Was It Worth It

you know, in early childhood one always used to hear guidance that 'all play & no studies will turn you bad'.. you will end up being a loser.. a person with no means.. with nothing & all along i believed that was indeed the case.. but after three years slugging it out on job & a realty boom, i am no king either.. i didn't turned up into a millionaire.. & what happened to those losers who all they did was to bunk & fail all along.. one could see them riding in their glitzy honda's & accord's.. their homes are huge & palatial while i 'm still to find a descent flat for me somewhere, not to say the lifelong EMI's that i would be paying.. what had i done to deserve this nondescript life.. what was this array of degree worth when others with half of qualification seems to be doing damn well.. this is the case that is being played in suburbia.. over & over again.. be it gurgoan or dehradun or any upcoming hub.. people with lands.. even small patches of land have struck gold big time... plots of couple of hundred mtrs. are going for 15-20 lakhs.. not to say of people who have acres of land.. they are sitting over loads & loads of cash.. and when you have so much,why would anybody settle for a job that just pays couple of lakhs yearly.. even interest on that crores would earn you much more.. it just makes me wonder where had we gone wrong ? maybe it is not that bad.. but yes the age-old advise hold no promise now.. not for me.. not when one is paying that life long EMI's.. Boy, was it worth it ?

~In The Army Now~

You & I

the 2006 as a year is drawing to the close and its time to reflect on the year gone... on what have we achieved and lost as we (time) progressed... its also the time for the media to come up with their lists of the year's top things.. Time.com are the first to come up with the person of the year this year they have named 'You' as the person of the year... Yes 'You'... all those people who have made the web2.0 the most happening place.. be it the kind of innovation, the collaboration.. the sense of getting yourself heard... the community-ship that spans all the people of the world...( not all people, but all connected people..) thats a huge achievement given that just 15 years back only a handful of people had anything like email... we have surely come a long way... and 2006 will be a watershed & all this would not have been possible without the content creators... the creators of the videos,blogs,myspace profiles,flickr albums ,orkut profiles.. and other community based forums.... creators who did not sit in flashy studios or wrote in victorian english.. but people with their home-made videos.. their occasional personal logs.. their personal lives... people like you & me...

[...]

Who are these people? Seriously, who actually sits down after a long day at work and says, I'm not going to watch Lost tonight. I'm going to turn on my computer and make a movie starring my pet iguana? I'm going to mash up 50 Cent's vocals with Queen's instrumentals? I'm going to blog about my state of mind or the state of the nation or the steak-frites at the new bistro down the street? Who has that time and that energy and that passion?
The answer is, you do.

But that's what makes all this interesting. Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail. There's no road map for how an organism that's not a bacterium lives and works together on this planet in numbers in excess of 6 billion. But 2006 gave us some ideas. This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person. It's a chance for people to look at a computer screen and really, genuinely wonder who's out there looking back at them. Go on. Tell us you're not just a little bit curious.

[...]

~London Calling~

Who Turned My Tap Off

as the world continues growing on a fast clip.. one crucial thing that getting more & more vital for continued growth is energy.. most of the developed & developing world is today fossil-fuel based.. be it gasoline or LNG.. and these resources are in lands ruled by the most rogue-est of regimes on the face of the earth (sudan,burma,iran,saudi arabia..).. and some not so rogue (russia).. everybody wants to make their energy lines secure (at least history has taught us so.. WWII).. hence a mad scramble ( by developed nations) to buy out oil assets in any possible area.. add to this the oil producing nations attempt to nationalize or keep the oil industry in government's hands (russia,bolivia,venezuela ect) to control the future prices... we are in a situation where too much of money & national power is chasing to few assets... and oil companies in both producing & consuming nations have become an extension of the government's foreign policy stratagem... but does energy nationalism work out in a new market driven market place.. wouldn't government ownership just add to the nepotism already prevailing in these corrupt regimes... the answer is nobody wants to take chances... after all the lifeline of today's economy is energy.. a $3/gallon a gasoline made Bush sweat.. think of what happens if there is none of it.. in asia the oil scenario is geo-political.. China/India are out their trying to hedge their needs in case something bad happens in middle-east... by buying out in central asia/burma/africa.. the regimes are also playing partner... those nations no being part of party are busy taking control of their energy resources and using them to exert political power... as oil becomes the new currency of this global and ever-energy-hungry economy...

~Cinnamon Girl~

India Shinning, Bharat Whining

i just read that congress is pretty skeptic about tom-tomming the booming economy and record growth rates for the fear that it may back-fire ( remember BJP's india shining campaign... ) to be frank there are reasons for the skepticism.. after sixteen years of above six percent growth.. there is a feeling that the agrarian sector is down in dumps... i have a feeling that this sector is below what it was when liberalization started... since '91 the share of industry & services have leaped while agriculture's share has plummeted.. though the people employed have remained same or maybe increased considering that rural areas have higher population growth rates... so the cake has got much bigger.. but of the farmers the per-unit cake is more or less same... never before in modern india has one seen such rural suicides or such ever widening chasm in income levels between rural and urban india... the way i see it... no roads/phones/water/electricity in rural india is just due to the plain fact that rural sector is not lucrative enough so that they can be targeted.. maybe some socialist can ask, should only lucrative things be done... to be fair to private economy.. you are in there as long as you are able to make money out of it... the main question is why agriculture pays so less... where did the reformers went wrong w.r.t agriculture... the answer lies with the sector itself... our agriculture still lies in the shadows of PL-480, of green revolution, of wheat/rice/sugarcane, of some nehruvian utopic dream... whereas the reality is decided in electronic commodity exchanges or the rain god... everybody knows that growing wheat/rice on a five-ten hectare land over & over again just manifests itself in law of diminishing returns... leave that to big farmers who can use scale as efficiency.. or leave it to huge farmlands of US/Canada... instead focus on the niche.. like horticulture,vegetables, oilseeds,spices and pulses and maybe mushroom or plantation... the scale of the holdings ( generally very small... ) is another big problem... how can one get use the advantages of scale & efficiency... something on the lines of amul would be worth trying.. maybe a corporative framework... ( its not a throwback to mao's commune based... but very much on the same lines... but a corporate player being involved to drive the much needed efficiency... ) developed countries are subsidizing farm sector despite of WTO while we are doing nothing to mend this sector of its ills... maybe the corporate model is something that can succeed... maybe... and what's the harm in trying... you can't fall back more then where we are today... those 700 million souls deserve their place in the india shining...

~ Mr Tambourine Man~

Ooch... You Are On My Toes

there seems to be a general disquiet thats brewing up in the Indian executive and legislative quarters ( duh.. so they have time apart from jostling over dipping fortunes of men in blue.. ) over the supposed usurping of their power by the Indian courts.. supreme court in particular.. over the course of some weeks the courts have caught hold of some high profile cases (sanjay dutt,sealing...) and loud mouthed people (soren, sidhu.. ect.) ... besides supreme court gave investigative agencies the absolute authority to prosecute politicians without requiring any prior nod of the court in cases registered against any politician... this is an overreaching decision that may help stopping the time lag in investigation and stem the moral corruption that has set in the political class.. but somehow politicians seems not to agree.. and why would they... the moot question is why after nearly sixty years to unhindered democracy we have reached a stage where one pillar of democracy is stepping on the other and whose mistake or oversight it is... aren't the politicians themselves to blame for having failed the indian masses... and if the judiciary is stepping in to clear the mess.. how can these politicians have the face to oppose them... this is not to say the judiciary has been above the board always... cases of sidhu, soren and else have been hanging fire not due to any legislative bottleneck but due to courts failure to deliver justice... so its all about choosing the lesser devil.. a new bill is being introduced to form a tribunal to look at any misconduct on the part of the judges... this is welcome... nothing should be treated like a holy cow now... accountability is something that has to be built up from inside and ground-up inside all arms of the democracy... but you know any kind of a safety valve ( i would better call it a whip... ) is always a relief... it just gives the democracy more elbow room to function... another dimension to work... i would not call it activism... it just the democracy ( not individual arms) realizing that there is a problem that needs to be mended... and fix it before the democracy loses its soul... the people

~Jennings Farm Blues~

Missing Trees For Woods

A Matter of Definition: What Makes a Civil War, and Who Declares It So?

The Question is Does it matter anyways ? The moot point is how do we get out of this without creating a cataclysmic and balkanized iraq. ( or maybe not iraq... as it will no longer exist on the face of the earth as it exists today. George Bush can rest assured... )

~Dear Mr. Revolution~

What I Read Today

I read this article today on IHT The discouraging rise of pessimism.. on perception of how optimist & pessimist view the world beyond them.. to be frank.. i 'm not sure if i understood what the writer meant to convey.. but anyways its nice mind crunching thought..

[...]

Pessimism as philosophy is skeptical of the idea of progress. Pursuing happiness is a fool's errand. Pessimism is not, as is commonly thought, about being depressed or misanthropic, and it does not hold that humanity is headed for disaster. It simply doubts the most basic liberal principle: that applying human reasoning to the world's problems will have a positive effect.The biggest difference between optimists and pessimists, is in how they view time. Optimists see the passing of time as a canvas on which to paint a better world. Pessimists see it as a burden. Time ticks off the physical decline of one's body toward the inevitability of death, and it separates people from their loved ones.

"All the tragedies which we can imagine," said Simone Weil, the French philosopher who starved herself to death at age 34, "return in the end to the one and only tragedy: the passage of time."

Optimists see history as the story of civilization's ascent. Pessimists believe, in the idea that any apparent progress has hidden costs, so that even when the world seems to be improving, "in fact it is getting worse (or, on the whole, no better)."

As politicians, pessimists do not believe in undertaking great initiatives to ameliorate unhappiness, since they are skeptical they will work. They are inclined to accept the world's evil and misery as inevitable. Camus joined the French Resistance. But pessimism's overall spirit, as Camus noted, "is not to be cured, but to live with one's ailments."

[...]

pretty thoughtful... and heavy on intellect.. i agree with the writer that everything has a price.. some hidden costs.. but i don't think one can live with a general unhappiness in his/her environs.. given a chance if he or she can fix it.. whatever the hidden costs are.. at least i think so..

~Like A Hurricane~

1984 in 2006

"There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face ...for ever."

-George Orwell In 1984.

"To see what's is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."
-George Orwell

Arguably life imitates art.. or was it the other way round.. but any ways... Winston Smith did not stand a chance.. neither do many other hapless victims... Winston who.. ?? who victims.. ?? its all down the memory hole already...

Colors Of The Fall


this is the picture just taken outside my apartment.. its fall time here in new england.. and all the foliage is covered with all colors possible.. its hard to imagine how nature can be so beautiful & colorful just with trees & only trees...

~Dust In The Wind~

Being Ten More Than Ninety

does the post title sound insane.. well it is insane... but yes i choosed this name as this is post number 'ten more than ninety'... in easier words.. its the hundreth post.. i need to be congratulated on this.. ahem...
so here goes disarmament for a toss... i am seeing a potential mushroom cloud over the far-east.. you never know how serious the north korean's are on executing their threat to test nuclear weapons.. but yes they have nothing to lose in this jingoism.. and they know that washington is in a fix right now.. so is communist korea playing to the gallery or can they really walk their talk.. well it's anybody guess.. they have the capabilty.. no doubt about that.. but would they leverage that threat for concessions or test the weapons & lose that bargaining chip.. it has to be seen.. equally interesting would be the response of japanese new nationalist prime minister... this theatre has many players.. and many vestiges of the past.. that haven't healed over the time.. both korea's remain technically at war as their war ended in an armistice in '53.. there is also serious hard feelings in korea & china for the japanese militarist past and its abuses.. america has over 50,000 forces stationed in okinawa & south korea.. and now the sudden rise of japanese nationalism... also there is a feeling that china and russia have lost favour with the north korean leadership.. or maybe pyongyang is not in a mood to relent this time... but one thing is clear if north korea bites the bullet... japan is going to renounce its post-war pacifist constitution.. china may take armed japan into future strategic planning... as a spin-off of this imbroglio.. further straining relations... add to this the missile defence that america is building for japan and taiwan.. this would complicate problems for bush jr. and provoke iran to follow suit... hmmmm.... there are more headaches and more mushroom clouds in the offing.. maybe a new one in middle east is not that far really...

~More Than A Feeling~

Bowling For Columbine

last saturday i was watching micheal moore's bowling for columbine... yet again... in case you don't know.. it documents the reasons for columbine school massacre.. the reason why america leads the figures for gun-related homicide.. and why guns and america is one potent potion... and in the span of last one week.. there has been three school shooting that had fatalities... including the one at pennsylvania today... the symptoms that this documentary talks about are all there... it just manifests differently everytime... this media campaign of fear and anxiety.. of fear-aided-consumption... of an america that is at odds with the generally accepted perception... of america that is living on edge and with lots of guns lying around... of boys who bowled and gunned their way to infamy... of six-year old killing six year old... of people who fail to accept that they have a problem at hand..

as micheal moore said in closing words of the film... "Yes, it was a glorious time to be an American."

~Kinks In Celluloid Heroes~
I wish my life was a non-stop hollywood movie show,
A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,
Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain
And celluloid heroes never really die.

Let The Good Times Roll

[...]

The Indian economy grew at an unexpectedly brisk pace of 8.9 percent in the second quarter of 2006, propelled by a sharp turnaround in its once laggard manufacturing industry.The Indian growth rate is now among the highest anywhere; at the pace announced Friday, the economy will double in size every eight years. Manufacturing output in the three months through June grew 11.3 percent from a year earlier, beating a 10.6 percent expansion in the roaring Indian services trade of call centers and software houses.

[...]

so we are giving china a fight for the finish in manufacturing as well... it will be years or even decades before we match the cap-ex that china has built over the years.. we need to ensure that these good numbers are not just a flash in a pan.. or some quaterly aberration but the rise of a counter-weight to chinese dominance.. but matching up to china is no one way street.. it has to be built in from in-side and ground-up.. it needs strong phyiscal as well as social infrastructure... as i had already said before in my previous posts...

"Normally the best of the times are there to make the toughest of decisions.. the choices of today will decide the growth of tomorrow... there has to be positive reforms to sustain and further this growth instead of relying on foreign funds to do the trick.. "

but this fractious left-leaning government has done nothing to sustain or augment this growth trajectory.. some would say that current government made it on the pro-poor platform... hmmmm.. so the government wouldn't do anything that's seen pro-big-business... sure.. lets buy this argument for a minute... show me what this establishment has done for its so-called poor votebank.. those marginalised... nothing except rabble rousing.. farmers continue to commit suicide.. not much movement either on infrastructure or so-called social justice front.. a kind of inertia has gripped this government.. and brought it to a halt.. for anything and everything ... everybody looks over their shoulder to sonia gandhi... as if she holds the destiny of over one billion people... such servile attitude of the current leadership is scornful... tell me 'whats the biggest decision this goverment took in last one year'... and you are left scratching your head as if this country was in some utopian land.. an el-dorado.. where all things possible have been achieved.. this inertia.. inaction.. this 'chalta hai attitude' would take us nowhere.. it has taken us nowhere in last sixty years... how can establishment think that things would turn honky-dory with it doing nothing...

~Who Are You~

Pictures From The Weekend

We went to Niagara falls this weekend... couple of pictures to sum-up that lovely feeling.. and the great time we had there...





Niagara Falls , New York State

Written On the Wall

President Musharaff : In 2001, the United States had threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age unless it joined the fight against Al-Qaeda.

Bush Jr. : I would order American troops to take action inside Pakistan if Osama Bin Laden was found to be hiding there.

so the obvious question is.. Is the "honeymoon" over..? such sabre rattling when the general is facing tough time is bound to even lessen the elbow space he has.. after all he was the america's 'best hope'.. and see how the hopes come crashing down... so what has caused the apparently warm realations to cool off so dramatically... i guess everybody saw it comming...

#afghanistan is in midst of the most serious insurgency after US troops marched into Kabul.. and its open secret that from where taliban is drawing its real power... Bin Laden and his men hiding somewhere.. maybe in a cave in miran shah or maybe a luxiourious appartment in downtown karachi...

#the president (Musharaff) himself looks as shaky as ever before... even after eight years in power nothing much has improved on ground... politically.. economically... the democracy is nowhere to be seen.. the muslim right is still powerful.. parts of his country are under tribal or political insurrection...

#recent incidents have shown that his power is slipping or he is incapable of even sound judgement.. the recent military type killing of nawab bugti.. the ceasefire in waziristan ( effectively ceeding those FATA areas to taliban ) has shown that he may not be after all in america's best interest... i have a feeling that this waziristan thing is a prelude to US forces in pakistan...

#pakistan has become The Factory Of Terrorism... not only in its immediate neighbourhood.. but in lands as remote as britain ( the failed plane bombing plot ) has convinced people that camps in kotli don't need kabul or kashmir to spew venom.. it will find reaons anyways... they have become those swamps that need to be drained out...

But i doubt how far the United States is willing to go to tighten the leash aroung Musharaff.. america is not in the best of times militarily and strategically... atleast in this region.. i believe neither Bush nor Musharaff have any other cards to play with respect to terrorism... they need each others back for scratching... and i guess both need Bin Laden back also for scratching.. after all the day he is caught.. Bush and his fabled 'Global War On Terror' will lose its singular fighting ( or existential ) motive.. Musharaff will lose his sole trumpcard.. even though he is playing with empty hands or even possibly with his hands tied at the back...

~Carry On My Wayward Son~

Being Conservative...

there is a great debate going on in U.S. a kind'of introspection as to where this country is heading under Bush Jr... and you hear terms like neocons.. conservatism.. theocons.. christian right.. over and over again on U.S. media.. 'am not sure what exactly these terms mean in context of american polity.. or the general sense of unease in political circles... i don't know if current administration policy on iraq or on torture or on religion in politics or on gun control or on global warming measures up to being conservative or liberal... but i 'm sure this is not the way to go forward... and i am also sure that i belong to that school of thought in which Bush Jr. is not the leading torch bearer.. be it conservative or liberal... i read this recent essay that speaks on being conservative and on global warming.. i kind'of liked it... so i 'm copying it here...

[...]

Conservatives do not seek to remake the world anew. We do not hope to impose upon it some abstract ideological “truth” or bring about some new age for humanity. We seek as conservatives merely to live up to our generational responsibility and to care for the inheritance we have in turn been given. This ecological vision is a Burkean one, which is why Toryism’s natural colour is as much green as blue.

Of all those likely to be alarmed by freakishly hot summers, potentially freezing futures and drastic events such as super-hurricanes, conservatives should surely be the most prominent. Conservatives tend to like things as they are and have been. They are discombobulated by change, which they always experience as, in some measure, loss.

And loss it is. When an old tree is uprooted by a storm, when an old church is razed or an old factory turned into loft apartment, we all sense that something has been lost — if not the actual thing then the attachments that people, past and present, have forged with it, the web of emotion and loyalty and fondness that makes a person’s and a neighbourhood’s life a coherent story.

Human beings live by narrative. We become sad when a familiar character disappears from a soap opera, or an acquaintance moves, or an institution becomes unrecognizable from what it once was. These little griefs are what build a conservative temperament. They interrupt our story, and our story is what makes sense of our lives. So we resist the interruption, and when we resist it we are conservatives.

Resisting massive climate change is resisting a huge disruption of what we have been and there are few endeavors more conservative than that. The sadness one feels at the destruction of, say, New Orleans, is a conservative emotion.

[...]

you can read the entire essay here

~Bang A Gong (Get It On)~

Is 'Conservation' A Dirty Word

is conservation a dirty word out here... why is that even after dire warnings about global warming & oil at $70+ a barrel.. only lip service is being paid to conservation... maybe everybody has some stakes in keeping the oil wells pumping and light bulbs burning... last week i paid a casual visit to a casino.. had lunch buffet.. where i think the whole concept was how many times and how much could you waste food... such unbridled excesses... 5% of global population consuming i guess anywhere between 30-40% of global output of anything... and everything.. and with the growth of chinese and indian middle class ( another 2 billion+ wannabees ).. consider what will happen if these also live the lifestyles of an average american.. consume like them.. drive cars like them... waste like them... i am pretty sure that my energy consumption here vis-a-vis when i was in india is maybe 10 times over... maybe more... so is my daily carbon footprint... ( in case you don't know carbon footprint ) where will all the resources and energy come when most of us in india/china will live lives that be 'carbon-copies' of life out here.. can we sustain such consumption patterns... The world is not only 'round' and 'flat' but also 'finite'... but George Bush won't speak the word 'conservation' as if preservation was something of a pariah... as if preservation was something way out of american psyche.. he talks for taxing Big Oil... for opening up Alaska for drilling... in the same breath as he talks about going green.. and virtues of less fuel guzzling cars... what a hypocrisy.. the world needs to act and act fast to conserve and preserve what we inherited.. but then somebody has to walk the talk...

Question Of The Day : George W. Bush always says that terrorists are out there to destroy the American Way Of Life... i 'am left scratching my head... what exactly is this 'American Way Of Life'... ?

~Fade To Black~

What We've Learned

this week five years have passed since the twin towers came crashing down... five years have passed since america realized that terrorism is not something which afflicts other nations.. five years since "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists" jingoism.. five years of now quickly unravelling "Global War On Terror".. so the obvious question now is... are we anywhere safer than we were before 9/11... has the terrorists hideouts been eliminated.. and the swamps that breed these terrorists have been drained out... I think NO... neither is america any safer now, nor those muslim grievances that bred alienation have been removed.. in all cases the muslim youth out on street is more rabid anti-U.S. than ever before.. and yet Mr Bush. espouses a foreign policy thats difficult to understand and impossible to justify..

i am quoting some of the lines ( that i liked.. ) from the cover story in Time.com about the five years post 9/11 and the Great Mess we are in right now....

[....]
All wars, even the noblest, bring a reckoning of means and ends. The war on terrorism has long since lost its crisp moral lines. Who foresaw that the battle would require a national seminar about when it's O.K. for Americans to torture prisoners and whether near drowning counts? Or a debate over which clauses of the Constitution might be expendable? We may agree that terrorism is wicked, but we're still unsure about how to answer it."
Presidents make their hard decisions and then abide forever with their mistakes and regrets. Since the decision to commit soldiers to battle is the most fateful he makes, it is here that a President--his instincts, his judgment, his pride and his purposes--is most exposed. If he succeeds, the errors are footnotes; if he fails, the best intentions are just dust.
[....]

[....]
No, we don't know how the story ends. The idea that history is written by the victors has been wrongly credited to Winston Churchill, but he did say, "If you are going through hell, keep going." But you wonder whether years from now--5? 10? 50?--there will come a day when the victors actually know that they've won, that the battle is over and they can set about the writing. And whether even then, we will be sure that we have got the story right.
[....]

~Gypsy Eyes~

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

after reading so many lists at My50.com & 43things.com and host of other sites.. I have come up with my list of things that i wish (thinking of wishing... ) to do in my life-time.. please note that some things (i think all) may not be humanly or even Godly possible... but then if wishes were horses.. the list is no apparent order though.. even my life/priorities are no longer in order though..

#1 Learn Guitar
#2 Visit Kailash Mansarover
#3 Have A Comet/Asteroid Named After Me
#4 Write A Book & Get It Published
#5 Learn To Eat By Chopsticks
#6 Travel On Foot-steps Of Marco Polo Along Fabled Silk-route
#7 Have A House With Luxiourous Swimming Pool & Fully Stocked Bar
#8 Smoke A Original Havana Cigar
#9 Buy A Really Good Telescope
#10 Make A Rock Band & Cut An Album
#11 Meet Bob Dylan In-Person
#12 Be At Pink Floyd's Concert
#13 Have A Great English Movies DVD Library
#14 Visit Tibet & Israel Someday
#15 Set My Foot On Antartica/Greenland
#16 To Be Abandoned On A Barren Island
#20 To Become A Foreign Policy Expert
#21 Fight In Bloody Valleys Of Kashmir
#22 Do My Part For Making India Great
#23 Make A Killing In Stock Market One Day
#24 Own An Island & A Yatch
#25 Cook Good Food
#26 Re-forest A Barren Patch Of Land
#27 Own A Non-Fossil Fuel Vehicle
#28 See Aliens And E.T. And U.F.O.
#29 Set Up A Renewable Energy Company
#30 Learn How To Fly A Airplane
#31 Cover WWIII As A War Correspondent
#32 Be Somebody Like Warren Buffet
#33 Play The Role Of Forrest Gump
#34 Understand All Of Quantum Physics
#35 Kick George W. Bush A**
#36 Know What I Have Done Wrong In My Whole Life
#37 Dive Down To The Depths Of Ocean Trench
#38 Catch & Cook A Fish All By Myself
#39 Travelling Around The World In Hot-Air Ballon
#40 Find A Dinosaur Fossil
#41 Visit Siachen Glacier
#42 Have A Time Machine Contructed And Visit The Past & The Future
#43 Own A Tiger As A Pet
#44 Own The Passport Of Every Country
#45 Have A Robot (Something Like The One In Movie A.I.)

I would be great if in my life i could even manage to get into double digits with this list..

Question Of The Day : Why does two 'desis' never talk on the lift.. or in the store.. or on the metro.. or for that matter anywhere.. ?

~For Whom The Bells Toll~

View From My Office Window

This is the view from my office window.. doesn't it look great.. it doesn't feel like working once you are here..



we are here on the Cambridge side ( in case you don't know.. Cambridge is the home town of america's two best universities.. the Harvard and MIT ) on the other side of the river Charles is Boston ( one of america's oldest cities and famous for Boston Tea party ... if anybody remembers the class VIII History chapter on American Revolution... ) it looks awesome.. well just AWESOME...

~Take It Easy~

View From My Apartment Window

its a beautiful morning out here in Boston and the view from my eleventh floor apartment is one obscured by the clouds... and you are already feeling a little cold (its just august summer here.. the tough winter blizzards are long way off.. ) in the light T-shirt and the pajamas.. i wonder why it rains always on weekends... maybe it rains anytime here... and in this effortless morning... you could see the distant higher ground... it looks same as from my home in doon.. except that the mountains are bit closer here.. and scores of people jogging around fully loaded with iPod and a water bottle.. ( people jog any time here...even during the mid-noon... ) and in immediate neighborhood you could hear the hustle-bustle of the high traffic of Route 93 i guess ( its some number.. ! ) and the occasional yet frequent siren of police cars.. the police station is nearby.. so they are usually nearby to buzz all the way.. and from the apartment window.. i could see lot number of american homes that have masted their star-spangled banner over the rooftops or on balconies.. an occasional "support our troops " banner... i must say americans love their country... they really do... and i think post-9/11.. post-Afghanistan and iraq.. post -hurricane katrina.. post-outsourcing ( and the subsequent loss of jobs to india/china ) the feeling the america is invincible has all been but lost.. its no longer the macho approach.. no longer take 'em all and smoke 'em all... its no more of an interventionist.. but more of inward-looking.. of not "why-not" but "why"... as we approach 9/11 and katrina anniversary... this feeling is all reflected in the media... maybe its the best approach for america but not for the lone superpower of the world.. after all iran is different from dafur... north korea is different from horn of africa... but seeing it from an eyes of an average american... the idea of troops heading somewhere in god-forsaken lands just shudders them.. it should.. nearly 3000 american troops have died fighting for a cause as alien as iraq.. not counting the countless iraqis and the insurmountable misery they are in right now... but the administration out here likes battle-cry.. it likes belligerent iran.. it wants a more ominous intelligence warnings.. it wants more red and orange level alerts... maybe it works for it.. it often does.. not only here but everywhere.. it works in india as well... maybe he (George W. Bush... who else.. uuh. ? ) would like the next "mission accomplished" jingoism even before the war starts... ( people might say why 'am i writing it on america when troops back home are fighting on every domestic frontier possible... its a good question.. and you may or may not agree with my answer.. we don't need to justify why we are fighting in kashmir.. it would be an insult to the fallen men.. we have a mission to fight for.. and god forbid.. if we ever fail in it.. for my blood boils when i see young bright men.. heading for that killing fields of valley.. for all these brave men have seen my doon.. they have spent there some best years (IMA) in there.. and i tell you they are among the best of the lot.. they really are.. ) you know politicians are same everywhere... back home the politician is out there to be brought cheap... while here they are out there selling cheap.. its just the way you look at it.. two sides of the same coin...

~Hey You~

In The Land Of Americana

It has been two weeks since i have arrived in U.S... in this land of yankees... in the eastern heartland of america.. the land which the immigrants made... and in these two long weeks learning the ways of an average american... ( 'am not turning american any time soon... ) i have realized that the America is way way different than the rest of world ( or may be i haven't seen rest of world.. so its much much different from india anyways... ) am getting used to takeaway lunches.. on the dishwasher and onDemand TV... on huge convenience stores.. on dime & cents... on not paying for the newspaper.. on climbing on the stairs even though the escalator is moving... it will take time to settle down.. by that time its time to head home... :) but yes.. life is fast here.. very fast... and everything is disposable here... always ready to consume and always ready to throw... and its highly mechanized and digitized... and yes beer is cheaper than distilled water... and energy costs are dead cheap.. traffic sense is civilized... and people in general are helpful and responsive... but then this sense of self-assurance allows fatigue to creep in very fast... you get bored very easily... nothing holds your frame of mind for long... and in just two weeks.... doing home to office and back home.. it seems like i have been doing it for ages... maybe i should get used to living alone in lands distant.... following the great american dream....

~Should I Stay Or Should I Go~

Eye On The Space

i was reading Time.com's Eye On Science and found this interesting NASA mission that they have put up in the skies above us.... Its called GRACE aka. Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment.

The GRACE mission will have two identical spacecrafts flying about 220 kilometers apart in a polar orbit 500 kilometers above the Earth. it will map the Earth's gravity fields by making accurate measurements of the distance between the two satellites, using GPS and a microwave ranging system. The gravity variations that GRACE will study include: changes due to surface and deep currents in the ocean; runoff and ground water storage on land masses; exchanges between ice sheets or glaciers and the oceans; and variations of mass within the Earth... (This will be crucial when you will consider the mass difference that will happen due to the speeding up of melting of the polar ice caps.. such information will provide an undeniable evidence to the rejectionists that Global Warming is for real.... )

GRACE will obtain a gravity field map by looking at how the Earth's mass varies from place to place on the surface as the twin satellites pass over.Since the Earth has varied topographic features such as mountains, valleys, and underground caverns, the mass is not evenly distributed around the globe and different physical features can be distinguished. The lumps observed in the Earth's gravity field result from this uneven distribution of mass on the Earth's surface and GRACE will map these perturbations with unprecedented accuracy.Here's an example of how it works. The two GRACE satellites are traveling in space, both 500 kilometers above the earth. As the front satellite approaches an area of higher gravity, it will be pulled toward the area of higher gravity and speed up. This increases the distance betweenthe two satellites. As the satellites straddle the area of higher gravity, the front satellite will slow down and the trailing satellite will speed up. As the trailing satellite passes the area of higher gravity, it will slow down and the lead satellite will not be affected. As the satellites move around the Earth, the speeding up and slowing down of the satellites will allow scientists to measure the distance between the two satellites, and, therefore, map the earth's gravity field.


You can read full artice relating to GRACE MISSION and its objectives at the GRACE webpage

~These Boots Are Made For Walking~

The House Divided

The ceasefire have started between warring factions in this latest conflict in the Middle-East... but i doubt if the guns will be silent for long... all across the asian heartland this same scenario is being repeated on all frontiers... The asia of today looks pretty much the same as the europe at the beginning of the 20th century... with so many fault lines.. so many vested interest.. and so easy pressure-points.. and it has been only after two World Wars that the fight for peace in europe was settled for once and for all.. maybe the costs made war in europe an unfeasible option... but no one can deny the fact that the two wars settled all the disputes relating to territorial claims, ethnic and commercial and egoistic interests of not only german but the ottoman or hasburgs.. and after the second world war europe has seen a lull uptill the balkans civil war.. (not including the rivalry of cold war.. ) today asia is pretty much the same.. the conflict in middle east festers on with deadly portents.. the house of sauds is a risky proposition.. iraq is on brink on civil war.. iran and syria the new axis-of-evil.. afghanistan and pakistan back on the brink of chaos... the former CIS economies are the crucible of muslim fundamentalism and weak democracies ( plus the russian involvement.. ) The less said about the india and its immediate neighborhood, the better... meanwhile the world watches uneasily as the might of china rises both economically and militarily... while japan espouses are more aggressive foreign and defense policy... north korea is one loose cannon that can blow any day... taiwan..sparty islands... meanwhile external factors keep building up.. trade imbalances for one... the rising thirst for crude oil... america proposal on missile defense, on ringing-up china... rise of muslim fundamentalism... doesn't this fractured continent looks like one that will mend itself only after one big pyrrhic win...

~Teach Your Children Well~

The War From Where I Stand

after many year of peace ( relative peace i.e. notwithstanding the intifada... the occasional suicide bombing or attacks in sinai ) the Middle East is on the boil again.. the immediate provocation being the seizure of 3 israeli soldiers by hamas and Hezbollah.. but what followed these seizes was unwarranted.. it was as if isreal wanted to play the part that these militant group (and its backers ) had decided for it.. a highly disproportionate use of its overwhelming strike force advantage.. and even carpet-bombing areas south of beruit and Gaza Strip.. this doesn't make sense.. isreal has previously released palestine/lebanese prisoners in exchange for captured soldiers/civilians.. so what was different this time.. i think geo-political situation outside of isreal decided the course of action this time.. i believe having a conservative George Bush at capitol hill.. and with the pro-jewish lobby in full force it has emboldened the Zionists to act in this way.. and there appears to be some sort of tacit approval in Bush administration on the heavy-handed tactics of isreal.. and maybe there is some wanton thoughts in washington to use this war as a excuse to target syria and iran ( the fabled 'axis-of-evil' ) but iran is not some banana republic under the sun that can be subdued easily... its a full fledged islamic state that has been rabidly anti-US for the quarter of century now.. it has been espousing the case for nuclear weapons for some time now.. and nobody knows the extent of its advancement there.. ( but with north korea also in picture you can never be sure that iran doesn't have them.. ) besides anarchy in iraq and afghanistan have given it a kind'of strategic depth that this shiite state hadn't had in centuries.. and this $70 a barrel oil has made it flush with funds that will help it buy weapons,men and even support.. so any covert or overt action on iran will be hugely disastrous for the whole world.. and its aftermath will result in a crescent of resurgent shitte areas from kabul to beruit ,more mujhaids and anger on the street.. unstable saudi arabia.. , forget Oil , forget GWOT ( another fabled acronym for 'Global War On Terror...) well you cannot fully comprehend the dangers of where this could go... i guess Al-Queda will be the only one smiling...

~Rock Around The Clock~

2000 Light Years Away From Sanity

so the blogs are back in town... well almost.. the guess the blogs had no reason to be banned in the first place.. even the discriminating ones.. nobody.. i mean NOBODY can stop this advance of technology.. the moment the blogs were banned.. site proxies (one even from pakistan.. ) were widely quoted as alternate ways to access those banned sites.. so the whole purpose ( even if we believe there was genuine one.. was lost in this maze of technology..) neither this banning was morally and ethically correct.. how different are then we from China which is even censuring the Google Search ( i can't imagine how Google/Yahoo agreed to this *bullshit*.. ) and this banning was the unlikelist of the goverment response's in lieu Mumbai blasts.. I think the blogs and bloggers played positive role in all the cases in the aftermath of the horrific bomb blasts in Mumbai

In my post Running With The Devil i had written about the current dismal state of affairs..

i guess the country's establishment priorities lies in which movie to ban,in
mindless quota politics,on iran.. et.al.. whereas the real issues lie somewhere
else.. somewhat sinister..


The goverment's decision made no sense.. in banning free,independent and
highly personal media like blogs ( agreed that there may be some sites that need to be singled out.. but then does this goverment has the means to enforce such censure.. ) and in any case banning these won't in any way improve the security situation and decrease the threat perception that this country faces.. this thinking of the establishment is a mere fallacy.. why doesn't the goverment shows such proactive approach towards closing down SIMI.. busting terror sleeper cells.. on curbing the bangladesh border.. but no.. the goverment could just muster enough strength to ban hapeless blogs..

.. for a change this time the goverment realised its mistake... and lifted the ban..

~Gimme Your Money Please~

"Post Mortem" :: Episode 3 (Revised)

i started writing the concluding part of my trilogy ( on my two years in IT ) on friday but couldn't finish it off.. so i saved it to finish it later.. i had written on my state of mind.. which is not very great these days.. ( i think i had already written on it before.. ) but by sunday when i sat down again to finish this post.. the revised salary letters were out.. and my mood had changed.. it was not that bad as when i started writing it.. so i had to re-write the whole post.. but why should i be complaining... the new salary slips are above what i expected ( i think 'expected' is not the right word.. maybe 'feared' sounds better.. ) and much more what most in my team got ( they say money is a great 'leveller'.. i could not agree more.. ) now all my grouses against this company.. against this industry.. against the work.. seems to have all vanished.. ( for now.. ) i love this company ;-) lets see how long this supposed self-satisfaction lasts.. but i 'm always bewildered as to what self-satisfaction is.. or if there is such a thing called 'satisfaction'.. and how to make this all-important trade-off between monetary satisfaction and job/work satisfaction in these impressionable times... chalo i will be short.. i need to uncork the bottle to celebrate the occasion.. :) :)

~Down By The River~

"Post Mortem" :: Episode 2

this is the second installment in my continued trilogy on IT and my completing two years in IT ( two years.. OMG, in a single concern.. but we will take about it later.. ) this part mostly deals with 'How To Survive IT'...
In these initial moulding years in IT i have realised thats it not very difficult to do great in IT.. you don't need to be bright or genius to succeed.. all you need is to play your cards well.. really well .. and Boy i assure , and you will places..
These are some of the tenets for working and succeding in IT..

Create Bigger Impact : Try to create a bigger impact or impression than the thing actually deserves or warrants.. this will help you sell yourself better and create tremendous brand recall.. besides you get the much maligned 'Visibility' ...

Keep Everybody In Loop : Keep everybody that's remotely associated with the project in the 'to' and 'cc' list on mails.. and you will make sure you will rise fast.. after all everybody loves to be given importance.. and hundreds of mails in his mailbox.. besides marking a copy also acts as a safety valve if things go wrong..

Work Smart : Always work smarter and not harder.. if working harder could have achieved anything then the rickshaw-walla would have been earning more then these stressed out souls in IT.. try to keep the expectation low.. and try out performing those expectations.. i always believe in 'under-expectation and over-performance'...

The Boss is Always Right :Argue.. Fight.. Debate with your boss.. but in the end make sure that his swolled nerves have been mollified.. remember that 'The Boss is Always Right'... ALWAYS...

Love Metrics.. Love Processess.. Love Documentation : Love and follow your processes even if they all just mean bullshit.. love your excelsheets.. those ppt slides.. those endless meetings.. those mail-mail games.. those reviews stuff.. and document everything that you learn or google.. these documentation helps a LOT !! really... i mean it.. also keep everything in writing..

Always appear enthusiastic.. proactive.. initiative driven.. : this is where i fail and fail miserably :( Another one.. this may sound dirty.. but then it's a dirty world out here.. engage in regular sound-bites.. i 'm not saying flattery but well something like flattery.. just tell people things that they want to hear.. and you become a very close confidant..

Have An Exit Route :Always have an exit plan ready.. you never know when your boss.. or your boss's boss or the endless bosses we have could give a nice kick on your already out-of-shape bottom..

Use 'Right' words at 'Right' time : when you need to protect your turf.. be assertive.. when you need help.. be polite.. be good friends with the whole team.. you never know when you need somebody.. when not sure.. sound unsure.. when confident.. sound confident...

Never Sound Idiotic : Tell it frankly if you don't know something instead of shooting your mouth off.. it takes great pains to make an impression on these firangi client and one bad day can set you back by ages...

enough of preaching.. had i myself followed what i preach i guess things would have been different.. *sigh*...

something again on the lighter side.. got a link of wikimapia which is like Google Earth except that dehradun and small towns are pretty much detailed out in it... so using wikimapia me and my roomie found out our appartment in Noida and tagged it as jahan boss log rahete hai... :) :) OMG.. not content with this we found out the nearest bar where we frequent and tagged it as jahan boss log peete hai... :) :)

~A Horse With A Name~

"Post Mortem" :: Episode 1

today i completed two full years in this company as an employee.. and this being my first company.. and my first experiences with the pulls and pressures of IT.. therefore my reasoning may be skewed and tending to decieve general reasoning.. ( i love this company ;-) ) to mark these two years i 'm writing an introspective trilogy on my experiences within this IT.. this part dedicated to IT and outsourcing in general...

in these initial learning years in IT i have realised that all this buzz around outsourcing is deceiving.. its nothing else except plain 'labour arbitrage'.. its just not about Indian IT expertise.. nor about huge workforce.. it's just that work is being done at the costs that is fraction to what it could have been done in US and the cost of telecom and the ease of technology has made multi-locational facilities feasible for even mid-sized corporates.. but i 'm sceptic as to how long can indian engineer hold on to this cost advantage vis-a-vis US engineer.. the cost of an Indian Engineer rises 15%-20% average Y-O-Y whereas salaries there (US) rises measly.. besides there is this perpetual grouse over efficency.. so does outsourcing really help... i have my doubts.. i believe that the reason why corporations took to outsourcing in such a big way is that post tech-bust no company is willing to deploy huge funds to just write new piece of worthless software or implement new technologies ( that may or may suceed ).. much of the spending is just being done to maintain legacy systems ( Maintenance ).. or automate processess ( ERP Packages ) or move processes on to the Web ( application development ).. and this is where indian IT makes a killing just by the virtue that work is being shipped to india where salary is paltry.. but i think outsourcing doesn't save much.. atleast in fields like application development ( not talking about things like VLSI where savings is huge and India expertise is par excellence ) the efficency of indian workforce is way way less then US based engineer.. then this time-difference ( between India and U.S ) becomes a great bottleneck.. i also find great differences in the working attitudes of a US versus Indian Engineer for things like ownership ,creativity, efficency, resposibility and commitment.. (not to say that we don't have these.. but still the difference is there.. ) and finally the value that is being added is still being added by engineers sitting in silicon valley or san jose... its there that fine products ( killer-apps.. like iPod, Google, Ebay ) are being created..

chalo.. i better finish it off.. i wanted to write more .. and write better.. but feeling sleepy.. i guess the booze is getting the better of me ;-)

~Love Me Two Times~

Reality Really Bites..

another pretty normal day at the workplace... and yes the appraisal rating came out today ( no suprises though... ) the actual salary figures will come later next week hopefully ;) and while working n thinking as to what i will do this weekend.. the product installation got corrupted.. :( hard luck.. it took me more than an hour to uninstall.. re-install and then apply service pack over it.. and as the installer ran in the background i browsed through Google Video Top Pick's... there was a presentation delievered by former US Vice-President Al Gore at the TED Conference.. on Climate Change.. he talked out what green-houses gases could do if emission is left uncontrolled.. on what we could do the cut on carbon-usage.. and the best part what the US and US Goverment needs to do so that it's in sync with the general world consensus on Climate Change.. after all US is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases just by the sheer volume of carbon it burns.. so any forward movement without taking along US won't add into much.. and i think post-Katrina there has been a sense of urgency on the part of American public ( 'm not taking about Bush Jr. he is still the same good old oilman from TX.. cutting forests.. opening Alaska for Big Oil.. and saying NO to oil conservation.. ) but even with US participation.. i guess the problems with tackling climate change are umpteen.. any estimates to cut back emissions are difficult to calculate and monitor and at best hazy.. and we are taking of time-frames that strech 20-25 years from now.. besides there is scepticism in some quaters if climate change is exactly the result of human intervention.. instead they blame it on the periodic heating and cooling of the planet..( human just being minor contributors ) also there is a great debate over efficency ( US based coal-fired stations ) v/s inefficency ( China based coal-fired stations ) ...over who should take the onus.. developed ( US/Japan ) v/s developing ( China/India ).. over who should do it.. Goverment v/s Corporations/Public.. on if Global warming can actally be controlled ( some even argue that we are past the point of no return.. the Global Warming can now sustain itself.. even if all emissions of green house gases stops today.. something like a 'perpetual machine'.. ) not believing these doomsday scenario.. but frankly you will never know when you have crossed the rubicon... and after that day.. its all over.. melting all the permafrost ( releasing trapped carbon ).. when the atlantic conveyor belt stops.. when all polar ice melts.. when the climate as we know today will never be same and sane...

~No More Mister Nice Guy~

Of Men And Sheep

last week to watch the much-hyped germany v/s argentina clash we went to this famous chinese bar that is pretty near to our office and is among the 'watering hole' thats usually frequented by the software-wallas.. we reached early.. so as not to miss the comfortable seats.. much early before the match.. and sitting there with our usual 'who-said-this-&-who-did-that' office bullshit.. and on the table infront of each of us was a rectanglar piece of paper giving which year belong to which animal of the 'Chinese Calendar' ( this being a chinese restaurant...) and the brief description of significance of each animal.. i guess it made an interesting read.. Btw, i dont believe in astrology and sun-signs predictions.. but somehow and surprisingly the Chinese Zodiac was not way off the mark.. atleast in my case..

This is what is said in case of 'The Sheep' ( i being born in the year of sheep.. other luminaries to be born with sheep sign are muhammad ali & billie jean king... )
"This is most feminine sign of Chinese Zodiac. A person of sheep year is called good samaritan of the cycle.He is righteous,sincere and easily taken in by sob stories. known for his gentle and compassionate ways. he can easily forgive and be understanding about other faults. dislikes strick schedules and can not take too much discipline of criticism. "

hmmm... 'dislike strict schedules' that takes the cake... all my life i have never allowed deadlines to get the better of me.. even in IT.. i hate these timelines stuff.. righteous... somewhat true.. but telling you frankly morality hardly pays.. this week being the last to submit yearly medical bills & i haven't yet ( and i know everybody submits counterfeit bills.. but then the heart has reason that reason don't know.. ) 'good samaritan' hmmm.... i think yes.. atleast monetarily.. i have large amount of money loaned out.. :) gentle.. yes... sincere.. lemme think..hmmmm i guess this can be argued upon.. forgivingly... yet to forgive anybody.. i think nobody asks forgiveness these days.. but i 'm sure that chinese have got this one wrong 'easily taken in by sob stories'.. i am waiting to be fooled by somebody ( bandi-log only.. ) by telling me sobbing stories :) :)

~Blinded By The Light~

V For Visibility

Sometime back a movie called 'V for Vendetta' came... it talks about a dystopian world suffering with a one 'fatal flaw'.. there is something thats going on in our project these days.. and its called 'V for Visibility'... i tried looking up the meaning of visibilty and this is what i could salvage on WorldWeb.. "perceptible by the eye or obvious to the eye" ... 'Visibility' per se means creating a slow and sustained 'high voltage impact' over a period of time.. a sort of slow-witted moves that may look foolish prima-facie but increases your 'Brand-Recall' and leaves your opponents caught off-guard.. sample this a perfect example.. you have accomplished a task ( the task was pretty trivial.. ) , but you created quite an impression by doing it.. writing a long artistic mail.. and then marking the copy of that mail to every person that was even remotely connected to this task.. so in the first place you have created an impact ( If thats what we call 'Visibility'.. ) and secondly you have marginalized your colleagues.. even though the task was such that even a dumb-ass can accomplish it.. ( hmmm.. mind you, i don't claim that i am correct... as i have not have much experience in machinations of this tech world.. this being my first company.. and the first project.. ) I am of the opinion that if you are working and working good then one doesn't need to indulge in this gimmickry to prove his/her worth.. the WORK should do the talking instead of this endless rounds of MAILS.. and i think most U.S. engineers are able to distinguish between them.. and i guess if they don't then either you also indulge in this mindless crap or look for greener pastures..( I don't belive that if you worked sincerly then you need to prove that you were working.. its for all to see and judge.. )

~If 6 Was 9~

Bottom Fishing....

This week is one of those weeks on the indian stock markets that one would just had wished hadn't happened.. four straight days of pretty sharp falls and yet no bottom in sight.. and all what the retail investor is doing.. is to sit back on the sidelines hoping that things just turn around or trying to average out the stocks in the portfolio.. i am one of second types.. trying to average it.. and ride it out... together... and i tell you, you need to be pretty strong-hearted to invest in markets these days.. so i am doing bottom-fishing these days.. and yet to find the bottom or the occasional fish.. even though i am a skeptic but having invested so much.. you can't risk being pessimist on the markets now.. hoping that we hit the bottom soon and still not drown in this deluge..

~Great Balls of Fire~

Sunday Ruminations...

This is my third post on reservation.. but i have a feeling that the protests have hit the dead end.. ( Arjun Singh is such an @ss#ole ..) i sincerly hope the goverment realise its folly but i guess the stakes have been made so high that it will be a political 'harakiri' for goverment to now back down.. and there are now voices in this f***n goverment (sorry for being so impolite .. but i can' help ) of extending this to private sector too.. we are seeing a method in this madness.. the goverment now says that it will increase seats to compensate for loss in seats to general category (due to reservation.. ) this is absurd.. i dont think premier colleges have the bandwidth (in terms of infrastructure, teaching staff..) to afford such a seat raise.. already the teacher-student ratio is pathetic... it will only go more down.. but one thing that's bothering me is why the goverment is not going for a monetary-based quota instead of caste-based.. i don't think that even a single soul in this county would be against reservations where the seats the allocated on the families monetary condition.. every party.. every individual.. every student in this country will support such a move and it will be politically correct as well as electorally sound .. but why goverment does not have that kind'of nerve to go for it i don't understand.. maybe the officials in the higher echelons of the goverment ( mind you they are there becuase of reservations) do not wish to share the spoils of reservations with the really-backwards..

~For Those About To Rock ...We Salute You~

work-'karma' @ workplace

Does 'Living Karmic life' in Tech. Sector has any bearing or has 'Karma' as we generally know it, lost its relevance in these days of technology.. Karma as far i know is a cycle of 'cause and effect'... 'if you do good things, good things will happen to you - if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you'. is the simplest of definitions one can attach to Karma.. The effects of all deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life. The idea is that the beneficial or harmful effects one has on the world ( Read Software Industry here.. ) will return to oneself...
Of-late i have started doubting the existence of 'karmic life'... though i am a non-believer i still believe karma as an inherent principle of the universe( something like quantum physics..) without the intervention of any Supernatural Being. so eventually whatever you sow.. you are going to reap that.. however i have a feeling that this is being lost in this mad mad rat race thats evident in Tech. these days.. consider this...

Exhibit 1 : The 'show me the money' angle : you have just joined the organisation.. but you are willing to quit becuase the other company down the street is offering more...

Exhibit 2: The 'escapist' angle : you join the company.. the initial honeymoon period is over.. the going gets tough for you ,you quit the organisation.. for greener pastures..

Exhibit 3: The 'sleeping colleagues' angle : you are in a team.. and the team is full of people who don't work but still are complaining or bossing around..

Exhibit 4: The 'inner circle' angle : there are some born-politicians in the team who seem to be in good books of some whosoever and form the inner circle who is out there to kick your a** .

Exhibit 5: The 'why-not-me' angle : people who seem to be jealous that others have got the oppurtunity even though they were denied that & they are not willing to consider why it was denied to them...

Now the real question.. if these people are growing in profile/salary & oppurtunities so where is all this talk of 'Karma'. it seems that i have fooled myself sticking to the notion that someday some semblance of sanity will return and those who have made shortcuts will suffer.. but seriously i doubt if that will ever happen.. i don't mean to say that i am a kind'of ideal employee doing always right.. i have many shortcommings, i too have made mistakes but then i tried not to repeat them and learn from my experiences... but where is the incentive (or even recognition ) to excel.. i am caught in a situation where it doesn't matter if i work or not.. the results will always be same in the end.. (nothing at best.. ) as for money its important but then it's not paramount.. what's important is the need to 'deserve it' before you 'desire it'.. ditto for position & recognition.. i always thought that i made correct choices sticking to a job in past 2+ years.. but on second thoughts i am not so sure of the choices made.. on hindsight i feel whats more important is not the amount of work you do.. but how much 'high voltage' impact you make even if you have done/achieved nothing..
Maybe there is nothing of 'Karma' in software.. the mistakes of past never come to haunt you... instead these mistakes ( read job-hopping.. ) just makes your pay packet more and more fatter....

~Wish You Were Here~

Symptom Of Our Times

Well i recieved this joke through a mail that correctly describes the days of our lives..

Manmohan Singh to Bush Jr. : We are sending Indians to the moon next year.
Bush Jr. : Wow! How Many?
Manmohan Singh : 100
25 - OBC
25 - SC
20 - ST
5 - Sports Persons
5 - Terrorist Affected
5 - Kashmiri Migrants
5 - Minorities
9 - Politicians
and if possible...
1 - Astronaut
Bush Jr. : Me too interested.. Maybe Osama is hiding there or WMD are hidden there..

The way things are going it looks like we would be having quotas in trains and planes as well.. possibly the pilot shouting that the plane will not move untill the reserved seats are full..

~Burning Down The House~

The Blind Men, The Elephant & The Project

Hmmm.. so the Heat is on.. and its appraisal time guys.. the days of our reckoning.. i today had a meeting with the HR ( my first in this company.. ) typical HR.. though she was pleasant.. but her questions were as old as hills.. How has your two years been in XXXXX and this project (.. Good Gosh !! two years ..!! i don't know if i need to be happy or depressed ) ..my response was on the expected lines.. it has been nice working in XXXXX and in this prestigious project.. ( uuh !! ) But seriously what has been my experience working on this project.. I guess i will need to tell you a short story to tell my state of affairs.. and be quiet if you already know the story :))

In the story, the six blind men each encounter only one part of the huge elephant and come back with six wildly varying descriptions of the elephant..
The first blind man, who examined the side and decided it was a blackboard ( new technologies.. new learning, career advancement )... The second blind man got the smooth and meandering trunk and he thought it to be a curves or arches of a huge palace.. (thinking of the bigger and better times that will come if he stayed put.. ) The third blind man, who was given the elephant's pointed smooth ivory tusk, decided its the jutting from a gold crown.. (a crown that would signify his recognition and hard work inside the project..) The fourth blind man touched the legs and shouted trees.. strong mango trees ( stability with fruits of patience.. ) The fifth blind man got the tail, and he cried ropes.. ( ropes that will help him scale mountains.. get promotions.. and beat colleagues..) The sixth got the ears and he called out Wings.. ( wings that would fly him to onsite and $ salaries.. )

Though everybody is right.. for they have decided on what their impaired senses could sense.. but ultimately they were all wrong.. hopelessly wrong.. for its not the tree.. or the wings or the ropes.. its the giant elephant strolling in its own rhythm.. ( a giant corporation that listens to nobody and cares about nobody.. ) and i think two years is enough to go-round the thing and decide that it indeed is an elephant.. especially if you are not blind..

~Nothing Else Matters~

Sharp Left Turn Ahead

Hmmm... i usually don't write posts on politics.. but this has to be an exception... the assembly results in four states are out.. and there are no suprises as to who the real winners are.. Left parties undoubtedly.. the losers seems to be the ladies brigade (..Jaya and Mamata ...thank God !! ) the mainstream parties are nowhere in the reckoning.. and the left appear to be gaining strength with every elections.. that is surprising when you consider that we are in midst of a red-hot economy and record-breaking growth rates.. the left is not only continuing to hold on.. but it has found more recruits and reached out to newer areas for its 'hugger-mugger' policies... this trend of left revival is not only specific to india but is being seen worldwide.. all of americas except US and Canada has turned sharply left.. leaders like Hugo Chavez of Venezula have become the new poster boys of leftist ideology and student campuses... most of mainland and eastern europe is left-leaning now.. this is ironic.. there is no major total-communist territory left (China hmmm.. is part-communist and part-capitalist..).. no such great difficult times.. no wars.. no food scares.. and yet more and more people seems to be embracing it.. I think the world-wide behaviour is more of an aberration.. people experimenting with leftism politics as an alternative to centre and center-right politics.. but here in india their resurgent influence is plain good organizational support and lack of alternatives.. so what is rise of left bode for india.. futher slow reforms.. and no fuel hike in short term.. as Mr MS gets his acts together..

Btw.. Hail Capitalism .. i todya earned a tidy profit on Reliance Petroleum Listing.. :-))

~The Sounds Of Silence~

Realms of Unreason

i just finished filling my appraisal form.. another worthless exercise in name of processess .. i counted eight web pages of questions and answers before the final submit button.. i am sure the managers is not going to read this *bullshit*.. but anyways the page validation required that i fill all the fields of the questionnaire.. damn these questions.. just to give you some quick insight.. there was a personal enrichment page where one can specify the training programs that one wishes to take.. and it consisted of certain exotic titles like 'lateral thinking' and 'six thinking hats' (Boy, sounds interesting.. but i am fed up with my one thinking head.. what would i do of six.. ) then there were certain subjective things like.. 'Things the organization should do and should not do' ( ..the answer is as easy as the question .. pay your employees well.. i thought they would have figured this out by now.. ) also there was a list of smilyies (.. each face suggesting levels of your approaval or not..) for a huge list of questions.. same old questions and same old answers.. and to cap this all .. there was a question.. 'How many candidates did you refer to XXXXXX during the current review period' .. ( i suppose by referring candidates you are buying an insurance policy with the company.. ;-) ).. all this is a sham.. a big circus if you could call it.. i knew the questions ..and the answers and what i am going to say in the review meeting... and what my manager is going to say.. and what my salary hike will be... its all premeditated.. all planned out..

I guess the real battle is in the brain...

~Runnin' Down A Dream~

For What Its Worth

does loyalty pays in long run... or does sticking around for too long actually makes you little out of sync with the times and your abilities.. Big (company) v/s Startup.. Services v/s Products... these are some crucial questions i will be grappling this week.. my second appraisal form came up for filling.. will be doing it tommorrow.. so by next week (appraisal review meeting..) i guess i will be needing answers of the above very 'genuine' questions and some 'idiotic' ones also (sample this... where you see youself three years down.. not surely where i am today.. by the way me thinking of opening an aashram in tibet these days ;-) ) the grapevine has it that the salary hikes will be paltry this time.. (even in these Good Times.. Good Gosh !!!) so you must be thinking now the obvious question is... if the food/coffee machine in the other company down the street better than ours or not.. ( i always think money is a non-issue.. but again i may be wrong.. ) but you know what... situations and circumstances are hardly that crystal clear ever... one sunny morning another bin laden.. another building.. another cause .. same bust.. everything else ends up in smoke.. though i also don't believe that you should live in a relative comfort of your surrounding ( pigeonhole is the correct word.. ) i do not want to be taken for granted.. not even by myself.. nor by abilities questioned.. neither should i get so complacent that i reject or even maybe fear change.. but then i don't want to quit just for the heck of quitting.. defining *self-satisfaction* ( i doubt if there is such a thing.. ) is a tricky buisness i guess..

~I Heard it Through The Grapevine~

Living 'Rented' Lives

For the uninitiated.. i have been living in Noida, a upcoming suburb just outside New Delhi ( i don't know why they call it upcoming... there is hardly any empty strech of land left in Noida now ..) for the last two years in a rented appartment with my couple of friends who all happen to be in IT.. on one sunny summer day our meaningful ( ..or is it meaningless.. ) lives came in for a rude shock ..it was a typical sunday and i was pondering on virtues of bathing or not ( what else can be expected from software-wallas ;-) ).. when the phone rang.. a new number showed on the phone's display.. it was from the appartment's owner ( how come she manages to phone me everytime with a new number.. thats a mystery in itself.. ) and you know what.. i was expecting the call.. there had been rumours doing the rounds that all the bachelors in our housing-society will have to vacate their appartments within a month or two.. but i was not expecting this early.. after all we were kind'of ideal tenants ( tenants who always paid on time.. ) she told that she was serving us a months notice to vacate the flat. the immediate provocation being an unfortunate incident in which a call-center executive in our building jumped from his floor in the state of intoxication (some say he was killed.. and there is a girl angle also... ) after this alleged suicide which was widely covered in media ( ..these news channels-wallas highlight the trivialiest of issues that emanates out of Noida as all channels are based here.. you know convenience-journalism.. ) the society board members (.. retired and have nothing good to do.. other than fretting about where this young generation is going ..) decided to remove all the single-unfortunate-souls from the society (Boy, this is frivolous.. how can they do this.. i thought of filing a PIL, but then the workload on our courts came to my mind ;-) ) ..this bunch of society-oldies had been contemplating this for long and this suicide came as a flash in a pan for them... there had been incidents involving call-center employees in our housing-society but nothing as serious to warrant this... everywhere you have young people engaged in alcohol abuse, live-in relationships, verbal and physical abuse... but you don't shoot the messenger... i find no logic in the society-wallas decision and i guess there is no apparent logic just fool-hardy approach (..what if tommorow a married man jumps to his death.. ) ..if you have complaints against a set of people , why view all the with that same blighted approach.. who will tell them that IT is different from BPO.. on the hindsight.. i believe the BPO people are themselves to blame for their notorious reputation, but thats a seperate issue...

After three weeks plus..of inactivity.. sitting on the notice.. a sense of urgency finally overtook me.. only six days and still no house.. where will i keep my stuff .. my beloved and antique desktop or my better-half (My T.V.) i personally can live out of office..but i hope things would not get that bad.. besides i can pitch in with any of my office friends.. but thats the last option.. (Boy, i hate living in these rented flats.. i really do.. but i don't have a choice..) this realty boom has driven prices to levels where supposedly 'well-off people' (i consider myself among them...) have no hope left of owning a flat ..leave alone a house with a swimming pool.. i picked up the classified and phoned all the nearby property dealers.. err.. real-estate consultants i mean (.. property dealers sounds so down-market as if selling fish on street.. one agent told me.. wow !!) property dealers i guess is the biggest tribe in india these days.. i have heard that besides tax-free, the margins are also good .. i caught hold of a broker err.. real-estate consultants ..typical middle-man like always on phone.. with sunglasses and an attendant.. i told him my requirements and my budget and then this phone did all the talking.. dialing up one numbers after another.. in majority of cases nobody is willing to rent out to single-souls (.. i couldn't figure out why.. a new discrimination is being practised.. ) and never say you belong to BPO or anything thats remotely associated with call-center when looking out for a house ( ..typical witch-hunting i believe !) it has been two days of house-finding and yet to find a decent one.. the rents are exorbitant besides you have to take other considerations also.. powerback-up ( its uttar pradesh after all..) ..RO-water supply (the yamuna water tasts horrible..) security.. close to office/markets.. lot of factors to consider.. four days to go !! and all this pain due to one unfortunate soul who jumped to his death...!!

~A Change Is Gonna Come~

Dazed and Confused

"One who is unable to adjust to one's environment or circumstances or is considered to be disturbingly different from others." is how dictionary.com defines the term 'misfit'. Looks like we all belong to a league of 'misfits'.. a homogeneous set of people who are at odds with the impulses of our times.. are we becoming 'misfits','zombies' and 'monocultures' all at the same time... as for 'misfit'.. i don't think that i need to adjust to environment ( ...and what if the environment is at fault) or i am radically different from a typical youth out there on street.. yet i am different.. different from the normal face in this increasingly faceless crowd.. a 'misfit' yet not a 'MISFIT'.. i think we are a generation of lost souls that may believe that Pepsi is better than Coke or Levi is better than Lee or whatever.. is assertive and appears confident and earns well.. and yet when it comes to decisions that really matter we are found wanting.. A imperfect generation living in imperfect times... I am not sure why i am writing this but over the course of last week there has been three incidents that have again brought the confused nature of our lives...

Exhibit 1: After not so subtle signs that i am unhappy with the state of affairs at my workplace.. my manager called me up... sat down with pen and paper to make a list as to what can be done to improve employee satisfaction ( Boy, again a list .. these lists are deceptive .. they make things look easy when they are not...) he also said that marriage to Aishwary Rai was not on offer ( Wow !!, i love this company.. even Aishwary Rai is negotiable ) ..so how do we go about improving motivation at workplace .. i guess i don't know.. and i don't care anymore.. do i want more money? different work/project? onsite? and i am still clueless.. no damn answers... not sure of what i need or where my priorities lies.. *sigh*.. i guess the problem is choice..

Exhibit 2: Somebody in my extended family had a heart-break (.. i guess it was more than a heart-break, it was a case of broken marriage and broken promises ) ...The tragedy of the situation is nobody is willing to relent.. living on bloated egos and dried-up minds.. it seems everything these days have become so cosmetic.. disposable if you can say that.. decisions that really matter are made on impulses instead of rational thought and decisions that you may regret later.. but you know what.. even if the 'seemingly superficial' wounds heal .. the pain will be felt long time after.. why do we go about making wrong choices.. even when the margin of error in these not-so-normal-times is so small.. *sigh*.. A 'right here.. right now' solution for a 'right here.. right now' problem in the times of 'Make-Believe' will lead you NOWHERE...

Exhibit 3: me on a typical day .. in a typical goverment office for a typical goverment work... and yet the when you came out of the office.. the feeling was not that typical.. i felt being let down by myself.. i had to bribe an official to had some work done.. this was not the first time i had done this... yet the scale and canvas was much bigger this time.. and i don't feel anything great about it.. all my life i held such strong view on corruption.. and yet... i guess i also now belong to the 'sab chalta hai' brigade... *sigh*

~Jimi Hendrix in "All Along The Watchtower"~
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.

On The Road Again


continuing from my last post where we were leaving for the two-day mountain camp in Chail (near Shimla ..) on our motorcycles..
Wow.. this is the first expression I could mumble when we got the black beast from the Royal Enfield Club.. A ThunderBird.. 350 cc of raw power that you are riding on... standing on a side-stand it entices you to be rode upon.. waiting for its true power to be unleashed.. Wow !! we packed some bare essentials as we didn't wanted to burden ourself with the stuff.. and whats the use living in a forest camp if you took all that you require here.. on Good Friday day we were scheduled to start sharp at 5 in morning ... we slept little as we needed to start early to escape the Delhi scorching summer sun.. it was a struggle waking up so early.. so starting at 5 was always going to be difficult (I guess we have an excuse.. its near impossible reaching workplace at 10 on normal workdays ...what more can be expected on a biking tour..) but we somehow managed to start 6:30 albeit late.. but now way off the mark.. we were 15 motorcycles from Noida n 10 bikes from Gurgoan that will join us someplace on GT Road... 15 bikes of all makes and color ... mostly Enfield .. Enticers.. Pulsars.. and Good Old Yamaha350.. after a brief photo-opps (how can you forget this !! ) we hit the road with out petrol tanks full and spirits full (of both kinds ;-) who can miss the booze ) ..driving through the delhi roads on a holiday was easy !.. you escape the steady stream of school and office traffic.. we drove steadily , not fast, not slow ..we drove in a group with Enfields n Yamaha 350 leading the group ... it looked like a pack of wolves out for a kill... screeching at the countless redlights .. demanding attention from curious onlookers.. we were joined by the other 10 bikes on GT road.. and the pack became more bigger and more loud .. occupying the whole road.. kids waving at us.. young people looked at us amused.. and oldies asking if we were in for a cause or where we were going upto.. we were here just for the pleasure of motorcycle riding and thats it.. we had been riding for 2 hours and guess what.. *shit* happens.. one of our bikes gets broken down.. punctured.. hopefully we had the Enfield support motorcycle that was acting as sweeper.. collecting the bikers that were left behind from the pack... we continued riding hoping that the entire pack regroups at Muthal..where we will be having breakfast.. and then the unthinkable happened... our bike gets punctured just before the Muthal dhaba.. a knife like tool had puctured through the tube (it looked more like a murder weapon then a punture weapon..) alas.. but thankully the weather was not that bad and the enfield support guys were quick enough to fix the bike.. we went straight into the dhaba.. the dhaba was doing a roaring buisness... at 9 in morning ..it was full of people and lovely ladies (..the kind of which you dont see in your posh offices..) i pondered as to why IT is so stingy of beautiful girls.. ( i am striking these lines becuase girls in my project team are objecting to these lines :)) ) but that is another issue.. we treated ourselves with paranthas and dahi.. when your more occupied (or interested !!) in other thoughts you forget about the other things that cross your mind.. now the office and work pressures looked trivial .. the parantha that didn't tasted good hardly bothered you.. the sun didn't matter.. all that mattered was the road ahead.. the smell of burnt perol.. after the light breakfast (i don't think it was light .. took us an hour to finish it) we started again .. hoping against hope that no bike breaks down (..applying the sunscreen was essential now.. as the sun was already out..) we covered our faces leaving only the eyes to the vagaries of weather.. the whole GT road was filled with dust ..partly due to it was wheat harvesting season.. all along the highway you could see big threshing machines belching out what remains now of the wheat crop.. we all drove in a group.. maintaing a comfortable speed so that nobody gets left behind... as we were losing time due to these unforseen breakages .. we decided that we would next stop directly at Zirakpur to give ourself and our bikes some rest and briefly stopping at Karnal just in case... we quickened our speeds as we were driving on a six-lane highway ... it appeared that the whole of delhi is leaving for the hills .. the whole road was clogged with cars and cabs full of people and luggage driving towards chandigarh.. maybe its the heat.. may be extended weekend .. may be the traffic is like this only everday ..i don't know and i don't want to know... the strech upto Karnal was covered in quick time wih no broken bikes :-) they say that delhi's road are unforgiving .. i toally agree ..we saw two broken bikes in the little of delhi we covered.. after quencing our dry throats with any fluid we could find ..we hit the dirtroad again for a dust roadside town Zirakpur... this strech was also covered without any hassles to the Man or the Machine.. we all decided to forgo lunch to cover the time lost... instead gorging on whatever snacks these roadside shops kept.. all our bellies were filled with a mixture of coke-water-chips-buiscuits but who cares... somebody in the pack cautioned that this is the last place where we could find alcohol at MRP .. after this stop alcohol would be difficult to find or expensive in case you were able to find it.. everybody stocked the maximum liquor that thy could fit in there bags.. not waiting to take chances in case the next two days they couldn't find any liquor shops.. we left Zirakpur at 3 in noon and at a distance could see the hills .. slowly approachng us.. the hills looked barren, brownish,devoid of trees.. very unlike hills (un-hill if there is such a term ) slowly the smaller hills gave way to the bigger hills and then we were driving on the hills ...we were in Kalka ..and all we could see around is winding roads ..hills and more hills ..occasional bikers riding their enfields downhill ..and the hapless delhi crowd rushing towards the hills .. we bank on turns ..swinging from one side to another.. wondering how these roads were built.. on how people live here not bothering about the world outside (we can not think beyond the occasional mail or ringtone that we have become so used to.. they say technology is the great leveller,but here its the great divide ..and you know what the hill-folk are not complaining.. but why is it that 'Big City People' always complain ...) we crossed the Toy-Train tracks ..God they are so small .. looked like an amplified train that we used to play with our in our childhood days ..we were now entering Solan..and the first thought that crossed my mind was ..how can such a lage swathe of humanity live in those mountains.. houses or hotels that could rival the appartments of Delhi suburbs ...private villas that could easily shame some of the poshiest Delhi addresses... I wonder how do people here manage to earn so well despite non-descript farming or industry.. we crossed Solan without stopping ..but yes we managed to disturb the hustle-bustle of the solan marketplace.. thats the thing about Enfield.. the looks..the sounds.. even the driver attracts attention.. you can't stop the heads turning if there are bunch of Enfields roaring .. we saw Solan Brewery in the distance (i thought about bulk purchasing alcohol here ... but that was a thought only...i didn't give it a try ) after Solan the road gets more winding and narrower in places ..the sun has hidden behind the mountains.. it will start to becoming darker shortly... it was decided that everybody meets at Kandaghat as this was the last major town before our camp at Chail.. also chances of getting lost in the mountains were real now.. we were the first to arrive in Kandaghat.. a board at city-center proudly displays the population of town is 2097 people.. God.. only 2097 souls.. i think there are more people in my office then there are people living in this whole town.. and the town looked okay,no very small yet 2000 is miniscule .. maybe the census people have got it all wrong but let it be .. we waited for the others to arrive .. roaming in the small market.. I could see more DTH dishes then i saw in whole of Noida.. i guess the cable-wallas are not present here.. the telephone and electricity is here though...we could smoke billowing out from some houses.. maybe the dinner is being prepared... and i am felling hungry.. boy i remembered we skipped the lunch... we again hepled ourselves with chips and coke.. the shopkeeper asked how long we have been travelling.. somebody told us there had been blasts in delhi...God the city never leaves you behind.. slowly all the bikes arrived ..we accounted for all the bikes.. filled out petrol tanks as there was no petrol pump up-till shimla ..all you could get on-route was petrol that was being sold in black .. there is a diversion at kandaghat where one road leads to Chail and other to Shimla ..and we had to take the road less travelled.. everybody checked there lights as it was getting dark.. our headlight was flickering so we get it fixed from the support guys and leave for Chail.. the road is very narrow.. full of potholes and coal-tar patches applied over those holes but still the road is in a state of mess.. its dark and i am feeling a little cold out here.. but i have no solution for it.. all i packed was T-Shirts and more T-Shirt.. the road was empty and the hills were desolate here... occasionally you could spot some lights.. maybe houses..or trucks or other biker's headlight .. we moved on.. all we could see was a narrow patch of road illuminated by the headlight.. we crossed Sadhupul bridge and a river( stream is more appropriate.. ) was meandering below us.. we moved alongside this river for some more untill we could see more lights ..we had reached Chail city.. we were told that mountain camp is another 5km uphill.. and i was blaming myself for not bringing some additional clothing.. the only hope i had was the alcohol that we were carrying but that was possibe only when we reach the camp... the road was little better now..but the cold was nagging me.. those last 5 km took us 10 minutes ..and we were relieved at last we have reached it.. the camp instructor( maybe manager) was there to collect us all.. we waited for all the bikes to arrive ..had a quick roll-call to see everybody is accounted for.. a photo-opps ( God where are they going to store so many stills.. )and then we gave ourselves n the beast we had been riding upon some much-needed rest.. its 9 PM now and we are in camp now and i am streching my limbs aaahhhh..... now streaching your legs seems like paradise ...blissful ;-))

adventures of the camp in the next post .. keep waiting !!!
I usually end my post with a lyrics so here i go again ....

~Bob Seger in Turn The Page~
Here I am, on the road again. there I am, up on the stage.
Ah here I go, playing star again.There I go, there I go.

Run Back To The Hills

The charm of the old hills calls us back ...glad to be back on the road again...those country roads... long and winding roads.. will be leaving on our bikes for the hills tommorrow ..this time Chail..Shimla.. thankfully the Gods are favouring us... the weather has just turned good... but who cares ..

people usually ask whats the purpose of doing it on a motorcycle... my opinion is usually pert... not everything can or should be done for a purpose.. its fun riding in the countryside and thats it.. we go steadily ,not fast, not slow... the objective is not on reaching somewhere but enjoying the ride to nowhere.. we stop.. think about the sights and sounds, on the mood of the weather ... on the machine and the countryside you're in... wondering how old the hills are ... thinking about things at great leisure and length without being hurried .... without feeling you're losing time... we have been used to living these 'Big City Lives' and the result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness , a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it's all gone...

~Zen And The Art Of MotorCycle Maintenance~
" Vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness. "