Friday, November 26, 2010

Saying farewell to a faithful pal - By John Grogan

A beautiful Eulogy written by John Grogan dedicated to his dog.. Marley.. This was published in a newspaper where the author was working as a reporter. And due to the overwhelming response came the book Marley & Me and also a movie with the same name....

In the gray of dawn, I found the shovel in the garage and walked down the hill to where the lawn meets the woods. There, beneath a wild cherry tree, I began to dig.
The earth was loose and blessedly unfrozen, and the work went fast. It was odd being out in the backyard without Marley, the Labrador retriever who for 13 years made it his business to be tight by my side for every excursion out the door, whether to pick a tomato, pull a weed, or fetch the mail. And now here I was alone, digging him this hole.

"There will never be another dog like Marley," my father said when I told him the news, that I finally had to put the old guy down. It was as close to a compliment as our pet ever received.
No one ever called him a great dog - or even a good dog. He was as wild as a banshee and as strong as a bull. He crashed joyously through life with a gusto most often associated with natural disasters.
He's the only dog I've ever known to get expelled from obedience school.
Marley was a chewer of couches, a slasher of screens, a slinger of drool, a tipper of trash cans. He was so big he could eat off the kitchen table with all four paws planted on the floor - and did so whenever we weren't looking.
Marley shredded more mattresses and dug through more drywall than I care to remember, almost always out of sheer terror brought on by his mortal enemy, thunder.
Cute but dumb

He was a majestic animal, nearly 100 pounds of quivering muscle wrapped in a luxurious fur coat the color of straw. As for brains, let me just say he chased his tail till the day he died, apparently convinced he was on the verge of a major canine breakthrough.
That tail could clear a coffee table in one swipe. We lost track of the things he swallowed, including my wife's gold necklace, which we eventually recovered, shinier than ever. We took him with us once to a chi-chi outdoor caf and tied him to the heavy wrought-iron table. Big mistake. Marley spotted a cute poodle and off he bounded, table in tow.
But his heart was pure.

When I brought my wife home from the doctor after our first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, that wild beast gently rested his blocky head in her lap and just whimpered. And when babies finally arrived, he somehow understood they were something special and let them climb all over him, tugging his ears and pulling out little fistfuls of fur. One day when a stranger tried to hold one of the children, our jolly giant showed a ferocity we never imagined was inside him.
As the years passed, Marley mellowed, and sleeping became his favorite pastime. By the end, his hearing was shot, his teeth were gone, his hips so riddled with arthritis he barely could stand. Despite the infirmities, he greeted each day with the mischievous glee that was his hallmark. Just days before his death, I caught him with his head stuck in the garbage pail.
Life lessons learned

A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours.
Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity.

Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.
When his time came last week, I knelt beside him on the floor of the animal hospital, rubbing his gray snout as the veterinarian discussed cremation with me. No, I told her, I would be taking him home with me.
The next morning, our family would stand over the hole I had dug and say goodbye. The kids would tuck drawings in beside him. My wife would speak for us all when she'd say: "God, I'm going to miss that big, dumb lug."

But now I had a few minutes with him before the doctor returned. I thought back over his 13 years - the destroyed furniture and goofy antics; the sloppy kisses and utter devotion. All in all, not a bad run.
I didn't want him to leave this world believing all his bad press. I rested my forehead against his and said: "Marley, you are a great dog."

Inquirer Columnist

Loved it hence sharing the same with you....

Monday, November 15, 2010

What to Write...

Its been quite some time since a blog post... Have been a bit held up due to work and related deadlines. But the main reason for not writing a post is due to a lot of confusions on what topic to pen down. Have been thinking of writing something Technical related to some technology.. or my favorite topic Neural Networks where a lot of work is going in. But not yet clear on what to write up.. A few things i was into in the recent past...

At the same time got chance to network with a lot of new folks @ office. And at times cant help but judge people, in-spite of knowing its bad couldn't form a opinion on whether to classify them as sheer geniuses or total fools... For instance met a person who thinks a lot of RAM memory (around 4GB) with a latest chipset equipped with a high end processor (like i3 or i5) can render any top end graphic games.. including resource hog games like Crysis, BioShock etc which even my laptop with 2Gb ram and a Core2 processor and dedicated 128MB GFX card fails rendering at high resolutions... Have asked him to prove it running the same on his newly configured PC with a i3.. Remembered the blog post by Short Circuit Engineer...

Have been researching quite a lot on a Android Mobile phone.. as was planning to buy one. But for my budget couldn't find anything. So dropped the idea of buying one for the time being. Had zeroed on Xperia X10 Mini Pro.. got a bargain of 12K for the device @ National Market, Bangalore. But dropped the plan last minute. Also found iPhone 3G for 19K and iPhone 2G for 12K the prices were before bargain. Good bargainers can drop the price another 2-3K.

Planning to learn Android Platform but haven't got any interesting idea worth implementing. If you have any ground breaking ideas do let me know. We may make history, you never know.

With deepavali the series of long weekends came to end, now waiting for the furlough in December. Watched quite a lot of movies released this year. Other than Khichdi a adaptation of the TV Series dint find any movie watching twice. And i did watch Khichdi twice that too on consecutive weekends.

Well that's all the updates for now.. for daily updates keep checking FB Statuses..

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Useful Tips for Room Hunting in Bangalore... A Few Points out of my Experience

Very recently shifted to a 1BHK paying a monthly rent of 2500Rs. Initially the owner was very sweet and did promise the “heavens on earth” in his building. The room was pretty decent with vitrified tiled floor, clean walls and in a pretty decent locality (decent doesn’t mean clean and good, nor safe). And the room was hardly 20-30 minutes from office and a ten minute decent walk from the bus stop. Moreover the owner when asked about water had quoted “Whenever you want water, you tell this man (referred to a neighbor who had the keys to the water pump) he will pump it for you” this were it exact word and I remember them well as I just had a recent spat with this guy and he did repeat his dialogue all over again.
From my experience and also speaking to a few veterans who stay in rented apartments in Bangalore outskirts have derived the following steps. I may be wrong and if I am do correct me.

  1. Don’t go on the Ad’s posted on the net. Half of the places I checked where priced exorbitantly and wasn’t a penny’s worth. It was just that they were in some good areas like BTM, Koramangala but not in the heart of them. One place which was put up as 10mins walk from the bus stop was at least 3Kms away from the nearest bus stop.
  2. On the day you check the place check if there is water flowing in the taps and do verify the quality of the water. As a few places get water via water tankers which mine water from some lakes and they tend to be highly polluted. See if the water is crystal clear, a little brownish or muddish means the water aint good.
  3. If the owner says he pumps water 2 times a day, check the capacity of the tank and how many people share the tank. As where I stayed had two 1000 liters tank capacity shared among 12 flats. And if there are any families then the usage of water will be pretty high.
  4. If the owner asks you to store water and keep so that in any case the tanks gets empty you have water for emergency purpose implies that the water will be pumped only once in two days or in such huge intervals.
  5. Check the surroundings; it’s pretty difficult to find decent places with good surroundings’ in Bangalore. Yet there are a few exceptions.
  6. Ask the notice period which the owner needs and how much of a deposit will be deducted if you want to quit the place before completing the period mentioned in the agreement. As most of the agreements are made for 11 months, and you want to quit the place in between, not just the owner will throw tantrums but also tend to gulp down a major portion of your deposit amount. The only way out later will b e get yourself kicked out and that takes a lot of effort and knack.  If you need any idea on this mail me, have experience on doing it with one owner.
  7. Have a bigger budget then you can search for rooms in societies or in apartments and share the same among a few people. Had checked a 3BHK in one uptown society. The total rent plus maintenance came to 13500.00, but as 3 people were sharing it would be divided equally among the three. Didn’t go there owing to some personal reasons.
  8. If you have friends who are staying in somewhere in rented apartments or flats it’s good to ask them and go in the same building if your budget and convenience permits.
Well a few tips for you. This aint a bible, moreover these are just a few tips. You can add more or feel free to criticize the above tips. Can have a discussion any time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My College Days as an Alumnus of AIMIT- Aloysius Institute of Management and Technology

After my Bachelors in Computer Application and a brief stint in an IT company in Udupi, it dawned upon me that a Bachelors degree will lead me nowhere in the Job Market. So began my R ‘n’ D on the Master degree option I had. Realized very soon joining any Indian Ivy League colleges, as the IIT’s and NIT’s were good only in my dreams. As I dint have the enough determination and will power to study and crack the entrance exams. Hence began my search for a good college that wasn’t so tough to get admitted. And the best of all was St. Aloysius then affiliated to the Mangalore University and which was very soon going to be Autonomous. After completing the necessary admission formalities of writing a test and giving a face to face interview to the principal got admitted into the great institute sharing a Legacy of more than hundred years.
My first semester started on 4th of August 2008. Saw the people with who I will be sharing the next 2 years of my college that day. Also got familiar with a few lectures and got to know the subjects handled by them. It was pretty difficult to have a first impression as it not just was my dream college but wanting to be a part of it was something I cherished from quite a long time. The classes then set in pace in the next few days and as it was autonomous institute more emphasis was given on continuous learning. Hence there were a lot of regular class tests which were conducted only after being postponed for more than a few times and weekly assignments. The universal rule of “Better Late than Never” implied at first submitting them late due to my laziness and in the final few months not submitting them at all. Lost a few marks due to this, but was nothing compared to the blissful lazy days of doing nothing. And thus ended my first year mostly which was spent devising ways on how to prepare for the class test in less than 30 minutes and yet scoring enough marks, writing technical papers and attending as many IT fests as possible to make up for the attendance shortage I had by getting grace attendance.
The campus moved to a nearby village called Beeri on the outskirts of Mangalore. This campus which was supposed to be of international repute was under construction when we first went there. Still recall the first day to the new campus and all the heavy activity around us the din created by the construction workers was nearly unbearable. And yet again got set to the regular routine of college life in an altogether new campus.
The most memorable moments spent in my college life would be the regular fights for the 2 extra piece of chicken in a plate of chicken chilly with 6 pieces shared among four of us. The quality of it was totally pathetic yet there was a hunger which was never satisfied. Getting an extra share would make each of us feel like a King or Queen with respect to my lunch mates and best buddies in college. Also the time spent around goofing in the campus with the gang was something that no money or wealth can get back. As many say College Life is the golden period even though I did enjoy it to the hilt, yet feel why the hilt wasn’t a little higher, so I would have had more fun than what I really did have.
The quality of education, the assistance and guidance which we got from our lectures was something that really helped most. The lectures professionalism in the class and the attitude outside the class is as a good friend something which I experienced for the very first time in total 17 years of my educational life. Truly the institute overall is a cut above the rest and the feeling of being an alumnus of such a institute makes me real proud. Even though many of my college mates totally disagree on this, being a die hard cynic is something that’s good for them as its not one of my quality I can never see the other side which a lot of other cynical and pessimists do. As I truly had the best days of my life in AIMIT and I really miss my college day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Cook in Me

The early ambition in my life was to be a Chef. But education ruined me and I am a Software Engineer. Yet the kitchen never stops attracting me, and occasionally come up with some or the other recipe. Mix and match Chinese with Indian or Continental with some garam masala and fix up something new to simulate my taste buds. A few stuff I cooked last weekend in my room where I do lack a stove and other accessories this is the best I could do to keep my taste buds stimulated and stomach full.

Bhel Sandwich:
Came up with this as I had a few slices of bread, cheese, loads of kurkure and lays in every flavor of it.
Ingredients to make one Sandwich:

  • 1 cup Lays, 1 cup Kurkure (I used a little from each of the flavors available), crush it.
  • Chopped and Diced Onions (1), Tomato(1), Coriander (5 Tender Stems), Green Chili (Small)
  • Lemon Juice (8-10  drops), Salt
  • Bread lightly toasted
  • Cheese Spread
How to Fix the Sandwich:

  • Mix the chopped veggies, lemon juice, salt
  • Cheese one side of the bread
  • Spread the vegetables on it.
  • Keep another slice of toasted bread which is cheesed
  • Speared the mixture of lays and kurkure on the upper side and cover it with another slice of cheesed bread.
And you are done with your sandwich; all you need is a good book or a movie to go along with it.

Will come up with some more recipes soon. Keep Looking Out for Them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Technology Is Bad... Is It Really?

Every day we get to read of a new research findings on how usage of cell phones, computers and other gadgets leads to some or the other medical ailments. Not just this a lot of authors have found out that writing articles criticizing about technology as a best chance to get published. But how many of you dint buy a mobile as it may cause cancer in your brain or reduce your sperm count or stopped using a computer as it may lead you to having carpal tunnel syndrome. Even with my limited biological knowledge what I know and believe is that we are a species which rapidly evolve. As put by a great mind “Survival of the Fittest”. There were many a species which couldn’t evolve and have long been lost in dust. And many of the species which by their sheer determination to survive have been evolving according to the needs of the time.
I have been using a cell phone from the last 5+ years. And feel no effect of the same. My brain power has in fact increased as it gets continuous and more exercise by thinking of reasons for missing call by someone special and everyone not so special. The only place that effected is my wallet that is due to the non quenching need for the top up by my service provider.
In short any advancement we make has certain limitations. Always considering the negative side of any development is the sign of a pessimist. A researcher must have a positive attitude towards life and his research. All the time spent in researching the side-effects of technology if was spent on something more creative and beneficiary, it would have benefited the whole mankind. All these genius never thought was how many people are really bothered of their reduced sperm count using a mobile and thus don’t buy one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Best Friend "El"

Know “EL” from the last 10 years. Know her well but yet don’t know her well enough to say I know her just perfect. Met this wild person in a camp, during my high school days. And then began the journey of never ending long telephonic conversation and looking forward to meet in the next camp. The friendship started in my school days continued to my college days and just is going to continue for the next infinite years. We both meeting would be rare and hardly once a year. In fact the first movie we ever saw together was “Love Aaj Kal”. That’s what happens when you happen to befriend a Busy VIP. Despite of not meeting or talking or spending much time together the bond was strong enough to keep the friendship going on forever. Had a fair share of fights and some real amazing moments. Fights I can’t recall as I am not supposed to. The amazing moments… I put the entire blame on ma forgetful memory…
Can never forget the campfire nights. But yet the best campfire I had you hadn’t attended the camp and you happened to miss it… and me miss you. Now when you 10000kms away in another continent. The chats we have daily, the ISD calls (90% of them which you do… I am a poor guy unable to afford much money to top up) have taken the relationship to a whole new level. Despite of this miss you more than the time you were here and we used to speak once in a while. Waiting for the time you will be coming back home, mainly for the gifts from abroad (you better not come empty handed, i guess you know the list of what i want). Best of luck dear. You were and will always be the Best, Beautiful and Gorgeous friend I ever had.

A Fictional Series on Terrorism in India.

Reading books for me is like a thirst which can never be quenched. The more I read, the more I want to read. And in this quest of quenching my thirst came across a set of books written by Mukul Deva. The books are titled “Lashkar”, “Salim Must Die” and “Blowback”.
·         Lashkar: The book that starts it all. It introduces us to the basic premise of the enmity between India and our beloved Pakistan. Starts off with the Sarojini Market, Delhi bomb blast and the story weaves itself. Shows how a innocent and gullible youth is recruited by a terrorist organization. And ends with the Indian government’s secret force “Force-22” taking on the terrorists charged with the bomb blast. The author’s military career helps him give a detailed description of how the defense forces work and the technology they use. A very good fast paced read.
·         Salim Must Die: Salim is the ISI head who plotted the bomb attacks as read in Lashkar. Who had faked his death. But comes back to avenge his failure in book one. Again “Force 22” kicks in and takes him down. This time for real. The author gives an in-depth picture of how various terrorist organizations came in being, how they are funded and how they carry out their activities.
·         Blowback: after falling prey for the nefarious activities by the neighboring state it’s finally time for the Indians to give it back to them, in their own way. A very fast paced action thriller. Revenge always is sweeter. And this book deals with the best revenge.
If you are a fan of Tom Clancy novels. This set of books are defiantly going to keep u entertained, so much that you won’t be able to put the book down till you are done with it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What I Learnt from One of My Past Relationship…

They first time when i fell in love, i happened to realize there are no conditions in love. Well, everybody believes it till you are nowhere near it! That person is OK if you smoke n booze, flirt around... After all, she says real love is “Accepting You with Your Habits!”  In fact, there are times when she becomes your "Partner in Crime & Habits!" And you think, "Wow! This is called ATTITUDE! Why aren’t people like her?"  And you keep falling for that person... And then one fine day you realize why all your mistakes were overlooked, why weren’t you corrected, why were you encouraged. And you realize if you was perfect, you would have given no reason for being ditched. By the time you realize it, you will be ditched and you realize fact “That It’s Awfully Simple To Fall In Love But Simply Awful To Fall Out!”  And by the time you realize it, it’s too late... For everything! After all these years, I have come to a conclusion that only parents can have un-conditional love for their children. No other relationship has un-conditional love. Except... Well... Calvin & Hobbes!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sunsreen Song.. A Beautiful Inspirational Song

Don’t know how many of you have heard this one… but I just love it… the message it gives is real simple and follow able to the core.. Check out the lyrics…

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.

Its Composed and Sung By Mark Anthony "Baz" Luhrmann
You tube Link for the same is…. Dabbao Isko..

Bengaluru - The Garden City

Don’t know if stinking and rotten garbage and waste roadside make it eligible as the garden city.

A few more things I hate about this place.

Buses:  the common transport found here are run by the state government organization named Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corp, a sister concern of KSRTC. I have to travel daily for a distance of 5kms, used to travel the same distance in Mangalore from lady hill to jyothi. And the journey in Mangalore was bliss even if the buses were overcrowded with almost no place to put your leg when compared to travelling in BMTC buses in Bangalore. Not just the aisle is totally unfriendly to standing crowd the people in the bus are total selfish and disgusting. Moreover I will be pushed to the extreme rear of the bus even when I have to get down 2 stops from the place I board the bus. By the time I reach the end navigating the crowd it will be time for me to get down.

Food: I never had eaten Sambhar or any curries made without coconut. And coming to Bangalore realized that coconut is something the people up here are remotely familiar with. The only place coconut is used in making a sweet burfi using the same. Overall I hate the food I eat here just the way I hate this city. Secondly the lack of well cooked and well cleaned fish is one more of ma woes in Bangalore. Moreover the high possibility of getting Dysentery every time you eat the road side food just makes it out of my mouth; don’t want to fall sick in this God Forbidden City. (I did have food poisoning once, and all I had eaten was shwarma from the stall right opposite to KSRTC bus stop in Bejai, Mangalore)

People: Bangalore has different categories of people in it. Have never come across the elite’s or much of the white collard working class in Bangalore. All the people I know are the migrant workers who come here in search of jobs from the various parts of the country. Have to be amidst them daily in the bus for around 30min (Yes.. it takes me 30mins to traverse a distance of 5kms in the top speed 20kms BMTC buses). During such indirect sessions of mingling with these people realized that not just they don’t have any humility or sense of responsibility towards others they assume they own Bangalore.

Hang Outs: the only hang outs available in Bangalore are the numerous Malls, Pubs and Gardens. And each of them has their own set of negatives.

·         Malls: Expensive and noting fun about being in there. These are closed spaces with central AC’s or lack of them. An average weekend in a Mall with a friend cost me around 600 not just it was least appealing to my taste buds it dint fill both of our stomach’s.

·         Pubs: Hate to go out alone, miss my desi buddies from Kundapur. Moreover boozing in pubs is just not in my standard after all I graduated boozing in roadside Wine Shops or downtown cheap Bar & Restaurants, the thrill of boozing in such places is totally different when compared to a pub. And I am not a person who will have a bottle of beer paying the price of two or three bottles of the same. Who cares for the ambience or music after three bottles of liquor?

·         Gardens: never really was a huge fan of nature or manmade nature as in gardens. Moreover all the good gardens are full of love birds, walking in any of those with a female friend is not just embarrassing it defiantly will have a negative impression on my current Relationship Status.

The only things that make me stick to this hell are:

Ø  The pleasant and cool work environment in the organization I am working. Not planning to quit the same for quite some time in the very distant future. Hope the big people out here open up an office in Mangalore and I can go back to my hometown and work for the same organization from there.

Ø  The huge availability of book stores in malls where I can satisfy my thirst for reading book. As I can find the very best of the book and even read a few pages before I zero down on buying the same.