Thursday, May 26, 2005

A really long time since that happened !

I remember back in school days, there were some times (read as many times or even almost everyday :) ) when I'd wake up from bed and just hate the feeling of actually going to school. Starting my day off like that, would rub off on pretty much everything from brushing my teeth , having a bath, breakfast etc etc. I'd just hate it.

Now, its pretty much how I feel ! I just got back from London and what I'm feeling now is just incredible. I stayed at my "favourite" aunts place. "Fav" coz she's too cool, she knows how to cook all cuisines, knows where to shop for stuff, and is really more like a close friend to me. Anyway, when I arrived at her place, she gave me the map of the Underground and said look this is how its going to be. You go on your own, travel by yourself, these are the numbers in case of any emergencies. My mom almost died when she heard all this :p But anyway, all this independence was the main reason why I feel soo different now. I didnt quite realise this while I was alone travelling the streets of London ! Funny that !

So, I was saying, I've enjoyed soo much in the past few days mostly in London, that I dont feel like going back. Alas, another 4 days and I will be on my way back home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Alright, so was in NewCastle this afternoon, just walking back from this
(the millenium bridge) to grab a bite, waiting for the pedestrian signal to glow green, this chap walks up behind me * brief attempt to be funny here * ... tall, maybe 6'4" , fair, faint beard, not-so-well-dressed, looked much older than me, so I guess he's 18 :) ....says "Excuse me Sir, blah blah blah passport ? " .....this is exactly how I heard it .... So I say "I'm sorry ? you want a passport ? " .... He stoops down a bit and says softly this time " No sir, but do _you_ want one, I want to sell you one ! " .... I'm like "No thanks" ... I turn around coz the signal begins beeping when its green, then I turn back and this dude is already seen accross the street disappearing into the crowd.

Hmm, it happened so quick, it was wierd, but I didnt feel scared, but instead I was amused ! New castle has many of those typical crowded streets around the town centers, and I was told to be careful of such goons. But it really isnt suprising, coz when you enter a town center, there's soo much crowd, if I were a thug, this is the place I'd be :p , so it didnt come as a suprise to me that I'd come across something like this.

A little later, as I was munching on my super meal deal ( a sandwich + free coke) , around the same area, I see this couple, maybe in their early 30s, tatooted right till their faces, a lot of peirced stuff (Im sure they'd drowing if they were to go swimming coz of the holes in them) ... they seemed happy with it. So they were walking in front of me, suddenly turn into this magazine shop and start browsing pRon magazines together. I guess there's nothing wrong in that. But if Obelix was real , he'd say "these Britons are crazy".

Sunday, May 15, 2005


When was the last time you dreamt of something and really achieved it ?

I was watching the McLibel case on TV last night. Two people from UK fighting against McDonalds , a gigantic corp. Here's an excerpt from the article ...

The verdict was devastating for McDonald's. The judge ruled that they 'exploit children' with their advertising, produce 'misleading' advertising, are 'culpably responsible' for cruelty to animals, are 'antipathetic' to unionisation and pay their workers low wages.

They showed how detemined these two people were to bring down the corp. and how they just refused to give up, against all odds ... for two and a half years ! Undoubtedly the longest trial ever.

After the case was over, they went off to Europe and fought against McDonalds there ! Since europian human rights laws are taken very seriously, they won there too. McDonalds had good reason to fear, and so did the other junk food corps.

What was most interesting was the way these two people handled it all along. Both of them lived in single room apartments, filled with documents, posters of protest, signboards etc etc. Yet they were very efficient at what they were getting at.

The last time I dreamt of something and got it was the flight till middlesbrough from India. I've always loved airplanes. And the jets noise, the G forces during take off and landing give me the kicks. Its been a year since I've been working as an embedded systems engineer, and the novelty of spending cash on general stuff was wearing off, until I could pay for my own trip and household bills. I could take pride in that, it only hurt when I had to shell out for those damn LIC bills. That was not in my plan :p Its these pleasures that keep me driven.

But this is so small as compared to what people do to feel good inside themselves. I crave for that sense of achievement that a team feels when they crack a nasty bug, or come up with an ingenious solution to a problem. I've been in these situations and theres no feeling like it.
However, most of it has happened at my work place, which is good I guess, coz it means I'm enjoying what I do. But I havent done anything or participated in anything that has made a difference on a large scale ...yet. I can only imagine what the engineers at google must feel when they realise millions of people use their search engine out of choice just because its the fastest most accurate thing of its kind, or even what the guys who contribute to the open source world, especially linux kernels and find their code running servers in massive corporations.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sheer genius

I just had to post this up.
Nothing but creativity and skill at its best.
Check out Guess-the-google & Montage-a-google.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

After the haitus ...

Yes my beloved blog readers ... i yam back. bah who am I kidding, I know how many people read my blog. But anyway, I thought I'd post some gibberish, now that I'm on VACATION.
So, I took leave for a month, for the whole of May, and went to the land where beer is cheap, it rains, snows, and there's bright sunlight all in one day, where people never say "Hi"/"Hello" but greet each other by saying "awryt/cheers" sometimes "Heya"...and where it is considered strange and impolite if you dont greet them back. This can happen only in England. I'm currently in the middle of this country which is the size of two Indian states, probably thats why its called Middlesbrough. Its been a week into my vacation and I'm having a ball of a time. Feels good not to think about code, bugs, projects, work pressure etc. I yam loveeng it.

So far I've been to Scotland, Whitbey, crossed over New Castle and some few other places. In the coming weeks I plan to go to London for a couple of days. So if I were to write about each of these places and what I did there, that'd be boring, so I'll just skip it and get to the interesting parts.

People in this country have major problems ! 90% of their youth are obese. 90% of people over 60 who can barely walk straight smoke ciggarettes like there's no tomorrow. And their ciggarettes smell really bad. If you come here, you can see why the youngsters can barely put their pants on. Every ten feet you will find a shop, bakery, or junk food stall, that gives out this lively aroma with hands, that pulls them, like they show in cartoons. ( Yes I watch a lot of cartoon network here, coz its in English)

Somehow every mall or towncenter you go to, you find more females than males, which is awesome make no mistake, coz the other 10% youth is real eye candy .. AND ... its summer time here, so off with the tops :p.. I must say, I find it reeeeallly strange that in this weather, some people wear warm clothing, while some wear em like they're off to a beach ! Also, it seems to be some kind of a fad going around here... I mean I've seen girls wear this sort of apparel only on new years day or some night out to the local clubs. Anywho, no matter what you hear about racial discrimination, Britons are really well mannered and polite. Be them senior or even toddlers ! When I was in Scotland, it was nine at night (O yeah did I mention these Britons have dinner at 6:30 pm and the sun doesnt set till 9:30pm ?) , I was off for a walk along Loch Long ( lake near our hotel) this couple with their kid passed by from the opposite direction, the kid was probably a year old, but when I was near her, she looked up and with a radiant smile said "Heya!" with one hand in the air. I was like Awww choo chweeet. no seriously, I did.

Their transport system is excellent and so is the traffic management. Their driving license exam is supposedly the toughest exam for anyone. And I can see why, I mean its hard to be under 15 minor and 0 major faults when a major fault is like crossing your hands on the steering wheel when you're turning! and one minor fault is not looking over your shoulder when you're reversing inspite of looking in the rear view mirrors. However all these ridiculous rules last only through the test. But its hard, our neighbours here have tried 5 times ! and they're only in their early thirties. But people get through it eventually in their lifetime, and you do see an occassional Ferrari scream past you. I hope to see the McLarens/Aston Martins someday. So, I always keep my camera ready to shoot.

The real meaning of driving/biking to the country side can be experienced here. Lush green valleys, farms, endless pastures and a hell lot of sheep and the Brits are very proud of it and make sure that its kept that way. Its got everything you've read about in novels, seen in movies, heard about; the works ! Really feels different. There are several villages scattered about, each with their own personality. I felt very much at peace when I was at Whitbey and Oban, both of which are small towns with a population of about ~50,000. You see small alleys, leeways, narrow roads intertwinned between buildings, the local florist arranging her shop to attract visitors meanwhile as the painter is doing some job on the house accross the street, a few people walking their dogs, someone leaning against the wall smoking to glory or even some kids playing on their bikes, very picturesque. And whats more amusing is, everyone passing by exchanges greetings or even waves from across the street to each other. Its like, these people probably havent seen any voilence, anger, or bitterness. Theres just soo much peace around them. Ive taken some snaps of these scenes, which I shall put up soon with some description.

So after travelling around the country in buses and seeing these celestial sights I knew I was missing something. Music. To feel it completely, I decided to get me one of em iPods. Its yet to arrive, but it should be here within the next couple of days. So, a camera, iPod and something to chew on should get you "there".

More coming the ISP(internet service provider) near you :p