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The delight, this life

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 9:20
Posted in category Moods, Poetry

The path I take, the path I make,
The dreams I chase, the sky I gaze,
The mysteries I solve, the way I evolve,
The fun, the spirit, the delight, this life !

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The “business” cycle

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 22:58

I recently stumbled upon a startup, Fonolo – a web-app that lets you skip the phone menus when calling large companies. The need for this kind of an application is completely understandable in a place like US where you have to wait for 15-20 minutes to get to a human being when you call the customer care number of any big company.

It’s hardly been 3 months since I moved to the US, and I think I have experienced the worst “customer care” of my life. The companies in question include Chase, PSE&G, Comcast etc. My experiences with Chase totally deserve a dedicated blog post, which I will definitely write at some point in time.

Fonolo brings into my mind a question about how businesses evolve nowadays.
1) Some business minds get together, start a company.
2) Slowly as the company grows, the need for a good customer service through telephone increases.
3) As days pass by, you have to have more and more elaborate “customer care” menus on the customer care phonelines, and to “help” out customers reach the right people “easily”.
4) A time comes when innocent customers start getting pissed off because they have to spend 10-15 mins navigating those stupid menus when they exactly know whom they want to talk to, but your menu cannot take them there.
5) Some frustrated minds out of them get together, and start a company like Fonolo.
6) There you are! Go to step 2. Enjoy!

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My first international birthday

Monday, August 24, 2009 9:59
Posted in category Events
My birthday cake

My birthday cake

I turned 24 on 19th August 2009. And as is clear by the title of this post, there was something different about this birthday. Well, every birthday is special, but this was more so because it was my first birthday ever outside India.

As usual, the first birthday wish call came from my Mom. But again, this time it was different!

I had my Series 63 exam on the 18th, and it was around 2:40 pm when I came out of the exam. I saw on my cell that my Mom had called at 2:30 pm. It was unusual to get a call from my home at that time in the afternoon, but then I realized – 19th August had begun in India! I called back my Mom and she wished me :)

My flatmates got a cake in the night and we celebrated at midnight. The cake was really good.

I received calls at midnight from friends who are in the US as well as those in India. My orkut scrapbook (which I hardly use these days) received around 55 scraps that day, and my facebook wall (which I use a lot) got around 30 posts. I remember I used to check orkut very frequently and wish everyone who had a birthday, but I hardly log in even once a week now. I like facebook much more. Anyway, let’s not digress.

My colleagues from India and here wished me. The day was unusually busy and we could not go out in the evening anywhere because I came back home at around 10:30 pm. Well, the good thing is that makes it my most memorable birthday ever :)

PS : You might want to read about my other encounters with 19.

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I’ve moved!

Monday, June 1, 2009 9:51
Posted in category Nomura, Travel, Work

This post is just a placeholder to mark an important milestone. I have moved from Nomura India to Nomura USA. I am so happy and excited !

I will be busy for the next few months with finding a home and taking some mandatory exams. I will be back on my blog after that.

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The Stressed Listener

Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:43
Posted in category Technical

One of the most hillarious code segments I have come across in recent times..

public class StressedListener implements PeopleListener {

Stack<Toffee> myToffees;

public void doListen(Person someone) {

try{

someone.wontShutUp();

} catch (OMGCantStandItException ex) {

while(someone.isMouthMoving()) {

someone.feed(myToffees.pop());

}

} finally {

self.enjoyPeaceAndQuiet();

}

}

}

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The End-of-Line Story

Sunday, April 5, 2009 2:02
Posted in category Linux, Technical, Windows

I got the answer to a mystery that existed with me since very long. When one creates a file in an editor in windows and opens it in unix in vim, the editor shows weird ^M characters at the end of each line.

I read this today. Now I know what that ^M actually stands for. Windows DOS (MS-DOS) and unix have different conventions for representing newlines. Windows uses both Carriage Return (CR) and Line Feed (LF) to represent a new line, whereas for unix, LF alone is a new line and it leaves CR as it is. It is this CR that is being shown as ^M (which is the assigned key stroke to generate a carriage return).

As the document says, because some person thought something some time in the past, we are faced with this confusion of CR LF and LF everywhere. And now we are writing utilities like dos2unix for this purpose !

By the way, the way to insert a CR in a string is ‘\r’ and LF is ‘\n’.

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When mis-information makes money..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 8:00
Posted in category Amazement, Events, News, References

Stock investors are information-hungry because it is the percolation of information in the system that can make or break your wealth. But this incident displays that life is not too bad for mis-informed investors either!

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All for this one moment !

Friday, January 30, 2009 13:11
Posted in category Mumbai, Places, Travel
The fire that wasn't

The fire that wasn't

Let me begin by conceding that this post comes almost a month later than when it should have. Partly because of the delay in getting the picture, partly because of some unforeseen problems with my website, etc etc.

As is visible in the picture, I, along with two of my friends am holding a bunch of wood-sticks. The place is Kashid Beach, a famous new year celebration spot near Mumbai. We left Mumbai at around 7 in the evening, hoping to make it there in time. I know, 5 hours is a long time for a 135 km journey. But, you know, Mumbai traffic doesn’t need an introduction. Despite all that, and some added hindrances by nakabandees on the highway, we managed to reach there, barely in time. It was sharp 2350 by my watch when we entered the Kashid Beach.

The view was amazing, a lot of people had gathered there to celebrate the new year, and we could see quite a few bonfires on. Fireworks were amazing and the environment was as serene as it can get. The tides were expectedly noisy and high.

Excitingly, we all caught hold of a local lakdi-walla who was doing the great job of lighting up bonfires for people. We found a decent place and the guy started assembling the wood-sticks. We were enthusiastic about it and gathered around it, clicking pics one by one. It was barely 1 minute to go for the new year and we were ready to light our fire. The kapur was in place, and the match stick was burnt.

But, the fire was not to be! In few moments a hawaldar came and dropped our wood-sticks as if he was playing a touch-and-run game. The match stick was left to burn itself to death. We were amazed! A 5 hour journey for this one moment, a moment that was not to be. But it was an experience in itself, and that too a great one.

We later learnt that as a part of the security procedures, the Mumbai police was ensuring that no sea-face will have any bit of lighting after midnight. Given the kind of terrorist attacks that have been rocking India in the past few months, the strict security measures were understandable. All beach shops were also asked to shut off lights and the whole area was totally dark.

The next day was great fun. I will now pen off and let the pics do the talking..


;

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People who piss me off

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 1:23
Posted in category Irritation, Moods, Opinion

Day in and day out, I come across hundreds of people. Had my frustration with dumbness subdued like other emotions do over time, I would not have taken the pains of writing this post. The reason very simply is, there is no dearth of dumbness in the world !

Recently, I made the terrible mistake of choosing IndiGo to travel from New Delhi to Mumbai. I can only hope that these people learn to respect english language, professionalism and customer service. If you are a frequent flier (not necessarily IndiGo), I’m sure you understand what I mean when I say “english language”. Thanks to these kind of air travel operators, the connotation of phrases like “last and final” has taken a big hit. In my childhood days, a “last and final” warning from my teacher was like a matter of life and death. Nowadays, the same phrase sounds like a ridicule. The fact that IndiGo crew makes at least 20 last and final boarding calls before giving green signal to a flight testifies this more than anything. Due to this extreme act of “customer service” by IndiGo, my flight which was scheduled to take off at 0615 hrs actually took off at 0650, hence making me get stuck in the deadly Mumbai traffic, the very thing I was looking to avoid by taking an early morning flight. That half an hour, totally wasted by an ignorant firm for some over-ignorant passengers, made me vow never to fly IndiGo again. I was pissed off big time!

My second example of “people who piss me off” actually arises from the first example. These are the “ignorant passengers” who think that they have all the time in the world when they get inside an airplane and start putting their luggage into the overhead cabins. I despise those passengers who are not mindful of the fact that they are blocking the way for fellow passengers. They also fail to realize that their lousiness also adds to the time the plane is going to take to get ready before taking off. Sad cases!

My third example is from my office premises. For some people, the biggest happiness in life is to disturb others with their stupid cellphone ringtones. They think that they are doing a great service to mankind by making people aware of the newest and latest kinds of ringtones in the market. Sadly, they fail to recognize that there are people around them who are really serious about their work and do not like to be disturbed. The worst part is, when Mr. X’s phone rings with its stupid and creaky ringtone for the first time, the whole group looks at him surprisingly, he mistakes the scorn with attention and does not put his instrument into silent mode. Either this, or that he does not know that there is something called a silent mode in cellphones. I hope its the former, because that makes him less dumber!

My fourth example is a general one. Since the time I am staying out of my hometown, I have shared space with plenty and variety of people. I am a person who likes a level of privacy and mannerism, even if it is with the best and closest friend. I get absolutely pissed off if someone tries to use/uses my stuff without permission. And if I need to use someone else’s stuff, I make sure that I return it to him/her in the same condition in which I borrowed. But some people just do not understand the concept of private property. I will not take any names here, but there was a person whom I stayed with (say Mr. Y). He was obsessed with using my slippers, sneakers, shirts, T-shirts. If at any time I did not find them in my room, his room was the place to look for. And this continued till I did not talk to him clearly. Thankfully, I did not have to stay with him for long.

Today I was watching a repeat telecast of Roadies 6 first task-episode. The 10 people who were selected as safe contained both the dumbest guy and the dumbest gal (obviously my opinion). Maybe MTV’s crew believes that not letting dumb people go increases their TRP. Increase or no increase is not my headache, but hats off to their tolerance!

Other people who piss me off do not even do anything too different to be worth a mention here. As they say, some people are alive only because it is illegal to shoot them.

I think I will keep updating this post as and when I come across more people who deserve a mention here.

My heart goes out to the people who have similar experiences.

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A must read article for my generation

Saturday, November 8, 2008 1:05

I believe this article comes the closest to echoing what 20-something cricket-lovers have in their heart at the present moment.

Sachin Tendulkar spoilt us. He commanded that we sit in front of the television sets. He ensured we got late with homework, he took care of our lunch-break discussions. He was not all that much older than us, and some of us naïve schoolboys thought we would achieve similar feats when we were 16. We got to 16 and continued to struggle with homework.

Hats off Siddhartha, for a commendable articulation! Keep up the awesome work!

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