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... belongs to a simple soul

 

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Wednesday May 21st 2008

 

 

 

Time to travel

 

More than a month since I had updated this page... nothing much really happened , so not lots to be shared but for the upcoming Orlando trip.

Not getting enough time to read these days,or is it that I donot find 'Emma' interesting enough to keep my eyes glued to it? I don't know but it is taking me too long to finish it. I still have 'Anthem' and 'Vital Signs' in the queue. I hardly read a page or two a day from Emma.

 

 Tomorrow is the day. Going on a 4 day vacation. All set to have loads of fun and will post about it after returning. When I comeback, I will havelots of pics to share and all my experiences and also Kanna's enjoyment. Can't really wait!!!

 

 

Monday April 14th 2008

 

Reading Pride and Prejudice

 

Got a copy of Jane Austen's 'pride and prejudice' yesterday. Alongwith it, I also got Jane Austen's 'Emma' and Ayn Rand's 'Anthem' and Robin Cook's 'Vital Signs'! Whew.. a lot of reading to do! 

 

Logged in to  Shelfari today and boy.. it made me realise that I have so many books on my wishlist! Tried to create a gadget and place my booklist on this page but it is kind of messing up the look and layout, and I did not like it!

 

Coming back to pride and prejudice, it sort of turns me nostalgic. The first time I read it was when I was in my Intermediate! Pride and Prejudice was our English supplementary reader and probably the first novel of it's kind that I read!

 

Reading it again is almost like sitting in that classroom, remembering all those discussions on the novel... !

 

 

Sunday April 13th 2008

 

Avant Browser

 

I used this browser at work before! Found it while searching fervently for an open source browser back when I was working on browser plugins for antology creations.. in NCST. Though this was not an open source browser, I was very much impressed by the features in provided,like tabbed browsing, opening multiple websites with a tiled view, pop-up blocking, mouse enabled navigation and many more... in 2001 that is.

 

I was somehow not satisfied with IE, browsing had not been a happy experience  for me inspite of the pop-up blocker I have and the adware and spyware detection and elimination software installed on my machine. I Switched to firefox but then, that would not let me run many of the active-x controls and plugins. After spending a whole day searching for add-ons to firefox, ( I required to run a couple and firefox kept telling me it never recognised them... very unfair I thoguht) I suddenly rememberd Avant while watching a movie on Saturday!

 

I downloaded and installed it and now it comes wrapped up with many more features like online storage for bookmarks and auto complete passwords. I am alomost happy with it... ask me "why almost?".. it is because, Avant does not allow me to have google search tool bar as an add-on grrrrrr...!  Further it has it's own Avant search bar powered by Yahoo! search... the search engine that I never ever preferred... even before google was popular I used Ask Jeeves and never Yahoo! search!

 

Never mind! I compensated it by making Google my home page and leaving a tab with Google on my browser so I can switch whenever I want to search. I miss google tool bar though! On the positive side, without a tool bar I have to search from Google home page and that means I will never miss the cute images they add to Google on special occassions like Valentines day, Father's day, Mother's day etc..!

 

I strongly recommend Avant.. to anybody. It gave me a better browsing experience and for those of you who are used to browsing with IE, Avant is still better because it still uses IE with all the additional functionality built on top of it!!! It's free for download, go ahead and try it here www.avantbrowser.com !

 

Thursday April 10th 2008

 

I switched to Firefox today.. I wonder why I hadn't done it long ago!


 

Wednesday April 9th 2008

 

Where do you want to see yourself in the next five years?

 

Was what he asked us... just as a prelude to the business opportunity he lay before us as an 'Independent Business Owner'. His name was Navdeep, and he was not the only 0ne who made us this generous offer, which was supposed to help us retire at the age of thirty five and achieve a wholesome financial independence...!!! LOL.

 

Kudos to those of you who guessed what I am talking about! You have been already talked to about 'you-know-what' .That means you came across Navdeep and Tejinder or Nagendra and Sunita or Deepak and his wife (forgot her name!) or one of those other million people just a step away from being multi-millionaires in Walmart or the International Farmer's Market or Grand Mercado or  'n' number of other locations.. that is where it starts.


One fine weekend when you are out in one of the malls, you find a very friendly Indian couple... they smile at you when they pass by you.. of course,you return the smile. They make sure there is a second encounter in a parallel aisle, (some of them do not wait for a second encounter) and they start a friendly conversation. For us it had always been ' cute kid.. How old is he?' You answer them,and they make a small talk, which would lead to an exchange of phone numbers... and then starts the trouble.


Promptly the next week you would get a call from them and they would want to meet you the following day and when you meet, you are bugged by questions like the above one and you would be given  a lot of 'Gnyan' about one Mr. Sahay who quit his high paid job as a CEO just like that because he wanted to spend time with his family, and one Mr. Joy who felt very secure with his job until one morning when he got chucked out of his job without any prior notice and did not know what to do with his life there after and so on and so forth. You will be given a choice of being Mr.Sahay or someone like Mr.Joy... and it is taken for granted that you only want to be another Mr.Sahay by venturing into the brilliant business opportunity made by them... you will be given rubbish CD's about the stuff and how easy it is to make money and how important it is to be financially independent!


And from then on the process of convincing you, coaxing you etc.. etc.. goes on and on  testing how stubborn you can be and how well you can stick to your decision. Thank fully we passed the test with distinction for three times.. and decided we never want to be put thorough the test again! So, next time I meet  friendly Indians anywhere, and I am asked for contact details I am going to tell them my name is Aishwarya Rai and my Husband's name is Abhishek Bacchan!

 

 


Monday April 7th 2008

 

Ugadi...

 

My Gtalk Status Message today said "Sarvadhari nama ugadi subhakankshalu" . 

 

Ugadi is the telugu new year's day, this day is signified by the "ugadi pacchadi", made to embed all the six tastes in it to symbolize the life! The Neem flowers are used to bring the bitterness, and where could I get them here in Atlanta? But I did not want to curb the tradition and I substituted it with Bitter gourd! So, on the whole our Ugadi went well with traditional but compromised Ugadi pacchadi and some sweet pongal that I made.

 

And this day has another significance where it had been on 7th April when I met 'the guy next door' for the first time!!! Incidentally the same guy happens to be my husband now :). Six years  less three days of togetherness... wonderful life just like 'Ugadi pacchadi' with every taste in it..., and a sweet little cute kid and... a little place to  write about it.. and someone reading it... whoa! could I ask for more? :)

 

 

Tuesday April 1st 2008

 

Whom do I admire more?

 

Howard Roark or Ayn Rand? A very tough question to answer.  Had been more than half way through reading "Fountain Head" and I want to get it by heart.. each line of it..just the way I learned chalam's tranlation of Tagore's Geetanjali,just the way I learn any melodious song that I like...

 

I am loving it and reading it for the first time would turn out to be yet another most cherished memory for my life!

 

 

Monday March 24th 2008

 

Reading "Fountain Head" by Ayn Rand

 

I got a copy of the "Fountain Head" , from the library. I wanted to read it for the past two years and now I am. This is Ayn Rand's first book that I am reading, and I am loving to read it. When ever I start reading a book, I want to read it at a stretch... with minimal distractions.. whatever I do, my thoughts are always stuck with the book I am reading and I get back to reading it at the earliest. Usually I finish reading a novel of reasonable size in a maximum span of three to four days... but with Fountain Head it is not so... I don't want to complete reading the book, I want to savor  each page of the entire book by reading it at a slow pace and absorb the content of it and relish the taste of it forever! So, far I did not even finish reading the first part, "Peter Keating", and the characters seem so real that in every character and what they do, I can find some one I know who thinks so or who does things exactly the same manner... 

 

I want to read more of Ayn Rand now and can't wait to get a copy of "Atlas Shrugged" on my next visit to the library. I also got Sheldon's "Are you afraid of the dark " on my previous visit. When it comes to fiction, Sidney Sheldon is my favourite writer.. and I got to read this book soon!

 

I want to include a book reviews page to my site now, I never wrote any book reviews so far but I want to start it with Fountain Head! Should wait and see how far I would get to!

 

Of late, I am fascinated by pencil art. It is wonderful how you portray the world around just with some black strokes on a white paper. Got a book "Complete Drwaing - pencil art " from Barnes and Noble about a month ago and started properly learning pencil art by reading the book :). So far so good, will post some of my initial pencil sketches soon! May be later I will have a seperate page for my pencil sketches here :).

 

 

Friday March 14th 2008

 

A Perturbed Parent

 

Well, the term exaclty describes me at the moment... ! A little introspection of my concerns about my three year old, awakened me to the light of many facts and fallacies.

 

I, just like any other parent today have very high expectations of my little kid. And I really want to try and get him to a point as near to perfection as possible, just because he is a statement of my parenting abilities and I want to be a parent who is as perfect as possible!

 

But.. when I was a kid, was I as good as I want my son to be now? I am sure my mother would say "NO". But looking back as far as I can remember, my parents never set any premise for what or how we(me and my sweet little brother) should do or be..! There never was do this and do that or don't do this or don't say that..! Giving it a thought now,I feel very happy and proud that they are always content with what we are and how we are! To be precise, they just let us be! I am very glad they did! I am very proud to mention that here, and as I am doing it, I have a question arising in my mind, if my son would be writing something like this 20 years down the lane, would he be glad if not proud to have a parent like me?

 

When I was resigning my central government job and taking a break from my flourishing career to be a full time mother, every one asked me why I wanted to do it! The answer that I gave myself for that question was, I wanted to give my son atleast half of  the attention, love and freedom I got from my parents and I had a feeling I can't do that as a working mother! The question now is, am I giving him all that? The answer is, attention and love YES, and freedom.. NOT SURE!

 

Well, Taare Zameen Par, voiced out the concerns about the pressure on kids today, but that is only a miniscule fraction of it! Thinking about it, I feel, kids today are on a constant evaluation.. the way they eat, the way they play, the way they interact, the way they behave, what ever they do and how ever they do it.. every single movement of theirs is under continuous appraisal. All that just because we parents think that they echo and mirror our parenting skills, and unfortunately, all we do is measure ourselves on the basis of what others think of us and we are inculcating that habit of us into the kids right from a very tender age, and leave them to bear the brunt of it for their life time !  

 

The other day when Kanna was throwing tantrums in public and I could not handle it, I went wild and punished him for the first time! When I knew that he was not responding to my friends as I want him to , I started giving him strict instructions on how he is supposed to interact with everyone he meets...! When I reason out now on why should I do that, it is only because I feel embarassed in front of my friends if he does not interact properly, and if he does not behave properly! I was only concerened about my embarassment but I did not realise the pressure that it would exert on the little mind... that was quite thought provoking and made me realise my over-expectations from my little one and the pressure of it that I am exerting on my kid, unknowingly. I am really really sorry for it now! I shall definitely try not to do it ever again!   

 

There is a lot of thought to it, which I am not able to express right now.. may be I will some day, on this very page! But for now...Let us leave the kids to be what they are... let us give them a space, where kids can be "KIDS" !

 

 

Interesting...

 

Got this forward from one of my friends,

 

Google is the second Brain to many of us. We use it frequently. It uses white screen which    consumes higher power. 

If Google had a black screen, taking in account the huge number of page views, according to calculations, 750 mega watts/hour per year would be saved?

 

In response Google created a black version of its search engine, called Blackle, with the exact same functions as the white version, but obviously with lower energy consumption:

Help spread the word! Please use www.blackle.com

 

 

Ek Anek..

 

I was really glad to find this on you tube!

 

 

This was a  short film ad to promote unity and integrity in India, filmed by the Government of India and was telecast on Doordarshan (the only television channel available for us to watch when I was a kid). I loved the film ever since and I am very glad to find it now and I showed it to kanna also.. I told him, that was the cartoon I got to see when I was a kid! Thanks to who ever uploaded  it, now I am fervently searching for some other ad films that I loved to watch back at that time :).

 

 

Oracle Uninstallation

 

Had been meddling with Oracle 10g database lately. Uninstalling it is an ordeal, and more so when the Operating system is Vista. Glad to find this,

 

http://aricsblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/uninstalling-oracle-10g-manually-from.html

 

a step by step procedure to uninstall oracle manually for xp.

 

 

Gtalk Status Messages

 

The most happening thing on the web today I think is the status notifications as I call it.. something like status messages on the IM, current mood icons on the blogs etc. My favourite instant messenger is ofcourse GTalk and I love to include status messages on it to let my friends on Gtalk know about my current status. I have seen status messages ranging from the most wonderful to the wierdest,

  • some just letting people knowing the availability status like, 'busy', 'in a meeting', 'away from computer'  etc.,
  • some quoting  famous quotations, like 'a thing of beauty is joy forever'
  • some just quoting what they feel like at the particular instant the best I came across till now is 'findnig fortune in unexpected places' and I want to quote one more such message from one of my GTalk friends which I liked very much..  'I am not yet a woman, not a girl'

 

And on most of the blogs, we find 'current mood' Icons, 'currently reading' stuff and all that.

 

What I want now, is a possibility to include current mood icons in the Gtalk status message. Since only the people who know me personally are on my Gtalk friends list and it is only with them that I converse with on Gtalk, I find it appropriate to reveal my current mood to them. And, I also want my status messages to be saved along with the date on which I had written them! saving them to my gmail account just the way they save chat history would not be great deal!  What do you think.. Google?

 

I read somewhere that orkut displays your Gtalk status as well as the current mood from your blogger, I am not sure if it saves them, but even if it does, I want what I want on GTalk and not on orkut.

 

Know what? Orkut is not my cup of coffee! It is one of the Google products that utterly failed to convince me!

 

 

"I am a citizen of the world"

 

I liked this line very very much. I found it here..

 

http://krishnasree.blogspot.com

 

 

Google Indic Transliteration

 

 

It had been quite some time since Googles' Indic transliteration has been available on the web. When I used it for the first time, I thought it was partly intelligent, as it seemed to understand the most used instance of a word as it  is being typed (just the Google way!).  When it could not transliterate the text I typed to the exact word in my mind it gave me suggestions on the word. But in some contexts the suggestions seemed to really unintelligent. And the first time I tried it, it did not seem to follow the conventional Indic transliteration notation. ( I am not sure, but I remember it appeared to me so at that time ).

 

Inspite of my boundless affection for Google and it's products, I could not take the Indic transliteration from Google as it was and preferred Lekhini at that moment, which is also reasonably good (probably a little more effort should go into it testing and fixing one or two bugs)

 

Today, when I  tried Googles' Indic transliteration, I was surprised to see the improvements in it. It seems really intelligible. Not only it gives suggestions for a word as it could be, but now it also has an option "Edit", and when you choose that option, a cute little keyboard appears, where you can edit the word in the native Indian language.

 

And yes, I am testing it with different combinations of letters but till now,no unexpected results. Keep it up Google!

 

 

 

 

The thief, the public, me and my conscience

    

Suddenly at an hour past midnight, we woke up to the gushing sound outside and whomping footsteps all around. Curious to find out what it was, my husband would not listen to me how much ever I held him back saying it was not our business. I really did not want him to go out to find what was happening just because I was selfish enough to think that if something out there was really wrong, I did not want my husband to be hurt in any way. Come what may, I wanted both of us securely locked inside indifferent to the situation outside. Concerned as I was about my husband, I had to follow him outside just to be with him and ensure that he would not end up in any trouble.
     There was a furore outside, towards a thief who apparently tried to steal and got caught by the owner. I could no more hold back my husband who was fervently reaching out to help our neighbors in catching the thief who was desperately trying to escape. I stood out there in the dark witnessing the highly dramatic episode which I had never encountered before and probably (hopefully) would never come across again. I could hear the same selfish cries like mine being uttered by almost all my neighbors around me, calling back their sons or husbands or their other family members, asking them not to bother. Finally, the thief was caught, but wouldn’t admit his fault but he would argue and try to convince the people that he was not trying to steal and bla bla bla. But then the persistent group of my husband and neighbors, made him accept his mistake and then the thief started apologizing and literally begging pardon. Some furious youngsters in the crowd started beating the thief, just for the excitement and the adventure in it. One by one the people in crowd started moving away, warning the thief not to repeat it and asking the beating mob to stop it and leave the thief and so did my husband. A few more minutes and the thief was beaten the hell out of him by the angry, adventurous and excited guys probably just for the mere thrill of it. I saw that blood was oozing out of the thief’s nose and mouth and finally when he was totally unconscious and floored they left him with one last kick in his abdomen.
     Everyone who was watching all this, in awe or with fear, or whatever, started hurrying back inside. I couldn’t help glancing once again at the unconscious thief and then it occurred to me, who ever he was, what ever he does, he was a human being in the first place. I wondered, would he die out of pain or because of all the physical abuse he received from the public? He might be feeling thirsty, he might need water in desperate, and would he die of thirst? Is it humanity to leave a person in such a situation on the road to his fate? His family might be waiting for him, not knowing that he was beaten to death. My heart wanted to go give him a pail of water, and ask him not to repeat it again at least with a concern towards himself and his family. I looked around to see if someone else was trying to show the same kind of humanity that I wanted to show. Everyone already hurried inside and switched off the lights too. And from a corner of my mind my selfish ness shouted, why should I bother when no one else does? What if the thief will catch hold of me or snatch my chain or ring and run away? What if he dies and later the police will come to interrogate me, as I was the one who saw him last? There were so many if’s and but’s but at last my selfishness won and I went inside along with my husband, leaving the thief to his plight. I could sense the same kind of conflict running inside my husband’s heart too.
     My conscience started pricking me for what I did or may be for what I was supposed to do but did not, I could not sleep the whole night. There were so many questions which I could not answer. Why everyone including me is so selfish? Why did I try to stop my husband from going out first of all? If I were in a helpless situation looking for some kind of help, and none of my neighbors turned up to help me… what would I do? Why I was so selfish? Why should people beat a person to death, they could just warn him or hand him to police or something like that. Why should they derive so much of satisfaction in avenging his deed by hurting him physically? And why could I not dare to help the thief in such a pathetic condition of his? Why was I more concerned about my ornaments than a LIFE? As I felt truly ashamed unable to answer all these questions, I knew, I was just another selfish being in the society, indifferent to others’ needs and troubles. How ever idealistic my thoughts may be, how ever gentle my feelings may be, how ever sensitive my heart may be, I might claim myself to be an individual with compassion and love towards my fellow human beings, I might be first to offer charity to the needy, and the deprived but still, when it comes to some real situations demanding a virtuous action, I am as selfish as anyone else in the world. I am just an exact illustration of those many typical social animals living in these concrete jungles!

 

The Simple Soul

 

Lord let me be a simple soul,
No matter what life brings.
Finding joy in solitude,
And peace in little things.

Content to watch the grasses grow,
And all the flowers bloom,
Bringing sunlight to the lives
That may be touched with gloom.

Lord let me be a simple soul,
However grand this earth,
And never let me once forget
How much my soul is worth.

Blind me to the things of life,
That cause the heart to stray,
And keep me just a simple soul ....
Forever and a day