Friday, December 31, 2010

Ring out the old, ring in the new

With fizz of champagne
And sparkle of fire works
A New year begins

Light the lamp of hope,
Of freedom, but leave behind
despair of darkness

Here is wishing you all a prosperous new year. On this New Year, let us for a little bit pause ourselves from the mad rush of our busy lives in the rat race for success. Let us revive ourselves and think of the little change we can bring around us for the good. Let us ring out the old, and ring in the new. Let us ring out the darkness and ring in the kindness.

New Year Wishes from Minnesota; Photo from Minnehaha Creek, Minneapolis

Although written about two centuries ago, this particular poem still stands good in the current scenario also. And this is 106th Canto of "In Memoriam A. H. H." written by Lord Tennyson.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Micro Finance Institutions, the Indian scenario


Organizations that offer financial and banking services to low income people are called Micro Finance Institutions (MFI). Low income population, more specifically poor people, who do not have any assets for mortgage formally and/or proper employment cannot get credit benefits from the mainstream financial institutions like banks. These MFIs accesses financial resources (money) from the banks and give the poorer people the benefit of credit. Their prime target is to help microentrepreneurs (from the low level income strata).


Some of the main goals MFIs try to achieve through their services are to understand and identify what helps people to move out of poverty by creating self-employment opportunities. And, they also provide financial resources to the under-previleged and train them in putting the resources to their best use and generate income and employment through it. Micro financing is also profitable because if properly it can generate upto 50 percent returns on investment and it also helps the clients to pay higher interests.


One of the major challenges that our MFIs come across in promoting micro-financing is the client illiteracy and lack of experience managing their finances. This requires people trained in micro-finance to deal with people in training them, and their unavailability affects the growth of the organization. And other challenge is in distributing the funds that government releases in support.

The Indian Scenario

Major Indian population resides in villages, and there has been a consistent effort by various governments after independence to develop rural India. The governments have tried to reduce poverty by providing grants, subsidies and credit through the main-stream banks. But these schemes proved to non-profitable for the banks and often led to their misuse. And it was also ineffectiveness on the governments' side in helping out the targeting beneficiaries. This scenario gave a platform for local money lenders to dominate the poor by lending money at exorbitant interest rates, which often leads to selling of assets and suicides due to inability to pay the debts. This has also led to the urban migration in search of a better living. With this, India adopted the micro-credit concept.

Just like anything else, the MFIs could not even protect themselves from the face of corruption in India. These non-profit organizations with a 25,000 Crore INR industry gradually turned out to operate for profits. And these "for profit" MFIs have grown spectacularly in the recent times by charging greater interest rates. Which made, MFIs a paradox in India. A recent study revealed about the coercive practices used by some MFI agents to recover the loans. There were incidents which have led to lots of suicides in the recent past, and which were allegedly coerced by the agents so that the loan money gets repayed through their insurance. And, government has recently taken steps to monitor these MFIs after they have faced the allegations at various levels.

But do these people, who face hardships through out their life for making a living, need to face exploitation at this level also?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mobile Version for Blogspot blogs

Sweet is the word to describe the mobile version of blogspot blogs. "Blogger in draft" rolled out mobile version for the users of Blogger. All you have to do is enable the appropriate settings, and the screen shot below explains it all. For more details, please have a peek into Blogger in Draft's blog.

To enable the mobile version of your blogspot blog

This is how the mobile version of my blog looks like. Life made easy! And, simple and elegant will be the words too.

Psyche's Visage - mobile version

One draw back I noticed so far is that all the scripts are disabled. So, if you are using an external script to keep track of your statistics, then the visitors from mobile phones don't make it to the total count. The "Stats" tab in your "Blogger in Draft" does its works perfectly fine though.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Is Google Now Into Medicine?

Google which rules our life with access to our data through various services it provide is now into the field of Medicine. Are they planning to make it big with their internet services in the field of medicine? We don't have any answers now, but only time will tell. This application matches with my area of interest as it deals with how the power of graphics can be leveraged to improve the field of medicine. And I am one of the happiest person to see this tool live and working. But I don't think my boss will be a happy man since we were working on the exact same idea for many days.

As an initial step, Google today launched an application called Google Body Browser. Body Browser is a browser based tool for human anatomy which lets you navigate through various anatomical structures of human body. Developed using WebGL, a technology based on OpenGL for browsers, you can now have a detailed look of your body's functionality in 3D right down to the muscles, bone structures, nervous system, and even vital organs. The application starts with a fully clothed human model, and as you select various modes the details increase with transparent rendering of outer layers. There is also the labeling feature which is very important for these educational applications to tell you exact scientific names of the anatomical geometries. And how can you not have a search feature in a Google product? There is this ever friendly search bar that lets you look for anatomy you know.

Google Body Browser

To get it working you will have to enable WebGL on your browser.
For Google Chrome, download the latest stable Beta version and install it. Type "about:flags" in the address bar, search for WebGL in that page, and double-click on the "Enable" and restart your browser.
For Firefox, download version 4 Beta and install it. Type "about:config" in the address bar, search for "WebGl" in that page, and double-click "webgl.enabled_for_all_sites" to set it to true. And restart your browser.
Happy learning!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Beautiful Smile

Sireesh was able to perceive the changes around him in that room but could not control even his eyelids. To assert that he was not in a brain dead state, doctors would occasionally hook his head to MRI and scan while asking questions to watch the response of his brain cells. They would also try to monitor his brain's activity by opening his eyelids and placing an object infront of his eyes and make him track it.

As a kid, being born to a doctor couple, he always thought he would never have to go to hospital as his parents can take care of any health issue he would encounter at home itself. But, fate took a fatal turn for him. In the early days after his hospitalization, Sireesh used to have frequent visitors. His friends and well wishers. They used to talk endlessly with occasional breaks waiting for a response from him. But it was like a bad cellphone conversation where you would hear the person on the other side and realize they could not hear you. As days passed by, there were no visitors except his mother.

"Ma! The most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Strong, graceful and selfless as ever. The smile on her face when I asked her about their love story! The pride in her eyes when I became the topped my class. The tears on her cheeks when dad left the world. The fear in her look when I was hospitalized." If it were not for her, he would just have been a subject of experiment in the hospital and nothing else. Everyday she would read for him in the night even though she didn't have a clue if Sireesh was listening or not. "She never knew that was how I differentiated between day and night. Ma! Do you hear me?"

There was not even a single day he haven't thought of being normal. Of being able to take care of his mother rather than his mother taking care of him. He was bound in invisible shackles, which he could not break free from. Even a prisoner on life sentence would get a cell for himself, but all Sireesh could get was a 6.5x3 ft bed. "Can I just not break free from the darkness that surrounds me?" Sireesh let out a loud roar only he could hear, for all he could do was cry in his heart.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Fall of Faith

Source: Google

Eyes closed and hands tied
Let go yourself from above
Strong hands of faith hold

Posted for Haiku Heights (Theme: Faith)


The good place that has got a bad name.

Badlands National Park in South Dakota provides a picturesque view with the colorful ridges, sharp spires, steep canyons and deep gorges formed out of volcanic ashes. These volcanic ashes are carved ans sculptured into breathtaking forms by erosion caused due to rainfall and winds over the years. The name These lands made the lives of our ancestor dwellers very difficult to cross them during their exploration, and hence the name Badlands. For more information on Badlands, follow the link here.

P.S. Watch for Rattle snakes when you go there.

Posted for Thursday Photo Contest (Theme: "Brown").

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Mystery

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 17; the seventeenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

"You'll end up dead or incarcerated, but you'll be looked up by everyone." The words Pete uttered before his oath resonated inside Bret as he hung up the phone.

With a semi-automatic, Bret headed to Pete's place. It was dark. Unusually. As he entered, Bret heard a click behind him. He knew what it was!

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Home, a must watch

Have you ever wondered why Jake Sullivan in Avatar film fell in love with the planet Pandora? Isn't the answer beauty of the nature in Pandora? Now watch this story to learn more about what we are doing to our own home, our planet Earth.

"Life, a miracle in the universe appeared around 4 billion years ago, and we humans only 200,000 years ago. Yet we have succeeded in disrupting the balance that is so essential to life." These are the words to which this documentary introduces us to our home, the Earth. Ever since I watched this, I could not stop thinking about it. Highlights are visually stunning aerial shots of most amazing places on Earth, the background music and above all the story it tells. And their message stands out, the message about what the wise humans have done to our home the Earth, and what we would lose if we don't act in a timely manner.

The film was shot by Yann-Arthus Bertrand, a famous French photographer from a helicopter using a HD camera, and it took them 217 days to shoot 488 hours of footage from 54 different countries. And the facts they share through this movie are really shocking. Yet in the end of the film, they infuse hope within us telling us about the measures currently being taken across the world in making up for the damage we have done. Here are some of those facts in the filmmaker's words and some screenshots from the film to motivate you to watch it.

Faster and faster. In the last 60 years, the Earth’s population has almost tripled. And over 2 billion people have moved to the cities.

Faster and faster. Shenzhen, in China, with hundreds of skyscrapers and millions of inhabitants, was just a small fishing village barely 40 years ago. In Shanghai, 3000 towers and skyscrapers have been built in 20 years. Hundreds more are under construction. Today, over half of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants live in cities.

Faster and faster. Like the life cycle of livestock, which may never see a meadow. Manufacturing meat faster than the animal has become a daily routine. In these vast foodlots, trampled by millions of cattle, not a blade of grass grows. A fleet of trucks from every corner of the country brings tons of grain, soy meal and protein-rich granules that will become tons of meat. The result is that it takes 100 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of potatoes, 4000 liters for 1 kilo of rice and 13,000 liters for 1 kilo of beef. Not to mention the oil guzzled in the production process and transport.

Faster and faster. The more the world develops, the greater its thirst for energy. Everywhere, machines dig, bore and rip from the Earth the pieces of stars buried in its depths since its creation… Minerals. As a privilege of power, 80% of this mineral wealth is consumed by 20% of the world’s population. Before the end of this century, excessive mining will have exhausted nearly all the planet’s reserves.

Is excessive exploitation of resources threatening the lives of every species?
By 2050, a quarter of the Earth’s species could be threatened with extinction. Our ecosystem doesn’t have borders. Wherever we are, our actions have repercussions on the whole Earth. Our planet’s atmosphere is an indivisible whole. It is an asset we share. How can this century carry the burden of 9 billion human beings, if we refuse to be called to account for everything we alone have done? 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of its resources.The world spends 12 times more on military expenditures than on aid to developing countries. 5,000 people a day die because of dirty drinking water. 1 billion people have no access to safe drinking water. Nearly 1 billion people are going hungry. Over 50% of grain traded around the world is used for animal feed or biofuels. 40% of arable land has suffered long-term damage. Every year, 13 million hectares of forest disappear. 1 mammal in 4, 1 bird in 8, 1 amphibian in 3 are threatened with extinction. Species are dying out at a rhythm 1,000 times faster than the natural rate. Three quarters of fishing grounds are exhausted, depleted or in dangerous decline. The average temperature of the last 15 years has been the highest ever recorded. The ice cap is 40% thinner than 40 years ago

It's too late to be a pessimist. It's time to come together for what remains. We all have the power to change.

Do watch it on Youtube for free, and help spreading the message by sharing it with as many as you can:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Follow Or Not To Follow Your Heart

We always refer to "heart" when we make our decisions emotionally and "brain" when we follow some instructions mechanically. It is quite obvious from the saying, "Follow your heart, not brain" which tells us to make our decisions emotionally based on our liking rather than following the herd.

Throughout the history and in various ancient cultures, heart is treated as the intelligent force behind all our thoughts and feelings we experience intuitively. In one of the oldest books of Egypt on wisdom "Ptah-Hotep" ('The God Ptah is satisfied'), it is said "Follow your heart during your lifetime; do not do more than what is commanded you." Old Testament of Bible says "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". "Let your heart guide your head in evil matters" is a very old and famous Spanish saying. The New Testament of the Bible has a reference to a reasoning heart, "What reason ye in your hearts". Bhagavad Gita talks about the intelligent/ignorant heart, "Sever the ignorant doubt in your heart with the sword of self-knowledge." The Chinese, Hebrew and the followers of Islam also have their interpretations of thinking heart.
Brain vs. Heart (Source: Tumblr)

But, did you ever try to logically think if these statements and interpretations make sense scientifically? Rather medically? I've not and now that I'm thinking in this direction my mind raises this question. Didn't our high-school science teacher tell us that heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood and maintains circulation to all parts of the body until we breathe for the last time, and it's the brain which has the ability to think and make decisions? And, it is quite possible that throughout this history, this attributed thinking ability of heart is a result of lack of understanding of our body's functionality or incorrect translations/interpretations of actual manuscripts written in various languages.

But, looks like I shouldn't have doubted the thinkers of the past and my high school teacher is not all that correct. Documented by scientific evidence, the heart communicates with the entire body neurologically, biochemically and bio-physically. Neurological communication happens through the impulses of nerve cells. Biochemical control comes through hormones and neurotransmitters. Bio-physically the heart can also send out pressure waves when it pumps the blood. Recent studies show that heart's innate capability to control the brain comes from electromagnetic interactions between them too. The heart generates body's strongest electromagnetic field which is 60 times stronger than what brain could produce. The rhythmic patterns of our beating heart changes with various emotions we go through. The experimental data also backs up the fact that positive emotions give out distinct mode of psycho-physiological coherence which leads to increased efficiency and harmony in the interactions of our entire body. Maintaining this harmony inside our body is important for being healthy, and this is why it's important to follow our heart.
Source: Link

Often, due to the challenges the society we live in poses, our decisions are not based on what our heart says. This leads to dilemma when our heart opposes the mind not only in the life changing career decisions but also in the simplest of the cases when we want to decide what to eat. Listening to heart might give satisfaction, but following the mind might lead to results and success. When I talk about results in this modern time, it is money. Because, mostly the measurement of success is in terms of the money we earn, the house we live and the cars we drive. And if you are a person of heart, I know it hurts. But, here is why you should follow your heart.

Do you know why most scientists lock themselves in labs and invent things they do? They work for their passion, they follow their heart. What would happen to all the innovation if those passionate entrepreneurs don't push the boundaries risking their careers? Bhagat Singh would have never started a revolution had he done what his brain said. Gandhi would have never cared for our freedom had he not followed his heart. Martin Luther King need not take that bullet had he not followed his heart. But, things would have been different had these great people followed their minds.

Remember how many lives changed when only a handful of people fought for what they believed and risked their lives despite knowing about the imminent hardships. What happens to this world if everyone follows their hearts and works for their passion? Why don't we do that?

Tyler Durden (Source: Toonz)
Because, it's not simple! It requires us to move out of your comfort zones. How many of us can stop caring what other people would say for some action we do? We live in a hypocritical society and in constant fear. And because of this fear, we are not what we want to be. We live under a facade, an attractive one for the sake of the society. We are worried about following our heart. May be this is the reason why I adore Tyler Durden. Tyler believes in being content at what we do. He believes in being true to self. "Sticking feathers up your butt doesn't make you a chicken". We are not the job we do, not the money we have, not the car we drive, not the assets we own and not the contents of our wallet. The stuff we own doesn't define us, it's what we accomplish. I'm not saying to risk your family and everything. Follow your heart; but don't lose your shirt.

If you don't know the Tyler Durden I'm talking about, he's the character of the movie Fight Club which was made after the novel by the same name written by Chuck Palahniuk. When people ask me why I like the movie so much, I tell them only about the rush the movie gives. But, there is more than the adrenaline rush to it. It's not about just fighting or creating chaos. To me the movie is more of a preaching throwing some light on the way we live now. People do it every day, they talk to themselves… they see themselves as they’d like to be, they don’t have the courage to just run with it. Tyler, in the movie, helps the protagonist by taking him down the path of enlightenment. For those of you who have seen the movie, do you remember the scene in which the penguin echoes "Slide" when the hero enters his secret cave in his mind? The power animal in that scene asks the hero to slide all those things that truly doesn't matter. To let go all the fear and distractions from being what you truly want to be. But, it was not easy for our protagonist to let go, and this is where Tyler helps him.

As Tyler said, "This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time." If only we have our own manifestations of Tyler Durdens in our life too, for those of us who want to follow our hearts but cannot.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Google Instant Bollywood

Have you ever tried to kill time by looking for random stuff on Google? I do it all the time, and the whole experience was completely enhanced after Google Instant was released. Here is how I burned an evening looking for Bollywood on Google.

And here is how you can get an idea on the mentality of people in general. The kind of terms they attribute to Bollywood and its stars are quite obvious from the search terms used.

Now, this is kind of the impression I've on Aishwarya Rai. And Google Instant summarized it for me appropriately. 
This left me wondering why so many people are concerned about Kajol expecting a baby or getting pregnant again and again.

I was hoping to see something on how Kareena sucks at acting or on her size zero. But apparently people are lot more concerned and confused about her virginity.

Now, it's the complexion of Deepika Padukone that they are confused about.

And Priyanka Chopra's as well, but looks like people are always concerned about the virginity of Bollywood female stars.

I'm sorry Preity. :P

This is exactly the same question most of us must be having, about the sexuality of Rakhi Sawanth. I don't differ either.

LMAO! I couldn't stop laughing when I came across this. How on earth can people even come up with this Search Query? This made my day!  

I hope you will also waste some of your time looking for your favorite personalities after going through this post.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


A new beginning
Echoes with the leafless trees
Clad in silky snow

Snow started all of a sudden this year. What was a pleasant sunny city until yesterday morphed into white color completely after the sudden 6-inch thick snow fall today. Here is another photo of this place early this morning and the snow-lady we built for the record. :D 

Posted for

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Instant Search Previews

Recently in their blog, Google mentioned how their instant previews feature, which will soon be released officially, will improve users satisfaction. But, isn't this idea already implemented by Microsoft in their search engine Bing. The only difference will be, Bing shows only textual content in their preview with information like contacts or other relevant text/links from the web page.  Where as, Google plans on rolling out previews with graphical content (images) as well. I wonder why Microsoft didn't try this out in their Bing. One reason that comes to my mind is the goals they've set. Bing, which is good at answering users' questions, tries to give out relevant content in the preview itself. On the other hand, Google is good at directing you to right web pages. By showing graphical content in the preview for search terms, the users can identify quickly if they already know the page or the icon that shows up and reach their page of interest. Although I'm not sure if their goals will play a big role in deciding the features of their products in this competitive tech business which requires to attract as many users as possible.
Google Preview Feature
Bing Preview Feature

This thing interested me since I was also doing some work on incorporating previews while interacting with 3D  data in virtual reality environments. You may try the real thing here until Google releases this feature in their search page officially. And, for someone like me who tries to get maximum amount of work done with minimum use of mouse, their keyboard controls come handy too. I wonder how many iterations of design Google came up with to identify and understand what makes a good preview. 

Speaking of design, I'm tempted to talk about Windows 7 phone. If you own one which is an event of very little probability given that it was released only 2 days ago or if you have seen one of those demo videos, it clearly indicates the care and effort that went into its design. I heard from a senior employee at Microsoft about how designers of Nike shoes were roped into this project. Thinking out of the box really works!

P.S. Re-edited on 11/11/2010 since the pictures I uploaded earlier got deleted automatically.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 16; the sixteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
It definitely is a week of celebration so far. Celebrated Halloweens with friends for the first time. I was the Crazy Joker with a bloody butcher knife. And to accompany me, some of my friends also masked up in scary avatars. The Zakusi guard, the Zombie with braided hair, the monster who never smiles, the nameless warrior, the headless phantom and the scream guy. Super fun it was!!!

And the big thing to celebrate was I graduated with a degree in MS from Univ of Minnesota after putting in lots of effort. The sweat, the energy and the soul I put in it reaped the fruits.:P This leaves me with the big question, what next? But who cares now? At least for a little while let me enjoy the happiness. I definitely am happy now that I'm done and it should be obvious from my words. Also, bought myself a brand new iPhone4 as a graduation gift. Here is a screen capture from my MS project, and it's a rendering of simulated blood flow through aorta of heart with a mechanical heart valve and the path some of the blood particles take throughout the course represented as lines.

And although we didn't celebrate Diwali the way we would in India, it was a non-stop food celebration. Made vadas for the first time after hours of effort, and here you see our yummy vadas with finely grated onions, chillies and ginger added in style.

But none of these can ever match up with the way we celebrate Diwali in India with family and friends. I hope everyone had a wonderful Diwali!
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Crazy Horse

The mountain carving on the background of the picture is supposed to assume the shape of the miniature version with a warrior on a horse in the foreground after completion. Crazy Horse is the name of the warrior in this carving, a Native American who fought and died for the freedom of Native Americans in the history of USA. When completed, this mountain sculpture will be 641 ft wide and 563 ft high (source: wiki). Due to funding constraints and lack of proper support, the construction of the memorial which was started in 1960s is going on at snail pace and now looks what it is in the picture.

After being defeated in war the Native Americans waged against the encroachment of US government into their territories and their living, when a white man asked him "Where are your lands now?". To that Crazy Horse responded "My lands are where my dead lie buried". Crazy Horse Memorial with this warrior pointing at their lands was started to honor his quote and to make history remember the truth untold. The truth about their glorious past and their unfulfilled future.

Knowing about what they went through is definitely one of best experience that happened to me when I went on a trip to South Dakota.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

R.I.P Walkman

Reported by Vee on Oct 26, 2010

July 1st 1979 - Oct 23rd 2010
Music is enough for a life time
But a life time is not enough for music
Minneapolis. Walkman, since 1979, is a firm believer of this statement and Sony's announcement recently on Walkman's demise comes as a rude shock to all the music lovers who have wonderful memories of their own Walkmans years ago. Walkman, although is the name of Sony's product, became a synonym for portable cassette player. The 30 year old tape player which revolutionized the idea of personal music had donned no lesser number of looks compared to what Rajini did in his latest movie Robot.
Walkman, first look
Fans and followers of Walkman claim that Apple and its music machines iPods are primary reasons for the sad death of Walkman. However, Sony didn't respond to this but said they would continue to name more products of theirs after Walkman. Earlier, Sony has named some of their phones after the legend Walkman and more recently they've launched their Walkman mp3 players.
Sports version
Walkman became popular among youngsters over the years and was owned by about 200 million people from across the world. Walkman was always knows for improvisation and reaching expectations. Constantly, various features and versions were introduced.
With auto-reverse feature
Walkman, an immediate sensation in music listening will always be remembered and will live forever in our memories. May its soul rest in peace. Amen!

P.S. I did waste enough time on creating the line drawing based on images from Google. It's fun though!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Crazy week

Hours of sleeping time in the past 5 days - 16
Amount of coffee consumed - looots
Food taken - who cared
Work levels - shit loads
Moment to remember - Walking alone on the roads from 4 AM to 5 AM in the morning missing the bus and being afraid of getting mugged while crossing through a dark street.
Current mood/state - Freaking tired, but unable to sleep. 

This week was totally crazy, never had such a busy week in my life so far I guess. Very happy it all ended now, although I'm not really happy about the results of the work done during this period despite lots of effort. On the other hand, now I hope I will have some time to blog every once in a while again. 

Haven't been doing much of picture-less posts. To maintain the trend, here we go with one. Although non-contextual, but wanted something to set a happier mood. :P
Clicked using friend's brand new iPhone.


Food for thought for the day - Will you be a chicken if you shove feathers up your butt?

Saturday, October 16, 2010


lonely and peaceful,
far from hustle and bustle.
a blemished heart healed

Here is me exploring and enjoying the nature at Custer State Park in South Dakota.

 Posted for

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Attention Problem!

I always knew that Siddharth Narayan is an intelligent actor, but only recently did I know about his intelligence as a person too. Have a look at this video and you will know what I'm talking about. The major point in his talk is how the current generation of Indian population have this "Attention Problem" and how we cannot focus on something even for a little while.

I might have had something to argue either on behalf or against his point, but after I went through the comments in that youtube video above I don't. There is this man trying to make a point, trying to motivate us. And we just abuse each other without caring for anything at all. And, this is a common case with all youtube videos or forums or anything which have India as their central theme. Seriously, what's the problem with us! Can all these abuses attributed to anonymity these online forums provide when the users comment? May be, given a chance to go anonymous or invisible these bunch of shameless people would start looting the country in every possible way just like the way they loot the country's pride by posting shameless comments against each other.

And what's with these fan groups in India? Fans of a certain hero cannot withstand fans of another. Followers of a politician cannot bear followers of others. When all these heroes and politicians are friends in reality, their fans and followers go on fighting with words on online forums for no reason. What's wrong with their gray matter, and what happened to their thinking ability?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Life & Death: One Frame At A Time

Earlier during 2008 - 09, I was doing a series of fictional short stories about a character called Sireesh. For every episode of the story I wrote, I tried to introduce a sense of incompleteness into it so that it could be continued in a different part.

Given the time since I've not pondered on that story, my ideas on it got a bit rusty. With this post, I'm trying to motivate myself and also thinking of encouraging my blogger friends to help me with ideas on continuation. I'm also open for a guest post on it if you wish to give it a good continuation. Waiting to hear from you on this. And here are the posts in order -

Source: Link
Catch the spirit, share the magic!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Fall colors

A treat to the eyes
When nature tries to show off!
Rejoice the colors.

It's about time for Fall colors. Last year we didn't have proper colors due to an early winter. 2008 was one of the best in terms of colors. Here is a picture of 08 colors from the Minnesota campus.
Last Saturday, I've been to Duluth along with friends exclusively for Fall Colors. Although the colors are not at their best, it still was a feast to the eyes! The picture below is from Savannah State Park, Duluth, Minnesota!

Posted for

(Prompt: Rejoice)
One Single Impression (Prompt: Try)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

26th August 1967

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 15; the fifteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
26th August 1967
Alston locality, Cumbria, UK

I'm not sure if I should consider myself lucky for having an opportunity to learn from the oral arguments in court. Oh boy, it was stressful. After such a day, I'm glad I took a day off from my Professor and colleagues and made it to this place from Durham. Alston, at it's location above sea level is a busy market place I must say. It is a small and scenic town, and is lovey this time of the year. As I wait for my train back, I sit on this bench and cogitate what a beautiful day it was. "Every moment is an experience!"

How I wish I had a chance to speak to that young lady I saw this morning. A beautiful young lady she's. She has got those big expressive eyes, the kind that sweeps you off your feet and make you feel like you are getting lost as you look into them. If only I had enough courage to barge in and initiate a conversation instead of silently sipping my coffee at the stone built Angel Inn. No wonder they say, "Good judgments come from experience and often experience comes from bad judgment."

Magnificence of seven centuries stood around me as I walked inside the St Augustine church, although majority of the church came down a couple of centuries ago. It has colourful stained glass paintings, but the one handed clock left an impression on me. It reminded me of the lines written by Henry Van Dyke for Katrina's Sundial - "Time is too slow for those who wait, too Swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice; but for those who love, time is eternity". And we try to overcome our mind and it's perception of time, with our clocks ticking one second at a time. But, this one handed clock ticks only once in 15 minutes.

An old local businessman joined me during lunch. It was him who suggested me to try the famous Alston Cheese. Having learned that I'm a student from India studying law, we discussed various popular cases in the past few years. He studied Philosophy about 30 years ago and he fervently discussed how he wanted to do remarkable things in his life but could not. Is it really hard to break out of the cocoons we build around ourselves and to come outside our comfort zones to do what we really want to? After all, I'm not my job. "A musician must make his music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to ultimately be at peace with himself."

Enjoying every bit of the natural beauty and Pennine landscapes, I walked to the Alston Train station. I could not resist using my expensive Polaroid pack camera to make a pictorial memory of this beautiful station. Quite old but an elegant brick structure designed artistically only to enhance the beauty of the nature that surrounds it.

As I finished reading the last word of the yellow wrinkled page from my dad's diary, I looked at the photo deeply. With every page I read, I get a little more close to him and it makes me much more happy that he wanted me to know him. Know him, and the world through his eyes, his ideas and his ideals. I still remember the day he told me how Alston and his experiences here were so important to him. And how he didn't let my mother go after he saw her for the first time in Bangalore in 1973. It still brings a smile on my face when I think of my dad's adventures in getting his lady love. He was my hero, and he still is. Here I'm in Alston on a cloudy and cold beautiful October evening, to experience live what my father has experienced more than 40 years ago.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010


That's me working in Immersive Virtual Reality a while ago!
 Almost Minority Report, ain't it?!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Tonight, a blog turned Four in the blogger world!
And with all the wonderful friends made,
There is every reason to celebrate.
I was on and off on the blogosphere ever since I started blogging. But, the past three months were the most gratifying moments as a blogger because of all the support I've received. Wish to make up for those lost days in hiatus by blogging without any break ever!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Will the father fail?

Ram Singh, a single father to two sons and a daughter, belongs to lower middle class. He used to look after his family by farming in the small piece of land he inherited from his father. His youngest son has a health problem since birth, and it would cost Ram Singh a little more for his son's medicines. But that's no reason for him to worry since it's nothing beyond what he earns. Very recently, the father chose to invest his money in a business in an attempt to provide better quality of life to his children.

All in good intention, the father decided to use all his savings. Slowly, the investment to start his own business was turning out to be more than expected. He had to sell his land and started borrowing amount from many places. He had to also cut down what he would use for his youngest son's medicines. Only in a hope that everything would come back to a better place once his business starts.

But it wasn't as easy as it should be. The father did not foresee all different problems he could face. Life is a bitch. The not so friendly local politicians would not let the things happen smoothly. Only with more money he could achieve what he had dreamed of. Now, with all his saving gone and with nothing to spare for medicines for his son, Ram Singh is broke. So are the kids. The kid with health problem is now bed ridden, and only timely medicines can get him back to normalcy. Did the father fail? Was his decision wrong? Should he have not dreamed of a better life when he was good at what he was?

It's not a huge amount that he requires to get his small business running. Chipping in a little amount from our side is all it takes to make his life better. All he needs is a little support from you and me. I'm ready to support and to not let the father fail! Are you?

Yeah, I've been talking about the whole Common Wealth Games scenario. The father is the country and the ill son is the poor population. How the father had to sacrifice medicines for his ill son simply reflects on how being a host to CWG effects the poor in our country. Instead of investing in eliminating poverty directly, the government chose to spend money by becoming a host which would further increase the taxes on the common man. But, the negative effect on the poor is expected to be only for a short period since this whole thing is worked out on a wonderful revenue model. Had it not been for the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats, the country is expected to profit a lot from being the host. I feel India, currently, is in a deep confusion which puts pressure in projecting itself as  a developed country while we still are developing one step at a time. Unknowingly and unfortunately, this creates the  scenarios for India-Bharat divide, the divide between urban and rural. Between the rich and the poor. And it is this confusion that wants to see ourselves as a capable country by becoming host to such a grand event. Had it all turned out the way it should have. Had it not been for all the corruption!

One thing we can do is to shed the negative vibes and the bad publicity. All it requires is our support as citizens. We had done it by uniting against terrorism earlier, and now we can do it again by supporting the event and sharing the positive energy. Please don't let the father fail!

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