For the heck of it

Monday, May 30, 2005

You don't love a woman because she is beautiful...

The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she's settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.

It had been a year since Susan became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. 'How could this have happened to me?' she would plead, her heart knotted with anger. But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth, her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan's once optimistic! spirit. All she had to cling to was her husband Mark.

Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength she needed to become independent again.

Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however Mark realized that this arrangement wasn't working - it was hectic, and costly.

Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react? Just as Mark predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!" she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I'm going? I feel like you're abandoning me."

Mark's heart broke but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each day he would ride the bus with her until she got the hang of it.

And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment.

He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. Each morning they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his office.

Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one, Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the bus on her own. Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own.

Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? "Why do you envy me?"

The driver responded, "It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, "What do you mean?"

The driver said, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady."

Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was blessed, so blessed, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love that can bring light where there had been darkness.

"You don't love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her..."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Missing Mumbai

1. You say "town " and expect everyone to know that this means south of Churchgate.

2. You speak in a dialect of Hindi called 'Bambaiya Hindi',which only Bombayites can understand.

3. Your door has more than three locks.

4. Rs 500 worth of groceries fit in one paper bag.

5. Train timings (9.27, 10.49 etc) are really important events of life.

6. You spend more time each month traveling than you spend at home.

7. You call an 8' x 10' clustered room a Hall.

8. You're paying Rs 10,000 for a 1 room flat, the size of walk-in closet and you think it's a "steal."

9. You have the following sets of friend: school friends, college friends, neighborhood friends, office friends and yes, train friends,a species unique only in Bombay.

10. Cabbies and bus conductors think you are from Mars if you call the roads by their Indian name, they are more familiar with Warden Road, Peddar Road, Altamount Road.

11. Stock market quotes are the only other thing besides cricket which you follow passionately.

12. The first thing that you read in the Times of India is the "Bombay Times" supplement.

13. You take fashion seriously. You're suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.

14. Hookers, beggars and the homeless are invisible.

15. You compare Bombay to New York's Manhattan instead of any other cities of India.

16. The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.

17. You insist on calling CST as VT, and Sahar and Santacruz airports instead of Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport .

18. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.

19. Your idea of personal space is no one actually standing on your toes.

20. Being truly alone makes you nervous.

21. You love wading through knee deep mucky water in the monsoons, and actually call it ''romantic'.

22. Only in Bombay, you would get Chinese Dosa and Jain Chicken.

23. You call traffic policemen as 'Pandus" and expect out-of-towners to understand that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Brain download in 50 years

By the middle of the 21st century it will be possible to download your brain to a supercomputer, according to a leading thinker on the future.

Ian Pearson, head of British Telecom's futurology unit, says that the rapid advances in computing power would make cyber-immortality a reality within 50 years. Pearson said the launch last week of Sony's PlayStation 3, a machine 35 times more powerful than the model it replaced, was a sign of things to come.

"The new PlayStation is one percent as powerful as the human brain," says Pearson. "It is into supercomputer status compared to 10 years ago. PlayStation 5 will probably be as powerful as the human brain."

Pearson said that brain-downloading technology would initially be the preserve of the rich, but would become more available over subsequent decades. "If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine," he said.

"We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology is moving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT." Pearson also predicted that it would be possible to build a fully conscious computer with superhuman levels of intelligence as early as 2020.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Hey Google, feel the heat

Enter a search result into Google and you will probably be hit by thousands of results... and yes, not to mention you will scream "Wowwieee!!!". Well the "Wowwieee!!" is limited to the quality of search results - but a definite showdown as far as the presentation is concerned - just plain vanilla.

How about having your search results displayed to you as interactive diagrams and search result maps? No, I ain't day dreaming! Check out these cool web sites for more!

Groker, Clusty, Kartoo, Mooter, Snap, iBoogie.

What say? Ain't it kewl!!?

Robot power!

The next time you are in UAE and decide to go for a camel race, you will be in for a surprise. This sport will soon feature robot camel riders instead of child jockeys.

The remotely operated riders were developed following a ban on the use of jockeys under 16 years of age, imposed by the UAE Camel Racing Association in March 2004.

Camel racing is a lucrative sport with a long tradition among Bedouin Arabs. But human rights groups have linked it to the kidnap and mistreatment of children as young as four years old. Riders have traditionally been younger than 16 years-old and weighed less than 45kg.

How I wish these kinda robots were in India, may be replacing the likes of Lalu Prasad Yadav and the whole of Shiv Sena... well, at least these robots DO something worthwhile!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Almost settled down

Well, it's been about two months now, that I have been in Dubai. I landed here on the 26th of February 2005. The feeling was great - as if i have achieved something really great - especially after some people in one of my previous companies thought that I was a "good for nothing" guy. This was because I wasn't giving into their pressures about including their clients into my writings, just because they advertised in the magazine. Well, being a journalist doesn't mean that you always give up your rights on writing.

Well, I understand that advertising is the main source of revenue for any media company - but that doesn't mean for example, that you squeeze in a camera cellphone information into an article on digital cameras, just because the camera phone company has booked a full-page advt. in the mag! That's utter rubbish. The argument continued to an extent where it became a situation that I had to give up - leave the job and look for a better one.

After months of working around in different companies, I finally landed at ITP Media working for Windows Middle East magazine and the experience has been pleasant as yet.

There goes a saying "Kuch paane ke liye, kuch khona padta hai" - I think it has been true for me. I am hoping to stay around for more time, till finally may be I think of moving ahead and everyone does...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sand Sculptures!

Amazing... really amazing pieces of art. Astonishing little castles and life-like lions - all these made of sand. See them all here:


Sand Castle Centrak


Cheers :)

Monday, May 09, 2005

For the world's most beautiful girl

This song's by 98 degrees and is for a girl I knew...

You can hardly
wait to tell all your friends
How his kisses taste sweet like wine
And how he always
makes your heart skip a beat
Every time he walks by
And if you're feeling down
He'll pick you up
He'll hold you close when
you're makin' love
He's everything
you've been dreaming of
Oh baby

I wish you'd look at me that way
Your beautiful eyes
lookin' deep into mine
Telling me more than
any words could say
But you don't even know I'm alive
Baby to you all I am
Is the invisible man

You probably spend
hours on the phone
Talkin' 'bout nothing at all
It doesn't matter
what the conversation
Just as long as he called
Lost in a love so real
And so sincere
You wipe away each other's tears
Your face lights up
whenever he appears

I see you all the time baby
The way you look at him
I wish it was me sweetheart
Boy I wish it was me
But I guess I'll never be...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Facts about Aamchi Mumbai

Here are some more about Mumbai (Bombay) added to its ever-growing list of facts.

Financial capital: Mumbai is the commercial and financial capital of India. It contributes over Rs 40,000 crore or approximately, one-third of the country’s annual taxes.

GDP generator: It generates over 20% of Maharashtra’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and 5% of the country’s GDP

Taking stock: The Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in Asia, is located in Dalal Street, Mumbai. There are around 3,500 companies in the country, which are listed and have a serious trading volume. The market capitalization of the BSE is Rs 5 trillion. The BSE Sensex is a widely used market index for the BSE. As of 2005, it is among the five biggest stock exchanges in the world in terms of number of transactions.

Foreign trade: The city handles one-third of the country’s total foreign trade.

Busiest airport: Mumbai airport is the largest and busiest in the country.

World’s biggest film industry: Mumbai nourishes its inimitable film industry, which is the biggest in the world. From Filmistan to Film City, the power supply needed to keep its wheels moving is huge. Also, with the recent bout of popular television serials being increasingly shot in Mumbai, the city needs to shoulder the entertainment industry like never before.

Rail network: Mumbai’s suburban railway network is the only profit-making passenger railway network in India.

Adapted from

Monday, May 02, 2005

Infosys 9th on 'The Wired 40' list

Bangalore-based Infosys Technologies is the only Indian company to make it to the Wired magazine's 'The Wired 40' list.

Infosys made the list at number nine, behind top ranked Apple and Google, which is number two on the list. In the process Infosys has been ranked ahead of corporate behemoths like IBM, Microsoft, Intel, SAP, Cisco, Dell and GE. Toyota, which is giving Detroit majors like Ford and GM a run for its money, was ranked at number eight.

The magazine had this to say about Infosys, which has moved up two ranks since the last year:

"The caricature of the Indian outsourcing industry as a voracious monster bent on devouring US jobs isn't just oversimplified, it's obsolete. Case in point: Infosys. The Indian coding shop, which garnered $1.1 billion in sales last year, is hiring 500 employees for Infosys Consulting, a $20 million foray into high-end IT advice based in - guess again -- Fremont, California. Dirt-cheap outsourcing plus strategic guidance makes for a powerful combination -- and one that moves jobs back to the US."

Wired pointed out that the challenge for Infosys would come in the form of competition from Asia. "Beware, the rest of Asia. In the low-cost sweepstakes, China is to India as India is to Western economies."

On the flip side the magazine pointed out that the opportunity for a company like Infosys lay in taking a leaf out of what PC maker Dell did. Infosys, Wired said, could potentially, "do to bloated US consultancies what Dell did to the PC industry."

Read about it at Rediff (though the list is wrong) and Wired.