Thursday, April 30


idioThere have been sci-fi movies and there have been sci-fi movies; But none like this one. In any sci-fi movie, you expect the human civilization to be so ultra advanced and modern, that it is set to baffle the viewer of today. It’s always shone as a rosy picture that technology being at a zenith with everyone striving to do more. Well maybe I went overboard with the striving bit, but I am sure you get the picture, right?

Idiocracy is different in this regards, it paints the real picture and drives home a point, that if the world continues as it is currently, then this scenario might just come out to be true. Especially in the developed countries (I wonder why they call them developed countries?) – See the major nations for a change, all of them have skilled labor problems. People do not have an incentive to do more … to become what they could have aspired for. What countries like India now need to do is learn from this and ensure that our people do not make the same follies.

Don’t worry, if you do not wish to think over this so much, then just watch the movie and laugh it out. Worth a watch, better still if you can think.

Monday, April 27

Familiar Strangers

If you travel everyday in a Mumbai local, then you are bound to have certain trains (and their times) in your mind. For e.g – I take the 8.24 Churchgate Slow from Andheri in the morning, if I miss that, then there is the 8.45 Churchgate Slow and the 8.51 Churchgate Slow, etc.

Most of the people think in these terms, so its obvious that you keep on seeing the same people everyday in your trains. Its their train as well. The mousy faced fellow, the guy who keeps on playing on his Nokia N-series, the guy who carries the Milton dabba. You see them, you have placed them and even named them … but what you don’t do, is befriend them. Maybe over a period of time, the ice breaks and you become good friends, but that takes many a train journey. The strangest thing is – that when you see the same person anywhere out of this morning train context, you still recognize him … and you see that spark on recognition in their eyes as well. But, you don’t talk. Strange aint it?

Sunday, April 26


I had gone to a friend’s place today to see his new born baby. Babblo* has a cute little daughter – I hope she doesnt take her looks from her dad!

So we got talking as friends do when they meet after a long time. Our favorite “R” word did come up. and so did the job switch. I see so many people who do not love their jobs, that I wonder has anybody written a paper on this? (let’s figure that out later)

This guy works for one of the big 4 consultancies, has been working with that firm for the past 4 years now. A job that any Systems MBA would kill for … yes, present company included :-) But I know the hours are long and the gyaan is hot. It requires the sheer dedication that dissolves my resolve to get into a post like that. Again, this is not the point, moving on …

Babblo’s reason for wanting to switch is that he does not see himself becoming one of the head honchoes and top guys in the next 5-6 years. He see himself reach the middle echelons of the organization, but still sees miles to go before he sleeps. Hence, the idea of moving out and getting into a different vertical altogether. A new stint even a startup. Have you imagined a guy who eats, sleeps, breathes ITIL trying to get things done in a startup? A comic strip on these lines can rival Dilbert :-D. Moot point being that Babblo (of course its not the true name!!) is actually turned off by the certainty of the job.

I cant identify with this funda. I for one would love some certainty on knowing what I will be doing 5-6 years down the line. Its easy to bluff, but do I really KNOW what I will be doing … hmmmmm … web surely, technology definitely, startup – could be, big hulking monolithic organization – sure why not, just pay me well!! I don’t know which is better – the certainty or the uncertainty!

Wednesday, April 22

Fast & Furious

MV5BNDI5NjMzNjM4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjc1MTYzMg@@._V1._SX270_SY400_ They are back!! Paul Walker and Vin Diesel team up to bring down a drug lord. Oops!! Sorry folks, but thats all! After the first two movies of the series and after playing a host of Need for Speed variants, I was more than piqued to watch the rest of these series. I have to tell you – both Tokyo Drift and this have left me disappointed.

What does one expect to see in a Fast and Furious movie … ok .. hmmm … Cars, Babes, High Octane Speed, Fast racing, some more action … ummm, they did manage to squeeze a little bit of everything in there; andd you know what, it still falls short!! I will not be bothering to follow this series again.

Monday, April 20


I am not going to throw up corporate gyaan into your face. Today I met up with a very good friend of mine; over a cup of coffee, he tells me – I have a vision. A 2020 vision.

Upon hearing this I went into “corporate mode”; with the mission, vision thingy … before I could dwell any more deeper into those buzzwords, Nikhil stops me. He tells me that he has no idea what jargon I was spewing, but he has a clear well defined vision towards which he intends to work. The manager within me came forth and suggested that maybe he should outline a plan and start reaching towards that goal, since at the moment he did not have a clear idea as to how he is going to get there.

But what impressed me is that he had a vision. How many of us have a vision about what we want to do in 2020?

Sunday, April 19

Do you really need that?

That is the question you should be asking yourself whenever you are about to buy something.

If you are not clear then, check out this site. The content is presented by Anne Leonard, who manages to deliver the message so clearly and logically; it’s a shame that we did not notice it earlier. We Indians are copying the western culture to the hilt, so much so that we are trying to adopt the same practices at work, at home, at how we treat things, becoming more of consumers and less of contributors.

Half of the stuff that we buy, do we really need that? A new phone, a brand new gaming desktop (I was thinking of getting this one), a flat screen tv, a dishwasher, an A/C, the list goes on. And once we buy that, we dont stop … we keep on buying newer versions of that. Our perceived obsolescence drives us to trash our already existing goods for the sake of the newer and better. Such a waste.

Please go through the site – And try to make a difference.

Wednesday, April 15

Legalizing Corruption

On my way home from work, I was having this conversation with a colleague. He made an interesting point, the change in our thinking if we were to legalize corruption. The concept is simple – Declare your black money, pay a nominal amount to the government and you get to keep it for yourself.

I am not thinking through this completely here, but would require your help as well. But here are some points which came to my mind -

  • The IT department has to be more thorough and catch all defaulters; that’s a tough task but that is the only way the corrupt people will be encouraged to come forward with their black money
  • People will be encouraged to be corrupt, since there is a legitimate way to declare that income!!
  • Government gets an inner cut on each bribe it’s official takes!! A kind of a plough back system!!

What do you think?

Addendum -

Seems this is a crazy hair brained idea as any. Read the comments to know more!!

Tuesday, April 14

The kids arent gonna be alright

I was reading this article on how the kids of this generation. The article is more centered towards the American kids, but it does strike a chord home. Are’nt we following their lifestyle a little too blindly?

Follow it up with this article, and you start feeling bad for businesses in the US.

Sunday, April 12

VPN Gaming

Tired of playing the same game again and again? Are you sick of taking down those computer simulated players (bots) again and again? Are you missing your hostel LANs … or are you wishing that on your network there would be more people willing to play Counter Strike or AOE. Its true – there can be no substitute for the human mind.

Now a new cadre of gaming is here: VPN Gaming. A Virtual Private Network (VPN), is basically a virtual LAN over the internet; usually by the means of a software medium – a VPN client. The de facto standard for this is usually a free client-based VPN like Hamachi; which is free for individual users but limits the VPN connections to 8, the paid version can get you around 128 users.

If you are not technologically inclined, worry naught, these clients are pretty easy to install and use. So once, it is installed and you are online, all you need is to create a virtual network, give it a password (since you want to control who accesses your network) and ask your friends to join in. Voila!! Now you and your friends are on the same LAN despite being in different geographies. Its downhill from there on, just fire up your favorite game and ask people to join your multi-player game. Here’s a simple installation and use guide -

The installation is pretty much a click through process. The following are a few screenshots that can act as a guide for newbies. Remember, for the more security buffs, there is an option of disabling the more vulnerable services of Windows over this connection.




During the installation, Hamachi lets you choose which version of its services will you be availing. If you are just trying out the client or do not want to fork out money for the licensed version, then I suggest you select the non-commercial license. Once the software has installed, it will give you a small run though of the application, believe me its one of the shortest demos I have seen, and one of the most informative ones!!

vpn4 vpn5

This is how the application looks once it is fired up. Hamachi gives you a different ip address (it also creates a logically separate network connection on your machine). I have created one network and joined another network. Both of these are shown on my screen, any peers which are online and using Hamachi are also listed (in the screenshot none of them are online currently). The moment any of them is online, you can ping them as if they were online over a global ip.

Say hello to LAN gaming again :-)

Atlas Shrugged and the Samajwadi Party

This Sunday’s headlines read that the Samajwadi Party has promised that they will ban English in schools and the use of computers at work. I assume, these promises are to woo the masses into thinking that banning English will somehow make us “more” Indian. Banning computers means more jobs (although I seriously doubt that).

I was shocked. Reviled even. In one instant I wanted to kill Mulayam, Mayawati and their minions. Yes, minions is the word, because they are demons; demons for Indian economy. People who learn to exploit the country for their personal benefit under the pretext of social/community good.

But this takes the cake, how can banning English and computers help the Indian nation? It can only cripple the economy ensuring that the next genre of professionals are disabled without computers and incompetent in the global market without English. And we vote for these bastards?!? The link to Atlas Shrugged in my mind was almost instantaneous. They know the underlying concept … and they are exploiting it. I hate the way politics has changed, compared to this, the US presidential elections are a treat. Wake up India!!

Saturday, April 11

Then and Now

My first job was in IRIS, in the year 2002. I loved my job. I had joined with seven other software engineers. We bonded really well together. We used to work on different projects, but lunched together … discussed problems, solved them … and generally helped each other out. Life was good, life was beautiful. I loved my life of a programmer. Our batch was one of the best the organization had, in fact some of us were awarded as the most valuable programmer, et al. No, I am not being modest :-), but we loved helping each other out … contributing to the organization.

My last job was in I2I. It was a simple transaction for me. I went to work, I stayed there till 6.30pm everyday, I came back – the company paid me for it. The very transactional nature of this perspective made me shudder … I had to leave the organization in search of greener pastures.

My new job is with Illumine, where the culture of the organization is to actualize the paradigm shift from transactional thinking of a job to contribution thinking. Will post more on this later, but at the moment think about it. Is your job a transaction for you?

Monday, April 6

Summers here

  • Mangoes, mmmm …. yummm
  • When ice-cream, cold-drink and A/C sales spike up
  • School vacations, ahhh … those were the best. No more pencils, no more books … no more teachers’ dirty looks
  • When employees report early to office and stay beyond their normal time in order to stay in the cool recesses of their offices’ central A/C
  • When you want to discard everything else in life and head towards a beach and have some beers … read Goa!! :-)
  • Time for the Harry Potter films to come out and gather a throng of kids (and their parents) in the theaters
  • Shorter clothes ;-)
  • Families migrating towards hill stations

Summer gets me all nostalgic, what about you?

Friday, April 3

Ram and Hillary Clinton

On this occasion of Ram Navmi, my family and I ended up discussing Lord Ram. My sister made this funny remark about Ram being the perfect politician, and then proceeded to compare him to Hillary Clinton.

I won’t explain further, what are your thoughts on this?

Mumbai Police

Just a note of appreciation towards the Mumbai police force. Today my entire family and I had gone to the police station for verification of our passport. Since the marriage, this is one of our initiatives :-)

The police officer came to our house and gave us the time and date for reporting to the police station. The D-Day arrived and we reported to the station on time. Everything was done so smoothly and efficiently.

I am mentioning it specifically, because this was unlike all the other government offices I have been to since marriage viz., marriage certificate, name change registrar, et al. This office was spic and span, tidy and manned by a very efficient person – Inspector S. M. Rane. Kudos!!

Thursday, April 2

The Weaker Sex

  • There is a 30% quota on all engineering seats in Mumbai, reserved for girls
  • Women have a higher tax bracket of 1.8 L.p.a
  • Free education for girls in all public schools
  • Have you tried getting a facial? Or your limbs waxed? A bikini wax?
  • Or delivering a child?
  • Or handling cooking and other chores alongside your job?

I sometimes wonder why they don’t call men the weaker sex?

Fool’s day

With GMail being launched on 1st of April, it has been a precedent with Google to come out with one gag or the other on each of these days. This year its no different.

Out comes GMail Autopilot by CADIE!! It is supposed to automatically send responses customized to your writing style. Further clicking shows us that they are going to come out with Google Chrome 3D … what a riot.

Kind of beats the Google Gulp and Google Romance gags by a mile here.