Oct 20, 2010

Fishing, birding, bathing and beering!

A trip to Marchula and Bhikyasen in the Corbett area.

We started from Noida at about 11.30 am, after several false starts. A critical component of the trip was going to be the incredible photography equipment that my friend KP from Bangalore had got along. Incredible by my standards, as the best I ever had was a Nikon digital camera that had 10X optical zoom.

He had a Canon D40 digital SLR with a plethora of lenses, including a 100-400 Canon, 70-300 Sigma, wide angle, 60 mm Canon besides several other lenses and accompaniments like filters, extenders and what not. The second most critical component of the trip was of course going to be the two fishing rods that he had also got along.

As we began to do the final loading of the bags in the car, which was a very complex task indeed, KP suddenly realized that he couldn’t find the battery of the camera. This was serious as not finding the battery, would render all the above mentioned equipment useless and our trip would be a disaster even before we set out. As for the camera’s battery, it was playing truant the second time. That very morning I had picked him up from another friend’s place, and there too at the time of leaving he had left the battery of the camera behind, and we had to turn the car back, search for it and bring it reluctantly along. The whole house including maids and helps went into a frenzy looking for the tiny grey black camera battery. After a few minutes the consensus was that it had got absent mindedly packed into one of the bags. We quickly got all the bags back into the house, and one by one started to unpack them. After ten minutes it was found inside a slot in the big camera suitcase. There was general joy and we got everything back into the car, and set out.

The journey was comfortable for a while, but then the roads began to crumble. The entire route had been a relatively smooth one until a few months back, but the recent rains had made large stretches of the road into stretches of potholes with occasional islands of intact road. Nevertheless, our spirits were high and we chugged along. There were frequent sightings of this bird and that, but we didn’t stop, our destination was many miles away and we didn’t want to do too much of night driving.

As we drove, KP mentioned that most of the towns that we passed looked like belched out industrial slag, and I agreed whole heartedly. We could see an inhuman desperation on the faces of the people who lined the roads as we passed through town after town. At places where it was particularly bad, we even imagined what it would be like to live there, and came to the conclusion that to be happy in life, each of us should spend 3 compulsory months running a hardware shop and living in such a town, so that we can better appreciate our so called terrible lives in Delhi and Bangalore respectively.

We stopped for a sad bit of lunch and a Thums Up bottle at a road side dhaba. Their toilet was well marked as ‘to let’. We ate very insipid yet chilly hot food, and then set off again.

Waiting for food at the lunch stop!

The toilet that was to let :)

Oct 8, 2010

The coal basket and the Bhagavat Gita!

This is a story I got by email, I thought I should share it with all of you!

An old farmer lived on a farm in the mountains with his young grandson.

Each morning grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bhagavat Gita. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.

One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagavat Gita just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagavat Gita do?"

The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water."

The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time", and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house.

The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See grandpa, it's useless!"

"So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket."

The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.

"Son, that's what happens when you read the Bhagavat Gita. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Lord Krishna in our lives."

Oct 7, 2010

How to keep your peace with you!

This is going to be a short post, because it is very simple to keep your peace with you, even in the most difficult and trying circumstances. 

Forgive. And as quickly as possible, forget. But don't you dare forget the lesson. The lesson being to completely and totally avoid those people and those situations/circumstances. 

You either have to forgive someone or you have to forgive some situation/circumstance, and you can keep your peace with yourself. If someone makes you angry, in the quickest time possible, forgive that person. You are stuck in a bad situation or your circumstances are such that you are greatly troubled. As soon as the situation or circumstance ends, forgive the whole thing.

And you will be a peaceful person most of the time. There are also times when you have to forgive yourself. Just forgive. And let peace reign supreme.

Bombastic self important buffoons!

Everyone's met them, everyone's had to deal with them.

They have the loudest voice, they are completely and insanely focussed on themselves, and they are devoid of human emotions. And in their narrow minded quest to fulfill their bloated demented egos, they can do anything. Willingly destroy their own children's happiness, scare little toddlers so that they can feel important and powerful, attack the weakest to feel strong themselves. And if you manage to place yourself within their circle of influence, they will hound you till you decide to leave the premise, the neighbourhood, the town, the state, the country and even the planet if that were possible. They are God's way of teaching us patience and tolerance.

So, long live the bombastic self important buffoons.

Oct 6, 2010

Is life such a big deal?

You are born, you grow up, you die. Ahem... the end? Nope, I don't think so. It can't be. All this struggle with inner and outer demons lasting your whole life so that you can turn into food for earthworms. Doesn't quite add up. There has to be more to life than living. We are not organisms destined to breed and spread. We can't be. So you became very successful, you made a lot of money, you wielded a lot of power. So what do you do with all of that in the end, feel worthy. Worthy for whom? Yourself? You mean to say you did all of this so that you could prove something to yourself. Oh my God, that's a humoungous waste. Just be happy with the way you are, you'll save yourself a lot of unnecessary pain and frustration. 

So what's the point? Why are we here, and what are we here for?

And here I will tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a housefly who wanted to become the most awesome housefly ever. And he practised being an awesome housefly and being a perfect housefly. And he did become the best housefly there ever was. And then the housefly died. One man who had noticed that this housefly had become the greatest ever housefly, decided to write a book about it. He did, and the book became a bestseller, and the man became famous and rich. Then the man died. But he was remembered for years afterwards as the man who wrote the book about the greatest ever housefly. But this whole episode in the housefly's and the man's life wasn't a big deal really. But the housefly was happy while it lived and the man was happy while he lived, and that was a big deal for both of them.

So, if you live the best way you can, you'll be happy in your life. But it's no big deal really. Try to live happy, and let live happy. Happiness is better than unhappiness. If you have a mind that can unravel mysterious thoughts then you will find deep meaning in these words. Else you can just chill and be happy. And don't blame me if you feel you've read something that didn't quite add up, nothing in real life does anyway. 

Oct 3, 2010

Anjaana, Anjaani and me!

Watched the movie, wouldn't say its average, so would put it at slightly above average. Ranbir and Priyanka look good, and the plot is considerably different from the usual fare. The shots of the US are quite nice and some scenes were quite funny. I would say, its just about worth a watch! It was 15 minutes too long, but managed to tackle 3 hours pretty okay.

So, if you've got nothing fantastic to do, you could go and watch it. Priyanka is nice eye candy. And now to get back to my existential dilemma...

Sep 22, 2010


From eyeing possible seat vacaters to nodding off holding your satchel, the metro ride is a study in abstract art. The crazed crowds in the metro mega station where all trains converge to the sheer contrast of the wind blown emptiness of a train heading home late in the evening. I can't make up my mind about the metro, sometimes I feel it is a wake up call to open my mind to the diversity of human kind and sometimes I feel it is a crushing force that stuns you by its whims and vagaries.

The metro in Delhi is like a force of nature, and we the metronomes who ride the metro are slaves to its mesmerising power.  

Posting via email

Yup, this one's posted via email. 

It's very simple, just log into your blogger account, go to settings and then click on the email and mobile tab. You will then find an option to complete the name of the email account where you will have to send an email to, to post automatically on your blog. Now, put in your 'SecretWord' and then from any email account at all, just send in the email. 

If your email account tends to add some extra bits of stuff at the bottom of the email, just add #END at the end of your post.

We'll I am testing this out so lets see how it goes!

May 15, 2010

Waiting for the watchtower

I was pacing up and down the road in front of my house. Everything was ready, I had woken up by 5 am and was ready to go by 5.15. All my books, binocs, water bottles, paper devices et al were ready. So what was stopping me from going to Okhla Bird Sanctuary.

Disorientation due to slow speed was.

A friend who stays a few kilometers away was to join me and we were to proceed together. He had decided to cycle down to my house, and it turns out, he lost his way because landmarks and turns came much slower than usual (i.e. when he drives). It was an unusual case of disorientation due to slow speed.

Anyway, a half hour delay later we were off. At 6.10 in the morning the freshness in the air and the freshness in the mind is something else altogether. The photographer duo were already there, happily chattering way about this that and the other, and of course settings of their cameras, angles, colour versus black and white and aperture versus speed.

Early morning the bird sanctuary looks pristine and inviting

We went straight for watchtower no. 1. Up till the great Peepal tree, we only saw crows. Once in the grassland after the temple, the air was abuzz with bird songs. There were prinias and babblers everywhere, but that was almost it. A few pied mynas, crows, a pied bushchat or two, and prinias and babblers.

A crow's profile (Copyright Yamini Chandra)

Striated Babbler (as corrected by Ramit, thanks!) in flight (Copyright Yamini Chandra)

As I walked into the grassland following the trail to the watchtower, suddenly there was a disturbance in the tall grass to my left and out came a dog. Earth brown in colour, with liquid hazel eyes and a wistful expression, the dog wordlessly looked at me, and came forward a few steps and then signaled me to follow.

The leader of the pack takes a water break

Apr 22, 2010

‘Why don’t the birds pose?’, ‘Half naked forest guards!’ and other bird watching revelations!

There were four of us this time. Peer pressure forced me to get out on time, and we were at Okhla Bird Sanctuary at 6.15 in the morning. The first thing everyone noticed was the sizzlers of OBP, and there was talk of birds roosting and then ‘roasting’ on the electrical wires. In very bad taste, but the wires do sound like they can fry an African elephant if it flies up and perches on one of them.

Two of my friends had super professional cameras, one a Canon DSLR and one a Sony DSLR, both with 80/300 zoom lens.

A beauty of a butterfly (Copyright - Yamini Chandra)

Yellow Bellied Prinia

There was an air of excitement, early morning freshness and birds everywhere. There were clicks galore from the two bird photography enthusiasts, accompanied by remarks like - ‘Whaa where did the bird go…’, ‘Oye yaar it flew away…’, ‘Why don’t they stay still for a second…’, ‘The birds are telepathic…’ etc etc.

That’s when the revelation hit them, ‘When bird watching. Especially when taking photos, birds don’t pose, they fly away just as you are clicking’.

There were frantic discussions between them on shutter speed, lighting, settings, zoom, manual focus et al, and meanwhile birds were flitting away everywhere.

Striated Babbler (Copyright - Yamini Chandra)

In my capacity as most experienced bird watcher I was pointing out rarities like pied mynahs, jungle babblers, ashy prinias, green bee eaters, purple herons, common moorhens and others, which drew ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs’ as I puffed out my chest and experienced ‘renowned bird watcher’s’ pride.

Apr 10, 2010

The curse of R, birdwatching, deceptive cellphone alarms and an angry bull

11.30 at night my friend R, ditched me in favour of a night of binging (who can blame him?). I decided to change plans from Yamuna Biodiversity Park to Okhla Bird Sanctuary. I taunted and teased R in an attempt to get him to come along, but he was helpless in the face of alcohol and women. I think at some point he wished me ill, and I brought upon myself, the curse of R.

I set the alarm to 5.29 am, 5.31 am and 5.35 am, and prepared to sleep.

Alarm Timings

Suddenly a few minutes after midnight I got a wave of inspiration to do something about a perpetual problem with my digital camera. When I am in sunlight or even bright light I can’t see the display. Which means that I can’t see the picture that I am taking, which means that I cannot take a picture. So I set about making a cardboard device to solve my problem. A pen, a pair of scissors, an old cardboard folder, scotch tape and a metal scale (which I found much later) were at my disposal. I first made a dummy with some white paper, made some minor changes to the die, and then constructed the all-light-digital-camera-display-enhancer device. I proudly reproduce it here. It may look simple, but I had to make pretty precise openings for the camera strap, the clicking and zooming switch and for sliding in the camera.

all-light-digital-camera-display-enhancer device

all-light-digital-camera-display-enhancer device another view

all-light-digital-camera-display-enhancer device yet another view

all-light-digital-camera-display-enhancer device aaargh yet another view

Well the great thing was that it worked wonderfully, I could take pictures in bright sunlight. But then the curse of R was upon me. Three things contributed to my not reaching Okhla Bird Sanctuary before 7.30 am.
1) The cellphone’s alarm was highly deceptive and I forgot to change the setting to every day, instead of weekday, as displayed below:

Deceptive alarm settings that regularly deceive me

Apr 5, 2010

How not to plan a bird watching jaunt

There are two main approaches to Sultanpur bird sanctuary, one that goes through the Hero Honda Chowk on NH8, and the other that goes through Bata Chowk, Bus Adda and Farrukhnagar. The last time I and a friend, who is a new birding enthusiast, took the Hero Honda Chowk route. We missed the Chowk and overshot by several kilometres, back-tracked and after a few minor detours reached Sultanpur. This time however, a very helpful gentleman at IFFCO Chowk (the crossing where the main Gurgaon Mall Road meets the NH8), advised us to take the shorter and easier route through the Bus Adda and Farrukhnagar. Both of us being terrible navigators, we felt thrilled to have found a much easier and better route to Sultanpur bird sanctuary. As we chatted excitedly about the birds we might see in Sultanpur and some that we saw as we drove along, including Indian Grey Hornbills and Indian Rollers, we suddenly found ourselves in an area that seemed extremely unlike the route to Sultanpur. A kindly gent, who proceeded to take a lift with us, informed us that we were about nine kilometres off-route, headed towards nowhere in particular.

Indian Grey Hornbills

Wood Sandpiper

We made two critical errors in our bird-watching jaunt. First, we didn’t decide beforehand where it is that we would go and do our bird-watching, and second, we didn’t bother to get detailed directions to our destination (reasonably difficult on this particular occasion as we didn’t even know where we would head out). Anyway, we reached Sultanpur at about 10.30 in the morning, whereas we should have ideally reached the gates of the sanctuary by about 6.30 am ( at this point I would like to add, that we started late, our rendezvous happened at Saket at 7.45 am, after which we had spirited discussions about where we should go birding).

Common Moorhen (Thanks to Pankaj, have corrected this!)

Disapproving Common Moorhen (Thanks to Pankaj, have corrected this!)

Naturally, I emphasise, naturally, our bird-watching results were dismal. We saw very few birds. The general conclusion was that they had all retreated to the highest branches and the most hidden parts of the most inaccessible trees

Mar 28, 2010

Bad Birding Pictures, Good Birding Trip

I have a 6 mega pixel Nikon S4 digital camera, that is as good or as bad as most digital cameras, except for a decent 10X optical zoom, and a swivel screen.

That said, I can now be forgiven for the quite sad to very sad quality of pictures that I took of birds I saw during a recent birding trip to Pangot.

The Jungle Lore Birding Lodge in Pangot, is such a wonderful place to holiday in, and if you are a birder (or are trying to become a birder, like me), then it is heaven on earth.

It is about 15/20 kilometers from Nainital, ahead of Kilbury. The road leading to Pangot, from the point where it turns off from the main Haldwani Nainital road, itself is a high. A meandering badly maintained but safe road that sees not more than two vehicles an hour, it goes through beautiful forests and swerves along streams and then reaches the hamlet of Pangot.

Red Billed Blue Magpie

I’ve been to Pangot many times, and sadly each time there is a little bit more construction around the Jungle Lore Birding Lodge. I feel a little bit sadder, but it remains and will remain a fabulous getaway. Just a few cottages, very carefully placed on a hillside, with just the right balance of trees, shrubs, open space and natural beauty.

As it happened on almost every visit to Pangot, there was an expert birding guide in the lodge, and he was relatively free. As soon as he saw my binocs hanging from my neck, he asked me if I was a birder. I replied with a ‘uh uh… kind of…’ answer, and told him that I was a very keen learner.

Ganesh was from Nepal but shifted base to India about seven years back and has since been working with Mohit Agarwal, who runs the lodge and several other nature-laden properties across India.

I sat in the porch of the main wooden kitchen cum dining cum meeting cottage, and started to spot birds. Ganesh was busy for some time, so I walked a little downhill and sat on a quaint little bench amidst trees and shrubs and low bushes. As I looked around, I saw a beautiful green bird with orange around the edges of its wings (Orange Flanked Bush Robin). I got clicking, getting some awful pictures, what with auto focus, that usually focuses on the background, lighting problems that doesn’t let any photo be taken unless it is bright sunlight and the many other problems of trying to take a picture of a bird that keeps moving and flying off, with a regular digital camera.

Verditer Flycatcher

All of a sudden I saw several other varieties of birds, and my heart started to

Mar 4, 2010


Yep, you read it right... footgolf. As I allowed my imagination to swerve wildly (most probably on the path of a bana kick), while trying to concentrate on my work at hand, I came upon a vision of Ronaldinho teeing off with a football (with his foot of course!).

Then I saw him being cheered by the onlookers as they saw the ball curve over the footgolf course, and land a few feet away from the first hole. Ronaldinho would give a short salute and walk off (without a caddy, as there are no foot golf sticks, just your own legs). The onlookers would, unlike the uppity golf crowd, be drinking beer, showing skin, cheering madly and doing Mexican waves.

Next we would have a veteran like Zinedine Zidane teeing off, with a precisely powered kick that would send the ball even closer than Ronaldinho’s. This would draw loud cheering from the crowd and Zidane would just smile and walk away.

The television audiences would be watching with bated breath as at the seventh hole, Ronaldinho is on a flamingo (footgolf lingo meaning three below par). He finally manages with two kicks what others do in five.

Footgolf can have all the biggest football stars as readymade superstar players, and could be a game of incredible skill and excitement. While they would go on playing their soccer games, footgolf would become an added on sport where they can win huge money and become mega champions.

Footgolf sounds like a very interesting idea to me. Any takers?

Feb 23, 2010

Google Wave

I'm quite interested in Google Wave, unfortunately no one I know has access to it. If you or anyone you know uses Google Wave, it would be great if you could send me an invite at sanjeev.saikia at gmail.com

Awaiting a wave of generosity from someone out there.


Feb 22, 2010

A trip to Chandni Chowk

We took the metro. From Noida to Rajeev Chowk in Connaught Place, and then to Chandni Chowk, the famed amazing market that was maybe as old as the city itself. We changed the metro at one station. The number of people crowding into the state-of-the-art metro turned it into a most inconvenient way of travelling. But it was fun. The rush of people was such that when getting out, if we hadn’t pushed and shoved like mad, we would have got left behind. Getting on to the connecting metro was equally difficult. We managed to reach our destination station – Chandni Chowk.

We got off and walked a while and got onto a cycle rickshaw. On enquiring from fruit-wallahs (fruit-sellers selling from hand carts) and random people, we were told that our destination was the ‘Gharhi’ (watch) market. Through roads that were permanently crawling, we reached the market. The journey was most interesting with people, shops and transportation from what seemed like a different era. We walked into the dingy ‘Gharhi’ market, and looked into a few shops. It wasn’t what we were looking for. We got back on the rickshaw and headed towards Sadar Bazaar. En route we saw shops that dated back to 1940s and even earlier. Everything here was packed into unimaginably small spaces, be it buildings, cars, shops, roads, electric wires, billboards or people. There were people and more people and more people and still more people. We saw a haveli (old colonial kind of house) with several floors that was most intriguing. We tried to imagine who lived there now, and who must have lived there a hundred years back.

Enjoying the bustling marketplace from our cycle rickshaw, we entered a road that was incredibly choked with traffic (all of Chandni Chowk is incredibly choked with traffic, but this was something else altogether). All around us, there were a million cycle rickshaws, scooters, bikes, cars, mini trucks, vans, hand carts, bullock carts, cycles, jeeps, auto rickshaws, pedestrians and cows. As we inched ahead, suddenly our rickshaw went into turbo mode and shot ahead. A motorbike behind us got impatient and started to push us ahead. The rickshaw wallah was barely managing to avoid hitting pedestrians in front. He kept hitting the backs of other rickshaws very hard, but it didn’t evince any reaction. Hitting the rickshaw in front to stop your own rickshaw was a necessity and the norm.

We reached Sadar Bazaar and came to a section where rickshaws were not allowed. We alighted. Suddenly there was a commotion and we saw a policeman mercilessly whacking a man with a stick. The man was rolling on the road and whining, he looked like a wasted drug addict. I asked someone what had happened but the man only shrugged and walked away. We walked ahead and after much asking and enquiring discovered the ‘Gubbarey Wala Gali’ (the balloon alley).

It was very narrow, if you stopped at any of the teeny meeny shops on either side of the alley, it actually caused a traffic jam of the people walking along the alley. We were weaving in and out of the shops in that alley and several connecting alleys for about an hour, and we found everything we wanted, at one third the price. The bargain was great, but the whole experience was far greater.

When we reached the metro station to get onto the train, we discovered that we had been pick pocketed. Cool. We lost about 1500 rupees. We reached home, happy, sad (at losing the money) and filled with a sense of awe for this awesome amazing market called ‘Chandni Chowk’ (Silver Crossing).

Jan 19, 2010

What is a great ad?

The idea is not to define a great ad but to see which amongst these two types is actually the greater ad:

Type 1
Brilliant creative idea, makes you gasp with the power of the idea, impinges on your brain and stays with you. Eg. Budweiser frogs going ‘Bud’ ‘Wei’ ‘Ser’ ; Bravia ‘Coloured Balls’.

Type 2
Brilliant connect with the target audience, good long term brand idea, nothing that makes you gasp but seems to find a permanent place in our brain. Eg. The Marlboro Man, Energiser Bunny.

Before you start screaming “Type 2… Type 2…”, please consider that a Marlboro Man or the Energiser Bunny was built over years and years and years with scores of ads, whereas the Type1 ad created huge awareness and a massive user interest and brand recall with just one burst.

So, which one is greater. I can’t decide but one thing is for sure, “Advertising is persuasion, and persuasion is not a science, it is an art”, as spoken by William Bernbach. I am a great disbeliever of consumer research where a group of people are forced to say something about ads so that they can enjoy the FREE food afterwards, and all other things that fall into that bracket.

However, I still can’t decide which type of ads are the better and greater ads. Can you?

Jan 17, 2010

My understanding of finance and investments…

Is sub sub normal. Sad but true, I am unable to bring my mind to grasp the workings of finance and of investments and good returns and other such things. Thankfully people around me are much smarter in such things so I get by, but the fallout is that when someone who is financial-knowledge-ally good comes by, I am over awed.

Just today we met a person who showed me how to get together a good deal of money that I needed, from my very own investments. I was amazed and struck by the finesse with which he discussed loans against LIC, and PPF and only 0.5% default loss for breaking 3 year lock-in periods etc etc. Wow he was a genius, and I was totally floored.

I felt that I should gift him something for imparting such profound and immensely helpful knowledge. My near and dear ones stopped me in the nick of time, as the gentleman giving us advice would have felt offended if I had actually done that.

But the fact remains that I am amazed by people who understand finance and investments and returns and the intricacies of making money through calculations, interest rates et al.

Face 3

Title: Face 3
Size: 12" X 8"
Date of creation: 2009 Aug

Face 2

Title: Face 2
Size: 12" X 8"
Date of creation: 2009 Aug

Face 1

Title: Face 1
Size: 12" X 8"
Date of creation: 2009 Aug

How to see who is following you on Twitter, and who isn't.

Are you expecting some roundabout slightly techie way to do this? I hate to dissappoint you, but it's actually incredibly easy.

Just go to 'Your Twitter Karma' website at http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/, enter your twitter username and password, and click the huge 'Whack' button.

In a minute or two, you will be able to see everyone in your twitter account, people who follow, people whom you follow, people whom you follow but who don't follow you, people who follow you but whom you don't follow etc.

Just select the people who you want to follow or unfollow and click the right button at the bottom of the page i.e. bulk follow or bulk unfollow etc.

For the historically techie minded, when such sites weren't there, then the way to check who was following you and who wasn't, was like this:

On your Twitter home page, towards the top right you will see three numbers and text below each. Click on the text that says 'following'. See image below:

Now you will go to a page which will show you all the people who you are following. There are two symbols to the right of each name, click on the second one and see if the option 'Send Direct Message' is there or not. If it is there, it means the person is following you, if it isn't, it means that the person isn't following you.

Now you can happily un-follow all those who aren't following you back.

Go ahead and tweet, it is a liberating experience.

How to sleep better in 5 simple and effective steps.

A good night’s sleep can help you get over any trouble and get ready to take on any challenge. The problem is that many of us find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. I am about to tell you 5 simple steps that will definitely improve your sleeping ability. They are simple and easy, and they will over time make a definite difference.

Point 1

The first thing to be done is that one must sleep with a clear mind. By a clear mind I mean a mind that has been emptied of all the worries, tensions, excitements and happenings of the day gone by. This can be done in many ways, but one very simple way is to lie down and mentally feel a wave of calm white light rising up from your feet to your head and leaving you calm. Then look into your head and with a pair of mental hands start pulling out thoughts (imagine it to be like sticky bubble gum and you are pulling the thought out firmly with you hands) from your mind and washing it off in a river of white light. One by one remove all the things that have given you tensions, worries, excitement or whatever. Now your mind is calm and ready for a good nights sleep.

Point 2

Another simple method of getting better sleep is to wash your feet in warm water just before sleeping. You can step into the bathroom and wash your feet with warm water running directly from the tap or in a bucket. Some people also prefer to have the water in a low plastic saucepan near their bed, and then dip their feet for a while and then go off to sleep. Some even take a warm water bath before sleeping, but I feel washing the feet is more effective.

Point 3

This one works for some and doesn’t work for others. It’s more of a trick really, but what’s the harm. Pick up a very difficult to read classic, say ‘Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce’. Now force yourself to read and UNDERSTAND ten pages of the book. It’s important to try and understand, that’s what’s going to make you drowsy. If it’s going to work for you it will start working by the time you reach the second or third page. Then close the book and switch off the lights.

Point 4

Drink Chamomile tea (without sugar and milk) before sleeping, it helps you relax and makes you drowsy. Drinking a glass of warm milk is also considered good, but not for everyone. So, nice herbal tea like chamomile is a good way to prepare for sleep.

Point 5

Another useful tip that works for some and works against some is ‘visual stimulation’. Do not get your eyes too stimulated before sleeping, by watching TV or a DVD or playing a computer game or surfing. This creates images inside your head that take a long time to dissipate and allow you to sleep. However, there is a flip side to this. Some people find it to be almost a ritual to watch some TV, or surf or play a game before they sleep. So use this tip with care, try it for a few days and see what works better for you.

Over all you need to be aware of what makes you sleep better. This will happen only if for a month or so you actually watch your habits and behaviour just before you sleep and even a couple of hours before you begin the process of sleeping. Things like what you ate, what you watched, what you did, whom you talked to, what your emotional state was, were you happy or disturbed, were you tired, did you just laze around all day etc. etc. You are the best person to actually find out what is the best way to improve your sleep. However if it is a very serious insomnia problem, you MUST consult a medical authority, or a doctor who will be able to direct you to the right expert.

Hope you get a great night’s sleep tonight!

How to search more effectively - Part 1

Hey what is there in searching, just go to Google and type in what you are looking for and hit the search button. And what do you get, a whole mountain of sites with leads to search through before getting to that particular information you want.

Maybe for regular searches get you the best results right away, but when you have to search for something that is a little specific and not readily available, then what do you do? Try many combinations of the search words and hope that you will get lucky.

Frankly, most times you are unable to get satisfactory information even after searching for hours. I won’t say that I can show you how to search for anything and get the perfect results, but I can surely make your search a whole lot more effective.

Point 1

Let us begin with the basics. Did you know that if you want to search for a specific combination of words, then putting the words within double inverted commas (“ and ”) will get you only those search results that have those words in the exact sequence and one after the other?

This is the very simplest of ways to refine your search. Let’s say you are looking for any information on James Davis who lives in Illinois. Go to Google and search for ‘James Davis Illinois’. You get all search results with the three words mentioned anywhere within the webpage. Now put the words within double inverted commas and search in Google – “James Davis Illinois”.

You will get much fewer results and in every result the words ‘James Davis Illinois’ appears together. Makes it so much easier for you to find the correct James Davis isn’t it.

Point 2

Now, let me tell you a further tip on how to get better search results. Using your common sense and your imagination, just think that if this person’s name was being mentioned in an article, write-up or anywhere, what would the most likely construct of the sentence be. In all probability it will be ‘James Davis from Illinois’ or ‘James Davis from Illinois’ or ‘James Davis living in Illinois’.

Now do a search of these phrases within double inverted commas. You will get even better results. A simple modification but improves your chances of finding information about the person. You can use this technique to search for anything. Just imagine what the thing you are searching will appear as when written as a part of a sentence, and search that phrase in Google within double inverted commas.

Point 3

Now, let’s get a little advanced. Do you sometimes look for the definition or the meaning of a term or word by searching for it on Google. And when you search for the word, results appear where the word or phrase has been used as a part of a sentence or write-up, without showing any meaning or definition. So what do you do? Well you just write the word ‘definition’ with a colon (:) in front of the phrase or word whose meaning you are searching for. Let’s say you were looking for the meaning of ‘best-of-breed’. Just search by typing in ‘definition: best-of-breed’ (without the single or double quotes, I have put the words within single quotes so that they are seen as separate from the sentence), and you will get its meaning and definition right away.

Point 4

A very simple thing that stares u in the face yet few of us use is ‘Cached’ under each result. It is very useful because many a times when we see the results it shows that the page does not exist, that’s when you can click on cached and get that very page as it was recorded on Google. Just make sure you make a copy of whatever you need quickly as the cached page may be deleted very soon.

Point 5

Now let us enter the arena of Google Search Operators and . Don’t be intimidated by the term, they are merely a way of saying words and terms that help refine your search. There is a huge list of operators and what they do, but when you see it, your mind gets a little boggled. So what I am going to do here is tell you just a few of them, so that you get a taste of their power. Once you are comfortable with them, I will point you to the webpage where you will find a bigger list.

minus sign -

Let’s start with ‘-’, the minus sign. It exclusdes the word that is qualified by the minus sign. Before I explain any more, let me tell you that the sign is useless unless you give a space before the minus sign and no space between the minus sign and the word you want excluded.
Example: You want to search all about cats but not about Siamese cats. Your search query will be [cats –siamese]. If you search [cats-siamese], it will be considered a hyphen.

star sign *

The star sign * is very useful. It is the wildcard sign. Let me give an example. Suppose you want to know what was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, search [Alexander Graham Bell invented *], and you will know the answer. You can use your own imagination about how many ways you can use this symbol while searching.

The OR operator

The OR is a very useful operator too. You want to know all the Hollywood movies that were made in either Canada or Ireland, then you will search [Hollywood movies made in Canada OR Ireland], to get the best results.

Well let me stop here for this first part. The rest will be in part two that will be coming very soon.

How to decide what to blog on

This article’s title sounds like a no-brainer, but it actually isn’t.

Most people start blogging to express themselves, whether through random thoughts, or as a way of keeping daily records of their lives or travels, by writing poetry or short stories or by putting up their photographs.

In most cases what begins as a mish mash of things slowly but surely begins to take a shape. After making several posts, the blog begins to take on a distinct personality. It becomes a blog on a certain topic, subject, issue, reason, genre or even of a certain kind of tone (say humorous or sarcastic).

For most people it gets very difficult to decide beforehand what they are exactly going to blog on. What their blog’s topic or even tone and style will be. All of this develops as the blog develops.

This article will give all the regular netizens and blogging newbies simple guidelines on how to decide what to blog on. It will act like a simple guide on how to choose a blogging topic, subject, genre or tone.

By sheer common sense, the simplest way to decide on what your blog topic should be is through elimination. Let us begin by eliminating one of two basic kinds of blogs – the personal blog and the non-personal blog.

Very broadly, blogs can either be personal or non-personal. Personal blogs are about your own thoughts, views, artistic self-expression through art, music, poetry, videos or anything at all of a personal nature.

Non-personal blogs are based on anything that is not of a personal nature. It could be on other people’s views, thoughts, lives, art, music, interests etc. and may or may not have your own added views in them.

Let us take examples to explain this better. Suppose you start a blog in which you write about your experiences while traveling across the world, it becomes a blog about you, and what happened to you. It becomes a personal blog.

On the other hand if you have a blog that is centred on the best movies being released in Hollywood, it become a non-personal blog. Even if you express your views on these movies, they are non-personal, because your main subject is not you, or anything created or written basis your own experiences or self-expression.

Well, let us now assume that you have eliminated non-personal blogs. Now you are left with the arena of personal blogs. Personal blogs can be broadly and very rudimentarily divided into three types – your experiences, any form of self-expression or your personal views.

If you now decide to eliminate self-expression and personal views, you are left with experiences. Blogs on personal experiences can of many kinds, but let us for the sake of simplicity take these: Travel experiences, Daily experiences, Professional experiences, Recreational experiences, Spiritual Experiences, Relationship experiences.

Suppose you zoom in to recreational experiences, then you have a plethora of choices – eating experiences, partying experiences, sports experiences, cinematic experiences, theatre experiences and others.

Now, lets us suppose that you decide to eliminate all except eating experiences. You have finally come down to a very specific topic to blog on. You will blog on all the gastronomic experiences you have in the course of your life. Be it eating in an obscure restaurant in your home town, or having the local food of Hawaii or the special dinner your wife cooked. You will be writing on your experiences with food, and that becomes the topic of your blog.

Quite simple, but there is the hurdle of a large number of choices. However this hurdle becomes a blessing, because you will never be able to identify all the choices, and will maybe identify only a few of the. The good thing about that is that is that if you could not think of certain choices, it is because you actually aren’t even interested in them. Thus they get automatically eliminated.

Similarly if you had eliminated personal and chosen non-personal, you would go about in a similar manner to eliminate the choices and reach the right one. As a rudimentary example, we could say that there are choices like celebrity, technology, finance, books, nature etc. Using the same method as we did for the personal blogs, and with your imagination and common sense, you will be able to quickly find out exactly what you want to blog on.

So, happy blogging, and choosing what you want to blog on.

How to start blogging

Blogging is a wonderful way to express yourself, send out news, keep an online diary, share with friends and family and even earn. But how does one start blogging?

It is easy to blog. Let me show you the simplest way.

1. First create an email account with gmail (if you already have one, then use it to create your first blog). Lets just assume that it is myfirstblog@gmail.com.

2. Now go to http://www.blogger.com/

3. Here click on the button 'Create a blog'

4. You reach a web page where there will be a form that you have to fill. You will need to fill in your email id (myfirstblog@gmail.com), a password for your new blog (this will be used to enter your blog and start writing blog posts), a display name (this is the name that will be associated with your new blog) and you will need to fill in a word for verifying that you are human and not a automated computer filling the form (this is called word verification).

5. When you click on the 'Continue' button, you will go to a page where you will need to fill in some more details.

6. You will have to fill in a name for your blog. Don't worry if the name is already taken, just keep ing it a little and you will soon find that you have hit upon a unique name.

7. Click on the 'Continue' button.

8. You have now created your blog, and are ready to write your first post.

9. In the blog title give a heading ot your post (say 'My first blog post'), and in the bigger box write the text for it.

10 Click ont he button 'Publish Post' and your blogging has begun.

Now when someone types in the url of your blog, they will see your post. If you want to add another post, you just need to go to http://www.blogger.com/, and using your email username and password you can enter you blog area, where you can make as many new posts as you want.

So happy blogging, and stay tuned for more on different options to start blogging!!

Do write your queries, views and comments, so I can answer them in the next post.

Jan 15, 2010

An accident that happened today morning.

I was waiting at a traffic light. The lights turned green. Cars from the opposite side were still trying to muscle their way through. I moved my car ahead. Suddenly there was a screeching sound. I stopped my car, and saw to my right, a scooterist had applied sudden brakes and had skidded. Scooter and scooterist were lying on the road. I rushed out as did other people nearby.

She was a girl, maybe just out of college, dazed and limping. I was distraught, and helped her to my car. An elderly lady in the car behind me came by to assist.

I asked the girl if she was alright. Holding back tears, with a shocked look on her face, she said, “I have to give an exam… a very important exam.”

I immediately took her to my car, drove to the side of the road, and asked her to just calm down. She took a few minutes to calm herself, then I offered her some water. She had a quick look at her leg and realized that it had only been grazed. The pain reduced and she said she was ready to go on ahead.

I and the elderly lady helped her to the scooter. She tried to start it, but it wouldn’t start. A man on a bike came forward and tried to start it. I told the girl that I could take her to the exam venue in my car, but she was sure that she wanted to go on her scooter.

After a few minutes, the scooter came to life. I advised the girl to drive carefully and reach safely. She managed a wan smile and putting on her helmet (which along with her thick jacket had actually prevented any injury), she drove off slowly.

I thanked God that no one got hurt, and headed towards my office.

Jan 14, 2010

Addicted to thinking.

People are addicted to thinking. Different kinds of thinking.

Some are addicted to thinking about ideas. In their free time, they like to grapple with a problem and find an innovative solution. Their greatest pleasure is to solve a problem creatively. Their greatest kick is to find an answer that nobody else has thought of.

I guess all inventors are like that. They are addicted to thinking about new things. It’s a great addiction. It makes you broad-minded. It broadens your perspective all the time. Every time you think deeply, you discover something new, maybe insignificant or significant, but something new.

What kind of thinking are you addicted to? Thinking about solutions, about people, about profit making ideas, what?

Petty people.

There are petty people everywhere. They seek petty satisfaction over petty things. Their petty smugness makes them smile inside. They revel in their petty victories.

I do not like petty. I like openness, generosity, broad-mindedness, magnanimity. I feel old fashioned. Petty people get their petty ways, and surprisingly get ahead in small petty ways, that add up into something petty big.

Big petty become bigger petty, everything becomes a seriously petty competition. And guess who wins the petty fights. The petty people of course. Yet, why is it that I heave a big sigh of relief, that I am not petty.

Pettiness rules in most places, now-a-days. Narrow-mindedness gets you ahead, today.

Which reminds me of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore. Here it is:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by Thee to ever-widening thought and action -

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.

Jan 13, 2010

Driving through three states to reach the workplace.

First through the colony roads, then through the toll bridge across the river that separate the first two states. Then through a maze of roads that pass through colonial parts of the city. Then next to the domestic and international airports. Then through the toll plaza separating the second and the third states. Finally through a meandering road that goes through a residential colony and then under the metro rail, and into the building where the workplace resides.

A long day of work begins after a plethora of traffic offenders, vehicles cutting in front of yours, irresponsible people stopping traffic, cows wandering onto the roads, two-wheelers that cut across the road, traffic policemen who take sadistic pleasure in making vehicles wait and other daily events.

Then a long day turns into a tired evening... and then 'Tan Ta Ra'... the drive back to the home place. Yeah… bring it on baby!

Jan 12, 2010

My desire to write a smart and witty post.

At this moment, I have a great desire to write a cutting, biting, sharp and intelligent post. One that will clearly get across the fact that a sharp and incisive mind is at work.

Unfortunately I cannot think of what topic to write on. I toyed with writing something abstruse and wonderful on marketing, or on a really really new Internet technology or software, or some simple tenet that no one had quite seen the way I was going to see it.

However, I haven’t been able to think of any such thing. Yet, I deeply desire to write a smart and witty post. One that has no typos aeither.

The WD HD Media Player that I am in love with.

I searched high and low, inside and outside, and then after a month or so, I concluded that at its cost, the Western Digital HD Media Player, was the best one to own. I called my brother in the US to order it from an online store and get it with him when he came visiting, which was about a month away.

A month later my brother is back in town for a holiday, and he gives me the WD HD Media Player. I fret over it thinking whether the US model will work here with the changed voltages etc. etc. and am delighted that it works fine. Then I watch movies, flip through photos and listen to music through it, straight from my external hard drive.

Bliss, I can finally access my 70 GB of music straight from the hard drive using my TV. It is wonderful. I can also watch my huge collection of movies straight from the hard drive. It is wonderful, and I am slowly falling in love.

After almost eight months of the WD HD Media Player coming into my life, the honeymoon is over, we are in a steady relationship now. It has become an integral part of my life, and I think I love it even more.

I have caught myself many a times just staring at the small black remote and then at the small black box, which makes it all happen.

Sigh… its good to be in love with the WD HD Media Player. By the way it cost me $99 when my brother bought it, what a steal!

Jan 11, 2010

Blood, sweat, pain, rudeness, gore, filth and Sherlock Holmes.

From the dreary colours that dominate the film, to the dismal settings, Sherlock Holmes is a delight for those who like it hard, like it raw. That includes me.

When you remember Jeremy Brett from the BBC Sherlock Holmes series, then Robert Downey Jr comes across as a filthy, rude and physical version of what good Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must have visualized him to be. But hats off to Guy Ritchie, I loved Sherlock the way he was in the film. I wouldn’t have minded another mano e mano fight situation where Sherlock uses his incredible genius to smash the baddy to a pulp. Yeah…

Overall I was very happy, I just think the storyline was slightly weak, but there is great potential for a sequel which weaves physical violence with a sharp typical Arthur Conan Doyle story, and delivers with devastating effect.

The ultimate way to show off.

The other day we were just chatting at home, and looking through a magazine that had a section on expensive accessories. We got to discussing cell phones that cost thousands of dollars, and clothes that would wipe out an average man’s entire bank account.

Just then a great comment came in. Why not wear millions of dollars or rupees in transparent plastic belts around your body, displaying the money directly, no looking for the brand name or guessing the price tag, straight forward cash strapped around yourself to give a clear idea of what your show-off quotient is. A small sticker displaying the exact amount being worn would be a nice touch.

We all had a good laugh and I felt that it would be a really helpful article for those who were searching for new ideas in the showing-off realm.

Jan 9, 2010

What do Delhi’s traffic policemen do?

They stop traffic to extract bribes, to allow rule breakers to escape the rules and thus create more rule breakers, which in turn results in more traffic stoppage by the same traffic policemen.

Not all of them of course, but yeah… you know…

But every once in a while I see a dedicated tpman (traffic policeman) who is actually directing traffic with the sole intention of making the traffic flow smoothly and at the fastest rate possible.

Sadly most tpmen are directing their anger and displaying their power while directing traffic. They will let traffic from one side go on and on and on and on till the road chokes and the traffic can’t move, and then open up the perpendicular side so that nothing moves in any direction for a few minutes, and when the backlog finally clears than the traffic from the perpendicular direction begins to move, and the whole process is repeated until the megalomaniacal ego of the tpman has abated. In this unique and highly frustrating way they create amazing amounts of delays at traffic lights.

The most awesome displays of such kinds happen at roundabouts which move in perfect harmony as long as they aren’t there and as soon as they start operating it, they get impossibly choked and delayed.

But I don’t blame the tpman, he is only the visible tip of an iceberg that is rotten from within. I don’t even want to delve into what kind of salaries they must be getting. I am absolutely sure that it wouldn’t be enough to sustain a respectable life, else most of them would not be fishing for and accepting small bribes.

I think what we need is traffic lights that have much more power than the passive changing of lights. At the red light the side from which traffic has to stop should have a net not unlike a tennis court’s net, but of course much much stronger, that will slowly rise up from the road, and stop any car from moving ahead. A car that is over the net gets a terrible alarm going, that shames the driver and gets others laughing at him, and also gets him/her a traffic ticket from the nearest tpman (who does his duty dilligently and does not take a bribe).

Delhi’s unruly traffic needs a heavy hand, er… a heavy net to control it. Someone in the traffic control department please take note and implement it as a pilot project somewhere.

All hail the great tpmen, Delhi will come to a halt, umm… move smoothly without them.

Jan 8, 2010

Why I stopped being Amir Khan.

My greed for twitter followers drove me to create a twitter account called AmirKhanTweets (after the megastar Amir Khan who recently broke all records with his film ‘3 idiots!’). Super.

I followed a krao so that it looked like Amir was following his wife Kiran. Great. I followed a few celebrities so that it looked like Amir was consorting with his equals. Excellent.

I sent a few oblique messages like ‘I am hoping the Chetan Bhagat controversy gets over amicably’ and others. Wunnerful. I got a few followers after a few days. Super again.

Then I got a DM (Direct Message for twitterignoramuses) ‘I am a great fan of yours sir’. Uh oh… Then I got another DM ‘Sir it is an honour to be sending you a message’. And I immediately deleted the account.

Why? Because I do not like to manipulate, influence or con people. Period. And these people were believing that they were talking to the real Amir… ughhh that was mega cheating. So I stopped being Amir Khan. (please don’t ask me why I started with this entire thing in the first place, I don’t know)

Jan 7, 2010


Is this where we are headed?

Can there be an honest politician today?

My perspective is coloured by where I live, so maybe where you live, things might be different. Well, answering the question simply. NO, there cannot be an honest politician.

There cannot be an honest politician because such a person will be out of politics even before he or she gets in.

With having a criminal record being a necessary qualifications for becoming a politician today, how can an honest person become a politician. If by some miracle he does get into politics and succeeds to get elected by the people in any capacity, the hordes of dishonest politicians will pounce on him and strip him of his honesty, dignity, integrity, will to live and ultimately his very life, in a very short period of time.

Actually if you are honest, manipulating people will prick your conscience, and politics is all about manipulating people, so there you are a resounding NO.

Yet, I sometimes wonder if one honest and just person manages to attract a hundred honest and just people (meaning the complete population of such people on our planet), could he survive and become the leader of a nation?

I dream of Twitter

Yes I do. I dream of getting a few million followers and then making $10,000 per tweet like Kim Kardashian. Not withstanding the facts that I have only 3,000 followers and I’m not a sexy star like Kim Kardashian, just a hairy chested man. But I dream of Twitter.

Sometimes I dream that I send a tweet and hundreds of thousands rush to the sweet little url I have created with bit.ly and check out my blog, which then gets so many hits that my ranking in Alexa hits a couple of hundreds. Ooooh I can hear the money flowing in like Amazon (the river).

We should all dream of Twitter, it’s what makes the Internet so interesting… and frustrating.

The Tweet Tweeter of Hamelin!

All the rats followed the Pied Piper of Hamelin as he played his pipe, but how does one get thousands of followers in Twitter. By behaving like the Tweet Tweeter of Hamelin of course.

You have to play a tune that attracts followers in droves.

That tune that you play, is the overall nature of your tweets, whether about technology or about cars or whatever. Find your space and your tune and play (tweet) on.

Of course if you are a celebrity, the rules are different, then you just have to tweet any and everything and you will have millions following you.

Sending tweets that are useful, informative and simple is a thumb rule that will get you followers. You should also engage with your followers as much as possible, that’s what buzzes everything up.

Here’s to you, the Tweet Tweeter of Twitter!

What anger does.

When you get angry, you lose your own peace of mind. That’s the worst thing possible to lose. You also waste a lot of time getting your peace of mind back. You need your peace of mind with you to do any kind of productive work or thinking.

Lose anger, don’t lose your peace of mind. But what to do when people around you do things that make you lose control. Well then do instant disaster control. Get down immediately to losing the anger and gaining peace of mind. It'll really help, if you remember that anger harms the person who is angry the most and that it makes you lose something extremely precious, your peace of mind.

Keep the peace. Lose the anger.

Jan 6, 2010

Occam’s Razor is much simpler than it sounds

Try reading about it on Wikipedia and you end up thinking it is a major scientific theorem that is abstruse and exotic. It is not.

Simply put, Occam’s Razor says that if there are several explanations, the simplest one must be chosen until any one of the explanations are proven to be the right one.

Phew… something as simple as that and you call it Occam’s Razor, Law of Parsimony and what not…

An easy example –

Problem: Those crazy Crop Circles that appear over vast areas of crops in the US and other places.

Explanation 1: Aliens used unimaginable methods to create them.

Explanation 2: Humans used some mechanical methods to create them.

Occam’s Razor will say that aliens are an improbability, unimaginable methods is also improbable, both together are complex and far out. Humans is right here right now, some mechanical method is also possible. So until proven wrong, explanation 2 is correct.

FYI – in 1990 someone came forward and confessed that they had created the crop circles, the others were copycats of these people.

Anyways, enjoy life but don’t forget to apply Occam’s Razor to your problems.

Jan 5, 2010

The incredible awesome fantabulous Guardian System as seen on Oprah

I came across something that appears to be a really beautiful con job. A system that claims that by paying just $10 through paypal, you will be able to get $40,000 in your pay pal account.

In a nutshell you get an email with five email addresses in it. Pay $5 to the pay pal account of the first and the last email addresses, and then delete the first email address and add your email address as the fifth. Make sure you at least get 20 responses (I didn’t understand how that happens).

In no time at all you will have thousands and thousands of dollars pouring in into your pay pal account. And the email will tell you that it has been proved on the Oprah show and approved by Oprah. Sound so plausible and logical doesn’t it! Damn, I wish I had thought of this and had made my thousands with just a few dollars.

Jan 4, 2010

What the cold does!

It is getting very cold here, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep the cold out of my mind and body. The cold is gnawing at my thoughts, and when I would normally be smiling and happy, I am trying to smile and trying to stay happy. If it was a sunny day today, I would have been a few notches happier for sure. Well what is it that makes me unhappy when the cold is severe, the same reasons that make me unhappy when I see a drab boring and stupid advertisement.

The spark is missing from some things in life, and when you see them it makes you feel that there are more missing sparks than there are flying sparks. That makes some people unsettled. Incredibly as soon as I wrote the words ‘trying to smile and trying to stay happy’, the sun came out momentarily to light up my workplace, as if to say hey how will you understand the true value of happiness if you never see the other side.

Well cold is good, so that cool can be valued better and warm can be enjoyed with utter abandon. Hot is bad though, and it gets hot for a long time here… all hail the air conditioner. If you are feeling cold today, know that warmth is coming your way.

Jan 3, 2010

It’s an immaterial world.

The constant race for more is getting on my nerves. It is assaulting my senses and deafening my ears, and I am helpless under its intense glare.

A gaudier car, a bigger house, a newer gadget, well... a newer gadget can be forgiven because it can be the result of a genuine passion for gadgets. However the more regular show of the human race, in their race to outpace their fellow beings, is sad to behold.

And guess what I am in the eye of this material storm. This storm that is engulfing the whole world, that is threatening to destroy the earth as we know it. I feel bound by strong chains that tie me to this mindless race, and I strain to break free, only to find newer chains coiling themselves around me.

Yet in the middle of this terrible storm, I am calm, for I know that the world is immaterial. It is a vision that is real, but a vision none the less.

So, take it easy, slow down, smell the flowers, watch the birds and enjoy being a voyager on this trip across the sun, on a still beautiful planet.

It is an immaterial world we live in, and we must make the most of it.