Aug 132010

There is an article in The Times of India, 13th august edition about, how to save the messed up common wealth games. I didn’t read the article, because that’s hopeless. It was a known fact that our corrupt officials will surely do a messy business. But didn’t ever think that they would go so far with corruption in this major world event, even as India bids for olympics Anyway, I have a solution on how to save the games. OUTSOURCE them to China. It will be cheaper. They have a ready infrastructure from the successfully executed olympics. And they are known to make things work, by hook or crook. So I think, whatever funds are left with us, will be sufficient to outsource the corruption Wealth Games to China, and carry them out successfully.

Jul 032010


Dear Paul,

I sit down to write this letter, immediately after I saw your videos, of  your decision, on the internet. I hope this mail finds you well and fine. Actually, I am bit concerned about your well being, since you have got yourselves involved in this serious matter.

Let me remind you. Lots of money is at stake here, and people following you may loose in millions. So you got to be 100% sure. The money channels run through the underworld, and these are ruthless people. They will hunt you down, and if you can’t bear their losses, they will surely kill you. Oh!! why did you get involved into this? Its always safe for lowly creatures, to stay in shelters and have three meals a day. This kind of jobs are better left to professionals.

Once again I request you. Rethink on it. Back out of it. In my heart, I feel that Argentina will win, while my brains say that Germany is a strong team. But I do not go out predicting the game. How would it matter to you anyway if either Germany or Argentina won? One will be sour, and the other will be celebrating overnight. But if this prediction if wrong, lots of bookies may come all out to get you. So do something about it.

One final time, I pray for your safety, whatever may be the results. I hope you are equipped with colors to camouflage, after the match is over.

Your fellow Psychic.

Jul 012010

Rewind to a few days back. I was at home with nothing much to do. Its a common phenomenon that when you are free at home, you won’t find any music worth listening, your friends will be out at work or busy, and the idiot box will be airing a movie which you have watched many a times and are in no mood to repeat it. All the prime shows are aired when you are most busy. I was experiencing such a day , and when boredom sets in, people try to make themselves more active and productive. Well I am one of these “people”. I was planning to type something pertaining to the state of affair of our country. But then, I felt that many people have written about it, some might be writing, right at that moment, and many more will write about it in future, to no effect. So I decided to constrain to more realistic jobs.

So with nothing much to do, I considered it to be a good time to clean up all the unwanted stuff I had accumulated in the numerous drawers in our house. And the beginning point would be the living room drawer. I pulled out the teak wood drawer, and pushed it back again. Oh!! it was almost overflowing. But I was determined. So I took it out completely and placed it on the floor. One by one I started analyzing the items it contained.

# First lots of papers and some prayer books: The papers, on closer examination, turned out to be numerous bills from all the stock market transactions that my had family lost money into. No, couldn’t throw them, supposing that some day the IT department would decide to raid my house located in an interior village. Those were the proofs of where my all money went. Prayer books. Well, we are a religious family. Anything with the names Jesus, Mary or the holy spirit on it, had to be retained for life.

# Two rolls of insulation tapes and one of cellophane tape: Of course, the second roll of insulation tape was almost finished. But “almost”. These were necessary items after duct tape(which I never store in my house. I have never found myself needy to it anytime). I know there is a fevi quick tube somewhere in there. But couldn’t find it the last time I needed it.

# Two staplers: One has a broken spring, and the other staples correctly 25 out of 100 times. But I can’t do away with any of it. I hope to find the correct spring someday in some broken article, to bring the stapler back to life. Or may be I wake up from this dream and find out that the stapler was not broken in the first place. The second one is one of the very few things(and most expensive amongst them) that company in which my wife works, had given to her along with other stationary items. I wouldn’t dare throw that. At least till I get a good one, next time I go shopping(Each time I go shopping, when I see one, I say,”well, the one at home is working fine enough for me”).

# Lots of staple pins venturing out of their boxes(I have quite a few boxes, for when I see them at the store, I feel I may be running out of them a home.) And lots more separated out from their main strip I suppose(well, those I can surely throw away, the loose separated ones.)

# A big box containing the memento of appreciation given to my brother by he firm he worked with and hated a lot. The glass(or acrylic, I don’t know the material) is bigger than the palm of my hand, and occupies lots of space. But emotions( my brother’s) may come in to play, if I through it away. Oh! here it is. The fevi stick tube, attached to the bottom of this box, with its mouth hardened up and blocked. This I am surely throwing out.

# Another plastic box containing the business cards given to my brother by his former employer, just before he left the firm. I plan to use them someday by printing on the back side and distribute it, thus increasing my blog hits. So they stay.

# Few audio cassettes, ones which I had bought out of my pocket money some 10 years back. All fungus infested, and unusable, if I had a working cassette player. All the songs are available on my PC in mp3 format, and I rarely listen to them. But these cassettes are made of plastic, and we do not have proper waste disposal system for plastics. And lets say I manage to repair that cassette player in future, due to its vintage value, I will require this vintage cassettes.

# Lots of loose screws lying in the corners. These screws are byproduct of any maintenance activities carries out at home. After completion of job, few leftover screws are found, and if the device is working fine, heck! no point in opening it up again to add those screws. So they are tossed in this drawer, and forgotten. Well, we have to do lots of repair activities now and then. Just few days back I had to hang a picture frame on the wall, but couldn’t get this particular size I needed, so I bought it from the hardware store. Aaha!! Here it is!!! But too late. Never mind. No need to throw it away, since I will need it next week, when I have to hang up another frame on the wall.

# Lots of coins. Travelling on buses ensures that the wallet gets all bulgy with coins in it. So me and my family have made this drawer kind of a piggy bank, with withdrawal facility. Whenever in need of loose change, we search this drawer. But coins have this known physical property of being attracted to the farthest corners the drawer, which is often inaccessible. I managed to collect coins equivalent to 20 bus travels on that day. But my wallet would bulge with them in it. So I took just two, and left the rest in the forward most corner.

# A deck of cards. All fluffy with moisture. But this sunday, I plan to play rummy with my brother. And if I throw them today, I might forget to buy a new deck on saturday while going back from office. And on sunday, the shops in our area are closed. So the cards and the jokers stay.

# A reel of thread. Yikeessss!! The needle was just below the reel, and it pricked my finger while lifting the reel.

So, by now I have not thrown away any item, but got myself pricked on the finger.

I remember the last time, a few months back, when I had tried cleaning this same drawer, but ended up not throwing anything of it out. It was turning out to be a futile exercise. I somehow replaced back all the items in the drawer, in much more unorganised way, put he drawer back in and resumed surfing the TV channels. The junk in the house, remains…….

P.S. : The items in the drawer are real, but the post is imaginary. I would never dare to open up that drawer for cleaning, ‘cause I know, I will end up retaining 99% items in it, and the rest 1% may belong to my brother, who will be cross if I throw them away. And my “behind” is quite heavy for this kind of work….

Jun 132010

Oh! What a qualifying it was. With the top 10 positions being covered within just one sec, the top ten drivers proved their worth. But Hamilton has managed to qualify on pole again at the canadian GP. And has also managed to set some new standards for cost cutting measures being implemented by the FIA. Bernie might be euphoric by now as he can go out and prove that Formula 1 can be a completely green sport. Just check out this videos…..


Hamilton ran out of fuel at the end of his sqeezed qualifying lap and had to to cover some distance in a rolling car. As evident, he decided to get some fun out of it by pushing the car for quite some distance.

But, beware all drivers, cause you might find cars without engines next year, and you might be asked to push your car to the finish line. Imagine such a “formula” “one”man race!!

Jun 062010

How crazy can a college cultural night go? Here’s a dance video as an example


Anyone out there amongst these crazy troupe? Please explain what’s this all about.

And then there is this aunty who has all the energy and youth…


And here’s our very own Micheal Jackson…More of a backscratcher. Enjoy!!


May 282010

Since there was some time for the train to arrive at our suburban station, three of us were squandering our time on political and social debate. The arguments drifted from one point to another, including, our local politics or the state of the government affairs(We the people of India, have a say in everything. Doesn’t matter if we are not heard to, because the value of words is determined by the depth of our pockets and not by the truth in our ideologies). At one point the discussion my two friends was about the slow pace of judiciary system where one was of the stand that the cases took too long to clear, while other felt that high profile cases were cleared faster.

What was I thinking at that point, I don’t remember, but I came up with a story that Kasab (see?  to be on wikipedia, you need to either score runs like Tendulkar, or be a one time terrorist, one who has bumped off Dawood Ibrahim from the top of India’s most wanted and hated list) who is languishing in Indian jail, was not being brought to justice fast enough. Above that, his stubborn demands were being fulfilled by India. Just few days back, as he was complaining of high summer heat, the 1.5 tonne air conditioner of his cell was replaced with 2 tonne model. My friends knew that no such incident had happened, but the story was catchy. Later was we were discussing with our fellow travellers on the train, again politics and shit, my friend brought up this Kasab “incident”(made up one.the 26/11 one was for real). And atleast 8 people heard what he said.

Now I calculate. Aleast 40% of these 8 will narrate this to other 8 and so on. I would say aleast 20-30% of them will be fool enough to believe it. And then the made up news, will become a rumour, and a rumour turn to news. If things go out of hand, we will surely see few T.V. channels airing “exclusive”(read staged) videos and pictures of a delivery van outside the arthur road jail, and people unloading the 2 tonne air conditioner from the van.

Thats how rumours turn in to news in “India”n TV. A true example is setup by Amit Verma on his India uncut. Read the first section, and you will agree.

May 262010

The 30th anniversary of PacMan was commemorated by google, by placing an interactive pacman doodle on its search homepage. The pacman game could be played by clicking on “Insert Coin” button in place of “I’m feeling lucky” that usually appears beside the google search button, giving it a retro feel. I had tried it on that day, and it worked well.

Now, the people have come up with the analysis saying that, 5 million man hours were lost due to people at workplace indulging in the game on that day. An estimated $ 120 million was the worth of the lost productivity. The analysis goes further to calculate the number of people from google that could be hired to form a team of work force, including Larry Page and Serger Brin for six weeks.

Oh these analysts!  How many man hours have they wasted in researching on such useless figures and facts!! Never once in the news report was there a mention of all the man hours gained by using google all this while.

Majority of the people using computers rely on google for all the answers to their questions. Developers search codes on google, so as to make a short work of their projects. Historians search up facts on google to give a miss to that detour to the library. Foodaholics google for recipes, tech freaks google for gadgets. Almost every computer googles for data half the time. I know a person who visits any website only after searching it on google, even though he has the entire web address. A common belief goes that, if all the google servers are down for a single day, industry will be brought to standstill for the lack of information. Such is the influence of google in our life. It truely has added hours into our days.

If I were to analyse a blackout of google, I would dare say that the industry stands to loose many times the figure reported in above news.

All said, Pacman has found a permanent place on google.

BTW, I think that, Tony Wright, the founder of Rescue Time, the “analyst”, mentioned above, must have used google to come to the reported figures.

May 182010

One of the experiences that every sea fearer has during his sea life is, being duped at some foreign port. No one has been spared of it, some for a small amount, some to a large extent. But a sea fearer always forgets the loss, comparing it with the very high salary he earns, and taking it as a part and parcel of his life.

I was duped once, off 50$.

It so happened that our ship had reached the port of longkou in the northern province china, and in the evening me along with few members of our ship went out for a round of the city. The very first store that we were taken to by the agent stocked electronics, and my eyes lit up seeing the display. I got particularly interested in a pen drive of capacity 32 GB(it was the year 2007, and 32 GB was unheard of)which was on sale for 85$. I tried to haggle the price but couldn’t get it below 80$. Now, I was in china, so wasn’t sure of it’s authenticity, so didn’t want to buy it unless I got it for cheap. By the time more of my fellow crew came besides me and showed interest in the pen drive. After a bit of haggle, the shopkeeper finally agreed to sell it to us for 50$ if we bought 5 pieces. We were four of us and we knew we could convince someone to buy one more on the ship. But we had a condition that we would check all the drives first and if all found ok we would buy. The shopkeeper was ok with that but informed us that he didn’t have those many pieces right at that time and would deliver it on our ship and we could pay at that time. Better for us!!

Or so we thought….

As we informed our other officers and crew on board, our captain became interested, and since it seemed to be a good deal, he called up his son in India, who immediately asked him to get two pieces. Our chief officer informed that he was duped by such seller on his previous ship, but when we informed him that we would check the drives before paying, he himself wanted one. So now we needed 7 pieces and we informed the seller through ships agent to bring 8 pieces so that we had a buffer of 1 piece if any found to be not working.

The seller came onboard and handed us the pendrives which we started testing one by one. We transferred about 18 GB data in to each one and checked that the properties showed 18 GB used and about 12-13 GB free, which it showed and we were satisfied. We handed over the cash and I went for sleep. By that time the seller had left the ship and we sailed out.

I woke up with plans to transfer my entire music collection to the pendrive to relieve me of th DVDs. And I did so in the officer’s lounge computer. As I entered the engine control room for my duty, I saw the duty motorman, Gerry Delrio, worried. After handing over the watch(handing over the duty is called as handing over the watch, in watchkeeping terms), the fourth engineer left, and the first sentence that I heard form the motorman’s mouth was,”Third!! We are F@#&%d!!!”

I didn’t understand what he was saying. He explained that the data was not going into the pen drive that he had. I told him that I had successfully stored just a few minutes back, and he asked me to verify it. I inserted the drive into the engine room computer, and saw that the folder were there on the drive. I browsed to one of the folder. and Oops!! No file in it. Thinking that the folder might be empty from the beginning, I browsed to another folder. Empty!! I checked the properties of the pendrive and found that it had occupied 18 GB with lots of folders, but it showed 0 files. Thinking that formatting it would solve the “error”, I formatted it. Only to find later that the capacity had come down from 32 GB to 20 GB. My heart sank. But all was not lost, since 20 GB was a good deal for 50$. Again I moved some data to the drive. Again I could see only folders, no files. My heart sank.

I carried out the formating number of times in a hope to rectify the situation, but each time the capacity reduced to 16GB, 10GB, 4GB, 1GB,128MB!! And finally, the computer gave up and stopped detecting the drive.

Same thing happened to all the people who bought it. Now I was worried two folds. I had paid for the captain’s pen drives and he was yet to return back the 100$. But within a couple of days he gave me back my money. A week later, the chief officer checked his drive, and came to know that he too was duped. He was a happy man till then, since no one had told him about this comedy. Or tragedy if you call it.

We had been duped by professionalism of the chinese sales person, and a shiny casing announcing a Sony Vaio Pendrive!! We were “Made” in China.

%d bloggers like this: