30 May 2005

TWers hailing the rain

... and me on the obscure right a hailstone in hand. This was quite an event !

24 May 2005

New-comer to the Language

It was an interesting conversation I had. We happened to be at a common lunch table at the office canteen and started off by introducing ourselves to ward off boredom. It happens that this individual is from Murudeswar and speaks this language called Navayati. According to my friend, This language, he says, has strong influence of Konkani, Tulu and Marathi. And, as one may have guessed, there is a very small community that speaks this language. It has no script of its own and perhaps banks on from Urdu. He said that his friends/family write to each other in Navayati using the English script also, at times.

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

Of Relatives and Umbrellas

Contrary to pleas by relatives and well wishers, my mother has a hitherto unknown distaste for carrying umbrellas in the summer. She has now come upwith this very ingenious excuse for not carrying one. She said she cannot see well with an umbrella. What, I question her. The answer is that her peripheral vision is affected. Now, just how does one refute such a claim.

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

AllPairs, A Test Case Generation Tool

The last couple of days, I have been fervently testing attributes that have multiple values, and I have ended up with enormous grids trying to cover every possible combination with the optimism that no webby corners have been overlooked. And all at once, I saw a light, a host of golden solutions ! Ok, flowery language (pun intended) apart, Rajeshvaran directed me to this neat little tool called AllPairs. So now, this tool is based on the Orthoganal Array Testing Principle and works out the minimum number of pairs for you, so that all conditions may be satisfied. I used it to reduce 43 test cases to 8 and still felt good that the testing had achieved satisfactory coverage. This page from James Bach lists two more tools for test data generation!

17 May 2005

Words, Puzzles and Programs

Am glad to be subscribing to The Hindu once again. The clue that I was a bit happy to solve was shop displays rope I am twisting. That translates to emporia. Was might pleased when the answer came to my head.

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 !

Language Observation

I noticed in one of our meetings, someone said "...such-and-such won't happen until you don't it ..". Made me stop and think. It seemed to me a Hindi translation of 'jab tak aap nahin karte hain ..'

09 May 2005

The Pen is Mighty

Sparky is a visiting PM from Thoughtworks US. It was good to see him after a long time. What stood out about him literally was this black reynolds pen behind his ear.

Me: What's with this pen ? Some kind of status symbol ?
Sparky: No it just means I am busy

Weekend with Radha Iyer

My house has a completely new look. It is actually far more liveable and homely than it was. There is an assortment of divinity on the drawing room wall, pooja room and kitchen. A little away, is a pretty bamboo flower vase with bright purple flowers. Of course my creatively arranged calendar is on the next wall.

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!

02 May 2005


Landlady gave me two neiyappams this morning when I went up to pay rent. Wonder why people feel like giving me food when they see me !

Poem Part 1

Have you seen the build tower
Blessed with talking power
It stands proud and tall
In the middle of the IDS hall.

See Mojo's reply here