Monday, November 29, 2010

1348 : Utsav in the night

Anyone who has heard the song “Man kyon beheka” will tell you that the line “Raat hoti shuru hain aadhi raat ko” is a work of pure genius by Vasant Dev.

Why did I remember this? Raavan gives that line a fresh new perspective Smile

1347 : Why I still like Windows (sic!!)

It took me over 6 hrs to figure how to install Windows 7 64 on my PC. Finally after a full format and dealing with some very unusual errors, the system got working.

Now that its on with Office 2010 (both of them are completely legal)…..I must admit….Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit feels like a lot of fun.

Jim Morrison is dead, long live the Windows Smile

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1346 : Nirvana

Prashant and I were having such a ball of a laugh the other day. We work at a wormhole where titles matter. Its important that you become MD and then something beyond that (lets say Sr. MD – SMD).

If you become SMD, you have entered the ultimate echelon of fame within the firm’s history.

We were looking at each of these symbolic titles as the 7 steps to Nirvana. The person who finally becomes SMD is out of this. He has achieved everything there is to achieve. He is above and beyond every common man’s realm.

People look at these “achievers” and the symbols with spellbound awe. If you played ludo or snakes and ladders as a kid, then you know what it is to say “chooth gaya” (he is liberated). Becoming a MD/SMD is similar to chooth gaya.

Its almost as if, the person has become an SMD going through endless cycles of karma (birth and rebirth) till he finally got liberation.

BTW, I crave to be an SMD as well someday. Now you partly know why I am deranged Smile

1345 : Frozen in time

A face that sleeps within the palms of your hands. Restful, peaceful and mollycoddled by the warmth of the flesh meets flesh moment. For one brief day, time stood still….while the universe was running around, a tiny world crept out of orbit and slept.

Monday, November 22, 2010

1344 : Seven day twitch :-)

My right  hand has been twitching for the past few days. Its a noticeable twitch – almost like a tremor (the kind you have in Parkinsons). It usually makes its presence felt when I am very tired or when I am very still.

I was joking with my wife that this is the start of a long journey of Parkinsons. She obviously did not appreciate the joke (neither will my sweet sis…waiting to hear her blessings Smile)

But spousey and I were laughing away at the twitch. Its really funny to watch. I have never ever experienced, anything like this before.

On a serious note, my view of MY personal world is quite seriously deranged. To me Parkinson’s, Cancer and the ilk are Life. There is only one eventuality – and that is bloody death – everything else can only be classified as a series of freaky accidents. As long as you are living, you are not dying….and that is reward in itself.

On a more serious note, we all want to travel the world, eat all kinds of cuisine, even fly to the moon – all the time arguing – “its but one life”…..

Why would we not want to experience Cancer, Parkinsons, Bankruptcy…..etc…..Pray, why the slur?  I really don’t get it. Is it not the same “one life”???

One of my favorite expressions at home and office is whatever life is, “its never going to be one happy path”….the only way to live LIFE, you better start assuming that the Path is the happy path.

1343 : A Guide to the Perplexed


Am almost getting done with EF Schumacher’s A guide to the Perplexed. A rarer book by the genius who wrote “Small is beautiful”.

Its 172 pages and is written with an intent to being a guidebook on how to live life. The book is fairly difficult to read, and at times there are quite a few points, which I completely disagree with.

What I found interesting is a chapter devoted to “knowing oneself” and his point being if you don’t experience yourself, you cannot perceive the wisdom of others – almost akin to my point of “personal greatness” – if you don’t have a definition of that, then you might as well live a bumkum life.

And to explain that he says, if you don’t know what sorrow (or anger or unhappiness or happiness or pain) is then you can never quite understand a fellow human being going through that experience. Makes sense.

Overall a good book (though a very difficult read…very dry prose)….though not in the league of Small is Beautiful. Read it to assimilate more of a modern day Buddha.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

1342 : A happy family

There is a reason, why they say, a family that bakes its own bread is a happy family. Its difficult not to feel upbeat with this aroma wafting all over the house, for several hours after the baking.

Loving it.

1341 : Bingo !!Not BreadTalk



This is what I baked today…and I am terribly proud of it. Looks like BreadTalk, tastes like BreadTalk…except that sugar was a bit less.

I hate cooking with measurements, and thats HATE in caps. Hence I had almost 5-8 tries before I got here, but the good part is, I will now always get here. What you learn by intution, remains in your subconcious. A measuring cup can never replace your mind.

I am happy today. Next weekend the quest for the perfect loaf of multi-grain bread with continue, this time with a little more sugar.

1340 : Ravaan is an Eddie Vedder fan

The first cover he shall sing will be Jeremy Smile

King Jeremy the wicked…

Saturday, November 20, 2010

1339 : My worm hole

There are a lot of things that I am still getting used to at my (new) worm hole and a (bigger) lot of things that I might never ever fundamentally agree with.

There is one very remarkable cultural aspect though, it reminds me in a dozen different ways every waking day : to aspire to be the best; to do the best possible with resources; to be conscious its a dog eat dog world – you pause and the guy behind will run over you; to always carry a chip over your shoulder reminding you that you are just as good as you are today….the past is history.

And in this, my worm hole is relentless in its lack of reprieve – to the extent, that at times the pressure can even end up breaking the most resilient shoulders.

For this reason, and for this alone(inspite of the hazaar shortcomings of this place), I don’t know whether I shall ever manage to work at another place ever.  It inspires me to move ahead in life (and not just at my work).

Its a bit like runner’s high…if you know what I mean….you run 10 gruelling kms, torturing your body, but at the end your mind is happy and giggling…..almost, for the same reason, I thoroughly completely love my worm hole….its a bit like a drug, for which I shall happily go through my daily ordeal Smile

(My worm hole is the corporate I work for Smile)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1338 : Running for life

I have said that multiple times on my blog, but once again….running and driving definitely clean up my mind…they are my urban meditation. I so look forward to my daily drive through the Bangalore traffic.

Interesting, when my mind is preoccupied and pensive, like it was very much through yesterday, it creates a zillion excuses to avoid running. If you somehow fight that(and I rarely do Smile), the run actually cleans up the mind so well.

If it was not for driving and running, I might have been a limp bizkit by now Smile.

1337 : Real world skills

Was telling my wife the other day, if tomorrow say aliens jam our satellites, we shall be screwed. All information highways will stop…and doomsday will happen Smile

What will I do in that case. I will cook….because thats one real world skill that could quite easily be the worlds second oldest profession.

On a serious note….think hard….its essential to constantly measure how much of a real world skill are we acquiring in this artificial and abstracted world.

I can cook, work like a carpenter, paint, do some plumbing, drive cars…..each of them is a real world skill….that might one day save my life.

And I believe in that Smile

Real world skills also ensure that portions of the brain – other than ones which are actively used to deal with abstraction – will continued to be greased… in a real world crisis….a “real world skilled” person will deal better with the emergency.

So much for gyan Smile

1336 : Kids got talent

The standard predilection of making your kid going through 1500 specialised classes everyday exists in Bangalore, just as in any other yuppie city.

You do drama classes, poetry classes, dancing classes, taekondo, gymnastics, swimming, painting….and the list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, I know a kid here, who goes to two classes – Carnatic Vocal and Lawn Tennis.

I think thats neat focus. One keep him healthy, and the other is gym for his mind.

Thats a prescription, that I dont mind copying Smile

1335 : Schools in Bangalore

Before you get ideas, I am not hunting for schools in Bangalore. My last status in the bumkum Facebook was “issueless”, now of course I have “died” on facebook. RIP. Clarification over.

Having said that, this place seems full of some really rocking schools. I keep talking to people and the schools and their infrastructure seem so out of whack when compared to Bombay.

You have huge schools, residential or otherwise, and by Bombay standards, not that terribly expensive. Large integrated playgrounds, fantastic professional day care, schools which allow you to prepare for London Music School…..get the drift.

Agreed, kids here might miss out on the “dog eat dog” approach of a big city…..but why even aspire that for kids. You want kids to “experience” and assimilate.

By the time they hit college, they will be dogging anyways Smile

Definitely its so much more fun being a kid here than in a big city. Just the open spaces, and alternative thought streams should open their mind a bit more.

As of now, knowing very little about this city, I wish, in my next birth, I am born as a Bangalore kid. Thats a good wish coming from an atheist right Smile

1334 : Srilankans might like desi music without the right notes


Well Raavan prefers “Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo” and he prefers my voice to the mellifluous Begum Akhtar.

I cant tell my C from my F, and the octave is usually 3 lower or higher than the original. Looks like neither can Raavan.

Taste in music, usually has to be cultivatedSmile

1333 : Big Moose

Its taken me years to figure out some things and (some of) the “rules” of the world….and meanwhile, all the time, defining/updating a working personal philosophical guidebook for my life. Some of the guidebook entries are topsy turvy and radical (no matter that Shri feels otherwise Smile)…and yet….

There are days on which I am talking to someone and as part of the conversation, (I) subtly mention some part of my “guidebook”, and the other person nods vigorously, (supposedly) agrees with me and then proceeds to tell me “I have had the same approach since I was 12?”…..

At those points I feel dumb…I feel it took me years to arrive here….and I am still not sure I am on the “correct” road….and “you” knew it since 12. It hurts my fragile infantile ego that I am so “dohh”!!

And invariably when I look back and reflect what did he do, that I did not…..the answer is …. “he watched all seasons of KBC and now Big Boss” Smile

(The sceptic in me, harbors a belief that, even if I had mentioned, “This took me years to figure – before every “good beginning” in life, if I ruminate, fantasize and meditate for 2 deep minutes on Pamela’s twin peaks – the “beginning” is a smash success”…..he would adopt a poker face – the intellectual grimace – nod, and then say “I have been doing that since I was 12” Smile

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1332 : Love and longing in the times of Raavan :-)

Begum Akthar’s Aaj Jaane ki Zid na karo is ringing in my ears

Aaj jaane ki zid na karo
Yunhi pehloo mein baithe raho

Tum hi socho zara, kyun na roke tumhe
Jaan jaati hai jab uth ke jaate ho tum 
Tumko apni qasam jaan-e-jaan
Baat itni meri maan lo

Waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar 
Chand ghadiyan yehi hain jo aazad hain 
Inko khokar mere jaan-e-jaan
Umr bhar na taraste raho

(Fits the raavan scenario perfectly, what say, especially the last para Smile)

1331 : Brand endorsement




I was reading with interest, about our President, Miss Pratibha Patil visiting Puttaparthi on Nov 19th to participate in Satya Sai Baba’s 85th birthday on 23rd Nov (and I am sure she is flying there in official capacity and not on her personal expense account))

Colors surrounding Sai Baba apart, I don’t think I would flinch an eyelid if my own mother were to do this – but as the head of a state, are you really allowed to wear your biases and brands on your sleeve.

Can you for example demonstrate behaviour which almost holds your personal values as that of a lumpen?

I know there are enough states which are avowedly biased say Indonesia (Islam) or Israel or the middle eastern ones. And then there are ones like China and Russia which are atheist nations.

I think in factors like religion which are decidedly extremely polar issues within humans, I prefer for a state (and its head) to be very apersonal(and apolotical) on that issue….almost a la China.

For now, everyone right from our president wishes the baba a happy bday Smile

Sunday, November 14, 2010

1330 : What I am most afraid of….

Continuing from the previous post. Personally, for myself, I have a few set of basic rules for life. I don’t want to be

1. Transactional – where operational items become life. Like I have always “hated” it when people talk to me about “did you eat breakfast?”, “did you have your medicines”, “did you wipe the toilet seat?”. I would rather you talk to me about the  texture of the bread we are eating. Get it…..I would focus on the non-operational part of everyday living.
2. Reductionist – I hate asking “what will happen if?” – e.g. will it matter if my daughter studies at TISB…no, on a planar level that does guarantee anything…but you don’t want to be stuck into that meaningless existential argument. Choose the best chance, option that life offers you….and the best will happen to you.
3. Lumpen – I don’t want my opinions, behaviour to be governed in any way by the lumpen. That does not mean, I fashionably disagree with the lumpen on everything….in fact in most things I am the lumpen. But I choose what I have to choose….I refuse to blow noisy crackers, I refuse to change my name due to numerlogy, or put a black dot on my daughter.

A few more rules exist, but hope you get the drift?

Why should I not want this for my daughter or son as well?

1329 : The hand that rocked the cradle

Shri and I have been discussing how to bring up children. I don’t quite believe in that stupid adage “there is no one right way”, which is almost used as a catch all to justify any of our practices.

With that view in my heart, having been scourging, hunting, sifting through lots of people’s brains for their ideas, books and the wealth of advice that the universe has to offer….all the time choosing carefully, what fits in and appeals to my rationale side and what appears humbug.

Shri and a few others believe there is no merit in necessarily seeking out either an ideal child rearing technique, or even to”target” an end state for the child.

Infact, Shri has written this really well.

There is nothing in that post that I can even remotely disagree, but yet…..

Where I struggle (and debate endlessly within myself) is my own experiences as an adult – seem to suggest that even an iota of focus can make one clearly stand out amongst the lumpen. You could use this focus to lead Naxalbari or become Einstien. Focus is not always routed to things which make you popular, it could make you infamous.

Leading from there…focus seems to be a necessary stepping stone to personal greatness….then why would you not help a little kid get some of that potion.

And the other aspect being discussed is “can you learn by reading”? or something to that effect.

Look….I am what I am.I have read 500 page tomes on Tao, that which essentially cannot and should not be described. If I can read that in hope of learning something, I assume I can read anything. I usually look at my readings as 99.95%pass through. You retain one idea out of a 400 page book, but sometimes that single idea can change the way you look at life.

I can give many examples of that….even in the current context. Like for example, the huge and undeniable role of “insecurity” in the brain development of a kid and an adult too. I could not have figured that insight on my own, unless I had brought up a score of kids already – but now that tiny bit of knowledge lies in my firmament because someone explained it to me in a way that appealed to m rational side…..

Having said that, I really think there is very little I can disagree with on Shri’s post. Meanwhile, I will continue my reading Smile, because I am what I am….

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1328 : “Molester” let go

Was at my cafeteria yesterday, having breakfast and staring blankly at the TimesNow channel. The headlines were screaming - “Molester” let go – this was referring to the SP Rathore and Ruchika case.

Lets get the facts. This guy is accused of doing whatever he did. He has fought a 15 year battle across 4 different courts. If the courts decide to let him walk scot free – is it fair for a media channel to drub him a “molester”.

I think it would have made far more sense for TimesNow to say “Judiciary in India sucks” or something to that effect.

I am not sure, if this is what it means when folks complain of “instant justice” meted out by media.

Reporting facts is long forgotten now it is opinions, hype and jingoism.

1327 : 7 year long pregnancy

In Bangalore mirror yesterday was reading a story. Anil Kumble married a divorcee and they were having a fight for the custody of the daughter from the previous marriage.

Now begins the fun facts, read them carefully.

So his wife’s first marriage happened in 1986. She got divorced 2 years later, and the battle is on for the 15 year old daughter from that marriage. Remember we are in 2010.

So I said, maybe it was 1996 and not 1986. It still does not add up to the 15, even if you assume it is “15 running”.

Only solution to problem, she had a 7 year long pregnancy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

1326: Who needs enemies

Two of my best buddies murdered me in some form today :-)

One of them said I am bookish and the other said he does not know the point I am (often) trying to make.

Now that I am been flattered in so many certain terms – its time to go back to work, the narcissist in me cant take this anymore.

:-) :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1325 : Out with father was just like me :-)

The real reason I blog…I want my children, my nephews and nieces to read this when they are 20, and go “whoa!! my dad back then, was just like me!!”.

I dont know whether I am going to be around long enough for them to “see” that….at least let them read it and Imagine (like Lennon once did!!)

1324 : Hotmail

Another favourite derisive question, “you still on hotmail??? move to gmail”

Yes, I am. Its an 12 year old id, it works, hotmail has never given me a days problem in my whole life….and best of all, it works fantastic with outlook.

I can’t deal with a email provider who does not offer folders, but instead doles out stars. I like to unclutter my mail box and not star mangle it.

1323 : Gift for someone you love :-)


My spousey gifted me a 40L OTG (no crappy convection microwaves for me!!).  A neat shiny industrial Morphy Richards one.

I have not baked since 1997….but I am getting back at it…and am loving it. (I used to bake extensively back then!!)

Lets the cakes, cookies, bread and biscoot flow :-)

(My bday seems to have gotten pulled in by a couple of months !!)

1322 : Irony

I keep getting asked by “I wore a yellow knicker today <tag>” – Facebook generation on “why do you blog?”.

Maybe because I don’t (yet) wear yellow knickers <tagged>.

1321 : Make a wish without a foundation :-)

My post on giving children a focus, got quite some flak from Sri, my mom and some private messages on my email.

I still fail to see how you can live in a world without an aspiration. I definitely don’t want to tell or coach my daughter on how to do things – but I do want to equip her enough to “find things which you might want to do”…and even to do that I need her to focus on the light.

Like how far back do you take this reductionist stance? Really….thats the question.

If there is one thing I am wary of (in addition to getting transactional) in life, its getting into a reductionist trap.

For the record, I do ideally want my daughter to be equipped to think, to analyse, to correlate….more importantly, I want her to love Uncle Universe and respect it.

And that “wish” is eternal…no matter the ensuing flak from my love(s) :-) and bloody reductionism be very well damned.

1320 : Why I love Windows?

I like to call a spade a spade. I have used Microsoft Windows since it was 2.0 (on a 8Mhz 8088, running 640kb of RAM in 1988 on a CGA screen with DR Dos (digitial research disk operating system) to boot up).

I have used 3.0, 3.1, 95, ME, XP, Enterprise, Vista and now 7. (The only other OS I have used comparably is Linux)

Yesterday, as I moved from a AMD 4200+ dual core on a ASUS motherboard to a I7, quad core on a shiny new Intel Motherboard – my Vista (installed on my old HDD) – hiccuped a bit, but then, most impressively, restarted on its own – and within 5 mins was working again.

No reinstall, no update…no tweaking…it just worked.

Try getting one of your bloody cats (leopard or jaguar or whatever) to do this.

I think, its wise to give credit where due :-)

1319 : Dragon who breathes fire

My room now has a sleeping shiny new I7, quad core, with NVidia accelerator, 4 Gigs and a 600W monster Corsair SMPS….Now the real fun of video/photo editing begins :-)

So looking forward to tame this dragon!!

1318 : White noise

When you are with a little kid (who is fast asleep), quite suddenly “white noise” – a rumbling fan, or a chugging squeaking easy chair – is a necessity rather than an irritant. It gets the kid to “noise cancel” external sound ….and to find a rhythm to match his sleep with.

Funnily, I just realised how helpful it is to have someone who snores like a pig…..:-)) bingo….that seems like a perfect white noise for a day like today.

Thank you :-)

1317 : Grit and grin

(ok…am back at my preachy best :-)

Paradoxically …. (I think) in life you need to almost always accept a circumstance, but not necessarily ever adjust to it….infact, on the contrary, if it is not a favourable circumstance, you should in all probability “fight” it unto death.

The very same equanimity (read paradox) applies irrespective of whether you are dealing with something debilitating like cancer, cirrhosis …. or a kid who refuses to calm down at night……or a boss who has balls of goat dung (confirmation test : does he/she go “Meeeh….maayuh…..Meeeeh…..maayuh….Meeh….maayuh”)

Strangely its this simple “paradox” which might be the secret sauce, which distinguishes “greatness” from “giving up”.

Monday, November 08, 2010

1316 : I wont enter my wormhole from today :-)

Was reading this news item in TOI, Bangalore… “Chavan may skip Obama Meet”….and the subtext read “Miffed at being asked ID proof, nationality and PAN to enter venue”.

I read this and wondered about my wormhole (my workplace :-)). I have worked here for a long enough time, but I need to flash my ID card and rattle out my employee ID at least 10 times daily.

Maybe…the world should be - “Amit may skip the wormhole today”…. “Mifffed at having to flash his ID card”….Only if, my ego was as gargantuan as Mr. Chavan’s”.

1315 : Of twosies and onesies

MiRA and IRA are TWO facets of RAOne.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

1314 : You could be mine :-)

If I had a kid, one of my pieces of advise to her would be – “You are not my child, nor are you our child – you are a child of this big fat gluttonous universe. Don’t limit yourself.”

1313 : Cracker bursting bunnies

I find Diwali irritating. Period. Loud noises, lots of chemical fumes and incessant startles…..

Its my favorite peeve. How do you get your children to be civilised and sensitive to others – when you yourself can be so disrespectful to society.

Don’t get me wrong. Colors are great, lights are energy, sweets are addictive….and of course meet and greet people – all of this seems just about right. seems all right up my alley.

But sound and fumes…..

Usually every year, I drive away out of the city to avoid the messy festival.This year was different….I had to stay put.

Until next year….when my houdini act will kick in again….Happy Diwali !!

1312 : Best book on parenting yet….

I must admit that I have read quite a few books on children – given the sheer number of nieces and nephews that I have to deal with. Child development is indeed fascinating and very personal.

I recently finished a book called “Trees make the best mobiles : Simple ways to raise your child in a complex world” by Jessica Teich and Brandel France de Bravo

I plan to read this book 5 times over. Hands down its the best advice I have ever received on dealing with kids. (Maybe I liked it so much, just because it matches so very closely with my own personal (and often radical) philosophy….)

If I could rate book 12/10…this is one book I would. Highly recommended….


1311 : Rahul and I

I read a recent article on Varun Gandhi with his quote screaming out as the headline title “There is no real comparison between Rahul and I”.

For once we could not agree more :-)

(subtext: He is undertaking a 3 day UP tour and does not want to compared, which he shall invariably be, to Rahul and his 5 year long investment into grassroots UP politics.)

Friday, November 05, 2010

1310 : Aadi’s surname

I now know a few Aadi’s in my scheme of things. I think his parents should have put his second name as Das.

Picture this. Aadi goes to the immigration counter.

Your name?
Full name?
Adidas……. Impossible is nothing.

1309 : Genius vs. prodigy

Someone was mentioning “x is a child genius….he could play the violin since he was 7”….

It did not sound right to me….I think the right word for it is “prodigy”.

Agree with the stickler in me?

1308 : Floppy Discs

I was reading in Bangalore Times that in a recent IT raid, the officials have confiscated all the client data which was present on Floppy Discs.

Was wonderiing, was this a raid that happened a decade ago and go reported now :-)

Monday, November 01, 2010

1307 : Living man…who taught me how to die

I work (or try to contribute) in some miniscule way to cancer care….no real reason…just that my search for meaning lead me there.

I do meet people who are associated and impacted by Leukemia all the time.

I met someone 3 days ago, someone I know and not yet know :-). This guy has gone through a Bone Marrow Transplant 4 years ago. If you understand what that means, good for you….if you dont, well…its about 3 times as difficult as climbing mount Everest.

As I saw him(and his spouse and daughter) laughing, joking about that time and phase of his life…I knew this was something “special”.

As my mom says, human beings have infinite strength…they just don’t know when to call upon that. I looked at this person and smiled…he seemed to exactly know how to call upon that strength.

He had lost a dear friend from a similar ailment this year…gone just like that…!! funtoosh !!

In more senses than one….the lucky one in me….. felt tiny, humbled and wiser !!

If you are not living, you are indeed busy dying (sorry Dylan !!)

1306 : The parent and the art of zenning !!

“Haste is a form of violence”.

Good advice, na!!. I actually think, the best advice I have gotten in recent years.

1305 : I miss this building too !!

RIP Green !!

1304 : The small things of Gods!!

I have not received so much flak in recent times. My post on Arundhati Roy has gotten me on the wrong side of every noveau riche and urban pseud out there.

I have very little defense against an age and time which treats Aamir and Chetan as their heroes.

Me…?? I still stick to the age old romantic leanings within me….Medha Patkar, Sharmila Irom, Arundhati Roy and Satinath Sarangi…I will teach my daughter to respect them !!

All meat no steak !!

1303 : Beginning of a new Ira

Raavan is definitely getting all excited just by the very mention of Ira – he is salivating (and drooling and burping :-)) that he will soon have some nubile young hottie to kidnap. I know someone who is going to start all sweating soon (hearing about this!!).

Vrindavan awaits Ira !!