Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Growing up with Potter

In an age in which children preferred the cartoons on television and the plethora of games which keep rolling out month after month and preferred to stay indoors and spent endless hours in front of the TV and computer rather than go out and play, there came a book from an author hitherto unheard of. It was about a young boy, eleven years old and living with his aunt and uncle because he had lost his parents even before he could recall in a car accident. But soon he finds out that he is no ordinary boy, nor did his parents die in a car accident. He was born to wizard parents, who were murdered by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who was gaining power back then. He was about 1 year old then. Then he had tried to kill him… but something happened, something which made the Dark Lord disappear and helped him survive the killing curse. He was the only known survivor of it and he was a celebrity in the wizard world but he had grown up with his aunt and uncle truly knowing the pinch in the life of an orphan. But now it was time for him to return to the wizarding world, to take up his rightful place there and to have his magical education in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is Harry Potter. So begins his fantastic journey into the wizarding world, and it is truly in every sense of the word ‘a magical tale’.

This first book ‘Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone’ was released in 1997 and I first read it when I was in 9th standard. Till then I was wandering round reading various hues of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Mysteries and truth be told thoroughly enjoying them too. One of my friends recommended it to me. After the first fifty pages I could not put the book down until I had completed it. It was spell binding. It was an altogether different world that the author J.K.Rowling had created. But her craft was so good, it was more than believable. The rare combination of a solid plot, good characters, great settings, brilliant wit and other magical elements meant it was not a book for the children alone. It achieved worldwide appreciation and soon she revealed that there would be 7 books in the series, one for each academic year of the school.

The first four books were pure magic and exceeded expectations on all levels. Each one improved on its predecessor which is a tough ask when you consider the quality of the first book itself. Then she took a break and then published the fifth book ‘The Order Of The Phoenix’. This as some would call it was lackluster and lacked the action packed nature of the previous four. The next one proved to be slightly better and provided some unexpected twists to the story. With the cooling off in the last 2 books, readers feared the 7th book might not fulfill their expectations and provide a deserving completion to the series. Those fears were misplaced and how!!!. In the 7th book she was back in top form and it is now considered one of the best of the series.

The series had a lasting effect on all those who read it I am sure, irrespective of any age barriers. It will continue to enthrall future generations as well and guide them into the world of reading where they will get the opportunity to know joy unbound, feel their hearts broken to pieces and travel the whole world from within the confines of their room. But I feel we were the luckiest of the lot. We were of the same age group as Harry, more or less. We felt the intimidation of going to a new school as he did at that age. We sought for friends as well and found some. There were also some not quite to our taste. We also fought for our houses in our own respective fields. Didn’t we feel the pang of separation from our dear friends during the vacations and the longing to get back to our second home? Weren’t we so self assured we knew that we were right about someone or something. We too had to face grief when we were not ready to understand it nor handle it. Who hasn’t longed for their dear lost ones to come back…Loved some teachers, disliked some. Worshipped some. Seen some girls and felt intrigued. At least once in our lives we have walked in the Valley of Love hand in hand with the one we love, where the flowers are always in full bloom, where it is always bright and sunny and everything perfect and everything seems to be there just for you. Felt anger at being left out, at being cheated upon. Felt the frustration grow when others could not understand how you felt. Felt all the world was against you. Felt the drive to prove yourself and glowed in the praise that showered in. Took out our frustrations on our dear ones, gone back to them and apologized. Wished we could change what has already happened. Wished we could conquer all the evil in the world and make it a better place for all who are in it.

We could relate more to him than readers of other ages who were either too grown up to understand the jump of the heart on stepping foot in a new school with no friends or too young to understand the longing to see a girl or the dark desire for vengeance, to hurt back one who has hurt you. But we felt it all. We felt all the little pulsations that he felt. We cheered with him, understood his frustrations, cried with him and stood steadfast by him. Through all. From the beginning till the end. Till the eleven year old boy who stared out at this new world through wonderstruck eyes grew up to be a young man aware of his responsibilities, aware of his limitations and still wishing he could do all he could to change the world for good. Ready to embrace his destiny and make it his own. Thanks a million Rowling, thanks for the lessons, the morals, the trials…and ultimately for giving us such a friend as Potter (not to forget the Weasleys or Hermione)… You have made our lives richer (not counting in galleons).

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Ode to Her

When you love someone, you don't care for anything else in the world. She's my first and only true love - Music. As I say goodbye to one phase of music in my life, thought I should write something to express how much she means to me.

I've never been a believer in love at first sight. This wasn't one either. I remember the first songs I heard were on our car stereo. The good old fiat had a sound system not worthy of much praise, but music is not about huge speakers. Whatever we hear is through the same ear. beauty is in the eye of the beholder, music is in the ears of the listener. I can't say for certain what changed me into a music fanatic, but my first recognition as a singer in 3rd standard sure helped. I thank my parents forcing me to sing at our school youth festival.. the first of many opportunities I had to entertain the audience. My first English song: Michael Jackson - Heal the World.

Fast forwarding a few years, I was lucky enough to make a niche for myself as someone who can sing western songs pretty well. Groups song at ICSE youth festivals are still some of the wackiest moments of my life. Imagine singing 'In the End' at an inter-school youth festival, with a guitarist who doesn't know to play a string, but still has the passion to play it in front of an overawed audience. LaFest is another occasion not to forget. Surennan and me singing 'Pineapple penne' which still has a cult following. Through these years the most significant fact was that I got to hear more songs - better or worse - I heard all kinds of songs I could get my hand on.

Entering college, I never dreamed there would be any future for expressing my love for music. Getting second in Genesis was a beginning, but the real opportunity came at our Sophomore's day - Miraglo. Don't know what inspired me to form a band, but everything fell together and I'd my first performance as part of a band. The attempt was much appreciated, I guess. That lead to performances for Illuminati, Dhwani, Ragam, College Day etc. I loved each and everyone of the moments I spent on stage. Looking back I'm really proud of the list of songs we performed:

In order of performance,
Greenday - Boulevard of broken dreams
Bryan Adams - Summer of 69
The Rasmus - In the shadows
Thousand Foot Krutch - Rawkfist (backup vocals)
Eagles - Hotel California
S C Chapman - Dive
Deep Purple - Smoke on the water (backup vocals)
Deep Purple - Highway Star
Metallica - Unforgiven II (backup vocals)
Aerosmith - Dream On
Nirvana - Breed (backup vocals)

The ones given in bold are my favorites. I'm listening to Change by Tracy Chapman now. Beautiful tune and lyrics. Thank you God for giving humans the power to enjoy music. Let her soothe us all in sadness, inspire us to be better, entertain us in good times and lead us through... change.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

An email i sent to google.

i sent this mail to google today... there was a bit more in the original version. this is shorter one. just removed a few lines.

What I’m about to say is an idea that occurred in my head when I thought about the contact photos in my mobile phone. I own a mobile phone in which its possible to assign photos to the stored contact numbers. Its often a tedious task to assign the photos properly to the correct persons. But beyond doubt, it’s a very useful feature to see the image of the person calling or sending a message.
When I thought of possible ways to automatically assign the photos, the website orkut suddenly came into my mind. Wouldn’t it be really cool if there’s a phone feature that allows the phone to access the web site via GPRS etc; then automatically search and compare all the stored contacts in the mobile with that of a user’s friends on (based on the mobile numbers of course); and assign the corresponding profile photos on orkut as the contact pictures.
Of course its not a universal solution to assign photos, but the rest can very well be managed manually through other sources. Now with extremely advanced phones hitting the market and mobile internet access being far too common, wouldn’t this idea be a really smart feature on a phone?

Hey Guys...........

me is the new member in the here...................this is my first post i outsider in the
so called 'APPLIED' blog............... hopng to get involved more often..
cya guys

Friday, 22 February 2008

My mother works at Agriculture College, Vellayani. The main building of the college used to be the summer palace of the kings of Travancore. The kings always get the best. The same in this case too.

The palace is located on the shore of vellayani lake. The place is exotic. Most rooms in the palace lets in the breeze from the lake, which is very refreshing. My mother works in the new building which was designed by a true keralite. It is along the direction of the breeze.

I lived in the staff quarters for 5 years. Reigned like a king during the first 5 years of my life.
Neone wonder why i am writing about the college now?

There was a pic in the newspaper from the college(The Hindu Feb 22.) it was of a creeper in full bloom on the college premises( the yellow in the above pic.) What you see is a Mahagony tree which has shed its leaves for the winter. The creeper called bignonia had been on the tree for some time now. Once in a year the creeper flowers, and when it flowers it flowers like hell. The duration of the flowers are just 3 days. the tree will look green day after tomorrow.

I wanted to put up some more photos here, but blogger wasn't kind enough. So i have created an album here. please visit for more pics. It is absolutely worth it. c'mon don't be lazy.

One of the photos in the album is of a plant called "yesterday today tomorrow." The flower of the plant has a peculiarity. it takes three different colours on different days of its existence, from dark violet one day to light violet next and white on another. you can see flowers in 3 different stages.

PS- none

Thursday, 21 February 2008

JFx's Top Ten (5-2)

5. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things (1997) is a semi-autobiographical, politically charged novel by Indian author Arundhati Roy. It is a story about the childhood experiences of a pair of fraternal twins who become victims of circumstance. The book is a description of how the small things in life build up, translate into people's behavior and affect their lives. The book won the Booker Prize in 1997.
- wiki (Read more)

This was one of the most touching novels I ever read. The initial chapters made me wonder whether it deserved the Booker prize, but towards the end the story really tugged at my heart overflowing wit emotions. It is set in my native place. So the nostalgia added that extra emotional edge to it.

4. A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking

A Brief History of Time is a popular science book written by Professor Stephen Hawking and first published in 1988. It rapidly became a best-seller, and had sold 9 million copies by 2002. It was also on the London Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. -
wiki (Read more)

A Brief History of Time is the only non-fiction book in my top ten. Physics have always been my favourite subject, and astronomy my passion. This books describes in layman language how the huge universe ticks. From exploring the quantum mechanics of elementary particles to the theory of relativity of massive bodies, the book leads us to the ultimate aim of scientific research - the theory of everything.

3. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

The Fountainhead is a 1943 novel by Ayn Rand. It was Rand's first major literary success. The book's title is a reference to Rand's statement that "man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress". The Fountainhead examines the life of an individualistic young architect, Howard Roark, who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision by pandering to the prevailing taste in building design. - wiki (Read more)

This must be one of the most controversial books ever written. It not only questions the world of second handers but inspire people to choose invidualism over collectivism. In this world run by collectivists, people often see this as a threat to their existence. What I've said may seem rubbish.. Honestly I hadn't understood much of the philosophy on finishing the book, but the book has a quality to make us think. The book's a must read - not 'coz I agree with everything said in the book, but 'coz it urges you to frame a philosophy in life.

2. Prelude to Foundation - Isaac Asimov

Prelude to Foundation is a 1988 novel written by Isaac Asimov. It is one of two prequels to the Foundation Series. For the first time, Asimov chronicles the fictional life of Hari Seldon, the man who invented psychohistory and the intellectual hero of the series. - wiki (Read more)

This is the first book in Foundation series. I'm a die-hard fan of the series. There are many reasons why I like this particular book the most. Asimov had written the original trilogy much before this book. Prelude is a much more mature Asimov. He excels not only in his Sci-Fi and unexpected twists, but also gives us a study of human psychology. Beautifully written, excellent ending.. one that you'd never forget.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008


while everyone is busy editing the templates, i did stupid things in photoshop.

here is something that i got from digg

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Valentine’s Day: Event log.

‘Love is in the air…blah blah…blah blah(again)…Happy Valentine’s day’, said an early morning message I received from Lakshmi Bhuvaneshwaran, a good old friend of mine from school. I woke up only to find the day looking like any other day.
Wait…let me can all the crap and get to the point…let’s fast forward to the point where all of us were done having a Chicken Biriyani at Sapphire that had me boasting throughout on how good the Chicken Biriyani at ‘Topform’ was, call it regionalism. Soon afterwards we decide to surprise Jayan who seemed to be in a total hurry to rush off to his place with Akri on ‘Valentine’s day’…I have no guesses for what the reasons could be. This is the age when guys stay back at college even if a strike is called, go to empty labs and ‘flirt’ with each other only to fall prey to the prying eyes of poor uninformed faculty who are unaware of deviations in sexual orientations of the modern world. Embarrassed at being caught red handed at their naughty act, they blog offering explanations…blasphemous!!

A bike sped off with a roaring two stroke engine with 14bhp of untamed power, the Sreekaryam boys were on it. The Stallion said it’d tag along…and I took off on my ride with the only committed, ‘proudly wearing red’ guy among as my pinion rider.

Yamaha and Honda…whoever said that they were companies competing with each other in the land of rising sun was seriously mistaken. The head start and 0.7 bhp of additional power was no excuse for us to lag behind the Sreekariyam boys, we had to be first, we had to be first at least to satisfy the additional 17 cubic cm of air that our ride spat out every exhaust stroke. I decide to go full throttle only to find ourselves getting nowhere near the Sreekariyam boys. Disheartened by a strong ego pull, I decide to give up the race and make face of a seasoned racer who thinks of himself as too good to race. A sudden and heavy downpour exaggerates the melancholy and makes it hard to actually ride, which, as we shall later discover led to the downfall of the Stallion.
Having lost all hope of catching up with the Sreekariyam boys we deicided to wait for the Stallion to join us. As we wait one of the Sreekariyam boys makes a call to inform us that they're actually waiting for us near the museum. Aha! So they didn't rush off after all...shortly after that call, Jedi Master AS calls.

Jedi Master Gemo: Nee evide?
Jedi Master AS: Njanonnu slip aayi..
Jedi Master Gemo: Vallom pattiyo?
Jedi Master AS: Umm..kai murinju!
Jedi Master Gemo: Evide vacha?
Jedi Master AS: Kaudiar CCDkku aduthu.

CCD Kaudiar, Valentine's Day...was Jedi Master AS watching the traffic or was he staring elsewhere so as to not miss something? After Ragam 07, I think the second one is more likely. Anyway, within minutes I and Jedi Master Varun arrive at the scene..and find Jedi Master AS with a face that could also have said, 'Dude, I think I shit in my pants'. The Sreekariyam boys arrived soon and all of us together tried our best to look concerned. The Stallion looked fine but was not without a few bruises on its face.

I rushed with our hero to ‘Santhwana’ hospital only to be greeted by a roomful of eager nurses, much to our hero’s delight. I left our hero alone with all the nurses and his imagination. Meanwhile I went back to fetch the Stallion and bid Jedi Master Varun and the Sreekariyam boys good bye. Within minutes I was back at Santhwana Hospital and waited for our hero to run out of his imagination, which was going to be like..never. Few minutes and five stitches later our hero arrived at the hospital lobby…meanwhile…Jedi Master Gemo was being ‘forcibly’ engaged by the deceivingly beautiful hospital receptionist. JM Gemo, who was (and is) alien to the dark side of the force had no idea that he was being played on…his ‘innocence’ was being cleverly utilized by the allies of the Sith in disguise. Thanks to the timely intervention by injured but brave JM AS, the day is saved and JM Gemo was saved. Thanks to JM AS, the sands and waves of Goa can still sing about the virtues of JM Gemo.

Friday, 15 February 2008

ground-breaking discoveries needed for a mini-project ?

I can see that many of you guys wanted to post on this particular subject, but I am first. So, here goes !
"#@*%@3" was the first word that came to my mouth, when I first heard Mr.Suresh Babu was the man in charge of the mini-project.But the events of the past few days have left me wondering if my dictionary of trash words is equipped enough to deal with the frustration that this guy induces in me, and almost all others.

When I first considered the prospect of doing a mini-project, I thought "Well, thats some thing good the University has done". I thought I was going to have a good chance to do some neat stuff and learn during the process.

Oh, how wrong I was....
My group approached Mr.SB with an idea for a cheap PC-based Oscilloscope and the moment we uttered the words "PC Oscilloscope" he told us somebody else had done it, it was an old idea and he had seen it many times. Well then we asked if we could do a
"Remote Controller for Home Appliances" and his blurted out "What is the novelty in it ?". Then we mentioned a "PC Based Temperature Monitoring and Controlling" and he said it is too easy a project.
I know some of the guys who read this might feel that Mr.SB has a point, but I got a point to make too. I would have accepted his verdict on our ideas had he told us that our ideas involved very little Hardware and more Software. But he didn't mention it.

The whole episode was very discouraging and I who had felt at the beginning that mini-project was a good idea found myself trying to figure outhow the @##@@ did such guys came to be in charge of our mini-project.

There is only one thing I wish I could tell Mr.SB - If the point you are trying to make is that in the forty-odd years you have spent on this planet, you have seen far too many electronic circuitry and gadgets and projects, then I got nothing to tell you. But for the sake of the good old OP AMP, leave us alone ,let us do stuff we think we can do and we think is good enough !

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Blamed for what???

I seriously don’t understand what kind of mental satisfaction a teacher derives from taunting students who look come expecting for help…

Today… me and kesavan.. just for asking permission to use a CRO in any lab for our mini project... lab assistants were free, labs were free.. and hell.. only this Mr X had a problem… he claims we guys r not supposed to be inside the campus once the strike is called for… he says we wait for the teachers to leave the class to carry out our other activities… in particular “flirting”…

“Flirting” ... and that too to me and Kesavan…

This ought to be the worst experience I’ve had from anyone in our dept so far… how can a sir talk like this to someone who approaches him for help? Makes me rethink about being sincere to the department… of course one person shouldn’t turn out to be the reason for disliking the rest.. still.. I was really hurt… never expected any sir to talk in such a manner.. and to add to it all.. a sadistic, lopsided smile on his face at the end of his long babble.. that really got my goat…

Flirting… why on earth does anyone associate that term with us two? Am I wrong, people? And about this topic… I really think there’s nothing anyone can do about it except the subjects involved… they have the freedom to choose what they want, they’re all grown ups and should be able to understand whats right and whats wrong for them… if jus talking with each other can make them feel better, and if it does no harm in any way to themselves nor anyone else, why shouldn’t they? Not that I ‘m an activist for this “mode of communication”; and I personally believe myself to be lacking in any such “quality”; but being put to blame for such trivial activities that can never be associated with everyone is utterly ridiculous… and shame on the one who spoke about this too… if he has such a problem, why not address everyone and preach his principles, instead of picking on unpretentious souls who tread before him by dumb luck…

God… why is there so much of a ‘wavelengths of thought’ difference between “them” and “us”…

Being sincere towards teachers is a pupil’s dharma… that’s what has been taught to me since the time I could remember… and I frankly believe that contributes a great deal to a person’s luck factor… making fun of mannerisms, joking on teachers etc are common.. but again… anything is permissible if the respect for teachers is kept burning within….

I’ve faced really terrible teachers, brilliant ones, just-for-the-sake ones… but somehow I managed to find something to value in each one… hopefully that attitude shouldn’t change…. God… please… not atleast in this lifetime… Certain things make me what I am… whether for good or bad, I cannot judge… even if I can, I refuse to… I realize a lot of things… to prying eyes, I might not look a lot discerned… let it be that way… A few months back, Gemo had told me something like this while I showed him a poem: if I do something and if I don’t get acceptance from others, and if I keep thinking that God’s there to know my actions, I would not be getting that much satisfaction than if they did acknowledge…. Yeah kinda true… but it’s a lot better not to let the world know a lot about your actions… it might really screw things up, even if its meant for the good of others…

why worry… He’s always up there watching you… :-)

Happy Valantines Day to all those lucky souls

A look back from ruins

2009 February: I see death and destruction everywhere. Those who live has lost the taste for life. I see shattered buildings all around. I am dying. I can't walk. I have nothing left in me. just the longing for the long deep sleep. Gun fire sounding at a distance. It was not like this in Trivandrum a few months before. Everything was going on smooth, until.......what started it?

It was October 2008 last year. A gossip newspaper reports unusual activity in an old abandoned godown in the out-skirts of the city. Vehicles - large and small- were moving in and out. if they suggested terrorist involvement, at least some would have half-believed their claim. But they suggested that it was a US special force assembling for some covert operation, unknown to the authorities. Police raided the building. They found signs of recent activity. But there was no trail to follow.

Then things happened one after one another. There were rumors all around. The police forces and the emergency services were in full swing. But no news came out.

There was news of gunfight erupting near Sreekaryam between factions of a highly secretive group. Police couldn't control the situation. Their weapons were no match for that of the warring factions. Though the army was asked for help, they couln't mobilize their personnel very fast. Like everyone else they hadn't expected anything to happen in this relatively peaceful city.

Obviously people were scared. but they believed that the situation would be back to normal in a few days. They were soon to realize how wrong they where.

On the morning of the new year day there was a explosion that rocked the city. The explosives used were of advanced technologies and very large destructive power. Media were soon to suggest an international link. no wonder considering the knowledge put into the design. No ordinary man could have designed the bomb.

Meanwhile the gunfire continued. Nobody was safe. The focal point of the explosion was determined as a corner of College of Engineering, Trivandrum. Half of the most prestigious institution in kerala was destroyed in the explosion.

Then came the chemical and biological weapons. Large areas of the city was cordoned off as radioactive. nobody was allowed to leave the city.

During those days you could spot people in all-white air tight suits walking around taking samples. they had "UN" marked on their suits.

In the last few days facts began to surface. It all started when students of applied electronics were asked to submit topics for their main project and an inquisitive guy requested for some suitable links. At the very instant, people drew their guns and started firing at each other. That's how the war started.

The people at the godown turned out to be United States Calamity Prediction Reaction and Neutralization group (USCPRNG, pronounced youspring). it was a team of the best people of the world the US believed could contain any situation.

What use are the facts now? everything is lost now. there is no hope.

Who is that over there? i can see two cloaked people walking on the road. Their face seems calm and determined. But what strikes me most is the lack of fear. rocks and barricades on the road float away as they approach. are they magicians or am i hallucinating? They retrieve something from their belts.

i cant see clearly. my vision is blurring. i know i don't have much time left to live.

There is a swishing sound and i see green and blue blades of light. Jedi master Jfx and Jedi master iceman.

the world still has hope. not me.....

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


Chapter 4


Hell! If I don’t do this now I may never do it…

So.. we stopped at the part where I got dumped by the girl I loved and I found some reasons where I silently justified ma failure.. aaah,whatever….

It was 14th Feb, 2007 the valentines day… Those were times when the robotics spirits were on a high,everyone were on their toes trying to make things happen.. trying to do something different…trying to be unique.. That day we chose ma house for doing our business.. Its funny how heaven scripts life.

I was wearing a red t-shirt an expression of my commitment towards ma love.Well, may be not love but a fantasy which I liked to call love. As we were heading for ma house there she comes wearing a red top. Hell, there ma wild fantasies took a devastating turn,

The devil inside me yelled,”Go get her boy, this is your chance, see she’s wearing the red colour, make her yours”. What shit, I couldn’t hear what ma other side had to say.. Heeding to yell I suggested to my friends,”walk along guys,I’ve got an appointment”

But one Mr.”A” decided to tag along for my adventure and I thought what harm could he possibly be and more over he can be a moral support in my endeavor.

The rest of the company walked along and decided to regroup in front of my house…

Here comes the story,

She was heading for a nearby shop to get some household thingy. She was not alone, a girl who looked like her friend was alongside her. This discouraged me a little, but I wouldn’t let that come in the way of ma “destiny”. I followed her to the shop accompanied by A.I couldn’t find enough courage to talk to her then and there…

As she left the shop we resumed our pursuit and as she was about reach her house I called out ,”XYZ,wait”

She turned around, her eyes filled with surprise.

It would be better if I do this in my mother tongue.

“Eh.. kurae nalayi parayanam ennu karutunnu”

“Enikku kuttiye ishtamanu, kuttikko???”

She was standing still, stunned as though hit by an 11 KV line. She looked confused and even more tensed.

Was that tear drops? I didn’t have time to look; I had set on a sprint, perhaps the sprint of ma life. Mr.A who had been standing there watching the drama unfold had least expected such a situation. Stuck in an unknown place, in front of a weeping lady, a victim of attempted act of bravery by his dear friend he stood there thunderstruck. But his survival instincts didn’t let him down, he went straight ahead and asked her,

”Eh… Pengale, Avan engotta poyennariyumo??”

Suddenly realizing how bad an idea it was, he too set off on a sprint following my lead. Some how he got to me scrambling out of the catch 22 situation just on time.

Phew! Me and A got back home and the news of my proposal spread out like a wild fire.

Huh! Sounds like a well-scripted movie, doesn’t it?? Love, action, drama..

Well, this is the version of the story known to all, but I must confess the real story is a little different.

It’s the same until the start of the pursuit, but from then own the script changes… It’s true we followed her but I never had the courage to talk to her let alone proposing my love. She actually walked along and got into her house. I and A thought why not tell you all a different story, just for the fun sake of it. But the plan got out of hand firstly because I didn’t feel like correcting you people, I relished the thought of being recognized as a brave guy. F**k!

The thought of making a fool out of everyone has been eating me for a while now. I thoroughly regret the shameless act of cowardice. I’m sorry you guys… I really am...

Well,after all, the title "SUPER KNAE" does suit me,sigh!


I think this has gotta be the end of the series.. I had started the series because i had nothing better to write when i started blogging.... I've lost the creative vigor and the will to continue with the series, so i guess it would be better i stop what i started... hmmm... I hereby bid adieu to the forsaken soul..

Previous chapters

Monday, 11 February 2008

PC Upgrade - 1

Well no prices for guessing what this article is about… for the last month I have been going around boring off anyone willing to stay and listen about my plans to upgrade my PC. It is a major overhaul rather than a mere upgrade… so here goes the list.


Not very difficult to choose the brand – with the advent of Core 2 Duos, AMD has been unable to compete with Intel neither on price nor on performance. So Intel. Now for the specific model… the E 6X00 series is what started it all, but there was the improved E 6X50 series giving better performance and utilizing a FSB speed of 1333 MHz to consider. These were codenamed Conroe. All this changed with the arrival of the new Wolfdale processors. These CPUs are based on the revised core manufactured with 45nm process. Pros - lesser power consumption and better performance at same clock speeds and brilliant overclockability as per the initial reports (Apparently they had 8500 running at a stable overclock speed of 4.7 GHz and 8400 at 4.3). Cons – none as of now. As you would expect, I fell in love with the new processors and I just had to have one. Well this complicated the upgrading somewhat because older motherboards do not support the new 45nm beauties, and those that do were hard to find or too costly (ie in jan beginning). Choice is between E8200 and E8400.


Here I ran into a lot of trouble… too many choices, too many features to decide upon and too many makes, but (A.S would vouch for this) better safe than sorry. So I digged around quite a lot. Of course as I had already decided on the processor the necessary features would be 45nm C2D processor support and 1333 MHz FSB.With some sound advice from previously divertido lately bach, of the Ever Angry Cult, I managed to rule out DDR3, as it is prohibitively expensive right now and it is possible to get the same performance of DDR3 wth roughly double that amount of DDR2 memory or so I think. Btw some mobos support both which is quite a nice feature. Then came PCI Express 2.0, which turned out to be a feature planned by the companies solely to propagate consumerism. It brings better speed, hence better bandwidth and more power drawing capability from the PCI socket itself, but even the most intensive graphic cards out there do not have bandwidth demand to warrant any upgrade to 2.0, PCIE x8 alone can handle the present needs and x16 (16 bus lanes) will do nicely for at least a couple of years. Then I hit another hurdle. Which chipset architecture to go for? Shootout was between X38, P35 and P965(Leaving out the Nvidia chipsets). P35 being the upgraded version of P965 helped rule that out and well X38 is overpriced and will come into its own only in the future when DDR3 and PCIE 2.0 catches on. So finally the brand – yet to choose between Asus, GigaByte and Intel. Asus P5KC, P5KE/WIFIAP and GigaByte GA-P35C-DS3R look lke good bets.


DDR2 is the best choice as of now. DDR – outdated. DDR3 – overtly expensive. DDR2 hits the performance – price sweet spot nicely. DDR2 1066 does have a slight performance improvement but not enough to warrant the big difference in price. So DDR2 800 would be my choice. Possibly 1GB to be upgraded to 2GB in the not too distant future or perhaps even straight to 2GB.

to be continued....

Thursday, 7 February 2008

I'm still jobless.. Hurray!

We had the first taste of the famed CET Career Guidance and Placement Unit (CGPU) yesterday. Placements are slated to begin in July. The statistics showed only 3.7% didn't manage to get placed last year out of the qualified students registered in CGPU. That's something to cheer about, but one question lurked in mid air. How would I manage to get not placed? No, I didn't get the question wrong way round. Hopefully after reading the post you might understand why that question arise in mind, even if it was only for a moment.

There's a question that's being thrown around a lot these days - Are you ready for a job? After the question is asked rhetorically by someone, everyone goes silent at the same time. Though most of us recover fast, the feeling of uncertainty doesn't wane away. So what makes the question so potent? There seems to be many reasons.

First of all, though we say education is a continuous process, is it really true. I feel the knowledge gathering process grind to a halt after you enter a job. The second is freedom or at least the illusion of freedom. The freedom of movement, thought and expression will be curtailed. Another is the simple fact of higher responsibility.

Humans work an average 8 of the 16 hours we're awake. That adds up to about half of your life spend to survive in the other half. Was it like that always, or did industrial revolution blind us?

Simpsons Quote of the Day:
Mr. Burns: I’ll keep it short and sweet - Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Confession 2 (Page 2)

Yesterday was the best day of my life. Ten years I'd been wandering aimlessly, without fame, shame or anything that would make me more than excited to say "Oh that". Suddenly I felt like I've a purpose to live the moment I saw her. She poured out her heart over the butterscotch milkshake we ordered. It was the warmth of her heart that melt the ice cubes. She began:

"I don't know where to begin. So much has happened after you left me"

Questions swarmed my mind. Why does she even remember me, let alone believe I've left her! But I let her continue.

"You remember the boyfriend I had when we left college? Both of us got placement in the same company and it was time to start a new life. We decided to get married right after college. It was after I got pregnant that our relationship took a turn for the worse. Fights became a common entity. Though we had fought before marriage, I'd never felt so disconnected to him. Something was missing in our relationship - my unwillingness to belong to him.

Right after my son was born, I got the divorce notice. I was fighting a losing battle from then on. I... I lost my.." her voice trailed off. Her tired eyes had lost the spark I saw fourteen years before. They were slowly filling with tears. The blue eyes looked like a deep ocean about to overflow.

I reached out my hand to hold hers. This was my first time I touched her. Her hands felt small in mine. In between silent sobs, she managed to say "I've a confession. I've always loved you."
I was completely shaken. "Why... why didn't you ever tell me?"
She turned her head aside and said "Why didn't you?"
I'd no answer.

She turned her head back towards me. This time I saw the spark had returned to her eyes. She told me how she'd liked me from the moment she saw me.. how she noticed me looking at her in the corridors.. how my presence had been the silent comfort during sad times and encouragement during the good ones. It was like traveling back in time. Living every moment again, moment's that we'd lost. I gathered some courage and invited her home. She agreed...

It's today. The bed seems to have been slept on by more than one. But no one's around. Funny I can't remember anything of what happened after she agreed to come to my home. Was it just a dream? Na. There she comes wearing my shirt. She says with a wicked smile "Oh you're back to blogging again?"

Saturday, 2 February 2008

'Dajyu' by Shekhar Joshi

I’m 11 years old and I’m about to enter seventh grade. Thanks to our school’s policy to not teach the regular NCERT English readers that contain rather boring lessons but to teach the text books issued by the Oxford University Press, we have very cute, small and interesting reads as our English texts. The contributing authors included big names like Hemingway, Doyle, Satyajit Ray, R.K. Narayan, Oscar Wilde and much to my delight; Isaac Asimov and Roald Dahl. Short stories by Asimov and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate factory’ by Dahl continue to be my favourites. However the story that impressed me most was one by an unknown Indian author, Shekhar Joshi. I rarely had emotional overflows reading a story…stories amazed me, puzzled me, made me think, made me sympathize but rarely gave me tears. And the ones that gave me those, remained etched in my memory. One by which I was deeply moved was ‘Charlie and the Chocolate factory’ about which I shall write someday later. The other one was from my very own English text of seventh grade, the one by Shekhar Joshi. I still have the text with me and it has travelled with me across the state and I must’ve read the story more than fifty times. I post it here and hope that some of you will share the same emotions that I had when I read the story as a kid of 11.

Big Brother


Jagdish Babu saw him for the first time, at the small café with the large signboard, in the market place. He had a fair complexion, sparkling eyes, golden brown hair, and an unusual smooth liveliness in his movements-like a drop water sliding along the leaf of a lotus. From the alertness in his eyes, one would guess his age at only nine or ten, and that’s what it was.

When Jagsish Babu, puffing on a half-lit cigarette, entered the café, the boy was removing some plates from a table. By the time Jagdish Babu had seated himself at a corner table, the boy was already standing in front of him. He looked as though he’d been waiting for hours for him-for a person to sit in that seat.

The boy said nothing. He did bow slightly, to show respect, and then just smiled. Receiving the order for a cup of tea, he smiled again, went off, and then returned with the tea in the twinkling of an eye.

Jagdish Babu had come from a distant region and was alone. In the hustle and bustle of the market place, in the clamour of the café, everything seemed unrelated to himself. Maybe after living here for a while and growing used to it, he’d start feeling some intimacy in the surroundings. But today the place seemed alien. Then he began remembering nostalgically the people of his village region, the region, the school and the college boys there, the café in the nearby town.

‘Tea, Sha’b!’

Jagdish Babu flicked the ash from the cigarette. In the boy’s pronunciation of ‘Sahab’, he seemed something which he had been missing. He started to follow up the speculation-‘What’s your name?’


‘Very well, Madan! Where are you from?’

‘I’m from the hills, Babuji.’

‘There are hundreds of hill places-Abu, Darjeeling, Mussorie, Simla, Almora. Which hills is your village in?’

‘Almora, Sha’b,’ he said with a smile, ‘Almora.’

‘Which village in Almora?’ he persisted.

The boy hesitated. Perhaps embarrassed by the strange name of the village, he answered evasively- ‘Oh it’s far away, Sha’b. It must be fifteen or twenty miles from Almora.’

‘But it still must have a name,’ Jagdish Babu insisted.

‘Dotyalgaon’, he answered shyly.

The expression of loneliness vanished from Jagdish Babu’s face. When he smiled and told Madan he was from a neighbouring village, the boy almost dropped his tray with delight. He stood there, speechless and dazed, as though trying to recall his past.

The past-village …. high mountains … a stream … mother …. Father ….. older sister ….. younger sister …. big brother.

Whose shadow was it that Madan saw in the form of Jagdish Babu? Mother? - No. Father? - No. Elder or younger sister? - No. Big brother? - Yes, Dajyu!

Within a few days, the gap of unfamiliarity between Madan and Jagdish Babu had disappeared. As soon as the gentleman sat down, Madan would call out-‘Greetings, Dajyu!’ ‘Dajyu, it’s very cold today.’ ‘Dajyu, will it snow here too?’ ‘Dajyu, you didn’t eat much yesterday.’

Then from some direction would come a cry of ‘Boy!’ Madan would be there even before the echo of the call could be heard.

‘Anything for you, Dajyu?’ he would call out repeating the word ‘Dajyu’ with eagerness and affection of a mother embracing her son after a long separation.

After some time, Jagdish Babu’s loneliness disappeared. Now, not only the market-place and the café, but the city itself seemed like home to him.

‘Madan! Come here.’

‘Coming, Dajyu!’

This repetition of the word ‘Dajyu’ aroused the burgeois temperament in Jagdish Babu. The thin thread of intimacy could not stand the strong pull of ego.

‘Shall I bring tea, Dajyu?’

‘No tea. But what’s this “Dajyu, Dajyu” you keep shouting all the time? Have you no respect for a person’s prestige?’

Jagdish Babu flushed with anger, had no control over his words. Nor did he stop to wonder whether Madan could know the meaning of the word ‘prestige’. But Madan, even with no explanation, had understood everything. Could one who had braved an understanding of the world at such a tender age fail to understand one, unimportant word?

Having made the excuse of a head ache to the manager, Madan sat in a small room head between his knees, and sobbed. In his situation far from home, his display of intimacy towards Jagdish Babu had been perfectly natural. But now, for the first time in a foreign place, he felt as though someone had pulled him from the lap of his mother, from the arms of his father, and from the protection of his sister.

Madan returned to his work as before.

The next day, heading for the café, Jagdish Babu suddenly met a childhood friend, Hemant. Reaching the café, Jagdish Babu beckoned to Madan. But he sensed that the boy was trying to remain at a distance. On the second call, Madan finally came over.

Today that smile was not on his face, nor did he say, ‘What can I bring, Dajyu?’

Jagdish Babu himself had to speak up- ‘Two teas, two omlettes.’

Even then instead of replying, ‘Right away, Dajyu’, he said, ‘Right away, Sha’b’, and then left as though the man were a stranger.

‘Perhaps a hill boy?’ Hemant speculated.

‘Yes,’ muttered Jagdish Babu and changed the subject.

Madan had brought the tea.

‘What’s your name?’ Hemant asked, trying to be friendly. For a few moments silence engulfed the table. Jagdish Babu’s lowered eyes were centered on the cup of tea.

Memories swam before Madan’s eyes-Jagdish Babu asking him his name like this one day … then, ‘Dajyu, you didn’t eat much yesterday’ … and one day, ‘You pay no attention to anyone’s prestige …’

Jagdish Babu raised his eyes and saw that Madan seemed about to erupt like a volcano.

‘What’s your name?’ Hemant repeated.

‘Sha’b they call me “boy”, he said quickly and walked away.

‘A real idiot,’ Hemant remarked, taking a sip of tea. ‘He can’t even remember his own name’.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Monopoly 2

Summary of part one: A middle class Cuban family was forced to shift to China due to job related reasons. They set up China’s biggest corporate company in a short period of time. Shawn was the all in all of the company. Chinese government imposes some restrictions on their company due the monopolistic behavior and Cuban ownership. After this Shawn visits Cuba. On his journey through the Havana International Airport Highway Shawn asks for “Angetine Phigteror” in some medical shops.

Click here to read full story.


Shawn resumed his journey. He reached the resort that was arranged for his stay. It was ‘Paradisus Rio De Oro” hotel located right alongside Playa Esmeralda beach, in the Natural Park of Bahía Naranjo, 5 km from Guardalavaca in the province of Old Havana. The hotel has a very special beach. The beach has a three side seashore with one side heavily covered with rocks, and the other two sides are beautiful sandy and calm beaches. The hotel can be said to be situated in a small subcontinent.

The evening sun was floating over the sea when Shawn got into his room. He still doesn’t have any plans about what to do in Cuba. He stayed in the resort for one day. The resort had only foreign tourists. He had not had much chance to interact with anybody.

On the second morning after his arrival in the resort he decided to investigate the possibilities of starting his business in Cuba. Shawn decided to get to Havana, this time in a taxi. He went to many consultancies and discussed with them, most which got the agencies interested. Shawn didn’t need any introduction, as he was well known among the world business circles for the amazing growth of his company. But Shawn was clever; he was getting as much information about the situation as possible. The situation was such that the government was open to any investment from anybody. They were wiling to provide anything the investors wanted, land, power, tax exemptions etc. Shawn took two days to get hold of the situation. He started his journey back to “Paradisus Rio De Oro Resort” after a long discussion with Mr. Victor Vance, the secretary of industrial minister of Old Havana province, which lasted till 9 pm.

As his taxi flew back through the Havana International Airport Highway, he saw many ladies wearing mini skirts and t-shirts waving towards his car. They were trying to get a customer. The waving ladies disappeared after Jaguey Grande. It was nothing new for the taxi driver, yet may be for Shawn’s amusement he said” Cuban women are prostitutes not because they needed to be but rather because they liked to make love, and they are the most educated and the healthiest prostitutes on the market”.Shawn didn’t respond, may be that’s why the driver didn’t open his mouth till they reach Paradisus Rio De Oro Resort.

Shawn often says” Business can stop to grow or die, nothing in between”. Its this belief that tempted him to make some investment in Cuba as the growth opportunities in China were few and far. He called in a group of his managers from China to discuss about the opportunities and challenges of investing in Cuba. They flew in within two days, they held many discussions with the Cuban government. After a month of meetings and analysis Shawn and his managers have decided to build a Ship manufacturing company at Matanzas. Matanzes is located on the northern shore of the island of Cuba, on the Bay of Matanzas, 90 kilometers east of the capital Havana and 32 kilometers west of the resort town of Varadero. The Cuban government has offered to give land in Matanzas for free.

In the proposed project area of Matanzas lived a community called Matanzians who earned there living from fishing alone. They have to be evacuated from the project area. That was no new trick for the state cops. It has been a general trend in Cuba to take land from the poor fishermen, and give it for free to multi billionaire industrial tycoons to make profits for themselves. Nobody except the sufferers questioned it since this has been happening in all third world countries. Anyways cops did their job .Around five hundred families have to be evacuated. Almost hundred people lost their lives during the evacuation drive which made the job easier. It took around one month to evacuate the land. All this time Shawn’s head was working like a computer. He had to attend many meetings, make arrangements to roll the money for new investment and gather the resources required. At last, the day has come, the commissioning of the new plant. His whole family has flown in from China. Shawn flagged of the first work in Matanzas Ship Factory. As the metallic noise of the huge machines filled the atmosphere, Shawn felt like an yellow light filling his eyes, he lost the strength of his legs, and he fell down. His father rushed towards him, Shawn said in crumbling voice” I forgot to take Angetine Phigteror..since I left…CH..CH….”over, it was all over for him. His father murmured holding his son’s cold hand”SON, you are not the money you have, you are not the car you have, you are not the companies you set up… how did u forget to live?

Disclaimer: This story does not have any relation to the present or past political, social or economic situation in Cuba or China. The places and characters are mere imagination of the author. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.

"To err is human":any errors may be indicated.