07 December 2005
24 October 2005
25 September 2005
18 August 2005
06 August 2005
The throat drops were packed in some sturdy plastic armour. Twisting and tearing didn't help. Nor did biting. So one had to sit up, grope for sharp edged tools to carry out operation. Most unhelpful. Not something that can be done with eyes closed.
Let's see what of the cough syrup. It was Benadryl. As it is, the patient is a weak person. To add to that, the seal was hard to break off and took a lot of coercing with cutting edge technology like knife and scissor-tip. The fingers got completely bruised and cut. So after dealing with cold and cough, one has to use Boroplus to tend to one's injuries.
Yes, the tetrapacked juices were alright, but not the packaging of the accompanying straws. Not very amiable sort. Most reluctant to slip out of packaging even at the pointed end which could reputedly pierce. Therefore, one ended up drinking directly from the tetra pack. Result: The neighbouring ants and cockroaches also joined in the party.
23 July 2005
20 July 2005
19 July 2005
Some time ago I received a call from a colleague who asked if I would be the referee on the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student. The instructor and the student agreed to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.
I went to my colleague's office and read the examination question: 'Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.'
The student had answered: 'Take the barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower the barometer to the street, and then bring it up, measuring the length of rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.'
.. read the rest
17 July 2005
Then I have Jhumpa Lahiri's book - Interpreter of Maladies - to be read. I am overwhelmed with each story I read. Just get completely absorbed into one of the characters and feel happy, sad or in the same dilemma along with the character. Then I go lost in thought when the story ends. Keep thinking about the minds of each one in the story. Then I marvel at the author for having come up with this. Long after yesterday's play, I continued to think of Miss Manjula Nayak and her mind mixed up with victory, hate, fame, and vengeance, the silent Pramod Rao and the dead girl Malini. Oh, I still need to finish my Emotional Intelligence book, before I can go on to my next reading which is either Nehru's Glimpses of World History, a book I bought to teach my ignorant self about the world around or William (slurp).
An important agenda is to refresh my mathematics. Jayaram was making a presentation to the BA Twig, on internal audits. One of the methods to detect fraud in numbers was to use the Benford's Law. So its like this.
What's probability of the first digit of a number to be, say, 1? I would say 1/9. Well, I am so wrong! Apparently in nature, there is no such randomness. So if I study and arrive at a set of numbers, say the population of a country over a few years and list them, I'd find that 1 is the first digit of around 30% of the numbers. Surprising, right? The simple semi-mathematical explanation for this phenomenon is that for a number to start with 2 instead of 1, means that it has doubled. A 100% increase. But for a number that changes from say 9xx to 1xxx means that it has increased only slightly. So for any such data studied, the variations are not likely to be as much as double or triple. In more mathematical terms, the probability is a function of the logarithm of that number, n. More specifically, the probability is Log(1 + 1/n). So for the digit 1, it is Log(1+1/1). If I remember my college maths right, the logarithm of 2 is 0.3010. Hence the likelihood of 1 to be first digit is 30% ! I was all amazed and impressed and excited. So I called up Sreesh and told him about it!
Then, next thing on my mind is to learn a few of Ghalib's Ghazals. Harish Goel has given me a wonderful collection and I am always happy when I listen to them!
I also need to prepare for my presentation on Technical Writing and on South Indian Classical music.
Oh yea I know my mother is not going to be very pleased to know this - I have to throw out this cockroach that's been lying in the corner of the room the past week. I was hoping that at least the ants would come for it ..
I turn on the tap. Evidently this creature is not prepared for the cold sprinkle. So it springs around inside the sink and tries to get out. Huh, but the water is fast and the walls of the sink don't have the grip that the climber needs. I continue in my engaging chore of cleaning vessels. Scrubber, soap, vessel. I tell the child-of-the-lizard by both verbal and non-verbal methods to leave. The lizard does not take the hint. Then I pour out the water from the cooker. This time the water is warm. So the lizard leaps in shock, I think, and lands plop on the plate that I am now cleaning. I tell the lizard that I don't like it hopping around on my plate and then politely tip the plate. The lizard falls down on the floor and waits suspiciously for a minute and then runs off in a familiar direction. I smugly smile at the scrubber and adjust the halo behind my head.
16 July 2005
At Vishy's home, we came to know from his mother who had already watched the play, that there was only one actor. Uh! What! I had specifically chosen this play against another one where Vasanthi of Radio City, Good morning Bangalore fame, had announced was a one-man-play. I had been pretty certain this was not the one. Well, Vishy's mother said it was a one-woman-play, if that was any consolation. Rohit exclaimed away about how a person could talk for a whole hour and still make sense. That was the least of my worries. So while Gazal served us delicious dosa, chutney and sambar and nice hot coffee, I worried what would be the case if the whole thing got dry and monotonous. I still let my hopes live while the others threatened to clobber me after the play (others being Vishy, Gazal, Vishy's friend Swapan and wife Lopamudra). I whined that they should not have gone ahead with the booking if they had known this.
Yogi and his wife were also at RangaShankara. Hello! Judging by appearances and costumes, it looked like a lot of clever people in society had turned up. I was just beginning to look around some more, and they rang a bell, a fierce school-ish bell. So I ran out of the bookshop where I was peacefully in. I came out and started reading the notice boards. There was another event later in August which was again, a solo play. I wondered aloud whether a solo play was some type of cost cutting measure. Hmm. The next bell rang fiercely again, and we went off to find our seats. The girl handed out some brochure about RangaShankara and the play. I read it. It said 'Lead Actor: Arundhati Raja'. See, I looked around hopefully and said - it does not say Only Actor. Hmm. Gazal was amused that I had not lost hope. Meanwhile Vani Ganapati had strode in with a glittering costume and was sitting in the front row just ahead of us. See, I told Gazal. This increases our chances of appearing on Page 3 tomorrow.
* * *
The play was brilliant! All of us enjoyed and were glad we watched it! Had dinner at Vishy's, cooked by his dad. Very tasty! The return ride was also fun. Rohit moaned about having left his scooter in Vishy's place because of the rain. Am so sleepy! Look forward to another play!
14 July 2005
This browser is neat and stacks up all the different URLs in tabs within the same browser so my desktop looks uncluttered. It has the very same shortcuts as IE, so I did not have to relearn anything. In fact, it imported all my favourite bookmarks too. It remembers my passwords more fashionably.
Okay, Firefox has this really creative plugin called Stumble. And it takes the shape of a little button. You tell this plugin all the topics of interest to you and then it lets you Stumble on websites of related topics. It randomly picks a topic and presents you a page. It was so much fun ! I think I was awake till around two in the morning Stumbling upon information and fun stuff on mathematics and science. I got pretty interesting things to read.
There was a site that explained the Kaprekar constant. Apparently it goes like this. Take any 4 digit number which may have repeating digits. Arrange them into the largest and smallest number and find the difference. The difference, which is also a 4 digit number and treat it the same way. Arrange it into largest and smallest digits and go on. Finally, one reaches a point where the difference will come to a constant value of 6174. This is the Kaprekar constant. The reason is that this process follows a sequence which is finite.
Another thing I found was that IBM has this monthly puzzle (and I found them truly puzzling) and most certainly makes for cerebral-wake-up. Oh yes, and before I forget, some passing reading on origami, mentioned that unfolding the paper would reveal a complex geometric pattern.
Oh well, I am getting so addicted to this ! This morning while I was having breakfast, I decided to read the Net instead of a book, like I usually do, so I didn't have to turn the pages. And I did a random Stumble. I got a dump of inconsequential facts like 2 out of 3 who voted for Bush go to Church although Bush is not a believer, that some sued someone else who was already dead, despite knowing that the second someone was dead, that 7% of Americans claim that they don't bathe, that a bar in London sells vaporized vodka so people smell, sorry, inhale instead of sipping it, that the Bible has been translated to Klingon - which is (an imaginary) language of the Star Trek characters, and that polar bears are left handed. Now did that matter to my existence ! Ah well, but it was an enjoyable breakfast alright !
12 July 2005
I thought the examples used in it were quite powerful, since I still remember them. One is the fish bowl example (separating the small fish from the one large fish that eats them with a glass partition) - that the brain becomes complacent after a while and stops questioning. The other one was that of Henry Ford - who fired a senior manager who salted his soup before tasting it. Ooh ! That was apparently because he "prejudged situations" and Ford didn't want someone like that. IMHO, it was very unfair on Ford's part - I might have also probably salted my soup, if I was familiar with the restaurant :-) but then, run the risk of being fired by someone like Ford! Well, I think that did happen in my job interview at ThinkPad when Salam asked me what Objects were. I had rattled off what I knew and then when quizzed more, got stuck for significant answers. So I said OOPS and got away with it!
Okay, now back to the book. There was also a list of quotes by famous people and how we've progressed so much more that such as why would anyone want a computer at home, and that TV has very little significance in one's life, and heavier-than-air flights were impractical, and one by Bill Gates in '81 where he said 640k would be more than enough for anyone. . While we are at it, I also remember Edward do Bono's thinking hats being used somewhere in the workplace too. Though this book didn't have any On a serious note, that book put me (back) on a higher frequency and I am all excited about reading books again. Now going back to where I left of from Emotional Intelligence
06 July 2005
04 July 2005
---------- Samuel P. Huntington
29 June 2005
"BEWARE...I WILL NOT BE SO CHARITABLE THE NEXT TIME.........
PS: THANK SAPTO AND TREAT HIM LIKE GOD FROM NOW ON....HE SAVED UR MACHINE....."
gitanjaliv: Had a question for you ..
keviv12 : bolo
gitanjaliv : How does one treat a god ? stand him on a stone and lock the door ?
keviv12 : Nahin...to use tamil...give him abhiskham.... First water
gitanjaliv : oh yeah ..I love that ! Stand him up and pour cold water on his head
keviv12 : Then milk....preferably diluted
gitanjaliv : yoohoo !!
gitanjaliv : Sapto is not exactly pleased ...
keviv12 : Thats how we treat gods....
gitanjaliv: Cool. Now that things are clear.
gitanjaliv: Yes yes, I wholly agree.
keviv12 : I dont know about what you do at home....
gitanjaliv : Stand him on a stone and lock the door.
keviv12 : But i bow and pray in front of god everyday and light lamps and incense sticks....and sing songs in his/her praise....You might have to compose one for Sapto god....
gitanjaliv: Ah I can sing for Sapto ..that is easy.
keviv12 : Easy for you...what about him??
keviv12 : see what i mean?!!
keviv12 : over??
gitanjaliv: Yes yes.
22 June 2005
This is what I managed to remember,
- Aryabhata calculated the value for Pi and gave the world the Zero!
- Bhaskara wrote his mathematical work the Lilavati on Differential Calculus five centuries before Newton and Leibitz (Remember there was a long bitterness between these two over the invention of calculus) . It was written for his daughter and he named it after her. His book Bijaganita was on algebra. He also developed a proof on the Pythagoreas theorem
- Madhava was a Kerala mathematician who also made significant contribution to mathematical analysis or was it Calculus ?
- Panini - a grammarian whose rules of grammar relating transformation and recursion are now the basis of computing and programming
- Pingala, Panini's brother is another mathematician who outlined the ideas behind a numeral system and what we now know to be the Pascal's triangle and Fibonacci sequences.
Have you seen Gitanjali?
QA to the core totally.
Finds nice CR's everyday
But I cant reproduce them try what I may.
So she dresses in red
Missing only the horns on her head
On finding a CR is very khush
All other times says "Tush tush."
Read my original Poem here
14 June 2005
I agree with you that the standups are so full of uninteresting and irrelevant information. I'd rather everyone sit dowm comfortably and pour out their problems. Sigh. Escapes my understanding what it is in this imbecile recitation of count of bugs found or test cases executed. Ah, and before I forget, there is always a Mister or Ms KnowAll who suffers from extreme desparation to parade their knowledge or experience ahead of others. The urge to express is so strong that any slight interest of another person is immediately extinguished. Don't let that bother you. I know finding bugs is not the most valuable thing to you. Nor how to facilitate a Analysts' brainstorming session. Please put that out of your head and focus attention to the more important things in life.
08 June 2005
Why when people don't shy of quoting monstrous prices for their services, here is this small cobbler with his tin shop in a street corner, who hesitates to even ask for such a small amount as three rupees for a few stitches that would save me a whole five hundred or more. I complained to the God that the imbalance in the world is too much. I get to sit in an airconditioned office while there are some people who wade into the stinking city-drain kneedeep, with no protective layer, to build a flyover for public convenience.
07 June 2005
I woke up quite early and reluctantly on Sunday morning to reach Basavanagudi from my homely home in Indiranagar. What I like about mornings is my elaborate coffee and crossword ceremony which I had to forego on account of an acute and whelming desire to listen to a live concert. I got there well on time given that the opportunity cost of listening to all those lengthy adoring speeches in Kannada was a seat. The first item was two vaadyars reciting some mantrams. I assumed that it was the prayer. That finished and the audience burst into applause. Hmm.
Next the compere of the proceedings announced that the shishyas of RKP were to sing prayers. And a procession of students went past the folks on the dais. They sang really well. Thought it was a Vadiraja guru special set of shlokams. Neat singing of Sri Kamalambike one Vadiraja Kriti in Bahudari. I was impressed thinking that if his students were singing so well, then he would be definitely good. Sreesh had also told me that judging by his initials, he might be good to listen to. Thus encouraged I endured the speeches in flowing Kannada.
Let me describe the stage to you. On the screen behind, there was a large poster in blue with something written in Kannada, presumably the event details and date. There was a Shiva with one hand raised and slightly titled with white foggy light coming out of it. There was also a lingam like thing on the other side which also emitted a smiliar kind of fuzzy light, These two lights converged at the centre where there was a picture of a beaming RKP. Huh ! Now RKP himself was sitting on stage, on a throne-ish seat, quite smugly. Beside him were his wife, RK Srikantan and one person called Mattoor Krishnamurty. The two were frequently referred to as Nadarishi and Vedarishi. Various speakers who spoke into mike insisted that Rudrapatanam (where RKP belongs to) is the Karnataka Tirivaiyyar and that RK Srikantan was Abhinava Tyagaraja and Mattoor was Abhinava Vyasa and RKP was Abhinava Vishnu. Very odd similes, I thought. To echo my thoughts, the enthroned One and the other seated Ones vehemently gesticulated to deny those appellations. Then they all insisted that RKP embodied every quality mentioned in the dictionary.
Now the moment of glory when RKP was finally conferred. It was a ginormous framed certifficate (?) of some sort.in red and gold. Yes, so they all posed and posed for the clicking cameras and videocameras and smiled and posed. Then in that moment of glory, Mister RK Padmanabha, with the enthusiasm of Venus Williams after Wimbledon, lifted his framed gold certificate high up with both arms and displayed it to the audience who clapped away anway. Meanwhile I was appalled. He then placed it and then stepped to receive a tiny Ganesha statue. My appalled state was not yet over, when he lifted up the Vinayaka in a similar manner high up with both arms. And the audience clapped away.My eyebrows went up and down. And I sighed a couple of times.
What happened at the concert is an insignificant manner. He sang a Vadiraja Varnam in Poorvi Kalyani I think. Then a faster version of Siddhi vinayakam. People cheered and clapped when he sang the upper Ri some seventeen times. Then a fast version of Nama kusuma mula. No swarams. No aalapanai. Then he started a decent aalapanai of Kharaharapriya. And he went on and on for twenty minutes. Then Mysore Nagaraj, I am not too fond of him, played and bowed and all that. Then RKP started. A Tanam in fourth gear. At that point I gave up, took my bag and decided to step out. The good thing is that they served a fairly elaborate lunch. So I was relieved that I didn't have to go back home and then cook. That was what I liked about his concert. Oh and by the way, in his defense I must say that RKP has a great voice. May be he just got a bit carried away with all that garlanding and photographing and that praise must have got into his head.
30 May 2005
24 May 2005
The Navayat community came to be, around three hundred years ago when the Arabs/Persians came over to this side of the Vindhyas and blended into the local population. And that's why they were Nava-ayatis (new comers) . I was curious about what brought the Navayatis to India. And the answer was obviously trade. Navayatis were mostly merchants.
I googled away for Navayat and found a few links. But not any information on the vocabulary of the language or its origin or script. From the old pages of a Konkani Culture website, it seems that NavAyati is probably a variation of Konkani, based on the castes or communities of people that speak it (Other variations of konkani are based on the region where it is spoken) That is when it occured to me that his name was Umar and not Kumar as I had first heard.
The Hindu also speaks of a Konkani meeting earlier this year, in which Navayat is mentioned as a language spoken in Bhatkal. Yes, there is also one more picture link with some relevant text.
22 May 2005
My nephew, Sanat also has an issue with his umbrella, but of a slightly different variety. He has been recently presented with one colourful red and yellow printed umbrella. He was seen making several attempts since last afternoon to pull out the knob of the handle and dip the nose in a bucket of water. It is his firm belief that his unassuming umbrella will suddenly act as a straw that sucks in water. Further he hopes that the press button that opens the umbrella will also trigger a fine spray from the top. He has questioned knowledgeable elders such as me, his friendly and devoted chitthi, Amma, his learned grandmother and Sreesh the uncle that forever teases him. All of us have given him consistent, non-varying responses in the negative. But he refuses to be disillusioned and quotes his own knowledge and understanding of such umbrellas.
In conclusion, may I also point out that he was also trying to stand upside down and somersault in order to conquer his hiccups. This was a suggestion by another learned lady who also is his mother.
19 May 2005
17 May 2005
Nick Drew had told me about a word in English that is a term for all words that sound like what they mean. Like Splash, thud. I am scratching my brain for that word.
It seems that there is a Japanese number game called Sudoku, that is some kind of grid where you need to fill in numbers from 1 - 9 in some order and not repeat them so that it totals to something. Read that it is popular among england's rail commuters! Find more of those puzzles at Sudoku. This has been created by its British adopted parent, who has written some program that generates hundreds of such puzzles every day !
Speaking of Japan, here is what I read about this funky machinethat I read about that is supposed to translate baby babble into human understandable. Doh. I think that machine has previously acquired fame by translating animal noises for humans also !
09 May 2005
Me: What's with this pen ? Some kind of status symbol ?
Sparky: No it just means I am busy
The bedroom, which more effectively serves as my living room, now has the bed in a different position. It has some wall hangings. The dressing table has two tiny green bonsai trees framing a slightly larger bonsai with yellow leaves. Jazzy eh?
Listen, now. the maroon fridge with sparkling green freckles all over now has two wooden dolls. One is a Maharaja with moustache and one is a Vaadyar with a kudumi. They both have springy necks. I will presently explain what I mean. Whenever I open the door of the fridge, the two figures perched on top nod their heads and they nod their heads and it such a delight ! Also there are two bonsai trees on either side of these men.
I must also point your attention to the green frog. This particular green frog sits near the grey wash basin and has its left arm waving and wears a nice white toothy smile.
In case you need to know, my mother is a cleaning freak. But she was not terribly discouraged to find so little ammunition to serve her ends. Within a few hours of her arrival, the house had mops, sponges, scrubs, liquid cleaners, brooms and waste cloth all over. And needless to say, I was tricked into cleaning the house!
In addition to all these wordly possessions of cheer, I acquired, for a price of a thousand less, many thanks to the bargaining power of my mother, a blue queen-size chair and a tiny wooden computer table with wheels. This serves as a desk for the Desktop which has not yet come into my possession. The aforesaid desktop will serve me that I may be able to chat with my beloved and with my family while I go about life in this traffic infested city.
If you will look in my kitchen, you will find numerous vessels. You will also perhaps find it a wee bit amusing if you examine it in the context of how many people reside in No 3391, 13th B Main. Me. There are enough vessels for four! Thanks to generous contributions from mine and Ashok's mamiars. Ha ! Up to yesterday, the fridge wore a deserted look in its interiors. Now open, it is well furnished with sweets, pickles, snacks, eats, vegetables, fruits, cooked food, batter and dough of various categories. Big grin!
The award for the best purchase however goes to one tiny item of glory. It is this bright and happy yellow Umbrella with blue and pink flowers, and currently the joy of my life. I was waiting to wake up and go off to work wielding this deadly weapon to combat the fierce sun and rains!