A Quote for life!

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for Insects

Robert A Heinlein
(American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The book I read last!

The book I read last is ‘The 3 mistakes of my life’ by Chetan Bhagat, the author of the best sellers like ‘Five Point Someone’ and ‘One Night @ the Call Center’. As usual Chetan starts his books with a preface and while you read through you never know when you get shifted from this prelude to the main story. It is like he drags you in the story and you only know it once you finish reading the book – in the epilogue. It was a true absorbing story and I could finish reading the whole book pretty fast I believe. I was made to read and read on – less because there were frequent load shedding in our area and more because of the flow of the story. He never stopped, until he reached the last page! I like this person’s writing. He is different and more like an Indian writer.

Well, now that I have read the book, I can talk about the mistakes the hero (Govind Patel) did throughout the book. Hope he comes out of the book someday. This is a good film material. Here are the three mistakes of Govind.

1st - He was selfish when he thought about taking his business to bigger city/town ... he thought only of money!

2nd - when he opened the buttons of the blouse that covered Vidya's chest -... then, he thought only about his passions

3rd - when he was late in pouncing on Ali, to save him from Mama ... he was thinking, what if the Trishul hurts him, or if it takes his life instead, like Omi ... So, he spoiled a few moments in thinking about himself and could not save Ali's wrist!!!!

Who is Vidya, Ali, Mama and Omi? Well, I cannot tell you that as that cannot be revealed in this blog. You got to read the book. Its good – all I can say. It is not fabulous like the five-pointer and in the same way it was not as disheartening as the happening in the call center. (I did not like that call from God – but that was what the story was based on)

Like most of the Indian writers, Chetan writes in a flow – I mean to say he does not skip from London to America and back to India in the same paragraph. I have read foreign writers and have found lack of flow in their books – be it French or English. Possible that it happened with the books I read; but this did not happen when I read Indian writers. They are cool – more – and the story flows as we read. I liked the author from his first book. I just cannot forget the time I read that book and the content – oh! How much it matched my life then. I could see Rohan as Ryan in every page of that book. (Well, Max may not feel the same, though)

When I joined this job in this call center, I read the second book. I was able to relate the story with me – until God called. He wasted the thrill and the experience. Why did He call? I think I should ask Chetan to justify; but little can he do, for it was a story told to him. He had no rights to alter the course of the story. He did not. This third story was good too. Involving enough!

A good book (or story) is the one which you can relate with yourself. Chetan had everything in this book which we have seen, felt and understood – right from the shocker (win) in Kolkata in a Cricket test match against Australia to the earthquake in Bhuj until the Godhra massacre. While reading the book, I could imagine being standing in one of those pols in Ahmadabad. Everybody who has been living in India as an Indian for last 10 years could understand the book exactly – as they can relate the events to their lives, as they have been there and done what the characters in the book did. However, I cannot rate this book as the best one of Chetan’s due to some faults – somewhere something was missing.

The story ended abruptly. Debatable! I found it that way. There could have been a more of a role given to Ishan and Vidya at the end. They were like – stone-boy there. They disappeared and appeared just like that. Also, I found too less reasons for Govind to pop pills. He was a strong character – strong enough to soak up all what he went through. He had to be unhappy and sad but no reason to pop pills. He was not Omi, after all. Well, 250 pages was a target number for pages in the book – this is what I felt as I read the last pages. The story in between was detailed very smoothly. The roles were clear and understandable. (The character description of Ali was a bit of concern though – sometimes you feel he is 19 or 21 – but the book says he is 14).

PLUS POINT: It talks about dreams. Dreams of a common man willing to advance in business – do something for his family - a child aspiring to wear the blue Indian jersey or play Test match cricket! The glimpse of Australian etiquette and language has to leave its mark once you read the book. I have already started calling those mosquitoes as mozzies! And what was that? About Siphoning the Python? Hush! I cannot put it here in public blog. There are good spicy interactions apart from the strong backdrop of Indian Small Town Heroes. This is the reason the book will succeed.

[Big flaw]
Page 55: Here the guys go to the derelict bank and drink milk from poly packs. Tell me how you drink milk from a poly pack – consider yourself drinking raw milk, directly from the packet. Hmmm. Now, having done so, you can imagine cutting one of the corners and inserting the cut corner in your mouth. You can never drink from a poly pack as you would if it would have been served in a glass or tumbler. Right? So, if you can’t do that, you won’t get a milk moustache. Got my point? Yes! It was written in there that Omi wiped his moustache, which cannot be. A flaw which could not escape my eyes! Hehehe … enjoy the book folks – you may love it at the end of it!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Wish List!

Number 1:
I want to have a house of my own. One, which I can have my parents and my wife and my children in. I mean my family. I just want to have it named after my mother. I don’t know why. I just want her to see that I have made a house for her. She already has one in her name. I want one more – that can be my gift to her. You know, my mother’s Happy Birth date is August 15, 1947? Yes, she was born the very date India got independence. You know one more thing? She was married to my father, exactly after 33 years – on August 15, 1980! So, she has her birthday and anniversary in the same day. I would gift her, the house on that day itself. This is one of my wishes – probably, the foremost one.

Number 2:
I want to take my parents (or at least send them) to a world tour. It was my mother’s dream to go abroad – see the world. She’s too old now and sick and she’s disturbed and heartbroken – may be because of me. My father is also old and feeble. I am not sure I can send them for the tour but I wish I could – as soon as possible!

Number 3:
The world is getting dryer. There is no fuel, no water to drink, no tears to shred. I can clearly see the change that has occurred in last 25 winters, most of which I was fed by my father. I just do not want to save as much as I can for the coming winters. I just do not want to beg nor have my children beg for their pieces of bread – ever! I know, people are getting richer but the world is getting poorer every moment. Save is the word – earning is the same.

Number 4:
I am too small to think about the world. I can stop throwing the odd gum wrapper in the street or the empty Frooti box in public. May be a li’l further, I can stop using non eco-friendly materials – but that’s it. Can I do more? Well, if I can, it is almost unknown to me. As most of my friends know, I am a bit in the selfish side. So, let me wish something for me…

I want to play cricket. I have given whole of my childhood and part of my teens playing cricket. It gave me nothing but I have not left loving it. I have always wanted to be a cricketer – all my life, like millions of Indian children. And like every one of them, I could not become one. I do not blame anyone, as a blame game ends up in smoke. I just could not make it. However, I wish to play a match or an inning probably, and I want to open bating with Sachin Tendulkar (nay, Saurav Ganguly or Adam Gilchrist). I would like to hear Sachin calling for a single towards the fine leg, or may be a quick double to the square leg. I would not mind walking towards him and telling him to play in the front foot, as the spinner is skidding; he might watch out for an odd googly too. I would be most privileged if Sachin comes to me and punches my gloves after I hit the pacer straight between him and the umpire. Four!

You know what, I have opened innings with many people – some blasters and some defenders and have always enjoyed different styles. I have already mentioned that to Sunil Rathour, one of my mates in college – I would love to open with him someday. Well, we could not do it in 6 years of college life – how do I even think of doing so now? Well, this is a wish list and I am free to wish. Kya pata, I actually end up achieving that!

Number 5:
I want to see my wife laughing – satisfied – enjoying – free – happy – dancing! I want to fulfill all her wishes. You know something, I have been pretty much a loser till now. I feel it. Yes, I have achieved so many things – but I have failed to achieve so much else! I am not talking about being a Pilot or a Major or a Scientist. I am talking about normal things that came my way and I could not just grab ‘em. I could not make my parents proud or mere happy. I could not make my friends rely on me (not many). I do not know if I could keep my children satisfied and happy. Hence, I want to make my wife very happy. I just want to do whatever she wants me to do. God knows what is true; but I wish I can make and keep her happy always – till I breathe last.

Number 6:
I want to write. Write, create, compose, make, craft and distribute ‘em to the world. I just don’t want people to pay me in return – I just want them to read me – may be this is the only success of a writer – that he is being read. I want to be read. And hence, I want to write and keep on writing. It has being a long time that I wrote. Some of you mentioned it, some did not mind and some thanked God; but I felt it. I am still searching something, it seems – while my search should have been over by now. I want to write what I feel … and I want to let you know that I am writing.

Number 7:
I love you. I wish to continue to love people – as I have tried to do all my life. I am not able to do so now. I feel guilty. It was a time when I used to tell myself, my wife (would-be, then) and my friends that I feel that God has sent me down to love people and share and spread the love he has for us. I used to feel proud to be close to so many people. I used to love everyone I meet and there would be no partiality at all. You know what, people used to love me too. There are very few left, but people still love me. I am not able to return the same. I have hurt a lot o’em and a few are those, who once loved me. I feel guilty because I feel that this is not what I am supposed to do here. Every one of us has a specific reason to live a life as we do. My reason that I comprehended a few years back was to spread love – there is no particular time or age when you can or you are suppose to do so. It is an on going process – it has to be one – to affect humanity. Is there something I am doing wrong now? Is there something I am facing away from? I have a few queries now, and I would like to know them – before it is too late!

Number 8:
I want to live long. I want to live for those who want me by their side. Sadly, there are not many; but still, I want to see what happens next. I have some dreams – rather, I had them some time back. I would like to give a shot and try to dodge with every one. I want to do something – and stop wasting time. Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma Phaleshu Kadachana! I want to work. I have been lazy – I want to pull up my socks now. I have a lot to do. Miles to go, before I sleep!

The above is a wish list. This list is not exhaustive and is extendable as and when I wish more! Hehehe…


I want to go back to School

I want to go back to school - not because I miss my schooldays, as I was a much of a sponge ball in school - will not react until you squeeze it. (Even it reacts, it will only come back to its own shape and size will not go beyond it) This is because I want to Study. Trust me, I used to feel that whatever was taught to me was far easier than what I can understand, when I was in school. Probably this thought or my unwillingness or my over excitement for cricket kept me away from studies and I grew dumber and the subjects went on getting tougher. I want to go back to school and study. I was not having this job that time. I never had to think about my family. I did not smoke, booze or tease girls. I never had Orkut, Google, YouTube, or Zoom TV that time. I had only time to study! I did not do it. I want to do it now! Probably it is too late.

I do not know if the above can be listed in my wish list. I wish it all right, but this is not possible anymore. They say समय बड़ा बलवान (Time is very Strong) and I have lost it, it seems. How did I not listen to my father’s words? He would not tell that again to me. I still remember hitting 48 out of 50, in Geography after a study session with him just the night before the Annual Exams. I got 8 out of first 50 and Ma was very angry on him saying he did not pay attention to my studies and hence, I am getting such scores. May be a bad day in the office or a awful party member who must have told a word or two in disrespect to something dear to my father, Baba got up and called me – took my Geo Book (Social Studies Book used to have all three subjects – Geography, History and Civics) – asked a few questions, only to get my blank looks – clawed me hard on one of thighs which went red hot with five prominent fingers on it. Rest of the session went all wrong – what I can remember is nothing other than tears in my eyes. I could not see the letters, even though I was looking at the book and crying. Liters or tear went down and I promised numerous times to study from now (then) on. I do not remember if I had dinner while I was awake (it was a routine for my parents to feed me when I was asleep every night) but I remember that I did not study. I just wept for rest of the session which lasted not more than 3 hours. Please do not ask me what happened in the Exams as I do not remember. What I remember next was the day when I got my final results. I got 48 in Geography – highest in the report card! That did not last – that did not have any effect as I was the same old stupid (as I know today that I was) from the next day onwards. Wish I would have listened to my father then, for once!!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

orkut Blog: orkuteers visit Google Bangalore

Hey Guys,

Check out this blog from Orkut. It says how three of the Orkut users from India were invited to a Discussion with the Orkut Team including Product Managers, Engineers, Operations Staff, User Experience Researchers and HR representatives. The meeting was held in Bangalore.

orkut Blog: orkuteers visit Google Bangalore

Its really unfortunate that being a prolific user of Google (Gmail, Gtalk, Orkut, Blogger, Google Search etc.) I was not invited. I am in Bangalore and would have not spent much to join the team too!!

Jokes apart, I heartily congratulate the three guys who could be present in the meeting. Just visit the above link and read the blog. I'm sure you will use Orkut even more from now onwards!!


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