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)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The week that was

Last week I took a week’s leave from work. So did Maitri. We spent a good time together. We were just thinking that this was 1 week of leave after 51 weeks of work! We decided to spend the week at home, so that we do not stress ourselves further. The whole intention was to relax and rejuvenate ourselves. So, we did not go anywhere much and stayed at home for most of the period. Even though we enjoyed ourselves from within the warmth of our home, we travelled to a few adjacent places in and around Bangalore during these 9 days.

We went to Nandi hills on the first Sunday along with three others. We did not hire a car as the idea was to roam around and feel the travel. So, we took a bus ride till Chikballapur and from there we went straight to Nandi Hills. The travel was not so good, as you may guess, but what we saw after being there was awesome – simply. The place is a hilltop with a temple of Nandi, one of the two bahana (vehicles) and servant oxen of Lord Shiva; the other one being Bhringi. The scenery from the top of the hill was too picturesque and magnificent. The rocks where we were standing were having ditches of high altitude going straight down to the foothills, from where we boarded the bus. People come here either with their partners and newlyweds or to commit suicide. Well, this is the information I got about that place.

We had a tiresome journey and both of us fell ill and the next two days were spent at home – which meant a boon in disguise as per plan. The following days were also spent at home coming out only to buy supplies. On the Christmas night, we went to the nearby Forum Mall which was decorated like hell this time. There were many irrelevant decorations, which I did not like. Maitri enjoyed it, as this was her first Christmas in Bangalore. Last time, we were in Wayanad, Kerela on our yearly tour.

The next day was again a rest day. On Saturday, we went to Old Airport Road, where there is a Shiva Mandir (temple). Well, I have heard about it many a times and have seen lot of pictures but never could manage to visit the place. My wife has gone there before and she was all enthusiastic to have me visit the same. The idol of Lord Shiva in there is something one should see. Once you look at the magnificent 65 feet high formation of Lord Shiva sitting in Padmasana (Lotus position), you will just fell in love with the place. The journey through the tunnel with replica of 12 Shivalingas situated in different parts of India was also informative and interesting. The day was saved with our visit to this place.

On the last Sunday, we decided to execute our plan of visiting the ISKCON temple here in Bangalore. The temple is huge and is well known to people all over India. Many national and international devotees visit this place of worship every day. We planned to be there many times, but could not do so due to several misfortunes. It was decided that the co-travelers of last Sunday would also join us, but they had to cancel at the last moment. We two accompanied each other (holding hands) and went to the temple. It is another spectacular place to be. After toddling through a long swarming queue which went through some 734,246,290,127 (lol) turns and barricades, we reached the main temple where we saw the bravura – the idols of Lord Krishna and Radha, the idols of Lord Jagannatha and Balarama and the idols of Lord Nitai and Gouranga along with the interiors of their surroundings were all covered in pure Gold! Nice it was – not so peaceful though, because of those ISKCON missionaries who actually work there as salesmen and marketing personnel. Maitri noticed and mentioned one thing which was so true. When we were in the queue or in front of the Lord, standing there to utter our prayers and take His blessings, there were people (who named themselves sevaks) shouting at us to move ahead. There were so many people to check if anyone is standing in the queue or if they are spending more time in front of the idols. However, when we went downstairs where the missionaries were ‘selling’ food and books and other materials just like shops in Forum Mall, there was not a single person asking anyone to move forward. The place was a chaos and a literal marketplace. Interestingly, they managed to have a queue all through until the point you get out of the temple premises. They also offered free Khichudi (food made of Rice and Pulses boiled together), but that was almost at the end of the queue – after passing through the shops selling food. By the time you reach the food stalls, you would be so hungry that you have to buy and eat something and once you are fed and happy and move ahead towards the exit, you will see the free Khichudi. They do not allow you to carry a camera inside – we took it, however. A lady searched in Maitri’s bag but did not see it. But, respecting the security concerns of the temple and the country as a whole, we did not take out the camera inside the temple.

During the time we were held inside our home, we managed to watch quite a few movies. We saw Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Sorry Bhai and Yuvaraaj (Hindi), Eagle Eye (English), Sreeman Prithviraj and Utsab (Bengali). Nice good movies. The best one of course was Sreeman Prithviraj – a very nicely depicted life of a teenager who gets thrown out of school and gets married. Then he falls in love with his wife and rescued her back from his in laws. There was also a touch of patriotism where he punched a British Officer and threw a few bombs to help an escaping Freedom Fighter. Overall, it was a good movie on a story of before independence time. Even Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was good. I liked it. Eagle eye was a true portrayal of technology and its (probable) bad effects on us. Yuvaraaj was a disappointment. Utsab was a serious story. Sorry Bhai was shockingly a good film. By and large this was a nice mini movie festival for us.

That was the week. It was a good time we passed together. The last few days in this year 2008 were spent in jolly mood. Hope we spend the next year in a similar fashion. Amen!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Awesome Speech by the Center Head!

Wow! What a speech by our center head today! I was fortunate enough to be in a meeting with him when he addressed all the employees of our center. He is a tremendous speaker and a very down to earth man – well, that’s what I felt. Today is the last day of work before the holiday season starts. Many of the employees are going for leave and some of us have to work in some part of this period. The center head addressed us with an overview of the last year’s performance and the plan for next year. He talked about all the issues – from the market conditions, Indian and Global economy, performance of HP as an organization worldwide to our personal budgets and holiday preparations. I have been into public meetings with various speakers and I was privileged to have listened to many politicians and management heads too. This speech by him today was so engrossing and down to earth that I could not know when (almost) two long hours passed. I was standing at the back, as I reached late and he was also walking while talking. The examples he gave were exemplary. He seemed to know what is going on in every individuals mind working in this organization. He meant it very clearly that in this situation of crisis all over the world, we need to stand together to go through this storm. That’s what a perfect leader would tell and that is exactly what he proved in his speech. He made us feel that we are better off than many of the competitors and fellow IT/ITES companies. I could see what he was talking about. And that last approach with that King Cobra? Phew! That was some relation. He called himself the King Cobra in our organization and yes, he is. And I am proud that he is the King here. It was a mesmerizing experience and I will look forward to such coffee talks in the future too.


বাংলা লেখা।

ইন্টারনেটে বাংলায় লেখা যত না কঠিন, ঠিক ততই উত্তেজনাপূর্ণ। ভাবলেই ভাল লাগে যে আমি বাংলায় লিখছি। খুব মজা। সত্যি। গত দুই দিন ধরে আমি শুধু বাংলায় লিখছি। আমি খুব খুশি।

পরশুদিন আমি ইন্টারনেটে কিভাবে বাংলা ব্লগ লেখা যায় তা খুজছিলাম। বেশিদুর জেতে হয়নি। কিছুক্ষণ খোজাখুঁজির পর পেলাম এই অভ্র কিবোর্ড। কি দারুন সৃষ্টি। অবলিলাক্রমে বাংলায় লেখা যায়, যা দিয়ে চিঠি পত্র, ব্লগ বা ওয়েবসাইট – যা খুশি লেখা যায়। অদ্ভুত! খুব ভাল লাগল। আমার বঊ বলেছিল যদি ওকে বাংলা ব্লগের সন্ধান করে দেই, তবে ও লিখবে। আমি খুব যত্ন করে, ইন্টারেস্ট নিয়ে বাড়িতে এবং অফিশে সব ইন্সটল করে রেখেছি। এবার ওও ইচ্ছা করলে লিখতে পারবে।

খুব মজা লাগছে বাংলায় লিখতে পেরে। প্রযুক্তি বিজ্ঞান অনেকদুর এগিয়ে গেছে। আমি এখনো পেছনেই পরে আছি। অভ্র কিবোর্ড খুব ভাল সফটও্যার। খুবই সুন্দর এবং খুবই সরল। আমার একটুও অশুবিধে হচ্ছে না লেখার কৌশল রপ্ত করতে। অবশ্যই ইউনি কোডে লেখা একটু কঠিন, কারন সেখানে যা কিবোর্ডে ছাপা আছে তা লেখা হয় না। তবে এছাড়া বাকি যা লেআউট আছে সেগুলো খুব সরল। আমার বিশেষ অশুবিধে হচ্ছে না এবং আর কিছুদিনের মধ্যেই একেবারে এক্সপার্ট হয়ে যাব।

এখন যখন বাংলায় লেখা আর কোন অশুবিধেই নয়, তবে একখানা বাংলা ব্লগ খোলা যাক, কি বল? তাই ভাবছি। এর মদ্ধে কাজও শুরু করে দিয়েছি, তবে একটা ভাল টেমপ্লেট পেতে হবে এবং সুন্দর করে সাজাতে হবে। জানি না করতে পারব কিনা, তবে চেস্টা তো করবোই। সেটা তৈরি হলেই এখানে লিঙ্ক পোস্ট করব। অপেক্ষা করো।

অভ্র কিবোর্ড –এর লিঙ্কের জন্য এখানে ক্লিক কর।

If you cannot read the above written in Bengali, please do the following steps:
(In Microsoft Windows XP)

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. In Control Panel, click Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options.
3. Click Add other languages.
4. On the Languages tab, click to select the Install files for complex script and right-to-left languages (including Thai) check box.
5. Click Apply.
6. Click OK.
7. Restart your computer when prompted. If you are not prompted, click Start, click Shut Down (Or Turn Off), and then click Restart.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blogging Engagement

Engagements in life are good, when they are in a good direction and aimed at good goals. I am actually loving the engagement I am practicing right now – my engagement with the writers, in the lounge. So many writers – with so many stories – depicting their talent and brilliance! Thanks to the people there, for letting me in.

I was engaged in various things all my life. I could really think of many of those now, in retrospect. Recently, I have been with Orkut, where I made 500+ friends and met so many people worthy to befriend. Then Travian, the online strategy game? I loved it soooo much. Then, for a few days, I roamed around Yahoo Answers. There were a row of web engagements – Dhingana, BigAdda, Hi5 etc. I loved them – being with them. Real good pastimes!

I was always engaged with cricket, as I am now. I just love the game; have spent days and nights playing cricket. I tell my wife often, that I have done only two things in life, so far – playing cricket and loving her. Hehehehehe …

As of now, I am only with the lounge; the blog which has actually inspired me to write more. Now, I write more, I read more and frequently and regularly. I visit different blogs and read people. I like the rendezvous with blogs now. Want to find one Bengali Blog for my wife … searching it now …
I am also engaged in one more thing – indirectly. Will get into it more specifically from this week! Will reveal it, once it is done… keeping the fingers crossed.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Writer’s Lounge

Another new blog! This time, it was an accident that I got involved in it. I was browsing through different blogs, as usual. And while jumping from one blogger to another, I ended up in this one – The Writer’s Lounge. I was about to read a few posts when I saw the first post – a challenge to write a short story within 400 words on rain. They were running a contest and none posted in that so far. I was tired and feeling dizzy that time, but something just churned the thought in me – the thought of doing something new and get involved. I started writing and finished my piece in some 15 minutes. I was not a member then, so I could not post it there. I put the story as a comment and asked them if they would let me in. They were kind enough not only to praise my story but invite me to be a member in that blog. Wow! I joined and posted two short stories in two days in there. I was very happy to get the welcome there. The league is good and all of those are very talented writers. I feel happy to be with them. That community feeling is awesome. Please visit the blog and check out the literary geniuses working there – silently. Awesome!

Get all my posts in The Writers Lounge here.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Me, me and me!

What do you want in life? Materialistic? Spiritual? What are those things that you would really want? It will be tough for you to answer – if you are not a saint, you would have a long list. That is not bad – truly. It is just human nature – to want everything we perceive to be good. As Shafin tells, very few people want to have their own private aeroplane – I beg to differ! Most of us, would at least once in life, want to have their own aeroplane. If not an aeroplane, may be a Mercedes or a Maruti 800 or whatever. I am not trying to attract you to the size of the dream – what I am telling is that everyone of us would have a dream, which would seem impossible in some phase of our lives, but we would aspire to achieve it. Everyone has a dream – a big one – as big as that person can think of.

Getting married and having a partner who will be your better half (literarily) is one of those things I dreamt of, as many others. Many people ask for this and would seriously put this in the top few listings in the roll mentioned above. The feeling of love comes into affect here – the feeling of being in a relationship; the feeling of owning and being owned. They say, “Love is perfect when it is shared.” Not many would share it – not many could!

I know a relationship is giving and taking. It is there, but one thing we tend to miss out. I just want to add to that thought of give and take. The thing we miss out is WHAT – what you are giving and what you are getting is a big question. You might be giving things I do not want to get. I may be expecting something else. I am giving you what I felt I should. You may find it inappropriate or not just enough. So, only giving and taking does not help. It should answer the question WHAT. (Here 'I' means the person you have a relationship with - your partner) One needs to answer, or at least check if what s/he is giving is being accepted or not. One needs to find out if her/his giving is enough for the other one – does it reciprocate; does it count, at all?

Hehehe. Many a time, it does not!

What do you do when it does not work out for you? What do you do when you see the two of you moving apart – slowly, but steadily – like the Tectonic Plates? Does the thought move you? Well, the first things we look for in such a situation are the basics – the basics of a relationship. Give and take policy is one. The other important things are trust, respect and love for each other. Very easily taken name are these – very tough to stick onto them. There is no trust, on the first hand. No trust at all. When we do not believe each other and we lose the respect for each other too. We cannot respect anything we do or our partners do. And this in turn affects the love. The love – for which has everything been done. No love anymore. Shouldn’t it end? Is it well to stretch a thing which is not going to click? (Well, I have told the same thing to at least 10 people recently – that a thing that is not going to exist should not be made longer. And now, I am in a process of searching for the answer for myself. Damn!) I am not sure; maybe I am not clear enough too, today – for I do not know. It has to be a process – some retrospect – some introspect. Shafin told that it is all about I, Me and Myself (me, me and me) – I do not agree, but I would not throw out that argument as yet. Let’s hope for the best!


Friday, December 5, 2008

A Place Called Zero

Recently, I came across a write-up named A Place Called Zero. Premangshu, my buddy sent it to me a few days ago and asked me to read it in one go. Well, I did not find time until yesterday, when I was a bit relaxed yesterday. Less of work and much of tension in personal life – I thought to divert my attention to something else. Was searching for new templates for blogs etc. and got bored intermittently. Fortunately I remembered the write-up and I opened it and started reading.

I was very much absorbed into it and was ignoring people calling me from behind. The start itself was wonderful and attractive. Well written, of course! I could not leave my desk until I finished reading the whole piece. Remarkably well written!

This is just a start of a swim into the world of knowledge – knowing about yourself and about others around you – known and unknown. This is a story that should inspire you to do something more. You would understand only after reading the story fully. I am not concealing anything here – just that I do not want to tell you anything more, as you would lose the in interest in it.

Click on this link below and read the article. I am sure you will like it. Once you read it, it depends on you how you carry on with the thought. Post your thoughts on this post, if you like this piece of writing.

A Place Called Zero - Part 1.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye

Yes, you are lucky. You are lucky because you are able to read this post. Even I am lucky being able to write it. In this environment, where there is more terror in the air than Oxygen, we need to be lucky to be still alive. Hence, the heading!

India is not united. We are diversified to the core and hence, we are falling apart like a castle of cards. There is no unity in diversity – there is no unison in anything now – no feeling of brotherhood – no sense of oneness. The last few days, during the post math of what happened in Mumbai, I have seen and noticed that all around. Every time I opened the TV, I heard some news promising me the above thoughts. They say India is most prone to terror attacks. They never try to ask why. People are afraid of raising this issue. People are afraid of telling what they can feel around them. The media or the common man always tries to stand with things they would regard as ‘modest’ or ‘polite’ moral values. We know that these values are not practiced anymore, but still we do not say so – afraid of annoying certain groups of the society. So, we keep mum and wait till we get killed in another such incident.

Let me tell you how I feel, before something happens to me. I have been combing through NDTV, Aaj Tak, Times Now and CNN IBN for news regarding Mumbai attack. These four channels were major ones during the last few days. It was hilarious to browse through different channels when one channel showed (zoomed in close up) videos which the other channel did not show due to security reasons. How united the media is! In one of the channels, news readers were more than happy and content to say, “Delhi stands with Mumbai” or “Kolkata stands with Mumbai” or even “India stands with Mumbai.” How ridiculous can that be! If there is a theft in your house, do you say that you are beside your father in this time of dismay? No. It is a problem of the whole house – all stand with each other and face the situation together. An attack on Mumbai is attack on India and we are acting like segregated foreign strands wishing good luck to each other. If the US President elect Barak Obama says that he or the US stands with India, it is more likely. This gesture gives a clear indication that we are isolated and separated. Hope the terrorists do not laugh at us after seeing this reports. Only the old pro, Pranoy Roy said that we all should stand together – he never mentioned India or Mumbai or Delhi in particular.

Politicians played a role that can be kept as benchmarks for all the aspirants in this field. Wow! Three cheers to them. First of the lot was Maharashtra Deputy CM R.R. Patil who reiterated the famous lines from DDLJ: ऐसे बड़े बड़े शहरों में ऐसी छोटी छोटी बातें होती रहती हैं! Was he joking? Was he making a shaggy dog story of the selfless martyrs? Or does he not know Hindi? Cannot ask him any more – he resigned and went absconding. Then there was the CM himself, bringing his son and the not so famous film maker Ram Gopal Verma while visiting the devastated Taj Mahal hotel. I did not find it much irrational – but it did not amuse people all around for their own reasons. He is going to resign too. There were a few more comments from a few more leaders that caught attention of the press and we saw on the TV. The best one, however, came from the CM of Kerela, Mr. V S Achuthanandan. When he went to meet the martyr NSG Commando, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s family and wanted to probe that these people originally came from Kerela, the martyr’s father denied his presence and asked him to leave. The old man who lost his hero son recently could not see the Marxist CM to gather political compassion on his son’s grave. In return, the honorable (??) CM said, that if it would not have been for Major Sandeep, not even a dog would have visited his house. Can anyone think of any leader in all history telling something as ignoble and as disgraceful as this? Shame, shame Mr. CM!

This is how the country has reacted. This is how the leaders lead here. I should be happy that I am allowed to work in Bangalore even though I am from North Eastern part of India. I should be grateful to the people of Bangalore that they have let me to stay here and work. I was stunned by a comment by a crook a few days ago in office when he told me that it is a shame that I am in Bangalore and I do not know Kannada. I wanted to tell him where he was standing is a part of a country – of which I am a citizen too. But you would agree if I say that he would have been the last person to understand that. Such narrow mindedness is not only in here in Bangalore – it is spread all over the country. In a country where Academic Gold Medalists from big metros (Mumbai, in this context) do not know where Agartala is, I can expect people with little knowledge to say so. People in Chennai (Tamil Nadu as a whole) take pride on being Tamil to the extent that they paint boards and road signs in Hindi all black. Such low lives! Raj Thakrey – the youth icon in Maharashtra – how can one forget him? He waters the seeds of communalism and racism in India like no one else. Where is he now? After all the havoc in Mumbai, he is nowhere to be seen. Is he busy with personal meetings with the militants? I do not disagree with the same. People from Bihar are all over India, as Gujrati people are all over the world. Still they cannot stand other Indians staying in Bihar. One reason why I do not want to work in Kolkata is because of the communal feeling in the common man there. There is less of communism and more of communalism in Kolkata these days. You need to be a Bong to be there amongst the Bongs.

I have travelled extensively through the villages and cities in India. The best of hospitability I received was in North India. Yes Mr. Raj Thakrey, if you are reading me – the best people in India are still the North Indians. The greenery that they live in has gone into their hearts too. I have lived in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan and have seen people behaving with someone from the other end of the country. I felt I was in my own backyard – roaming with my own family – which I am yet to feel here in Bangalore. The same sorrow story when I was in Chennai – in fact, it was worse than here. I have stayed for 6 years in Arunachal Pradesh – amongst the tribal from all North Eastern part of India. I have seen then become ferocious off no cause at all. I have seen them creating massacre and being bully – but in spite of that they were not bound by narrow minded communalism. They always told that that was their place so, they would rule it – that came out of under-civilization and low levels of education. There was a sudden flow of money into Arunachal Pradesh in past 20 – 25 years (thanks to varied 5 year plans) which they did not know what to do with. They were like self declared kings of their kingdoms. But they never indulged into cheap communalism. More or less, the same situation prevails in all the North Easter States.

I wanted to write more; but then, you would say it’s getting long. I do not mind making it long as long as you read it. Thanks for reading. I have just mentioned the problems – have not given any solutions to any of these. The truth is that I cannot think of one solid solution to this situation. I have thought of many-a-things – as my mind was denying to sleep when all the countrymen are awake for days now. But none of those thoughts could actually come out victorious. We do not want another ‘Operation Blue Star’ or another case of Iraq or Afghanistan to happen; but in case this is unavoidable, we should go for it whole heartedly. I do not see myself as a good troubleshooter at this point in time – but I am quite assured that you would like to think about it too – now that you have read it this far. If we think together; if we could stand together; if we would stay together, we would be in a better position to counteract these terror strikes. Think about it. We need to be united again – for a better India – for a better tomorrow.


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