Saturday, January 29, 2005


This is been a particularly busy week. Probably for the first time in my life I had a project deadline which got pre-poned (yeah, pre-poned by 3 weeks). And being just 3 weeks old in the company did not particularly help! Putting in extra hours is never a problem, but even when after all that work the deadline does not look reachable, it is a problem. The issue here is my part of the work starts only when someone else finishes a certain part. And if that part is not done well, I keep running into problems (which is what is happening right now). So its going to be weekend at work!

Last week when it snowed pretty heavy there was this interesting episode. About 5 AM, I heard fireworks and as I looked out of the dew stained window, I could see bright lights. On looking closer, I realised one of the overhead cables on the street had snapped due to the ice+wind and there were huge sparks all over. My first concern, had this cable fallen on someone? Fortunately, it had not. 5 AM on a snowy morning, I really didnt expect to find anyone on the streets of a resiential area. Next, had the cable hit my car? Once again, negative! Last concern, was I awake or dreaming? Anyways, I thought the day has finally come when I get to dial 911 (yeah, have always wondered what happens when you dial 911). So I get to my phone and realize there is no signal. Interesting! So I dress up and go out on the street (hoping my cell would have better reception). Fortunately I saw a fire truck pull up just then.... and I lost my opportunity of dialling 911.

Whats new on the blogosphere? For starters, Google introducing the "nofollow" attribute. This would cut out spam comments and allow bloggers to link up a site without increasing its page rank. Why would I (or any blogger) want to do this? The logic behind it is simple. Suppose my blog is a highly read one with a high pagerank in Google. Anything I link to from my blog is considered highly relevant by Google and would increase that sites pagerank. So if I link to, this sites ranking goes up and when you search for it on Google, it shows up as the first few entries. But suppose I want to make my readers aware of a site which has some misinformation on credit cards, or is looting people off. If I link to this site, the site will shoot up in the page ranks and anyone searching for credit cards would have that site displayed in the first few. But if I put in a "nofollow" attribute, it tells Googles search spiders not to include this site for pagerank purposes when they crawl my blog. So I have made my readers aware of some important factor and at the same time not increased the sites page rank. MSN and YAHOO have agreed to this system introduced by Google! Google rocks, yet again!! More of this infor could be found by clicking here.

People have also been enjoying themselves over this map point bug. Its kinda hilarious. Can be found here.

Bakshi is back, Amey is a married man and I shift to a new apartment over this weekend. Finally I have a room for myself (oh well, I have a room for myself right now too, only, its the living room). A Hare Rama Hare Krishna devotee almost killed Bird. Apart from that, life has been routine.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Warm Thoughts...

And so it finally snows.... I mean, it did snow around 21st Dec a wee bit, but this one is a steady downpour. My car is a white mass of coldness and I have my fingers crossed that it was built for sub zero temperatures!

One of the beautiful things which I might have missed out in Bombay is the snow. When those tiny snow flakes fall in a regular pattern, its the most beautiful sight to watch (from the confines of a warm home). The process of cement being covered by a white blanket is amazing! The problem starts when the snow settles down and it gets even more cold and slowly this snow turns into ice. Snow is like a small puppy brought to a new house. Once the puppy gets familiarized with its environment, it gets more notorious. So is it with snow. Once it settles down and finds favourable conditions, it turns into ice and that leads to one slipping over the other!

Snow is beautiful... ice is dangerous!

Found this rather nice site (thanks to Scoble) where you can post pics + videos straight off from your phone in real time... its called textamerica. You could check one of the pics I got up right now by clicking here (remember its taken off my cameraphone so it might not be as clear as you want it to be - personally, I dont think its too bad!). The photo is that taken almost a year ago when it had snowed just like today (only today is worse). I had my fingers crossed when I was driving then! This weekend... I am sitting home and staying warm. Glad I stocked up on my groceries.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Hail Nanguys!

Nanguys... who are we?

My last post had Arpita Kaneria ask "Who/What/Where are the Nanguys?"

Interesting question. Even more interesting answer follows.

Before I put down my perspective, I would like to quote a brilliant piece from Bird. This is his definition for Nanguys. Its verbatim, except for a few words which I have edited (many people read this blog and some personal references had to be removed). Anything in italics has been added by me.

Bird says:

Tough question, but as far as i can remember Nanguys is a cult/group formed to create & protect the weird & absurd things on earth (as was said out in the open by our late Mr.D'souza when he shouted out at them to play some sensible games). It is assumed that the name of the group has been derived from the location of this cults birthplace or it may be that the person chosen to give a name to this group (Bird refers to me, as in Apoorva Joshi) was too short on time (or frustrated with his bald spot) & used the roti that he was eating as an inspiration. The number of members of this group is top secret & it seems even the nanguys themselves are not aware of the exact number (the information being on need to know basis)

Although the Nanguys have always strived to protect the true aim/goal of this mystical cult from the society, the actions around every member of this cult almost reveals the purpose,eg. the mysterious shower of water balloons onto shoppers'stop or the breaking of water tank pipes etc.

The anthem for this cult was created by the "tall one"but it was found to be absurd by the cult the very next year (but what else can be expected from a sincere member of this cult than total absurdity).

As a matter of fact since this groups rituals (like dancing around a person changing a bulb or staying in a locked room with a wild monkey - yes this actually happened) were taped & may have been leaked to the general population such rituals have been completely stopped, even the members have been asked to go & settle in other countries to avoid being spotted together. The indian chapter of the cult is now managed by a 4-5 members with the one of the members settled abroad coming in for a month in a year(in rotation so as not to hamper the activities of the group abroad) to be retrained in latest technologies & to report on their progress &activities in their host countries.

More can be said but it wouldnt be the same as experiencing it when you are around any of the members, (from an adrenaline rush to extreme boredom) although there is no hope of joining this group at this stage.

I would've loved to write more but my office pays me only so much salary.

The Changed Nanguy (aka Bird)
(98928 XXXXX)

P.S. This phone number may only be used if any girl coming accross this piece of information wants to know more about this secretive group over a weekend picnic.

That was Bird, and any girl interested in a weekend picnic, feel free to contact me for his phone number.

I dont think anyone could have summed it up better (maybe Abbs - but he is too lazy to type).

Last but not the least, I would say Nanguys are a group which stick together through thick and thin. For those still confused, in Mumbai my apartment complex is called Nandanvan. Lived there for 22 years and there were another 10-12 guys like me who lived there (and continue living there) for 22 years. So we know each other from that age where we had no control over our urinary bladder. When I left for Uncle Sams land a yahoogroup was created under the name of nanguys (dont try to join it, membership is restricted! Also dont ask me why that name, I dont know what I was thinking All guys from Nandanvan, so Nanguys!!).

One of the interesting characteristics of the nanguys is each one of has at least one weird nick name. I had set up a whole site on this about a year back, but it went down after I got out of school. I'll take this as an opportunity to get some pics up of almost all the nanguys (here I would like to remind you of what Bird said, the exact number is not known).

I'll try to keep this alphabetical.

Abbs, The tall one. Brainy geek with amazing sleeping patterns. Is a repository of e-resource and the first nanguy to float a company. He made us proud by believing in his dreams! ( (Known to the ordinary as Abhijit Kunder)

Anna. Southern symbol. Mysterious profession. Silent one amongst us. (Known to the ordinary as Siddharth Anbalahan)

Bakshi. Calls himself the "Sporty Nanguy". (Known to the ordinary as Aditya Bakshi)

Beamer. Also called Dada (Known to the ordinary as Deven Hattangadi)

Bird. Nicotine lover. Bhiku Mhatre type. (Known to the ordinary as Priyadarshan Nadkarni)

Farro. Our model! Made the Nanguys proud by bagging the first runner up position in Gladrags and
representing India for Mr. World. More on him later! Girls, salivating on your keyboard is not good - (Known to the ordinary as Ganesh V)

Mask. The next probable guy to make the Nanguys proud. Hugely into animation and we are hoping he makes it big. Also, could be the first Nanguy to get married! ;-) (Known to the ordinary as Siddharth Maskeri)

Pals. The all time cartoon & rebel Gujju. (Known to the ordinary as Paryul Mehta)

Popeye. The Nanguys "Bali kaa Bakraa". Always had conversations with Mr. D'Souza when windows broke. (Known to the ordinary as Apoorva Joshi)

Tak. New addition to the group (about 4 years or so). Did the Nanguys proud by clearing his CA exams in first attempt (by the age of 23). Religious Gujju. Currently open to marriage proposals! (Known to the ordinary as Rushabh Ghia).

Contenders (in queue to join the Nanguys): Sthalu (Amit Sthalekar), Umm (Neelotpal Kundu).To be added to this list, kindly mail me with the weirdest thing(s) you have done. After a round table discussion (video conference), a joint decision would be taken! You would be subjected to a drug test and background screening.

I was about to post some pictures, but blogger is all messed up. Every pic is a post by itself. I wonder how to include multiple pics in one post. Anyone?

PS: Abbs, Farro and Mask, kindly send in cash for increasing your page ranks in Google!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

All Work & No Play...

All work and no play, now I can justify being dumb!

So finally I have moved and finally I have started working! The first week was kinda slow, where you are just expected to get used to the directory structure and provide some inputs. The good part about this company is there is a lot of room for suggestions (and ideas), specially in my department since its only about a year old. Now there is no gaurantee these ideas will materialize, but the CEO says they are welcome. We have weekly group reviews, monthly divisional reviews and a talk by the CEO (who looks like Bill Clinton, talks with a little Brit accent and mistook me for someone and waved across the hall). He was pretty cool in laying out the facts letting us know we met only 37% of the company goals for 2004.

Apart from that, I am waiting for the month end when we move into a bigger apartment. Right now its kinda cramped, but manageable. My roomies girlfriend happens to be from Poland, with an accent just like Tom Hanks in "The Terminal". Its fun listening to her.

Got a surprise call from Bakshi during the day. The whole Nanguys were at his place. It seems he has converted our kiddie time videos into VCD's and everyone was over watching our past, when slinging mud balls on each other was a daily thing! Got to talk with the whole lot (minus Tak and Mask). Good News is Tak cleared his final Chartered Accountant (CA) exams few days ago. At the age of 23, I wonder if he stands contender for the youngest CA ever?

Also coming true is another prediction I had made, and its getting me all excited up. I just have to wait till the news is confirmed and I'll let the cat out of the bag!

Its easier to write about everyday activities than post after 2 weeks. I finally got hooked up to the net few hours back and so comes this update. I know u guys get anxious for my posts.... ok ok... stop!

Anyone see Janani on 18th, dont forget to wish her.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

2005 - Trends

So here comes 2005, finally! And its good fun to read out the general trends of what will be hot and not so hot from fashion magazine, tech magazines, car magazines... etc.

So hell, if the magazines can do it, so can my blog. Here are my predictions for 2005 (actually, some can go down as predictions and some can go down as "hope"). But consider all for entertainment only!
  1. The IT boom in India will not see an exponential growth. A steady rise for sure, but not in leaps and bounds.
  2. Politics will become more corrupt.
  3. Microsoft will not open source any major project.
  4. The blogging scene will decrease. Not many people will actively blog as they used to, but what they have blogged will be an amazing repository of reference on various topics.
  5. My Dad will finally leave a comment on my blog.
  6. It will be the year for Smartphone development. I dont know what it will do, and what will be developed, too hard to pedict. But it is the banner year for sure.
  7. The healthcare industry will profit and be a major source of jobs.
  8. Bird will disagree with more than one thing I say.
  9. We will be lured into buying hardware since it comes bundled with some amazing software.
  10. Indian call centers will have people speaking in perfect American accents, such that you wont be able to figure out if you have been linked to one in USA or India.
  11. China will focus more on the English language. Few more years and I am sure they will take up a huge chunk of India's share in the IT dept.
  12. Digital cameras will be in big time! Regular photo studios will develop off memory sticks rather than photo film. Cell phones will move to another level, and India will have much more stringent cyber laws (Thank you DPS - RK Puram).
  13. Apoorva shall shed about 15 pounds and visit Seattle/Redmond in 2005! Also, Apoorva shall try out different hairstyles out of which one would be going bald.
  14. The iPod shall have stiff competition. But eventually we will have one format of digital media distribution so in the end it wont matter.
  15. Scoble will continue posting!
  16. Hindi cinema will have some screenplays like the ones seen in Pulp Fiction or Wicker Park. Unfortunaltely, the concept will not go down well with the masses and will be a failure.... unless its a romantic movie with Shahrukh Khan!! Ayesha Takia will be the new face to watch out for and Farro will finally make a widescreen splash.
  17. I will start writing a screenplay myself and come close to buying myself a cute little puppy for company.
  18. Devices will be connected but independent at the same time. Just as Josh Ledgard puts in, "Devices will start talking to one another in meaningful ways. You’ll still want to have a separate phone, media player, camera, and GPS device; but when you take a picture your camera will use your phone to record a podcast style annotation, post the pic to your private MSN space with the annotation, a map of where you were, and what song you where listening to at the time. Then the picture will be automatically uploaded to your portable media player and synch with your media library as you pull into your garage. Yes, I know all this is possible now, but it will start to be more mainstream."
  19. Irfan pathan will emerge as India's superstar bowler.
  20. More malls and Multiplexes across India. Also, more traffic and more new car models.
  21. The Delhi Metro which spans about 4.2 km right now will expand and provide much required relief to the people in the capital. Watching this scenario, other cities will be prompted into taking similiar steps.
  22. Cricket shall be allowed yet again in Nandanvan.

Anymore predictions? Just add them to the comments.