Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Disastrous Tsunami

What actually caused so many deaths - it was not night time; People could swim; People can cling or run from the waves; - was it so rapid or I have no idea about the force of water - fishermen etc can atleast swim; yet such horriying numbers of dead and missing. Death toll is already 80,000 plus overall - 15,000 in India itself. They were swept and drowned ?

Data, List of organisations working, Donations etc:





Sunday, December 26, 2004

Enlightenment

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Artwork, Dec 25 2004

Quantum Physics and Advaita Philosophy propound the very same concepts. The fact that matter, mind and soul are one and the same - the Prakriti and Purusha -the wave-particle duality ... That state of God or Brahman attainable only through intense meditation to reach Nirvikalpa Samadhi, when the individual soul merges with the supreme soul - the soul of all souls.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Art


The Software Engineer
Mouse on Gimp, circa 2004.
� Shamit Bagchi

I did this some time back, dabbling with GIMP on Linux.
I gave it the name 'Surreal' first, then changed it to the above name.

Can you guess the meaning of the painting ...

MODERN ART -> YUCK !

Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Divine Voice

I had heard a lot about her, had thought and knew of her as a great component of the Carnatic form of Indian classical music. A singer said to be beyond comparison. I had not heard too many of her renditions; only had a vague remeberance that I had watched a movie some ten years back in which she had played the lead role and also sung all the songs. I love to hear Indian classical music whenever I can, Bhimsen Joshi, or instrmental like Chaurasia, Zakhir Hussain, Ravi Shankar etc. But it was only after her recent demise that I kept readng glowing tributes to the legendary singer who came across as a humble and brilliant performer. Then the day after her demise or two days later Doordarshan telecasted the movie Meera; in which she plays the role of Meera - an intro is shown where Sarojini Naidu is praising the effort and characterisation of Meera by MS Subbulakshmi. The movie actually portrays the life of Meera, the unparalleled devotee of Krishna. MS plays the role with aplomb and comes across as a gracious, sweet person who has such a lovely timbre in her voice, so full of devotion - a spiritual qulaity that I have heard of or read about again and again; it seems like she is indeed transformed into Meera herself. A great peronality indeed has passed away - who has given music the spiritual magical touch. If I am not mistaken, Suprabhatam and Bhajaa Govindam that you get to hear in every local temple are her wonderful renditions ... Let such people take birth again and again - the age-old traditions and civilizational values - the very roots or the core and the ethos thrives because of such geniuses.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Human Behaviour and Identity

I am still reading One Hundred Years of Solitude � a marvelous book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; it is a tale of one family as it proliferates, generation after generation. With its myriad characters, each with very similar Spanish names based in an imaginary South American town of Macondo. I got a whiff of some form of writing apart from that of Magic Realism that Marquez is acclaimed for. I would call it the concept of Repeated Negatives � wherein you emphasize and portray the negative behaviours and activities of people and how they become, from good, harmless men and women to direction less, mean, overambitious, egoistic, scheming and morally hollow tyrants. These negative qualities are repeated again and again in great detail and glowing prose, so as to actually in effect cause a definite dislike towards such characters.
Apart from this the novel also shows in very mature storytelling, how people suffer from solitude,or loneliness even though they have or do everything in excess and also have all the powers. Finally they are in a state of disillusionment and discontent; a condition where they are ignored, forgotten or in oblivion and pass out either wasting away or in a fit of rage or some accident. Sometimes what you get in terms of material comforts is not what matters � you may feel handicapped in another field or hollow in terms of what you really want to do. Or is this the result in every case, for every human being.

Going away from the book:
If your outlook towards life is fatalistic you will always get failure and death is finally for everyone � instead live life full of zest and positive outlook with faith and always remain active; is the theme of life.
Only we need to stick to the chosen principles and not forget that the whole thing called life is for the good of people, family and friends and we always need to keep up the quest for knowledge. This is in a nutshell but still the essence. Coming to the question whether to give up everything in life may not be applicable to all.
Recently, I was reading an article in The New Indian Express by Sri Sri Ravishankar(Art of Living foundation) where he tells its not that you should refuse to identify with your identity � and give up the identity. Own your identity but do not crave for that identity � ie ego, name, fame etc. The disowning of identity is what he attributes to the decline in Hindu identity and ideology, thoughts and glory. Hindus tend to assimilate every other religion into it � however they never assert themselves. For this he gives a simple example : A Muslim Communist will very easily admit his religion � but a Hindu Communist will hesitate and try to suppress the fact that he is a Hindu � in turn trying to project himself as a true communist; an upholder of communist values. Unless your identity is clear there is no question of world standing � thats why the nation and national identity is paramount; Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam does not mean the country can be forgotten. National identity and equal human rights are not contradictory. In this way at every level identity plays an important role. Differentiation and identifying the abilities and behaviours are simple ways of deciding promotions etc in corporate level too. Remember performance appraisals.


Sunday, December 05, 2004

Motivating factors in a job ...

I had enumerated the following as motivating factors in a job:

Good work - challenging stuff ...
Good friendly people - not challenged with an ego complex ...
Good infrstructure maybe
Good work ethics and mature software practices
Creative assignments - strong team work and focus

Good food too may be (all the discussion started with this ! - See last post)

Further answering the other questions posed:

What is challenging stuff??
Work that makes you think - has twists and turns - rather than just converting requirements into code. Including the brainstorming sessions in a group and design strategies. You are not just assigned something and thats all ... Not brainlessly and repeatedly doing something again and again - eg: lots of GUIs

What is creative work?
Creative would be something that is innovative in its own way - may be new ways of doing things. Learning/discovering/inventing on the job and through mentors about new techniques, new mechanisms, new software and programming practices and continuously being on the forefront of new technology. Also may be extra curricular activities and other exciting and new initiatives from the management. An IP friendly company will push the employees to constantly innovate and patent. Many other things could come under this.

What is good work ethics?
People do not backstab and involve in 'evil' practices, plagiarism, and without mal intent; politics should be less. Where you are rewarded for new initiatives or ideas (renumeration included). Good mentors and great group working. Good HR policies too ... This makes you more readily work for the company with the right conducive atmosphere.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

FireFox 1.0 - 'Working Offline'

Bug 269962 - Viewed Pages not visible/do not open in 'Work Offline' mode

I put it up on Bugzilla
As I had mentioned I get an error message when I try to open a fully loaded and viewed page later after I have closed the browser ... and started it again in the next session or after restarting the PC. (This is not with just dynamically generated pages)

IF YOU TOO ARE FACING THE SAME PROBLEM - GO VOTE FOR THE BUG - AS ITS STILL MARKED AS AN UNCONFIRMED BUG ...
UPDATE : THIS DOES NOT SEEM TO HAPPEN FOR ALL PAGES

  • Currently listening to : 'Bam Bhole' by Sunidhi Chauhan
  • Currently Reading :
  • The Lords of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  • POLITICS : The First refuge of Scoundrels - TJS George
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Friday, November 19, 2004

Religious Acrimony

The turn of events is ominous - the head of the Kanchi Mutt Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati's arrest smacks of political motives - Jayalalitha's handling the case is stupid, malafide and plain insulting ...

A senior pontiff of a religious community (read Hindu) and venerated by millions cannot be humiliated in such a lousy fashion.

The seer was neither informed in advance, nor his statement taken at his arrest and he was kept in a jail even though Laloo can be kept in VIP luxury. The sequence of events can take a disastrous turn if the communal overtones this event signifies are not handled.

An Iteresting quote by someone :

The claim by Jayendra Saraswathi that he will not get justice if he is sent to police custody is a slur on the Kanchi Mutt, and undermines the spirituality which it is supposed to purvey.

For, the Junior Acharya who returned to the Mutt on November 16, appealed to all devotees to offer special prayers from November 17.

"They could recite the Vishnu Sahasranama, Kanda Sashti Kavacham and Hanuman Chalisa, besides performing Rudrabhishekam", according to one news report.

Jayendra Saraswathi can claim that he will not get justice in police custody despite performing all the above "devotional deeds", amounts to questioning the efficacy of these acts. If these acts have no efficacy, then the very raison de'tre of the Kanchi Mutt needs to be questioned.


And on the other end Christian fundamentalism raises its hood with not just 'selective' mind you, but complete blacking out of all the horrendous acts in Fallujah in the Media (the whole event does not even appear to be occuring if you scan the normal images in News channels and papers) - courtesy an article by Pamela Philipose in The New Indian Express.
As I was reading an article by Saeed Naqvi in The New Indian Express (a paper worth reading - The Hindu has tomes of Ads and Deccan Herald with only local focus, the other paper is not worth mentioning), he ends the article by doubting the true intentions of religious fundamentalists on the rise in the US this way :

A US soldier shoots an unarmed 'insurgent' in Fallujah, point blank and his associate draws a cross across his chest - Ironic? No pathetic !

Monday, November 15, 2004


As reported in my previous post - this is what I get when I try to open a viewed page later; after I have closed the browser ... and started it again in the next session or after restarting the PC. Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Browser

The browser is too good - tabbed browsing, ads blocked, RSS feeds, integrated search toolbar, skinnable, extensions, much more secure (observed those HTTPS URL highlight when you open GMail) and rock solid stable ...

Thats FireFox 1.0 PR (yet to use the final release) for you.

Get Firefox!

However why do pages that I have viewed a few days back not visible after a few days - Any setting that any of you are aware of ?
Conjectures - Once you close the browser or the OS does it erase the cache on opening next time and where is the cache kept ?
Please tell me - I have completely shifted to FireFox from the crashy IE 6.0 - However this thing is nagging me ...

Monday, November 08, 2004



...It is notDeath but the beginning or start of a new journey towards the Ultimate Goal Grieve not ... Its a new chance !




Monday, November 01, 2004

Strength is the essence of life

The very nature of human mind is to think of reaching greater heights
- but a certain thing becomes the object of defining this success. It
is essentially learning, wisdom and knowledge in abstract terms.
In material terms either name or fame or money - the lucre plays an
important role in this world today - it is something that everyone
needs how much ever you deny its need. It is something that should be
used and not be run behind - I was reading and both Swami Vivekananda
and Buddha say - make money and use it as any other thing but do not
get obsessed with it - it should not become a blind illusion. Swami
Vivekananda in his writings mentions - work hard, earn the money
lawfully and as much as you want, but never remain attached to it - be
ready to give up your money and riches at any time. This thought was
running in my mind, a lump in my throat and these words are like a
vomiting �?? in fact that mind dump ...

Both the abstract and material aspect that I mention above give us
strength �?? the mental and physical strength if used appropriately.

Change is essential in any stage in life and it should be in a
positive direction, but there are many decisions that seem difficult
at any point �?? there are always advantages and disadvantages to any
decision. With the hope that - Any change is for the good �?? life goes
on.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Mobile Phone - Nokia 2300

Went for the Nokia 2300 - simple basic features with FM Radio - I dont think a mobile is meant to be a video or image capture device - go for a handycam/digicam instead. Colour display also is nothing great to shell out double the price - I want a phone to speak and keep in touch, not view images or play games in.





Saturday, October 30, 2004


Ma in all her glory ...  Posted by Hello

Ma Chandi, Shakti, Shanti, Durga - Namastasyay Namastasyay Namastasyay Namo Namaha ! Posted by Hello

Karthik - the globe trotting god ... Posted by Hello

Ganesh - the elephant god of success (siddhi) and wisdom (buddhi) ! Posted by Hello

Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth ! Posted by Hello

The Sandhi puja - the moment of victory of Ma Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Posted by Hello

In bright daylight Posted by Hello

Saraswati - The goddess of learning ... Posted by Hello

Some photographs of our Jayamahal Durga Puja conducted this year. Courtesy my friend Rick Banerjee (with a Canon digicam ...) Posted by Hello

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hello is great ...



Also another tool - Picasa to create a better, more organized viewing and editing experience for digital photo files.

This is what I got on the Picasa download site :

Warning: fopen(/named_cache/campaigns/default/child/102004): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/tomahawk/picasa_www/includes/lib/_misc.php on line 65

Warning: fopen(/named_cache/campaigns/default/102004): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/tomahawk/picasa_www/includes/lib/_misc.php on line 65

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/tomahawk/picasa_www/includes/lib/_misc.php:65) in /home/tomahawk/picasa_www/includes/common.php on line 58

Durga Puja Ends Posted by Hello


The festival of the victory of good over evil and the victory of Goddess Durga over the tyranny of Mahishasura - Durga Puja got over with Vijaya Dashami yesterday with the immersion of the idols in Ulsoor lake among revelry and dancing and shouts of "Bolo bolo Durga Ma ki Jai" .

4-5 days of great merriment and fasting till afternoons and pujas and cultural programs and community food and festival ... I came back home yesterday - This time it was the 50th year celebrations of our puja - 'The Jayamahal Sarbajanin Durga Samiti' - and the clay-based idols of the Goddess Durga and others - Ganesh, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Karthik in all white colours - were just too good with all the intricate Sola work and traditional decorations ... About 3 lakh bengalis reside in Bangalore today and about 20 pujas are conducted all over the city. We friends went out on the last day and saw four of the other pujas being conducted in town. If I catch hold of some photos of this time's puja Ill put them up later.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Search the mind

The mind has an array of thoughts all hidden in the ups and downs of
the brain matter ready to course through the nerves and rise and cause
some action or make us realize something. Things can get contradictory
at times - the environment plays the role of a catalyst. The company
or situation you are in can make you react - positive feedback or
stimuli or thoughts of a positive or agreeable nature result in
pleasure and those that are on direct conflict causes resistance or
displeasure or disgust.
Something that you hate for long, for sudden reasons because of
certain positive developments may cause signals of positive to emanate
from that. This can you leave you confused as to your current opinion
towards that object or thing; especially if it plays a important role
in your life. 'Take it as it comes' is something that every human
tries to escape from. As I observe if someone or a group is doing
something to maintain your individuality you try to do something
different - uniqueness quotient ? But the domain of that unique thing
should be good or positive - that of course depends on the ability to
differentiate between good and bad, a capability inherent in every
mature human. But there are many things or lack of them that hinder
this - attitude, the state of mind, the leadership qualities, ability
to convert opportunities into actuals and many more things.
How is success defined ? The bank balance ? The creative pursuit or
abilities that you have conquered? Things that made your life
comfortable ? But the material aspect is insatiable. The more you get
the more you want.
There must be a way. It according to most spiritual lines of thought
is to recede the thought processes. Meditation and such aspects as I
have understood is to erase out the thoughts one by one and slowly
make the mind as pure as possible and then it merges into the primal
energy, unable to come back into this karmic entanglement or life on
earth �?? true freedom. Individual consciousness vanishes �?? Nirvikalpa
Samadhi according to Advaita philosophy.
What about the infinite universe and extra terrestrial life or is this
again a figment of imagination - the Universe itself ? Then ET life is
basically not possible ? Consciousness is itself a dream ?
People suggest that just do well in professional and personal life and
why bother about life and death �?? karma and nirvana etc etc. Thats the
Karma Yoga way �?? not that this is an invalid path, but the tendency of
the mind may be inclined towards the Jnana Yoga �?? the path of
knowledge to know what is that gets us here and how to get free of
this circle od pleasure and pain each in turn bringing in the other �??
pleasure and pain caught in a death match - as one topples the other,
he emerges stronger again the next time. Or Raja Yoga where in you try
to conquer your mind and power.
There is an interesting concept �?? the Ultimate goal. The ultimate goal
is not union of man with woman or woman with man to procreate and
thrive and propagate �?? but the ultimate goal of each human (being the
highest and most conscious life form) or soul is union with the Primal
state or being �?? the Brahman, this being possible when you are purest.
In this state time, space and causation seize to exist �?? the
relativistic standards fall apart as all the three above are nothing
but relative and not absolute. The absolute has only differentiated
itself into many through Maya or the active nature of Brahman (that
whole) also known as Shakti. Some people refute these as theories
especially recent neuro-scientists; since proof is not possible in
this particular case as experience is essential and once you have
experienced it you have gone out of this cycle; then who comes back to
explain what that experience is.
Yet the sticky tendencies and allure of this world stays on like glue
that has set and will never let you detach yourself. This sweet and
pleasant quagmire has amazing powers to beguile.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Blogging from Email

This is a test for blogging from email !


EBooks : http://www.planetpdf.com/free_pdf_ebooks.asp?CurrentPage=1

(Need to download 'Of Human Bondage' by Maugham on the page below ... )
http://www.planetpdf.com/free_pdf_ebooks.asp?CurrentPage=3&cachecommand=bypass

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Security - Global Perspectives

Thoughts about hoaxes on blogs ...
Someone claiming he is someplace in the world but not exactly from there.
Lets say I claim I am in Calcutta whereas I am blogging away from Bangalore.
Or for that matter claiming anything - once he becomes a regular read/reliable source
Can you detect from Yahoo Messenger? May be based on the IP address ...
In a Telephone conversation this can be done using Caller ID.
That way mobiles are much more transparent nothing can be hidden !
Whats this quad band phone ? Anyone ?
Google with its Blogger, GMail, Orkut, Google searches etc can be a deadly combination in terms of gathering personal information if you think about it. But they have claimed not to be "Evil" - what if the US of A government is able to arm twist them. From the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 reviews that I read the contacts that they have � and from the books we find these guys (CIA, FBI etc) are capable of doing anything ...
And what with Mossad (if you are wondering what that is, its the Israeli Intelligence wing) also a part of this game plan - the sharpest minds in gathering intelligence and espionage. We have the RAW (Research and Ananlysis Wing - India's espionage wing - yes we have one too and its equally deadly and equally shrewd - not the 'helpless good boy' image we project internationally). RAW had sometime back struck a deal with Mossad - sensors were installed along the LOC. Defense technology is a key area Israel excels in. They have dedicated defense firms and private agencies working overtime to gain that cutting edge. The world follows US - US follows Israelis - there is a large Jewish population in the US defining every policy decision.
I do not know what India's policy now is - The Vajpayee government had come very close to Israel in terms of bilateral relations - this present Indian government seems to be moving away from that. Though they have deftly handled the Iraqi hostage crisis; the hotch-potch coalition seems far from being stable and distant from being an able government what with the 'Lady playing the strings' ... ?
Basically in subtle ways the prophesy of the book 1984 by George Orwell is coming true. The global big brother looking into and being able to track every aspect of your life - now that everything has gone 'E' - credit cards and databases and all that. Welcome to the village - the global village - where every neighbour knows whats happening in your house ... Back to the old world ?
The reasons for 9/11 was certainly more than the breach of personal information but human ideals, dignity, human life. The causes and the effect were equally gruesome transgressions. Cause and effect in this illusionary world are inseparable ... a vicious circle all over.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Blogs - Merits & Demerits

I had a friend who said that all these blog/personal websites etc is 'bakwaas' (stupid/waste in Hindi, the national language of India) and a waste of both time and money. I doubt he knew what a blog is, he had just seen my blog and made a comment, however the point he raised is debatable.
Was he practical? He used to work with me and has gone on to find a job at one of the best companies and is successful - wheres as I am not exactly so in my opinion. So is that true ? What do you say ?
Even the person who introduced me to blogs never started one, probably he is too busy to start off on whims - probably it does your image some damage when you blog in public ? Just because someone blogs should I blog too ?
What do you see as the merits and demerits of blogs as a medium ? Too intrusive or personal a medium; just a fad/whim? Or a storehouse of information, invaluable thoughts and knowledge sharing ?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

What? A Blog? - Blog what ? - What a blog ?


Exactly two years, since I started blogging. Started in September 2002 (Go read the Archives). Started off with Blogger(TM) - the pioneers in blogging software 'PUSH BUTTON PUBLISHING', and I have stayed put - even after Rediff, LiveJournal etc etc came in. It has steadily added lots of features and is improving rapidly, especially the recent launch after Google took over Blogger, a year back.
Its been a nice way to tell all, in whatever way you want - wash the dirty laundry in public ? That is the description, in the crudest of ways. It lets you keep up the contact, with people from far and wide and also the near yet far. Writing skills may (or may not) improve. A language is a medium by which we communicate our innermost thoughts to another person. What are all those thoughts worth if they do not spread and tickle, provoke, or illumine others into thinking or doing.
Thoughts are the very triggers for action ! For all knowledge and information � language and writing (typing?) are the capturers, preservers and distributors. Thus blogging, I have tried to convey what philosophy I have in my mind, what my intellect puts forth, what really affects me and its effects from the deepest recesses of my brain, as they sometimes sprout out as poems, some times as random rantings, and sometimes as dry, hypothetical or completely absurd prose. Its been one roller coaster as I have many times thought of shutting shop but something pushes me on to continue putting forth pen on paper, err type. This station will blare on, from day to day events, best of what I found on the web, life experiences and also occasionally brilliant articles, no no masterpieces.

BLOGMIND � Where I blog my mind ... !

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I have 3 GMail invites pending. Do tell me if you want one ...

Google's Bangalore R&D Centre seems to be in hiring mode:

http://www.google.com/jobs/sw-bangalore.html

Monday, August 30, 2004

The Belur Math and The Dakshineshwar Temple

The post that I had promised earlier, after those crazy posts in the mean time.





During my recent visit to Kolkata, I had been to the Belur Math - the place where The Ramakrishna Mission was established by Swami Vivekananda when he placed the ashes of his master Sri Ramakrishna, and laid the foundation for a temple for it. The temple has a beautiful and pleasant dark sandstone colour. The interiors when I went in was filled with devotees and the evening bhajans/kirtans were being sung.
As soon as I entered it, I was in some other world. The temple is like any other Ramakrishna Math with an idol made of marble of Sri Ramakrishna seated in Samadhi, and Sarada Devi's photo in the left side inside a little room. The kirtans were so soul stirring that I just sat there in rapture for a while as this melodious song was being sung by a large group of monks; as if the whole of the temple was vibrating in consonance with positive energy, my hairs stood at an end, and then after a while I knew I had to leave.
I found my parents and cousins and family, and others outside. Apart from the main temple there are temples of Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda (here his ashes are preserved) and also Swami Brahmananda. I also bought a few books from the Book Centre.
Before going to main temple as soon as you enter after a few minutes of walk, on the left hand side is a RKM Museum � a big one. At its entrance you see the buggy in the olden days people traveled on these pulled by horses I guess(I am not sure). Inside there are two floors full of artifacts, personal belongings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda and the brother monks. Items on display include models of the houses or the places that the Swami and his master visited, books, clothes etc etc. Its a great journey into the lives of those spiritual giants. Its to be seen to be experienced.






Then later on we also went to the Dakshineshwar temple after a short meal in the adjoining local eatery. It had rained heavily and by the time we reached darkness had fallen. The huge courtyard was all wet with rains. This temple was made in the mid 1800 my Rani Rashmoni � the windowed landlady of great riches and equally great devotion. The right hand side as you enter the courtyard has twelve identical Shiva temples . Then first on the left is the RadhaKanta, Radha Krisha temple followe d by the Kali(Bhavatarini) temple. The temples are grand in their own right and late evening prayers (Arati) were going on when we went to the main Kali temple. Opposite the main Kali deity is the Natya Mandir where cultural events used to be held (I am not sure if they are held even today). The temple actually has a outlook of harmony towards all forms of Hindu worship - Vaishnav, Shaiva and Shakti; hence the different temples in the same premises.
Later we asked about and located the room in which Sri Ramakrishna stayed. The bed is preserved and covered with glass. In front of the bed, devotees sat and a group of singers were singing devotional songs/kirtans; here too the atmosphere was serene and I felt great joy and peace of mind. Right opposite down the road is the Nahabat � where the holy mother Sarada Devi used to stay, cook and meditate.
After visiting all of the above we headed homeward, with a sense of accomplishment; a grand experience it was for me having somewhat linked up to our rich spiritual heritage.





Friday, August 27, 2004


Dissection (v.): cut apart so as to show the internal structure.

The little boy slept on - unaware of what was happening outside [He was dreaming - some suspect he was retarded]
[Sound moral ground, hypochondriac, mental placebo, confusion abound]
His father thought he would never know he slapped his wife and held a axe to finish her off and threw her so she vanished in the cold of the night [ Allegory Act 1] The tender yet submissive mother and the fiery form yet to form.
[Moronic stand of the Nth status for monolithic solitude - Himalayas flash again and again]
He wanted to get rich nothing else - come what may
[Disruptive thoughts for disruptive ideas to get famous]
As I write this I can still hear those ghastly shouts emanating from that house in the darkness. Blood curdling shrieks as they were that would awake the cruelest demons and devils from their deepest slumber
[Highly volatile dump of the mind]
[World power domination Iraqi interim administration]
The TV blared on as if to mitigate the effect of beating the wife black and blue and bleeding all over.
[Najaf and Fallujah bloodied red]
Reality show was it of the modern age - loop within a loop Nesting of thoughts as if stupid programming constructs were not enough
[Kill the boredom get real - what is real ?]
Renunciation is real that which is real is true
[Britney is the go of this day - ask who Nivedita was and watch them stare]
Sleaze and Kaliyug age of mind boggling darkness
Pitch dark as the mouth of Goddess Kali as she gulps up everything with relish; cant get out of her clutches the Zombies of this material world Bright streaks of fire emanate from her fiery eyes and vaporise all, the Evil Dance starts
[Violence, Promiscuous relations, libidinal excesses, no control what so ever]
I have a job, so say so much but cant we get better. Human relations are the real thing that which I cannot get I cannot socialize and go to the parties not the parties of disco and booze. Am I a caged bird in this cage of the Unreal World (Tournament?)
[Money finance business cash cash cash - fight to stay alive in this tournament the competition and contest]
Consumer culture, buy this buy that, old lady cries hoarse like my granny cursing one and all, extolling the good ol days.
I wanted a Laptop - My friends were true friends and suggested the right path.
Don't waste money just because you have it . . .
[New Delhi, York ... NYPD India Police]
Get PHOREN Independence Day style
-> Olympics India 100 Billion + 1 medal [Feel Good Indeed] Hoisting a flag is a propaganda right as in British days just to keep 'secularism' intact; Gujarat - How about Punjab and Godhra (All blatant and corrupt on both sides - whom to blame ?)
IT - Tech - I want my mobile and palmtop even my company makes one Simputer they call it.
Salman God Rushdie's Model - Laksmi : Puja Festival today as I see them frolic somewhere in India on vacation ?
::: Tantra -> Hero, Child, Companion relations with god - As I read the Master's Gospel and my mind runs riot and I want to drown in Bliss (Samadhi its called)
Naked I came naked I shall go - and come back if I do not get to merge with the whole.
Mind I should kill the bloody demons of greed, lust and anger; jealousy and selfishness as they create havoc within
I write to get that right - I have nothing else to do - Is my time up; a total realization of how useless and vain this life is ...
Some deficiency I thought but the whole thing is a game a leela of the absolute mix and match get out of this whole game of life
EXIT.
What do I not have in life and yet I want to give it up
I realize the worthless nature of life and yet want to cling to it
Shame, fear and attachment lead the man down if the thresholds are crossed
Chaotic as the thought processes get further out of control I am writing - a great author that I think I am; what foolish vanity
Ideas galore but laziness gets you nowhere Stand up and fight do not show your back and flee
As the vomiting starts the smell in the mouth rises unbearable; The churning starts and the end will be reached half an eon past. A singularity which will be the meeting point of physics and metaphysics : Science follows Spirituality
Research for the knowledge the truth not the money - that has been envisaged and experience ages ago in my land of the sages and
yogis.


Was I hallucinating ... ?

Those thoughts, those thoughts are coming again. I need to hurry, run, flee; they are coming again, they will get me, they will dissect my mind my, inner most innards and throw them on the blog of my life. Do you see the blood stains ?





Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Thinking of switch from Desktop to Laptop

Planning to sell off my PC - It was a HP Pavilion which cost me a whopping amount of about 65K (INR) when I bought it back then in Jan 2000.



With an
  1. Intel Pentium III 450 MHz processor with MMX technology
  2. 100 MHz FSB
  3. Chipset Intel 440BX/100,
  4. 192 MB RAM,
  5. 40 GB Seagate HDD,
  6. along with an nVidia Riva TNT graphics card with 8MB VRAM.
Further details here :
HP Pavilion PC Model 8505 (AP) - Product Specifications

One of my colleagues suggested putting an ad on FreeAds, I am planning how much to specify as the selling price (Negotiable though). Any idea guys. Would 15-20K be appropriate. Or sell the parts separately ?

I am thinking of a laptop next - any idaes what would be a good deal ?
I recently saw a IBM ThinkPad model for about something like 55K (INR) - Intel Celeron Mobile 2.2 GHz, 256MB DDR SDRAM, Combo drive etc etc ...

Or should I go for an AMD processor based system ? Guys suggest something.
I would not like to spend too much - some brands are available for 35K - this time I dont want to shell out more without any purpose (for their shipping charges/brands) !
How about other brands (including Indian ones) - HCL, Toshiba, Acer, Zenith etc etc ?

Any other suggestions are welcome.




Sunday, August 22, 2004

WikiWikiWeb

This is just great - Books and data and loads of information for free - that you can modify, add to and edit. Heard of Wiki ? (A wiki (pronounced "wicky", "weeky" or "wi-key") is a website (or other hypertext document collection) that gives users the ability to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows that content to be edited by other users.)

Here are some amazing things :

Wikipedia - An open-content encyclopedia
Wikibooks - Free textbooks and manuals
Wikisource - Free source documents

Here are some samples :
Data Encryption Standard - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fractal - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Theology - From WikiBooks
(The portion on Hindu Theology/Philosophy was added by Shamit Bagchi - neat right ?)

It says at the Wikibooks submission site :
Please note that all contributions to Wikibooks are considered to be released under the GNU Free Documentation License (see Wikibooks:Copyrights for details). If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here.
You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource. DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Back from Kolkata

Was home by 11 am today, it was a refreshing three weeks ...
Had a good time with cousins - visiting them and they coming over - I have plenty of cousins. One of them got married recently. It was a grand family reunion of sorts and getogethers, food and music flowed unhindered; Bengali culture - I am amazed to find everyone grows up to become talented singers and players of musical instruments - it runs in their veins I guess.


Also visited quite a few places of interest this time:

The Victoria Memorial - Storehouse of British paraphernalia and details of old Calcutta its history and growth and the luminaries it produced. The paintings on display are amazing depicting the vivid perspectives of the British on various places, events and aspects of India. Its strange that after so many years I have managed to visit this Calcutta landmark with parents and cousins. The monument is imposing in white marble and the intricate frescoes on the walls and color tinted windows along the domes. One huge portion of the monument is fully air conditioned, a respite from the humid heat outside though rains had brought down the temperature somewhat.

Apart from that the Birla Lakshmi-Narayana Temple was a magnificent piece of architecture with its elegant all white marble structure and the marble deities of gods and goddesses inside. The architecture reminded me of the Konark Temple in Orissa. Its just eight years old. We got drenched as it started pouring when we were about enter the temple.

Also visited the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum - a mammoth museum with antiques on all aspects of industrial progress made by mankind ranging from communication, transportation to biotechnology, robotics and AI. Had to glance over some of the things. The museum demands a whole day � we saw only about 50 percent of the whole stuff on display.
The other places I visited include Kalighat � The Kali temple; the spot is supposed to be a holy pilgrimage spot where the idol of Kali is supposed to have emerged from the within the earth.

The other spots I will elaborately describe in my next post � these include
The Belur Math � here The Ramkrishna Math was established by Swami Vivekananda, where the remains of the Swami are buried and the Dakshineshwar Temple where Sri Ramakrishna worshiped the goddess Kali and attained enlightenment.

The temperature was not very pleasant with the excessive humidity (95+ percent) it makes you all the more uncomfortable. After 2 and half years it was altogether pleasant though maybe a bit uncomfortable with frequent power outages. However the last few days heavy downpours cooled the city somewhat.


Saturday, July 24, 2004


Good News ... !

Finally some good news - Ill be chugging off to Calcutta tomorrow; I'll be there for the next 3 weeks at my grandfather's place. So hope to keep you updated from The City of Joy ! Its more than 2 years since I have been to Calcutta last.
 
Some respite this will be ... 


Friday, July 23, 2004


HIDDEN THOUGHTS, DESIRES, DIRECT CONFLICT AND IDEALS


Well basically a signature on one of my colleague's mails :'Dont forget you are unique just as everyone one else is ...' makes me ponder over quite a few things.

As I realise I have often and often compared myself to the next guy or a couple of guys and felt happy or miserable based on that analysis. Let me be frank here. To some extent even aping or imitating behaviour and mannerisms.Often my cribs were utter nonsense on the lines of - he can ride a bike I cant ... ; he seems to be aware of all the places in Bangalore and I dont know most ... Kiddish no ?
A psychological anxiety - I maintained these thoughts in the subconcious even though always acted as if I did not care and as a result did not try to develop those very skills or percieved skills that I thought I lacked. Maybe not very simple thought processes I agree, cant help it.

I am basically trying to break free and develop a unique stamp/seal/impression free of impressions from others I interact with or come in contact with. This takes a degree of resolve and in a society it so happens that each person cannot stay untouched from influence of others - some kind of herd behaviour/mentality. Also leader/follower, dominant/weak scenarios arise all the time in life everywhere. The inner and outer man can always be at conflict - what one feels and acts may totally be out of sync. This may be in harmony or may come into a serious conflict with his life. Thus it is better to be oneself and never go into a comparison mode.

The next statement is a real twister read it well to grasp what I want to convey :
Basically what a person projects is what he feels and wants to see prevail but he may be swayed by the contrary or what is currently prevailing - the hidden ambition/aspirations may cause a friction with the ideals and principles he is keeping close to his heart because these hidden desires are exactly opposite to his chosen ideals and this can leave a person in a mental/moral recursion if I am allowed to use the context of the computer terminology - going back and forth, back and forth - thus jeopardizing his normal functioning. You may recollect this as a recurring theme in many books and novels.

I know this above theory will have its critiques and it is just a part of the large and complex mind space that human beings occupy, but this is essentially why I feel the uniqueness of each person should be emphasized (though this too can cause problems if you go deep as I feel) though the underlying strata in all the highest and most developed philosophies is oneness among all beings; even matter and mind ...

Well if it makes you think that this blog post is absurd then do absorb this that being unique this is my real self and maybe my previous post was the other half of my persona's mind speaking ... read the title of this post and you will get what I mean ...


I want to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'A Hundred Years of Solitude' - supposed to be a classic. Also 'Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho.

Listening to :: Wow, for these Kishore classics 
  • Yeh wohi geet hai ... *****
  • Zindigi Ka Safar Hai Yeh Kaisa ... *****
  • Woh Sham Kuch Ajeeb Thi ... *****
Amazing songs !!!
 


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

[ Futurama Redefined ::: Me and my future ]
Future Rama - All loaded with stealth stun weapons and the muscular super-ape in toe.

I wanted to be a writer, a scientist, a paleobiologist, a history scholar, anything; but ended up being a software engineer.
SOFTWARE ENGINEER : (n.) someone who surfs the net at work and checks mail every hour and earns cash for this.

Software engineer = tension (says who ?) - not here where I work.
Dont get the tension up to your head - its so cool out here (where is the AC remote).
As I blogged about the disgust at life, work and stuff - it all seems so foolish now. Why am I wasting precious bandwidth(says who, see what happened to the tech savvy AP Kar and Vajpayee governments).
Tried to boil my blood, instead should have tried to convert my extra flab (loads of it) onto more important things probably brain matter and turned as slim as that Barbie doll my little cousin back in Calcutta has - hey shes going to faint of anorexia.

Just do it - whatever comes take it; take life as it comes ... (what our teacher back in school never taught)

It is the confident person who wins - or atleast it all starts with thinking he will win. It is very essential.
Confidence, over confidence and arrogance are separted by thin lines, and you can get lost among them. Under-confidence is worse - I was stunned how a poor (money?) work environment can make your confidence dip. But I am my own saviour right ? So why blame someone else or something to cover my ______

As I hear innumerable stories of my friends staying up and working for 24+ hours per day I shudder.
Dont kill yourselves guys - 'Have a break' TM - I am serious.
Life is much simpler for me and I can take things more lightly and spend most of my evenings at home reading John Grisham and the like ... (yeah Times Of India - Ascent too)

Coming back to the main issue - I find being a writer would be nice. [Dreaming] The next Amitav Ghosh has arrived.
As I am about to start on my first novel - to be adapted into a serial soon ? As if there arent enough soaps running - Doordarshan is enough I dont know how people survive the character overpopulation in all those cable channels (KKSBKBT something ... I dont know I have only the Net and good ole DD, no cable - more empowered than the masses, see ...)

The future is bright, live on - And yes await with bated breath my scintillating, rivetting, engrossing first novel (la?). Whatever ...

 


Sunday, July 18, 2004


LINUX KERNEL 2.6.3 AND OTHER STORIES
 
Well I just built the Linux kernel 2.6.3 and installed it - first time it booted it gave some errors but no problems - it did not have vfat support enabled. However the speed is much better and mouse motion is fluid. 
So again I built it - this next time it gave a kernel panic while booting up - something about not being able to read the file format - I had missed out mkinitrd (or make install) left it at make modules_install ...
 
The .config file need to be generated and its tedious through make menuconfig - you may miss out many options. Instead this is good idea :
cp /boot/config-2.4.22-1.2115.nptl .config  (for FEDORA CORE 1 that I am using)
 
The 1st build is still working but its not reading the CD-ROM drive (block device), floppy drive and no vfat reading support as I mentioned.
 

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Just started reading The Rainmaker by JOHN GRISHAM.



Its about a lawyer just getting out of law school and literally penniless, as he starts his career with a millionaire lady and a leaukemia victim fighting against a insurance firm, as his first clients ...

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

BLOGMIND DUMP

- Blog Self Censor :: Deleted last post - was too gross for sensible readers
- Amitav Ghosh's next novel is out - 'The Hungry Tide' - based in the Sundarbans (should be good !).
- Currently reading : Selections from Swami Vivekananda's Complete Works.
- Expect less - Motto of life 'Simple living High thinking'
- Indians are loosing this simple concept mentioned above and hence all the miseries.
- The spiritual development in East has been emphasized and respect/affection for fellow humans is more
Poverty and Purity being the essentials.
- The material aspect has caught on like a bug from the western outlook - which is totally artificial and deadly delusive.
- Indulge yours senses more and the more yours senses will ask for - much much more.
Eg : Get a CTV; then a Flat TV, Then with combo drive/DVD , then HDTV then what not ...
- Spiritual comfort/development >> Intellectual >> Physical ... (LEGEND : >> = greater than)
- Heard of the GAIA Theory ? - the Earth is one big living organism ... Go check it out
- The concept of ethics and morals is essntially being selfless ; Immoral = Selfish
- Be good to everyone - dont be a nuisance to anyone.
The concept of ethics rests on the fact that the whole of this creation has evolved of the same Brahman
So you being bad to someone is as good as being bad to yourself. You or me are only a part of the same whole.
- Simple facts of this world - the Maya that this world is; the playground where humans play with their machines and technology and civilizations are all but the sand monuments that humans build as on a beach.
- Humans are one of the most developed of organisms with the faculty of consciousness not present in any other animal - and hence only those capable of self-realization that which you may be aware of as 'Nirvana'.
- The Western Concept : The Mind exists because there exists a body
- The Eastern Concept : The Body exists for the Mind
- Listening to the old Kishore Kumar melodies - what an eccentric genius he was !

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

TRAVEL : PUNE AND BACK

Back from Pune on some project related work.
Weather was not very unpleasant though it is summer.
Last day we (two of us) got drenched while coming back.
Travel to and fro was in the Volvo bus; because it was planned at one days notice.
I will never take that mode of travel again. Its costly and yet a pain.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Conflict - Call it The Paradox of Life ...

The question of who is the greater - one who renounces everything or one who struggles through the worldly affairs bearing all the pain as a result of attachments.
I feel taking up either with total sincerity is a tough proposition - the mind tends to waver at times in times of crisis and mental anxiety.

There are three levels of satisfaction and comfort that are possible
- One is physical comfort and satisfaction of the senses
- The next is intellectual comfort and satisfaction (for the mind)
- and the third is spiritual contemplation and growth ...

Now depending on the person, one of the above holds sway and either the Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic tendencies take precedence and mould the nature of man.

For a person it may so happen that a job/work/profession satisfies all physical needs but not the intellectual, thus causing a mental agony and misery that he is not using the intellect and letting it rust ...

But spiritual growth can happen simultaneously as one of the swamis at The Ramakrishna Mission was telling me. Normal day to day life and spiritual growth are not contradictory and in conflict but can smoothly go hand in hand given that the spiritual aspirant has the right focus and is keen to lead a pure life.

But I hold on to view that the one who gives up everything is far superior than the one who prefers to struggle in the quagmire of this world remaining in the loop of life and death longer. Since the one principal goal of life is to become one with that absolute - the Sat Chit Ananda - its all a part of the cycle - life and death and life again as the vicious loop continues.

Breaking out of this loop - that is true freedom !





NAMMA BENGALOORU !

Garden City - IT Capital - Silicon City - Those sobriquets are dying and dying fast ...
Read these blog posts :


Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Sound Demon (not daemon) on Linux

I was playing a bengali song on my PC - the rich silky voice of Lopamudra Mitra on XMMS ...
I had built and installed MPlayer some days back.
I thought of just starting a video simultaneously.
As soon I did the following :
mplayer /win1/movies/The\ Matrix/Part1.DAT

Once or twice the video screen came up and then disappeared failing on some count or the other
All the codecs are in place and mplayer install was successful and yet it does not work.
Then the screen came up and remained blank - it neither played video nor audio.
But the XMMS output changed to a strange voice of some man (remember it was playing a female voice a few minutes back)
Then I stopped mplayer and again started and the audio output became even more morphed like the voice of some ghost.
I closed and restarted XMMS but the audio remains like an old ghost/demon - thus came the audio ghost into my system.


CAN YOU DECIPHER THE FOLLOWING OUTPUT OF MPlayer :
Most probably the bitrate or frequency of output of the sound card was reset to some unearthly value by the audio drivers on loading mplayer - hence the ghost !

Checking audio filter chain for 44100Hz/2ch/16bit -> 44100Hz/2ch/16bit...
AF_pre: af format: 2 bps, 2 ch, 44100 hz, little endian signed int
AF_pre: 44100Hz 2ch Signed 16-bit (Little-Endian)
AO: [oss] 44100Hz 2ch Signed 16-bit (Little-Endian) (2 bps)
Building audio filter chain for 44100Hz/2ch/16bit -> 44100Hz/2ch/16bit...
Starting playback...
VDec: vo config request - 352 x 288 (preferred csp: Planar YV12)
VDec: using Planar YV12 as output csp (no 0)
Movie-Aspect is 1.33:1 - prescaling to correct movie aspect.
VO: [x11] 352x288 => 384x288 Planar YV12
SwScaler: using unscaled Planar YV12 -> BGR 32-bit special converter
A: -4.8 V: 0.0 A-V: -4.833 ct: 0.000 1/ 1 0% 0% 0.0% 0 0 0%


THE COMPLETE DUMP FROM MPLAYER - THE WINDOW COMES UP BUT DOES NOT PLAY
MPlayer 1.0pre3-3.3.2 (C) 2000-2003 MPlayer Team

CPU: Intel Pentium III Katmai/Pentium III Xeon Tanner 451.3 MHz (Family: 6, Stepping: 3)
Detected cache-line size is 32 bytes
CPUflags: MMX: 1 MMX2: 1 3DNow: 0 3DNow2: 0 SSE: 1 SSE2: 0
Compiled for x86 CPU with extensions: MMX MMX2 SSE

Reading config file /usr/local/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf: No such file or directory
Reading config file /root/.mplayer/config
Reading /root/.mplayer/codecs.conf: Can't open '/root/.mplayer/codecs.conf': No such file or directory
Reading /usr/local/etc/mplayer/codecs.conf: Can't open '/usr/local/etc/mplayer/codecs.conf': No such file or directory
Using built-in default codecs.conf.
font: can't open file: /root/.mplayer/font/font.desc
font: can't open file: /usr/local/share/mplayer/font/font.desc
Using Linux hardware RTC timing (1024Hz).
Can't open input config file /root/.mplayer/input.conf: No such file or directory
Can't open input config file /usr/local/etc/mplayer/input.conf: No such file or directory
Falling back on default (hardcoded) input config

Playing /win1/movies/The Matrix/Part1.DAT.
LMLM4 Stream Format not found
MPEG-PS file format detected.
VIDEO: MPEG1 352x288 (aspect 8) 25.000 fps 1151.6 kbps (144.0 kbyte/s)
==========================================================================
Opening audio decoder: [mp3lib] MPEG layer-2, layer-3
MP3lib: init layer2&3 finished, tables done
AUDIO: 44100 Hz, 2 ch, 16 bit (0x10), ratio: 28000->176400 (224.0 kbit)
Selected audio codec: [mp3] afm:mp3lib (mp3lib MPEG layer-2, layer-3)
==========================================================================
vo: X11 running at 1024x768 with depth 24 and 32 bpp (":0.0" => local display)
It seems there is no Xvideo support for your video card available.
Run 'xvinfo' to verify its Xv support and read DOCS/HTML/en/devices.html#xv!
See 'mplayer -vo help' for other (non-xv) video out drivers. Try -vo x11
==========================================================================
Opening video decoder: [mpegpes] MPEG 1/2 Video passthrough
VDec: vo config request - 352 x 288 (preferred csp: Mpeg PES)
Could not find matching colorspace - retrying with -vf scale...
Opening video filter: [scale]
The selected video_out device is incompatible with this codec.
VDecoder init failed :(
Opening video decoder: [libmpeg2] MPEG 1/2 Video decoder libmpeg2-v0.3.1
Selected video codec: [mpeg12] vfm:libmpeg2 (MPEG 1 or 2 (libmpeg2))
==========================================================================
Checking audio filter chain for 44100Hz/2ch/16bit -> 44100Hz/2ch/16bit...
AF_pre: af format: 2 bps, 2 ch, 44100 hz, little endian signed int
AF_pre: 44100Hz 2ch Signed 16-bit (Little-Endian)
AO: [oss] 44100Hz 2ch Signed 16-bit (Little-Endian) (2 bps)
Building audio filter chain for 44100Hz/2ch/16bit -> 44100Hz/2ch/16bit...
Starting playback...
VDec: vo config request - 352 x 288 (preferred csp: Planar YV12)
VDec: using Planar YV12 as output csp (no 0)
Movie-Aspect is 1.33:1 - prescaling to correct movie aspect.
VO: [x11] 352x288 => 384x288 Planar YV12
SwScaler: using unscaled Planar YV12 -> BGR 32-bit special converter
Broken pipe 0.0 A-V: -4.833 ct: 0.000 1/ 1 0% 0% 0.0% 0 0 0%




Sunday, May 23, 2004

WHO AM I - WHERE ARE WE ?

There are a few things that hinder the progress of an individual, a relation, a group, a community, a religion and even a nation.

Ego - The all powerful yet tremendously deceptive 'I' ... USA for the collective 'I' and its blatant racism and human atrocities
Arrogance - The BJP's fall this hustings is one great example.
Selfishness/Isolation - The frog in a well attitude - as I realize everyday of my monotonous, routine life ...
Languor - getting lazy to take on something head on - postponing things indefinitely.
Attitude - Very difficult to keep up the right attitude all the time - the wrong attiude can trigger a downfall.
Jealousy/Narrowmindedness - Can harm your interaction with people and always make you crave for more.

And as usual the other aspects of Anger, Desire ... are the catalysts on the path to doom.

The areas are greying out becoming all very mixed up - people care only for money. Those who have it can create the right culture. Culture has become a handywork of a few rich and this stinks, and reeks of the wealthy and famous.
The corporate culture, the internet culture, the pop-culture, the disco and rock culture you name it you see it. We are all participants in this and its terrifying at times - some times I feel an almost unputdownable desire to leave everything and go off to the serene himalayas, only to realize it would only be escapism on my side - what am I contributing to the society then ?

There are people who are so poverty struck that they cannot get 2 square meals - we had a recent almost flame war, no actually a lively discussion on the foreign origin of Sonia Gandhi - and one of my friends, ex-college mate during the email conversation said that the more demanding issue was to provide the needful to the needy and not foreign origin.

To hell with your cool culture is what the masses are saying - people are not fools - they too want a better standard of living - but the dangerous trends is to do anything to be cool.
But no - people are more interested in looking flashy and cool - the in thing is cool - as I was reading in the recent article the cinemas that are true mirrors of the society too talk of cool and looking good and being in the US and the old ideas of garibi hatao and morals and family are all being cast aside. The mandate may be one befitting reply to the consumerist culture that is creeping in.

Murli Manohar Joshi was not an idiot as he is made out to be; as the numerous blogs of students from IIMs would want you to believe. As a educated man (mind you he is a physics professor) and rooted in the Indian culture, he was just getting frustrated at the western culture and the economic disparities creeping in and a handful being able to monopolize all the riches. He made the mistake of putting everyone in the same light and in the anguish lost track of the fact that the admissions are purely based on merits - but what is wrong if the cost of education is brought down is that a crime?
This certainly needs serious debate - we are surely going down the western line of 'colonize thy mind' - everything smells of western concepts and look at what the US is doing in Iraq in the name of liberation and freedom - talk of HUMAN RIGHTS ...
There are people among the rich also who care but its more like a scorecard, for the charity they have done, more like a certificate that I am great.



Straight Talk on Realization, Learning, and the Individual by Swami Vivekananda
Excerpt from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda


It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, and symbols are good for children, but when the child is grown, he must burst the church or himself.
We must not remain children for ever. It is like trying to fit one coat to all sizes and growths. I do not deprecate the existence of sects in the world. Would to God there were twenty millions more, for the more there are, there will be a greater field for selection. What I do object to is trying to fit one religion to every case.
Though all religions are essentially the same, they must have the varieties of form produced by dissimilar circumstances among different nations. We must each have our own individual religion, individual so far as the externals of it go.
Many years ago, I visited a great sage of our own country, a very holy man. We talked of our revealed book, the Vedas, of your Bible, of the Koran, and of revealed books in general. At the close of our talk, this good man asked me to go to the table and take up a book; it was a book which, among other things, contained a forecast of the rainfall during the year. The sage said, "Read that." And I read out the quantity of rain that was to fall. He said, "Now take the book and squeeze it." I did so and he said, "Why, my boy, not a drop of water comes out.
Until the water comes out, it is all book, book. So until your religion makes you realize God, it is useless. He who only studies books for religion reminds one of the fable of the ass which carried a heavy load of sugar on its back, but did not know the sweetness of it."
The man at whose feet I sat all my life--and it is only a few ideas of his that I try to teach--could [hardly] write his name at all. All my life I have not seen another man like that, and I have traveled all over the world. When I think of that man, I feel like a fool, because I want to read books and he never did. He never wanted to lick the plates after other people had eaten. That is why he was his own book.

You have to realize truth and work it out for yourself according to your own nature. ... All must struggle to be individuals--strong, standing on your own feet, thinking your own thoughts, realizing your own Self. No use swallowing doctrines others pass on--standing up together like soldiers in jail, sitting down together, all eating the same food, all nodding their heads at the same time. Variation is the sign of life. Sameness is the sign of death.
Once I was in an Indian city, and an old man came to me. He said, "Swami, teach me the way." I saw that that man was as dead as this table before me. Mentally and spiritually he was really dead. I said, "Will you do what I ask you to do? Can you steal? Can you drink wine? Can you eat meat?"
The man [exclaimed], "What are you teaching!"
I said to him, "Did this wall ever steal? Did the wall ever drink wine?"
"No, sir."
Man steals, and he drinks wine, and becomes God. "I know you are not the wall, my friend. Do something! Do something!" I saw that if that man stole, his soul would be on the way to salvation.
How do I know that you are individuals--all saying the same thing, all standing up and sitting down together? That is the road to death! Do something for your souls! Do wrong if you please, but do something! You will understand me by and by, if you do not just now. Old age has come upon the soul, as it were. If has become rusty. The rust must be [rubbed off], and then we go on. Now you understand why there is evil in the world. Go home and think of that, just to take off that rustiness!

Thursday, May 20, 2004

U-TURN PUTS MANMOHAN IN HOT-SEAT.

Manmohan Singh, the erudite Oxford-educated economist who started the liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991 is the prime minister designate. Great news for the country as a whole. Sonia's gesture to opt out of PM's post is appreciable at best.
Though rumours are Kalam may have had adviced or inquired about her dual nationality status though the prez office is denying it. Also the fear of assassinations etc.

Shows the lady is no less shrewd (may have been advised well by her aides) - she has prepared Congress for the next polls and also tried to settle some old wounds - remember Operation Bluestar - and the slaughter of Sikhs by the congress party after Indira Gandhi's assassination.

Anyway Sushma Swaraj's gimmicks were in bad taste.
Vajpayee has decided to opt out of Leader of opposition post - he is the cornerstone of BJP's popularity - will his move push the party into oblivion ? Where does this leave the BJP ? We will have to wait and watch ...

Sunday, May 16, 2004

THE GREAT INDIAN SHAME

The election results have been ominous for the nation and the kind of coalition that is expected to come in is as someone put it 'a bunch of contradictions' - the left parties and congress coming together just to share power - power corrupts - absolute power corrupts absolutely. Imagine the kind of powers we are investing into the hands of a foreigner who refused to become an Indian for the first 17 years of her stay in India prefering to instead stay an italian.

The following excerpts are from S Gurumurthy's article that appeared in Times of India :

�"What is wrong if she is the Prime Minister," is an argument that comes not from the ordinary people of India, but from the educated Indian. This comes from the Chidambarams and from the Rajdeeep Sardesais of this country; this comes from editorial writers sitting in cities. So let us analyse this issue with all its implications for a country like India, which has an unbroken civilisational continuity.
�India is indeed a civilisation behind the facade of a nation. It is now facing the might of the nation-state, which has evolved in the west. The nation-state mechanism in the west is basically aggressive, violent, conquering, invasive, dominating, imperialistic. It is a concept which the Indian mind cannot internalise, understand, or exhibit in its attitude. So, now we are conceding that foreigners can become prime ministers and presidents of India, provided they hold a citizenship certificate.

" Between 1968 and 1973, there were indications of war with Pakistan over East Pakistan. And sure enough there was the Bangladesh war. During that conflict, when all commercial pilots were asked to forego their leave and enter service, she asked Rajiv to go on long leave. He was given special permission and they left the country. Throughout the period of the war, they were in Rome. Why? Because the American Seventh Fleet was moving towards India, and Sonia Gandhi probably had serious doubts about India's survival!
�So she deserted the country with her husband. She returned only after peace was restored, and after India had won the war because of Indira Gandhi."

"Is this is the person who is going to live and die for India? To live in India is very different from living for India. And to live in India in such glory, with such protection and resources, is very different from dying for India. Nationalism will not come by merely wearing saris. It is as much a fancy dress today as any other dress can be. But some Indians are very happy to see Sonia in a sari, and regard her stay in India as their good fortune. Why? I am going to say something which many of you may not like.
�Some of you may even say I am a racist. I was discussing this issue with Cho Ramaswamy. He told me something he may not write but I will share this with you. Cho said, and I quote, "If Sonia Gandhi had been black, had been a person of African origin, this problem would never have arisen."
�Do you understand what this means, unpalatable though it may be to some of you? It is this fascination for the white skin and it is we, the English educated Indians, who are responsible for this."

"She wanted to be a foreigner till the last day the permit allowed her to be so. And this is precisely what Sharad Pawar asked her in the Congress Working Committee (CWC), in May 1999 It all happened suddenly. Pawar described to me how it happened. On that day, the CWC was to discuss the Goa election and Pawar was supposed to present his analysis of the situation in Goa. The lady came with a prepared speech (please note, even in the 20-member working committee, she comes with a prepared speech).
�She began reading her speech. Everybody was surprised at what she had to say. She said that the Sangh Parivar, against which her mother- in-law carried on a campaign to finish communalism, against whom her husband did this and that, had now decided to destroy her.
�"They are branding me a foreigner. I will fight them to the last drop of my blood. But, I don't want this issue to drag on till the elections. I want it decided today because if it is decided now, we can fight it out at the time of the election, and it will be no issue at all. So, I want to know first whether any of you have any objection to my becoming the Prime Minister,"she said.
�All these fellows remained silent. And then Madhav Rao Scindia spoke, "Madam, you do not have to fight the Sangh Parivar propaganda, I will fight it. This is not your battle, this is my battle:' This set the tone for the rest of the discussion and soon most members began to ask, who are these RSS people to dub Sonia a foreigner?
�Soon it was Sangma's turn to speak. Sangma said, "Madam, I have very different views on this issue. I don't know anything about you; There are people who are saying that for 17 years you lived as a foreigner in India. If the voters ask me, how will I explain? Please tell me why you did not opt for Indian citizenship in 1968? I cannot convince the people of my own State, my own constituency on this." And then it was Pawar's turn.
�He told me he was sitting immediately to her right. He was the last to speak. He was the first one to organise a public meeting for her, a massive rally in Maharastra. He told Sonia, and I quote, "In that rally, you said I am an ordinary humble Congress worker. You said I don't want any position, I don't want power, and I am associated with the Congress family. You also said I don't even want to become a Congress member.
�can't bear to see a party with which my mother-in-law, her father, her grandfather, and my husband were all associated, decaying like this. So, I want to strengthen this party. This is what you said on that day." Then Pawar told the rally, "If she is willing to do such a generous job for a nationalist party, there should be no objection. She does not want to be the president of the party, she does not want to be in any position and she doesn't want to be an MP."
�Pawar told me that he had recounted the statements made at that rally to BaI Thackeray in defence of Sonia Gandhi. "But the day she ran to the President of India and told him that she had the support of 272 MPs to become the Prime Minister of India, which was a lie, all of us changed and I changed, too;" Pawar told me.
�Sonia said she was not interested in politics, and that she would never enter politics. She said she would not become a Congress member but will only help the party as a person belonging to the Congress fami1y. She said and I quote, "I am just a four anna member, I will not occupy any position." But what happened thereafter? She physically threw out Sitaram Kesri from the office. The poor fellow was in the toilet. His chair was empty. And do you know what happened? The Congress goons bolted the toilet door from outside and made Sonia occupy' his chair, The elderly man wept. This is how she became the president of the Congress Party.
�In the same way the western armies in the past invaded other civilisations and seized power, she seized power in a 'coup d'toilette'. This is the disconnect between her word and her action. Her conduct was the very reverse of her profession. she said she had no ambition to be the Prime Minister. But who ran from pillar to post to bring down the Vajpayee government?
�Again, when the media probed her about the money paid by Bofors to her friend Quattrocchi, she said, "Yes, the CBI is saying he is a suspect, but they have not produced any papers; and unless you produce papers to prove that somebody is guilty, you cannot say he is guilty." "


And the most terrifying feature is that of national security :

"�However, Quattrocchi defied the orders of the Supreme Court and did not turn up. He filed an affidavit in the Swiss Court saying that India was a brute nation and he cannot get justice in the judicial system of India. And Sonia Gandhi is defending this fellow Italian. It is, therefore, a blatant lie to say there are no documents to prove Quattrocchi's guilt.
�It is also a lie that Sonia did not know his plans to abscond from the country. It is impossible that somebody who resided in Delhi for 20 years, who shared weekly evenings with Rajiv and Sonia, would have suddenly left Delhi , without even telephoning to her. She must have been privy to all these things and she has the audacity to ask where is the proof?
�So, truth has nothing to do with Sonia Gandhi. There is an absolute disconnect between her words and deeds. Now the issue is whether Sonia in politics is a national shame. �Whether it is a national shame or not, it is certainly a danger to national security. Why do we have rules in the army which prohibit a foreigner, a foreign born person, even though he is a citizen, from occupying certain high-ranking offices in the army? Why do we say that our IPS officers should not be of foreign origin? Why do we say that our IPS officers cannot marry foreigners? Now, herein comes the idea of the modern nation-state.
�A modern nation-state has a built-in insecurity and that is the reason why it has to secure itself. But can the Prime Minister have a foreign wife? Can the Prime Minister's son have a foreign wife? Sitting in the Prime Minister's Office, in the Prime Minister's home, a foreign wife for 15 years; who ran away with her husband when the nation was at war, breaching the discipline of commercial pilots is now a well, established fact. In India, the MLAs, MPs, and ministers are not subject to any rule or discipline. Even today whether an MLA or MP is a public servant is a matter that is being debated in courts.
�So, can an MP have a foreign wife.? Can a minister have a foreign wife? This distortion has crept into the system. And what are the consequences of foreigners penetrating our polity?
�When George Fernandes spoke on this issue on the national television, it was chilling. He spoke of a particular file whlch contained all the secrets of the government. Where are the nuclear weapons, where are the missiles, who can press the button, which missile points in which direction, who are our spy links in different countries? This single file contains all this information.
�That file is not handled by anybody other than the Prime Minister of India. If Vajpayee ceases to be the Prime Minister and Sonia becomes the Prime Minister, he will have to hand over this file to her. It will have every nationa1 security secret. If it falls into wrong hands, it will strip India naked before inimical forces.
�`Can we afford to hand over these secrets to her?` Fernandes said even the Defence Minister cannot do anything; he cannot look at that file. Even the services chiefs know only their part of the secret. The combined, collective national secret is in the hands of one man that will be handed over to this foreigner, should she achieve her political ambition.
�Whether somebody can speak tolerable Hindi or not is not the issue; it is far more serious. It goes to the root of the existence of the nation, its security and its survival. Sonia's loyalty to India will always be in doubt. If there is even a millionth of a chance that her loyalty to, this country is in question, it should be enough to disqualify her from prime ministership. The issue is not whether Sonia will succeed in becoming the Prime Minister, but the very idea that somebody like her can nurse such an ambition.
�If the intellectuals of India, whose duty it is to preserve the mind of India have failed, I am certain that at least the ordinary people of India will succeed in protecting national interest as they did in 1977. "

Have the people failed their nation? Has the civilizational gem gone once again in the hands of a foreigner?
We are going to have a foreigner - never heard of in history except in case of invasions.
My head hangs in shame to even imagine Sonia Maino as the nation's PM - a billion people could not provide for a prime minister, and we will have to say madam prime minister to an Italian - the service chiefs - Army, Navy and Air Force will salute this foreigner as the leader/chief of this great nation. Is this not the height of sycophancy among such educated people and is there a greater insult for the nation.



Saturday, May 01, 2004

iTunes

I have been trying iTunes 4.2 for the past week or so - its going to replace Winamp on my dektop no doubts; the music quality is great and also the slick and enhanced looks, features - Winamp looks too flashy/artificial and is a definite memory hog in front of iTunes - iTunes 4.5 was released by Apple yesterday ... Go
check out the new features
for yourself !

Sunday, April 18, 2004

PATCHED VERSION

The XWeb web server for Linux systems that had been found to have some serious vulnerability.
Updates has been uploaded to FRESHMEAT and my Geocities site ...

http://freshmeat.net/projects/httpwebserver/
&
http://in.geocities.com/shamit_bagchi

- Directory traversal bug
- cgi-bin access flaw
- URL identification errors; have been fixed.

Donato Ferrante (http://www.autistici.org/fdonato/) had pointed out the directory traversal flaw.

The Merits of Open Source Development Framework come to the fore ...
This is when you understand how exciting and useful the open source community is - to actually try out and find errors themselves and inform the general public - thanks Donato Ferrante for making me feel an integral part of the open source community - the vulnerability has got published in many many places that you cannot even imagine - even in US-CERT Cyber Security Bulletin SB04-091 March 31, 2004
Its only because of this that I have updated the code for the server that I did as a test project. Please evaluate and send in your comments.

LONG LIVE THE OPEN SOURCE DEVELOPERS AND THE COMMUNITY