I also opine on:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mean Machines - Literally!

I wish the next-generation vehicles come with a pre-programmable honking horns. Key in the total number of kilometres to be travelled in the horn system, and the upper limit for horns is generated - 5-6 sounds like a decent number for 10 kilometres. After that, the system does not produce any noise - till the stipulated distance is done with.
Of course, this can be different for public and private transport systems. Autos should have the minimum limit - remove the pressing contraption I say, and replace them with this amazing electronic system.

Thinking of it makes me drool, because, armed with a mother-of-all-headaches, I had to travel by bus today. The driver was comparitively subdued - 22 honks in 10 kms. Yes, I counted.

I don't get it. Do buses/autos think they are silent machines? Like oiled shock absorbing Skodas and BMWs? One Swoosh of the wind and they are done!? These rickety contraptions make enough noise to shake up houses in their war-path and pedestrians or other vehicles long before they are in view- why the horns - especially these musical 10 honks in 5 seconds, or one long 15 seconds horn?

Our problem is not the traffic, for almost every city in the world has more cars than they can handle. Our problem is the freedom to horn and plunge one's way through cycle-gaps. Remove the capacity to horn, and reduce erratic travelling.

Friday, February 13, 2009


An act of violence to prove a point is cowardliness. An act of ignorance to not want to see a point is a bigger one.
I am guilty of the latter. I did not want to know about our cruelty to animals because I knew it would hurt. I once saw a KFC video, which was enough to give me nightmares.
Today, I chanced upon the earthlings video, showing how we ill-treat animals for food, entertainment, hunting, clothes etc. Oh.my.god. To think that I thought that by being vegetarian, I am blameless! To think that I turned a deaf ear to how animals in circuses are ill-treated. To think I still use leather!!

Conclusion: I am not going to buy anything leather from now on. There ought to be something more I could do, join PFA perhaps. That would be a goal as soon as I overcome my fear of dogs. :)

PS: This post is dedicated to Anupama. If not for her, I would have been lost in my rosy pink-perfect earth forever.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Material Analysis

The IT professionals are highly mis-understood, not in terms of our high intelligence, but in terms of our worth. We are paid way more than we deserve, and we have also led to the inflated charges of everything.
Wondering what a skewed tangential look I am taking to life?
Let us make a time n material estimate, shall we? A typical IT professional needs nothing more than a desk, a system and software to work on. Say the project is supposed to be completed in 18 months. Now Assuming:

Cost of software used : Rs.50,000*
Electricity consumed per person : Rs. 200 per day per person**
The total amount spent in 18 months
would be : 50000 + 200X30X18***
= Rs. 158000
So average monthly salary of a software
professional should be : Rs. 8777.78

* Highest cost I could think of, but cost of software is immaterial, as it will be used for another project even after the 18 month duration is over
** A liberal estimate taking the compuer, shared AC and shared lights into consideration
*** Assuming we work 30 days in a month

You’ll agree with me now. We are overpaid right?
We aren't, because in the above calculations, the ‘time’ aspect is not accounted for. Neither is the amount of effort or mind-work, or the family functions we gave a miss to, to complete our work.

Now, let us all observe a moment of silence for the countless number of times we have cited the petrol prices vs mileage ratio to the auto-wallahs in retaliation to their exorbitant rates.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I have waited,

for her first wail,
showing her annoyance,
and then take her first nap,
could a lullaby ever fail?

I have waited,

to see the protest in her eyes,
against her first sight,
and to snuggle against her pillow,
with a deep contented sigh.

I have waited,

for the toothless grin,
that her unfathomable dreams gave,
and that grin to turn naughty,
when she committed any little sin.

I have waited,

to watch her pink feet,
touch the floor,
and the walk to become a run,
whenever i came to meet.

I have waited,

for her small hand,
to curl around my finger,
and her hands to later hug me,
Ah! That feeling was so grand.

I have waited,

for her to play with toys,
cooing with them in baby talks.
and then for her to say my name,
in the musical lilt of her voice.

I have waited,

for 'it' to become 'she',
as she grew up so fast,
so that I can happily say
My Bommi's name is Rishi.

Writing this got me unexpectedly emotional, as it reminded me of every special moment with Rishita, my now-3-year old niece. Her first smile, her first hug, her first walk are etched in my mind. But the most precious memory is the way her face lit up whenever the doorbell rang. With a musical cry of 'Archana Chithiiiiii', she would come running and hug me.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

UnSelfishness - A myth?

Everytime someone claims that they are very unselfish, I get a chuckle out of it! Grow up people!! The act of unselfishness is not possible. We are just not capable of that sort of a utopian thought.

Since unselfishness & Selflessness are used interchangeably, I will go with that. (Though, less thought of self (selfless) makes more sense that no thought of self (unselfish)). Lets look at some common usages:

"The soliders/commandos selfessly sacrificed their lives for their country."
Hmm. As heart-wretching and tear-jerking that is, is that true? The soliders were so committed to doing their job that they did not hesitate to risk thir lives. That makes them brave, not selfless.

"Gandhiji was the most unselfish person ever."
I admire Gandhiji, and look upto him. But unselfish, no. Gandhiji had some ideals he believed strongly in. He propogated and stood by them. That is not unselfish - that is being steadfast in his beliefs.

"I will even die for you."
Some of us say that, and most of us mean it too. Aren't we selfish when we say that? Doesn't that faith, that love for a person to want to promise such extremes actualy make us happy?

"He is so selfless. He has donated XX money to orphanages/old ages homes!"
Hmph! There are two ways of going about it. You either donate/help out because it makes you happy, or for being guilt-free and fulfilling your social duties. This is the least unselfish act ever.

As a corollary, I admire people who are realistic enough to call themselves selfish.
Every act that we do gets us something - peace, happiness or blessings. Just think twice before you egoistically call yourself selfless.