Monday, August 27, 2007

New Seven Wonders of the world...

... proud to say that Taj Mahal is one of them. (Not that I did anything wee-bit towards it ;) )

This raises a few questions. Why is it that then I am proud of that Taj Mahal, which I don't even remember seeing once, made into the seven wonders of the world?

The only few who should be proud are those who contributed towards its construction, who are long gone now, and those who are currently contributing towards protecting it. They deserve an applause.

Is it patriotism to be proud of any achievement that I am not even remotely connected to? What difference should it have made had Taj Mahal been in Nepal, say? Should I be not proud that the Great Wall of China is still a part of the Seven Wonders? Isn't it mother earth that we all reside in?

Where does the "my circle" begin and end? When in school, kids would cheer for one sect of the class he (I did my major schooling in a boys school) supported. Then, when it came to a bigger match, "we" became the division that one belonged to. Now, on an all-school competition, the "we" now is my whole "Standard" ("Grade" in US lingo). Everything else seems "alien". But all of a sudden, for an interschool competition, "we supported" "our school". It was not much of a surprise that it soon became "our district", "our state".

I thought the next obvious step was "patriotism" and "we" would be "people of our country" when I stepped into US for my Masters education on August 5th 2001. I expected that the group that moved together would be bound by the common thread of India. Also definitely expecting an interweaving into the host culture.

I was mistaken, by a mile. I was shocked to find "Tamil" gangs, "Telugu" gangs, etc! The cricket teams were made by this lingo-based seperation! I had zero respect for this split. It is agreed that it is easy to converse better on a known language. But, 21 years of schooling in English, 2 years of preparation for a 650+/800 Verbal score in GRE, and breeze on TOEFL, was for what? What about Hindi? National Language exists not as another 3rd Standard GK question.

I see myself really fortunate to hail from a country that has so much of varied culture and heritage. But, the culmination point of that should not be to retrieve into water-tight shells, when put face to face. To eat dal makhani with my buddy from Punjab, and to shed tears for a bit of Gonghura chutney from Andhra... I am proud! I am proud to state that I could learn at least a few dozen Kannada words in the last couple of years. The fact that we have different cultures and different language at home is not to mean that it has to remain the same way when left out of the box.

But, planting one self in the US provides a lot of other opportunities. US brings together a lot of other cultures - people from US (of course :) ), China, India, Kenya... the list goes on. I find myself really lucky to be in the mix. And I find it an opportunity wasted for those who pull into the self-defined-"we" cove.

Enough said on an aimless ramble, I would like to re-iterate "I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage!"

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ssshhhh… Think twice before you disturb...

… some one might be trying to get some work done.

All of us, while working, can get into a state where the concentration is absolute and intense on the task at hand. This is often referred to as being "in a state of trance", "in the zone" etc. From one of my former colleagues, Ray, I came to understand that this is a state of immense focus and a state where the mind is receiving immense happiness. Work tends to flow and get done quickly during this time. I have also learned from him that while one is in a state of trance, the mind does not like to be disturbed. I now realize that this was the reason for all the shouting and yelling, when my mom rang the buzzer to invite me for dinner while I was neck deep in "Halflife", trying to get that monster out.

Well, well, I learned an extra piece to this puzzle just yesterday, from Hari. It takes about 40 minutes for the mind to get back into another state of trance. I have not validated this, but it sounds totally true. I am also sure that the interest the person has on the task at hand can increase or decrease this time. But, yet, on an average the 40 minutes seems about right.

So, guys, the next time you open up that messenger or pick up the phone to "ping" a buddy - just because you are idle - be warned that you might be taking away the "talk time" + 40 minutes of your friends time.

This adds to why emails are sometimes better :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gift of the day!

Just stepped into my office… and followed another person, with a parcel in his hand.

My three much awaited books are here:


Microsoft Windows Powershell Step-by-Step

Inside Windows Communication Foundation

Inside Windows Communication Foundation Step-by-Step


Ab aayega mazaa (Now comes fun!)


The million dollar question is… which one do I open first :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Things that steal my processor cycles

Well, here is a rant about some random stuffs that keeps me thinking - more so to the point of worried.


  1. What is the best way to organize my music? I need access to them - read/write from home, office, travel. When I say "best" way, there is an implicit requirement for cost effectiveness. I don't want to be spending another 400$ to buy an extra piece of hardware now.


  2. How far should I believe my One Note? The intention is to ask, what happens if my HDD crashes! I need a way to back it up as well.


  3. How do I continue my blogging, without shooting into my own foot at work?


  4. I need another pair of headphones :( My beloved Sony noise cancelling headphones snapped.