View of the outside world from inside a fishbowl

April 1, 2011

Yaaraan da tashan – part 2

Filed under: Have a nice Day,humor,music,philosophy,Uncategorized — coolantz @ 9:29 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For those who haven’t read Yaaraan da tashan – part I’ve reached Gurgaon earlier than expected, thanks to my lucky day.

New Delhi 23’rd March.

Fresh Morning!

I got up early. Early enough to catch mom before she left for school. I wanted to have breakfast with parents. She asked me about my plans for the day, and she said “Do you seriously think you’ll do that, all of those items in your todo list?”. Also, between our various general talks she would come up with “Why bother driving all the way to Hyderabad. Let’s just contact some packers and movers? I’ll foot the expenses. You stay nice at home for some days“, “should I take a day off ? I could help you with your task list“. I wish I hadn’t gone to Delhi right in the middle of week. OK, I had taken off, but people at home were generally busy. She longed to be with me.

Usually, my dad would have been up at the same time, and been up to some exercise and yoga, but I suppose he decided to sleep till late. I get a call from him, and in a sleepy voice he tells “Usually, it’s your sister‘s duty. Today, since you are here, you go drop off mom to school“. I was like sure, no problems. My mom said “Why don’t you play some music in your music system. We find it too difficult to use, so we only watch TV“. This was the cue I was so desperately waiting for. I had recently discovered some awesome songs, and promptly fired up leopard. Leopard is tiger‘s replacement. Tiger is the name of my media centre machine. Generally, the music I find is also well appreciated by my folks. This time was no different, and they quite enjoyed the morning blast. Later, when I drove mom to school, and was talking about things in general, she said “When your sister drives me off to school, she’s usually half asleep, and just stares at the road. Never talks“.

So, after I got back from mom’s school, I was just roaming around the house. Shops and places were not open as yet, for me to go head on with my todo list. I spoke to some people who were up. Mr. SR, Mr. SD joked around in the morning.  SD would be meeting me for a bit in the evening. SR stays at an end of NCR diametrically opposite of where I do. We made some tentative plans to meet in the evening in some central location. If he and I could find time. Damn the middle of the week? what joy?

The birds do chirp here and the flowers bloom!!

Hectic day

Well, after lounging around for a while, I got dressed, and first stop was to be at RTO office, Haryana. I went in, and was stumped to see that government officials had decided to take an off that day, and office was deserted, and there was this group of Haryanvi kids, cursing around, for they would need to wait another day to get their license. I joined them and mouthed out some profanities :). This is the raw, uncivilised and extremely passionate group. This was like a time freeze moment for me. Never gonna see this in Hyderabad :).

Any ways, I had to do what I had to do. Paid of an agent to get my paper work done, gave impression of my car chassis number, and other documents he wanted. He was gracious enough to have it sent to me, once my NOC is done. When he asked me what’ll I do till then, I told him “Drive my car telling I’m a tourist“. I left for other work. Time it took me to get this done, and negotiating a decent rate – 2 hours.

After doing this NOC thing, I decided to blast my stereo, to see if the speakers sound good. Although my sister said that the music system is the best, I had to check it off myself. There was a problem. Just what I was afraid of. The left channel to my amp was sounding like a damp squib. Crap. Utter crap! I took it to one of those big show rooms, and I was squarely told, that some capacitor had been damaged, repair or the guy suggested “saaar buy a new amp“. I knew the stuff, so I was aware I was being bullshitted to. Yep, I was back in Delhi! He took one hour, inspecting and fiddling with various knobs and wires, and I had a lunch with team people from Nagarro. I was famished too, so I called them up, and told them “Guys I’m coming over. Be ready

I reached my old workplace, in decent time, and it was interesting. The guard bhai just smiled at me, and let me in without asking for an ID. I told him that I’m an outsider, and hung out with him for a while till the people came down. Mr. RJ and Mr. PY were sitting at their usual place outside the office ….. Pappu bhaiya’s dhaba. Meeting them was so exciting. Mr. T and Miss PAGS walked out as though there was enough time in the world to even sleep and go. I booed them from behind and got some spring in the step. Mr. AA was going to join us in Mainland china itself. Just one person missing, I asked T where the hell Mr. X is ? I called him and off we went to Mainland China.

Lunch and mocktails later, I parted ways with Nagarro folks. They left, I stayed back, cause I had to meet with a couple of people form ARSD. Mr. S called me, and immediately came to where I was. We sat and chatted inside a cafe near Mainland China.  Mr. RT was supposed to join, and he messaged multiple times about how he was stuck in a meeting and will be out in just 5 mins :). Dude, we did not meet, but it’s the thought that counts, and I appreciate that you cared to at least plan to join. Mr. AM said he’ll catch up at dinner time!

So it was close to 5PM in the evening, and I had stuck of 3 things off my list, but had gotten aware of the fact that Dhanno was croaking, and I had to drive here for some time non stop. She’d cry. I suddenly thought of this place where the scale was smaller, but people were talented, and competition was cut throat. I had him look at my audio gear. First he was awed. He said “yeh kahan se liya hai?” I told him. I explained and showed him the problem. He immediately cross connected my good speaker to all the channels of my amp, to determine that my amp is fine, and fixed one speaker up after some sand papering and interesting tape work. Now we were talking engineer to engineer. So I was 3 speakers up now, and with just front left not working. This took time of an hour, and I started to get edgy. I called Mr. SD and told him I’d be running a bit late. He said he was running a bit late, so it was OK.

Now I took off my check list, and cut off visiting the optician in Delhi. You think I had time? Consequently, meeting SR was out as well.

So we had a problem with one of my 6inch non component giving out just out of fatigue I guess. The guy at the shop said he could not give me some thing equal to bull audio, but gave me some cheap Sony explod, and promised he’d tune them to make them sound good. He was already in my good books, so I told him to do it, and do it in half an hour. And boy did he. He came through, got another fella, both of them doing different things in my car. After a while they gave me an audition. Not the same stamina as Bull, but they had more jingle, and they were composite with tweeters on them. So now, my car has effectively 8 speakers, haha.

Relaxing Evening

SD called and said he’s on way. I was too, so we met on way, and drove back to my place. He was riding the most majestic punto (belongs to Mr. CS, who was at the time, in bangkok). It had the bass tube that could make the seats move! literally. I got home at about 7PM, with most things on my list checked off, and just partying with friends remaining. So I told my parents, just chill sit and talk with me friends will come over, and we’ll order food.

There were some things that were left undone, but hey, I’m no Oriya!

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Friends who visited

  • Mr. AMTG (Buddy you are, as your name says)
  • Mr. KSC(Fun, Fun, and more fun. Keep smiling)
  • Mrs. RSC(I think you are family!)
  • Mr. SD(Man I never knew, you had so many facets. Next when we meet, we won’t drink but yap the brains out!)
  • Mr. X(You’re passionate, but you surprise me at times with the detachment you exhibhit)
  • Miss DC(Will See you, see you on the other side :). The world’s maddening. Just hang around )
  • Mr. Simba (for first time out, ever. Kisses)
  • Others : Mr.  SR, Mr. RT, Miss RM, Mr. GaGa did send best wishes. Luv  you guys. this is what maters

My day transformed from Fresh morning to hectic  afternoon to relaxing evening! The friends did turn up. In the middle of week. After work. Ain’t I lucky!!!

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March 20, 2011

Isn’t it ironic. Don’t you think?

Filed under: Have a nice Day,insights,moody blues,philosophy,rants — coolantz @ 8:16 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m running through a set of emotions that seem contradictory. Yet, I can safely assert that I feel each one of them. Here, in hyderabad (or should we say Malaysian Township), holi had come a day earlier. I had a good time, and went out for a bit.

Now, its late evening, and as I was about to eat, I saw a friend’s (Yes, we had built a badminton court with bare hands) recently put up photos on face book. It was electrifying to see, because he’s my next to next door neighbour, so the faces on those pictures were familiar, H block DLF City, really upped the tempo this time, there was a Dhol walla, and lot’s of people I do not know as well. The feeling also left me feeling hollow, as I’ve played Holi with those people, for as many years as my memories take me to.

Amongst the other photos was also one, which somewhat stood out as far as I am concerned. He had clicked a photo inside my home. My dad was in the frame, though I wonder where mom was? I swear, the hair on the arms stood up. Goosebumps 🙂 . Later that photo made me cringe :(. I miss H block. I miss parents, I miss home, I miss relatives, I miss friends.

Holi is a real pleasure, when it’s celebrated with family and friends. To all my friends (at home or away, A very happy holi to you).

And the real kicker is, when I was with them/at home, I took it all for granted. Now that I can’t have them, I appreciate their value.

Miss you seriously.

 

June 2, 2010

Goodness. Still not a lost cause.

Filed under: insights,philosophy — coolantz @ 9:05 am

I admit. I’m a little cynical.

Then there are these defining moments in life, when I see goodness around me. In humanity. It gives me a reason to look forward to the next day with hope and expectations.

My current workplace team.

I was  a firm believer, that people work because they needed money, and no one really worked because they liked it. Heck I even convinced my self that my reason to work is just the same. But there is another cause that keeps me going. I do like what I do. Anyways, had never come across someone who shared these sentiments with me.

Now especially when you’re assigning work off to someone. I’ve never seen people take things with a smile and face gleaming with excitement. Until I came across the current lot of people I work with.

They are young, talented, and focused … and good.

Why the ‘extra’ good there?

Here’s why. They care about each other, and me. I mean, when any one gets major types jammed up in a problem, or generally sort of there. As in “All for one, one for All”. A few are very responsible as well. Over all, a real pleasure to work with.

They all listen to each others problems,  and work like a really well oiled machine. They affected a change in my own, hardened by the time attitude.

The Petrol Pump Attendant.

I got back late the other night, and had my head in a dizzy, so I decided to take cleo out for a spin. That made it feel breezy and cleared up my head. But towards the end of the ride, I realized I was going to be out of fuel,  and out of money. When I reached the ATM, I realized my locking mechanism had been thrown out. was jammed in a way, that I was not able to lock it. It was a very easy theft target.

Anyways, I decided to leave it like that, and go to the ATM.

Then I walked up to a Petrol pump attendant, and explained to him my problem.

First of all, this was like quite late in the night, it was a rather warm night, so the goodness due to good weather can easily be ruled out her.

But the attendant asked me, if he could try to fix it. I was like sure… go ahead.

So, he got some lubricant, and a screw driver, and he did some tweaking. Then when I re tried my keys, they were so nice and smooth.

Now none of this was expected of him. He did not expect any reward for it (or may be, he did), but he never said it out like …. “I’ll do this for so much of money”. I have seen people who do that. He smiled and I pushed off. But I wanted him to be rewarded. I went to a nearby shop, bought a chocolate, and got some change in money, and I went back to the same petrol pump, and scouted for the attendant. Sure enough, I found him. He was actively filling the petrol pump’s reservoir from those huge tankers that land in.

When he saw me, I did not have to call out for him. He came running, and asked me if my lock has any problems.

“None … whatsoever”. I replied. Told him, that he’s really done a good job, keep that up. Gave him a chocolate, and some candy money.  He politely refused, but I insisted, and he finally accepted.

Such people should go places! I root for them.

February 23, 2010

Where you are affects how you are …

Filed under: philosophy — coolantz @ 11:42 pm
Tags: , ,

I was a believer that where I am had no implications on how I am. I mean, I would say to my boss, that it doesn’t matter where you make me sit, as long as I have the internet connection and power sockets to connect all my gadgets, I would be as productive, if I were  say somewhere else.

For simplicity sake, let us assume that both the places are inside the office premises (Yea it would obviously matter, if I were to sit next to a loud mouth).

Today I realized, that many other things matter, even the view, people in vicinity, and the general atmosphere.

I had a change of seat, and my new desk is in a rather aloof and isolated place as compared to my earlier desk. Also, the new building, where I sit in, has a nice cafe, and lot of other eating options. I generally feel content here. The noise around me is considerably less.

So if I were to give any measures of how it affects me, today I finished most of the work (which was a handful) assigned to me, in a sort of record amount of time.

Also, it did not imply that I had to fore-go my other day-to-day activities, like checking mails, and writing mails, and going out for a walk around lunch time, and generally cribbing about my IT problems to the management. In other words a routine day.

Does it mean that I magically became more productive? If so, was it due the novelty factor of my new found place, or was it plain old lower burden of work. Only time will tell. As of now, I feel happy, and rearing to go, I’ll update this post as soon as I discover more.

I have three possible explanations for this.

  1. My work load today was less, and it only seemed huge.
  2. I was happy due to the new place I was made to shift to, and so it resulted in lots of work being finished.
  3. Since many of my needs were satisfied (hunger, tranquility), my mind was less distracted, and I was in a better off condition to do creative work.

If point number 3 holds out to be true, this might be a very important discovery as far as me and my body is concerned. I’ll keep this post updated.

In a weeks time then…

February 1, 2010

Why do people play?

Filed under: humor,philosophy,rants — coolantz @ 12:34 am

The Game

Means to a freedom

Curiously, people around me give me the puzzled look, when I say I like playing a game. Folks around (especially in India) still assume that playing something is an activity that can only be associated with kids. “Even looked down upon!”.

How often, I have seen people raise their brows when I tell them I like to play badminton. Frankly, I’ve even lost count. Or gotten so used to this sequence that I reply mechanically, along these lines.

Them: So, what do you do on weekends.

Me: Well, there are many things, but one thing is certain … I play badminton in the morning.

Them: ugh… (pausing to digest what I said)… So, do you like play professionally, like state level or something.

Me: No, I’m not so good (or dedicated) at it. I just shoot some with friends. Like passing of time. No professional training 🙂

Them: Ah…. (and the topic shifts to more elderly stuff). So have you tried this new Beer.

Anyways, the beer seems like a great conversation starter. For me, however, all beer are the same so I go like “naah … I do not like beer”. And it pretty much slaughters the conversation (and stomps on its carcass). I guess I get branded as an immature imbecile.

So, anyways, back the point. What makes me get up, grab that racquet and knock a few. Well, I could think of a few.

  • It is great physical activity. As it is, my daily activities don’t leave much room for me to exercise the muscles, so I give my entire body, a chance to loosen up, and feel alive. I mean, I agree to “I think, therefore I am”, but I also believe in “I move, therefore I am happy.”
  • It requires me to be spontaneous. Ever finished something just in the nick of time? That is a very relaxing feeling. Now, playing (successfully) a return to a killer smash, or a far fetched shot.Very relaxing indeed.
  • It teaches me to be patient. (Wow, ain’t that like opposite of what I just said). There are some skills, that just don’t develop overnight. Like developing a nice serve. It’s through the process of trial and error, and a lot of reflective thinking. Nothing short of a well calculated scientific experiment.Well, inching closer to a player look up to is a very satisfying feeling. But it doesn’t happen in a day. May take months, or years (yeah, there’s a chance it might not happen at all 🙂 ).
  • It’s  therapeutic, like meditation. Allow me to explain. All the time during the day, I use my head to decide, contemplate and plan, for most of the things which are tangible or even hypothetical. Even when I’m not working. I mean, who doesn’t think, worry at times, and get stressed out. But, for those 15 minutes or so, Every thing ceases to be. As clichéd as this may sound, but for that span of time, I stop being an ideal worker, great son, nice brother, good friend. All I become is this machine, and out to decimate my opponents (or yea, save my ass from being blown away 🙂 )

January 25, 2010

Ways of an amateur versus professional approach.

Filed under: Have a nice Day,philosophy — coolantz @ 10:26 pm

Professional

engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or means of livelihood.

Amateur

someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime.

If you were to bet on the outcome, with the two opposing candidates of the aforementioned classes of ability, whom would you root for? Now, let’s say, if the outcome of the activity is not clearly in definition such as covering a race track in xx seconds, but is let’s say … a painting or something equally abstract.

I find myself distinctly leaning towards the amateur.

The professional would certainly qualify as an example of a good master of the field. By the definition itself, they would probably slice and dice the sub activities and the little nuances at  a level which would be very conscious.  They might carry with them the know how and subtleties of the field, and they probably indulge in the field, because they have the techniques which make them unparalleled in quality and efficiency.

On the other hand, the ways of amateur, would present him/her seem like a zealous student. Someone who is passionate and devoted. They would probably derive their pleasures and kicks from indulging in the field. Some of their actions and techniques might come across as ungainly, and overly exuberant, but it’s probably also due to the joy they get by indulging in that activity.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is … although, the work done by professional is bound to be more clean and sharp, it would also be repetitive,  well-defined, and clearly a part of process clinically improved. An amateur’s might be unorthodox, to the point where it might be a point of crowning glory, or the moment where the plot is lost. Certainly, most enticing. Well, as far as I am concerned.

January 13, 2010

Time to retire an old boy.

Filed under: GNU/linux,moody blues,music,philosophy — coolantz @ 4:02 pm

11’th January, 2010.

It was a dark day. I had never imagined for a slightest of moment, that I’d be attached so much to a “non-living entity”, the way I did. Well, for all practical purposes, a computer is just a electronic instrument, to repetitively do the most boring of things, while you(it’s master), would either be getting entertained, solving your professional problems, or communicating with your friends.

My PC, an old warhorse, skipped a beat, went down, and has never come back. But when I think about it, it does seem more than just a device. I even had a name for it, “tiger”.

The times and means by which I got to acquire tiger, are also seemingly not ordinary.

It was a non functional PC I had bought from a college classmate, he was looking to get rid of it, and sold it to me at like throwaway price.He was happy, so was I. When I came home from college, dad was looking to close office, and so naturally keen on scavenging whatever I could lay my hands on. There I saw 2 of the most beautiful looking CPU cabinets. They were minimalistic (unlike the ornate box, I had purchased).

So I took one of those boxes, and removed it’s low form celeron processor, and threw in RAM, and a P4, and additional hard disk from the one I had bought in college, and up came the rig : called tiger. It was satisfying from the very beginning. Customized with switches, locks at many levels. I took pride in having that PC.

But seriously, I was not aware of how many roles it was going to play in my life. The first OS I had installed on to it, was Fedora 8. Wasn’t too satisfied, and wanting to know the guts of my PC, I put gentoo on it. That lasted for a good 2 years, and one of the many artifacts of me doing this, that installation span to many places. I learnt a lot about linux by tinkering things on gentoo. Now, in fact, I cloned the root partition, tweaked some settings, and presto .. I had a USB Hard Disk, which I could connect on any PC, and have it like my Portable machine. Sort of like a laptop for the poor.

People say that PCs do not age gracefully, and the signs of age do not look nice on them (yea, there’s a better version in the market, from the day you pick one up). But this kid was like like old wine. The older it got, the better it became.

Those were the days, I made some LIRC hardware for tiger, added a creative audigy, with 5.1 speakers, tried to install mythtv onto it, put freaky levels of automation for things, added a TV capture card. When I got a laptop, for my other typical computer related tasks, tiger lost it’s keyboard, mouse, and was only operable with a remote control. Along the way, it also got a 22 inch LCD screen, and soon, a 32 inch screen. It was not just a media center that people used to go gaga over, It also did the following things, and in great style, I tell you:

  1. It used to automatically download new torrents via RSS feeds.
  2. Host my music collection, serve it via DAAP, for apple products, and via uPnP for Microsoft based devices at home.
  3. Host my Projects, and code, and what not.
  4. Store and share videos and photos.
  5. Record shows from TV, and provide  me the watch and pause functionality on TV.
  6. Play FM radio for me.
  7. Stream music from the net. That’s also how i discovered last.fm

to tiger:

“you may have passed on, but your legacy and soul will continue to flourish, and scale newer heights, you rest in peace”

November 23, 2009

geekier than thou

Filed under: humor,philosophy — coolantz @ 10:53 pm

This has been coming in a lot lately. Many people, whom I know, and who might not necessarily know each other, “insist” that I have geekish tendencies.

Who is a geek?

I was always of the opinion, that a geek is someone, who is living at the limits of obsession, of their area of expertise. Maybe a physicist, a doctor, a musician or maybe an artist. By thisdefinition, maybe A.R Rahman could be classified as a geek, so could Amitabh Bacchan. Sachin Tendulkar would be a certain geek. The amount of time they dedicate to their professions, of course they look good doing it too.

Why do I get the label. Seriously, I don’t know. I admit, I have my way around some of the computing devices, which other people find complicated. Doesn’t imply I am obsessed with studying each of their functions. And I certainly do not spend time playing with them either. It’s just an artifact of my profession.

I mean I have noticed some people jut getting edgy with their iphones and blackberries, even in a party full of hot chicks.So much so, that their jokes tend to be about their latest phones/camera. They should be classified geeks.(Dorks/nerds in fact).

I cannot see myself working like a mad man, with any particular activity. Believe me, I’ve seen possessed people, and I am not one of them. Although I do wish I were one of the ones who look beautiful 🙂

haha. wishful thinking. isn’t it?

 

August 31, 2009

What’s wrong with me?

Filed under: philosophy — coolantz @ 11:23 pm

Seeing is believing? Or let’s just say most of the times.

I seem to get to a different state when I see a piece of art. Why that’s a feeling like “tongue tied and twisted … ” . So, it might be  a beautiful write up, a great photo, a remarkable piece of music, a good looking girl or a nifty piece of computer program (eh? Yeah that features as well).

Ok, the point is, i see the other person in awe, and more often than not I become judgmental about that skillful person. But the problem is, I see art in many places, others wouldn’t even consider. A good piece of furniture ,  or that seems to typical, I mean…  a clean room, nicely cut vegetables, good perfume choice, good dressing sense … yea I consider that as art too.

I mean, that would make me a terribly easy target, ie someone who would succumb to smallish things in life.This would definitely qualify as one of my biggest weakness, not that I don’t have any other. But this one’s out in the wild. Let’s see if it gets me some day.

Why am I posting this? Well, I guess I’m not a bright bloke either.

Negotiation techniques . Part 1

Filed under: humor,philosophy — coolantz @ 11:02 pm

Often, unintentionally at times, one finds self in a sticky situation… you know, incessant argument, no conclusion.

You want your point to be driven across, but the other party wants none of it, and vice verse. Well, what do you suppose can be done? Have around  with you a person who’s not as vocal (a person who’s not directly affected by the consequence of the negotiation would be a good starting point, but he/she must be driven enough). He/she should be given certain premises, and well defined parameters where they could go ahead and suggest a compromise on your side.

So the opposing party would automatically presume the ally to be a friend (especially if the talk gets heated), and you as a foe. It’s an instinctive realization. You keep pressing for the important point . in fact, be arrogant about your point of view, even if you are certain it’s not entirely justified.

Keep at it, till any discussion seems futile. Don’t ever let  the guard down though.

Finally, let the ally suggest the same thing as you have been (abit in a toned down, probably, even scaled down way).

It does work . and you get a long way in.

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