Friday, December 28, 2007

The Round Table.

What the hell? I would never apply for this company again. Did they call me to show how much I know or don't. I had already warned that I don't know much about corporate cultures and practical experience of programming, after all what should they expect from a person with the background like me. That excruciating pain of being constantly scanned like cornered suspected explosive material was really unbearable.

Now I need to wait almost another week in anticipation of results for what transpired that day. What a person like me do? I really sympathize with every engineering graduate going through this.... but what we all could do? We need to find job is good and of course that pays well, and this is part and parcel of that.

Mr. Ramesh, lets see what you have done so far? I see you are Bachelor of Engineering in the computer science, passed from pune university... hmm... first class through out... what projects you have done recently?

Sir, ... I have .....

We know, looking at this sheet, which resembled like bio-data, what have you done in the recent past. Nothing much impressive though. How this system works, Can you explain?

It is, umm, basically......

Ohh is it? I thought it works differently. While the guy conducting discussion said this, the other two raised their eye-brows looked at each other and winked. I wondered what they has just thought of. With every passing question the chance of getting there was going down.

And finally the most dreadful question what is your short-term carrier plan or in simple term what you want to achieve in the next 1 year and what you want to become in another 5 years. I scampered around for answers and mumbled something which I don't want to remember again.

After agonizing wait, the much anticipated and eagerly awaited letter announcing results arrived. I almost tore it in the hurry to know my fate. The last line read "After having discussion with you over your performance in the past year, We are pleased to increase your compensation by another 25%; we hope you continue putting similar stunning performances."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Helmet.

I remember there used to be this Ad several years back on TV that urged two-wheeler riders to wear a helmet. It showed a hammer coming down on a coconut and coconut being smashed to pieces and then the Ad used to ask a question imagine if your head had been there instead of coconut. I don't know how many realized the importance of wearing a helmet while riding a two-wheeler from that. Some criticized and opposed when Govt. made it compulsorily to wear helmet saying it should be left to people as per their wish, those who worry about their life will definitely wear it.

Yesterday, when we were buying groceries, a bike rider, traveling at great speed, tried to overtake from the wrong side of the lorry and while overtaking touched the lorry and fell down. The speed was such that his helmet flew out of his head, probably he had not secured it and just kept it on head to avoid law enforcers, and his head took the impact of his fall. There was blood all around especially around his head. Agreed he was in hurry, but what if you don't even get a chance to scream. The ambulance took him to the hospital. Don't know what happened further, but certainly he was unconscious.

I feel, wearing helmet while riding a bike is must, whether its a short distance or long, and it should be enforced if people don't realize its worth.

Monday, October 8, 2007

...

There was this guy on the other end of cell-phone. I don't even know who this guy is? But one thing I knew certainly what this guy's responsibility was and he had clearly failed at that in-spite of having ample (much much more than enough) time at hand, which caused me a lot of trouble. So to get the things done quickly I had no other choice but to shout on him. As expected, he apologized for his mistake and promised to finish it as soon as possible.

Good so far. After getting around my work; my conscience came back haunting me whether it was really necessary to shout on him? My first half of the day got wasted because of his mistake, and the later because of guilty conscience that had arisen as a result of my shouting on him; which I think was really reasonable because otherwise he wouldn't have done it at all. The part of the day was simply wasted...

Friday, September 28, 2007

The First Class.

Sir, this is a steering wheel. The purpose of this is to steer the car, give direction, make car turn towards left or right; and to hold the car in a steady line. Turn this gently, turn right and you need to turn left by equal amount. So you need to keep dancing this steering wheel, left and right, right and lest, so that car moves in straight line.

I nod. (as if I never knew all this before, only thing I lacked was its control )

This is accelerator, this is brake and the third level I will tell later. Accelerator is used to move car ahead - increase the speed, brake is used to decrease the speed - stop the car.

I nod.

Today I will control everything, you try to keep the steering straight. We will practice holding steering for first three class, then we will move on to acceleration and brake.

I nod.

We then start the car and proceed further. We are in some by-lanes of our area, with no body around; rarely some other vehicle makes its presence felt. As I control the steering, he keeps making gestures and moving his hands furiously, towards left, towards right. A passerby came in front, I move the steering towards right, negotiating perfectly and he shouts "Aiyy-yaya-yo-yooo, don't turn anywhere" with such a volume that the poor passerby himself is stunned. I ask questioningly and the instructor replies gently hold the steering wheel, not that hard grip and turn slowly. Okay we will learn further in the next class.

That's how the first driving class ended.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Transliteration.

This is cool. Just type a word in English and press space bar. Google Transliterate will automatically translate the typed text into the devnagri (Hindi/Marathi/Sanskrit...) script. And if the transliteration is not correct, all you have to do is click on the transliterated text and Google will provide you nearest relevant matches. And if that is also not enough, it will even allow you to edit word.

Link : http://www.google.com/transliterate/indic

Just copy and paste the transliterated script where ever you want to post/publish it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

..hate..

I hate people who are arrogant and behave like an immature person. . . . .

Friday, August 17, 2007

What Arrogance.

My bicycle's rear tyre tube burst leaving me with no other option than replacing the tyre-tube. The problem started with finding a replacement tyre-tube for the bike, being a fashionable mountain sports bike not everybody stores the spares. Finally when I managed to get the tube I took my bike to the usual cycle repair stores.

I have to replace my tyre-tube.
A middle-aged young man (sitting idle, sipping a cup of tea) replied yeah I will do that.
I patiently wait for his tea to get over, finally after another 5 minutes, I ask again are you going to replace or not.
Yes, what's the hurry? (he gets up, looks at the bike, shakes head... I get little restless)
How much are you going to charge for replacing tyre-tube?
(Pretending that he hasn't heard, still keeps looking at the bike) How much you purchased this bike for?
Do you want to change tyre-tube or not? I am not going to tell you how much I bought this bike for.
It has gears, it has shock-absorbers at both tyre's, its light weight. That will be Rs45.
What? Rs45 for changing tyre-tubes. New tyre-tube costs less than that.
Yes that will be Rs45, this is no normal cycle. Plus additional Rs2 for filling air, and that you will have to fill on your own.
(Irritated by the behavior, but I had no other option) how much time?
Come after may be two hours.
What 2 hours for changing tyre-tubes? The cycle repair man was simply sitting there, not even remotely busy, sipping tea and reading a news paper, not even ready to look at cycle. Why do I have to pay him if he does not want to fill air into my tyre-tube? and how does he expect that I fill air on my own and he gets the money?

Loosing patience, I picked up my bike and started walking back home.  He did not even try to stop me knowing fully that I have no other option as his is the only cycle repair shop in near vicinity.

So much for the little service and what arrogance?

P.S: After coming home I decided to try changing tyre-tube myself thinking that in the worst case I would have to go back to that cycle store if it doesn't work. To my amazement changing tyre-tube turned out quite easy, with little help from Google.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kite Runner

I have never read a book documenting a life of somebody trapped into a war-stricken situation. The description is so vivid that the characters does not remain in mere words but they come out in front of your eyes. You can see those blue eyes, the joy of running for a kite and each and every emotion the author wants to convey.

The words are so beautifully written that your heart goes through each and every emotion, the time looses its track and by the time you put down the book you realize that you have reached the end. The story keeps on lingering in your mind even after that and you start to imagine what would have happened further, but hosseini leaves you there. An absolute stunner of a book.

Hats Off for you, A thousand times over, Hosseini, A thousand times over.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tips for buying Digital Camera.

Many of my friends have asked me about few things to look-out for while buying a digital camera. Here I try to capture some of these thoughts without going into too much technical details of each of them. I hope these will help in selecting a better digital camera while buying.

You are always welcome to add to these.

Basic Terminologies

- Resolution
Camera Resolution is usually expressed as its Megapixel Count; it is basically a measure of the camera’s sensor’s ability to capture image details. The more Mega-pixel count the more image details camera can capture. This measure also determines the maximum image print size you can get out of a picture without loosing the image quality. A 3.1 Megapixel is good enough to have an A4 size image print.
However doubling Megapixel count does not mean doubling of image print-size as well.

- Zoom (Optical, Digital, Combined)
When I was buying a camera I had visited many shops, seen many brands. The general trend I noticed was that each shop-keeper quoted a very high level of zoom capabilities; which is probably true but not.
The Camera should only be judged on the amount of optical zoom it can provide. Optical zoom figure is a measure of how close you can go to the object without physically moving from your place and most importantly without loosing the slightest details in the image. The more optical zoom, the better.
Once you have reached maximum optical zoom, you can enlarge portion of the image using Digital zoom. Good computer software will provide better and more zoom. No need to bother much about this figure.
The combined zoom is simply a multiplication of Optical zoom and Digital Zoom.

- Lens (Schneider, Carl-Zeiss, Kodak)
The Most important aspect of camera is its lens. Carl-Zeiss, Schneider, Canon are some of the best lens manufacturers. Some camera manufactures offers their camera’s with either these or in-house made lenses. The cameras with in-house lens are usually priced cheaper, but at the same time image quality is not as good. Check out lens manufacture before buying a camera.

- Camera Storage Medium (SD Card, XD Card, CF Card, Memory Stick etc.)
These are different types of memory card formats. These days they are not of much concern however SD card seems to be used by most of the manufacturers. If you are buying a camera with 5MP or above image resolution, then buy a memory card with at least 512MB capacity.
It is not necessary to buy a memory card from the camera seller itself. Usually you would find a cheaper card at a computer seller’s store. Look out for the supported storage card format before buying.

- Image Stabilization (Optical/Lens, Electronic etc)
Image Stabilization compensates for the shaky hands while shooting image. It is good to have a camera with image stabilization, as it will provide you sharper pictures. Optical Image Stabilization becomes an essential factor particularly when you select a camera with 10x or more optical zoom capability.

- ISO Rating (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200)
- Focus (Auto/Manual)
- Macro Focus (length)
- Flash Guide No (Usually distance)
- Flash Operating Modes (Red-Eye, Fill, No Flash)
- Battery (AA Size etc.)
- Camera Weight/Size
- Camera Make (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Kodak, Olympus etc.)

What to look-out for while selecting a entry-level digital camera?
============================================
As far as the entry level camera segment goes more or less all major camera manufacturers provide similar type of features. The most basic features that you could look out for are Resolution, Optical Zoom, Camera Lens, and probably a camera manufacturer. Size may also become criteria while selecting the camera in this category.

Buying a semi-professional to professional camera.
===================================
The most important aspects in this segment be to look out for would be Higher MP count, Higher Optical Zoom, Ability to connect external lens, Optical Image Stabilization, Easy of use, and Manual Controls. Ability to connect external flash may also become a deciding factor. Buy a camera from a reputed brand.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Do not panic.

Today, we had session on General Safety and Security tips covering wide range of area's from household tips to road accidents. If you have common sense you would be aware of most of those. This one caught attention.

"Under any circumstances, Do not Panic!"

How True!!

Apart from personal safety and security this one is truly generic. I have seen so many incidences where simply keeping cool would have solved those issues. Instead of trying hard to find a bug, a break and calm reasoning of scenarios; Instead of trying hard to argue with someone, having patience and keeping cool and calm tone and never retaliating; Instead of rushing rashly somewhere when you are already late, just a calm phone call indicating you would be late have always helped me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Patience

Sir, there is lot of water on the road.

Yeah, I know, but what else I can do. In any condition I have to reach the railway station, besides you have already agreed to take me to railway station.

I am not blaming you sir, but really there is lot of water on the road.

.... hmm....

Did you see sir, those other auto-rickshaws.... on the road.... Those were driven by the new drivers or those who have just learned to drive an auto-rickshaw.

What?

You know driving an auto-rickshaw is an art in itself. You need to know when to accelerate, when to take a turn, when to change gears, when to brake.

What an art in itself? Are you drunk?

Sir, have you learned driving a car?

Off course, yes!! In fact I own three of them. (How the hell he knows whether I actually own or not, why should I loose my status)

Remember the first time you drove? Most probably while de-clutching, the engine would have stopped.

Yes, that’s right.

Do you consider driving a car as an art?

I don't have enough time to think of all these. I just used to drive; now I have kept a driver.

Then you haven't driven at all....

Nope that’s not true. I have been to many places..... Not very far but yes I have taken the car out. (Actually I dreaded taking car out on highways and busy streets of this big city. I used to blast everybody for reckless driving. And after two-dents and equally alarming costs to get them removed, I had kept a driver. What a relief it had been, just sitting behind and forgetting about all these tensions of driving.)

Have you never thought of going on long drive in a pleasant weather? Leisurely as if you don't have any work, you are a billionaire; like a free bird just go on driving; eat when you want to; sleep when you want to; drink when you want to......

No point about thinking all these fallacies... (But I must admit this guy has something. I work so hard to earn that damn money so that I have a social status and can enjoy all these luxuries, yet I lead a miserable life. Why did I choose this rickshaw? Damn-it!!!)

Sir, I sure you haven't traveled in a long long time.

What? Right now I am traveling... Don't you see I have a bag right here in your rickshaw which is getting wet at this very moment, I am drenched and I have to catch train within half hour.

Sir, you are traveling only because you are forced to… probably a so-called visit. But yes, the rain, you reminded me from where this conversation started. There is lot of water on the road.....

Yes I know, it’s been raining like hell since last 4 hours. So what should one expect?

Sir...

A dry road as in summer?

Sir, did you see that the way I drove rickshaw through that road, with knee high water level.

Yes, that dirty water was coming inside the rickshaw... you were fool not to change gear and zoom past instead you chose to drive in that pathetic first gear. The engine and rickshaw was screaming.

Sir, Don’t get wrong but I see you do not have much patience…

What? (Talking about patience that reminds me of my earlier four start-ups that have gone into smoke with equally speed with which they had come up. I am certain nobody knows who I am after all who writes about a loser, but how the hell he knows…..)

Nope, that was the only way to drive through. Did you not see so many rickshaws stranded on the same road? Those poor people tried to change gears and there engine switched off.

What? How can an engine switch off just by changing gears?

The engine switched off because the water level on the road was very high. Changing gear in such condition means allowing water to enter into engine. The engine is the strongest component of the rickshaw; it powers your vehicle and without it your vehicle is nothing but a piece of junk; but it is the weakest link when it rains.

What are you trying to say?

Let me take an example sir, during any crisis do we not say that “paani naak tak pahuch gaya hai”, it is similar here. Take simple example, our nose is the most critical component of our body. Isn’t it? Without breathing you can not survive. Maybe you can hold your breath for sometime, but not for long time. When are learning swimming, during your first class you can not float your body, and water enters into your nose. You immediately come out of the water, otherwise you will die. Isn’t it? Similarly when water enters the engine, it damages it. In the flooded streets, you can not take the engine out of your vehicle, but if it is on, make sure that you keep it at full throttle so that the exhaust does not allow water to enter inside. Changing gears meant you allowed water to enter inside; though that will not damage engine, but it will definitely switch off. And with this rain pouring continuously it will not start immediately.

Hmmm… But why are you telling me all this?

Sir, I sensed your restlessness when I was driving in the same gear through that RV road. Anyway here we reach railway station...

....

Sir, Aren't you getting late?

I got up, paid the amount, smiled at him and walked off.

(Later when I was recalling it and from my past experiences it all follows the similar pattern. Just try to hold on for some more time when you are in crisis. Had I tried to hold on my startups maybe I would have succeeded; actually they were not making any profit but they were not making any loss either. Maybe instead of jumping to conclusions early, some of them too early, I should have handled with little more patience and things could have sorted well. Maybe this realization now that my business partner was not cheating me by diverting funds but was simply planning for the future of the company would not have hit me hard. I should have had little patience, and tried to figure out things rather than having had that dreaded fight... I would still have been in the company… He still would have been my closest/best friend as he has been for the past 25 years. It takes long time to build a reputation and trust, but just a moment to destroy. )

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

On qualification..

Whenever somebody asks me for my qualifications, these days I usually avoid telling them. My past experiences had not been good. Since then, until I am very sure about certain education level, my reply to the same question usually varies.

The first funniest response, that I got, dates back to my engineering days. I had just got admission into the electronics engineering. During vacation, my aunt who usually stays in the village had come to our house. She asked me what you are studying. Having just taken admission into one of the prestigious colleges of Pune University, I could not resist the temptation of telling Electronics Engineering. The problem arose then and there. Her knowledge of ‘electronics’ was limited to the television and radio. And she absolutely had no clue regarding ‘engineering’. The nearest she could think of engineering was the railway engine. Why would you want to repair radios and TV’s and drive engine at the same time?

During engineering, we had software subjects as well. When I was recruited by a software firm in the early 7th semester, this chap asked about what my work will be. With two semesters to go and already a job in hand, I told my work will be in computer software. I totally forgot that for others there is no difference between hardware and software; what they know is computer as a whole is one piece, developed by Intel (because of Intel inside stickers) and Microsoft (Windows). After much explaining, to my dismay, what he finally realized is that I will be working on computers, he promptly told me that his computer is not working and insisted that I have a look. All my explaining that I don’t know how to repair a computer invited further criticism for me. Finally when I did have a look at his computer; his RAM had come out of the socket, which was preventing his computer from booting up. Thank god, that saved the day for me.

There are few more such examples, will collaborate and post them later.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Journey

Finally this was his time to return back to the city of his choice. He had been to this alien place for so long and tomorrow he would be back in his home state. Not that he had been home-sick but being in one’s own state is something everybody cherishes deep within heart.

As usual, morning started with a bad note. He found himself sleeping for longer than usual and when he was completely awake he realized that he had not packed a single thing and he had to catch the 3.00 pm bus. He called his roommates to help him pack his luggage.

When the bus conductor asked for tickets, a brief search through all his pockets revealed that that he had forgotten his journey ticket at the home itself. There was no time to go back home and get the ticket. He was cursing himself over how he could he had forgotten to get the ticket. He had no option but to buy another ticket worth 1000 rupees. Luckily he got the sole remaining last ticket. The journey was not very pleasant as he had to travel on the last seat.

He reached home the next day, got fresh. When he was about to throw his trouser for wash he froze for what he saw. In his pocket lay a neatly folded original journey ticket.

BTW, This was taken from true incident.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

New Sketch

After many days, finally I completed this sketch.
Guess who's portrait is it??

Nice Interview

The more I read about this guy, the more I like him.

At 35 and written-off virtually completely from making a comeback by the then chief selector, he had not given up and showed a tremendous amount of self-belief.

Often his critics used to draw comparisons with Mohinder Amaranth who was similarly dumped from the Indian cricket team then and had made a stunning comeback after that. Will Sourav be able to make a comeback? Many believed no, many believed it is better without him, but there were few who believed he can make a comeback.

The media was all over Sourav trying to find any news they could lay their hands on and promptly reported his failures in county and domestic cricket.

This is a nice interview he gave to The Telegraph before the first ODI played of this India-West Indies series 2007.

Link: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070121/asp/sports/story_7290609.asp


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Remembering

How often I say this, or for that matter most of us. I take their presence for grated so much so that I rarely acknowledge them. Yet they are the ones who still spend most of the time thinking about betterment of mine. Sometimes I have come so close to telling them frankly but something or other always came up or I felt too shy to say. Mom and Dad I love you. You mean a lot to me. The world is nothing without you. Really.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Time is Money.

I had been running late to the office and on top of that that day our cook had also taken leave. I had no other choice but to hop on to the little hotel on the way to office. Since it was late, there was hardly any rush; I collected breakfast from the counter, found empty table.

Hello,

Err.. Hello. [Who was this guy? Do I remember him? Had I ever seen him before? His Face is little familiar…]

I am gaurang.

Hi Gaurang. [I was cursing for the bad timing. First of all I was late and this guy meets up]

I used to work in your house….

[When? This time I really had to strain my memory. His face now looks even more familiar but still my memory drew blank]

Ohh is it… [Then I suddenly remember two years back when our cook had taken a month’s leave he had sent this guy for work] How are you?

I was very surprised to see him having breakfast in the hotel. Looking puzzled, I asked him don’t you cook these days?

He laughed, said Time is Money sir. Off course I cook. Half an hour's cooking will generate revenue which is far more than what I will spend on eating breakfast in this hotel. Instead of spending time on cooking for myself, its better to eat outside. Turns out economical.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It is ridiculous to see Café Coffee Day charging Rs40 for a cup of coffee at the airport terminals as compared to Rs22 it charges at its normal branches in the city.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Joy Ride

My experiences with the rickshaw drivers are very limited. But whenever I had a chance to hire their services, I must say that the experiences were not pleasant and often it would end-up in ugly brawl over the money demanded. I never won the arguments, but I realized most of these drivers use the lines like “what is Rs10 for people like you sir? Its peanuts compared to whatever you may be earning, but even a single rupee for us has a huge value”. I never wanted to go into full detailed analysis of this value-proposition business so after some time we used to settle for amount which I and he both felt perfect fit. Ever since my bike came use of rickshaw had gradually decreased and now it is almost negligible

Yesterday, since I was not in a mood to drive and also the distance to be traveled was more, I had to rely on using the services of rickshaws. I came out of the complex, and there was this rickshaw standing, I asked him for MG road and without any bargain he said yes.

Once I entered inside the rickshaw looked completely different as if I have entered into some magical world. The usual worn out leather-look seats had given way to the nice upholstery made up of velvet with groovy patterns. The backrests were redone to suit passengers; there even was a head rest for the seats. A carpet was laid on the floor and the roof has a false ceiling. The normal black meter was polished and sported nice silvery look. There was temperature meter on one side, a digital clock on the other side. The back rest of the driver sported a nice showcase, complete with toys, flower pots and decoration items, when viewed from the passenger side. So much so that the rickshaw had CD player running in it (heavy bass and treble settings prevented us from making out which song was playing).

After all this experience I was surprised to that the driver never complained to tender exact change. To be precise, 43 rupees.

It is only during the return journey in the evening when we took rickshaw back home, ordinary I must say in comparison with the morning experience, I realized that the meter had been running faster than it should have. :(

Conclusion: Stay away from jazzy rickshaws. Later I realized from my friend, who had done extensive research on rickshaws, the worst looking rickshaw are more likely to have the most authentic drivers.

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