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Jan. 11th, 2007

CH

Ambrosian Nostalgia

I have always read in my school textbooks that India is a land of diversity. Diverse Cultures, Diverse Languages , Diverse people. In fact we can say Diversity thy name is India.However i was until now labouring under the impression that this diversity existed mainly in the dressing and language habits. Foolish me. Only after coming to chandigarh was i able to comprehend that this diversity extends to food, ethics, religion and almost everything under the sun.
The northernmost point till i came to chandigarh was Mumbai and i had absolutely no problem with the food there. I was also introduced to that delicious dish PavBhaji. Rice was also never a problem. So came I to chandigarh without any fear for Fear leads to Anger.  Anger leads to Hate.  Hate leads to suffering(thanks Yoda for the great quote). and lo behold what did i find here. Rotis and more Rotis.
My day always starts off with a duel with a gargantuan paratha which i after much moaning and groaning finish it only to watch the guy next to me finish 3 in the time I get through 1. Lunch will be waiting for me in office. Rotis and sabji and ha some rice. So i thought. Much to my disappointment i found that only a dalish( Note - something which inherits from dal ) sort of gooey thing with lots of kidney beans thrown is the in thing here to have with the rice. Felt Better off with the rotis.Trudging home after a long day i find paneer and sabji and no brownie points for guessing, Rotis waiting for me. never have been i a fan of pizza till i landed here. Now i am very much a fan of pizza.
Anyhow i hope that atleast my new year resolution of gaining weight will be fulfilled by all these parathas and rotis. :-) . But still i feel a wanting growing inside me for the food of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh . Ahh Such ambrosia and manna.

Jan. 1st, 2007

CH

Everything New

A new year dawns again . I have got a clutch of new resolutions made.

1. GAIN WEIGHT
2. GAIN WEIGHT
3. GAIN WEIGHT
4. Blog More
5. And get married
6. Follow at least some of the coders resolutions

Anyhow i am woefully under weight. Any suggestions to increase my weight would be gratefully appreciated. i have tried all sorts of things(limiting myself to vegetarian stuff of course) like eating 4 bananas per day, drinking honey with milk and what not. The banana seller and the milk dealer ended up gaining weight. So desperate now that am relocating from bangalore to a new place just to gain weight.(Ha Ha just kidding but the relocation part is true). I have moved to Chandigarh, capital of the state of punjab, capital of the state of harayana and union territory to boot.i have quit my old job and have taken on a new one.So its not just a new year and new resolutions but new places,new people,new friends and what not new.

Also got bored being alone for almost 4 years. Had enough bachelorism. Chandigarh was the last straw that broke the camels back.After 2 days in chandigarh in an office where i am the only guy who's not engaged or married I decided that the time had come to get married. hope i am not wrong. Keeping my fingers crossed. Wish me Luck.

Oct. 3rd, 2005

CH

(no subject)

Touchdown

Its been a week since i posted so i had to steel myself to face the ordeal again. I wonder how do the regulars do it.I have seen blogs some which are updated more than once daily. Even though i am quite free here i cant stand typing for a long time. Feel a lot more comfortable with a pen and a paper than with a keyboard and a blank document both starting at me and me staring at them. No pen to nibble on,No place where u can dawdle by making doodles and again spend some time trying to figure out what it is, no eating or drinking.What if u spill something on the laptop or make the keyboard greasy.Hey hold on you say. What is this laptop business. You dont even have a desktop where did this laptop thing come from? Patience, Patience .All will be revealed in the due course of time.But getting back to the original stuff about paper the one thing i miss a lot is writing on paper. Ever since i left college and started working i have might hardly written more than a page at any point of time and my whole output of paper pages can be counted on one's fingers. I can hear the environmentalist in me piping up Good for the trees.Ya but i am ok with recycled paper also. I dont want any fancy maudlin, scented paper with all sorts of exotic birds on them and the like, the sort on which people write love letters in loopy lines with pink ink.One sad fallout of this(of using e-mail,not writing love letters) is that literary communication is really shortened(and is full of speling mistakes as well,affectionately called tyops :-) ).Computers, E- mail etc were supposed to lessen our burden allowing u fast and instant communication and ease of editing etc. As usual we end up with the opposite of what we expected.  E- mails are quite terse and are full of horrible shortcuts like 'U', 'Ur' 'asap'. Computers were supposed to shorten our workload not our words.
  Same thing with books. Anyone who has read e-books or tries to finds out immediately that they are a pain.U cant flip around with them, u can't carry them(pda's are discounted).in short its like the e-book reads you rather than the other way round.I can keep ranting about this but typing the same on the keyboard has diminished the enthusiasm quite a bit.

Anyhow the whole point of this entry titled Touchdown is to tell u guys that i am on a not so short and not so long trip to Germany(business visit as the visa puts it). As  usual i got caught up in something else and went of tangentially.

Sep. 25th, 2005

CH

(no subject)

Back

  Back i am after a long hiatus . Feeling very rusty. Unable to properly organize my thoughts.Anyhow lets try to get on with the job on hand .Became 2 lazy in the middle to even ramble so ramblings of a lazy geek got hit.Also some professional and personal(Shh, thats personal) circumstances conspired against me(i was a long haired conspiracy theorist then).Now i no longer believe in conspiracies(i have cut my hair :-) ) . Hope to post a lot more regularly now.(Hope springs eternal in the human heart :-D ).  Came across an incident which touched me quite a bit. There was a tree opposite my house quite big and shady. However the people who live in the house next to the tree decided to cut it down No reason given or taken. So the poor thing was cut down. However the local street dog was quite surprised and grieved that the tree was cut down. Managed to capture its reaction on my roomie's camera Reminds me  to buy my own camera. Which one is better a handy cam or a still digital cam. I heard that photos taken with a handy cam are bad.What do u guys say? Anyone got any exp with a handycam. Anyhow enough rambling. Shouldnt overdo and tire the mind after a long break. See U Guys Around. 




This is one more snap of the same with the dog looking up.


Jun. 30th, 2005

CH

(no subject)

The Weekend

Whew. A hectic week. Didnt notice that 4 days of the week had passed until i read the last line in the previous post . The next weekend is upon us but not the next post and with my not so Phenomenal memory its a wonder the details still linger on in my mind. Not definitely in the cache or the Memory but on the disk or on the tape archives somewhere near my toe :-(  .

Saturday Morning 

9.00 A.M -  Up
10.00 AM - Up , Up and away to Office
10:15 - Reached office

As usual shyam who promised to turn up at 10.30 turned up at  11.15 Must have said 11.30 , i must have heard it as 10.30.

10:45 - roaming around a bit aimlessly , Saw naveen, pounced upon him hoping for some company. Heard a gory story about some guy who while playing cricket attempted a square cut and his knee cap ended up going square of the wicket instead of the ball. It actually didnt wander off but tried with unpleasant results for both. (The kneecap and the guy - The knee cap didnt get anywhere and the guy ended up screaming on the ground).Naveen was the wicketkeeper. Decided not to try a square cut  and never with naveen as the wicket keeper. Anyhow naveen left soon. I guess he couldnt stand the knee cap experience and my pouncing as well. Back to square one.

11:00 - No sign of Shyam. Muttering to myself , decided to look into some old issue, dig it out  and trying to make some sense of ajith's code.  

11:15 - Shyam arrives, Promptly proceeds to label me a workaholic.

11:30 - Ha the compilation is done.

11:32 - Run the program. Crash. Noooooooooooooooooooo

12:00 - Tearing what little is left of my hair after the barber has had a free hand with it.

12:15- A faint glimmer of hope.

12.30 - Shyam and i tried to narrow down the bug. Code is 2 complex . have to timeshare between the old issue and the new one. Old bugs are like old lovers. They refuse to let go once they have caught u again .( Standard Disclaimer ::This is purely based on my bookish knowledge, i dont have any old lovers nor do i plan to ) .

1:00 - Go for a simpler test app to catch the bug.

1.20 - Got the bug. Ha . Happy as it not ours. The sun is shining again. The birds are singing again. And a benevolent god looks happily down upon the world. 

1:30 - Inspired by our earlier success launch a renewed and vigorous attack upon the old bug  with all available resources. Decide to invoke my brahmastra Winmerge . Eureka Eureka!!!!!!!!! GOT THE BUG

2.00 - What to do for lunch ?? - Recently made a resolution to eat only in veg hotel  thus severely restricting my choice. Sometimes bangalore makes me wonder whether i am in America or India, the searching i have to do to get a pure veg hotel .  

2:05 -  Shyam disagrees wants to go to some  Restaurant  and have some food. Finally decide to try out a new place called sweet @ cafe  or something of that sort. Remember reading somewhere that its a veg. heaven be Praised, Its veg. Guy at the counter doesnt understand english. Listens to my order. Says yaa with a nod of his head and goes back to whatever he is doing. Try the same in tamil.Ah presto tamil works.  Order 1 meals, 1 curd rice and 2 vadas. Guy at the food counter looks at me quizically before cryptically asking whether i need it all at once. I reply in the affirmative and he shrugs his shoulders and proceeds to hand me the food.

2.30 -   Lunch done. Shyam decides to push off and i return to my lair, the office. Do some coding for the next 2  hrs .

5. 00 - Proceed to look up the concerts list, find out in Indiranagar sangeetha sabha at 6.00 .Decide to attend.

5:45 - No Company. No problem.No idea where the sangeetha sabha is. No Problem. An intrepid auto driver and i decide to find it out.

6.00 - Sabha Found. Within walking distance of my house.Shamefacedly pay the auto guy Take a deep breath and enter the hall. Progress is interuupted by a guy demanding 50 rs for a ticket. Give him 50 and step in ....

6:05 - Its mostly empty. People nowadays dont seem to like carnatic music though the same in a movie becomes a huge hit.

6:20 -  Staring at the people around and getting stared at in turn. Concert starts .

8:40 - Gr8 Concert. the mridangist is absolutely great. There was a sort of competetion between the ghatam and the mridangam . Was very good. Decide to attend more concerts.

9.40 - Had dinner and lying comfortably in bed with some peanuts and "Understanding the linux kernel" on my hands.

--------------------------------------END OF THE DAY---------------------------

Sunday :

9.00 - A new day. The sun dawns afresh (not exactly dawns. Its already in the sky by the time i wake up) .

11:00 - In office again.

1.30 -  Time for my weekly lunch with my roommates. The only time we all get  together for food if we are in town. Decide to watch friends. Call up vamsi and take his house key. In vamsi's house. No Power  :-(  .

2.30 -  No Power  :((

3.30  - No Power X-(

4.30 - Power. Surf the channels. Fight for the remote with roommates .

5.30 - Charan and I Decide to go to Batman Begins for the 6.45 show

6.30  - No Tickets -  In a fit of madness Decide buy the ticket for the 9.30 Show. Faced with the daunting prospect of spending 3 hrs on MG Road. Here's  how my friend spent 12 hrs for a movie. Cool Going guys. Duck into crossword and finish a book by some phillips ceo on his experiences in india .

8.30 -  Head to a Gujarati Place called Thali. Hoping for some rotis and side dishes. Find out that he has only 2 items. Gujarati thali and Sindhi thali. Go for Gujarati thali. Had some different food, some thing called bhati or something, which was very hard and something called dhokli which looked and tasted a lot like upma compressed into blocks.

9:00 -  Back on MG road. Dinner has taken less time than expected.  Roam 3 times up and down on MG Road.

9.10 - still 20 min to go. Charan decides to have a tea.Go into some small place(or we thought so) and orders a tea. Bill comes . Its 12 Rs for a single tea. Bless ourselves for not ordering anything else . Waiter gives some dirty looks for not leaving any tip. Give him double the dirty looks for the tea and reach the hall.

9.30 -  Ah the hall at last. Surprise, met shyam,ajith,kannan . Nice Movie.

12.30 - catch An auto at double the rate and reach home. Ha Home Sweet Home

-----------------------END OF THE WEEKEND------------------------------  

So weekend passed of quite well. No Lounging around saying i am bored. No advance planning nothing . hope all wekends pass off like this.



 

Jun. 27th, 2005

CH

(no subject)

On Weekend eve

Well Here was the weekend again and my room mates and I were mouthing the holy words which are religiously invoked before each weekend as a part of a sacred ritual dating back several centuries back when the weekend was first introduced "What’s your plan for the weekend?" .

I wonder how did the weekend concept ever start. Most Semitic religions have 1 day off as their Sabbath.
Sunday for Most Christians; Saturday for the Jews and a few Christians; Friday for Muslims. I don’t find any references to any such weekly holidays in Hindu literature I have come across. We find numerous references to seasonal festivals, the festival of spring etc and the various festivals but no such weekly holiday. They probably thought that the sum of these anyhow are far more greater than the weekends put together so why  have a weekend : -)

Being teetotalers we don’t frequent the pubs and other social(social ???) drinking parties which according to several newspapers are BANGALORE'S PRIDE. I think the ancient European workers who had a longstanding practice of skipping work each "
Saint Monday" to recover from the previous day's drinking are reincarnated as the software engineers in Bangalore, the only difference being they don’t skip work on Mondays but drink heavily on Saturday and wake up with a hangover on Sunday. 

This same question must have been popped( the question of what to do on the weekend,not what to drink or maybe... both) when the French revolutionary calendar gave its workers 1 day leisure for ever 10 days. We get it more frequently now at 2 days for every 5 days. So more decision making. ( I hate making decisions ;-)  ) . Anyhow the great wheel of time rolled on and soon the French revolution was done and the industrial revolution was upon us.

In between, the great immigration to America started. America became independent, was a free country. Everybody was equal (at least in letter if not in spirit) .  Anyhow the Americans were now faced with a problem.  Declaring Sunday as a weekly holiday aggravated the Jews and declaring Saturday aggravated the Christians. A sticky problem and to top it they were secular as well. Instead of redesigning the whole holiday thing they took the easy way out, what the poor capitalists thought as a temporary workaround, they declared both as holidays. The first five-day work week, was instituted by a New England spinning mill for just this reason but as it was a purely temporary workaround it was scrapped though it came back with a vengenance later

In 1926, Henry Ford began closing his factories on Saturdays, thinking this would help spur the economy.(crazy chap!!. Brought on the depression instead). It somehow became formalized in the 1940's thus beginning the official 2-day weekend.  

Anyhow here we were faced with this problem, which has haunted countless bachelors, and we had no viable solution in sight. We decided to leave the matter to fate much against Einstein’s advice "
God doesn’t play dice with the universe " (hey we are also part of the universe !!). In a way it was pleasant and the weekend passed of quite nicely. More about it in the next post.


u can get a lot of info about the weekend from the book
Waiting for the Weekend  by Witold Rybczynski .

  

Jun. 23rd, 2005

CH

(no subject)

Hello World!

Typically all programming langs religiously invoke a hello world at the start. So have i done.
Wikipedia says the hello world tradition though made famous by K&R C Book, actually came from an older book "A Tutorial Introduction to the Language B", by Brian Kernighan. It has come a full circle from the language B to the language of Blogging. :-) .

Programming invokes a blissful feeling in me, a feeling of joy when i see something i have done run perfectly(well, nothing is perfect but we can say tends to perfect ) akin to an amateur potter fashioning some crude piece out of the mud. Debugging is one emotional roller coaster ride,going over your mistakes laughing sometimes, ashamed at times, surprised at what is happening at times.U get the entire range of emotions.

"Knowledge is joy" as shyam put it very succinctly. Until shyam said it i couldnt realize that. There was a feeling of satisfaction, well being and all that but i just couldn't name it .Shyam's words just provided a green signal to a train of thought which culminated in this blog entry.

Words So simple yet So Powerful. Like the K&R book i was reading again today. I keep reading it again and again from time to time and it always throws up some thing new which i dint know the last time. Deceptively Simple would be the correct match with a capital C.Compare it with the 500 pound gorilla of c++  Bjarne Stroustrup's book, which i have been reading forever. I feel the books themselves very clearly define the languages. C - Slim,Powerful, Efficient,Deadly. C++ -  Fat,Powerful in its own way(Ever seen a charging tusker),Efficient once some baggage is shed,Fatal.  Its a pity the software engineering guys have almost pushed out C. C++ was supposed to be the silver bullet then followed by java then by C#. We still await the silver bullet and the productivity is no better. As one guy has put it at http://krazeeme.blogspot.com/ Productivity is an NP-Hard problem. It depends more on the way we use something rather than the tool itself. Each language release(particularly from microsoft) is accompanied by the endless hoopla of frenzied media persons telling us that our software troubles are over.We just need to learn the new language and its all gone. 'Poye Poch', 'Poyinde', as the amrutanjan ad says. Use the new language and la presto our troubles are gone. They dont realize its the same mind thats writing the program in a new language. Untill the day when we a computer can generate a program based upon our thought or what we want rather than what we think we want (There's a fine difference between the two) we cant escape bugs. (We might still have bugs in the master program until master program itself is generated by the master program)  :-) .