January 16, 2006

Hagerty's Law
If you lose your temper at a newspaper columnist, he'll get rich or famous or both.

Vedanthangal. Once again

A lazy sunday beckoned me into thinking what to do. Why not Vedanthangal? The beautiful bird sanctuary 80km from Chennai.
A wise choice it turned out to be, indeed. The plentiful rains in the past couple of months, full water in the lakes and a pleasant temperature has seemingly attracted quite a large number of birds.

And while we were at it, why not Crocodile park, a herpetologist's paradise and a great time-killer.

So myself, armed with my marvel-in-miniaturization camera and a couple of binoculors headed down the road to the Crocodile park. Reptiles of all sizes who make their abode there never ceased to amaze me. From the giant Jaws III, to the unique looking gharials, to the common muggers and the snake room, where thick fat rock pythons competed for attention with the slender and majestic king cobras. A bunch of egrets also decided that the park with vicious crocodiles was safe for its chicks!!!.

Too bad for the cloudy day. Photos never come out good :(

An hours drive later, 45 km away was Vedanthangal, enticing me to come in with all its variety and sheer number of birds. The most common ones were the brite and colorful Painted Storks, pelicans, white egrets, cormorants, common ibis, glossy ibis and a lot more. Thought the latter three only arrived later in the evening (with poor lights), the first three put up quite a show, a delight to watch. The painted storks were closest to the observation areas, collecting twigs from dead trees to make their nest. It was quite cute to see them paired up.

Two hours later, with a sad heart, I was forced to leave that place. It beckons to me once again.

I find this more enlightening and enriching than a "darshan" in Tirumala. Probably the highlight of my trip to India.

And now, I am off to Bombay on a 3 day trip, for no reason at all.

January 13, 2006

Hacker's Law of Personnel
Anyone having supervisory responsibility for the completion of a task will invariably protest that more resources are needed.

The language of Govinda

Everybody seems to understand one universal language - the language of....
Whatever be the visceral mutterings, it all ends in one resounding "GOVINDA", which everyone vociferously participates in!. And the tempo continues on, regardless of who started it.

A few observations of my recent trip to Tirupati, in what I consider to be a mini - pilgrimage tour of temples in south India, designed to partly waste my time partly to reduce my enthusiasm to go to temples. I guess its probably to repent for not going to a temple for about a year.

Many things have changed, for the better. The roads are good. And relaid. The place is a lot more cleaner. And somebody seems to have peppered a bit of organization into them. It has gone from a complete stampede to what I consider as organized chaos. Especially in the inner sanctum. Probably because of the ever increasing number of ushers ready to herd people like cattle (probably worse)
There are many things that havent changed. The crowds. The maddening crowds of people who throng to see the diety - have a darshan as it is called. It has probably become worse. The fleecing jeeps. Always on the lookout for the next customer. The hot cup of coffee before going for the 5am darshan. And many many more.

One thing that I still dont seem to understand is the innate need of the people to have the "one last glimpse" of the diety and trying all methods in the book to achieve it. What drives them? I dont see the urge to do that at all. I see the diety. Then I am pushed out. Thats it.

Granted. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people while its my 10th time here. I get to go there atleast once in two years. Probably thats why I find it so common place.

But it is still one of life unanswered questions....

Finally - try to read this station name in one go:

I did not make it up. Saw it on the way to Tirupati :)

January 07, 2006

Hacker's Law
The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation or an organization to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.

101 Things you did(n't) know about me

I started writing this post with the hope of finding 101 things about me. I then realized that I am not that unique a person. (There goes one of my myths :) ). So here are 25 things about me.
  1. I am not a unique person - lol.
  2. I am the average, run of the mill, John Doe kind of person. Or so I think.
  3. I started a blog eons ago, actually 2 years ago, because, well, everybody was doing that. I was just trying to fit in. It evolved to become much more. And I became happy.
  4. A Murphy's Law headed and will head each post. Just to remind everybody that if things can go wrong, it will - one of my strongest principles by which I operate. And which has proved itself time and again.
  5. I am doing my grad school in Austin. My Masters actually. Dont know whether I want to continue on for a Ph.D. I somehow dont like academia. I prefer to work in an industry.
  6. Did an internship at Nvidia. Which I absolutely loved. Also because of California. There is just so much to do there.
  7. That said, I went camping, hiking, white-water rafting (riding the rapids), mountain biking, skydiving, eating, enjoying and generally freaking out.
  8. Loved the adventure sports. Want to bungee jump next, inspite of its prohibitively high cost.
  9. I fell in love with San Francisco. A tough decision between New York and SF as my best cities.
  10. Took a train ride across america, on board the California Zephyr. The magical mountains, canyons, forests and fields all tied in a first class package enthralled me.
  11. Books. Yes. I get time to read the occasional fiction. When I am not studying, or out on a photo shoot, or gaming, or listening to music. Am drawn like a moth to science fiction and thrillers.
  12. Photography. A little while ago, I got hooked to photography. With my DSC - V1 I was the regular shutterbug. My favorite ones got into my Flickr. I plan to get an SLR later this year.
  13. Games. Computer Games, to be specific. Play a lot of genres - first person shoot 'em up, racing, real time strategy, role playing. Of late, I became hooked on to World of Warcraft - for which a 15$ gets charged to my card every month.
  14. Music. Have a reasonably good collection. Mostly pop. And trance. And classical (English classical). Quite an eclectic mixture. Managed to pay my way to a couple of symphoies, notably the Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
  15. Tech. Call me a techie. Nerd. Geek. Why I became like that? Partly due to my course of study. Partly due to my internship. Partly due to my friends during my internship. Partly my own interest. Every day of mine begins with me reading tech news, before regular news. Expect a lot of posts being techie.
  16. Food. Ever since I lived on my own - from August 04, I had to cook on my own. For about a year, I was a gourmet. Actually relishing food. And enjoying cooking as well. Then came my diet - which brings me to my next point.
  17. I have been on a weightlifters diet, namely low carb high protein low fat diet. Which worked a lot towards reducing my weight (until my trip to India). I plan to continue with it as it has been quite helpful
  18. Which brings me to the next point - I end up frequenting the gym a lot.
  19. I love my computer a lot. Love to tinker with it. And fine tune it.
  20. I love my camera a lot.
  21. Love to travel. See places. Explore. Take a lot of photos.
  22. Certified Train Nut. I have a special place in my heart for trains. Am attracted to them like moth to a light. Prefer them over all other modes of transport.
  23. A year and a half in USA has provided me with a new perspective. Made me more independent than ever before. And helped me appreciate the finer things of life.
  24. I am part of the jovial lot. Not easily tensed. And easily crack a joke which not many people appreciate.
  25. Finally. Oh Yes. I am still looking :)

January 05, 2006

Haberdasher's Instruction
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

Barking Dogs DO BITE


And welcome to my new blog.

Why a new one? I decided that my old one had become quite stale and I lost interest in it. (Update bookmarks and links please)
And I decided that with a new year, I should have a new blog. Probably I should make it a resolution. But then again, resolutions always break, because of my belief in Murphy's Laws. But it is a new blog, nevertheless. With a new template which I shall tweak in the coming days.

The title, you say, needs to be explained, huh?

Well, its one of the myths that is overdue to get busted. Because I learnt it the hard way. Rather that try to put my exceptionally large foot into my even bigger mouth trying to explain it, I would leave it locked deep in the recesses of my brain. I also intend this blog to be like that - busting myths, beliefs, stale rules and useless taboos. I do not know how far I will go in that.

Why I didnt update my old blog, you ask. Time pressures - mostly acads. Then photography. And then World of Warcraft. Juggling time between them was too difficult. And I got addicted to the latter two.

I should probably put up something like "101 things you didnt know about me". Probably I will - that is going to be my next post then.