Sunday, April 27, 2008


Its been hectic, hectic days at office. At least, compared to what it was couple of months ago. Speaking of office, 2 colleagues quit within a span of a week. Its quite saddening, but I have got used to this routine of once-in-a-month event. That final look and smile you share with one another knowing pretty well the odds that you will not meet the person ever again in your life. The nostalgia of all those good moments spent together come flooding back in moments such as those and you can but just smile and bid adieu.

Among the two who quit, one quit joining another company and another quit to join MBA. I myself did not pursue higher studies after my graduation, and that perhaps is the reason why I am in always awe of people who do their Masters. But the real sad thing I see nowadays is that even some Masters candidate is pretty much doing the same thing as what I am doing, which is being a software professional, although they haven’t done their Masters in anything related to Computers! Now that’s really a shame. I really would like to see people who have done their Masters to join a profession which will give credit to their field of study, and excel in that occupation instead of joining the bandwagon of software professionals.

Well, nothing great about me either, which I think is why I feel so. Me, coming from an Electronic background joined an industry which really does not give credit to my education. I really feel that it’s a lot of waste of time. But the past is the past and one has to get on with the flow.

In a mindset like this the info about Harish Hande came as a whiff of fresh air. He did his Energy Engineering in IIT, then Masters, then PHD and finally opened a company called SELCO which has the main objective of supplying electricity to the rural India which in itself is a noble cause. A perfect education fuelling a social obligation. What else can one do better in life than bettering millions of others’ lives. I had the pleasure of hearing him out in our company campus where he was invited as a guest to speak on his company. He started off saying ‘I was surprised to know that Infosys has 6 entrance gates. My office has about 6 doors’ or something to that effect!

Well, to each his own. Everybody works at one point of time or the other. Some for themselves and some for others. For some, it is just a daily space and time filler, to be occupied by mundane activities in an AC room instead of whiling away at home under the fan. And for some it is a sort of commerce wherein the member belongs to a class of public service.

I remember one incident when I was on my way to Chippagiri from Manthralaya. We were going in an APSRTC bus when the driver suddenly stopped and said something in Telugu over his back towards the lady conductor. Apparently the squad had stopped the bus and couple of officers boarded the bus. One started asking customers for the ticket and the other took notes from the conductor’s tickets. At the end of about half hour, the conductor was crying. Her heart was filled with extreme desperation. She didn’t seem to be the type who would cheat the Government by taking money from passengers but not giving them tickets. Perhaps she didn’t yet have time to give tickets to all who had boarded and who were at the back of the bus. But the officer seemed to be a very strict no-nonsense kind of guy who didn’t agree with her when she said the passengers who didn’t have ticket had just got on the bus.

Imagine that. I mean, a bus filled with anywhere from 50 to 70 passengers with varying pickup points and varying destinations and the conductor, a lady conductor, has to walk all the way till the end of a crowded bus to give tickets to all kinds of egoistic male morons, some of who consider it a joy to see her in tears. And she was penalized, asked to sign a paper in front of all 70 of us that she was not performing her duty. My heart went out to her. Whether she was performing her duty to the best of her ability, I did not know, but the whole scene was just too depressing. To think what will happen to her salary was just beyond me. Obviously the process has to be corrected of issuing tickets, of the way people board the bus, to standardize it and ensure it is cheat-less, instead of blaming the person responsible.

We too have audits in our office. Audits are informed about a day in advance such that we have sufficient time to clean our defiled history, make proper documentation and ensure all is in place. Some of them just don’t bother because the salary is not directly proportional if not majorly impacted by the audit. What a huge difference in scenario although the underlying topic is the same…

When we finally reached Chippagiri, a small village famed after the great saint Vijayadasa’s temple, I saw a family consisting of a husband, wife, their small kid child and the hubby’s parents. They had come for the child’s Aksharabhyaasa, the auspicious occasion marking the child’s start of education. My initial impression was that the family was from a nearby town and this temple was the place of worship for all their family’s celebrations.

The family seemed very respectable and very cultured. The husband was enchanting. He sang slokas from his heart in a soulful tune. He sang devotional songs in a wonderful passion. His wife joined him in chorus. Overall the family seemed extremely religious and very much in touch with the Vedas and spirituality. He sang more songs during lunch time and by now, pretty much everyone in the temple noticed the whole family and started flocking them to know more about their whereabouts and how cultured they were. They wanted to know where he was working, staying, etc.

It came as quite shock to me when he said that he was working in Ebay in California, USA. Especially because I had marked them as a local family from a nearby town. Apparently such activities as sloka-chanting, voice conferenced pravachanas, devotional songs, etc are very much active near his house in US. So much so that it is not so much in India! It was really a culture shock that an Indian in US had retained so much of traditional family customs and traditions that he had come all the way to Chippagiri for his son’s Aksharabhyaasa! It truly was mind boggling.

But then this is an era when it no longer comes as a surprise when you hear Mr X or Ms Y shuttling between US, or any other country for that matter, and India. People have started frequenting other countries so regularly that they wouldn’t have visited parts of their own city in India in the same fashion. Like a guy from Bangalore would have visited The White House in US twice within a year with his friends and again 6 months later with his wife but would not have seen resplendent Vidhana Soudha or the beautiful Sankey Tank in the same time frame!

Another thing to note about that guy in Chippagiri was his absolute devotion. I am kind of a mediocre guy and although I visit lot of religious places, I have my own perceptions of God and the Infinite, of devotion and of aloofness, of theism and atheism. I am neither here nor there, but yeah, I am somewhere!! But I read 2 interesting posts recently. Of course, no comments for both of them as I am in DMZ, so to speak, but yes, they were very interesting. One said that the concept of God is one of the biggest jokes ever told and the other said atheists don’t exist. The two blogs which I read within a span of few days of one another in itself was quite a thing!

Well, I think I will log off now. Sleepy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

7.15 to 7.45

I went to a web site today at 7.26 pm and the web site was under maintenance. It said that the web site would be under maintenance from 7.15 pm to 7.45 pm. I mean, what the.....of all the time in the world...!!

Whats the idea behind this? Whats the cosmic importance of it all? Is there any significance attached to it? As people say, 'All for good'...what was good about it anyway? Apart from, of course, me blogging this in the interim between 7.26 and 7.45?!! But, alas, it is still just 7.39!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

'Steep decline in blogs'

#1 Reason: BSNL Broadband DataOne Internet not working since 3-4 days and customer care sucks. However, their self-help doc helped me fix the issue myself.

#2 Reason: Hectic work :(

#3 Reason: Out of station during weekends. :)

#4 Reason: Courtship ;)

'Happy Birthday to you too!'

Couple of years ago,
I had to remind people around me
That it was my birthday
And get myself wished.

Although its no big deal
It still hits you
When the clock turns 12
And no one realises the special moment but you.

On this special day,
You would want to feel important
For, if no one makes you feel special
Your very existence would seem so trivial.

But at the same time,
Its funny how the closest of chummies
Fail to make you happy
While a mere acquaintance can remember to wish!

But now, for the rest of my life
One person will always wish me on my birthday without fail
And I will convey the same to her too
For its her birthday as well!

'Happy Birthday!'
'Happy Birthday to you too!'
'I love you!'
'I love you too!'


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

TV News

Item # 1: Hogenekal Issue. Cauvery water crisis amongst Karnataka and Tamil nadu states once again creates havoc. Kannadigas are targeted in TN; Tamil movie theatres stoned in Karnataka; Kannada channels not aired in TN; A Kannada activist from Hassan who is an SSLC pass out urges Kannadigas to stop being warm hearted and encourages Raj Thackeray's modus operandi of kicking off violence across all parts of the state. Mobs, stones pelted, police lathi charge.

Item # 2: CPM and RSS political parties clash in Pune. Local goondas are shown with hockey sticks bashing one another away to glory. More mobs, more stones pelted, more police lathi charge.

Item # 3: (BKU) Mahendra Singh Tikait makes casteist comments on (BSP) Mayawati in Lucknow and is arrested and bailed out too. Supporters of Tikait are saying they wont let anyone touch Tikait. More mobs, more stones pelted, more police lathi charge.

Sigh. Should I feel sad or should I feel angry?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An year to Heaven

Its been exactly an year since my maternal grands passed away. But the event still shakes me to the core. When a relative talks about it in passing, it still gives me goose bumps. When people talk about it in family gathering, I wither away like a flower. The energy drains out of me and I just become a mute spectator. I do not add any fuel to an engulfing and evergreen topic. There is something about the whole thing that is so tragic, that makes you shout out ‘oh no, oh no, this isn’t the way its supposed to end’ if you are watching it all happening on a movie screen. Too much sadness just shuts my mouth.

When I visited the accident spot in Dec last year, my whole being transported itself to that fateful day, in that stifling afternoon heat. The huge screeching sound that the car would have made, and the thunderous somersault with a deafening, heart-stopping thud. Ajji’s body ripped out of the car with a knife-like-steel rod pierced deep into her forehead, blood gushing out from her in buckets, glass pieces everywhere, people shouting, baby crying, my uncle dazed with bruised head, thatha collapsing on the road, aunty shouting for help with broken leg. Aaaaahhh…its too painful, much too painful even to collage the scene after an year.

A Telugu newspaper had carried a snap of the upturned car on the road. In front of the car, there was a huge idol of God with clasped hands. It was as if He approved of whatever happened in front of him, albeit the unnatural setting, and saluted them off.

I had written a post on driving. But nothing beats the just-learned driving skills of my cousin Madhwesh who had to drive 30 odd kilometers in the other car to Tirupati immediately after the accident to take thatha to a hospital possibly to save his life. With no learned driver to guide him, with mind in absolute tatters what with having seen ajji’s gory dead body, with tearful eyes and leaden heart, and with a faint hope of saving thatha’s life, 30 odd kms would have seemed like an eternity, and one cannot imagine the amount of concentration that would have gone into such a simple task as driving a car. My hats off to him…to me, it is one of the toughest drives ever. But alas, thatha had passed away even before he was laid to rest inside the car.

We stayed there on the accident spot for as long as we could, sucking in each moment of the event, to be as near to the departed as possible. But then, the fact always hit the gut that it was all indeed over. Death comes as the end. Naturally or unnaturally.

It is said that the soul takes an year to reach heaven. I hope the journey was smoother than the start…