Saturday, September 08, 2007


This is one of the essential traits you should develop to live in this world. It’s better to be hard hearted and be streetwise than to empathize and make a fool of yourself.

And this was a lesson I learnt the hard way, or rather the light way.. because my purse ended up being lighter.

Some days ago, one evening I was a wee bit late for my office drop. I could see the buses zoom past in front of me. An instinctive reflex was to run faster to see if I could manage to get into my bus. As I was running I heard someone. (The converstion was in hindi .. I’ve translated it here).

“Do you know hindi?”

It was a woman with her family. They looked like they were from the lower strata of society, and yet dressed as neatly as they could afford to. Along with her was her husband and her son, her sister, her sister’s spouse and her niece.

I affirmed that I did.

They were in dire straits. Extreme helplessness radiated out of them.

Now earning a decent pay package brings out the social server in you. Call it guilt of living in luxury in a poor country or what ever you may. You tend to feel that you should help society, help the poor, have compassion on the afflicted.. and flavors of these emotions go on and on.

So I slowed down and lent her my ear. This slack let all of them open up. It was like a volcanic eruption of multiple rueful voices. In all this pandemonium I managed to figure out that they lost their luggage, and that they didn’t have money to feed their children. I sensed a fraud. So I told them I didn’t have any money.

Her response made me feel awful. More than the words, the expressions accompanying what she said forced me to change my perspective. She said that she didn’t need money. She just wanted me to help them get back to Maharashtra. She just wanted me to help them get back home. They looked helpless, and I was moved. Before I could realize it, I was digging into my purse for an amount fair enough to get them something to eat. At that moment I could not think of anyone who could probably help them get back home.

The money I gave them wasn’t enough to take them home. I could sense that it didn’t make them happy. But.. what if it was not a true story? Atleast I would be happy that I didn’t get royally duped. But.. what if they were really really really in need of help? At least the little money I gave them would get them a decent meal, at least till some Good Samaritan came to their rescue. So that was it. My purse felt lighter, but I carried a complacent feeling back with me. Happy that I helped someone in need. And whether I was duped or not, I still had a human in me. And that is something I was happy about. God would be happy with me for that. At least I wont be sent to hell directly, God would probably give me a concession .. :-D.

I decided I would keep this to myself. Like they say, when you make an offering with you right hand, don’t let you left hand know that. The effect of the good deed gets diluted. Another reason was the fear that people would take away the happy feeling from me by telling me that I was duped. The doubt of being duped is different from knowing that you were actually duped. And my fear ended up being true the next day.

A colleague in one of the buses had seen me give them money. And it seems this is a racket going on in Bangalore. It has happened to a lot of people. A group of people posing like travelers who lost their luggage ask you for help. The fact that they done know the local language makes you stop by to help them. And the worst part is that they snipe when they know that you are in a hurry.. probably realizing that you are preoccupied and you wouldn’t think for a long time. You would either give in or shun them. But its worth a try.

I admire their smartness and acting skills. That was a great performance. There is a lot to learn from them. “Induce empathy and your work will be done” is the mantra of the day. But to outsmart them you have to be “HARD HEARTED”.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Age of Global Warming

This was a cartoon drawn for my office magazine ..
Click on the image to see it better.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The light at the end of the tunnel

Life !!! It has so much to give. There is so much to see, so much to experience and so much to learn from it. But why did it have to be unpredictable? Umm .. maybe that’s what makes life interesting. However, sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to look into my future. To look at what I would be doing a few years from now. But in the game of life, you have to go through the set of surprises that are in store for you. Thankfully it also gives you one saving grace... "HOPE".

Hope!!! Something everyone lives with, something no one can live without. Though sometimes, it seems to be a persistent illogical desire for life to get better over time.

Matters that are not in our control are left on hope. Always hoping and praying that the ALMIGHTY would give us the best. Most of the time we end up expecting more than we deserve. We might even realize that we did get a part of something we had hoped for. But… mortals that we are, we are left with the feeling lingering around, that maybe.. maybe what we have received from life was not enough. Maybe what we have would get better over time. Or maybe the ALMIGHTLY has been answering our prayers in installments :-) and eventually leaving us with the hope, that someday, we’ll get what we had hoped for in its entirety. And again hoping against hope, that someday, the grass will be greener on our side of the fence.

After working for a couple of years in one campus being asked to move to a new place is big change. Parting with friends to move on. Somehow it feels like it would be the first day at office. To go with the hope that u could probably meet someone u know. It feels like going to a new school. Going to a new place where there a lot of unfamiliar people. But... that’s what life is all about. It is like getting into a long dark tunnel. Not sure of the way, but the light I see at the end of the tunnel beckons me, telling me that there is something good in store for me. I’m not sure if the beckoning is an intuition or my hope. Only time would tell me that .. :-)

Sometimes I wonder what drives a person to take away his own life. If they had even an ounce of hope they would probably think of living life rather than leaving it.
Think about the farmer who hopes for rains at the right time of the year to wet the soil, to get the fruit of his toil.
The hope of a mother with her unborn child in her womb. The hope that she would carry her bundle of joy in her arms one day.
The hope of a wife whose husband is at war. The hope that he would come back to her.
The hope that there should be no riots. The hope that a war ends soon. The hope for peace. The hope that we can live life with dignity. Without the fear of being targeted based on religions, states and nationalities.

Hope is like the fuel put into the worn out car of life. It helps you drive on. On less familiar roads, to unknown realms, making you look forward to something or for something. There is an adage “Don’t deprive someone of hope. It might be the only thing they have”. I could never disagree.

Friday, October 20, 2006

When Darkness Comes ..

Don't Worry .. this is not even remotely connected to the stupid horror story. I haven't read it and have no plans of reading it anyway.. so nothing that I can tell you about it.

This is all about my dreams, my nightmares to be more specific.

I don't know why, but most of my nightmares seem to have lions or tigers in them. I've never dreamt of any other animal. Atleast I don't remember any other animal walking around in my dreams. Strange .. but true. Now don't think that I was Jane of the Jungle in my previous birth and I miss the jungle badly. Please throw that idea miles away.

Now here are the actual dreams, actually the excerpts of them. Ok ok the truth is, this is all I can remember of them. However I'm the only soul who seems to categorise them as nightmares. Most of my friends laugh out loud when they hear my "nightmares".

The first one was when I was quite small, maybe primary school. I dreamt that some lions had run out of a zoo and came into our neighbourhood. They were roaming around and everybody had locked themselves inside their houses terrified. After some time we
heard a "ting tong". Guess what was going on? A lion was ringing our doorbell. Now all the lions and tigers looked real but strangely this one had a cartoon kind of look to it. It was ringing the bell with its paw, it looked more like human hands that had distinct finger joints and long black manicured nails with fur instead of skin.. some cross breed lion I guess. Overall it looked suave though ;-)) . I'll try to draw that scene sometime and put it up here. Now don't ask me how I saw the lion that was outside the door when I was supposed to be petrified inside the house. I just did. After all everything is possible in a dream and in a hindi movie. After this memory gives up, I can't remember anything after that, just a vivid picture of the lion ringing my doorbell. Thats all :-( .

There were one or two more in between which I don't remember well :-(.

Over the past few months the pride has been visiting me again. Among these the first one went like this. As usual, lions are out of the zoo into my locality and roaming around, but this time i'm in my new house, so that being on the first floor we thought we had the priveledge of standing on the gallery (a little scared) looking at them while the others neighbours are shivering in their houses. Don't know how I got that bright idea that lions or tigers cannot see people in the top floor. So with our door wide open we are busy looking at them without noticing that one tiger cub climbed up and passed by behind me to enter my house. After listening to the commotion inside I went in to see this tiger cub walking around feeling lost in the drawing room. I got irratated and pitied the small creature at the same time and held it with both hands like it was some small kitten and threw it outside the house and locked the door. The memory of this dream fades from here.

Now this one is a few weeks old, itseems i'm going to a circus with some old lady who is supposed to be my relative. Now the confusion here is, in real life I have never seen her. And in my dreams I sort of know that she had died sometime back, but she is still there with me and i'm not afraid of her. She didnt look like a spirit either. She was there with me, very much in and blood. Weird. Anyway, so now, i'm going with her to this circus. Even though I felt I was going to a circus, there was no tent or anything that could be related to a circus. In fact it was like a plain patch of a forest devoid of trees. Suddenly I see a lot of lionesses walking towards us and passing me by and walking towards a gate that seems to be somewhere far behind us, but which cannot be seen by us. Hundreds of them where there. None of them seem to notice us but we're still scared. Both of us don't know what to do. Luckily, we see a cage (like the ones in which lions are kept in the circus) which was luckily not locked, in front of us. So both of us quickly enter that and latch ourselves in. The funniest part is that in the midst all this I told the old granny "Atleast you are already dead, but what about me???????".

The last one was about three days ago. I'm with my family and we're tourists in a place. This place only seems to have a lot of shops, and looks like clothes shops and somehow I have the feeling that it is a hillstation. All that people do in that place is shop everyday. It seemed like shopping was the main attraction of that place.. :-)) . Weird again, but remember ... dreams and ____ . My family is out shopping one day, when we see lion cubs and tigers coming from somewhere. Everybody is running around to enter some shop. Luckily we were already in some shop which had a normal house kind of door ( not the broad glass ones like the shops). It was a white door. For some odd reason we hadn't closed the door and a tiger walked in telling the other lions and tiger outside "Come here, there are more people inside". The sight of the tiger talking didn't seem to surprise us. It sort of seemed normal and it didn't have a fierce voice, it sounded like any human voice. After the tiger just finished saying that and before it could continue its step towards us, I went ahead and pushed it out with all my strength. Because of the smooth floor it couldn't resist the push and it was out in seconds and I closed and latched the door. Phew, tough, but do u notice, i'm getting braver with each dream ;-) . From the window the tiger tells us, "Its ok, today u are free. But I will come back on tuesday". ( Tuuuesdayyy??????????? when did tigers start to learn about the days of the week? And whats with the tuesday? I can't remember anything that occurs on tuesday in office either, no deadline, nothing. Can't understand this tuesday funda.) Anyway, back to the dream. So till tuesday, all of us are shopping happily. On tuesday too we are shopping, but keeping a watch for the tigers too. This time my dad and brother are in some other shop and my mother, sister and me are in another shop. This shop had a wide glass door so we could see what was happening outside. After some time, we see two lion cubs and instinctively my mom, my sister and me cramp up in the small trial room of the shop and latch ourselves in. Immediately after this I called up my dad to find out that both of them were in another trial room too :-))). This was the end of the dream.

I don't know why I have dreamt about these animals, not that I am afraid of them. I just get scared during in the dream with a slight hangover of the fear that lasts till the morning. If anyone has the gifted power of interpreting dreams, please elighten me. And for the others leave your comments anyway.

To tell you the truth, now, even I find them funny and weird.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

You've come alone? for lunch??????

My schoolmate in the US now, ditched her job and.. you wouldn't believe it .. but .. she's is going around the globe ... all ALONE .. that too for a year.

What GUTS.. I admire her.

Forget going to some place alone. Would I ever go for lunch alone in a cafeteria packed with people?

Somehow I dread such a situation. The day I had my interview in office, the second round was scheduled after lunch. And I was given a lunch coupon at the reception.

Reluctantly I pushed myself to the cafeteria. Looked around in vain for anyone familiar. I knew there wasn't a probability of 0.0001 to see someone I knew over there. Anyway, I peeped in to see a huuuuuuge crowd. The next thing I knew was that at the next moment I was on my way back to the reception trying to convince myself that I was not hungry. I wouldn't die if I didnt have lunch that day. Now not that I like to skip my lunch, im a total foodie. But alone??? It sort of gives me the jitters. I doubt my food would ever digest.

However, one hungry day I did gather enough courage to go alone. I decided I would have to take something that could be gobbled up in seconds. Now gobbling up things in seconds is something im an expert at. I do it every morning so that I dont skip my company pickup. Gobbling away to glory with my dad giving me disgusted looks and my mom telling me to eat like a lady. So far time has never let me please my parents.

Anyway, where was I? Yeah .. about that day's venture. I ordered a pizza and loitered around the counter waiting for it. The guy at the counter kept telling me "Madam, please sit. Ve vill call you when the pizza is ready". I can't remember what I did in my delirium. I think I sat after sometime. However it seemed like ages before my order was ready.

The moment I got my pizza I plonked on the nearest empty chair. Didn't look up . I dared not make eye contact with anyone lest someone starts pitying me for coming alone (The same way I look at a loner in the cafeteria when im with my gang. I should stop doing that. It's sort of wicked).

I had managed to gobble up three pieces inspite of all the consciousness of being alone. with the last piece left to push down my throat I felt that I could get through it easily. There was a slight sense of achievement and independance till I heard a familiar friendly "Hi!".

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Pleeeease!!! Not today!!! I didnt want to hear it, but that was exactly the next thing I heard him say... "You've come alone todayyyy???? :-)"
Even though it was asked out of puuuuure concern, it sort of translated to " What??? Come alone??? Everybody left you??? Nobody likes to come for lunch with you?? You have no friends???" and a million other questions.

I generally dont like to be pitied upon, it's embarrassing. But at that moment I was suddenly filled with a sense of self pity. I felt a lump in my throat.. before the dumb tears could well up and spoil the slight sense of independance I felt sometime back I gave him an answer which I myself wasn't convinced about and took a big bite to push down the lump that was buildng up in my throat. He looked amused. Damn.. Anyway I still tried putting on a fake bold smile to look normal and casual so that nobody would realize what a sissy I was. Luckily for me he went away after some general talk and I was back with the remains of the last piece of pizza left on my plate.

Phew... quite an experience it was. I survived it though. And im proud of myself for that. Maybe I can go with myself sometime again. But still, I think i'll try my best to avoid such a scene. I wonder if there are other nuts like me who try to act bold inspite of all that they feel inside.

But I feel it's high time I change and get independant. Slowly I will. One day I will. Im sure. But the process is verrrrrrrryyy difficult.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Paintings

These are water colours on hand made paper. The one of the sea is a painting of a snap from the newspaper. And the other one is from a postcard. I dont know which place that is .. I guess it's heaven.

You can click on the images above to get a better view.

Now these were painted a looooooooong time back. So most of you would have already seen them, anyway .. you see it once more .. ;-) .

And if you recognise them (I was supposed to give them to some of my friends and I still have them with me), .. I'm still in the process of giving them..

These were done when I was very depressed... Sometimes I'm happy that I was sooo sad then. Atleast that phase brought out the Picasso in me ;-) ..

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Impulse Response Of a System..

I have this baaaad habit of using ".." as a punctuation mark ever since i started chatting on the messenger. In my mind it feels guilty.. but my fingers dont seem to have control once i start typing.. I should think of it this way.. maybe .. i said maybe.. my mind sends a thought impulse to my fingers. Now.. frommm .. what subject in engineering was that .. i guess signals and systems. OK.. whichever subject it was.. the important thing learnt was the impulse response of a system...

What happened??? OH OK OK.. dont panic.. This is not rocket science. If u haven't heard about it yet.. wiki says that "In 'simple' terms, the impulse response of a system is its output when presented with a very brief signal, an impulse. While an impulse is a difficult concept to imagine, and an impossible thing in reality, it represents the limit case of a pulse made infinitely short in time while maintaining its area or integral (thus giving an infinitely high peak)."

Lost??? .. now if that was simple, then how complex can it get (we used to call it an over head transmission in college). Anyway .. nothing to worry about.. i was lost too when i first heard about it.. so you are still normal ( that is .. if i am considered a sane normal person .. then probably you are too :-) )

Ok i'll explain it in my words.. and i hope all the techies will forgive me for my Neanderthalian explanation..
Now if u refer the figure below (finallllly i get to write it like the techie books .. :-) .. ) :

1. An impluse is a sort of a spike .. (looks similar to one spike of your hair when u get your hair all gelled up to get that cool spiked look), or like one Mount Everest ( is it still the highest peak in india ?? )
2. Now for the response part of it.. have u seen what happens when u drop a ball? it bounces.. right?? The impulse is the first drop and the bounces are the responses to the impulse .. :-) ..
Hope this helped..
And .. any normal system should respond to an impluse in a similar way.

Now coming back to the main topic of discussion .. the ".." that is used soo very often.. After all my thoughts are typed out (the first big spike/ slope .. whatever you want to think of it as), my fingers have no option but to bounce on the "." key at the end of the impulse.
And the number of dots is directly proportional to the intensity of the impluse..... Cool analysis na :-).....

So.. the inference from the above analysis is that.. I am a normal system with a nooormal impulse response. For those of you who dont use the "..." often .. dont worry.. You must be having a terrific feedback system to cut out on the extra "..."

Note 1: ".." is no more a punctuation .. it is simply the impulse response of my system .. :-))

Note 2: I just hope that my lecturers don't get to this blog.

Note 3: You would not be able to see my impulse response in the previous posts due to multiple iterations of grammer and punctuation checks. So dont bother cross checking my previous posts.. :-))