Read the poems at your leisure

Buy the e-book version of the best of my poetry from on the following link and read the poetry you like, whenever you want.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Where is the Cradle,Mom?

This post is dedicated to all the child/infant/teenager kids on the street/trains/subways.

On my way to office, I take the metro rail. On this fine sunny day, the train was not as crowded as it usually is. I was glad i could find a seat. A couple of stops later, a family got in the train. A mom, and her 3 kids. Cute little things. One had a woolen hat on her head with a long rope coming out, another had a hoopla in her hand and one had a aluminum plate and a running nose.

They walked around the coach frolicking around, looked around and decided on a good spot and started performing..

The girl with the hoopla, passed the hoop through her thin body, moving it from her head and pulling it out of her legs,
the one with the woolen hat, started dancing, or rather tried to dance as only a 5-6 yrs can, and the boy started doing somersaults, all the while the mother was beating the tin plate with a stick to give a background music.
After their performance was over, they went over to the seated people(it wasn't a rush hour, so the train was reasonable filled up), with their hands outstretched and a pleading look in their eyes.

This made me feel so damn sad, to look at those young kids, begging at such a age, with the encouragement of their mother, their innocence being put to use to make money. I don't think they realized what they were being made to do, their only understanding would have been that it was what was asked of them by their mother.

Begging for oneself is one thing, but being asked to beg especially by such young souls is altogether a different thing. At an age when they should have all the love and affection and be carefree about the vagaries of the world, they were thrown headfirst into the fight for their survival.

At such times one may wonder, where has the childhood gone for these kids? Where is the cradle in which they would feel safe, where is the hand that rocks the cradle to make the kids go to sleep, and not to break it.

These scenarios bring sharply into my mind , the dialogues and the scenes from the movie "Traffic Signal", which portrays that even begging is an art and a fledging business. A business conducted on traffic signals, roadsides and on trains, where the beggars are the puppets and the puppeteer is hiding somewhere else. After the movie I have noticed a considerable change in the attitude of the people towards beggars. They are most hesitant to think of them as a beggar and more as a crook out to rob them. But if that crook happens to be a young kid with outstretched arms and big innocent eyes, one had to have a hard heart not to give in.

Where are these children's rights to live? Right to education, right to eat, right to play? Are these rights a commodity too? One can have enough and the other cannot? Is this the way we should treat our future generations? Is this the life we envisage for our successors?

Perhaps the time for the cradle is gone, and a person fights for his/her existence the second he/she is born. Perhaps the cradle has been broken....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Work Etiquettes

Hello everyone... after a long time I am posting and this is not really a post as much as a POST-IT post.

Recently, I made some faux pas in office regarding etiquettes and although they were not major, I would like to avoid any further misdemeanors.

I would like all those who read this post to comment about some good work etiquettes that everyone should follow at work, personal incidents and what ABSOLUTELY NOT TO DO at work.

Hope I will get lots of replies... Cheers.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Independent India-In Shackles

So, today is India's 64th Independence Day. But do I feel independent?
It is a big fat NO!!!

We have just ousted the Britishers, but kept their legacy. They ruled India with a divide and conquer policy and they left that behind when they exited.
Even today, we are a "secular" country, but only in paper.

The daily papers are filled with incidents that clearly spell out the internal strifes India is involved in. The words " Unity in Diversity" that symbolizes India has become questionable. With every small patch of land claiming to become a distinct state based on the language, it is pretty clear what most of India feels, i.e "We are different, make a different state for us".

Is this the unity that was envisioned by the Founding Fathers of India?
Recently, I read in a news that India has dropped 2 notches on an index which ranks countries based on the transparency of their government. The CWG scandal which I am sure you must be aware of if your an Indian, had rocked the very foundation of our country, and our PM calmly says "Keep shut till the Games. We need to project a good image to others"
The government alone is not to blame because I accept that it cannot function properly if it is filled with people WE the "aam janta" elects.
If our decision is wrong , we surely cannot blame the Gov.

But it does seem clear that the current trend in Indian Politics is get more money, get more power and dont bother about us, the "stupid aam aadmi".

With each state proclaiming "The names of the shops in their state should be written bigger in the state language and then in English or Hindi. Yeah right, thats unity isnt it? With TN buses always stopping outside the city of Bang while all others go into the city is unity right!!!
People's refusal to learn the national language apart from the state language is unity, right !!! The riots in Kashmir, parallel the riots in Gujarat.

I have stopped reading newspaper because I KNOW nothing good and happy is ever present in it. Its all politics, crimes and a mix of both sometimes.

With the queen refusing to attend the games breaking a 40 years old tradition, world class players shying away from the CWG games, to our own ministers saying that the CWG should fail, India is having an Identity crisis. Its carefully portrayed and flimsy exterior image is crumbling and revealing the hideous creature racked with corruption, bribery and injustice. If the CWG games has done one thing good till now, is to bring out the rampant corruption and greed of our chosen elite.

But forget the Politicians for a moment, what about us "Aam Aadmi".
People refuse to accept one into their society unless he/she knows the local language. Is knowing the national language not enough? When asked they say "No you're in . You have to know ". I accept that it is good to know the local language, but this alienation is uncalled for. They are disrespecting the national language. That is not unity, thats Diversity in a Forced Unity, in a sense.

I do not know that our founding fathers had envisioned when they decided to create Linguistic States, but I am sorry to say that 6 decades later, their plan is backfiring like hell.

I have but written just a bird's eye view of the problems by India but that alone makes my blood boil.

Should I still be a "Proud Indian"? Should I stand up when I hear the National Anthem?

The Independent India is just a ruse. Its still in shackles now because of its own people rather than foreigners.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


As you can see from the heading, adding a "Re" to the beginning of another word, has a lot of meaning direct and indirect. I will try to elaborate on those aspects here.

Let me give you a background though.
The idea for this post started when I was having some difficulty with a piece of software. I had (un)installed it several times but the game didn't work. Finally out of frustrations and anger I switched off the laptop and then restarted it. And Voila! the game worked fine now.
This incident make me think... A restart has so much power. And that idea snowballed into something much more inherent.. a restart is always good for us.

A restart( i will use this term to mean all similar terms) is a way to say.."I learned from my mistakes, let me start again with more wisdom" or
"Let me set things right , that I did wrong in the first try" or "Let me do something else and see what happens"

Everyone in their life reaches 2-3 stages when they are too much loaded up. They become slow, tired, and wish for a new lease to life. A restart/rebirth is what is required to forget/leave behind the travesties of the previous stage/try/attempt and to move on with less baggage and more wisdom.

For the believers of Reincarnation, restart applies too. It is the restart of the soul as a new person.

However, a restart inherently is difficult. One simply cannot let go of everything one has worked towards at a whim. It is a difficult decision to make in any scenario. As a gamer I simply hate to be killed and respawned with none of the powerful weapons I had amassed in the last life. Its the same with life. We have too many memories, links, attachments that one would simple hate to see broken.

Some might think "Giving up now and trying again is equivalent to failure. All the work will be a waste.", but in my humble opinion it surely is not so.
A restart doesn't signify failure, it signifies acceptance of that fact that we did something wrong and are willing to make it right again, even if it means starting all over again.

Do we have the courage to add a "Re" to our beginning?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happiness is a Commodity

"It (The mirror of Erised) shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, more desperate desire of our hearts… However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge nor truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible…It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that…”

"And the Dog with the Bone saw the other dog with the Bone(its reflection) in the pool and barked, and the bone it had in is mouth fell into the water and was lost."

The above 2 quotes from very famous stories tell us that Happiness is a relative concept. We feel happy when we have even 1 more than our closest competitor, we feel happy when we have more than people around us, we feel happy when people applaud us and pat us on our backs for things well done, we feel happy when we dont have the troubles the other person has and so on and so forth.

One thing to notice is that there is always "another" person involved related to which we measure our happiness. There is this inherent mechanism built into us which always makes us happy only when we judge ourselves against others. The same judgment makes us sad, angry, motivated and a plethora of other feelings which may be good or bad.

Why is it there? Why cannot we set our own goals and motivations rather than always judge ourselves against some one? Why cannot we be happy because we achieved something we just wanted to achieve irrespective of whether others have achieved more than us or not.

Why cannot we be happy because of who we are and where we stand in the Universal Hierarchy of Happy Men? Why is it that we need a reason to be happy?

Another interesting aspect is that what is Happy for one person is Anger, Jealousy, Envy for another. We are never happy to see other people happy. We may have a fake smile on our faces but plunging daggers into the happy person in our hearts. Why cannot we be genuinely happy for the person? Isnt it because we judge our happiness against others?

Is happiness a commodity? Of which there is a finite quantity? So that if one person has some of it, there will be less or none available for us? Is it necessary to steal happiness? Cannot we create it and share it?

I have seen many examples/incidents where a person is happy for a small achievement, almost superfluous for some, and he/she being rudely told that "Its nothing. Its not something to be happy about". What right do others have of telling us when we should or should not be happy? Why cannot people let others enjoy their happiness, however big or small it might be?

As always, I have more question than answers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sci-Fi Reality

The Bicentennial Man- SciFI


Scifi- MegaTowers

Reality- Burg al Khalifa

Scifi- Water Colonies

Reality-Hydro Palm


Had enough? Want more proof? I think not.
What we plebians, who had the (mis)fortune of being born in the 80's, thought as sci-fi/only in movies/crazy scientists/wild imagination have now come into actual reality. Mankind has pushed the frontiers of science and our world further and further in hope to understand its own existence.
The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence(SETI) was nothing but a faint/failed attempt to prove that we are not alone in the entire Universe. Now, we have proved it with actual facts. Microbes on Mars, Water on Moon, distant galaxies with Earth-Like atmosphere..The stuff of science fiction has hit the present..


Had any of us ever imagined that we would have knowledge on our fingertips(WWW), that Skynet(Internet) like intelligence was possible, Teleporting(3D Printers) was possible, Flying cars(Terrafugia) was possible, Regeneration(Stem Cells) were possible in real life? We used to pay a lot of money to watch movies depicting them.Now its boring old stale news.

I personally feel that if someone had told me I would be able to gather knowledge about a mountain in South America, look at it, watch it erupting, read about it etc, I would not have believed that person and would have labeled him "Chemically Imbalanced" [:)]

Anyone who has watched "Future Weapons" series on Discovery would know that Star Wars.. nay.. Star Trek weapons and devices are already in prototype mode or even being used in real War. Predators, Laser Guns, Enhanced Armour(Crysis), Invisibility Mode, Mach 5 planes are no long UFO myths. They are actual reality.

Clones(Star Wars-Attack of the Clones), Cyborgs(Robocop) and Centurians are no longer just cartoons or fiction, they are as much real as you and me.

Anyone knows Cyberman, the tv program in which a guy used to enter a computer and fight virus monster? Arn't we doing that everyday on our computer( well its not just as simple as playing a few string and Voila! your inside the pc but still..)

HOW Exciting isnt it? Barely able to keep our joy inside us :)

However, Me being Me, cannot finish a blog without showing you the other side.

Medieval medicines are still in practice, medieval ways of living and thinking are still in practice, superstition and blind faith are still in practice, inhospitable living environments are still present, people are still dying because of lack of proper medical treatment.
While kids in cities play with Hi-Fi toys, kids in some areas of Africa have only a human skull as a toy.

Do not we as all human deserve to share the same future as our peers?
Are not we obliged to give back to the society what was developed for them in the first place? Or should that be the prerogative of the privileged class?

Should Future be welcomed by a chosen few? or Should it be embraced by the whole mankind?

Monday, April 5, 2010

On People, Profession and Ambition

This post is dedicated to talking about who we are and what we actually wanted to be.

Let me give you an example by making up a dialogue:
A: Hey dude, whats up? What are you doing nowadays?
B: Hey man, am good. Am an engineer now. Computer Engineer.

A: Engineer? You? but you were never interested in engineering. I thought you wanted to be a writer. You bookworm, you were always roaming about with a book and pen in hand. How did you land in engineering?
B: yeah dude, I still wana be a writer. I have started on a story but cant get time enough because of all the stupid work. My parents forced me to an engineer or a doctor. So i took the lesser evil. I have no interest in engineering. What are you doing nowadays?

A: Me, I was always interested in travelling and writing a travelogue. So thats what I do now. I roam the world, make documentaries, write reviews, books on traveling and so on. It doesnt pay much but hell, I love every second of it.
B: Thats great man. I am glad that you are doing what you like. I dont like being an engineer. But what can I do?

A: Quit your job and start writing, you know what they say, when you do what you want to do, you never work one moment of your life.
B: Easy to say, harder to do.
Right from childhood, we kids have a lot of ambition. Our parents too have ambitions for us. Most of ours are usually what we can term as "fantasy".
We watch a movie or see a cartoon and we want to be like the protagonist or the evil genius in them.
You watch Pokeman and you wish you had those powers.
You watch Superman and you wish you could fly.
You play with GI Joe's and you wish you would become a military like them.
You watch Dexter and you wish you could be a scientist.
You watch Jurassic Park and you wish you can be an archaeologist.
and the list goes on....

But right in the middle of these "fantasies" there comes a time when an idea to become something really sticks to your mind. An eternal thirst to become that something and do all that is necessary for achieving it. All other "fantasies" take a backseat when compared to this one. All all we can think about is being what we want. This is what I call ambition.

However, like us, our elders also have ambitions for us. Mostly, they are ambitions that would give us a good life(monetary wise, status wise) or some unfulfilled ambitions of our elders. If our parents couldn't be an engineer or were not very well educated, they would like us to become a scientist or a doctor or an engineer. But never a writer, a sportsman, an artist or some others in the same category. So then a point comes when we need to choose between what we want and what our parents want and our decision has a life-changing impact.

Should we do what we want to, or should we do what our parents want to?
On one hand is our happiness and on the other is our parents.

Then too, many parents dont give their kids a choice of what they want. They dictate it to them. They tell them to become this and the kid has to become that. Where is the freedom then? The parent is a successful merchant or a shopowner, he would expect his kids to be a shopowner. For them, "if its good enough for us, it would be good enough for them too." I am not saying they do it with any malicious intent, it's just that in trying to give a better life to their kids, they end up taking their freedom and crushing their ambitions.

So what if one profession doesn't pay as much as the other. Does it mean that we should decide our profession based on monetary gain alone? Money plays some part in the decision, but the bigger thing to look for is how much happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment it gives to you. After all, its your life, your happiness, your decision. You have to live with that decision for the rest of your life.

Choosing a profession is the first major decision we need to take as a responsible human. And most of the time we end up taking the wrong one. Most of the time there is a wide gap between what we are and what we wanted to be. You are spoiled for choices of profession in the current one. There is surely a profession out there which you will realize is tailored for you, which is exactly what you want, a shoe that you can fill properly.

Then why is it that in some countries( especially India) people refuse to see any profession other than 1) Engineer 2) Doctor 3) IAS 4) MBA as nothing but a passing fantasy of their kids. In the generation gap between ours and our parents, a lot has changed when it comes to professions. The world now has many more writers, philosophers, artists even gamers who have made a life out of their passion and done it with panache. Why should we lag behind, why should we be forced to choose from the ancient choices, as mature as well paying as they be? It is our right, no, our prerogative to be allowed to choose what to do with our life.

It is time to be true to ourselves and make our ambition and profession the same. Its time to be the Superman, Dexter or the Elven Magi that we always wanted to be.

Monday, March 1, 2010

On Teaching and Professors

In the 4 years of college , I have come across several varieties of professors and saddened by the way the majority of these "professors" handle teaching. In this post I will try to put forward as well as I can what I think being a Teacher/Professor and how they affect you.

Teaching,at whatever level it may be, is not about passing on what you know to the uninitiated. It is about teaching them the right way to learn it. A sort of a guide who guides others on the journey to discover the joys of Knowledge and the correct way to use it.

For example, I had a professor who used to come to class, open her book, dictate from it and leave. She used to think that she was a "Text to Speech Converter" and we were all "Speech to Text Converter".
And obviously, she was and still is the most detested professor I ever had in my life.
Is this what Education and Teaching is all about? Then why are we even going to college? We might as well read all the books and be done with it.

It is one thing not knowing how to teach, it is totally another not to know anything and pretend to know everything. The professor that I referred to earlier fell into the this category. I might as well say that she ruled this category. She had absolutely no idea of what she was teaching. The rare attempt by a naive student to ask her some doubts ended in the standard reply "I have just given you an overview. Its not possible to explain it all in details. Refer to the book and net for that".

And then there is entirely another class of professors who are so passionate and erudite that they are a walking encyclopedia on they subjects. Their teaching methodology are varied and sometimes weird but nonetheless effective and makes us interested in the subject. You actually want to sit in their classes and never miss one. The information they provide you is based on their experience and no book would give you a clear comprehensive view of the subject as they do. Books inherently tend to be very impersonal. But with such professors, its a real pleasure to learn.

Another type of professors that I like and admire are those who have been given a subject which they do not know, but every class they come prepared with notes and do their research before teaching us. It shows that they themselves are in our place and are learning as they go along with us. And most of the time it works out fine. We know what to expect from them.

The worse group are those who don't even care what you learn or not. They are like government employee. They are happy with their life as it is, don't exert too much on themselves, enjoy themselves at other's (usually us) expense. They come to class as if a king coming to his Throne room and if someone doesn't rise to greet them they immediately penalize the guy/girl. There may be some subtle flirting going on too with them being partial to some people.

They talk as if they are highly erudite but in essence don't possess an ounce of useful knowledge. I sometimes wonder how they could be holding teaching positions in such esteem universities with such pathetic state of affairs.

To tell the truth, this post is half inspired by my anguish at my own professors and if any of my classmates are reading this , you can really know to which particular prof I was pointing a finger at.
But the essence of this post is to bring out the horrible state of affair that our higher education system is facing. With such faculty in esteemed universities, there is no hope for bright minds to bring out cutting edge research, in fact research is not even encouraged.

I had entered with high hopes from my University, but it all came crashing down. Faculty blames the student, students blame the faculty. There is a middle road in this debate if both students and faculty try genuinely to accept help and help resp. I wish the Higher Education Authority brings its act together and does something about this.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

The BackBench Effect

We all know the difference between the people who always sit in the front benches in classes and people who all sit at the back benches. There is a humorous term called "The BackBenchers Effect" which is characterized by drooping eyelids,physical presence by mental absence, reading novels hidden within larger books,proxy,talking incessantly and making fun of the professor to name a few.
I myself have been a front bencher all my life and I never imagined what being a backbencher would be like. Had I known before how good it would be, I would have started earlier. This is what I think about being a backbencher...

So am in my final year at the university, I have managed to secure a job and my marks are good enough. It so happens that all the subjects that we have to attend in the final semester are very mundane and if not so are made so by the very talented dumb professor who think the best way to teach is to dictate. This combined with my desire to do as I please in class (desires included reading novels or books that are more interesting that the prof talk, talking and playing silent games) made me move from my usual front seat to the ones at the back.

I am a person who always takes everything with a grain of salt and I didn't think the "backbench atmosphere" would be conducive to me. However I decided the take the lesser of the 2 evils and sat back.
The class soon began to fill and the front benchers gave me a curious eye asking " What are you doing back there?" I just smiled. I just realized that from my vantage point i could see everything that went on in the class, people exchanging notes, people msgs on mobiles, people sleeping, people talking etc was all in front of my eyes. Had I been sitting in the front bench I would never had seen all that.
I was also shielded from the view of the prof and could do as I want which was the entire point anyway. Also the prof deplorable speech couldn't be heard because of all the talking going on around me. This suited my fine and I immersed myself in learning stuff that I was interested in. The only thing that I had to take care was to be awake when the rollcall was done. lol. But that too wasn't a problem because the friendly people near me would nudge me if I slept off :)

Another thing that struck me was the Bohemian attitude of the people. The phrase " All iz Well" seemed to be the mantra. People were really laid back about taking notes, listening to the professor for his/her experience, taking down homework, assignments etc, shouting for class to end as soon as the seconds hand went overtime,
discussing new techniques in coding or exchanging ideas on great topic, in short these people were not what I once imagined them to be like.

I rather enjoyed my experience as a backbencher and I think we can say that I too am afflicted with it now. Every class that I think I can bunk is now attended but now sitting at the back benchers.

I didnt think I would say this but "BACKBENCHERS RULE!!!"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What it is to be Sick

I have been very sick for the past 8 days. ( Missed a week of college and 4 French classes and a French exam too :( )
I was bed-ridden for the good part of those 8 days and got really bored. So what did I do?

1)Read 2 books which I had brought ages ago and haven't had the time to read(nowadays am more on the net than otherwise). They didn't turn out to be that good a read but hey, when you have 14 hrs of nothing else to do, even the remotest possibility of enjoyment seems good enough.

2) I slept, slept and slept some more. The doc advised complete bed rest and so I made full use of that. You don't pass the chance to get some sleep EVER. And now that I am in final year engineering and would start working soon..I figured I might as well enjoy as much as I can before the drag life begins again ( You know... NO summer holidays for employees :( sniff sniff )

3) Saw a lot of TV. Once I started to get better, I didn't want to come on-line much but wanted to see lots of movies on TV. I either watch movies or discovery channel on it. But right now I have this craze of seeing loads of movies on it. Man.. I missed so much[:(]

4) Forgot about my mobile. Normally I keep it close to me. I am not a mob junky but I like to reply to msgs when they come. But when I was sick and for a good part after I recovered, I didn't really bother with my mobile. It was a big relief and I felt good that I didn't have it with me all the time. Well.. thats a revelation.. I thought I would miss it. But i didn't... hmm weird.

5) Spend time with family. Normally, I am holed up in my room on the computer chatting, working, surfing, playing etc. Me and my family never get around to playing cards now as much as we used to. But during my sickness we used to play cards too :) Much fun. I actually managed to win 500 bucks in the deal too. lol.

My nose is still running and my ears are still blocked so can't hear very well. I blow my ears as much as I can and get giddy all the time.. lol. Take meds, take more meds, take home therapy meds, etc... my body is full of chemicals , well... more than it is normally.

Not one of my friends msged me and asked " Whats up y didnt u come to college" or "hey how are you". Quite sad.. but whatever, I am used to it by now.

All in all it was a long sickness, I missed a lot of my regular life and need to catch up with the world out large that didn't wait for me.So till laterz....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Devil's Banker-Christopher Reich

So I have been a victim of a virus( not the computer one. A real one) for the last 5 days and have been bed-ridden most of the time.(Still am btw) So what did I do?
I took up one of the 4 books I had purchased long ago and started reading it. It was this book called "The Devil's Banker" by a guy named Christopher Reich. I have never heard of this guy before. I just brought his book because it was on sale and I liked the title.

It turned out to be a decent book. Its not a page turner, hard-to-keep-down kinda book. But neither is it a book that you will get bored reading mid-way through. It deals with the familiar concept of terrorists attack and a group of people running against time to discover the plot and the place for the attack.

But this one is a bit different in some cases. It puts more emphasis on illustrating the way the terrorists get funded, the scale of their funds and what tricks, tactics and techniques they use to get hold off money. This aspect was one strong point that really made me want to read it.

"Always follow the money. It never lies" was the mantra for the leader of the counter terrorists squad.

All in all it was a ok-ok book. Something I wouldn't mind not having read but now that I have read it , I would try to erase it from my mind.