am biking on level ground. I can somehow manage to leave my hands ... but my eye is tied to the path and I cannot look around.

If I am going down-hill at a steep gradient, I can leave the hands. But again, I have to be cautious. One small mistake can cause me to topple and ruin the whole ride.

However, if I find a down-hill path with a gradual descent, I can continue peddling and watch around and ENJOY, without any effort or fear of falling.

The aim is to find that path... THAT balance where one is not struggling and there is no inertia... where one is enjoying the journey without concentrating too much on the journey... without any strain of intense effort, or fear of 'toppling' over.

That's what an ideal income should be!

Monday, March 26, 2007


  • A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand
  • I am always right. Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.
  • Multitasking is listening to you ans pretening I am interested.
  • Grow your own dope - plant a man
  • Sarcasm is one of the services I offer
  • I am deeply superficial
  • Roses are red, Violets are blue, I am schizophrenic and so am I
  • Life is short - take the scenic route
  • Perfection is the enemy of 'good enough'
  • If you dont have time to do it right the first time, when are you going to have time to do it all over?
  • Ever notice that 'what the hell' is always the right decision?
  • We make a living by what we et... We make a life by what we give
  • YOuth is not a period in time, it is a state of the mind
  • The heart has reasons that reason does not know
  • Be yourself... who else is better qualified?? ;-)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Walk with Prerna

I wish I was a poet... at least a part-poet.

Prerna and I went for a walk today... on IV beach. We left a 5.30pm. We started talking about Daler Mehendi and Punjabi songs... and Rang De Bsanti.. and Bollywood. Then we stepped down on the beach. It was BEAUTIFUL.

We were enchanted. We sang the touchy songs - 'Saagar kinaare, dil yeh pukaare... tum jo nahi to mera, koi nahin...'

We walked till Campus point. And there, as we turned back, we saw a breathtaking sight.

The Sun was radiant. The water was metallic-colored, and the waves lashed against the few rocks that defiantly withstood the force. The sky had a gradual shading of blue. The ocean was almost spotless... the few spots being the birds who had flown deep into the waters and were bobbing up and down along the waves. The clouds behind the Sun were orange, and the trees were bent towards the sea. On the sand where we walked, there were fresh pugmarks of the birds. They made a wonderful pattern in the sand.
I was enamored. So was Prerna. She said "When you see something beautiful, dont you feel you are a part of it too??" Yes, I do.
I smiled. I could not contain the outpour of feelings. I didnt know why I felt what I felt.
I just smiled.
And then I looked down. There was a smiley drawn in the sand.

We walked for about 90minutes. And then surrendered to Naan-Stop. Delicious food. Captivating conversation. Hilarious incidents.

A fulfilling day...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahi

Unbelievable things...
  1. I felt hungry and went to eat at Naan-Stop (alone). I saw the guy whom I had met 5 months back when I was totally new to this place. I was surprised that I recognized him (remembered that we had met). He, on the other hand, KNEW MY NAME!
  2. I did an entire assignment on my own bal-boota... Almost a first, in this quarter.
  3. I missed Salsa class.
  4. I allowed all and sundry to color me in Holi.
  5. I had the best dance party (4 of us grooved crazily). And then we listened to soulful music.
  6. The first dinner out with friends at SB...
  7. I had some of the most peaceful and fulfilling sleeps after I have come here... in the last week.
  8. As with all good things, it came to an end.
  9. A sound philosophy about the 'guilty party having to try and mend things', has not been followed. This caused more-terrible-than-usual heartburns.
  10. I successfully resisted (so far).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Inheriting luck?

A thought that I often ruminate over...

I have been fortunate/unfortunate to have been born in a monetarily rich family. This has often caused my friends to look at my actions from a different perspective. Moreover, most people assume that there is no (or very little) 'struggle', and that it must have been an easy ride.
Also, some of them are almost jealous because of the freedom that I have (that money gives).
And the comment I dread the most is: "You are so lucky!". Not to say that I am not, but affluence is not the reason (well, not ALL the reason at least).

I think inheriting wealth is the same as inheriting the genes from parents/lineage. If someone's parents are intellectual, then the child is lucky because he/she gets the intelligence in the genes. In fact, if he uses it wisely, he could have a higher potential of being rich (and by that logic, is luckier than someone with only monetory inheritance). Similarly, someone born of good looking parents is lucky.

All the qualities that are carried over from the parent to the offspring, puts the offspring on a high-ground from the rest in that field. By that logic, EVERYONE is lucky (just the magnitude of luck varies... depending on which quality is given higher value).
And if one thinks thoDa deeply, monetary inheritance would rank rather low on the 'luck' scale.

Then why are rich people targetted?? Or why are daughters of rich families made to feel 'luckier'?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Advise to the 'stone'

This is quoted:-
  1. Spend time with yourself without feeling the need for companionship.
  2. Don't modify to please others.
  3. Build yourslf from scratch,
  4. Stop thinking of 'test drives'
  5. Hard work will tell you a lot about yourself.
  6. Keep your eyes and ears open to what you feel.
  7. Make friends. JUST friends. You'll be surprised as to how much they can teach you.
  8. Make time to read
In all, 'be a man'

lyrics of my recent favourite (from kasoor... haha)
Kitni bechain ho ke main tumse mili,
tum ko kya thi khabar ki main kitni akeli...

Another recent fav is 'Something something' by Mika. Totally groovy.

tell me something meri jaan

kar le hamse ek baar pyar ki meethi baaten chaar

oh sohniye sun le tu

something something tell me something

That is soulful... and true!

Well, now I am on lyrics roll... Not a big fan of poting lyrics, but heard this song today. Floyd.

Coming back to life
Where were you when I was burned and broken
While the days slipped by from my window watching

Where were you when I was hurt and I was helpless

Because the things you say and the things you do surround me
While you were hanging yourself on someone elses words

Dying to believe in what you heard
I was staring straight into the shining sun

Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of live and the seeds of change were planted

Outside the rain fell dark and slow

While I pondered on this dangerous but

I took a heavenly ride through one silence
I knew the moment had arrived

For killing the past and coming back to life

I took a heavenly ride trough our silence

I knew the waiting had begin

And headed straight... into the shining sun

I feel like being in this person's place

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


All your life you are looking for perfection.

And then, after some years of pointless, hopeless and rewardless endeavours, you conclude that perhaps nothing more than an ellusive search. You KNOW it's a mirage.

You give up, disillusioned.
You had the picture, you had a good idea of what you wanted. But you have concluded that the perfect match does not exist.

You move on... meeting less-than-perfect (but really good) entities. You enjoy interacting with them.

And then, one day, after a long time since the search was relinquished and expectations were compromised on, you meet someone.
This someone, is not just wat you always wanted, but much more than that.

It's that someone whose presence can put your senses on high-alert... someone whose words you can't listen to, but only hear, because you are so lost in appreciation.. someone whose eyes convey so much to you, even when no message was intentionally transmitted.
Someone who can make you believe in love at first sight (or at least in the first couple of sights).
Someone who can make your day by just appearng in front of you.

It's unfair.
It's unfair that THAT someone exists.

But well, such crazy (unfounded?) feelings are.. well, unfounded!

No matter how tempting a dessert looks, it's the taste that makes it delicious,
no matter how inviting a book appears, it's the content that invigorates,
similarly, no matter how perfect a person SEEMS, one can't give a high rating before test-driving the product!

It's one of the rare occasions when I genuinely meant an 'If only...'

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rock and Roll, Sonhiye

In spite of having SO MUCH to write about (so many firsts - tumult, unease, elation, frustration, shame etc), it's Salsa that inspires me enough to blog!

tan tara tara... I love the song.. I love the rhythm.. I love dancing to the rhythm of that song...
The instructor is one of those people who do their job so well, that the inspiration is enough to get you going.
The way he moves, the way he treats the ladies (can give AB a run for his money... and that's saying ALOT), the panache, the smoothness.... aha! Its a feast to the eye to see him groove so naturally...

Ok, enough. (But I just cant have enough of that... I so goddamn wish I could twirl and whirl like that). OK ENOUGH!

Proof : I can't stop smiling after the dance...

Apart from that, I am HAPPY today. That's because I made someone else happy. Erica was rahter annoyed that the house was not 'clean' (cleanliness being a highly relative term... especially after seeing the other houses on M.G.Road of Santa Ynez.. )
So, I cleaned the tables, cleaned the tras can, vaccuumed the floor... and in-all, made it spotless... wah wah! I am sure Yamunabai would be sooooooo happy to see me work like that.
And it really made Erica happy. She filled the 'notice board' with exclamations... YAY! HOw much I love being appreciated.

Another incident. I had a phone interview. It is one of those things that make you squirm when you look back at them. 'Wishing it never happened' is a mild way of putting it. When I think of the answers I gave, I feel the bile juices in my stomch rising to my throat, the teeth clenching in disgust, and the mouth untterint un-utterable phrases.
Never mind! "Everyone goes through this". I don't care. I wished I didn't have to go through it. It has made me paranoid about interviews."I want to go back to Kailas and sleep in dad's arms. I dont want to do any god-forsaken internship". This is what I think everytime I reminiscise about that i/v.

Another incident. I wet shopping. Downtown. Alone. I browsed through most of the shops. Alone. Had lunch at Picazzio (Italian place, with a guy playing guitar and my table being strategcally located so that I could see the whole street and also get warmth from the bukhara-equivalent... and I had a delicious Panini). Alone. Bought stuff (lip gloss... YAY). Alone.
And LOVED that day.
I love this place. It is like a movie set. Downtown is the ideal place to spend a Sunday morning and afternoon.

Another Incident: I shared my deep-dark secrets. Now someone can blackmail me! (Scary...)

Now I have to get back... to I dont know what. I am spoilt for choices. I can either read about turing machines, or read about caricaturing, or read Mouse-Driver Chronicles, or read CLR, or have my 5th glass of milk for the day (huh, that reminds me of a record I must record! Prerna and I finished 5 gallons of milk in a span of 2 weeks... Like Shaunak said, it's time to get a cow!), or I could solve cryptoquip ad get hooked to other Y! games, or I could dance, or I could call someone over ;-) , or I could think of an efficient algorithm that will make the choice for me from these options given the constraints, or I could keep generating newer options and keep writing them on the blog... or I could sit back and day-dream....

I know what I am going to do :-)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Whats the aim?

What moves me?
What are the things that have ever moved me, irrespective of their significance??

I was once moved by a teacher shoutig and hurling insult at me, by my best friend agreeing to come to a dandiya festival, by dad getting hurt because of my actions, by answering a Physics question right by thinking logically, by talking and getting talked to by Punit, by spending that evening with Mohit at reclamation, by Akshay's joke about the projector, by having the courage to go to a theatre alone, by the chhakka who would smile and give us blessings on Bandra signal, by reading 'A Fine Balance'.
I was touched when I talked to ma, when Parmit emailed, when Kai wrote me a letter, when I saw mummyjy leading Senior Women's Association. I was touched when Yamunabai made me food even when she was fatigues... and Nandabai took my insuts with a smile.
I was moved when I biked alone at 2am from lab, when I was drunk and enjoyin company of Juan and Erica.
I was moved when I held hands and walked under the moonlight... when we laughed at ourselves at nothing in particular... when we struck a chord...

Its these things that time is measured by. It is these things that are a measure of life. It is these things that impart meaning to life.
The more things that have touched me, the richer my life is.

These are the events/people/things that evoke in me a feeling so strong that it is worthy of plotting on the graph of life. The evoked emotion may be jealousy, terror, exuberance, bliss, rage, love... anything that is extreme enough for me to remember... rather, not forget.

I guess the aim, in the bigger scheme of things, is to increase the probabilty of encountering such events/people/things.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


And I had my first interview... for a job (internship).

All 'firsts' have their place in one's view of life.
So does this.

I was anxious. Anxious since the day I got a call from the company (Microsoft). But until today, the anxiousness was a background process in the mind. It was invoked today.
I could not help get fidgety. I could not get myself to 'prepare'. I didn't know how to.

Some wise fellow gave me a wise (?) advice : "You can't possibly learn something in 2 hours what you did not do in 20 years!". Ok, point taken. But it feels strange to have a 'big day' and not prepare.

So the wise fellow gave me tips (and 'tricks'). He gave me pointers to what Microsoft generally asks. And then, a dreadful thing happened. He gave me a link to a website that has 'general interview questions'. Now that was a real eye-opener. I knew I was under-prepared, but the questions just blew my lid!

Anyway, so I decided to go just like that (coz nothing would have really helped).

I was 'advised' to go in casual wear (and I chose my fav top : And I go there, flustered, to see a bunch of guys in 3-piece suits! And girls in what f-tv would call their biggest buisiness casual show. It was unreal. I felt so out of the place. I settled down, nonetheless.
Then, to my relief, there came a really casually dressed (good-lookin) guy, walking confidently. I intantly liked him (one of those moments). Then he turned around and asked "Gaargi?"!
I was stumped!
He was the interviewer!!

We walked to the room and got done with niceties. He seemed so much like a guy just out of college, and a guy who understands exactly how you feel, that I got duped into revealing my dark-side...

It started with him asking me whether I had any Q about the form. Of course I had (I did a little math. I had roughly half hour. I didnt think that my knowledge ammunition would withstand a question attack for THAT long, successfully... The solution was to attack HIS ammunition). So I asked him a coupla questions. He talked for 10 mins, and I did te head-nodding (taught to me as a trick in the Entrepreneurship class).

Then he asked me why I had chosen to work with the 'Office' division of Microsoft. Frankly, I had selected it because I had no clue about what others do. Office was the only term familiar to me. So, I confidently replied "Coz there is a lot of room for improvement there". He smiled and asked 'Reallluy?? Like what. I work in THAT division. I'd like to know more". Dead silence. I didnt think he would question THIS deep. I hadnt used Microsoft OFfice for over 7 months. I had forgotten how MSWord looked, felt, smelt... and irked!
But I remembered one irking factor - the bullets. I just cant figure out how the hell they work. And that would be a constant source of reprimand from dad. He is one of the rare beings who can figure out how to use bullets with all the features. I always found them rather counter-intuitive. I said that, giving him a livid example. He smiled... and AGREED!

Then he looked at my resume... and asked 'So, you are a CS major. Have you done any coding?". I was so surprised, that I could not contain it. He smiled and sid "So, it seems you have done ALOT of coding, eh?". I said, 'not a lot... but more of delegation of work to able partners'. Now I knew I shouldn't have said that. But thats where he fooled me into revealing the deep dark secrets. I was even tempted to give him fundae about how the success of any project is getting the right people to do the right things and all... But i stopped myself.

Then he asked me about some of my projects... He chose Ruby on Rails. I felt a clog in my throat. DAM! I gave him some fundae about scalability. And then I went on to explain httperf (which is what I liked the most... being able to simulate users). He asked me further about httperf... I knew... YAY!

And then he smiled and said "lets get down to some coding now. Do you preferLinked LIsts or String Manipulations?". I confidently said, "either is fine... but may be, liked list... no actually either is fine... but may be...". He agreed on Linked List. He asked a double-linked list question. He asked me for the logic. He asked me for the code. I wrote a code, but did not cover all corner cases. I think i made some errors too.
But since i had applied for the testing position as well, he asked me to come up with test cases. I did that.
It was good... it was the intellectual part. I came up with ALL The cases I could. And he was still waiting. I started feeling anxious. I culd not think. I was blank. I looked at him feebly. He said "ok, just 2 more". And smiled. DAM! How can i?
I came up with one more. Blank again. Then I looked at him for help.

He gave some clues. I refuted them. He agreed. He said ok, thats that. "Do you have any questions?". I asked "So what next?". HE explained. I asked him "So, where do YOU work??". HE said Redmond. I confused Redmond with Richmond. Asked him how far Richmond is from Seattle. He smiled again. And corrected me. I felt like a fool. I said "Oh I am new to this place". And said thanks and bye.

Walked out.


Not the best I could have done. Surely lot of ground for improvement.

But it was a start. And a good start. It wasn't as terrifying as I had concocted it up to be.

The trick is to be relaxed, and alert, and use all your resources to do your best... and to be happy.

One lives and learns :-)


Nothing is perfect.
Nothing shall ever be perfect.
One shall have to strive and persevere and compromise and settle for less.

Everything is less than the best.

Then how does one define best?

Is best the customized robot that does exactly what one wishes and pleases?
If so, nothing can be the best.

If not, one does not have a yardstick for measurement.

But one has hope : Perhaps someone will understand...
Bigger hope : Perhaps someone will reflect the same thoughts...
Still bigger hope : Perhaps I will meet that person.

Biggest hope : It will be perfect.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Shangrila

It was lovely day.

It was a lovely night.
There was music (soft) and there was good company.

It is again a promising day. The sunlight has found its way (after diffraction, courtesy Imaging course) through the cluster of branches, into my balcony. The cardboard cans of Low-Fat Milk are partly shining in it, and are partly covered by the shadow of the mop (that has been proudly displayed for all and sundry to appreciate).

I went to a Chinese function yesterday. Juan acted in the drama. It was interesting to watch drama where language is a handicap for you. Got a few ideas on how it could have been improved. Then stopped by to see the guitar performance in ucen (and got a free vegan pziza slice.. it didnt have cheese and it was delicious).

Talkd about making Valentine day plans. (it seems that its generally more exciting to talk about it than live it!) (I hope this year its not the case).

Saw Borat on the weekend. Crazy movie. CCCCRRRAAAAZZZZZYYY. Hilarious. Outrageous. Totally out-of-the-box. Insightful. Perhaps True.

Got emails from home. Things are changing. People are changing (drastically, or so it seems).

Last week was most intellectually stimulating. Aho,Ulman and Lynz dug my brain. THe subject is the most challenging one I have ever encountered. Loved reading for it. The mid-erm was okay. I was satisfied. Dil khush hua! :-)

Hav a mid-term tomo. Have an inerview tomo. HAve an assignment to submit day-after. Another mid-term on friday. Busy schedule. Not because of all these deadlines, but because of the heaviest course that generally begins at 11 pm and lasts for eternity.

Love life!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Recently learnt Lessons.

  1. Concretizing thoughts helps.
  2. Formalizing arguments by writing makes them way more coerent than talking about them
  3. If you have a group of people who you want to convince about the potential of idea A vs idea B, then you need a lot more than just the fact tat idea A is ACTUALLY better than idea B. Group thoughts are not the summation of the thougths of the individuals. The two differ considerably.
  4. Putting clothes in the laundry is an interestingly complicated knapsack problem. In my opinion, it can be solved using a Deterministic Push Down Automata.
  5. Cleaning the kitchen floor is way more difficult than it loooks. It seem that even that can be mapped into a CS problem.
  6. The sticky-notes software is perhaps the most helpful application on the computer.
  7. Being alone helps. Walks on the wharf help a lot more. Staring at the pelicans who are unhindered by the crowds of people and who continue to chirp, is insightful.
  8. Getting lost whole biking, and subsequently exploring untreaded paths is a great source of excitement.
  9. All Taco Bells have reat veg food....except the one in Fairview! (Hail Murphy).
  10. Hotchetta (or however its spelled) is nectar.
  11. Hurting people hurts you. One tries to not hurt. But if there is a conflict... one can either say the truth and hence cause hurt OR not tell the truth and avoid a 'mess', then THATS a tough decision. It has always been a tough decision. But sometimes, the magnitue of the impact of the decision is overwhelming.
  12. Writing blogs helps concretizing thoughts. Hence it loops back to the first lesson.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An unadulterated High

I saw a face.

There was a boyish charm. There was a naughty grin. There were intense eyes. There were unruly hair.
All this interspersed... with captivating wit and a focussed action.

Pure beauty has the power to move.

I was moved.

I was captivated. The eyes refused to look away (even after a lot of coaxing and eventual blackmailing).

I was mesmerized... and enjoying every moment of it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Faced Poker

I played poker.
It was at a friends house.
And since 'the house always wins', I didnt win!
(that's a stolen joke).

There were 10 of us. I tried hard to make a poker face. Invariably failed at it.
Perhaps that helped me win in the next round. I could feel my heart-rate accelerating when I held good cards.

Liked the guys with whom I played. It is getting easier to make firang friends now. Experience. Confidence. Knowledge. Or a little of all that.

I want to fit in. I want to be able to crack the jokes they crack. They are sooo funny.

There was an entrepreneurship meeting today. The group liked my idea (Sherlock). It will. most likely, be tested for feasibility. I felt a sense of achievement. (already).

I talked to many members of Kailas today. Got somewhat homesick. Got over it. Sinusoids have crests as well as troughs. And the transtion from the trought to the crest was easy, due to someone's presence. In the presence, I feel relaxed. I feel alive. I feel excited. I feel comfortable. (Sometimes, I also feel HIM) ;-)
Totally bad joke... the operational word being 'joke'.

Now I shall get back to my companions of this quarter - one mister Aho and the other mister Ullman.

The poker host!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy in my skin

I have stopped sleeping. I have stopped 'pondering'.
Days are not even a function of time anymore. Nights - YOU fill up my senses.

I am enjoying all the courses, especially Automata Theory and Entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship has inspired me to carry out that one small and strong dream I had in Bombay.
Automata Theory forces me to think rationally and analytically. It empowers me.

A resume has been built with someone's help. In fact, it was entirely outsourced. It has been somewhat modified.
An internship is desirable (ideally in NYC).

Shaking of the leg is going on in Salsa. It is easy and fun. Like the grooving part. I admire the guys there who dont know how to dance that well, but are willing to try. ('Have feet, will dance').

Psychology has, as always, been an eye-opener.

Girls of the house are enjoying. Getting friendlier. Sharing secrets and opinions. Passing judgements together. Advising and helping and 'being there' for each other.

Right now trying to get the assignment done. I like the good old Turo C. It had such a cooool interface, and such easy to use features.
Without it, one needs help.
The good news is - 'help is always around the corner' (literally!).

Saturday, January 20, 2007


There are some things that one stops noticing after a sufficient amount of exposure to them.

There are some things that retain their 'interest' value no matter how often you see/feel them.

Swimming back-stroke and then floating like a log staring at the sky will never stop being interesting. While doing that today, I saw a clear sky with one lone cloud. A bird flew across. The sun was preparing to set. It was sending its last few rays as a farewell sign - those slanting rays that make photographs looks beautiful. I wondered - why did the bird fly? Was it one of the random events? OR did the bird have any motive? Or my be the bird had a motive - locally. But globally, if one were to capture the position of all the birds and the irection in which they were flying.. would that be random? that would surely be random. Well... just thinking.... Is there a difference between the birds and us.. in terms of randomness of motives?

I stand at the balcony appreciating the scene. I have formed a special relationship with the tree that stands upright right out side my balcony. It reflects my mood. It talks to me. It gives me the answers to my unanswerable questions.

I look at it. It is composed of around 50 branches. The tallest branch gives it its height. The 'spreadiest' branch gives the tree its 'spread'. The other branches give it its characeristic. It can be argued that the tallest branch has contributed more to make the tree beautiful. Or that, the tallest branch is more successful. But by what standards? If success was measured by height...
But the short branches look just as good. And more imporantly, they are happy to be themselves. They aren't competing. They are co-existing. Happily co-existing. Thats probably because they do not have standards to measure and evaluate 'success'.

Well, the analogy doesnt come out right when I write about it. But I feel it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Next Venture Idea : Blog Post Interesting-title Generator!

My fingers are itching to write and mind is trying to catch up by scanning all possible interesting things I can write (and more importantly, NOT write about).

A lot of 'new' events have occured of late.
  • Roomies (Erica, Juan and I) planned to go 'partying' before the quarter could get the better of us. We 'dress up' (with Erica looking hot in a sexy spagetti and Juan and I, typical Asian girls, dressed in full-sleeve polo neck t-shirts and 2 layers of sweaters and sport-shoes!) One cant be too careful these days with the temperature.... Anyway, we reach the bus-stop at Embaracadero hall where 'Joe's bus' (or whoever it belongs to) leaves. There we see a bevy of beauties and a huge bunch of guys putting on their 'cool' and hunky-dory look. We feel out of place with our excessive clothing and 'maturity' and all... And as soon as the bus arrives all hell breaks lose. We are caught unawares as the party-junta rush in a way that would put the Bombay crowd in the locals to shame! Its a huge uproar and people start waving out 10 buck notes to the conductor who is showered it money. There is a shoe lying somewhere (soem poor 'sole' would surely miss it...) and there are other unmentionable things thrown around. We somehow manage to loudly 'excuse me' our way into the bus (past the stoned and the totally drunk guys... and their female counterparts). We stand amidst the crowd, not knowing what to do. The lights go off and there is another uproar of approval as the bus makes an unsuspecting turn on 101S at break-neck (literally). The people are going berserk and radio is being played. We are about to lose our heads to this unbearable din. There's a guy next to us who wants to throw up and is banging the windows (sometimes with his hands, other times with his head... and hoping for the stubborn wiondow to listen to him). Girls behind him are busy callling him a 'loser'. We thankfully reach sane! And do our 'bad deed of the day' by cutting the queue at the club. We go in. Order drinks. (Rum and coke is arghhhhhhh). Erica is with other freinds. Juan and I are left to ourselves... And the other guys take it on them to not allow us to dance alone. We try hard to 'enjoy' without gettting drunk or hooked. Difficult. We have another drink (This time vodka does the trick), Now we are liking it. We are shaking our hips and grooving to the tunes of 'Shakira Shakira'. There are african-americans who really know how to move their body, goras dancing a robot-dance, asians with the beckham hairdo moving around in clusters... and other creatures. Posting more details is detrimental to a peaceful stay in Santa Barbara. One shall wisely refrain. It was fun biking back totally drunk! (what extends mankind can go, to empty the bladders ;-)
  • Have taken interesting coures. 'Cognitive Psych' keeps my mood upbeat. cs220 is intresting in that I am trying to apply cognitive psych to it. The undergrad 130b course is getting 'boring'. Imaging is interesting (coz he's stil talking about physics). Entrepreneurship (I'll never gt the spelling right) is a lot of fun. And seems promising.
  • Also joined Salsa dancing. Loved it! The instructor totally defies that Newton's law about inertia.
  • Attempted making a new friend. Was rahter keen ontalking to him. However, his friends got into the way. And he let them :-(
  • Got very very interesting gifts. (no place like Totally geeky. Also other more 'senti' gifts. One is pleased. Not just because the gifts arrived, but the gift-giver arrived.
  • Danced with the girls and ate gaajar ka halwa on sankranti.
  • Had a thoroughly interesting conversation with the neighbour at a more interesting time (and a still more interesting state). One looks forward to such conversations that light up the LED of one's mind.
  • One is trying to contain one's fat content by biking up and dpwn arbit lanes. Thats not helping because one is also hogging Parle-G (courtesy ma-ka-pyaar).
  • One feels happy again. (Wonder when the process stopped, if at all). But, the point is one is bus smiling. One likes to do things one's way. And its working. There is sunshine after rain (Knopfler knows it all).
  • One also likes to add bullets. One is still not adept at it though. Whenever one presses the enter key, it goes to the next line, but doesnt leave a line in between. One likes a clean and clear lay out... and well-spaced and all.. So one presses enter twice, gets out of the bullet loop and then again clicks on the option of inserting a bullet.
    Enlightening ha?
  • One sometimes doesnt like being a female. Too many issues - cant bike down without getting bothered by hair flying into the face, cant sleep comfortably facing the bed (physically challenging), cant stop thinking about the conditioner that would go well with the shampoo, cant work with saliva - need fancy 'lip balms', cant organize all the clothes into the wardrobe coz they dont fit in, cant decide whether a blue comfortor would match or a pink would look better on the bed, cant go swimming on all days (dam!).
  • Sometimes like being a female. Can get away with ALOT of nautanki and nakhra.
With all due respect to Asians, they look really really funny when they are drunk coz their eyes shrink further and you cant make out whether they are sleep-dancing or high or in trance. This cannot be enjoyed or understood until one sees a totally drunk Asian.

One still wants to write more.

One shall continue to write... just switch from the blog to the ASS-ignment!

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Fresh Choice

I am back to SB with great enthusiasm... and equal luggage.

I have got rid of my maudlin and pondering and lost self... and I am bubbly and cheerful again.

I stare at the sky and the sillhouette of the Santa Ynex apartments and I see the trees swaying and I hear students gearing up for their first lectures and I re-unite with my lovely room-mates (family) and I giggle with the girls (after cracking a perfetly girly joke) and I flirt with a few interesting people and I stare longlingly at my power bars and lemonade (my loyal staple diet)... I almost feel at home.

There is a cold war about the temperature of the thermostat.
Now I feel completely at home :-)

I spent the whole day "arranging" my room... with the shameful amount of luggage I got, I was almost hoping that no one would see it. (Sometimes, ma ka pyaar does you in).

But I enjoyed arranging all the shopped goodies (especially when I was surprised with the stuff I had bought and forgotten about). NOw my room is well-equipped... However, because of more objects in the room, there is a greater probablity of it getting messed up.
But what the hell! (one life, one chance... glee.. I know it doesnt fit, but I like it anyway).

Prerna made a discerning comment - "why didnt you get a cup-board along with all this?".
I went red in the cheeks...

The winter quarter has begun... Actually, jump-started - with an interesting dinner. I have found a thorougly interesting friend. Someone whom I can call an alter-ego. There are such striking similarities (sometimes) that it amazes me.

I slept at 4 am. (a perfect start for the first day)

And got up at 9... I wore my new "house slippers" (although there was no real need for it... I liked the luxury). I took a great deal of time and effort to get ready as I was new to the new equipment - new body wash, new towel, new body lotion, new clothes, new shoes... and seeing myself in a new light (thats beause I bought a new lamp) (haha).
And I thought I was modestly following the principle of aparigraha.

But as I said before, I am repeating myself - I like it that way ;-)

My first class was "piano". I didnt realize that it was advanced piano. The prof was surprised when I told him that I could not comprehend notes. He suggested that I should learn that first.
He also said that since I am a grad student, I shall be good at self-learning. (haha).

And then I went to the library... all my search was in vain. I couldnt catch hold of the book i was looking for... never mond, this is not important enough.

And I went to the bus-stop, to reunite with one my most precious possessions - my 'elite' bike.
I saw it, and fell in love again.
Although I was hoping to see its steel glistening in the sun, all I saw was a suspension of dust particles (acumulated on all its parts) glistening through the sunlight.
But it was a heart-felt moment. I unlocked the u-lock and mounted on it. I felt on top of the world. (Perhaps, I should nick-name my bike - "world"... haha again).

I biked to the class... Met mr.neighbour after a long time... Had a short, interstingly teasing conversation with him.

And then I came back home.

And then started reading the book -"how computers work".
ALl this while, I was ashamed of having to need to read this book. (I need to know this by now... I realllly ought to know this by now... but the fact is that I dont. And instead of hiding this from "others" and feeling ashamed, I decided to write it in a public place... So no closet to hide in anymore...)

Anyway, the 4 room-mates have realized that each one is increaingly expanding the girth. So we are going to go to the gymn together (I hope that the planning shall turn into execution).

I also got a call from my fav "orkut friend". Was fun to have a "first conversation".

And I went running (or jogging) as I had decided to.

YAY! today has been a good day (except for a few deliberatly missed calls).

And there is a gujurati (or hindu belief) - "Whatever happens on the first day generally carries on till the end of the period" ie if one gets up late on 1st Jan on gets up late everyday of the year... If this belief is anything to go by, this quarter seems promising.

And to top it all, the real entertainer has not yet returned.
So, the quarter sure holds a lot of promise.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Comparing Infinities... in a way

As I left my home (Santa Barbara) on 19Dec, I didnt feel so nice about it. I wanted to sta here longer. I wanted to spend my vacation here - lazying around, walking on the beach, window-shopping in downtown, trying out new restaurants, and in general doing all that I couldnt do during the quarter.

And all the while in the trip I was longing to get back.

Today I got back. On our way here, I was thoroughly eager to get here.

After spending a fun day with (a much-impressed) Ma n Kai we got home.

Then they left.

We hugged. I couldnt let go of ma. She couldnt let go of me.
I waved her a final good bye in the car.

I walked up the stairs. It was quiet. As quiet as it could get.
However, the mind was restless.

I began wondering why. I realized that it was going to be the same life as last quarter.

I actually began questioning hte difference in the "quality of life" in the last few days with family, and my life as a single student in SB.
And my answer was the "emotional involvement".

When I am here, I have my independence. And that is in such a large magnitude and in such diversified spectra that its almost incomprehensible. Or unpalatable.
I choose what I eat, what I wear, what time I get up, when I go out, where I go out, with whom I go out... well, this is not much though. Its not WHAT i eat, but whether I eat (no one asks me whether I have had food). Its not just that I can choose where to go, but that no one even cares!
It is not just plain indepenence. Its a sort of indifference from others. Well, there are no others. There is no family.
Well, I dont know the point.

All I know is that when I walked up the stairs alone in that darkness, there was a sudden pit in the stomach and then a sinking feeling of loneliness.
NO one is going to ask me anything anymore... atleast not the small details (that really matter). There will be generic "how's life"s, but no-one will tell me that I havent had a fruit/salad in the whole day and that I ought to have one.

No one can hurt me, shout at me, fight with me, argue cats and dogs (if theres such a frase)...
No one can affect me emotionally (that much atleast).

But in the last few days, I would have petty fights with ma, get upset with her, get angry with her, was unable to see her point of view, shared good-ol' laughs with her n Kai.
N now, that shall not happen for a llong time.

Ok, I shall stop before my writing weakens me further.
This is not a good post (for several reasons).

The smiles say it all...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happenings of late...

Currntly in an overwelmed state... There's a lot of stuff to be done... The "to-do" list is growing at an alarmingly fast rate... (with the first item in the list being formally making the list!)

I am debating whether to update a travelogue on the blog. (Overdoing something can ruin the fun of it... Abstraction is difficult to achieve, esp when writing a traelogue... One starts with great enthu and tries to encompass all the details that one thinks are important... and then one tries to make it sound interesting and humorous, if one is ambitious... and then after belaboring for a long time, generally 2-3 hours, one realzes that one has covered only one day out of the 10 day trip... One is tired and doesnt want to write anymore... But one cant let all that effort go in waste, so one writes about the reaining 9 days in 2 short paragraphs... and then one knows that it has not turned out well, and deletes everything... or, again if one is ambitious, one will resolve to complete writing about the trip 'later'.. and the later does not arrive... and then, one is gloomy all the time and roams around the house with a dejected look, and starts wondering whether the trio was any good in the first place... and woders why is one so meek-willed... and then ponders over other activities that one is not good at... and all this takes a cascading toll on one's opinion of oneself...)
So, probably, i should refrain ;-)

Some pointers though,

I love reading sayings on the walls and humorous cards and placards at the magic shop... They make my day and I muse over them for so long... (however, I forget the exact words very quickly... and later when I try to inject humor in a conversation by using these one-liners, I fail miserably in my objective... much to my chagrin!)

I love Oscar Wilde. His wit drives me crazy.

I love skiing in Lake Tahoe. I feel free and liberated from my fears.

I love desserts (have never been able to get over my love for them). Especially the brownies and the chocolate muffins and cinnamon breaads.

I love the heater in Kai's house. Very few things are comparable to the warmth it exudes (there ARE things that may not be as warm, but are much more cosy) ;-)

I hate trying on new clothes at the stores (they make me aware of my girth and start a downward mood spiral.. and also, i have to re-hang them on the hangers).

I hate the static current that gets stored in my body... I get shocks whenever i open the door or touch Kai!

I loved Pyar Ke Side Effects (the movie... not the real life conundrum of the actual side effects)...I also loved Woh Lamhe... I think I will love anything Indian esp if it reminds me of G7 and R-mall.

I lov getting calls from India (although there havent been to many) (is everyone listening?)

I love Google Maps.

I love ma ke hath ka khaana (even if it saturated with fat).

I am petrified of driving in the US... THe speed is seriously daunting.. I noetheless tried it... And the left-hand drive drove me nuts... Whenever I went ahead to chane the gear, I almost moved my hand out of the window

I hate having to get up in the morning from my really cosy comforter (blanket, for the uninitiated).

But I love getting awoken by a call from the special someone(s)