Saturday, April 30, 2005


Oh man! I am so tired right now. Its been a crazy week at work. And after mid-March I had promised myself not to work over-time. I mean, work over-time but get out of office after 8 hours. Sadly today that promise was broken. And I find myself leaving work at 9 PM of a Friday evening (night?).

I am so tired right now. And then I got home and saw this burglar holding my laptop. So I just lay down and dictated this post to him. The deal is if he types this he can leave with anything that is green. He doesnt know I have no dollar bills on me right now. I have managed to convince him that the money plant actually grows money. He is a simple man. And one bond of a typist. I am sure he'll put my laptop to great use. He's already asking me questions about Visual Studio and if C# is a musical note.

So I haven't spoken much about my roomie. Its not that I hate him, he's a great chap but there is never been anything to talk about (besides the fact that I wanna steal his girlfriends iPod). But over the last couple of days, we thought of doing a makeover on him. Complete change in look. From beast to the beastier. I am probably gonna make it to the next cover of Vogue as a stylist.

So first we start off with the original look.

Yes my friends, Veerappan still lives.

But then, Veerappan can get westernized too. All it required was a shave, a rather civilized hairstyle and more light while taking the photo. Lo behold, we have a Yuvraj Singh look-alike.

Yes, seriously, its the same guy. You have my word for it. Even the burglar refuses to believe it. He says he'll spare the money-plant if I can do a make-over for him. Nah... I am too sleepy. I'll let him have the money-plant.

Love, hugs and a pillow!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Free Beer!

Free Beer!

But first you have to read through this post.

This weekend I was off to Wilmington, Delaware. Yeah, my home sweet home one year ago. I loved my place there. But driving on the weekend was a bad decision. Sometimes weather channels could be wrong. When they say thunderstorms early tonite, early equals 4 PM!! So I start off in sunny Maryland and head towards Wilmington. Usually (with the way I drive) I make it there just about in an hour! Just for some kicks, I wanted to check if I could get there in a quarter tank.

Anyways, I enter Delaware (the toll on I-95 from Baltimore to Wilmington sucks!!), and it starts pouring. Anycase, no one really seemed to slow down, so I just kept going with the flow. After about 5 mins I realised, I could hardly see through my front wind screen but my rear wind shield was completely dry. Just two thin streams on water flowing down it. The rest, completely dry. Very weird I thought. And then I started thinking about life (oh no, here we go again). How the future looks blur, but the past looks clear and simple. As my car moved ahead, what was initailly a blur turned into clarity once I looked into the rear-view. I really found this fascinating and after a while realised I was looking more into the rear-view than on the road ahead.

Soon this rain got real bad. Felt like someone was throwing buckets of water at my car. And then the traffic comes to a stand-still. Hmmmm... time to push your seat back, turn on the volume and watch other drivers get frustrated. All this... till you realise you are almost out of fuel. Who the heck told me to experiment on a quarter tank? So by now I am trying to recollect Triple A's phone number. Finally the traffic moved real slow, but moved enough to get me close to an exit where I could get some gas.

Conclusion: Dark/Bright future or/and dark/bright past. Doesnt matter. Always make sure you have enough gas to move ahead!

Ok, dumb conclusion, but I have to make you go through some agony if you are seriously interested in the free beer!

Saw this movie on the weekend. "The Interpreter". Nice! Very nice! Sean Penn's done a good job. And Nicole Kidman rocks as ever! Who said she was 40? She could carry off a 22 years old role with equal ease. Anyone reading this, go watch it.

Also today was supposed to me my quarterly review at work. I never knew we had one of these. Basically, a one-on-one with my Director. Interesting talk. For half an hour he heard me gripe on what I could do better and all other "how to do this better" strategy while he ate a ham sandwich, cookies and diet coke. When it was his turn to provide feedback he just asked Why I am being so critical of myself and the process around. He's Happy with my work, doesnt expect me to change anything from the way I am working presently and assigned me to four new projects! I have such a big mouth I could put my foot in it!

Anyone have a good answer for this? When your Director asks you to assess him, should you dare to provide critical feedback? What did I do? You'll know if I am on this job one month from now :-)

Ah, now the good news (no, still time to get to that free beer). Bakshi got into Microsoft. Just came to know today. So rock on! He also recommends I start a Microsoft interview counselling firm. Hmmm... there was a suggestion to start an agony uncle kinda thing before. Now Microsoft interviews counselling. I need to sit and analyze this situation someday.

Ah, now the free beer. Bakshi's promised to throw a party sometime soon and says he would provide free beer to anyone around. I'll keep you updated when that happens (what? you thought there was actually free beer at the end of this post??).

Friday, April 22, 2005


First try hitting this link.

Now think a little. Why? How?

Now look at the keys on your cell/phone.

Check what GOOGLE comes out to be as a number.

These guys have every small thing covered!

Do you think Google will come out with an OS? How will Google messenger look?

And all those of you who never got to see the missing GoogleX link. Spot the difference. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mental Inside

When it comes to work I am the silent kinds. I sit in a meeting patiently listening to a discussion or argument which leads to more heated words regarding some design or testing issue. When it finally gets out of hand I'll stand up and say "What XYZ meant was... " and carry on to give what probably might be the best explanation of that current issue. And XYZ will finally concur that what I said was exactly what he meant. Only he wished he would have said it the way I did.

Since I have been blowing my own trumpet up there, I'll also kick my butt down here.

The above trait of analyzing things clearly and thinking out of the box leaves me when I get out of the tech jungle. If a speeding car is headed my way I'll just stand there staring at it. Here is something even weird I ended up doing. Sometime during the Diwali of 2004, four of us, Abbs, Tak, Bird (or was it Beamer?) and myself headed for good old T-Top, got on top of the water tank and liberated the alcoholic in us. The exception was Tak who had come with a box of Diwali sweets. Its the first time I realised Barfii's and Old Monk go well together.

For those who dont know about it, the nick name (yes, everything in my building has a nick name - you thought Bird was actually Bird???) given to my building terrace is T-Top. And when we sit on the water tank on the terrace sometimes we call it Tanky Top.

Ok, so where was I? Yeah, Old Monk and Anjeer Barfii's. So time flies by and it was some 3 AM or so. Time to go home we thought. So we get down from Tanky top onto T-top and try to get out of T-top. Failed attempt. The security (Gurkha) had locked the doors assuming no one was on T-top. Hmmm... lesson learnt. Next time make noise all the time! Gurkhajee probably strolled by on the terrace while we were sitting up on the water tank. Didnt hear us and locked the terrace and left.

Brilliant way to start the new year. Locked on a terrace.

Now as we looked down we saw the Gurkha sleeping on one of the benches (I should mention here that the bench is a humble donation by Mr. Shah of the ground floor fame). Calling out to the Gurkha was out of question. That would wake up all of Nandanvan. Everyones mind was thinking big right now. First came out the Pepsi bottle caps. Throw them down and hope they hit the Gurkha. If nothing else they bounce near him and make some noise. No success. Seems our Gurkha is a sound sleeper. *sarcasm* Makes me feel that much more safer! *end sarcasm*. Next the Pepsi bottle (empty) found themselves hurled from the eighth floor. No success. Call Farro on his cell, hope he is not asleep but partying somewhere. No success.

So by this time I am in complete panic and almost willing to take off my shirt, rolling it into a ball and throwing it onto the watchman. If it lands anywhere close-by he'll at least wake up by the smell (yuck!). [Any beautiful gal reading this I was just kidding about the smell ok?]. And NO. I WOULD NEVER THROW THE OLD MONK BOTTLE!!

During all this time, Abbs (or was it Tak) is in silent mode. Thinking. Suddenly he walks to the other end of T-top. This one chap we know is in his final year engineering. He has to be up late studying (yes, I was the only engineer who slept through his exams). Tak looks for a light in the chaps window. Positive. Calls him on his cell. Positive. The guy responds. Goes gets the watchman and gets us out and saves my shirt.

Now thats what I call proper thinking. Thats how I think during meetings. What Party A is saying, what Party B is interpreting and what would be the optimal solution to get out of this mess. Tak (or was it Abbs) thought in the most logical fashion. Final year engineering = awake at 3 AM. Why didnt I think of this? Probably since I slept throughout my engineering I might have never thought of it.... but you get my point here!

I could point out another 20 such incidents. When I have to save someone else's butt, I do well. when I have to save my own... I suck! Hands down!

But then... Old Monk, Pepsi and Orange Juice. I could stay locked on T-Top for a few days!

Enough rants!

By the way, who is gonna be the new coach for the Indian cricket team?

I think I need a blogger vacation.

I forgot to mention. Farro called when I got home @ 4 AM. Said he was partying and saw my missed call. Love Farro.

Monday, April 18, 2005


So I got some new features into by blog. From the complaints I have received it seems many have indeed noticed.

Many have objected that its very difficult to read an entire post or leave a comment with my photo staring at them in the right corner. Only a few complained that their kids were scared. Ok, I'll try to find one when I had a hairstyle!

The next is my BlogMap! Its one cool feature stared off as a pet project by
Chandu Thota at Microsoft. Can be found here. Get your own one now!

On the tech front,

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2
shipped few days back. It rocks!

Apple will be coming out with their
next OS - Tiger - by the end of this month.

barcodes war might flame off in the future.

And I wonder where does Gmail get all their free space from?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Mere Jeevansaathi

Ok, call this height of boredom or call it a keen eye for humour. One of the sites I visit regularly is to check on the progress (or lack of progress) of the Indian team. I noticed these advertisements in the bottom right side of the web page. If you hit refresh it shows a new one. And some of them are hilarious. Here are a select few:

Seeking romance for Lifetime.
Hi I’m Ria. I’m looking for sensitive young men who believe in love. I don’t care about flashy clothes & big cars. Wanna meet up?

My reply to her would be: Let me know when you move on from men to one man! We have one thing in common tho'. I dont care about clothes either. If we meet, I am okay with you wearing none.

I met my wife within a week of registering And I’m marrying her. Frankly I didn’t even get a chance to contact anyone… she contacted me!!

Me: You are marrying your wife? Interesting. Dumbo, say, "I met my dream woman within a week..." or something like that. I mean, geez! "I met my wife on a matrimonial site and I am marrying her". If she is your wife, she shouldnt be on a matrimonial site. Or were you trying to cheat but couldnt escape her there too?

Anjali & Amit thank
Dear Sir/Madam, We (Anjali & Amit) are very thankful to u.... as we got married on 27th of jan through ur site.... our ids r... anjaliyadav & yadav315

Me: If you guys are married, stop giving out your id's!!

For anyone into marketting, this is not a good example. But come to think of it, if it grabs your attention, maybe it is.

Ah, ok... I should go off to sleep before I get tempted into scouting for phunny prophiles of jeevansaathi.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Doggy want an Apoorva?

Its time for some entertainment. So I got these 3 DVD's. Troy. The Incredibles. Oceans 12.

I just saw Troy (again). Geez man... Orlando Bloom. He challenges the warrior whose wife he stole and then gets beaten up, is almost looking death in its eyes and then runs to his brother for help in the most cowardly way. Those who have seen this movie know what I am talking about. It was a choice of pride or life. He chose life. Later in the movie, his brother chooses pride and loses his life. I wonder what I would do? On one side is Orlando. Lost his pride but saved his life. Probably lived happily ever after with Helen and raised a family. On the other side is his brother. Lost his life but kept his pride. But in losing his life, his newly born son and wife were left without him and he, without them.

What would you do?

I love to say I'll stand up for my pride. But I have experienced it. When faced with a life-threatening situation my first reaction is run for my life.

Lately, I have received complaints that this blog is getting too serious and its getting Bird too philosophical which made him leave a
potential blog entry as a comment. So heres something to loosen things up.

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love dogs. Anyone who knows me really well knows how much "DOGS LOVE ME". This is probably back in 9th grade or so. I was headed for my aunts place. Mom, Dad and myself. Mom and me got off the car while Dad went to look for parking. Excited me ran to the entrance of my aunts building. And stopped. Probably 10 meters from me was this huge black Doberman (named Bruno). We had eye contact for about 5 seconds, and trust me it was nothing like love at first sight. But I can read dog faces well and this one said he wants me!

I didnt even realise that Mom had walked up next to me. She whispered "Apoorva, dont move". Thats all the man-dog pair required. I take off. Bruno takes off even faster. I realise I aint fast enough so here is my last resort. Get behind my Mom! So we have crazy dog, crazy boy and sane Mom. And in all this crazy boy almost pushes sane Mom onto crazy dog.

But somehow Bruno doesnt like my Mom. He likes me. We have a situation now. Mom standing, with Bruno and myself running around her. She kept telling me to stop and I kept telling her to tell Bruno to stop. Fortunately (and unknowingly) we managed to create enough commotion to bring out Bruno's owner who ordered him to stop. Mr owner, if you happen to read this, I forgot to thank you then. I really needed the exercise. Had not run for weeks! If you ever want me to return the favour, I would be more than glad to run after Bruno!

OK! I know everyones smiling. Thats the whole idea of this blog. Abbs and Farro will have at least 5 more stories to point out to which underline my relationship with dogs. But heck, when attacked my a dog, I hid behind my Mom. Ok, I was in 9th grade. But still...

If I am attacked by a dog today, I'll probably still run. When faced by a threat your brain just stops working. You do what comes to your mind at that moment. Its reflex. When a window breaks while playing cricket Bakshi's first reflexes are to run. My initial reflexes are to walk up to the broken window and start an argument with the owner (like Bird would say - cite out penal codes). I can face a 10 foot hooligan or dive into a lake to rescue my room-mate (yeah, I did that once only to realize I helped him and then started drowning myself). But a Dog.... I need cover... or faster legs!

Altho, here is one feat I'll never match. Probably around 3rd grade or so. There used to be a dog whose area of control was near the cycle-walla next to Dadajee's (local ice cream parlour near my place in Mumbai). That dog bit Farro. Well, Farro went on to win Gladrags. But the dog died 2 days after it bit him. Go figure!!

My years of Karate taught me one thing. When you are alone and danger seems to be near you - RUN!! I bring this into practice when I see a dog.

I seriously love dogs tho'. I am gonna have one someday! Till then, lemme go watch Oceans 12. And any of you who have not yet seen "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind" (even after me repeatedly pleading during my visit to India), go dance in front of Bruno!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

When there is smoke, there could be a drill

So I am coding away to glory. The brain is churning out thoughts in the most orderly fashion. I can almost feel my code talk to me. And the fire alarm goes off. Damn!

At work when the alarm goes off (some jackass smoking in the restroom I am sure), its a very flashy affair. Reminds me of our good old Discos. Only, much brighter. Weird lights start flashing and loud screeching noises make you wanna get out of the building. Trust me, had it not been for those noises, I would have continued coding. Just like the disco dance floor, suddenly all people come together.

Everyone makes a beeline for the exit. Now I happen to be up on floor 3.

News Flash: In America there is no ground floor (unlike India). Its floor 1. So in America if you are on floor 2, in India you are on floor 1. You can imagine my confusion when I arrived in Uncle Sams land, got into an elevator and wanted to get to the ground floor. End Newsflash.

Anyways, back to the fire. Its surprising. As I walked to the door which lead to the stairs there was another gentleman in front of me (and many behind). When we got to the door this person in front of me opens it and holds it open for me to pass through. Heck! This building could potentially be burning and this man has time to show courtesy??!! I was hell impressed. So the good soul that I am, I told him it should be him first. Now I didnt know this chap was so stubborn. He says No, its got to be me. So we had a little "Pehle aap, Pehle aap (translate: You first, me first)" for a while till the people behind made us realize the building could be burning.

Fortunately its a sunny day and not so cold. So standing out in our
assembly spots was not difficult. Now I find Vipul standing there too. Eh? Wasnt he behind me when I took the stairs. He says he took the elevator. Ah... brilliant brain. Someones gotta tell him you dont take elevators when there is a fire! So I did the needful. Oh well, he actually did end up being the brilliant brain. He knew this was a semi-yearly drill. A mock show of what the real thing would do. So it was ok to take the elevator. No wonder the guy was being courteous at the door. He must have known too.

A drill!!! Just when I thought my code was talking to me! #@*^!!

I am going to send a suggestion on our internal mailing list. The next time they have a drill, to have it around 4:30 PM. I could just directly leave for home on my way out!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Is this the other side of me?

It happens to everyone. If you are a guy or a girl (ladies, kindly replace girl with guy and guy with girl henceforth), its happened! The phone rings, you answer it to hear the most wonderful female voice ever, asking for Jinesh! Oh well... wrong number. But that voice. It just remains. Lingers on. Its the most captivating voice you might have ever heard. As a matter of fact you have already drawn a mind-blowing mental picture of how this person looks. Some have probably even changed their name to Jinesh.... or Jigisha!

Somehow Sexy-voice calls you again (thank you MTNL) and you guys hit it off. Karina sounds all fun over the phone. Its the perfect gel. Its the feeling of hitting jackpot. And you decide to meet.

Oh, I forgot to mention, but the good soul in you meantime makes a humble donation to MTNL for routing the right person to the wrong number (twice). Without anyones knowledge, MTNL had been trying matchmaking since years!

So Jinesh meets Karina at Cafe Coffee Day and Karina ends up being the complete opposite of what she "sounded" like on the phone. Silent, weird, made that slurp noise when she sipped the coffee and didnt wipe the cream off her moustache... I wont go further into looks, since beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But lets say Karina ends up being someone you never want to Be or Hold!

Its happened. Not the above mentioned. But we have drawn a mental picture of someone and been totally blown off (in the opposite direction) when we met them. I, for one, draw mental pictures of almost everyone. Irrespective of visual knowledge. When you tell me about some friend of yours I have an image in front of me. Thats the human mind. Rather, thats my human mind.

Are you a Two Face?

But thats not the point of this post. Yes, I can hear everyone say that the point of this post is to put us off to sleep. What you guys dont get is the point of every post of mine is to put you guys off to sleep. Thats always been the primary focus. But there are secondary end-points too.

When I read someones blog I have a mental picture of that person. His/her personality, how the person might look etc. Its there... right up in the grey cells. So here's an experiment I was trying. I read through blogs of some friends of mine and tried to make a mental image. Only pre-requisite: imagine you dont know who they are.

Geez, I did end up with a very weird picture. Take
Abbs... talk to him on messenger or just read his blog and half the time you are laughing your arse off.... amazed by this mans creativity. Meet him in person and if you dont know him up close and personal, you will be hit by a wall of silence (at least a few years back).

Bird. Read his blog and you have the impression of him being a braveheart who travels second class on the harbour local. Real life, its a very different picture - a very "happy" picture. Silent chap sipping tea and eating Good-Day biscuits.

Alap. From his blog I would never know he is as wild as he is in person. A pure blood fellow Jamnabite. I mean, who else, beside Alap, Abbs n myself can be crazy enough to burn an Imperial Blue bottle on our terrace at 4 AM.

I could go on... I am sure if Pals would blog (he is all into spirituality and stuff), the blog would probably be on Drugs and rock metal.
Farro would probably write on mutation.

I think personalities change over the internet. Or maybe the real you comes out. Something which is not supressed. Does your blog relate to the person you are? Or is your blog the other side of you?

But on the telephone line I am anyone, I am anything I want to be
I could be a super model or Norman Mailer
And you wouldn't know the difference
On the telephone line I am any height, I am any age I want to be
I could be a caped crusader, or space invader
And you wouldn't know the difference Or would you
- Santa Monica, Savage Garden

OK, I know I am shooting myself in the foot by saying this, but do you think my blog gives out the right traits of my personality (ok, how many of you said "Apoorva & Personality??? HA HA HA!"?).

Go ahead... humour me!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Witch or Stick?

Photo taken at Syracuse Balloon Festival few years ago.

The rest left to your imagination!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Anniversary Punctured

Its been a year since we have been together. For a year she stood right besides me. All loyal & loving. And today... of all the days, when we should be celebrating our anniversary, she throws up her first problem.

All those who have not guessed it by now, I am talking about my car. And the problem was a flat tire. But before I get into the details, time for some education.

Ever had a flat tire in India? Inside the hard exterior tire is a rubber tube which holds the air. In USA, there is no tube. Just the tire which holds the air.

Enough enlightenment. Back to my heart-break (almost).

During lunch, I realised that my dear car's left front tire has a nail in it (anything going wrong with your car when its close to Friday evening is disastrous). Now here is the beauty of the situation. The nail was in such a spot that it was not leaking out any air. If I drove the car, maybe the nail would go in more and create a wider hole. Maybe the nail is just on the surface. Maybe not. If I took the nail off, the air leak would start. Or...Maybe not. Maybe the nail has not gone deep enough. Did remind me of life where we sometimes hold onto something not appropriate (relationships, or a job), or not take risks, with the fear that letting it go will bring in something worse. You just try to make peace with the situation.

So here I was, wondering if I should drive and look for a tire guy, or I should just stand and stare at the beautiful way this nail has implanted itself into my cars tire.

By now if you are bored and wish to surf another web page, you have my blessings!

Anyhoo, as any sane person would do, I did the former.

Fortunately there is a tire shop close to work. And the process is pretty simple. But before I get too monotonous, here is a picture.


The process: Pull the nail out, jam in a screw driver to make the hole a little more bigger while you can hear the air hiss out. Grab a strip of rubber+glue mixture whose radius is slightly more than that of the hole and shove it down the hole till its blocked. The rubber will gel in with your tire. Fixing a flat had never been simpler or faster.

Back to life. Sometimes, the process of fixing a problem might make it worse initially. But finally it gets better. Admitting to your boss that you made a mistake and cant make the deadline will intially get you yelled at. But you might get some backup in terms of man-power to hit the deadline. Ok, lame example. But armies did retreat when they were losing a battle. It was not an act of cowardice. But it gave them time to regroup and launch a counter-attack.

Sometimes, to fix the puncture, you have make it wider. You might have to fill in more air into the tire once its fixed. But it does get fixed.

The things a simple puncture can teach you..... apart from the fact that the first picture taken off my new camera phone aint too bad.

April Fool Ideas

Want some April Fool stories from the tech world?

Here is one from Microsoft's Channel 9

Neutrino demonstrated (new tool to help marketers work with developers)

Another one from MSN Search (and I think this one is extremely cool).

Check it out!

Be sure to check it out.

And, the mother of all April fool jokes - Google cant be far behind can they? They have been known to come out with the best April fool ideas since the last few years (remember the
Moon thing?)

This year, Google decided to stick to planet earth with
Google Gulp.

The beauty of this is the way they have indirectly made fun of those criticizing them for auto-link and other stuff (like sending out gmail invites). Note the similiarity in auto-link and Google Gulps auto-drink!

On a serious note, storage limit to gmail is upped to 2 GB. And rumours are they might come with a Google Messenger. The messenger will read what you are chatting about and show you users with similiar conversations etc. If you are chatting with your girlfriend, and type, "Where should we go for dinner tonite?" the messenger would give you local options/suggestions of restaurant in your areas etc. Only a rumour now, I dont believe it completely, so u guys should'nt believe me. Nevertheless, interesting and scary concept.

Anyone notice the gmail site, its counting upto 2000MB. :-) When I look at things like these it reminds me, come what may, its okay to have fun! Shows that Google is more than a company.