... broadband is back in my life!. My estranged wife!. Real life estranged wives atleast come back sooner(or so I'm informed), broadband took 2 years to come back to me!. Phew.. boy am I relieved!.

To dispel any doubts, Tata Photon+ totally rocks my world now, I get speeds of 2.5 to 3 mbps at all times. The kind of speed which even my $128m company trembles to match.

Yes I'm still in Goa. All the rumors are right, Goa's grandeur is truly impeccable and inimitable. Yes, it has become my second home now. Yes the beaches are beautiful. Yes the roads are far better compared to Dharwad. Yes Christmas is beautiful here. Yes the tourists are beautiful too ;). No you can't stay at my place during Chistmas/new year celebrations, in all probability, somebody will have already booked, you can still give it a shot. :)

Blogging world has surely taken a slow turn across internet in the last couple of years. Thanks to twitter/facebook. However, it hasn't stopped. Its difficult to stop either, the sheer pleasure of writing is irreplaceable by tweeting/shouting on facebook(yes, I tweet and I shout of facebook). Same goes for the sheer pleasure of reading.

And so, the writers continue to write, readers continue to read.

Hang on, be back soon.

Bijapur: From a youth stand point

Bijapur is historical town in the northern part of Karnataka, India. Very rightly known for "Gol Gumbaz". But, my familiarity with Bijapur goes beyond this monument. I happen to be born here, spent the early part of my childhood here, probably got more love from my folks(relatives) here than anywhere else.

I never really liked Bijapur after I left the place, mainly 'cuz it was damn dusty and dirty, lot of poor people around, many 'rowdy' kind of people too. The previous weekend I had been to Bijapur to meet my relatives. And I saw something unbelieveable and rather hopeless.

Beyond all these obvious 'bad' things, there is a devil. A devil, so cruel that its sucking the blood like a leech of all the people.
The devil really is the absence of economy and its consequential effect on the youth and children.

Dig this. A friend of mine, with whom I spent playing 'Car' for amost 5 years from a good family background, is now filling petrol at pumps. Another similar friend of mine, has now opened a pan shop for himself. Another friend of mine, is now a cook in a hotel. Yet another friend of mine is doing accounting at a general store.

I have many more examples like this. There is a common factor among all these cases. They are not in a good position right now. And I doubt their situation would be any better 10 years down the line.

I interacted with a few school children in their 8th standard, when they were smoking and eating gutkha(need I say more?).

So what really went wrong?. For once, their education hasn't really happened. Its either, they haven't concentrated well enough or their parents haven't understood the importance of education. All of their parents have 'provisioned' them to study and attend the school. Failing to do so, they are only happy to pull them into their family business or some such petty job.
Now, lets consider, another situation, where some people really do filter and pass out with degree in their hand. What next?. Whats really there in Bijapur that can give them a job?. An indutry? a factory? a small atleast?. Nothing.

Thanks to the remoteness of Bijapur from Metros and more thanks to the poor road/air/rail connectivity. Can you imagine, Bijapur railway station still doesn't have a broadguage. It runs on meter guage due to which, no major goods can come from major cities. The goods have to come via poor, dusty roads.

As if this wasn't cool enough, rain gods tease Bijapur with scanty or no rainfall at all(this season, till today rainfall has happened only once for 20 mins). So, but naturally, agriculture is out of question.

I know, I'm being pessimistic by pointing all the negative things. But I really pity this situation. The only ray of hope that I see is, Government really pushing the travel & tourism. It has some breathtakingly beautiful forts and mosques. The wall constructed by Adil Shah(the guy who ruled Bijapur 400 years back) around Bijapur still very much exists, in ruins with cows/buffaloes and sheeps shitting on it.

Bijapur is just an example. I am sure there are hundreds of Bijapurs in India. We desperately need to do something about such places, provide them with sustainable economies.


On bench? wondering what to do?

This article is written by Shrinidhi Hande of eNidhi. Very relevant to all of us!

"Bench" is a dreaded term for IT employees...Its a phase where an employee is paid to do nothing. Often employees complain that they're made to sit on bench...

Below is a list of initiatives you can take while on bench. An employee may pick one that best suits his/her interest/skills. If you can think of some more, please add a comment.

1. Learn a foreign language
French, German, Chinese, Japanese...I don’t have to stress on the opportunities it may bring if you know one or more international languages.

2. Start building a website
Pour your creativity and imagination and build a website. You may buy a domain name and host or start off with any of the freely available sub domains. You can start with basic HTML and go on improving the design and adding new features. There’s no end. Who knows? Couple of years down the line Google or MS may offer couple of billion dollars to acquire your website...

3. Technical Certifications
You know what they mean and the importance of such certifications in your resume.

4. Educate yourself financially.
Financial education doesn’t mean knowing how to swipe your credit card. Learn what all expenditures and savings are tax exempted, find out which Mutual Fund has been performing well consistently for past few quarters, try to follow stock market and see if you can predict the rise and fall or identify at what level a particular scrip can be bought or sold-all these can be extremely rewarding. You will be able to save a lot of money as you’ll know how best to handle it, and may be end of the year, your whole team might approach you for advice.

5. Learn a bit of law.
What are the regulations involved in buying a land? What are the guidelines to be followed while constructing a house? What is de-notification? What are the fees to be paid for various registrations? Whom to contact if there’s a violation of IPR? This knowledge can save you from frauds and cheatings.

6. Attend learning activities
Enroll to various learning activities being conducted by your organization. enroll and learn few new things, (proposal writing, business communication and so on) You may not necessarily need them right away but even 10% if you’re able to retain that can come handy at times.

7. Gather some functional knowledge related to one or more verticals.
Besides technical skills you might be good at why not learn more about few industries? What is PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in pharma industry? What are their legal obligations and why they are so persistent on extensive documentation? What are ISBN 10 and ISBN13? (Publication and ecommerce) What do they mean by upstream, midstream and downstream in Oil business? How Hybrid engines work in a car? Can you think of any ways how can redesign their website to offer better user experience to end user and show more relevant ads in each page? What does a day book contain? What is underwriting and how it is done?

8. Build some applications-Can you come up with a face book application? Or write clients for some web services (Google, yahoo, Amazon...) and use them in your application?

9. How about Learning applications like flash, Photoshop, Dreamweaver?

10. Creative writing
Try writing something. You may begin with blogs but objective should be writing something (story/article/poem etc) which a newspaper (state level at least) can accept for publishing. Seeing your name in print will surely motivate you. See if you can think of a novel...

11. Volunteer for charity works and social service.

12. Do some correspondence courses

I understand there’re concerns (such as non availability of systems) because of which some of the suggestions might not be possible. At least one or two of the above listed activities must be suiting your interests, skills and feasible to undertake. The idea is, it is possible to keep yourself occupied, with tasks which result in some value that can be leveraged in future. You may wish to stay focused on your core competency (say coding in .net) and may feel you’ll lose touch if you deviate attention to other activities. Trust me, all above tasks will complement and supplement your primary skill set and is unlikely to subtract anything from it. No harm knowing few more things than necessary and sometimes it is good and safe to stay diversified.

7 things I learned staying away from home

On July 7th 2007, 11:00 PM, I sacrificed the comforts of home for the first time, in search for my pot of gold. As in case of any journey, I too learned and still learning quite a few things on the way. I list my 'pearls of wisdom' here.

  1. You have to wash your inner wears and daily wears like pajamas and T-shirts yourself, the good ones will be washed by your nearest laundry. Thats right, you have to befriend your laundry guy and get it as cheap as possible since your bedsheets and jackets also go there(currently I pay Rs. 5 per apparel).
  2. Say "Hello" to your neighbors as often as you can. You will need them to pay your electricity bills, water bills and take registered letters or parcels on behalf of you.
  3. Its important to have good roomies you can adjust with, else, you will end up sleeping beside your roomie's underwear on your bed !. On a serious note, this is very important, since you will be spending more time with these ppl than anybody else. Remember, you are spending the same amount of time with these guys as you would spend with your family at home after college.
  4. If you become unwell, don't expect the same kind of treatment as would get at home, like mom making you hot tea.. giving you tablets.. taking you to the doc etc etc. You are independent now. You need to manage all that, don't miss your home too much. Be strong.
  5. Don't limit your spending on phone calls. Call your parents/family/friends back home as often as you can. Thats the only way you can keep in touch. Just think phone calls as cheaper alternatives for traveling.
  6. Talking about phone, do a thorough research on you cell phone plan, especially if you are outside your home state. Make sure your STD call rates are cheapest. Hunt for those plans online, the shop vendors wont themselves be aware of many STD plans.
  7. Make sure you find a flat/house near a bustand/pickup point/drop point, since you need to travel quite often to your home and back. If not pickup point, it should be close to a drop point, since the morning you come from your hometown, you don't want to be late to office!.
Well, thats as far as I am concerned, if you too have learned something staying away from home, do comment. Lets make it 'collective pearls of wisdom'!.

कोई दीवाना कहता ह.. कोई पागल समझता है.!

This beautiful poem is by a young talented poet Dr. Kumar Vishwas

कोई दीवाना कहता है, कोई पागल समझता है !
मगर धरती की बेचैनी को बस बादल समझता है !!
मैं तुझसे दूर कैसा हूँ , तू मुझसे दूर कैसी है !
ये तेरा दिल समझता है या मेरा दिल समझता है !!

मोहब्बत एक एहसासों की पावन सी कहानी है !
कभी कबीरा दीवाना था कभी मीरा दीवानी है !!
यहाँ सब लोग कहते हैं, मेरी आंखों में आँसू हैं !

जो तू समझे तो मोती है, जो ना समझे तो पानी है !!

समंदर पीर का है अन्दर, लेकिन रो नही सकता !
यह आँसू प्यार का मोती है, इसको खो नही सकता !!
मेरी चाहत को दुल्हन बना लेना, मगर सुन ले !
जो मेरा हो नही पाया, वो तेरा हो नही सकता !!

बहुत बिखरा, बहुत टूटा, थापेदे सह नही पाया !
हवाओं के इश्सरों पे मगर मैं बह नही पाया !!
अधूरा अनसुना ही रह गया यूं प्यार का किस्सा !
कभी तुम सुन नही पाए कभी मैं सुन नही पाया !!

भ्रमर कोई कुमुद्नी पे मचल बैठा तो हंगामा !
हमारे दिल में कोई ख़्वाब पल बैठा तो हंगामा !!
अभी तक डूब के सुनते थे सब किस्सा मोहबत का !
मैं किस्से को हक़ीकत में बदल बैठा तो हंगामा !!

His recital is very very spontaneous and natural..

Do animals commit suicide?

As far as I know, they don't. So why humans tend to commit?.. what makes us different from any of the animals?.. Intelligence??.. Ahh.. yes.. intelligence.. thats what differentiates us. But thats also what makes us miserable. Animals don't quite think too much. They have very basic needs, like food, air, water and shelter. Only these revolve around in their minds(yes, they do have minds with limited capacity I guess!), perhaps their mind is not as evolved as humans.

So, human mind is evolved.. is it good or is it bad?.. don't you think this "evolved" mind has been responsible for every bad thing thats been happening on this planet?.. be it the atomic bomb, deforestation, green house effect etc etc. I can go on record to say that humans are the greatest bane on this planet. Animals come, they do what they are expected to do, nothing out of the way, and the biological cycle remains. Nature's fury is their fate, and no animal is going to be responsible for any of the nature's fury.

Why cant we just live like animals?.. what is the need to be intelligent?.. what is the need to do anything other than meeting your basic needs?.. what are you going to achieve by earning $10,000,000,000?? when in the end you know you cant take anything on the other side?.. why this race for money?.. why this race for name?.. why this greed?.. why this pressure on little children to perform well?.. why self pampering?.. why kill others?.. why wars?..
The only answer I can think of is "to satisfy unnecessary needs of respective minds". They are unnecessary, 'cuz these needs are not for survival.. they go beyond survival..

And so, can I safely say that, with these needs comes suffering?.. Do animals suffer?.. do they even know whats suffering?.. do you think when you kick pigs or give them left over food, they feel insulted??.. not at all!!.. they are just concerned about meeting their needs.. nothing else really matters.

You know, its funny that, my "evolved" mind is saying that "evolved" minds are the cause for all the misery!.. A paradox perhaps!

Think about it!