Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wanna know the worst software bugs in history?

Not joking. WIRED has come up with a collection of the world's worst software bugs recorded so far! Makes for an interesting read :-)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Top 101 web sites - PC Magazine

The latest compilation of the world's top 101 web sites from PC Magazine is now available here. The web sites are well classified for the lay user to pick at them, although I have to say that only 5% of the page is real content. The rest 95% are splashed with all kind of ads and links!! What an irony

Monday, October 17, 2005

Google's AdWords in-kind advertising for non-profit organizations

Yes, you heard it right. Google is coming up with Google Grants as a part of their Google Foundation The good thing I like about Google Grants is that it provides the use of the highly popular Google AdWords product to non-profit organizations. The exposure your organization would get though this is tremendous. Check it out and see if you can register your non-profit organization with it.
Way to go Google!

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Why not make your mistakes, enjoy the ride, explore all your abilities and discover new ones?"

Yet another forward. Its on the 'ambition syndome'. Very nice, read on..

Don't Hurry, Be Happy
All you have are your experiences. Why not make your mistakes, enjoy the ride, explore all your abilities and discover new ones?

I've spoken at well over 25 colleges in the last year, and I see this strange phenomenon. Our best and the brightest are in a hurry to go places - and worrying themselves insane about making the right career decision.

One of my students called a few months ago saying he hated his job. I asked him why; after all, it was from college placements. He said it was the highest paying job offered and with an overseas stint - he couldn't imagine not taking it up. He was, in fact, proud that he had 'won' it. I then asked him what he wanted to do - and it was something completely different.

All I could tell him was that he would be happier if he followed his heart - and that it was more important to trust your gut than your designation, location or paycheque.

I can't blame him. I was victim to what I call this 'ambition' syndrome. Each of us is taught that we need to have clear, specific goals - and that we should do our best to attain them. I was no different. A long time ago - or so it seems - when I'd settled down in advertising after a few false starts (trial-and-error, as I called it), I decided to prove things to everybody by having 'ambitious' goals. I secretly aimed to become a creative director by the time I was 28 and to run an ad agency by the time I was 30.

As things came to pass - I did become a creative director by 28 and, two years later, ran an ad agency - that too in the US, having started off in India. I thought I should be incredibly happy.

Surprise. I felt empty. The world didn't change. The sun still rose in the east. People still treated me the same. If that ambition was the purpose of my life, it suddenly felt completely meaningless. By focussing on the 'destination' and working insane hours and driving myself crazy to get there, I felt life had gone by in a blur. I suddenly felt 30 and old.

It came to me that carrying on further on this path (I had thought I would then set goals like earning my first million by the year X and so on) would make life even more meaningless.

Now your mileage may vary, but I decided to change. I consciously said I would forget about the 'destinations' and try enjoying the 'journey' instead. Out went targets and ambitions, in came simple things like enjoying every moment, seeing beautiful places, making room for serendipity and actually getting to know people. Some years later, my wife and I had a baby, and this belief only got further cemented. I was sure I wanted to be at home with him - and not go off tromping to work every day.

Perhaps, I've been inordinately lucky - but in the eight years since I made this call, I've had the time of my life. I've done different things: design front-ends for Yahoo! and Amazon, think-up programmes for a youth channel, pick VJs, create software, write ads, start companies, sell companies, help entrepreneurs and even write a fun column like this. All mostly from home. I'm not sure I could have consciously planned and been ambitious about any of it. The rolling stone didn't gather moss - but who the heck wants moss on oneself?

I can't imagine retiring and doing nothing, toodling around in a garden. Neither can any of the young people I speak with. Here's my belief - you're going to be doing something productive till you're well into your 70s. And if you're starting out today, or even in your 30s, that means you have another 40 or 50 active years ahead of you.

My point is simple - what's the darn hurry to get anywhere? We all end up in the same place anyway - I understand there's a 100% probability of death for all human beings, regardless of monetary wealth. All you have are your experiences. Why not make your mistakes, enjoy the ride, smell the flowers, explore all your abilities and discover new ones?

Back to my student - he called again a month later, said he'd changed lines, and was ecstatic. With due apologies to believers in reincarnation, I think this is the only life we have. Can we make the most of it?

Article on Love

This is one of the rare intriguing forwards one gets nowadays. I read through it quickly in office and understood it needed some profound thinking. So I though of putting it here for now so I can come back to it later, while you take a look... hope it helps..

For those who doing research on truth and love, read …..

The demand to be safe in relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you? Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path?

We are not loved because we don't know how to love. What is love? The word is so loaded and corrupted that I hardly like to use it. Everybody talks of love - every magazine and newspaper and every missionary talks everlastingly of love. I love my country, I love my king, I love some book, I love that mountain, I love pleasure, I love my wife, I love God. Is love an idea? If it is, it can be cultivated, nourished, cherished, pushed around, twisted in any way you like. When you say you love God what does it mean? It means that you love a projection of your own imagination, a projection of yourself clothed in certain forms of respectability according to what you think is noble and holy; so to say, `I love God', is absolute nonsense. When you worship God you are worshipping yourself - and that is not love.

Because we cannot solve this human thing called love we run away into abstractions. Love may be the ultimate solution to all man's difficulties, problems and travails, so how are we going to find out what love is? By merely defining it? The church has defined it one way, society another, and there are all sorts of deviations and perversions. Adoring someone, sleeping with someone, the emotional exchange, the companionship - is that what we mean by love? That has been the norm, the pattern, and it has become so tremendously personal, sensuous, and limited that religions have declared that love is something much more than this. In what they call human love they see there is pleasure, competition, jealousy, the desire to possess, to hold, to control and to interfere with another's thinking, and knowing the complexity of all this they say there must be another kind of love, divine, beautiful, untouched, uncorrupted.

Throughout the world, so-called holy men have maintained that to look at a woman is something totally wrong: they say you cannot come near to God if you indulge in sex, therefore they push it aside although they are eaten up with it. But by denying sexuality they put out their eyes and cut out their tongues for they deny the whole beauty of the earth. They have starved their hearts and minds; they are dehydrated human beings; they have banished beauty because beauty is associated with woman.

Can love be divided into the sacred and the profane, the human and the divine, or is there only love? Is love of the one and not of the many? If I say,`I love you', does that exclude the love of the other? Is love personal or impersonal? Moral or immoral? Family or non-family? If you love mankind can you love the particular? Is love sentiment? Is love emotion? Is love pleasure and desire? All these questions indicate, don't they, that we have ideas about love, ideas about what it should or should not be, a pattern or a code developed by the culture in which we live.
So to go into the question of what love is we must first ideals and ideologies of what it should or should not be. To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life.

Now how am I going to find out what this flame is which we call love - not how to express it to another but what it means in itself? I will first reject what the church, what society, what my parents and friends, what every person and every book has said about it because I want to find out for myself what it is. Here is an enormous problem that involves the whole of mankind, there have been a thousand ways of defining it and I myself am caught in some pattern or other according to what I like or enjoy at the moment - so shouldn't I, in order to understand it, first free myself from my own inclinations and prejudices? I am confused, torn by my own desires, so I say to myself, `First clear up your own confusion. Perhaps you may be able to discover what love is through what it is not.'

The government says, `Go and kill for the love of your country'. Is that love? Religion says, `Give up sex for the love of God'. Is that love? Is love desire? Don't say no. For most of us it is – desire with pleasure, the pleasure that is derived through the senses, through sexual attachment and fulfilment. I am not against sex, but see what is involved in it. What sex gives you momentarily is the total abandonment of yourself, then you are back again with your turmoil, so you want a repetition over and over again of that state in which there is no worry, no problem, no self. You say you love your wife. In that love is involved sexual pleasure, the pleasure of having someone in the house to look after your children, to cook. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being. Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don't like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence. So what you are really saying is, `As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don't I begin to hate you. As long as I can rely on you to satisfy my demands, sexual and otherwise, I love you, but the moment you cease to supply what I want I don't like you.' So there is antagonism between you, there is separation, and when you feel separate from another there is no love. But if you can live with your wife without thought creating all these contradictory states, these endless quarrels in yourself, then perhaps - perhaps - you will know what love is. Then you are completely free and so is she, whereas if you depend on her for all your pleasure you are a slave to her. So when one loves there must be freedom, not only from the other person but from oneself.

This belonging to another, being psychologically nourished by another, depending on another - in all this there must always be anxiety, fear, jealousy, guilt, and so long as there is fear there is no love; a mind ridden with sorrow will never know what love is; sentimentality and emotionalism have nothing whatsoever to do with love. And so love is not to do with pleasure and desire.

Love is not the product of thought which is the past. Thought cannot possibly cultivate love. Love is not hedged about and caught in jealousy, for jealousy is of the past. Love is always active present. It is not `I will love' or `I have loved'. If you know love you will not follow anybody. Love does not obey. When you love there is neither respect nor disrespect. Don't you know what it means really to love somebody - to love without hate, without jealousy, without anger, without wanting to interfere with what he is doing or thinking, without condemning, without comparing - don't you know what it means? Where there is love is there comparison? When you love someone with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your body, with your entire being, is there comparison? When you totally abandon yourself to that love there is not the other.

Does love have responsibility and duty, and will it use those words? When you do something out of duty is there any love in it? In duty there is no love. The structure of duty in which the human being is caught is destroying him. So long as you are compelled to do something because it is your duty you don't love what you are doing. When there is love there is no duty and no responsibility.

Most parents unfortunately think they are responsible for their children and their sense of responsibility takes the form of telling them what they should do and what they should not do, what they should become and what they should not become. The parents want their children to have a secure position in society. What they call responsibility is part of that respectability they worship; and it seems to me that where there is respectability there is no order; they are concerned only with becoming a perfect bourgeois. When they prepare their children to fit into society they are perpetuating war, conflict and brutality. Do you call that care and love? Really to care is to care as you would for a tree or a plant, watering it, studying its needs, the best soil for it, looking after it with gentleness and tenderness - but when you prepare your childrren to fit into society you are preparing them to be killed. If you loved your children you would have no war. When you lose someone you love you shed tears - are your tears for yourself or for the one who is dead? Are you crying for yourself or for another? Have you ever cried for another? Have you ever cried for your son who is killed on the battlefield? You have cried, but do those tears come out of self-pity or have you cried because a human being has been killed? If you cry out of self-pity your tears have no meaning because you are concerned about yourself. If you are crying because you are bereft of one in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. When you cry for your brother who dies cry for him. It is very easy to cry for yourself because he is gone. Apparently you are crying because your heart is touched, but it is not touched for him, it is only touched by self- pity and self-pity makes you hard, encloses you, makes you dull and stupid.

When you cry for yourself, is it love - crying because you are lonely, because you have been left, because you are no longer powerful - complaining of your lot, your environmment - always you in tears? If you understand this, which means to come in contact with it as directly as you would touch a tree or a pillar or a hand, then you will see that sorrow is self-created, sorrow is created by thought, sorrow is the outcome of time. I had my brother three years ago, now he is dead, now I am lonely, aching, there is no one to whom I can look for comfort or companionship, and it brings tears to my eyes. You can see all this happening inside yourself if you watch it. You can see it fully, completely, in one glance, not take analytical time over it. You can see in a moment the whole structure and nature of this shoddy little thing called `me', my tears, my family, my nation, my belief, my religion - all that ugliness, it is all inside you. When you see it with your heart, not with your mind, when you see it from the very bottom of your heart, then you have the key that will end sorrow. Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world they have idealized suffering, put it on a cross and worshipped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society.
So when you ask what love is, you may be too frightened to see the answer. It may mean complete upheaval; it may break up the family; you may discover that you do not love your wife or husband or children - do you? - you may have to shatter the house you have built, you may never go back to the temple.

But if you still want to find out, you will see that fear is not love, dependence is not love, jealousy is not love, possessiveness and domination are not love, responsibility and duty are not love, self-pity is not love, the agony of not being loved is not love, love is not the opposite of hate any more than humility is the opposite of vanity. So if you can eliminate all these, not by forcing them but by washing them away as the rain washes the dust of many days from a leaf, then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after. If you have not got love - not just in little drops but in abundance if you are not filled with it - the world will go to disaster. You know intellectually that the unity of mankind is essential and that love is the only way, but who is going to teach you how to love? Will any authority, any method, any system, tell you how to love? If anyone tells you, it is not love. Can you say, `I will practise love. I will sit down day after day and think about it. I will practise being kind and gentle and force myself to pay attention to others?'

Do you mean to say that you can discipline yourself to love, exercise the will to love? When you exercise discipline and will to love, love goes out of the window. By practising some method or system of loving you may become extraordinarily clever or more kindly or get into a state of non-violence, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.

In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning. And you cannot have love if there is no beauty. Beauty is not something you see - not a beautiful tree, a beautiful picture, a beautiful building or a beautiful woman. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is. Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and mind. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems. So we reach the point: can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader - come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset? It seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive - passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self-abandonment. A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it - to come upon it unknowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience. Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many. Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden, or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefore it is sharing with everybody.

Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in the world which is not innocent. To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship, through sex, through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite, then love has no conflict. You may ask, `If I find such a love, what happens to my wife, my children, my family? They must have security.' When you put such a question you have never been outside the field of thought, the field of consciousness. When once you have been outside that field you will never ask such a question because then you will know what love is in which there is no thought and therefore no time. You may read this mesmerized and enchanted, but actually to go beyond thought and time - which means going beyond sorrow - is to be aware that there is a different dimension called love. But you don't know how to come to this extraordinary fount - so what do you do? If you don't know what to do, you do nothing, don't you? Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A hopeful thought

I was walking to my office the other day. Its a 5 minute walk on the IT highway in Chennai to Tidel Park. On the way to my left is a slum beside one of the stinking waterways that are common in Chennai - the stinking waste water of the Buckingham canal below the elevated metro railway. I am not new to contrasts in India now. I have seen opulence and poverty rubbing cold shoulders with each other in most major cities of India. Here too, beside one of the most modern areas of Chennai's IT hub is a stinking sewage canal and slums lining it. This got me thinking and wanting to write about it for a long time.

As I have seen it, one of the strongest reasons still keeping India in the category of third world countries is its lack of cleanliness. No I am not talking about physical cleanliness. The lacking factor is the responsibility of keeping not only your body, but your surroundings also clean. Most of us do not care to keep our neighbourhood clean. We got better things to do, right? Think twice

Most people do not know how much difference a clean environment can make. The responsibility of keeping a clean neighbourhood is absent amongst most of us; 'Its not my business' - complain to the city corporation. And we keep living in this plight thinking the corporation is our slave that money can buy to clean up your neigbourhood. And even if money could buy a clean neighbourhood, how many would be ready to shelve out money for anything more than personal cleanliness? Having lived in another country, I have seen how responsible the people are to their neighbourhood and surroundings. Pure air to breath and clean living conditions are some of the simple pleasures I enjoyed. Of course, I too did my duty of disposing waste only in the common waste bin, never littering on the streets etc. But in this country, I see people lost in the gleamy hopes for material happiness and a better future that they neglect the present. Its a sad attitude. Not even a handful realize that their present living could be elevated to much higher standards if they consciously do their part to keep their homes and their surroundings clean.

In Chennai and in most metros, I have seen the city corporation installing waste baskets in almost all residential areas. But to the people of developing India, it is something new and they had lived without it for so many years that they don't know its use, so they conveniently ignore it. Everyone's world is frantically paced. But we truly need to stop and look at ourselves because the present is what we need to enjoy and we are living in a un-clean present hoping for a better future.

Most people in India hope one day to settle abroad. Why? Because we envy their clean environs and living conditions. Just try to go there and you realize subtle truths like you need to dump your waste in the waste baskets ONLY, along with a whole list of rules which the people there happily follow for a clean living. And most Indians realize this only when they go abroad. Till then, its all a rosy picture as if it is paradise.

So if its just all about doing your part to society, why can't you do your part in your very home place? You've got the present to act on, rather than waiting for the future!

We have all that we are yearning for, but never can open our eyes and realize it. India is beautiful. It has got all the types of climates, all the types of terrains, all kinds of people, a culture to be proud of, and a multitude of things for everybody. But its the poorly laid out waste management that mostly paints a gory sight to the public. And we are fools to shy away from a truth like this. Its a common sight to see people dumping waste in an open area outside their house, whereas there is a public wastebasket a couple of blocks away. Is it laziness or ignorance? Neither. I think it is irresponsibility and egotism; egotism because people deep down think its a pathetic plight to have to dump their own waste by walking a few blocks in their neighbourhood and using the waste basket. The more affluent fools have employed servants to do this work. But how could the servants care more if the masters themselves are lurking away from cleanliness; cleanliness of the mind.

True living is realizing your own potential, counting your strengths and building up on them. Do your part and enjoy a happy living! Heaven and paradise are after all a state of the mind :)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rita? Oh head up one of the freeways quick. Pyaar? Whats that!!

I want the title to say it all. There has been a lot of noise over the movement of people from Texas fearing Rita. True, they have little else to do for safety. This article is not about their act, but to criticize the un-justified media publicity to a major 5 hurricane hitting the US (once in many years), where the whole world is informed in advance. Also, to criticize the un-justified amount of sentiment given to the world's most developed nation, where people have got fast cars, express-ways and all the support and money to save themselves. They call this a major catastrophe huh?!

Now, come to Pyaar. Its a cyclone thats in the process of devastating Andhra Pradesh and adjoining states in India. Nothing new. Just a familiar story, as regular as the monsoons in India. As of this writing, more than 150,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. Only about 60 dead so far! And they got no cars, no freeways, no phones, nothing! And they have to save themselves from highly in-accessible regions far from the luxuries of hostpitals and food. These are people going about with events in their life without any noise. Yearly 5-6 major storms hit India. Thousands are affected by each storm. Many thousands of deaths are even not reported, as the coverage cannot get to their areas. Its a quarterly chaos for India in some state or other.

Watch any of the popular news channels of the world and their major headline is their coverage in multiple helicopters of the long snake lines of cars leaving Texas. I cannot help but laugh in disgust. First I think - is it such an amusing sight to see so many cars jam-packed? Or is it to show a major human catastrophe happening live? That catastrophe is at the max being to relocate to another state in the US in the cozy comfort of their cars?! Do these channels know what exactly they want to tell the world? Basically here is the case of a catastrophe avoided, thanks to the media publicity that bought it to the people too, and to this far as India, to me. So everbody in the world knows about Katrina and Rita, evoking high public sentiments. Does anyone know about Pyaar? This cyclone is ravaging the totally poor and ill-equipped people who didn't even know what was coming! Who is there for the poor villager in India whose name itself is unknown, to tell their story? If the global news channels pride themselves for their world-wide, un-biased coverage, why didn't we see enough about Pyaar in these channels?

Think World, think. Un-biasedly. Is there any point in telecasting an interview of the 'run to safety through the highly treacharous freeways' of a rescued Texan, now safe in some other state? Rather show the plight of the still sufferring people of Andhra Pradesh who have no roads to take them to safety. That would atleast bring rescue to that person. Any idea what a highly logistical operation the Indian Govt. is doing to airlift all the affected citizens? But many outside India do not know, due to the yet un-reached media coverage by the so called 'global' channels!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Because helping the victims of past wars is an action towards lasting peace in the future"

Do you know what the Vietnam-Dioxine Collective is?

I didn't, until I chanced upon it in this blog.

Whats the collective about? Created at the initiative of the young Vietnamese of France and of Vietnam, the Vietnam-Dioxin Collective is a gathering of people and organizations whose goal is to participate in an international campaign of inform public opinion and raise awareness on the continuing effects of the massive use of herbicides and pesticides (of which the infamous "Agent Orange") in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos between 1961 and 1971.

Today still, hundreds of thousands of children and adults suffer from diseases and handicaps linked to their exposure to these chemical products containing high levels of dioxin. Highly contaminated zones subsist as well.

The Vietnam-Dioxin Collective aims at drawing the attention of citizens and institutions to the problem so that economic, sanitary and environmental aid can be brought to the populations and regions, which need it the most.

And what is Agent Orange? It was the herbicide most heavily used by the American army during the Vietnam war. Herbicides were used to defoliate forests (to prevent the Viet Cong from hiding), to clear military areas and to destroy enemy crops. Agent Orange is actually pink-brownish. Its name comes from the orange-coloured bands that appeared on the drums in which Agent Orange was stored. Other herbicides used by the US army include Agents White, Blue, Pink, Green and Purple.

What are the effects of dioxin? Dioxin provokes cancers, foetal malformations, skin diseases... It also affects the immune system, the reproductive system and the nervous system.

Find out more:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

From the heart of kids :-)

These are some letters written by kids to God. Catch their innocence here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google's new blog search tool

Google just released which searches just the blog world (or anything that publishes a feed). It'd be interesting to see how long before we have commercial sites start popping up here abusing the result sets!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The children of Beslan - a harrowing episode

Last night sitting alone at home, I happened to watch a BBC programme recounting the harrowing incident of a school seige that happend one year ago by Chechen terrorists in Beslan (in Russia).

To know that those victims are mostly kids, is deeply disturbing. I just kept watching the show as numb as I got. I wanted to change the channel but couldn't. Those kids need a life! They can't keep living with such trauma so early in their lives. Most of them who survived had to see their parents getting killed.

The male adults were taken to a separate room in the school and shot at. One kid in the show, sprightly shows the reporter the room in which his dad was shot and thrown out of the window. The kid must be about 9 years old. Another kid recollects matter-of-factly how she had to drink pee to quench her thirst during the 3 day seige. Can't say disgusting - its pathetic. One sweet kid promptly offered some roubles he had in his pocket to one of the terrorists during the seige and asked for his mother instead. The terrorist coldy said he didn't want the money. What did he get instead? And what did the child get?!

One girl now draws the pictures of the terrorists and burns them to take out her anger on them. That said, almost all the kids interviewed in the show, wanted to avenge the terrorists and took it up as amjor ambition in their lives. What guarantee is there that most of these kids won't turn into future terrorists themselves? They are just too much in shock still. What therapy can solve their mental anguish to bring back normalcy to their lives? They are still in the formative stage. What can be predicted about their future? All that's sure for now is, they'll take a long time to get smiling again.

Well, we are left to face the facts now. Whats over is over. Its upto us to act today and plan our tomorrow. We really gotta say NO to terrorism and make our noise heard. Our children are the future of tomorrow. Lets imbibe in them sense of happiness, belonging and the qualities that make them energetic possitive individuals of the future. So that when they grow up, the world would be a safer place to live in.

Save the children!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Ever wondered if Bill Gates would really share his profits if you sent a mail to 10 people? Or your fiance would suddenly get delighted to propose to you if you sent some mail to a dozen other victims? If you really were in the dark on that matter, let this site quash all your doubts away! Its a very nice and apt take on all those folks originating mails like that ... lol!

Friday, September 09, 2005

The other side of the coin - is rusting!

Found this site (requires macromedia flash player) in one of the forwards that I got today, and it got me thinking.

The site offers an excellent flash presentation on the 'other side of the coin' - a look at the contrasts of the happy western world (generally) and the malnourished masses of Africa. Follow the flash till the end and you are provided with enough links and resources where you can give your help simply by sitting in your seats and clicking on - what seems to be - mundane buttons!

Go ahead, the world needs your help...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Vinayaka Chathurthi

Tomorrow is Ganesh Chathurthi. Amongst the flood of forwards that I got, I particularly liked this picturization of Lord Ganesha. Its a modern, surreal and quite transcending image which is soothing to look at.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Effect of the damage...

Veiw here for astounding pictures of the areas affected by hurricane God would have seen it! (requires macromedia flash player).

Katrina - the road to hell!

What can I say.. It was straight out of a horror movie! People drowning in one of America's popular cities. A city that new this monster could rip them off, since they lie below sea level. Peronally I never know of any such city below sea level! And considering the fact that the US govt. saw the destruction coming, they did nothing to contain the mess and the span of destruction. Our prayers are always with the lost souls.

The first pic shows the topography of the ill-fated city. The bottom pic is a cemetery by the pass.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yahoo's 3600

Yahoo has launched its 3600 which seems to be a combination of a:

Blog + a public messaging space called 'blast' + Photo Album viewer (connected to of course!) + Networking tool like minimal hi5 or orkut and.. LAUNCHcast.

I have to tell you I haven't used 3600 myself (more due to the pains of shifting from and stuff ..). But it sure seems more hi-tech and could be a super tool. It also seems easy to use. So at-last its a revenge of the titans - Yahoo's answer to Google's!

How to increase traffic to your site

Most of us who want to keep our blogs public would like to drive as much relevant traffic as possible. We can make use of HTML and the search engines' functionalities for that. Here's how...

First, the meta tags. These are tags like
<meta name="tag type" content="whatever">

View the HTML of this page to see how I have used them.

The common meta tags are: Description, Keywords, Robots, revisit-after and distribution

These tags are placed between the <head> and </head> tags. Metatags are a useful tool for search engines, a crawler/spider comes to your site and instead of searching the entire site, it just looks at your metatag for a description of your site. The 2 mainly useful metatags are the desciption and keywords tags.

The description metatag is returned to the search engine and is used for the summary of your site.
The keywords metatag is used to associate your site with those keywords listed, when somebody searches for one of those keywords, your site appears in the list with the description from your metatags.
The revisit-after tag is used to tell the search engine to revisit your site every 'n' days.
The Distribution tag tells the search engine that your page has global relevance.
The Robots metatag needs a special mention: If you don't want to be indexed by a search engine you would place this tag on your site, however if you want to be indexed you don't need to include it as the search engine will index it.

These are the values that you can use in between the braces after content= in your robots metatag:
index: robot will index your site
noindex: robot will not index your site
follow: robot will follow all links on your webpage
nofollow : robot will not follow any links

If you want to create specific meta tags for your site, use this meta tag generator.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Paradox of our times..

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
More knowledge, but less judgement;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicines, but less healthiness;
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour;
We built more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less comunication;
We have become long on quantity,but short on quality;
These are times of fast foodsbut slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It's a time when there is much in the window, but nothin in the room.

- His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A take on QEMU

In one sentence, QEMU is an open source CPU and system emulator. As an emulator or virtualizer, QEMU has two modes of operation: it can emulate a full system so that an operating system can run on top of it (system emulation), or it can just emulate a CPU in a mode called user emulation (this mode is Linux specific), so that binary applications can run on a different CPU that they have been compiled for.

Check it out and do let me know your comments..

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A little bit on Pi

Two links for fans of Pi.

Pi to 1,000,000 places

Am I in Pi (to know if your birthday falls in Pi!)

As you see, some people are really jobless. Including me. Not to mention even you if you visited the above links, especially the second one ;-)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Long-term planning and strategies for present work scenario

It is difficult to think about a 'life-long' job anymore in this age. Such a thing exists no more. The youth are now faced with a daunting and often harrowing task of planning their future in this totally new scenario. So I found this link that provided some insight for me.

Coming to think about it, its a very interesting global topic for people who study such trends - the thinkers, philosophers etc. The present may be thesis material for the future, if you know what I mean!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Underground or above?

I've always thought since the onset of the WWW explosion whether it is better to use this public advertising facility to promote oneself throughout the world. Or, to stay underground not revealing one's real identity? What are the pros and cons? Eitherway I for one definitely feel its difficult to stay completely covered and still be a person associated with the internet. Because somewhere or the other, you got your personal information stored on the net and it wouldnt take much effort for a highly determined person to search your details out and associate them with the right person - you. We have our information somewhere - simplest being when signing up for email accounts (who does not have email these days), signing up for just about anything useful..including blog hosting companies like this!! So which is better strategically? If you go public, then you would be public property and you shall lose your privacy somewhere. Its the same as perils of fame - although this is a free for all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cool PHP Optimistaion tip

Found an excellent Optimisation tips and methodologies page for PHP. A must for all serious PHP programmers!

why do i foget what's in my mind?

My thoughts ain't clear at all nowadays. When i sit to write something, the sentence formation gets skewed as i proceed. I forget the feel of my thought when i put it on paper and it comes out utterly erroneous.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Kindness of the Surreal

When I find deep angst and a heavy heart, I get a lot of relief when I see something abstract or surreal such as the surreal paintings by Salvador Dali or some serious articles about sadness and depression. I get to know that I am understood. I am no super-human who can manage all his woes on his own. I sometimes find external re-assurance very comforting, though its a luxury.

I know not what it is about sadness, but I feel a lot of satisfaction in the solitude of these dark fields of misery. I feel in the deepest well of sadness and the skies above comforting me.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Where's happiness

Happiness is most obtained by two kinds of people: Those who have everything and Those who have nothing. Those who have something and are caught between the two worlds and stretching themselves to reach upwards do not enjoy at all. They are the ones laden by desires and the troubles caused by that.

So if you want happiness which among the two kinds of people would you choose to be? Having everything is not the best option. Because you can never cease to have everything. Some thing or the other is always being *invented* by the comfort industry and we keep yearning for that. Its difficult to remain at this high. The second option is the tougher and more spiritual path. Even for the haters of spirituality, this is indeed a practically proven point. Freeing yourself from desires seems really relieving and you can discover your freedom once again.

To follow the un-burdening path, heres an easy method. Make yourself un-yearn for or make yourself indifferent towards something that you previously used to crave for. That way, soon you will find yourself a braver and whole new person able to take on an situation in the world! What more, you will realize freedom and the contentment it brings. A lot of power can be realized when we know we don't need many things around us. We can easily feel this power in our minds. Just follow the steps above and slowly you'll realize how much more you are in control of yourself!

Now pardon me if I sound like a preacher :)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A holiday for the days spent at office

Took off for 5 days to my hometown in Kerala. 2 of my college mates joined me at my home an we had a wonderful time at this water theme park at Cochin. Awesome fun. But apart from that, felt a bit lonely with my parents who never really got happy again after their bust at their job in Muscat. Sad story that. Politics ate out of the nuts of the poor people, so to say!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Ain't that intelligent

The problem is -
i am not that intelligent :-(
however hard i try, i know i dont have that knack
that the intelligentsia have.
my brain formation is such.
I am more inclined to anthopology, history, philosophy and anything related to mysteries.
Thats how i am made.
i dont feel ashamed, rather i feel proud of my qualities.
But the scary thing is i have graduated in engineering and doing an engineering job!
My future seems either to be in engineering or in management.
I have low aptitude for engineering and dislike math to do management.
(I could still opt for HR though, which i am still contemplating)
My first love would be to work on the mysteries of life,
or entertaining people or related to any of my skills mentioned above.
If any of you can find a suitable break for me like that,
Please give me a call!

Sounds more like an easy-go resume rite?! Well, yeah so be it, i anyway loathe all the major formalities in life :-)

The tide shifts quickly in me

i don't last long at anything -
my interests get weaned and i need to move on.
I have the spirit of a gypsy though I wasn't born one.
I keep moving to the next step when i need to debug
the next clue in the mystery of my life.

I hate dishonesty, and sqaushing of values by man to achieve his desires and pleasures. I get deranged morally very much by that. I wish I could move on whenever I see I am involved with such persons on organizations. Wish I could create a forte for myself. Wish I could find mentors for myself.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Spirit and Yoga

I think i am a difficult person - one with a big ego.
I am trying to temper it down, trying to control it though.
its when someone goes away from me that i realize how stupid i have been.

Guess thats how everybody would feel but...
i have no respect for life and God.
but now i am slowly learning the ways -
I am loosing all that i loved.
They weren't obtained by my effort - luck shone, so why complain!
maybe thats what confused me thinking more would come.
but how foolish i had been, not realizing how to handle what i got!

I must teach myself not to desire everything my heart wants.
its a sin, or at least its harmful in the long run.
its all the more worse not knowing whats happening, when something fortunate happens.
For you forget the responsibilities that come with power, and haste takes its place.
often astounding you and taking away what you got, before even knowing it.
the reasons would delude you and often be stupid.

I have learned a lesson or two now.
one thing stands clear - better stay away from the dazzling lights of desires.
better stay away thinking it ain't yours.
do only what your duty needs you to do.
you aint going to take anything away from this life..
so why desire for things that aint gonna last
and are for mere temporal pleasure and more so for sadness when we loose it?

You aint even gonna take your memories when you die, however good they may be.
So throw it away and think of life and what it means!
Think how it has made you evolve and forget the sorrows.
keep the happy things just for some pleasantness when u find it hard not to think back.
we should also be prepared to loose our happy memories.
For memories are stored in our brain.
and this brain is something we posses only during our lifetime.

We the Spirit have no thought. We also have no heart!
The Spirit is just energy.
Thats what we are.
This life is just momentary confluence of the spirit with the body.
We sure would return to our normal state.
In this eternal Spirit's many forms, life is one.

In such a minute form, our thoughts are yet more minute,
so our the consequences of having the mind -
desires, happiness and sadness (in short, emotions).
These sure aren't a part of our true nature - the Spirit.

So why then does the Spirit take such a form
and what does it try to achieve at the end of this?
Why does the Spirit take any form at all for that matter.
Makes me wonder whether it is the result of some ad-hoc genesis that started so long ago?
Nobody knows the answer.

Nobody even can prove that we are even Spirit, can we?
But there's enough indirect justification that makes me feel the existence of a Spirit.
There are many unexplained answers in life and beyond.
So just that itself makes us not to put down the ideas of an Eternal Spirit and it taking many forms throughout.

[by unexplained answers, I could give the example of how life is put into the very smallest human cell in the mother's womb? What brings it to life? At what point can we say we are born? Is there a Spirit involved? Maybe we can discuss this as another topic.]

I recently read a very interesting line on the net: "Once the desires start ruling us, we lose our freedom. If the desires are not fulfilled, then we lose our mental and physical well being." How true!

Another site has the lines: "Dhruti: It means courage. It is essential for performing or achieving anything. If there is no courage, great things cannot be achieved. In human life, there are several incidences where one gets attacked by many emotions. We have to fight such feelings. Many lose courage while doing so and fall prey to these feelings. They repent afterwards. So while leading the life, whenever such incidents occur, one should have the courage to face the emotions and gain victory over them. By turning away from such emotions does not solve any problems, but increases them."

Desire - the sin in me

This is a completely unedited version of some thoughts randomly put on paper and published here, much to retain the flow.

One day we will all grow old,
any day we may loose all that we have
all that would be left to ourselves is our own self.
So don't let loose your emotions and do whatever pleases you now,
for tomorrow when all that is gone, you may feel the loss
Best - don't desire too many.
Its not your right - what you wish may not be what you get
and thats what happens mostly and it brings along with it a lot of grief
Emotions definitively have grief and sadness involved,
which overshadows the happiness or pleasure you may once experience
desire is a killer that never stops
it spreads in many forms like a virus, in your mind
following it will be a never ending process
all that you will see no sooner would be that it was a futile journey.
Be happy with yourself and what you are
never put a thought on obtaining what is alien to your body
if it comes to you, make use of it
otherwise, let it go - it wasn't meant for you
you can't blame God for that, because desire arises in our mind
God hasn't promised anyone anything.
So why question him when he takes something away?
all he has given to us is this body, mind and soul
we need to be happy with what we have got.
if someone is paralytic, he needs to be happy the way he is, cos thats what he has got.
we won't loose anything if we haven't got anything.
we need to enjoy only all that we are,
at this current frame of time - unattached to anything extra surrounding us,
not oblivious of the fact that we may loose everything with us now except ourselves,
and also that we may not desire for anything else however subtle they may seem.
In essence, be a karmayogi - do labor and have no desire for its fruits.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Learning to groove.

So hi folks,

A brand new day, a brand new time back at office. Just slumped into my
office and after my daily dose of mails, I was waiting to getting
started with my blog. But colleagues started slowly trickling in. Can't
let them know I'm wasting office bandwidth with personal stuff -
ssh..quiet ;)

Well, let me let it out - I really don't know how I should start
blogging! How should I set the tone..So while I figure that out, here's a poem that I have written.

A Tender Leaf Should Know

Tender leaves are stroking me soft
at my rugged skin in place
getting torn - I see them fall
how many more to go by my face!

I walk a distance and I see a lone leaf
soft and tender awaiting to caress me more
but I should stop for a while and think of my face
it shouldn't be smoothened by taking a toll..
of a soft and tender leaf anymore.
I'd rather step aside and say goodbye
to the lone leaf that I passed by..

I have learnt to carry my scars by now, it should know
Why soften it again when it ain't a burden, no more
One tender leaf that I passed by should know
many more like me would follow!

One tender leaf I have hurt by now
By not accepting its open arms..

Tender leaf, oh you do not know
how delicate it is - the vine that you cling on
It is difficult for me to brush you by,
by not making you flutter - and you may slip by..
clinging onto me i may take u along
but not long until you realize
the vine that supported you is now no more!
you would try and resist me now -
the face you once felt you could touch!
Then you'd want and leave me by..
as yet another scar on my face!!

Tender leaves, I plead you now
to know well, the vine you are on
Decide how strong you need to be
to wash off the scars of the soldier who passes you by
for he knows the warfront well..
to realize how tender a leaf can get!
Your touch would knead a miracle or two
to the feeble one who can't uproot you!

Else you must let more vitality flow
to know the world as the soldier knows
for when he takes a decision, he well knows
the dire consequences it could take
But for his motherland he still stands up
cos if he wins, a whole land wins..
'tis for this danger that he gambles
and a tender leaf would still not know!

A tender leaf I passed by should know...

My inspiration for this poem:

"To the heavily scarred soldier, a tender leaf is too beautiful,
out in the woods. Its a heavy contrast. But opposites attract!
The tender leaf feels over sympathetic seeing the dedicated,
war-lorn soldier, and makes up her childish mind that she would
outright strive to touch him - deep to his heart. But the leaf
doesn't realize that to the soldier, it is not needed. Also, the
leaf ain't meant for that. It will loose its roots on which it
is held upon. But if either of them succumbs to the emotion, the
consequences are as said in the poem..

So the advice here would be to understand what is love and the
play of emotions that lead a person into believing he/she is in
love. Many people succumb to the emotion. But few realize the
impact of the circumstance they got in. Love is not a game. Its
thrilling to want to be in love. But once in, getting out would
be too painful. And most end-up that way, because they leave
their minds to their thoughts, unmindful of their footing on
which they stand. The rest need not be explained."

This poem is listed at

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Welcome to a spice of my life - My First Blog!

Hello !

I really appreciate you being here and taking time out to read around. No introduction about me now. Am located in India and am a software developer.

Holy cow, this is interesting, you know..blogging has always fascinated me, but I never got to blog in my life. I have really good writing skills and I promise you, your stay here will be great and superb in the times to come. Let me just start sharing my experiences with you and from your comments we'll see how to make this a better place!

Ahoy, bye for now. Cos, when I finally got to start blogging, I got pulled at office....will start with my thought renditions for your perusal and thought initiation soon...