Sunday, 17 December 2006

Why I stopped watching TV

Some reality-shows are so real and some are not. I used to like "The Apprentice" until it all became clear that Mr Trump was actually after hiring a really well-educated scholar rather than smart and good looking executives with experience. It was just a conspiracy to make me watch the season right till the end. All was becoming apparent, if not blatant, that the show was all predecided ('fixed' - if you like cricket too much).

Then I started watching MTV Roadies. They say a gem will shine eventually. So true about this show. If something is a gem of stupidity and gullibility, it has to have high TRP ratings. Gone are the days when all the saans-bahu serials on k-channels used to rule, welcome to the new age of soap operas. (You might ask why i didn't switch channel - simply because there was nothing saner and more elegant than this.)

So here goes today's episode: some excerpts -

The bad man took audience by surprise in the previous episode - but you've got to agree, the one whom the worst person opts to vote out, must really be worse and should be thrown out instead. (This is so nonsensical, they could have gone one step further also - choice of that person could have been thrown out of the show and so on until it loops forever)

I observed something funny though, the screen behind the bad man is very different than the scene behind the participants - of course, that is because they are facing each other. Also, all the participants are looking at different places when the he speaks. My guess is that they are all bewildered by the facts just been told by him. [I-blink-innocently]

Some task is given to these participants throughout which, they keep making fools out of themselves, keep thinking how 'cool' they are, keep voicing why they would be a better roadie than others and keep changing their plans to vote someone out. It's amusing when a person assumes s/he can be cool, if s/he can throw some english words which have to blanked out ("dont *beep* *beep* talk like that....")

Then I come to know that two persons will be voted out in this episode.
A quick look on bad man - he chuckles.
A quick look on the participants - lightening has struck them.
A quick look on myself - I'm so thrilled !

Now there is a dramatic 3-way tie between three participants A, B and C, after (anti-)voting.
The anchor pops out a stunner - "What's in your minds right now?" (Like they want to go off-screen, and blog their thoughts at that instant.)
participant X - "mai kisi ko trust nahi kar sakta ab, do do minutes me change ho jate hain log." [sic] (As if he didn't know that before joining the show)
Suddenly the producer remembers his financial commitments and says "dekhiye break ke baad.... kya C fir vote out se bach jayegi?" My curiosity almost kills me.

Two of them(A and B) finally get voted out.
Anchor - "aisa kyo hua" (Why does he have to ask such questions all the time?)
participant A - "sab ne ditch maar diya" (That was a matter-of-fact answer. And just two minutes before, all were in her favour - those two minutes of break made all the difference...)
Anchor - "Do you want to say something?" [sic] (Was he expecting "Yeah, I feel like elaborating on how I feel right now"?)
participant B - "All the best, do well" [sic] (This is sportsmanship, after all that bickering for becoming a bi(c)ker....)
B sobs-all-over-with-background-song (and I was about to cry for her)
C still blabbers about how A and B were worthless [sic]. Same song is being played in higher tempo and higher volume.
And then finally the voted-outs bitch about others conspiring against them and how they were victimized [sic].

I am looking forward to next episodes of roadies, and then next season right from the auditions. Then there is also [V]-fresher-vjs. It's simply amazing that so many stupid people are ready to be 'bakra's. Otherwise I have stopped watching TV because the shows are becoming more and more inane and melodramatic.

I wish I had not bought my brand new TVS Apache, you know.... it just killed my chance of being a roadie. If I had not got a bike, I would not have to go through the pain to push it half a kilometer just because a salesman in the showroom didn't tell me that it did not have enough petrol to run for 5 more km.

p.s. call me a geek, but the instant this happened and the instant roadies episode finished, urge of blogging hit me.

Update -
Stupidity never stops to popup and amaze me. There are dedicated forums to discuss MTV Roadies. People have gone forward and identified some participants on Orkut here.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

कुठेस तू

तू आता कशी असशील, थोडा घाबरलोय
तू अजून तशीच असशील? थोडा बावरलोय...
आज तू पुन्हा मला जवळ करशील? कारण,
इतक्या दिवसात मी पण थोडा बदललोय...

हल्ली रोज रात्री झोप सुद्धा थकून म्हणते -
प्रेमात "पडलेला" तुला असे कधीच पाहिले नव्हते.

गळ्यातली गाणी, खिशातली नाणी
पण डोळ्यातले पाणी आणि मन सुन्न;
वाटले मी चंचल असेन, अजून कोणी पुसेल,
मन पुन्हा फसेल, पण जगच किती भिन्न !

माझी कथा माझी व्यथा कशी मी आज सांगू तुला
न कळे कधी माझ्यातला एक हिस्सा हरवला.

तोपर्यंत माझीच समजूत कशी घालत राहू ?
कधी पर्यंत बोलणे असेच टाळत राहू ?

नकार जरी असला तरी तो आज मला कळू दे
अजून थोडी समजूतदार झालीस तू आज.... आज तरी तुला भेटू दे.

- कार्तिक
१० डिसेंबर २००६

Saturday, 2 December 2006


after some persuation from a friend, i tried pandora. it is too nice to have music played according to your taste, but with an uncertainity as there is in a radio.

this is first time i will go to a live concert (Sonu Nigam) after coming to bangalore, just some time later to publishing this post.

after some delay, i met this alumnus of iitkgp. i had met him before, but did not have time and peace to talk at length. liked his views about everything. definitely look forward to play bass along with his synth - should be fun.

some time back, i talked about moving on and how i would stop looking forward to some ambitions(!) in life. not right now, but definitely sooner than i would have expected, this time will come - one of the major reasons i don't particularly look forward to do MBA, at least not right now.

looking back, this november seems to have far too many posts than before. (not that i am slowing down.)

Everything has a time scheduled for. or so it seems. :)

René Descartes - "I think, therefore I am." (translated from Latin (or French))
Aristotle's ghost to Descartes' - "If I was not, I would not have thought." (translated from Greek)
don't tell me this sounds latin and greek to you ;)

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

about my job

(translated from actual chat in marathi)
chinmay: tera kya chal raha hai?
kartik: khas kuchh nahi.....
monday ko maine ~1500 lines code likha,
kal usme se ~500 lines delete kar di aur ~300 new lines likhi
chinmay:maine bhi ek 1500 lines ki SQL query likhi..
aur ab usko debug kar raha hoon
kartik:hehe.... THIS is software !!!

Though I love the bheja fry being done during this coding.

Saturday, 25 November 2006

smoking kills

It has been proved again and again that smoking kills. I wondered whether smokers consider their addiction above their (and others') lives. Then I realized that most of the urban people smoke at least two times a day - once leaving home and once returning. This form of smoking is found to be more injurious passively than actively.

Two immediate solutions thought are electric vehicles and hydrogen. Elecric vehicles on 2, 3 and 4 wheels are already available (in indian market itself). Albeit, I rarely see these on road premierly due to shortcomings such as low acceleration, high charging time and limited life of batteries. Hyddrogen as fuel (directly or as fuel cell) is yet to come up with viable economic designs.

The real question unanswered here is does it stop pollution? Unfortunately right now, most of our electricity production relies on non-renewable fossil fuels. Even if we turn to nuclear fuels to solve our energy crisis, safety and disposal of wastes become a major issue. Any more dam construction will only invite more propaganda and politics. Other renewable sources such as solar energy, tidal energy and wind energy are yet to make it big.
So that leaves us back to energy sources which cause pollution of some sort.

When electric vehicles were introduced in US, they didn't succeed. See about documentary "who killed the electric car?". Apparently there are more political interests in sustaining fossil fuel business than to think about well being of the globe (What else should I have expected from politicians). Here is a trailer.

I started with "smoking kills". Now the subject also touches energy crisis, politics and imperialism. Is all in despair?

We will have to wait for another technology revolution to answer that.

call me a hypocrite, but I have decided to buy a (petrol-based) bike to survive the long distances in Bangalore. And if you see a blank space instead of a video, wait till youtube finishes trying out new formulae.... Somebody has a good sense of humour describing youtube's architecture in layman's terms

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

personality test

Inspired from a blogger, I took a personality test. As it turned out to be, I don't like revealing myself, which is true but contradicts this blog, mainly because of my curiosity to take this test.

Here are the reults.
Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||| 40%
Stability |||||||||||||| 53%
Orderliness |||||||||||| 46%
Accommodation |||||||||||||||| 63%
Interdependence |||||||||||||||| 70%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 70%
Mystical |||||||||||||| 56%
Artistic |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Religious |||||||||||| 50%
Hedonism |||||||||||| 50%
Materialism |||||| 30%
Narcissism |||||||||| 36%
Adventurousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Work ethic |||||| 23%
Self absorbed |||||| 30%
Conflict seeking |||||||||| 36%
Need to dominate |||||||||| 36%
Romantic |||||||||||| 43%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 43%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 43%
Wealth |||||||||||| 43%
Dependency |||||| 30%
Change averse |||||||||||| 43%
Cautiousness |||||||||||| 43%
Individuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Sexuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical security |||||||||||||| 56%
Physical Fitness |||||||||||||||||| 77%
Histrionic |||| 16%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 50%
Vanity |||||| 30%
Hypersensitivity |||||| 30%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Interesting thing is that it finds my nature pretty much right here, but the trail snapshot contradicts this analysis on some traits (such as adventurousness). Physical fitness, where thin is supposed to be healthy (!!) was definitely not expected :

trait snapshot:
does not make friends easily, secretive, introverted, reclusive, observer, dislikes leadership, somewhat socially awkward, does not like to stand out, dislikes large parties, values solitude, solitary, avoidant, ambivalent about fitting in, not dominant, unassertive, suspicious, prudent, unadventurous, worrying, weird, intellectual, frequently second guesses self

otherwise the result is quite soothing - the way I want myself to be :)

You can take the test for yourself here.

Saturday, 18 November 2006

did you know?

While those forwards keep pouring our mailboxes, only few are remembered. This post specifically refers to one such forward - "useless facts". To respect the original author, i too have added comments to follow each fact (or group of them)

40 useless facts about animals (and my opinion about it)
1. A 1,200-pound horse eats about seven times it's own weight each year.
2. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
3. Starfish don't have brains.
('I know some people like that' category of facts)

4. Howler monkeys are the noisiest land animals. Their calls can be heard over 2 miles away.
(this also fits the category, calls being on cellphone)

5. When ants find food, they lay down a chemical trail, called a pheromone.
(this also fits the category. When they find food, they fart.)

6. A newborn kangaroo is about 1 inch in length. Young kangaroos are called joeys.
7. Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.
("mommy, teach me how to jump...... mommy.... where are you mommy? Michael.....?")

8. A rat can last longer without water than a camel can.
(rats should infest deserts, they have a strategic advantage and core competence)

9. A zebra is white with black stripes.
(i thought it was a brand of bra, white with black stripes)

10. Pet parrots can eat virtually any common "people-food" except for chocolate and avocados. Both of these are highly toxic to the parrot and can be fatal.
(corner house must have tested their innovation (DBC) on parrots.)

11. The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
12. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
(What a pain for squids... one such was seen digging its own grave after catching common cold)

13. An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.
(between two electric eels - "oh! look at poor Electra, how shocked she is at her boyfriend's survival, he knew it was her.")

14. If you keep a Goldfish in the dark room, it will eventually turn white.
(out of fear)

15. Beaver teeth are so sharp that Native Americans once used them as knife blades.
(if native americans had gone to switzerland, may be a beaver would have been seen today having 25 teeth, each suited to a different purpose)

16. Catnip can affect lions and tigers as well as house cats. It excites them because it contains a chemical that resembles an excretion of the dominant female's urine.

17. Cheetahs make a chirping sound that is much like a bird's chirp or a dog's yelp. The sound is so an intense, it can be heard a mile away.
(bird - "chirrp" cheetah - "CHIRRRRP"
the bird flies off, the cheetah builds a rocket, flies out of atmosphere and chokes to death.)

18. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds - so tiny that one of their enemies is an insect, the praying mantis.
(such a mantis was seen praying - " Oh Lord, give us today our daily hummingbird")

19. In its entire lifetime, the average worker bee produces 1/12th teaspoon of honey.
20. The honeybee kills more people world-wide than all the poisonous snakes combined.
(a swarm to a honey-eating man - "you ruined our lives. asshole, take this.")

21. Moles are able to tunnel through 300 feet of earth in a day.
(there was news of underground metro-railway being made in Mumbai and Bangalore, too late for Delhi.)

22. Pigs, walruses and light-colored horses can be sunburned.
(see pic for proof, she really got tanned on the beach - after all a hippo is a water-horse....)

23. A woodpecker can peck twenty times a second.
(that was what previous post on this blog was about - Ig nobel awards and why woodpeckers don't get headache)

24. Snails produce a colorless, sticky discharge that forms a protective carpet under them as they travel along. The discharge is so effective that they can crawl along the edge of a razor without cutting themselves.
25. The fastest-moving land snail, the common garden snail, has a speed of 0.0313 mph.
(may be these two facts are corelated, it must be difficult to keep on shitting just to walk millimeters. but the fastest one must really have been exhausted.)
26. A snail can sleep for 3 years.
(Must have been the fastest one.)

27. The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court.
("were you present when the culprit committed the crime?"
"woof woof"
"so is he guilty?"
"woof woof"
"in that case he will be convicted for a hanging. do you have anything else to say?"
"woof woof"
"so you were paid a million bones to testify against him?"
"woof woof"
"and daily free lunch at KFC?")

28. No two spider webs are the same.
(does that include spiderman? was www made by him?)
29. The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night.
(we lose such a diversity of webs, just out of ignorance!)

30. The largest animal ever seen alive was a 113.5 foot, 170-ton female blue whale.
(so who says it is a male dominated society?)
31. All clams start out as males; some decide to become females at some point in their lives.
32. Amazon ants (red ants found in the western U.S.) steal the larvae of other ants to keep as slaves. The slave ants build homes for and feed the Amazon ants, who cannot do anything but fight. They depend completely on their slaves for survival.
33. Only female mosquitoes bite.
(naturally, after seeing those ants...)

34. Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
(new reasearch proves that dolphins like metallica more than other music)

35. In 1845, US President Andrew Jackson's pet parrot was removed from his funeral for swearing.
("die you jackass". his opponents called him jackass, and he liked it for some time, and eventually his party took the symbol of donkey.)
36. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
(this was the election campaign of the republicans this time - that's why they lost)

37. The tsetse fly kills another 66,000 people annually.
(Santa - "If I kill this particular fly, will I be awarded Nobel prize for peace?"
Banta - "If not, you will surely get the Ig nobel prize")

38. The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.
(have you heard the song "it's raining men?", maybe she sang that during a flood.)

39. The world record frog jump is 33 feet 5.5 inches over the course of 3 consecutive leaps, achieved in May 1977 by a South African sharp-nosed frog called Santjie.
("and the gold medal in triple jump goes to...... can you see him on the podium?")

and this is the punch -
40. The Kiwi can't fly. It lives in a hole in the ground, is almost blind, and lays only one egg each year. Despite this, it has survived for more than 70 million years.
(a polititian often flies, lives in big house on top of a hill, is fully blind to society, and lays multiple eggs each year. Despite this, it has survived for all the time democracy has been established)

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

nobel or ignoble? (world is full of humour and stupidity too)

reasearch combined with humour, joblessness and queerness, gives birth to ig nobel prizes (yes, that is not misspelt, it is ig nobel, not ignobel, nor ignoble). Just like there are spoof academy awards - Golden Raspberry awards, or Pigasus awards given for extraordinary claims in para-psychology, there is an award spoofing the reverred nobel prizes. this is something which first makes you smile and then makes you think - the extraordinarily innovative research.

Scroll through the list and don't miss out on noticing how jobless these scholars are.
Here is a glimpse of what to expect - the list of research topics of this year's winners.

Ornithology(birds) - for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
Nutrition - for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters (gourmets!).
Peace - for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant — a device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but not to their teachers. (checkout the teen buzz)
Acoustics - for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.
Mathematics - for calculating how many photographs a person must take to almost ensure that no one in a group photograph will have their eyes closed: "Blink-Free Photos, Guaranteed." (this turned out to be elementary prob-stats, even i could have published this paper)
Literature - for report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly." (seems like the author was inspired for this prize beforehand)
Medicine - for medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"; and for another subsequent medical case report also titled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage." (what a coincidence... both ways)
Physics - for insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces: "Fragmentation of Rods by Cascading Cracks: Why Spaghetti Does Not Break in Half."
Chemistry - for study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature." (and did you know that an elephant cannot jump? i really wanted to know about such pieces of information)
Biology - for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet. (and i thought only i do something like writing blogs to get rid of joblessness)

and yes, before i forget, i should mention the cleverest lot amongst us, who eventually exited from the gene pool, winning themselves the darwin awards (so called because darwin talked about 'natural selection' as a consequence of 'survival of fittest'). this really made my day, combining the utmost stupidity and consequent humour.

The previous post talked about some intelligent people on a blue planet. This stuff is no less exquisite.

p.s. random wikipedia led me into this/previous post, but i've since improved from linking wikipedia directly to linking homepages of these stuff by scrolling down on those wikipedia pages - oh that lazy joblessness.

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

world is full of clever people

a world full of shrewdness - precisely defines internet and its growth. it has always been about money, traffic, ads, and hacking other's stuff to promote yours (exception may be like google, which was first about product then business model build around it. (btw, did you know that gmail does not support dot, is same as or any other combination with more number of dots, but i can login only using kartik.rdburman as my id. (and did you notice how gtalk is now improved to support offliners? (and did you notice how orkut is now integrated with gtalk? (these days one part of my job has been a part-time google testing team member as they keep adding features, and another part being required to match parentheses))))).

well, most parts of the blog are my poor understanding to already known phenomena on the web, but i just could not skip the revelation - more about human nature than about these tricks.

while the viruses and trojans have been ubiquitous, techniques known as pharming (farming trojans by hacking onto a server) and phishing (fishing an unsuspecting user into a seemingly innocuous but specious webpage, and asking him to reveal personal information) have been being used for some time now. remember any page on geocities/members.tripod which asked for your respective domain id/password? remember mails in your mailbox seemingly sent by your friends (and also not reported as spam by the mail service) containing such traps? before you blast your friend, think about why your password still remained same (if it did) and coincidentally your friend got such spam.

based on the flaws of the hastily built software systems, the so called hackers have always exploited the web for their own welfare (fun, money, challenge). some have gone forward to such an extent that they target a particular service (similar to spear phishing). AOHell was targetted at AOL, with a goal to have "20,000+ idiots using AOHell to knock people offline, steal passwords and credit card information, and to basically annoy the hell out of everyone". see its features here and here, it included simple tricks like ghost , scroll, finger (feeding chat screen with multiple lines/ascii art, like seen on dc++ chat), some kewl tricks (like fake account creator, IM Bot), some nasty tricks (like mail-bomb), and some really specious (like credit card number simulator)...... mind you all this intelligent programming was done only to take revenge on AOL administrators who used to shut hacker chatrooms down, but not chatrooms like childporn/pedophiles.

does that sound something like a sunny deol movie, setting the world around him right in his own manner - "kanoon haath me lena"? let me remind you that this is www=wild wild web. and no one cares what goes inside out of another server as long as it does not bother your system.

i can't find any reason to blame them (hackers) if ordinary mortals find the trick too intelligent to evade. similar but relatively well-known practices have been being followed in "traditional" business, and many still keep falling prey to them. you don't blame these business savvies because they dupe people to make money. this is precisely like a nice soft voice on your phone telling you that you need to pay a small amount of money by creditcard in order to get double balance deposited in your bank account, or somewhat like politely saying "give me 5 bucks and i will (if i wish to) give you back ten thousand" forgetting that the wish is inherently biased and your expected return should be zero. to someone more stupid, i would rather say "f*@# you !"

clever has a shade of intelligent, and a shade of cunning. it's like a movie - the protagonist can be a criminal, or can be a gentleman, it only depends on what character YOU find a connection with.

Saturday, 4 November 2006


a bass guitar with a cover bag - Rs 6500
an amplifier to make it rock - Rs 5700
playing your favourite songs on bass after so long - Rs 11500 (yeah, I got some discount)

playing music with your beloved friends - priceless

there are somethings in life money cannot buy.
for everything else there is monthly paycheck.

so am I not happy with my new bass? Definitely I am, just a bit nostalgia has eclipsed that happiness.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

my own digging the internet for miscelleny

if you are familiar with digg, you might find this blog pretty much plain.

it all started with wikipedia's today's article one day.

molecules with funny names - includes bastardane, miazole & urazole, arsole, DAMN, dUMP, ASS, SEX, erectone, megaphone, cummingtonite, moronic acid, fukalite, fucol, (broken) windowpane, the painful Antipain, penguinone, performic acid, diabolic acid, magic acid, lunatoic acid, erotic acid, small-breasted-dog.......
so much for someone who thought chemistry profs are not profane.

speaking of organic chemistry, there are some really "beautiful" molecules, such as cubane, tetrahedrane and dodecahedrane (platonic hydrocarbons), adamantane and other diamondoids, fullerenes, Mona Lisa of reaction chemistry

so much for chemistry, now mathematical beauty in the underlying geometry
platonic solids - the best part is when you see that a cube is a dual of octahedron and dodecahedron is a dual of icosahedron (and vise versa, of course)
archimedian solids - and their duals (catalan solids)
johnson solids (if you are too keen)
a nice java applet on this
(whatever, nothing beats fractals and conway's game of life in beauty in maths)

enough geeky matter, how about some humour, something new, if you were not happy with funny names of molecules?
apart from uncyclepedia and somethingawful, there are so many sources of hilarious articles on the internet such as
the discovery of a new element,
some stupid news on google,
hide and seek in spaceshuttle,
dinosaurs were no more impressive than ‘a collection of bored amoeba’

then there is something cute - cats

ok, enough arbit stuff now..... that proves i am
mostly workless..... and reading h2g2 :)

that also reminds me of a recent purchase of a book on Murphy's laws. You might have seen some of the corrollories of the ever-correct axiom of a developer's life as my recent status messages. This book is highly recommended to any smiling reader.

here are some of the classic quotes in the book -
"If anything can go wrong it will (at the worst possible time)"
and "If something cannot go wrong, it will."
"Murphy was an optimist."
"It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious."
"You may know where the market is going, but you can't possibly know where it is going after that."
"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing."
"If mathematically you end up with the incorrect answer, try multiplying by the page number."
"Any attempt to print Murphy's laws will jam the printer."
"The day you wash your car, it will rain"
and "Washing your car to make it rain does not work."

Saturday, 26 August 2006

update on current status

anjai's blog pretty much sums it up on how banglore and the job have changed our daily schedule.

few additions -

1.Common expression -
"Oh no! It's Monday, and another week ahead..."
"It's Friday mann..... aaj meeting na ho, monday tak peace marenge."
"(In a sleepy state) Kya peace hai life..." - on saturday and sunday
"abe weekend khatam bhi ho gaya !!" - on sunday night.
2.I'm craving for somebody to have a jamming session with, if not a regular music practice.
3.Though it is a very confortable feeling that your bank balance rises every month (albeit, Banglore is one expensive city!), I wonder if I would keep doing this till they say I'm too old to work.

Sunday, 28 May 2006

of music and engineering

Quite some time ago, I was interested in the later more than the former. Needless to say, the situation is exactly opposite now.
Speaking about the incident, I found a broken harmonium kept on the loft. When I opened it in a hope of some melody, I found the bellows full of dust and occasionally stuck to their original place. Before estimating the extent or repairs needed, it was very apparent that it would cost as high as a new harmonium itself, so I decided that I should practice some of my "acquired engineering skills" and try to repair it myself. So a laborious but interesting job of glueing them back and fixing the joints with plastic, tape and paper, was done. In the end the instrument looked renovated but had a clear patchy appearence.
Though the reeds played the right notes after all the labour, the bellows were so weak that the sound of blowing the bellows was more than the sound of the reeds. Nevertheless, I could play the usual chords and sargam for a while, till my left arm told me that it was time to quit.

Some time back, I fancied instrument making as a profession. This day I realized the joy of keeping it as a hobby. I don't want this occasional fun to be a monotonous daily routine, which was very clear from the job I did. I would rather have the fun less frequently than destroy it.

Well, it surely was fun for the first time.

Thursday, 20 April 2006

Inebriated maudlin

thats what I'm right now.

There were many reasons today to celebrate -
1.(actually this is too old now) got a good job
2.finished with term project in MCS & OHM
3.had another ETMS treat and sensible discussion
4.will be leaving kgp in a month or so (almost sure, but not exactly)

having the-maudlin-feeling because -
1.I'm drunk right now
2.will be missing you friends after a month or so
3.will miss etms especially
4."the-hollow-feeling" (referring to apro's blog on a strange time)

I'm learning to live.
(that's a song by DT too.... what a coincidence)

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

moving on

i don't smoke. i don't drink as much. but i'm addicted to quizrooms on dc. after deciding to quit, twice i felt like playing again. but now i've quit. well, almost....

i used to be addicted to aoe. then i quit. then i am playing cs for some time now. i'll quit that too someday.

i used to be in love. then i quit thinking about it.

i write blog whenever i feel like expressing myself to my other self. someday i'll quit that.

i'm looking forward to a job which will give me money. after some time, i'll stop looking forward.

i want to live life happily. some day i'll go to himalaya and live an ascetic life.

i try to set things right, if i feel something should be changed so that the world could be a better place to live. someday i'll quit.

i'm an optimist to the core. sometimes i quit being an optimist.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006


wikipedia says - The Chapman Stick in the early is a musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman 1970s. He set out to create an instrument designed for the tapping technique and the first production model of the Chapman Stick was shipped in 1974. Superficially, it looks like a wide version of the fretboard of an electric guitar with 8, 10 or 12 strings mounted on it, but it is considerably longer than a guitar fretboard. Unlike the electric guitar, it is usually played by tapping or fretting the strings, rather than plucking them. Instead of one hand fretting and the other hand plucking, both hands sound notes by striking the strings against the fingerboard just behind the appropriate frets for the desired notes. For this reason, it can sound many more notes at once than most other stringed instruments, making it more comparable to a keyboard instrument than to other stringed instruments. This arrangement lends itself to playing multiple lines at once and many Stick players have mastered performing bass, chords and melody lines simultaneously.

the beauty of the tuning - from stickiwicki - This one will stretch your brain a bit. Since the melody side is in fourths, and the bass side is in fifths but in reverse order and a fourth is an inverted fifth, the same chord and scale shapes work on the bass side as the melody side! They produce different voicings, since the octave pattern is different, but the same shapes and patterns will work on either side.

here's more to explore - (yes, google and wikipedia are very good sites)
.The sole manufacturers of the intrument (check the prices :(( )
.flash-listening on Jason Stunges' site
.some mp3z - some arbit, some with vocals.
.the video of Greg Howard playing distortion on stick is awesome.
.an interview of Emmett Chapman.

I wish I buy this instrument soon.

p.s. people who still want to fight, move on. i won't entertain crap now.

Saturday, 18 March 2006


My last 2 years in Kgp have kept me busy in music almost throughout the year. Here is what I've gathered from the experience (speaking about entertainment/music only).

Three habits of winning people -

How to win in any event -
a) "Tap" potential fachchas.
b) Get a judge who would be pass-out of your hall.
c) Get the gymkhana ent-secy in your hall.

How to win a groups event -
a) Get a slot different than first 3.
b) Get your hall people to kowtow.
c) Be the black horse - you can come second most of the times.

How to win a vocals event -
a) Sing some fundoo pop number with hoohaa modulation in western vocals.
b) Claim that you have not had training.
c) Sing same songs for all the duration you are here.

How to win an intrumentals event -
a) Do some wizardry (e.g. biting your guitar or playing tabla (only right) by both hands time and again).
b) Again, play same pieces over the years (except this year).
c) "Ek guitar aur ek synth... sabhi hall yehi karenge... kya sexy lagega be.... judge ekdam impress ho jayega.... nahi to kuchh nahi aanewala apna is event me.... mai bata raha hoon na."

And the other side of the coin - three habits of losing people.

How to lose any event -
a) Try something beyond your caliber, no matter how it comes out.
b) Find some excuse for not performing, you can do anything you want during this time - chat, play guitar/synth in your room, sleep, go to chhedis etc etc.
c) Get disheartened very easily (kya rakha hai, sab moh-maya hai!).

How to lose in a groups event -
a) Be overconfident about your musical abilities, don't care about tightness, meager amount of practice would be enough.
b) Don't choose something which you can do better than other halls.
c) Get a first day first slot when the judge is good, or any slot when the judge is normal.

How to lose in a vocals event -
a) Realize that you don't stand a chance anyway, so try something out of the blue.
b) Re-organize the ongoing event because of some impertinent reason.
c) Choose accopanyists who are not-so-experienced.

How to lose in a instrumentals event -
a) Any excuse (e.g. going to Cal) for not participating will do - samajh rahe ho na!
b) Try playing different instruments and decide which one to play 1 hour before the event.
c) Play what YOU like rather than what THEY like.

I have seen the habits of losing people creeping in most of us losers (sure these were sore grapes for me, I will be the first one blogging the other view - how it feels to lose) though I'd rather advice not to indulge proactively in so-called good habits (unless you have exceptional tempo like Daku or Bhatu or few other people).

Why am I being so sarcastic? There's a proverb in Marathi meaning "A wise needs no explaination". I hope people are wise enough to digest this sarcasm (In my defence I argue that if they can't take it, they may not be that wise!).

p.s. I sincerely hope that the persons criticised/glorified in the above post read this entirely (esp. all the RP-ent team members) because this is what an ent-captain should have done and has failed to do - motivate his teammates.

Monday, 6 February 2006

Hyderabad Blues

4 days outside kgp - and life was very much fun.

just 14 hours before boarding train to hyd, we were not sure whether we could perform in the fest. various impediments such as acad load on Vinod and practices on short notice had already made us apprehensive about the outcome of the event. then Yogesh made it clear that he could not come. the afternoon before we had to leave for hyd, Vinod also had no choice but to leave us looking for some other singer. at 7'clock in the evening we were pondering whether to cancel tickets or to really put up a show. finally we decided to get some on stage experience, may be at some cost. so we had Kaushik in the band.

as usual, the train got late, but we had just enough time to reach IIIT and get a feel of the fest felicity) before our performance. after the show, we had a chat with Rana, met Ojha (who was fascinated by the sound of fatal tragedy), gathered ample number of fans. though we stood third, we were better in many respects than other bands. agreed, we did not have own compositions, we did not practice as much, and we covered DT largely when the audience was for more heavy stuff (metal/death/black).

we learned many lessons in wildfire show, and some more here.
1. never use a processor in which you cant set a tone, however pro it may be
2. check sound of each instrument on each monitor (esp when you are covering DT)
3. select a songlist more approproate to the performance, rather than what you would really like to perform
4. have an original composition
5. have a balanced songlist - yet to include deep purple /led zep /van halen /metallica /pantera etc
6. have confidence in yourself and your fellow members.
7. have a smaller sound check, preferably, do not play a sound check song.

so even if our expenses were more than the prize money and we experienced "kataoing" at many points of time in various forms (ask Kaushik), the experience was precious, and the trip was worth the effort.

when 6 junkies have some time off, guess what they do - they pass time. after we realized it was sunday and rang de basanti was housefull long time back, we successfully wasted our time munching and jhandaoing. Apro left us for his conference in Chennai in the aftenoon. then we went to Kaushik's home and watched and listened to DT before we came to know that the train back to kgp had to start late by an hour at least. so we watched and listened DT for some more time :D (passing time is always easy)

apart from the lessons , the wonderful outcomes of this endeavor were few phrases - "No!", "Ooooowk", "Heeeeeeeee" + clap clap clap, "h ha h hm h ha", "hagg do... sab milke haggo... hagte kyo nahi". then there were endless pjs and vocalized instrumedley practices which needed no communication, only few tapping of foot were enough to set the band into yet another recital.

so, what's next? we'll see if we can get to play in such events as much has we can, we will come up with some (at least one) compositions, we will practice instrumedley more and we will cover some more bands..... (hmm too many issues at hand :D)

Thursday, 2 February 2006

a hectic day

0:00 - practicing with my band in music room, i discover that the bass cannot be plugged in. I open the bass and plug it the hardcore way.
2:00 - practice and bhat is over, i go back to room. i am ecstatic after i discover the missing nut from the bass assembly.
2:15 - i log on to dc, check out whether someone in playing jumble/trivia/gtw. play for some time. unable to decide whether to sleep or not. decide to work on btp till 7.30 class.
4:30 - that's it... i'm too sleepy, btp kata ;), get some sleep for some time.
7:00 - alarm wakes me up but the drowsiness takes me down again.
7:15 - decide to attend class at 7:30. wake up and brush. have breakfast. wake apro up, he is in no mood.
7:40 - reach class. try to concentrate for 2 hours.
9.40 - go to atm to withdraw cash. discover that i don't have sufficient balance. withdraw as much as i can. wake apro up again and take extra cash.
10:00 - reach reservation counter, reserve 3 tickets and cancel another (for praticipating in Hell's Bell in IIIT's fest felicity, happening in hyd 3rd-5th feb).
10:15 - wonder how that got over in 15 mins and have a cup of coffee.
10:30 - attend another class, listen to a seminar. get a bigger case-study (31 pages) for my presentation in next week.
11:30 - feeling the heat, have a cup of ice-tea.
11:45 - reach room. open dc. play gtw. spam in the quizrooms.
12:45 - wash clothes. have lunch. abuse indian cricket team.
13:10 - come back to room. remember that eastern vocals is happening today. hold a practice session in my room with intermittent gtw and winamp.
15:00 - remember that term project seminar has to be given at 3:30. get hold of a notebook and rush to department.
15:30 - fumble the opening of presentation, so hand over to other fellows in the group. then do bigger bakchodi in the notebook - animations and drawings.
17:30 - return to hall, have snacks. goto room, open dc. before starting gtw, kauwa calls and asks about instruments needed for vocals. suddenly remember that i have to accompany others in vocals.
18:00 - go to music room, pack up and go to raman. wait for our slot.
19:00 - makhao the vocals more or less, listen to abuses of people.
20:00 - go back to hall, have dinner. assure hallmates that position is almost impossible in this event.
20:30 - go to room. try to play aoe a couple of times. once my comp hangs once my opponent's comp hangs. decide to quit.
21:00 - open dc. play gtw for some time and then jumble for some time. call up bandmates for practice. decide to have practice at 12.
23:00 - decide to sleep for an hour. set the alarm on but forget to change timing (7.00 in the morning).
0:15 - mohit has to come and wake me up. get over the "halu" state.
0:25 - go to music room. arrange the bass again. feel happy. practice the songs.
2:15 - practice over, get back to room. open dc. play gtw.
3:15 - after being exiled from both the quizrooms decide to write a blog about the day.
3:30 - complete the diary, but feel that there is lot of matter for blog still uncovered.
3:40 - "I am here right now"

before joining IIT, i had heard about students sleeping 3-4 hours a day and working hard for the rest of the day and how-life-is-hectic-at-iits. it had to be three and a half years to make me realize that such days can exist in a real iitian's student life (i still missed the hardwork part - it had a different connotation altogether).

will write more after returning from hyd.

Wednesday, 25 January 2006

Everything happens for a reason

Events in past couple of weeks have firmly reinstated my belief in the above rationale.

first, I could not score well in cat 2005 despite huge expectations of my friends and myself. Then I saw random people getting placed in good companies in the campus interviews. Sometimes I strongly believed that I (or some other fellow) was far better candidates for that job profile. Many times I almost denied the existence of God. I wondered why this was happening to me.

Then came the so much dreaded friday the 13th.... after tiring rounds of tests and interviews - there were total of 5 tests, 2 interviews and a group activity in that day (and another interview was to be conducted, but got postponed to next day) I was always unsure whether I would get through to next round. But I kept on qualifying and eventually got a job worth Rs 7.0L p.a. in British Telecom, Banglore which suited my aptitude very well. What more could I have asked for?

Just in one day all the frustration was gone... no worry that I could not get through in CAT, no dilemma whether to go for further studies or to persue a job - though this brought a careless attitude for quite a time. (hell yeah... why not?)

There should have been something serendipitious in Varadpande family's horroscope during those days. on 12'th my elder brother got through in CA finals - that too 210+190 (if you don't know how lucky is that - CA final has 2 groups I & II. Each group has 4 papers of 100 marks each. To pass the group one requires to score 40+ in each paper and 50% aggregate. If you appear for both groups together, you can offset your scores in both groups i.e. you need 50% aggregate in the 8 papers with 40+ in each.)

The next morning, on 13'th, I was just hoping that luck would strike me that day. My wingwate, Rahul Mundra adviced me to wear the "lucky" shirt and tie on that day (this tie has a 100% record - P&G, Schlums and then BT). And yes, throughout the day I had the gut-feeling - "I will make it today." I am not superstitious, but the coincidence literally rocked me.

Then came the tiring practices of ETMS and wildfire. For almost a week I slept for 3-4 hours daily (mostly in the day), missed almost all the classes. I also missed Shankar Mahadevan's show in SF while picking up bass line in erotomania. Last night practice of wildfire came out very well and we were almost sure of getting through to finals. We even chose our songlist such that better songs would be played in the finals. Then the disasters struck (very aptly described in Apro's blog). It was so disappointing, knowing that it will be difficult to play with the same team again. I just hope it would not be entirely impossible.

We did fair enough in ETMS production. The so anticipated win in Sargam had us consoled little bit. I will miss the society very much. Because of these 2 music teams, my stay in kgp got fast forward in the last 2 years.

After the wildfire finals, the disappointment rather turned into an experience - we rarely had a chance to perform on such a big stage and whenever we could have, something or other popped up in the way. (b t w Faith, Hobos and Skinny Ally were just awesome.)

In retrospcet, everything happened for a reason - I could not get a job till then, because such a better job was waiting. I did not qualify through CAT, maybe I will have another go after 2 years of this job-ex, and maybe that would be more appropriate. Wildfire prelims were disastrous - it taught us many valuable things like care to be taken to set the patches on guitar processor, need of efficient sound check, adjusting to the accoustics of a place and most importantly, accepting a defeat and aspiring for a new horizon.

Call it serendipity, call it superstition, call it faith, call it rationalisation or call it absurdity, the series of events definitely brought a more mature self out of me. For I have realized something abouth the greyness of life.... nothing is perfect nor is anything perfectly imperfect. Being rational whatver I do will always keep me satisfied, regardless of what the fate throws to me.

Espescially after Skinny ally's performance, I am very much attracted to Jazz. I hope I get along with Mohit, Apro, Mukul and Vinod again and form a band after we pass out from here. I wish...

Thursday, 12 January 2006

A story

This is the story of my friend Sumit. He was a shop-floor supervisor by profession. Despite his intelligence and skills, his lack of attitude to take initiative (the company management called it laziness) and introvert nature always elongated his promotions. Though he actually wanted to be a story-writer, he hardly tried to write one. And when tried to come up with a stroy... this is what happened.

Frequently, he had to visit the sister plant of his company. He preferred staying in hotel there than long trips from home everyday. On one such trip he finally resolved to write. Interestingly, there was another aspiring story-writer Amit in his first story. Owing to his laziness to think of anything different, Sumit tried to create the kind of atmophere around his hero exactly like what he was under. He wrapped the story in a shared jeep ride from bus stand to his Uncle's home in the village.

The ride went from places to places in the town. He met fellows, some he tried to remember, some he wished to forget. He tried various activities to keep from boredom - tried to spark a conversation with the girl sitting nearby, winked and grimaced at the child sitting in front of him, observed the old man dozing on the shoulder of his neighbor, sympathized with that neighbor, had an arguement with the driver for driving fast on the bumpy road.

Sometimes he felt the road was too long and it would take eternity to reach Nani's home. Sometimes he missed the scenes passing by, being occupied in his thoughts or in his activities. Finally he took out his diary and tried to scribble something. It wasn't long before he understood that even he could not make sense of those garbled writings. He cursed the road and the driver again.

When Sumit finished the story, his mind was ecstatic. He felt relieved after emptying his mind into words. After so long somebody had listened to his inner self and he had tried to communicate with somebody, by himself. He read the story again.... The story did not have any attractive event or a character in detail. But he knew that. It was so much peculiar - so much familiar - a kind of a deja vu.

But who will read such a platitudinous story - he thought. There was nothing special, nothing captivating, everything so languid. So how about a change... after all it was just a story.

Sumit fancied a ride - with everything perfect - everything. The road was smooth. The jeep was posh (!). The girl talked to Amit for at least few minutes. There was no driver-seat, actually he din't care to look for the driver. There was a cute child sitting in front of him, constantly looking towards him and smiling. Amit also tried to smile back. Sumit felt exalted after making Amit so happy.

Before the change, he had bred himself into his brainchild. Now he felt Amit's life was much happier than his own. He pondered over this discrepancy... his hero was not like himself anymore. He wanted to fill in the gap between the two. But how could he deprive Amit of the bliss? Wouldn't that be unfair to him?

The phone rang. Sumit was already in trance contemplating over the discrepancy. His wife had to call him again to break his thoughts. He could hardly concentrate on her regular questions. He reassured her that he was alright and it would not take long before he comes back home. Before hanging up, something flashed in his mind. He asked her about their son Rahul. After a long pause, she asked him to get some sleep and hung up abruptly. Her voice sounded plaintive.

Sumit frowned. Everything in their life had been so perfect - so smooth, there should not have been any reason for her to be sad.

Amit's trip occupied his mind again. He decided to elaborate a bit on the child in front of him. Such a cute little boy. Amit asked his name. the child blushed and ran towards his grandpa dozing off on neighbor's shoulder. Waking him up, the boy smiled at Amit. Amit asked his name again. The boy said, "Rahul" and hid his face in grandpa's coat.

Sumit felt very calm and serene.

I have decided not to write any story about my life. Sumit's story haunts me everytime I pick up my pen.

Sunday, 8 January 2006

a day of music and a night of minesweeper

My wingies have always complained about me being busy in music practices throughout the year. Today they had another chance. After waking up at 12.30, having lunch, practicing from 1-3 for the show at 5, I still managed to practice more music till late in the night. In total I spent 6-9 hours today on music, depending upon some jhandao-time being counted or not.

Nights have been very late for me, owing to my nocturnal nature. So, as usual even after coming back to my room post 1'o clock in the night, I found myself fresh enough to play wordgames on dc++. After a while, I lost tempo, and came back to something much familiar.... minesweeper.

If you have successfully wasted fair amount of time on this wonderful game, you might appreciate the serendipity of completing amateur level in 2 seconds. But there was more elation to come... after having completed intermediate in 25 some time back, today I only managed 30. And Expert - yes, again a new record - 111. I guess the day was productive enough to be written about in my first blog ;) .