Gang of 6...

This blog belongs to 6 ex COE students of NSIT... Though, now, we are all in separate places, studying or working, we hope to remain in touch with each other lest we forget the great time we had back in college. This blog is an attempt to achieve the same. Here's to us...!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life on the Farm

Clarification :(especially for Stanford people) this is a real farm, my father's ancestral place in Kerala.

Three roosters they were true,
all day there'd be much a cock-a-doodle-doo.
Then my uncle caught one,
a Christmas stew was done,
and now there are left just two.
[well, the cow is getting old,
and the goat is a mite bold,
I guess their turn would be coming soon too...]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

3 things my friends should/need to know about me

1. I love to drive with my car's windows rolled down & my elbow on the door.
2. I love sarcasm & subtleties... And nobody does it better than johnny.
3. I get angry & out of control very quickly...

3 things most people do not know about me

1. I love the number '3'. I consider it my lucky number... :D
2. My first nickname was krishna.. I was born on janmashtmi, and barring this year & 1998, it has always rained on my birthday. Plus, the year I was born, my dad could not see me till about a week after my birth 'cause all train services had been disrupted due to torrential downpours..!! :-)
3. I love palak paneer (Ok.. this one some people might know... :-D )

My lost Photoshop Express account

Long ago, I had made an account on (henceforth, psexp). Now, to create an account there I needed a US residence address. So I created a whole new email-id with a US residence, and I created my photoshop account.

Much enthused by this 'victory' I uploaded quite a few pics and played around with them. One result is my profile pic on blogger. I quite liked my work ( my only digital art, per se ). But, pretty soon, I managed to forget this email-id which was my psexp login id as well. I haven't been able to log-in since and my album is lost! 

I request all & sundry to make various combinations of abhinav & gupta & '.' & 101 & mail them to me. I am sure the email id was something of this sort.. I have tried quite a few combos but none have worked so far...

abhingupta101   etc.. etc..

Any help is appreciated :-) you know where to reach me..!

3 Answers

And now for some answers.. you could frame the questions as you wish:

1. Hurrr.... !!
2. Mard bano.. be a man..!
3. Pimply pimp...!

A 'chocolat de France' for anyone who can guess the 3rd :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

3 Questions

I have just 3 questions that I want answered. Let's begin:

1. How many people does it take to read the time off a binary table clock?
2. How many people does it take to make a binary table clock?
3. How many people does it take to actually make a person shut up from talking about binary table clocks?

Answers when you answer. :-)

Happy Birthday Johnny

Hey John, here is wishing you a very happy birthday indeed! :-) Have a great day mate..! Remember, "this too shall pass...!" :D 

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tere Bin...

Random post.. absolutely love the lyrics.. It is the only punjabi song whose lyrics I do understand..!!

Rabbi's good..!

'ere go the lyrics :

tere bin / besides you
sanu sohnia / my love
koi hor nahio labhna / i shan't find another
jo dave / who'll give
ruh nu sakun / peace to my soul
chukke jo nakhra mera / and indulge me
ve main sare ghumm ke vekhia / i have gone and seen it all
amrika , roos, malaysia / america, russia, malaysiana
kittey vi koi fark si / there wasn't any difference
har kise di koi shart si / they all had some condition
koi mangda mera si sama / some asked for my time
koi hunda surat te fida / some were fascinated with my face
koi mangda meri si vafa / some demanded my fidelity
na koi mangda merian bala / none wanted my demons
tere bin / besides you
hor na kise / no one else
mangni merian bala / wanted my demons
tere bin / besides you
hor na kise / no one else
karni dhup vich chhan / shall shade me in the sun
jiven rukia / (the) way you paused
si tun zara / slightly
nahion bhulna / i shan't forget
main sari umar / all my life
jiven akhia si akhan chura / you said, looking away
"rovenga sanu yad kar" / "you shall weep in my memory"
hasia si main hasa ajeeb / i laughed a strange laugh
(par) tu nahi si hasia / but you didn't
dil vich tera jo raaz si / you had a secret in your heart
mainu tu kyon ni dasia / why didn't you tell me
tere bin / besides you
sanu eh raz / none shall tell this
kise hor nahion dasna / secret to me
tere bin / besides you
peerh da ilaaj / what druid
kis vaid kolon labhna / has the cure to my ills
milia si ajj mainu / i found today
tera ik patra / a note of yours
likhia si jis 'te / on which you had scribbeled
tun shayr varey shah da / a varis shah couplet
park ke si osnu / upon reading which
hanjnu ik duliya / a teardrop fell
akhan 'ch band si / what was locked in the eye
seh raaz ajj khulia / was revealed today
ki tere bin / that other than you
eh mere hanjnu / these tears of mine
kise hor / won't be kissed by
nahio chumna / none else
ki tere bin / that other than you
eh mere hanjhu / these tears of mine
mitti vich rulnha / will wither in the dust


To all those who know what this day is ... Happy seventy-twelfth..! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy 13th

It is the 13th of something that had probably gotten over around the 8th... :-D But still happy 13th..!

And yeah, this time around, it was Thursday, the 13th... Fingers crossed...! :-)


Thursday, October 02, 2008

October 2, 2008

October the 2nd is here, and diferent people remember it for different reasons. During one conversation at office, my manager was talking about it being a dry day, a colleague (who loves to just go home & chill-ax) was jubilant about getting a holiday mid-week, I was thinking of all the markets being closed ( & dad and Sandy being unable to book their cars today ), while another colleague ( Bulb ) was plainly pre-occupied about it being the day on which Ramadoss's anti-smoking law comes into force. Still others were busy planning out-station trips to make use of this extended weekend, while others, who have come far away from home to work at Adobe, were going back home. The jigsaw-dudes were busy putting the pieces together (and mighty long it is going to take them to do it), while the newspapers were busy telling us that Gandhi is the toast of the web-space this week... 

But there was one person who had nothing to do with 2nd October on her mind, all she cared for was catching a glimpse of Imran Khan. So we went, 4 of us from office, to the
neighbourhood mall, to sneak a peak of Imran Khan & Minnisha Lambha. Well, we managed to see 'Suited-Up' men with their trophy wives & kids tagging along, lots & lots of bouncers, even a trained K-9..! But nahh, an hour passed, we finished our cups of mochas & cappuccinos, but they were still nowhere to be seen. But just as we were leaving, the 'little one' did manage to see someone.. Here is the pic.. Guess who ?

Of Japs & Brits

There is this one particular author whose works I really like, Kazuo Ishiguro. I have read two of his books so far, Never Let Me Go & When We Were Orphans, and currently have a third on my shelf, The Remains of the Day. I hope to start reading it soon ( like 5-6 more ). 

Despite the fact that I don't usually go for books by their popularity and just pick them off the shelves, I find it quite surprising that almost nobody I know has read his books. If anyone is reading this entry, well, I would recommend his works. You would be pleasantly surprised. 

And yeah, as you must have guessed, he is a Japanese. And this leads me to a confusion, do I call him Kazuo-San or Ishiguro-San ? Hmph, I'll never get the hang of this.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Google Chrome logo

Amidst the hue & cry raised by Google Chrome, a small albeit decent amount of attention was focussed on the logo of Google chrome. Check this story out for more details. Do not, for anything, miss the video on the page as well...!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have been working at Adobe Systems for over a year now. I have written about my life at work & my friends a few times. But I haven't yet written about the man to whom I owe it all. Raman Nagpal. 

He is a true leader, a man with a towering persoanlity ( both literally & figuratively ). Ask anybody in my team , and I mean the 100+ strong Print Technologies Group, and they would all tell you that they are inspired by Raman, awed by him, shocked by him, and most importantly respect him.  A lot. Every man & woman here knows that he is a brilliant person, with a razor sharp mind, it is never easy to fool him, as emplyees frequently fool their managers ( :D ) He needs just a couple of minutes to get to the bottom of any problem, and see the idea in its entirety. I could go on & on... But that is not why I wrote this post.

His most endearing quality, and that is the reason why I work at Adobe, is his knack of picking a person and backing him to the hilt. That is what he did to me. While in my last year at college, I was offered an internship by Raman, during the course of which I worked on an interesting project under him. On the basis of my work, he offered me a job here. And that was despite my disastrous interview just a couple of weeks back. He called me & told me that while he knew that I had basically sucked at my coding interview, but he had received a very positive response in others, and he personally also felt the same after having worked with me for a better part of my 4 months at Adobe. And the reason he was offering me a job was nothing but his willingness to back me inspite of my having been rejected in my interviews. 

Since then, well, I have had the good fortune of having worked with him on something or the other a number of times. And each experience leaves me further in awe of his ability to think of crazy ideas, execute them, and prove to the (higher) powers that be at Adobe, that it ain't so bad to think out of the box, something that Adobe magnanimously fails to do...!

Time & again, he thinks of crazy stuff and it is precisely this crazy stuff that helps me land up a patent here, a spot award there & many many interesting interactions with great minds at Adobe, be it Shantanu, Naresh or Ajay. 

It might sound very inane & tacky, but I am forced to make a comparison. Harry was accused of being Dumbledore's man through & through by Rufus. Well, I confess that I am Raman's man through & through. I hope, as he put it, that I don't let him down. This one is for you Raman.

Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh

This is a beautiful comment I read on Mayur's blog : "The light burns dim in the lamps of the needy, and in such light a thousand revolutions thrive!"



Nauheed Cyrusi.. 
That's the name that has been stuck in my mind the last couple of days. And some can guess why. She has acted in all of 10-11 movies, one of which was Anwar.

Though this movie was trashed at the BO, and though I haven't yet seen it, still, the songs are awesome. Songs like Aankhen Teri, Javeda Zindagi are quite
 beautiful. And so is Vijay Raaz, a wonderful wonderful actor. He lies firmly in the list of the precious few method actors that Bollywood has produced. I have been t
old that, if not for the story, Anwar is a must watch for his acting. 
I would love to watch the movie, if anyone is willing to watch it with me..! :)

Btw, all the TV Channels are hell-bent to inform me that it is
 Daughter's Day tomorrow. All right, I give in. Happy Daughter's day to all daughters of the world..!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Friends, Indians, countrymen...

... lend me your tired eyes. Long overdue, I confess.

Life has been quite a roller-coaster for me here in the US. From the studies at Columbia, to keeping up with the pace of New York City. It has really been a wild ride and I've cherished every moment of it! Not only have I enjoyed my time here, I feel like I've grown tremendously as a person, in a relatively short period, may I add. My outlook on life has changed (that is a dramatic statement, but I feel it!). I've learned lessons that I will never forget, and that will hopefully help me be more successful as an individual.

Never before had I truly realized the importance of optimism. And the value of THIS moment - NOW! So much can be accomplished in a very short period of time if one is truly positive and enthusiastic. Hot-dog vendors, construction workers, taxi drivers, investment bankers, traders... all have something common among them. A positive outlook. Passion. No regrets. No complaints. Everybody takes pride in his/her work. As a result, the job is done and it's done well. Not a moment is lost. There is time for work and there is time for fun - the two are rarely mixed (not that work cannot be fun!). I'm reminded of the verse in the Geeta where Bhagwaan talks about the two paths to Him - one is the path taken by asetics. The other is the path taken by men-of-action. Of the two, he says, the latter is superior. Live in the moment and give it your all, he says, that is your duty, it is not for you to worry about the consequences thereon. It's strange how people in the West seem to be leading their lives based on this philosophy, and how we in the East have never been further from it.

Now is when I'm also realizing the importance of this "golden" period of our lives. This is when we can take risks, this is when we can truly live it up! This is our youth, and its not coming back! This is it gentlemen, make the most of this moment, seize the day, carpe diem!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Truly Rats Galore...

Many a times I have been asked for the reason behind the name of our blog ( in fact I started up another blog with a name in the same vein ), and whenever I explained the reason, the reactions I received from the incredulous to the amused to the downright irritated. And I was always like.. ok.. whatever... !

Anyways, so the reason this thought popped up in my head, yet again, and is fast becoming an obnoxious little blog post is the spate of 'RAT'ty things happening of late. The movie Jane Tu... Ya Jane Na (which is not a bad movie by the way), the dead rat in my auxiliary bedroom, the movie Ratatouille are all having a very Rat-ish effect on me. Whatever that means.. Blah...!

Waise, Ratatouille is a cool movie...!! First and foremost, it is set in France, in Paris...! Secondly it has a rat as the lead. Thirdly, the awesome animation. Fourth, the love angle and lastly (and quite importantly) the delicious looking food ...! This movie is a must watch, if you have missed out. (Though this review(-ish) is kinda late in the day, but still).

Talking of nice, off-beat movies, one must not miss Juno as well. It is well, different, and cool, and fresh, and nice, and... you get the point. Juno is Good. Period. Watch it.

All for today, gotta go back to my usual slumber and recharge myself for the god-awful week at work coming up...!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Hello world :)

Long time since I last wrote anything non-technical (well, you haven't seen them, otherwise you might have some complaints about my technical writings also :) Things have changed with my writing style maybe. Like, I can't be bothered to write complete sentences, have been thinking in these staccato clauses for some time now. Must be a hangover from all the Facebook and GTalk status msg updates that I have been making. Have to consciously make the effort to add the 'I's and 'you's. Hopefully people would be able to look past these flaws...
OK, so now I have to think about what to write about. Considering it's been an year (or more?) since my last blog-post, this is not an easy choice to make. Mmm. So I am France right now (hopefully that doesn't come as a surprise to anyone :), on internship at Xerox Research Centre in Europe (XRCE), in Grenoble. It's 11:30pm, and I should probably go to sleep early if I want to wake up refreshed and ready for work from 9 onwards. OK, who am I kidding - I am in all likelihood going to be up till 2, and sleepwalk my way around at office in the usual :) Can't help it - these are the perks that come from the supervisor being on holiday.
I don't know about everyone else, if you guys have managed to get any better idea of where your life is headed. Mine is still kinda up for grabs. I alternately switch between dreams of a life in research, and a career in something management-ish. The lack of passion for either is telling...or maybe I should call it equal passion for both ;) And the last year at Stanford hasn't helped much either way. I have alternately sucked (admittedly, earlier in the course) and excelled (when I was wise enough to work with project partners who were better than me :) at the technical courses here. And I did like the two management-ish courses I took. I am actually continuing working on one during the summer - one of my professors from (don't laugh) 'Business Management for Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists' is coordinating a collaborative book on case studies in the emerging energy sector, along with other alums from the course.
So, besides the obvious reasons (it's in France for 12 weeks, they say you can't work more than 35 hours per week in the contract...grab on and don't let go idiot!) I like to think that I was being a bit proactive, and gauging whether I can handle research in a real industrial lab. Ok, as real as they get outside the US (for some reason, call it Protestant work ethic or what-have-you, the magnitude of research results from the US simply swamp the rest of the world...but you knew that already)
Among the other things I had planned to do this summer - complete a course in Statistics and Probability by myself, read a book on preparing for Case Interviews along with a Stanford friend in NY, practice and get better at swimming, travel all over Europe and so on. Of course, plans have changed a bit since I got over my initial naivete regarding my work here (it's a whole second course in Machine Learning, a course I majorly bombed in the first quarter..and I end up at work from 9 to 6:30 generally). And of course, have not all of you heard me(at least on GTalk :) crib about the money they are paying me ( = zilch). Well, Europe is a lot more expensive than the US, and the falling dollar isn't helping. Hehe, the prices for things here must sound astronomical for you ppl in India - like, a most ordinary meal cannot be had for less than 5 euros. Bye bye , travel plans. Ok, not nearly so...I am trying to convince myself that I am not going to get this chance again anytime soon, so I might as well get ready to blow up my savings from the States. Haven't planned anything major - but watch this space, travelogs from Paris and Amsterdam might be in the offing.And instead of swimming, I am going to try to pick up tennis instead. The other interns in the student residence where Xerox has put me up are making full use of the dozen or so tennis courts right outside our place. I am planning to buy a racquet and join them in whacking the ball, starting tomorrow.
And surprise of surprises, I am actually sort of liking the work at XRCE. Now that I have had some exposure to all the math involved in data mining algos etc at Stanford, things actually manage to make some sense some of the time :) I am finding it quite interesting to read up papers, tutorials etc on some obscure algo, and understand enough to implement a prototype, try an iterative approach over some data-sets, sit and discuss ideas with my supervisor, attend talks and seminars at the centre and so on. Sure beats software development anyway :) The pity is that any longterm career in research would involve getting a PhD, something I am not prepared to get into yet. Well, hopefully by the end of the internship I would have learned enough about research areas that pique me to keep me on track for a short-term job (2-3 years) in some company's data analysis division or somesuch after the Masters. And then..let's see, perhaps I would know enough then to decide...
Though, chief among the lessons I thought I'd have learned by now, I realize that it is ok to be uncertain about the future. Rather than doing all things possible to make the future secure (get an engineering degree, focus on safe careers like software engineering, ...the list goes on), I now know that it is important to seize the opportunities one gets today. Learn all you can, experience different things..while you can. Like a friend back at Stanford told me: Paise kamaane ke liye to poori zindagi baaki hai...
Ok, that's enough for now. I think I will try a stream-of-consciousness style next time. And maybe even get sentimental about the old days :D

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ahh.. Slides...

So, slideshare seems to have taken my office by storm. It seems as if now everybody is making slides & uploading them in the hope of their being adjudged the World's Best Slideshow. Well, no, I am not going to end up making one (that doesn't stop me from dreaming though). This post is firstly to say that hey Akash, well done, and secondly to give you a link to a very good slideshow indeed. Check it out here.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The new Bangalore international airport

In recent months, this airport has resulted in numerous heated discussions in Bangalore. You would hear things like this, its 60 km away (for Bangalore 60 Km is a lot!), it takes 3 hours to reach there, traveling to the new airport itself is very expensive, the old airport was just fine, we don't need a this new airport etc etc.

Obviously I was dreading traveling to this airport. On Friday my flight to Delhi was at 5pm, since it takes an eternity to reach the airport I started at 2:15 pm. The travel options include taking a taxi/auto directly to the airport, or using the Airport bus service. Taxi costs something like 600 bucks so I decided to take a bus. But the bus frequency near my house was 1 hr so I took an auto and reached Hebbal in 15 min, the point where all bus routes converge. I got a bus in a couple of minutes. I have to say the bus was really nice, it was a Volvo AC bus, it had enough space to keep passenger luggage, and the ride was really comfortable. Hebbal is considered city outskirts, there was not much traffic from Hebbal to the airport and I reached the airport by 3:05. Not bad at all!

The airport is a collection of buildings in the middle of nowhere, vast tracts of land surround it. I went in the departure terminal, it is a huge hall with checkin counters of all the airlines present neatly in one line at the back of the hall. Indigo airlines is in one corner, with 4-5 counters available there were hardly any people waiting in queue. So it took me just a couple of minutes to check in. After checking in I was directed to the 1st level, yes 1st level!, for security check. I was really dreading this part, because at the old airport it used to take an eternity for security check to complete. Here I was through in a couple of minutes!. I checked the time, it was 3:15! I had left home just an hour earlier. This was impossible with the old airport.

My flight was at 5 pm, I had quite a bit of waiting to do. I entered the airport lounge with this thought, and to my complete surprise it was practically another shopping mall (obviously with ridiculously high prices :) and minus the couples). I had read that there was free wireless internet for the passengers, so I took out my laptop and tried to connect. I got a webpage asking me to enter a passoword, which I can obtain by SMSing to 56677. I tried SMSing a few times, but all I got was 'Service is currently unavailable'. I switched off the lappy and got on the phone. Called a friend, made a call to home as well. Then loitered around for a bit. Somehow the clock ticked 4:30, and finally I heard the boarding announcement. Flight on time!! A near impossibility on friday with the old airport! The flight was boring as usual, it landed Delhi around 7:45. Entering the Delhi airport I realized that Bangalore is finally better than Delhi in something :).

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Citius, Altius, Fortius

My first encounter with these 3 words was in class 10 or so, which is quite unbefitting even for an amateur quizzer. For almost all the guys in my school-friend circle, the trio was associated with the olympics, but for me, it will always be the ESPN school quiz hosted by Harsha Bhogale. If you don't know what I am talking about, look here & here.

Though I never managed to end up in the quiz, in any capacity, be it participant or the audience , and certainly not as the quiz master (heck, I didn't even try...), the quiz still held some charm upon me. Throughout my middle & high school days I was in what I have been told as the 'elite set', the group of nerds who did well (academically) at school, who were expected to crack the JEEs and the PMTs, the guys who would win all the quizzes and prizes to boot, the ones who would land up a majority of the coveted school appointments and the jerks who would never be looked at by girls even for the first time. But I was always among the lesser known among the set, not with the teachers, but definitely with the fairer sex. I was an amateur quizzer at best, never applied for any school appointment (that I was made one is a completely different story), did not manage to crack the JEE (ho.. hum..), but was completely at peace to be in this group. And most importantly, that is what my parents desired. Damn, I am on JEE & parents again.. digression.. digression..

Yes, I was just trying to from this picture in your mind, of the kind of guy I was in school, and the kind of people I used to roam around with. And quizzing was a big part of all our lives. For Bong, Shape & Sen it meant infinite legalized bunks, innumerable prizes and an equal number of looks of envy from the likes of me. Whereas for me (& others I can't name for the fear of incurring their wrath) it meant just taking part in such quizzes (to make up the numbers, it seemed), watching the big guys invariably walk off with the glorious prizes (irrespective of what they got, it did seem glorious in all that colorful cellophane). So I just used to relive my quizzing fantasies watching show upon show of the ESPN quiz.

Yesterday, I was suddenly reminded of this long-forgotten phase of my life, when I came upon a mail that wordlessly reflected my opinions on the Beijing Olympics. It is not an opinion about the Olympics in particular, instead it sums up my attitude towards the Chinese way of getting things done, the Chinese political scenario, the complete lack of democracy & freedom that we in India take for granted. (Oh, how I miss those heated discussions we used to have in college, & of course aboard the 764 guys... !!) How I got to rambling on upon my school days from that mail was through the subject of the mail & that of my post : Citius, Altius, Fortius.

PS : Did anyone manage to catch the olympic torch relay in person... ?

Too much free time on my hands

In yet another attempt to make my weekends meaningful, I found myself on a page full of personality tests (Don't even ask me how I landed up there, that is something that I could probably write an entire post upon). From the very serious to the pure pranks, from the most insipid to the most cranky, these tests do have a lot of variety, which is something that Ekta Kapoor could learn. What devilish serials her factory churns out. But, again, that is fodder for some other debate. But, yeah, in the end these "persoanlity" tests did give me a few laughs (with the inevitable self-introspection phases thrown in their midst). I suggest you to try out some of these. They were fun...

I am nerdier than 95% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out! says I'm a Slightly Dorky Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

You are .ogg Even though many people consider you cool and happening, a lot still find that you're a bit too weird to hang out with.
Which File Extension are You?

Career Inventory Test Results

Extroversion |||||||||||||||||| 53%
Emotional Stability |||||||||||| 36%
Orderliness |||||||||||| 40%
Altruism |||||||||||||||||||||||| 73%
Inquisitiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%

You are an Idealist, possible professions include - information-graphics designer, college professor, researcher, legal mediator, social worker, holistic health practitioner, occupational therapist, diversity manager, human resource development specialist, employment development specialist, minister/priest/rabbi, missionary, psychologist, writer
Take Free Career Test
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I seriously have too much free time on my hands. I should do something meaningful for a change. History walk anyone??

Monday, June 30, 2008


Here is the wordle for the blog till now. Thanks Akash for the link...!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Imaginative Poetry

Today I am posting verbatim a page I had come across recently. I found it to be quite beautiful & pretty clear and accurate on the analysis part. Plus, I really loved the song; heard it after a long long time...!

At times I tend to have moods where I just keep admiring and appreciating things for hours and this song today I heard it sometime in the afternoon...being played in the neighbour’s otherwise irritating radio. Really beautiful song one with those melodious overtones...Also, though very difficult to sing perfectly but thankfully easy to sing decently well so that you don’t have to worry about molesting the song when u want to sing it aloud…The song goes like this

is mod se jaate hai, kuchh sust kadam raste
kuchh tej kadam raahe
patthar kee hawelee ko, sheeshe ke gharondo mein
tinako ke nasheman tak
is mod se jaate hai...

aandhee kee tarah udakar, ek raah gujaratee hai
sharamaatee huyee koee, kadamon se utaratee hai
in reshamee raahon me, ek raah to wo hogee
tum tak jo pahuchatee hai
is mod se jaate hai..

ek door se aatee hai,paas aake palatatee hai
ek raah akelee see, rukatee hain naa chalatee hai
ye soch ke baithhee hoo, yek raah to wo hogee
tum tak jo pahuchatee hai
is mod se jaate hai..

This song is from the movie Aandhi(remember Sanjiv kumar and some Sen)...the movies also has other nice numbers like "tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa" and “Tum aagaye ho noor aagaya hai...The music is amazing all right but what caught my appreciation today is the lyrics aspect...Beautiful lyrics by Gulzar...what makes me admire his lyrics in particular is his me it seems like after he thinks of a particular scenario he imagines and imagines many analogies...once an analogy fits the next thing to do would be to fit other aspects of the scenario in the analogy and vice versa what i would call giving in this case the scenario "a just committed(or just married) couple wondering abut the future and expressing love and apprehension by thinking of the number of ways their relationship could go...and the analogy is 2 musafirs in journey who meet at a point and wondering abut the number routes one could take at that point....the analogy of raahein and raaste is a quite often used one in the industry but what stands out here is the way he proceeded fitting the analogy much better by giving sub-analogies

The first 3 lines lata(mangeshkar) says by taking whatever different routes until now hum is mod pe pahunche hain aur ek saath khade han..ab is mod se kuch raste aise jate hain jahan log tez chalte hain(people leading life mechanically and life goes past you) aur kuch aise raah hain jahan sust chalte hain(haste khelte going slow enjoying life with partner to the fullest)...then kishore(kumar) adds that some routes go to patthar ki haweli(signifies a strong relationship)...sheeshe ki gharondon mein(a decently strong relationship but could break by a slight turbulence)...tinkon ki nasheman tak(nasheman is basically sort of a nest tinkon ka ghosla is supposed to be very signifies a weak relationship)....and then they talk about more routes

in reshamee raahon me, ek raah to wo hogee
tum tak jo pahuchatee hai

Towards the end lata says I am in search of that path which will lead me to you ..To which kishore says

ek door se aatee hai,paas aake palatatee hai
ek raah akelee see, rukatee hain naa chalatee hai

there r routes which from far look like they r approaching me but as soon as u get closer they turn away making it impossible for u to reach me...n there is a route...where our relationship is just stagnated

PS: I just felt like sharing the meaning of this song for the underprivileged ones if ever one comes across this he could appreciate it....and not to show "studdaps"

PPS: This is my interpretation with some help from some sites and some if some1 begs to differ or finds any faults anywhere please feel free to comment!

That’s all folks (with the Looney tunes muzik in the background)...will come back when something excites me again...till then adios! J

And here is the video too...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Team outing

hey guys... posting after a long time, I think everyone has forgotten about this blog except AG :).

Last week my team at IBM went to Manchinbele Lake near Savandurga hill for a day of adventure sports. We were around 40 people, and divided into 4 groups. My group started with Paintball fighting. This was a game for really fit people. The face masks alone made breathing a tough task, add to it some really rocky terrain, hot sun, running and hiding for what seemed like an eternity I was huffing and puffing by the end of it. But the game was fun, we were dressed up like commandos in a hollywood movie, carrying real looking guns (with paint balls instead of bullets) and trying to get the opponent. I shot a couple of guys before I ran out of paintballs and was shot myself.

While paintball was tough, after the next activity my legs were shaking. I had done Rappling earlier, but you guys know my fear of heights. While climbing down my legs were shaking so much that I was thinking that all my pics would be blurred:). And my good friend Ashok, who had earlier come down practically dancing and waving like crazy, was not helping by shouting for me to let go of the rope and wave.

Post lunch we went into the lake! Initially I was planning to do just rafting and not go in water. But plans are well just plans, after doing some rafting and seeing pretty much everyone go in water, I too jumped in. After splashing around and just drifting with the very slow current for quite a while I had almost given up on the idea swimming even with help of a life jacket. But then people in one of the rafts in the middle of the lake started flipping the raft, diving into the water etc, and all sorts of fun things. Obviously I wanted to join the fun as well, but there was no way of reaching that raft other than swimming to it. Me and another guy devised our own swimming stroke, which was essentially lie on our backs and take our arms towards our head and bring them towards our legs in a semi circular motion, moving them just below the surface of water. This way we swam to the raft, some 500 meters away, and we did it in pretty good time! Then we did some raft flips!! Boy this was fun, and a little scary at first! Essentially everyone would sit/stand on one edge of the raft and then jump backwards, the raft would invert and everyone would go under water. A couple of hours ago I was so sure that I am not going in water that I didn't even change into shorts, but well... :)

(Me on the raft just before doing some raft flips. Guy in front of me is my team lead Karthi, and the girl whose face is partially hidden behind my hand in my teammate Priyanka.)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Vizag trip

This is coming after almost a year, but was browsing through some pics right now and remembered that I hadn't really shared the vizag trip with many people. Hence, this post.

Now that I come to think of it, it is funny that each one of us has worked on some NLP technique or the other. It started off with John & Maddy doing their stint under Neelu. Then gauri, danny, Himanshu & I also followed them into this and our BTP came out of our work with Neeladri. And then Deepak and gauri also made something ( a synonymn finder...??) using LSA and all... Anyways, that is a huge digression.

So, Shampa sent our BTP as an entry to the ISTE National Convention of 2007 which was to be held in Rajam, some 200 kms off Vishakhapatnam. As it turned out our project did get nominated for the (pls don't laugh) Kerala Government National Award for the Best Engineering Design. We guys were definitely thrilled. After all, we had put in quite a lot of (genuine) effort into this project, but, much more importantly, we had thought of writing atleast one paper out of this project, but us being us, we never managed to do that. But here, something good was happening of its own accord, and all we had to do was to give it a little nudge. And then the words 'National' & 'Best Engineering Design' did send us in a state of frenzied excitement. So, we started our preparations. We were supposed to deliver a presentation & (possibly)a demo at the national convention that was being held at the GMR Institute of Technology, Rajam, which, as I said is a rather bucolic though very beautiful place a few hours away from Vishakhapatnam. Himanshu was unable to come for the event and unfortunately Danish caught chicken pox at the very last moment (on his birthday too..!!)

So, there we were, Gaurav and I. We boarded our flight ( a very antique looking Alliance Air behemoth ) to Vishakhapatnam, which is the nearest airport to Rajam. Non-airworthy it had looked from outside, but once we were inside our primary problem was the leg room...! It was ouch..! Cramped seats, pathetic service by the air hostesses, and useless food. But the view obviously compensated for everything..! By the time we landed at Vizag we had forgotten all about the seats and were ready to take on Vizag, explore it a bit and then head off to Rajam. Especially since Gaurav had spent much of his childhood here. But, lo & behold, what greeted us there was incessant rainfall. It was the starting of October and south India was caught amidst some really foul weather. But, insistent on enjoying our time, we tarried on nevertheless. We booked a taxi, had food and even managed to dash off (in a really torrential downpour) to a submarine that had been converted to a museum. Standing inside the submarine with the rain pounding us from all sides was really an experience that I wouldn't be forgetting in a hurry... :-) Thanx Gaurav for that one..! Well, after that we just went off to Rajam, it took us about 4 hours and that night we just went up to the rooms allocated to us, had food, made ourselves comfortable and slept.

(Fast-forwarding the boring part... ;-) ) The next morning we went for our registeration, rehearsed our presentation, and gave it to a panel of 3 jurists in the evening. By the time everything was over, we were exhausted. Then we just roamed about the beautiful campus and marveled at everything that was so peculiarly south Indian. The trees, the food, the way everybody seemed to practically live off sambar-chawal or dahi-chawal and ate it the way I always prefer too, with their bare hands... Yummy..!! But the most astonishing thing we came across at that college was the immense amount of control that was exercised over the college students. These poor guys still have to wear uniforms..!! Their shoes were checked every morning and the defaulters were punished. This is college for God's sake...! I am no supporter of school uniforms and seeing this state of affairs in a college was really disheartening. All over the country, the girls hostels are usually locked up after around 9 at night. And well that is reasonable considering the kind of society we live in. But, here even the boys hostel was locked down after 8:30...! Strange.. very very strange..! Despite all this, our hosts did really make a big effort to make us feel comfortable. And I don't know why, but I got the feeling that they were somewhat intimidated by the fact that we had come all the way from Delhi and that too, by air..!

Nevertheless, rested and nourished and with the presentation done and over with, we had only two things on our mind. Firstly & obviously, whether we would get the first prize (which we did, eventually....! :-) ). And secondly, we had come to hear about the really bad weather at Vishakhapatnam, due to which all the flights to & from there were being canceled. And we had a flight to catch from Vishakhapatnam bound for Hyderabad, from where we were to catch our flight back to Delhi. And if the flights from Vizag were being canceled then we were almost certain to miss our second flight from Hyderabad. And seeing that the ISTE biggies (who had come from Delhi) were worried about the exact same thing, we decided to take a bus to Hyderabad at the earliest and catch our flight from there.

So that is what we did. We went from Rajam to Vizag by bus, and along the way witnessed some astonishing natural beauty, the likes of which I have rarely ever seen in my life...! What a pity that my camera (actually a friend's cam) was deep inside my bag, which I couldn't possibly unpack there. Well, then from Vizag, we took a bus to Hyderabad. On reaching Hyderabad, we went over to Gaurav's masi's place. They had a pair of immensely loveable Chihuahuas. After fooling with them to our heart;s content, we moved on to a whirlwind tour of Hyderabad ( we had only two hours before we had to rush off to catch our flight to Delhi). So we saw the Hussain Sagar lake, the Salar Jung Museum (regrettably, we couldn't find the Nizam's jewels. Would have loved to catch a glimpse of those...!!), and managed to catch a glance of the Char Minar from a little distance too... We could have gotten closer but we were caught in a traffic jam in what the cab driver explained to us to be the Chandni Chowk of Hyderabad. Disappointed, we gave up and turned back to the airport but not before we got some famous Hyderabad Biryani packed for us for the flight back home. Once on the flight, there really wasn't much to be done. We had some biryani, talked a bit, and fell asleep, and before we knew it, we were back home...!

It was a very interesting trip indeed, the most planned one I had ever gone on for sure, and as it turned out, was the most haphazard one indeed. And yeah, we later came to know that the flight from Vizag to Hyderabad, which we had thought would be cancelled, was the only flight that had taken off..!! So much for all our planning...!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Kal Ho Na Ho..

Har Ghadi Badal Raha Hai Roop Zindagi
Chaav Hai Kahhi Hai Dhoop Zidnagi
Har Pal Yahan
Jee Bhar Jiyo Jo Hai Sama
Kal Ho Na Ho
Har Ghadi Badal Raha Hai Roop Zindagi
Chaav Hai Kahhi Hai Dhoop Zidnagi
Har Pal Yahan
Jee Bhar Jiyo Jo Hai Sama
Kal Ho Na Ho

Chaahe Jo Tumhe Poore Dil Se
Milta Hai Woh Mushkil Se
Aisa Jo Koi Kahin Hai
Bas Vahi Sabse Hasin Hai
Us Haath Ko Tum Thaam Lo
Woh Meherbaan Kal Ho Na Ho
Har Pal Yahan
Jee Bhar Jiyo Jo Hai Sama
Kal Ho Na Ho

Palko Ke Leke Saaye
Paas Koi Jo Aaye
Lakh Sambhalo Paagal Dil Ko
Dil Dhadke Hi Jaaye
Par Sochlo Is Pal Hai Jo
Woh Dastan Kal Ho Na Ho
Har Pal Yahan
Jee Bhar Jiyo Jo Hai Sama
Kal Ho Na Ho
Har Pal Yahan
Jee Bhar Jiyo Jo Hai Sama
Kal Ho Na Ho

Just felt like putting up the lyrics of this song, for no apparent reason. Kind of fits my mood right now (again for no apparent reason) :)

Catch ya later..!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

One year after college.. taking stock of my life

Has it really been one year ? It sure doesn't feel like it. Seems like just yesterday, when we had bid our 'final' adieus to each other at good ol' CP. Hugging each other, solemn faced, and with heavy hearts. Wondering if we would ever find friends like these again (at least I was...). But somewhere deep inside, there was a hope for a bright future, a hope for friends who would be just like the ones that I was saying my au revoirs to, a hope for a life as content and satisfaction-filled as I lived thus far.

And it was with that hope, that I joined Adobe. Hoping to meet great minds and even greater people. For the first 4-5 months I even managed to live the kind of life I was hoping for. Cool work, recognition at the work place, making a couple of amazing friends in my team, and a wonderful environment, I thought that I had it all. Going to office really early in the morning to chat with others, partying at least once every week, passing time with like-minded people, and leaving late after having played a game of tennis. I loved it.

What I did not realize was the cost at which all this was coming. I failed to fathom the simple fact that the more the time I spent with these friends, the lesser the time I had to share with my family. Leaving early and coming late became a source of irritation for my parents. And rebellious that our generation is, I felt victimized at being told how to lead my life. I was 'working' now, after all. And financially independent. Never for a moment did I sit back to realize the effect that the harsh words I spoke at home were having on my relationship with my family.

Not only this, the plans that I had made for my future were suffering too. Content with my state of work and very very satisfied indeed to be taken under the aegis of a couple of very sharp fellows at work, I started thinking about changing my plans. And then there was her. Coming into my life like a fresh breeze and literally taking my breath away. With her in my mind, all my well laid out plans were bunked.

And the third mistake in my life (couldn't resist it, accusations of plagiarism be damned...) was taking my old friends for granted. Just like I had neglected my family, I had foolishly lost touch with my friends, who just a few months ago had been part of my every day life.

And now with the exceedingly strained conditions and frayed nerves at home, with my career plans having gone for a spin & the mentors having deserted me just when I needed them the most, with my relationship with her at the nadir of all nadirs (and with me to blame almost completely for it), and having forsaken my old pals, I can only sit back, pause for a moment and realize that nothing worse could possibly happen to me right now, and that anything that happens now is gonna be for the better only.

This one year has passed really quickly, did I say? Maybe not. So much has happened in this one year. I have experienced emotions I used to scoff other people for having. I have been both marveled & shocked at my parents', my friends' and my attitude and reactions to various things. It certainly doesn't seem possible to fit it all in one year. And yet it has been just that much time since we all left for distant shores (and for not so distant ones too) to pursue our dreams & aspirations. It has been just that much time since we decided that we would keep in touch and some of us have failed to do so (u listening madda...??? ... er, reading... )

Please let's get back together some time really soon guys. All of us. It has been so long since I have genuinely had fun...