June 2009

Daily Diet

Internet has long transformed into life from technical invention. I have hardly seen a person in my recent past who doesn’t browse on the Internet. Like all others, I have my daily dose of vitamins.

  1. Generic News: Rediff / Times of India / NDTV / Eenadu / Great Andhra / Idlebrain
  2. Tech News: Google News (Tech) / Gizmodo / Engadget
  3. Shopping Deals: Slickdeals
  4. Email: Yahoo Mail
  5. Finance: Wall Street Journal / Yahoo Finance
  6. Sports: Cricinfo

Invite for good

Social responsibility is a privilege and not duty.

Invite for GoodWhen my good friend Probir Goyal told me about Invite For Good, I was floored by his ‘responsible’ idea. Not everyone would have thought about it, even so, very few could have put it in action. He took on a social responsibility who believes in ‘giving’ back to the society and created this website. It is a cross roads between social life and charity, a wonderful idea of giving ‘real gifts’.

I am happy that I have used it in the past and present and will continue to do so and I urge everyone to do so. Again, social responsibility is a privilege and not duty.

..miles to go

Promise to keep, dreams to fulfill and miles to go.

This has been my tag line ever since I knew English as a language. It was more than an inspiration and my frequent quotes of those lines are more than just a coincidence. Lately, I started to think where am I with these lines? Funny or not, the first two parts of these lines have been in thin air, while the third one did became part of my life.

Ever since I have started working for FDA in College Park, surely than short, I have started putting miles on my beloved blue, scratched, 100k+ Civic. All these years I was under an illusion that ‘miles to go’ was something related to my journey of life, yada, yada, yada! But guess what? we Washingtonians, I am not sure if I qualify for that adjective but in reality I am Northern Virginian (how awkward!), forget it, I am a resident of Northern Virginia which is a Washington DC suburb (sounds better this time 🙂 seldom travel less. Most of us have found our second home on I-267 and I-495. For us circle of life is really I-495 belt-way and ‘going East’ really means traveling on I-267.

Every day I bump up my odometer by 100 miles, doing my part of polluting this ‘green’ planet and emit all types of gases from my exhaust. During the 55 to ~ minute ride from home and back, I see SUVs, convertibles, 10 wheelers, no wheelers and lots of morons (No! they are not from the LOR Trilogy). Some text (sorry twitter) on ramps while others bring their comb up and down their long hair in a rapid motion (don’t know what you call that). Animated heroes often hop on to HOV lanes to bypass all the backed-up brainless car-drivers (like me) while super heroes merge on to the ramp in the last minute. I learnt a new lesson here! An indicator for a motor vehicle is not to let others know that you are willing to change a lane, it is a warning sign that tell others that you are already there (in the other lane).

One thing that baffles me is that most of the vehicles, I take it back, none of the vehicles have blind spot and even if they have, they at least ignore them. The other important feature in my commute include the following (in order of their existence..)

a. There are infinite number of lanes in and out of the toll gates.
b. HOV also stands for Hopping Over-Zealous Vehicles.
c. Persons sitting in front of the steering wheel are not necessarily drivers.
d. Every lane belongs to everyone, you can decide yours in the last minute.

So next time when I quote ‘miles to go’ I am hope you will not be ‘mistaken’.

Saina, with an I in the middle

Way to Saina, you’ve made us all proud. Congratulations on winning the Indonesia Super Series.

Saina NehwalBadminton is one sport I guess has been put in the back burner for quite a while in India. I was lucky enough to have played that sport for quite a while and personally I think I am a thorough professional in this game. It was more hereditary in nature than anything else, although my father had a big name in Ball Badminton, more famous in Andhra than anywhere else.

While I was working in Michigan we had a big gym which became our after-hours sporting joint mainly for Badminton. Anyway, the topic is not about me playing or have played the sport but Saina. With Sanias getting the fame, Sainas are mostly in the background whose reputation shows up on sports page once in a while when she wins a championship. True to her name, the Indian is right in the middle of her name and she play the sport with great enthusiasm and professionalism. I have watched here couple of time (mostly on YouTube) and was at awe! We Indians seldom can see a sports person of her caliber. The Badminton Federation has announced Rs.2 Lakhs cash prize for her achievement, which I guess is not bad but I don’t get it, Rs.2 lakshs for that achievement, common!?

Do you guys know how much a plyer gets to play circket in our Indian Cricket Team? Its a team sport and yet they make more than the richest guys in India and here we have one lone fighter who have more medals to her name than anyone India had produced in recent times.

I haven’t seen news she being congratulated by any of our Sport ministers or for that matter any polititian. They are busy with other stuff and just doesn’t care too much for Badminton. Don’t worry Saina, there are secret fans for you and we are behind in everything you acheive and do and wish you all the best. Way to go!

Vanity (Un)Fair

Hmm! I am so frustrated. The world has not stopped from discrimination and injustice. I am more pissed off on Vanity Fair to have initiated a voting to select the most handsome man on this planet and good God, Rob Pattison (The vampire hero of Twilight) was selected as the winner. This is not just fair, more so vanity fair.

World's Most Hansome ManOne guy was in the last minute thrown out of the short list as the judge panel discriminated based on his ethnicity, race, religion and origin. How un-fair, rather how vanity un-fair. I do not want you guys to miss him out so took the liberty of posting his picture here (screw copyrights). I bet he would win all those votes back if VF guys were to start the re-voting. Anyway, all those mo****s who voted for Pattison, look at this picture again and stop your discrimination.

Ooooops! the VF title was wrong, I am sorry! The competition was to select the World’s most handsome Wolverine, now I get it. Da!

Insane, at its best

When it come to insanity, no one can come close to the US Stock Market. They contradict a statement made to contradict an earlier statement issued to contradict the statement made in contradiction to an earlier statement..(I will stop).

Don’t take these dates seriously, but the sequence of events were not wrong.

June 15th: Stock markets loose. Dollar rises and commodity stocks rise. Oil crosses $70 mark.
June 16th: Stock markets loose. Dollar declines and commodity stocks plunge. Oil crosses $71 mark.
June 17th: Stock markets loose. Fear of inflation, commodity stocks rise. Oil falls below $70 on demand.
June 18th: Stock markets gain. Inflation is under estimates. Oil raises par $70 amid demand.

This doesn’t make any sense at all. The commodity stocks rose and fell in less than 24 hours across the globe. This is insanity at its best. In few hours the oil futures (read the word futures) experience demand and slump, can anyone explain that;but, regardless the oil at the local pump is always on the rise. We’ve paid close to $4 when the barrel price was more than $140 and we are paying close to $3 when the barrel price is close to $70. In one freaking year the oil demand supply fluctuated more than 50% with the price drop of only 5%, again any explanation. Consumers as always are the fools here. Interest rates rose to more than 5 and 3 quarters in the past few weeks amid this chaos and unemployment and the news says the housing market is improving (a big BS) amid reports that the construction is down and new applications for re-finance fall to all time lows. Common guys! all those wits sitting at the Wall Street think people are crazy and illeterate to listen to this nonsense? Give us a break. At least they should keep a headline steady for few minutes and not issue a contradictory statement within a matter of few minutes.

The market had lost its sense long back. Ethics are distant stars and social responsibility is far sighted. Had we not had enough? I do not know, someone please explain me (all those financial industry expert shits)!

The biggest joke in yesterday new is “continuous unemployment claims are lower than last month, while 640,000 new applicants file for unemployment benefits”. Does this statement tell you anything other than how insane it is! The rule that the markets follow is simple. Every graph needs to have some text beside and they write whatever they want. Who knows one day they say that, “early sun-shine prompted markets shoot up higher, sever sun prompts markets lower”.

Whoever said that reading a women is impossible, try the stock markets.

The TEAM that is!

I could have not imagined that I would pen down appreciation for Pakistan in my dreams, but exceptions are not finite and I could not wait to scribble this down.

More than any team in this edition of T20 World Cup, Pakistan has shown everyone what a TEAM means. When you have harmony equally mixed with happiness, the result is always success and Pakistan had more than demonstrated that on the field yesterday to run down South Africa and reach the finals. A true fighter does not keep his hands behind nor blink his eyes for which the enemy relentlessly look for. South African team was caught blinking their eyes, there was complacency in their batting as well as bowling. Pakistan rightly took that to their advantage and put in their last breath of effort to make sure they are not in this tournament by choice but for the virtue of winning.

Even in the last edition, they have missed the rubber by a hair-line but true to the game India lifted the cup as they truly ‘deserve’ it. This time however, I do not see any other team not only capable of lifting the rubber but the rightful owners other than Pakistan. Only two things in Pakistan appeal me in my life, the Mohanjadarro and Wasim Akram. Now I like this Pakistan T20 outfit making it 3rd in the list.

In all possibility SA will be playing Pakistan in the finals, yet another team who also claim as legal heirs to this T20 cup and a wonderful outfit of dedicated cricketers. Pakistan on the other hand have the finnesse that is required and added to their hard work, they truly deserve this cup.

Me and my avid Cricket fan friend discuss cricket almost every single day; analyze, dissect, evaluate (you can put all the mathematical juggernaut here) assess all the situations, players, conditions and come up with something no one except us would believe and we were 90% accurate all the times. Of course you should not take my word always when I say that India will win a match as I always support my team in honor and in despair.

This T20 have taught me many more things (will be discussed later) and it was a true eye-candy to watch all these teams playing to catch up the latest band-wagon of super fast cricket action, the crowd puller and mass hit.

All the best to Pakistan and Sri Lanka (I am too fast to predict, doesn’t I?!?!).

Hyderabadi Fools

HMDA Master Plan

The above link is the news item published in Times of India in the Hyderabad section today. The article briefly discuss the so called ‘Master Plan’ to widen roads in Hyderabad to accommodate the growth and traffic in Hyderabad Metropolitan area.

We had a close family friend who is now retired used to work in Town Planning Office located in Masab Tank area. Its  a huge complex housing hundreds (may be more than thousand) of employees authorized to work on Town Planning. And then there is HUDA rechristened to HMDA (Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority) sitting across the Secretariat, a palatial complex names after ex-chief minister of AP, Burgula Rama Krishna Rao. Now comes the fun part. What does these guys do in there? In reality NOTHING. Hyderabad is amongst those cities whose net road length have increased in least proportions compared to other so called Metropolitan cities in India, post-independence.

The plan to widen road at the cost of demolishing historically important structures and monuments is something only Hyderabadis can think of. I remember those days when my father used to do some odd jobs and was working for an IAS officer who represented a non-profit organization to preserve and protect the historical monuments in Hyderabad (sorry!, I do not remember the name). One of the cases they were fighting at that time was one that involved the significant Charminar. There were number of people who committees suicide jumping from the roof top of Charminar and Government had decided to put a check on it. So, they asked our great engineers in HUDA to form an executive board to put forward a proposal to tackle the issue once and for all. They came up with a ‘brilliant’ idea of putting up barricades on the the roof top and they did something that no one can imagine.

Iron gates were erected by directly drilling the walls of Charminar, all around. A 400+ year old structure was simply drilled by hourly wage workers who accidentally dug up big holes and then were re-patched with ordinary concrete. I think the cow-dung pan-cakes have more even surface than these patches.

Anyway the discussion is that these brilliant engineers and town planners now propose a plan to widen roads at the cost of heritage. Can’t they think of alternatives? The problem is most of these employees are candidates who are not qualified to do the jobs, either they got into the job by bribing the officials or came all the way up the ladder based on reservation, cast, creed, politics, etc. Why do they have to give a damn to these structures if at all?

The state of affairs are such in Hyderabad that a 1-inch rain can create havoc in the city and literally brings the entire city to a halt.

Hyderabadis learnt the art of life, compromise for anything and everything and you will not see flaws. They are great saints of modern era who least care about others, forget themselves and live in a world free from desires.

Long live Hyderabadi Fools (I am one of those not living there any more from long time 🙂

The four fingers

There is a saying in our tradition, if you point one finger there are 4 left, pointing oneself. I felt sad at people pointing fingers at the Indian team failing to go to Semi-Finals. The so called supporters suddenly withdrew the support and started raising their voices and filled up the blogs with their analysis. Dhoni admits mistake, write most of the columnists and people started finding mistakes in the strategy. Unfortunately you would only find those flaws when you loose and when you win the same crowd applauds those choices, morons, aren’t we?

Indian Cricket team has bunch of talented individuals who always try to play their best, its indeed true with any team for that matter. However, a person cannot be always successful. And sometimes choices work and doesn’t. We the so called supporters do not have to follow blindly, but we can just shut-up when the team that we are supporting are going through rough side. One of my PG friends a sadist who always cherishes when India loose  a match called me at night and was jubilant for the fact that India had not won the match. The same illogical self-centered moron would call me had India won the match and explained me in detail who wonderfully the boys have performed. Most of us are like him, with slight variations in our thinking. My friends complain me that I support the Indian Team ‘blindly’. There is nothing in my personal thoughts that there exists a conditional support and un-conditional support. No matter what your sons or daughters do we support them and try to tell them what is good an what is bad. To abandon them is something we never do nor we should.

At any point of the match after India were to hit close to 60 runs off of 30 deliveries any Cricket loving person would have thought that they could come close to 3 runs. They put up a brave fight given the circumstances. Be it Jadega wasting deliveries or Raina’s short-ball weakness theory, we have lost the match fighting and that is what that matters.

If every person remembers the four finger theory the world would have been a better place to live in, but in reality it doesn’t.

The Cry Babies

Opera and EU are two cry babies. They complain that MS ships its Windows Operating System with IE pre-installed and they both think that it is anti-competitive. I think both of them just go f*** themselves, literally.

The EU cry baby just wants to squeeze money out of a wonderfully rich MS by hook or crook. They talk about fair business practise when racism is their daily coffee. Do they file a similar complaint on Apple for shipping with Safari, obviously no. These are double standards.

Opera on other hand is crying like a baby that shipping Windows without IE is not ‘enough’. I guess they go lick Steve’s ass and get paid for that. They want Windows pre-installed with multiple browsers and what next; Install Linux, Unix, Solaris, Ubuntu, Mac OS, etc. stupid morons.

Every business has a right to produce a produce a product without involving in un-competitive practises. Windows does not stop one from installing Opera, but Apple does stop in many ‘other’ ways. I am not taking this as a Windows admirer or MS fan, but a common person who works out of technology day in and day out.

Grow up Opera and EU. Fetch yourself some ’tissues’.

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