Saturday, July 08, 2006
Orkut is an online community that connects people through a network of trusted friends. An innovation by a Stanford Grad and Google employee Orkut Buyukkokten. Hi5 and yahoo360 are other such online communities. Orkut has 20 million users and is growing very fast.
One needs to get an invitation from somebody who is already having an orkut account. Naveen invited me in December 2005. Since then I had collected about 140 friends mostly from my school, college and office. I would have been in touch with only 10% of them if not for orkut. I not only get to know about them through their profile but also can write messages in their scrapbook. Also peep into others profiles and scrapbooks. Since April this peeping activity was limited because each one can know who all has visited one's profile. It will be bad if I know the person, visit his profile and don't add him as my friend. I myself had updated as much information as possible about me, not hiding anything. So anybody who visits my profile will know my full Biodata. I had also given link to my online photoalbum I wrote testimonials for Naveen, Kishore, Prasanna and Rahul. Naveen and Avinash each wrote it for me. Friends used to scrap atleast with anyone of "Hi, How are you?, How is life? How is work? Wassup? Where are you? Do you remember me? etc"
So it was good going in orkut. Good time pass and lot of time passed. What was time pass later turned into addiction with growing number of friends scrapping and inviting to join communities. I used to begin my day at office finding out what is written in my scrap entry and who has sent me friend request last night. At breaks I again visit orkut and forget the work being assigned to me. My colleages found me orkuting most of the time at office. Even my leaders and managers have noticed it a few times. A few colleages used to make fun of me, they used to ask at the end of the day "Tell me what have you done at office other than orkut and cricinfo?". I didn't have any answers. I can defend telling that I have finished all the work assigned to me. It is only upto what I know I have been assigned, my PL will know the works I had not done. Many like me at office began orkuting and company had to block the url itself. That didn't help, we always found one or the other proxy servers to open orkut. My actual priorities are CAT, Office and then Friends. With my orkut addiction it got entirely reversed. I come to office to open orkut.com, in spare time and late in the day do office work and go to sleep, with no time left for my main priority CAT.
Then one day out of madness, not able to find the right way to resist my temptation, I deleted my account. With this Naveen, Kishore, Prasanna and Rahul lost the testimonials I had written. Avinash had written a testimonial recently that ofcourse tells good about me but indirectly more good about himself as to how creative he can be. Whoever visits my profile will immediately find his testimonial and that increases his visibility among my friends. That is all thrashed now. All connections I managed to establish with my friends are lost. I really feel sorry for them. It is all fine if I am able to focus on my top priority and come out successful this time.
Monday, June 26, 2006
From the time I realised that time is a precious resource and I need to manage time. I started writing a kind of forward diary wherein I plan for the next day and write them down in a diary book. Next day I see to it that the things planned are done. This way I will not forget on a few important things to do that I have just thought yesterday. Also I have a documentation of the days I lived. Still, this approach is limited to myself and is not for sharing with others.
Later I felt like documenting about my travelling, experiences I had, interests, book reviews etc. I started writing them in a email to our mailing group (Avinash, Jeyson, Naveen, Harsha and Sudeep). We used to have active communication. I thought of sharing to more number of people, having it in a common place from where it can be accessed by anybody(including myself), anytime and from anywhere and that is the Blogosphere. What I have written now may not make much sense now but it will act as a good window to the past a few years later. Not everyone gives an opportunity to talk about what we like to the length we like in a way we like. Blogs are open to everything.
I have read a lot, but have hardly written. I used to avoid any chances to write essays, debate or speak publicly at schools and colleges. This is a space where I can try my hand at writing, make mistakes and correct them based on feedback from other well wishers. I have struggling to improve my vocabulary and grammar. And I think writing will help me a long way in this regard. With me aiming to crack CAT, GMAT etc, I think this is the time. Will try to post frequently on as diverse topics in the best possible way.
Date - Saturday, 24, June 2006.
Group - 7 members, Anand(Leader), Anupama, MuthuSelvan, Rahul, Selvaraj, Sushmitha and I
We have going for Trekking around Bangalore quite frequently now. The group has a few common people like Anand, Anupama, Muthu, Selvaraj and I. Still there will be atleast 2 new faces for every trip. This time it was Rahul and Sushmita. Anand takes the responsibility of deciding the place and date, collecting information about the place, booking vehicle, inviting people and all other tour conducting activites. It would have been better if he even finances for us. The rest of us just go enjoy and come, not to mention the moral support and cooperation. More than anything else we tolerate him too ;-) I take a camera with me always, take photos mostly of scenaries around, less of people contrary to everyone's liking.
All of us came to Anand's House in Banashankari by 7.30 IST. Had Benne Dosa for breakfast at a hotel. Headed to Bilikal Betta by Qualis. To everybody's liking Jogi songs were played all the way. We reached the base of the betta by 11. We found 2 village children who can guide us to the top. We needed to cross a small river and start climbing. Sadly the river had little water this time. Compared to other hills around Bangalore, here there was some greenery with a few Trees.
The day was cloudy but no rain and it was a big plus to help us in climbing. We had only Water Bottles and some scacks to carry. With boys comfortably outnumbering girls, carrying job was almost equally shared. I took photos of the Hill, foothills around, flowers, river and people also sometimes. The climbing was thoroughly entertaining with Anand trying to pull other's legs and making blunders in the process, while I was getting pulled. Sushmita and Rahul singing old Hindi songs, they made a good singing duo didn't they? Slowly the climbing started to get tougher, real trekking started. We could not take frequent long breaks as we also need time to cover Mekedatu. Rahul was finding it difficult as he had to carry himself which was a Big deal, his back-pain wasn't helping him either. We started hearing noices from another group ahead of us. Mention of few good looking girls motivated Rahul (not that it didn't motivate others). When asked where they were from, they said they were a project team from another Software Company, led by their manager. What better work do these IT Professionals have, sit idle throughout the week and break the stillness by going for trekking on weekends. We overtook them, took a rather long break at a rock, drank water as if we have never had it for a long time. Recharged our batteries and continued our ascent. Finally reached the top at about 12.30, to find a temple on one side and a glorious veiw point on the other.
Time was 1.30, we had to start going down as we also planned to see Mekedatu. Coming down was relatively easy, obviously though. But coming down slowly was more difficult, Rahul wouldn't agree any better as he was to last one to reach the top but the first one to go down. Going down puts a lot of stress on the thigh and calf muscles. But while climbing up the stress is on the Back muscle.
We reached down by 2.30. Had lunch at Kanakapura. Sangama was about 30 km drive from the Kanakapura. Buses are available to that place. It was about 4.30 by the time we reached the Sangama of 2 tributaries of River Kaveri. Going to Mekedatu and coming back would require atleast 2 hrs, so we skipped mekedatu and spent time bathing at Sangama. One must cross the river and take a bus to mekedatu. The water current was good enough to prevent one from making any progess while swimming against it. Rahul, Anand and I tried but could hardly move forward, not moving backwards was a big deal for us. But Selva used to defy all odds (current and fact that others couldn't) and mange to move. We then played tug of war including one girl also in each team. It was more fun to celebrate after winning than playing itself.
We started back as soon as it was getting dark at 6.30. Many of us fell asleep while coming back. Got up only after reaching Anand's house. Had another round of chatting at Anand's house, mainly discussing about how the trekking went about, who did what etc.
For Rahul and me the adventure was not yet over rather it only started. Our houses at Rajapalya near ITPL is a good 30km drive along Ring Road till Marathahalli and a deviation there. A horror was to happen at the Ring Road but we luckily escaped. We were going at about 40 kmph on Rahul's HeroHonda Passion. He cannot go much above that speed though. A lorry was coming behind us at its full speed coming closer and closer as moemnts went by. Rahul showed an indication to the lorry to slowdown as there was a speed breaker ahead. The lorry didn't slow down but it shifted to the right lane and hit a car which slowing down at the road-hump. It would have certainly hit us had it continued coming on the left side and it would have been the last day for us in this world. Only the car suffered the damage and nothing happend to people inside it. We felt lucky and just escaped from the scene not bothering what happened at that spot later.
I shouted at Rahul for him going in the middle of the road at such a slow pace and not taking any defensive measures when the lorry was threatening to run over us. He was not perturbed at all and was not understanding why I was bothered. He was wearing helmet for the first time and didn't realise everything that happened. He explained that he did the right thing by showing indication to the lorry to slowdown and there was no fault in him. I plead, "Boss, I agree with you that it is not your fault. Lord Yama doesnot give his verdict based on whose fault it is. It is our responsibility to take defensive action by going to a side and avoid being run over and killed."
Thursday, June 22, 2006
My parents have completed 25 years after their Marriage on Wednesday, 15th June, 2006. I thought it will be fantastic for them to have their children around on that V V S (very very special) occasion. And I applied for 2 days leave well in advance which my manager kindly approved. Also booked a night bus to go to my hometown Puttur for the day before.
On 14th, with the ticket safely in my purse, I reached the KSRTC Bus stand by 9.10 well in advance to catch the 9.45 Bus. Had some snacks and was heading towards my Bus. I met my college Junior Narendra(fondly called as H1 Bioler Narendra) there, Oh, what a surprise! And we started conversing as follows
Keshava - Hi Narendra!!, looong time since we have met?
Narendra - Hi Keshava, yeah, long time, in fact 3 years, the time since you finished your college.
Then we talked about what happened in that period, which companies we worked, how many times we tried CAT etc. I changed the topic and the talk went like this...
Keshava - So, how come you are here? Going home is it?
Narendra - Yes, going home and about you?
Keshava - Me too, going home for my parents' 25th wedding aniversary, applied 2 days leave.
Narendra - Ooohh, me too for the same reason.
Keshava - So, what is special, How are you planning to celebrate it?
Narendra - We have a pooja at home, my brother is also coming.
Keshava - OK. fine. My brother is already at home. We are planning to go to a hotel at night and party. And are you presenting anything?
Then came the best part.
Narendra - Yes, I am gifting a Mobile Phone.
Keshava - Wow! I am also gifting Mobile Phone. 2 of them 1 for my father and 1 for my mother. That is the height of co-incidence isn't it? Our parents married on the same day, we are presenting the same thing and we have met after a long time.
Narendra - Yeeeaaah! This is a great co-incidence. We should add to this co-incidence by getting into IIMA this year. We have been dreaming about this for a long time.
The exitement got settled as I looked into my watch showing 9.35. We took each other's phone number, wished each other for the occasion and waved bye bye.
My brother had bought 2 Nokia 6030 Handsets, one black and other silver from a shop that he knows in Puttur. Agreed to pay for it the next day after I come. He bought it home safely so that the parents could notice it at all.
I reached home early morning on The Day. I settled down at home and after some time. We took the Gift Wrapped HandSets from the Hiding place, gave them to my parents and wished them. Gifting mobile phones, thats all we Rich Bangalore based IT professionals can do, isn't it? ;-( No where matches with what they have done for us everyday in the last 25 years. Still they had no expectations of getting a costly(?) gift, all that they wanted were the children to be around them and love them. They took it very happily expressing happiness over the gratitude shown by us. They replaced the SIMs from their Old Handset and we inaugurated the Sets by simply calling within ourselves.
Subramanya's popularity as a temple has improved tremendously after Sachin Tendulkar's visit. Although it was a Weekday, devotees like us had to stand in long queues to get Lord's Dharshana. I am very fond of Thirupathi Laddu (only for its taste and nothing else), so I bought 2 laadu prasada. To my disappointment its taste no where matched that of Thirupathi's Laadu. We also visited Aadi Subramanya later.
The journey from Subramanya to Dharmasthala was fantastic with the Road going through the thick Rain forests. Bridges and Rivers occuring at regular intervals, Kumara parvatha and other peaks often visible. Road was also good and driving was smooth. It truly was a dream route. I wasn't happy that the vehicle was moving , I wanted it to stop at all view-points available, take few snaps so that I can see it again and again later. At one spot I was so desperate to stop and I told my father about the nature's call and demanded him to stop immediately. That was just before a bridge, River Kumaradhara flowing accross, Kumara parvataha and its reflection visible on the right side of the bridge to make it a spectacular sight. I managed to take a few photos at this place, the photo shown below is one of those memorable photos. But we could not spend much time there as we have to reach Dharmastala before 1 O'Clock after which entry to temple is suspended.
We just managed to reach there some time after 1, still we could manage to enter as my brother knew somebody and he influenced him to let us enter. I prayed for myself and family. Silently prayed for my mom "Dheergha Aayushman Bhava, Dheergha Sumangalee Bhava", Hope you live long healthily, happily with your Husband and Children. Then we decided to have Lunch in the temple itself. We thought of having special Brahmin's Lunch. It is supposed to have more food items, supposed to served with more respect in a cleaner settings. To our disappointment all our expectations were reversed. Our topic for discussion was about Reservation. After lunch we saw the Gomateshwara standing tall and nude. A photo is shown here on the right. One the way back we visited Southadka temple. I like the temple for its Sihi Avalakki Prasada. Spent some time there waiting or the ranga pooje. Headed back to Puttur.
On the road-sides locals used to sell Jackfruits at exorbitant prices. The tourists easily get attracted to it as it is still cheaper than that in their own places. So it is win-win situation for all. We are aware of all this, and we bargained in tulu to get the deal in our favour. Bought 2 Jackfruits in the process adding to 2 that our neighbours had given to make it 4 in total. I was at home for 4 days. So one Jackfruit per day. I am very fond of jackfruits and mangoes. Relatives had given us around 5kgs of mangoes. I dont mind cutting or peeling them myself and eating them alone ;-). So it was Habba for me.After reaching home we relaxed for sometime. And got ready for partying at my favourite Hotel HariPrasad. Invited my uncle and family too for it. We had a few North Indian dishes in limited quantities (in my standards) and winded up the celebration. Later I withdrew money from the ATM and paid it for the mobiles. Brother bargained and managed to get 200 Rs discount, that amount was close to our Hotel Bill. Althought I enjoyed the day thoroughly it was a taxing day for me ;-)
I uploaded the remaining photos in myphotoalbum.