Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are headphones injurious to health ?

I dont know the answer to that question but I know for sure that all of you have heard some elderly person talking about the headphones in your ear when you are travelling in a public transport. But you dont care what they think or say, you simply enjoy the beats reverb inside your ear, head and mind.

To others , it may seem like a fashion these days. But if you take a deep breath and take a DIY (Do - It - Yourself ) approach , what do you observe ?

- All your attention is on the words / favourite number thats playing on the phone.
- The hot chic you could have easily stared at for a considerable long time seems so cold in no time.
- The thought "Huh traffic! "  changes into "yey ! today I can listen to the track I missed yesterday ! "
- You realise in between that Headbanging / foot tapping is an ultimate freedom of expression
- positive thoughts like "Hmm .. may be , Having to Listen to a song that I hate (just because my cellphone is in a pocket which is sadwitched in the crowd) kinda increases my stamina to listen to any crap."

... and the list could go on and on.

You see , the truth is , in this information age there is too much info floating around, makes you spend most of the time worrying about the things that can happen / have happened . Then what's wrong with a little information in mp3 / wav / whatever format which can get me an instant "high" without drinking / eating something ?

P.S. I have limited the scope of this post to the use of headphones during travelling  in public transport. Otherwise the DIY approach can be tried at your own risk.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lost in Translation

Recently, I  attended a convention on Free Open Source Software conducted by Free Software Movement of India . The venue for the event was Tech Mahindra campus , located at about 45 minutes distance (seriously cant help .. m used to measure distance in time) . So the first thing that I thought was
Hmm.. may be Mahindra Satyam wants to regain its Satyam status again.
Major part of attendance comprised of lecturers from all over (mostly south) India. Though I am a working software engineer, I attended the event as a student. cause hell... we all are students till death.

The conference was inaugurated by our beloved Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. Here is the full speech for those interested. And for those who love one-liners , see the video below. ( I dont know why that quote is not in the full text! )

As they say

That adage about genius being 5 percent inspiration and 95 perspiration - it's true
And so, as was expected , doses and doses of inspiration for using FOSS was being fed to the hungry. While the people on the "Dias" were injecting the 5%, those in the lecture halls were taking care of the 95% .... great split.

There was a project demonstrated which is trying to implement a village based intranet for the rural people...sms gateway .... info portal .... bla bla in indic lang.....voice input ... blaa blaa.....speech processing..... And I was wondering ^*$k .... why torture the suiciding farmers more ! first pay them decent enough. The prof demonstrating it was surprised to see that no-one was asking him any questions for his brilliant ideas and said audince lacked the passion required.

Though I am convinced the Open Source Software / Content is the way to go, I am not sure localization of content is really the way to progress of India as we have so many local languages. About Software Localization , I think translation into AN indian lanuage merely a way to let the illiterate remain one throughout. Yes, translation is effective for you up to an extent ... but how long ... a vast pool of knowledge is scripted in English ... so one day it has to be learnt to expand your knowledge....then why not on day 1 itself? Transliteration however is a much better option . As it does not constrain the knowledge gained into a local language. Well anyways , these are my views.

After all , " All is well , that ends well " .... Seeing the Mayavi Python in action was the most exciting part of the event as Prof. Prabhu Ramachandran from IITB demonstrated 3D visualization with Mayavi and Dr. John Hunter  plotted some awesome 2D graphics with his OS alternative to matlab - Matplotlib. In short, it was an exciting voyage into FOSS.... Thanks to Prof. N.L. Sarda . Prof K.S. Rajan :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

[LOTD]: Return to Innocence

What would a mother do for her children when they fight over a piece of bread ?

To the wits of an innocent child it is more appealing that their mother will treat all children equal and each of them will get equal share in the bread. So with mutual understanding , the mother takes the bread and breaks it into equal-size pieces and all are happy.

Few days back, I  saw a group of siblings fighting over the division of their father's farm. I found that the method used earlier by the mother never really solved the issue for any of the children as none of them was happy.  When the Father tried to divide his farm equally to all of them, they used some other means to verify and reprove of more and more land to add to their share. Hard to believe one of them used "google-earth " to view the farm and claimed that the share he had was much less than what others had received.

The female siblings did not show any interest in this activity as they respected their fathers attachment with the land. They recalled the days when their father did not eat for four days and was lying in a half-dizzy state under the neem tree, (and that's where now stands their mother's grave).  They recalled their father's efforts to spent in educating them philosophically and practically to be strong enough to face both life and death.

The sequence of above events happened when the father was lying on a bed in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with multiple organ failures and brain damage, that gave him nightmares with dreams of land-split and brothers killing brothers over it.

When the बाबरी - अयोध्या  verdict was declared , I felt "Yes !, this is exactly what should have been done a long time back "... It was only a few days that I lived with that feeling of a smug satisfaction when one day, I met with this incident.

Anyways, the teardrops in that ICU had just this tale to tell, I don't want to judge anyone ..... lets all just pursue our return to innocence.

*LOTD = Lesson of the day

Thursday, July 1, 2010

LOTDs[How to humiliate a new teacher]

1. If he is a newly joined prof, and even if its been months he's been  in the institute, act as if you never knew him in the first place when he approaches you.

2. Bombard him with all your negative experiences and make him believe that he has just landed in hell.

3. Keep the Sign-in register on HOD's table even after noticing that he is in the insti today but havent signed it yet.

4. Deliberately become coordinator of many administrative activities and then cry the hell out in front of him saying I have to do everything to get such a lousy pay.... boy ! you are safe.

5. Assign one activity to him saying "You have to take part in such activities" , and after he completes it , assign the same to him next time saying "Now you have become the expert in doing this"

Some more ways..... coming soon....

Monday, May 24, 2010


Hahhh.. End of a semester , not as a student but as a teacher. 

It is fun teaching. Its only the other roles that you have to play that make you wonder why the hell do they recruit non-teaching staff for. 

Six months in the campus introduced me to all sorts of people from  Helping colleagues, talented students, Hard working Director  to Nagging colleagues, oversmart students, and memo-sending Director :P

A Contractual worker is used  like a doormat in most of the places but here least of the times thats the case. The tact is to master skills at managing egocentric people. And that will come only when you have/pretend to have ego. I am guessing which one I could do better.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


"You are 26 only , how come you are a teacher  ..... ! " exclaimed my gym trainer to me one day. He thought I was lying. When I gave it a thought ... it had really been a month at the insti as a fresh lecturer and I started pondering upon the experience as yet. It was then I figured, I needed a new term to describe it.

Yes ..... like under-utilization , I want to introduce this new term
"under-observation" in the context of Teaching profession. To give an example , if I say

"Teaching faculty are under observation of the Institute" and
"It is an under-observation of Teaching faculty by the Institute" .

Both have entirely different meanings , if you are getting what I am trying to say here. ;)

Saturday, January 16, 2010