I've been bestowed with my first ever award, and it's a gift and not exactly an award.
Now this award is special for two reasons. First, it's my first original award. And second, this gift comes from a really witty person Richa.
Thank you buddy!!

Slow Internet connections...

If you are an engineering guy staying in your college hostel using an internet connection shared over a LAN, you know what I mean. If you aren't, read on.

If you are a person with a fat wallet and a high speed internet connection, you will never appreciate this post. You might say, a slow connection means pages load slow, isn't that all? No, you buggers, it is NOT.

Here's what happens when you have a slow connection.

* Pages load slow. Ha ha ha.

* My monitor cost me 10,000 bucks. I dread that some day I will hammer it. No hammers in my room.

* If you are planning to buy a PC that you would be using over a slow connection, buy a sturdy keyboard. I bang my keyboard at least five times every day.

* Youtube videos buffer so painfully slow. Worse, you leave a video to buffer. When you return to it, the buffering has hung midway. Or you replay and the buffering restarts. JEEEEZZZZ!!

* Take care of your social life-I. I find that elusive gal online and send her a hi over gtalk. She apparently doesn't reply and I sign out. Only to find out later that she had actually replied to me.

* Take care of your social life-II. Every now and then people haggle over what others have been downloading and how badly that has been affecting the speed.

* Uploading those vacation pics on orkut takes away half the fun of the vacation itself.

* Replying to blog posts that open in new comment windows becomes so tough. The comment box stubbornly refuses to load. If at all it does, you cannot save your comment. I missed commenting on Shweta's blog post, The harmless little breeze.

* Beef up security. Out of frustration I once installed a software that sent spurious packets to other PC's on my network and stalled their speeds. Someone found out in a week and I came seriously close to getting mashed up. Expect something similar if you are a marked torrent downloader.

* Beauty specialists reveal that stress can lead to premature aging. Health specialists say that stress can lead to hypertension, insomnia, diabetes and a host of other problems. I say that what is frustrating is essentially very stressful.

It's over.

It's over.
What is over??

Lots of things, actually. The last few days have been hectic. My quaint sleepy life was burdened with responsibilities, and I had to work for many more hours than I am comfortable. I missed reading the blogs I visit and I could not manage to write the one post I have been wanting to post for quite a few days.

A few days ago, I was chatting with a blogger friend.

A few more days ago I was chatting with the same blogger friend. It was after the Mumbai blasts. And my GOD, she was furious.

She was furious with the corruption in the government, she was furious about their vote bank politics, she was furious with the profit oriented media. She told me that she wanted to do something, perhaps take up matters in her own hands, perhaps join politics in her own way. She was hurt and so was I and so was the rest of India. It almost seemed that the great Indian middle class was on fire and the time was ripe to witness a historic change. Well, she was saying exactly what was on my mind.

I had almost forgotten everything until the chat a few days ago. In a flash, everything came back and I was tempted to ask her about her plans and what she had done with them. She replied that her normal life had taken over, she was busy with her projects and I saw that I was busy with mine. The great Indian middle class had moved on. And the Mumbai blasts were forgotten as another nightmare from a distant past.

How long has it been? Barely a fortnight. WOW!

Did we have another choice? Could we have done better? The blast has thrown unpleasant questions that we can't answer. How much more can we take before our fury actually spills over?

In time I will also forget these questions. And India would move on. Perhaps I'm getting too emotional. Perhaps it's a direct result of admiring the movie 'Hazaroon Khwahishein Aisi'. Perhaps.................

But what is also over is the extraordinarily long planned wait for me to update my blogroll. And I'm pleased to bring in Shweta, Richa and Divya. Oh yes, blogger friend, please don't mind. :D


Resolutions can be really really tough to keep. But strangely enough, almost everyone I know resolves every now and then. As far as I'm concerned I've had a pathetic track record. Here are a few faux pas.

* I shall blog more - I started my blog a year after I had resolved to do it. And ever since I did, I have lost all peace of mind. 'Cause I keep resolving something that I never do.

* I shall study - More than the 6 days of exams in a 6 month semester that is. I know it's hard to believe but it's even harder to repeat the feat semester after semester, trust me.

* I shall work out - This one was the joke of the century.

* I shall call up my folks more often - Before you think I'm a thankless prodigal, let me explain. I really care about my parents and spend almost all my vacations with them. It's just that when it comes to calling up, I develop cold feet.

* I shall finish projects - Four half finished projects and another four that could only exist in my brain. How does that sound?

* I shall get a girlfriend - For my buddies, it's the joke of the century. For me it's the tragedy of the millennium.

* I will not forget those birthdays - Yep, it has been a long standing problem. But I'm the understanding types, i.e. I do not mind when people miss mine.

* I will stop bunking classes - It has been a long time since I came to terms with reality. I no longer bother about this *wink*.

* Early to bed and early to rise - Self explanatory.

* Stop skipping breakfasts - This I really want to. Not that I do not want the others :-)

But I tell you, I'm improving. You doubt? How about this? This post is a direct result of my resolution to blog more.


Remember what I said about guest posts? Now forget all that and read what blogger Richa says. Thanks Richa!

Reading Pranav's posts about the traffic and traffic policemen, I am reminded of a few anecdotes and irks on the road, I have been thinking lately to jot them down, so here they come...

Anecdote 1.

Day/ Time- I was in 12th standard, so it must be around 2001.

I had learnt to drive a car when I was in 10th standard and since I was not an adult, I didn't have my driving license, but still I drove, but drove safe :D

I had to drop my mom and chachi to the hospital for a regular check up (my chachi was expecting that time). The hospital is at almost 2 kms from my home, so I drove them and was returning alone, when I noticed that the traffic police had set up a naka in the meantime at the signal. Now I didn't have a license, and I was confident enough- they didn't stop women/ girls for checking, I stopped on the red light. Then, out of nowhere, a female shapata (punjabi vernacular used for hawaldar) appeared and asked me for my license. Well, I told her confidently, that I had left it at home as I was in a hurry, and my home was just across the lights, I could go back and fetch it and show it to her. But she didn't seem to believe me- (obviously why would she??)

I kept on trying to convince her to let me go, and meanwhile I saw other girls/ ladies moving towards their destinations without being asked for their licenses... why me? I thought!! She was dying to write me a challan, which I was convinced not to let her do... I asked her if she could let me go anyhow, and this was what she had been waiting for.. She said "eddan taan 500 rupaye laggne" (otherwise 500 bucks would do)... I was taken aback. I told her I didn’t carry that much amount with me and on this she looked at me helplessly and annoyed and mumbled "enni waddiyan gaddiyan lae k turi firde ne te jeb ch paise v nai rakhde" (this big cars they drive and keep pockets empty), I looked at her amazed. but then anyhow I were saved of the challan- thanks to a VIP's relative who was also a fish to the traffic police, but whose approach saved us all in the queue!!

Anecdote 2.

I am sorry- but offense intended at all those labor class bhaiyas who move on the roads, high on drugs, or whatever they do..

This one is not that old, but a 4 years back almost. Mom and I were on the road, I behind the steering. At a roundabout, out of nowhere, a cycle appeared on the road with the two bhaiyas- one riding and other one hanging on it (I pity the cycle). And since it was so abrupt, I could not see them and could not apply brakes in time. They fell off the cycle and the cycle too- on them. And those foolish bhaiyas, they got up, smiled- rather laughed, picked their cycle, mounted it and disappeared. I was left on the roundabout, scared that I might have hurt them, but as they went away, the peechhe wala bhaiya waved at me, and my face went red with fury!!! Gosh, what the hell!! I could have hit them... but their cycle saved them...

I still fell heat erupting out of my ears while I write this X(

What irks me on the road!!

  • The honking people on the red lights or in the traffic jams.
  • The auto rickshaw drivers who break where ever they like- whether it is a turn, or a traffic jam.
  • The spoiled brats who think the road was gifted to them by their daddy on their b'day.
  • The spoiled brats who follow girls.
  • Aunties who do not know driving.
  • People who don’t know parking manners.
  • The beggars at signals.

The list is not exhaustive!!

Why Mumbai?

I never write about blasts. But this time, I have something to reflect on.

Please do not blame the terrorists. Yes, you heard it right, please do not blame them. They are a bunch of brain-washed, brave, passionate and maybe psychotic guys who cannot tell the right from the wrong. I'm not glorifying terror but think for a moment and you can't deny that the adjectives I have used are apt. Let us not be blind to the truth in our grief.

So why Mumbai? Not because Pakistan is our neighbor, no. Many states back terrorists to strike at other countries. But they do not bleed the way we do.

Do not blame the politicians. We elect them, yes, you and I. And it isn't like everyone has turned corrupt in a few years. This has been on for decades. But we continue to elect the same faces every time. And guess what, whatever we might say, we all know that this is what we would do again.

You see who was responsible for the strike??

What do you think will happen? Diplomatic edge and everything? Nothing is going to come out of it. India cannot strike Pakistan, it's a nuclear power and a strike is out of the question. Even the US cannot, more so when the country is your neighbor.

The US is backing India only because it does not want India to accumulate troops at the border. That will hurt US interests. The US is fighting for itself, not for India.
So, the great Indian circus show will go on for some months. Perhaps a bit more stringent security measures for some time. Then we will forget the wounds. And the netas would heave their sighs of relief.

What would you and I do? We would continue to run after our promotions and our IT jobs and MBA's. We would dream of that car and that apartment and that perfect home. Some evenings over coffee, we would reflect and blame the politicians. We are just not ready to get our hands dirty to do the cleanup job.

Until someone comes and blows up that dream. Then the cycle would repeat. And the news channels would say, life in Mumbai has come back to normal.

A cleanup isn't necessary for the nation. It is necessary to save our own skins.

A trip...

A deserted lonely locale, placid murky beaches, average food, 10 close friends and lots of gossip.

How does that sound as a vacation? Not good enough?
It sounds fabulous to me. More so, 'cause the above description is of Bakkhali, a sea beach we visited about a fortnight ago. If you are a person who likes to visit the places no one visits, ie, places tourists haven't started crowding around already, it's just the place for you.

The above description is ironic, but I can't help it. It's similar to saying that I would love to get stranded on a deserted island for two days with lots of delicious food. Here are some pics(click to enlarge) of the trip that I wanted to post.