Thursday, July 08, 2004

Year 1 : A summary

Direct Dilse

Unaccounted piece of paper
Clear blue sky

All we need is time


Human Stain

A request for prayer

Touched by an angel

My pleasant ville

Human stain
A Handful of Land
A Handful of Land revisited

Other memorable ones

My Silly ideas

Book reviews

The hungry tide
Alchemy of desire
East of Eden

Brave new world

Movie reviews


Bunty aur Bubli

Travel Accounts




My poems (for a lack of a better word, really!)

blogspot is closed
Lost my soul
Things have changed
Hamara puttar


Instant in a Camera - I / II / III
Verbal imagery - I/ II/ III/ iv
Bus adventures - I/ II
Strayed moments - 4 / 6/

Another article on Google

Google's money won't be made with search...that's small peanuts compared to selling access to the world's biggest, best, and most cleverly-utilized map of the web.

So. They have this huge map of the Web and are aware of how people move around in the virtual space it represents. They have the perfect place to store this map (one of the world's largest computers that's all but incapable of crashing). And they are clever at reading this map. Google knows what people write about, what they search for, what they shop for, they know who wants to advertise and how effective those advertisements are, and they're about to know how we communicate with friends and loved ones. What can they do with all that? Just about anything that collection of Ph.Ds can dream up.

Tim O'Reilly has talked about various bits from the Web morphing into "the emergent Internet operating system"; the small pieces loosely joining, if you will. Google seems to be heading there already, all by themselves. By building and then joining a bunch of the small pieces by themselves, Google can take full advantage of the economies of scale and avoid the difficulties of interop.

Google isn't worried about Yahoo! or Microsoft's search efforts...although the media's focus on that is probably to their advantage. Their real target is Windows. Who needs Windows when anyone can have free unlimited access to the world's fastest computer running the smartest operating system? Mobile devices don't need big, bloated OSes...they'll be perfect platforms for accessing the GooOS. Using Gnome and Linux as a starting point, Google should design an OS for desktop computers that's modified to use the GooOS and sell it right alongside Windows ($200) at CompUSA for $10/apiece (available free online of course). Google Office (Goffice?) will be built in, with all your data stored locally, backed up remotely, and available to whomever it needs to be (SubEthaEdit-style collaboration on Word/Excel/PowerPoint-esque documents is only the beginning). Email, shopping, games, music, news, personal publishing, etc.; all the stuff that people use their computers for, it's all there.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Play the bryan adams, take out the cheesiest cakes ....

Your Seduction Style: Ideal Lover

You seduce people by tapping into their dreams and desires.
And because of this sensitivity, you can be the ideal lover for anyone you seek.
You are a shapeshifter - bringing romance, adventure, spirituality to relationships.
It all depends on who your with, and what their vision of a perfect relationship is.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

List for a lifetime

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Done a striptease
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long, and watch the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Touched an iceberg.
20. Slept under the stars
21. Changed a baby's diaper
22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
23. Watched a meteor shower
24. Gotten drunk on champagne
25. Given more than you can afford to charity
26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Had a food fight
29. Bet on a winning horse (even if it was only £1)
30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
31. Asked out a stranger
32. Had a snowball fight
33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier
34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
35. Held a lamb
36. Enacted a favorite fantasy
37. Taken a midnight skinny dip
38. Taken an ice cold bath
39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
40. Seen a total eclipse
41. Ridden a roller coaster
42. Hit a home run
43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days
44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
45. Adopted an accent for an entire day
46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
48. Had two hard drives for your computer
49. Visited all 50 states
50. Loved your job for all accounts
51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
53. Had amazing friends
54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
55. Watched wild whales
56. Stolen a sign
57. Backpacked in Europe
58. Taken a road-trip
59. Rock climbing
60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice
61. Midnight walk on the beach
62. Sky diving
63. Visited Ireland
64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
66. Visited Japan
67. Benchpressed your own weight
68. Milked a cow
69. Alphabetised your records (and CD's and tapes and and and...)
70. Pretended to be a superhero
71. Sung karaoke
72. Lounged around in bed all day
73. Posed nude in front of strangers
74. Scuba diving
75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
76. Kissed in the rain
77. Played in the mud
78. Played in the rain
79. Gone to a drive-in theater
80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it
81. Visited the Great Wall of China
82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to have known about your blog has discovered your blog
83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better
84. Started a business
85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
86. Toured ancient sites
87. Taken a martial arts class
88. Swordfought for the honor of a woman
89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
90. Gotten married
91. Been in a movie
92. Crashed a party
93. Loved someone you shouldn't have
94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy
95. Gotten divorced
96. Had sex at the office
97. Gone without food for 5 days
98. Made cookies from scratch
99. Won first prize in a costume contest
100. Ridden a gondola in Venice
101. Gotten a tattoo
102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on
103. Rafted the Snake River
104. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
105. Got flowers for no reason
106. Masturbated in a public place
107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything
108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug
109. Performed on stage
110. Been to Las Vegas
111. Recorded music
112. Eaten shark
113. Had a one-night stand
114. Gone to Thailand
115. Seen Siouxsie live
116. Bought a house
117. Been in a combat zone
118. Buried one/both of your parents
119. Shaved or waxed your pubic hair off
120. Been on a cruise ship
121. Spoken more than one language fluently
122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
123. Bounced a cheque
124. Performed in Rocky Horror
125. Read - and understood - your credit report
126. Raised children
127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
129. Created and named your own constellation of stars
130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
132. Called or written your Congress person or Member of Parliament
133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over to be with the one you love
134. ...more than once?
135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
137. Had an abortion or your female partner did
138. Had plastic surgery
139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived.
140. Wrote articles for a large publication
141. Lost over 100 pounds
142. Held someone while they were having a flashback
143. Piloted an airplane
144. Petted a stingray
145. Broken someone's heart
146. Helped an animal give birth
147. Been fired or laid off from a job
148. Won money on a T.V. game show
149. Broken a bone
150. Killed a human being
151. Gone on an African photo safari
152. Ridden a motorcycle
153. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100mph
154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
155. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
157. Ridden a horse
158. Had major surgery
159. Had sex on a moving train
160. Had a snake as a pet
161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
162. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
165. Visited all 7 continents
166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
167. Eaten kangaroo meat
168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground
169. Been a sperm or egg donor
170. Eaten sushi
171. Had your picture in the newspaper
172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime
173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
174. Gotten someone fired for their actions
175. Gone back to school
176. Parasailed
177. Changed your name
178. Petted a cockroach
179. Eaten fried green tomatoes
180. Read The Iliad
181. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them
183. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you
184. Taught yourself an art from scratch
185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
186. Apologised to someone years after inflicting the hurt
187. Skipped all your school reunions
188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
189. Been elected to public office
190. Written your own computer language
191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
193. Built your own PC from parts
194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
195. Had a booth at a street fair
196: Dyed your hair
197: Been a DJ
198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal
199: Written your own role playing game
200: Been arrested

Monday, July 05, 2004

What's in a name

Over the last week, I’ve been reading “The life of Pi” by Yann Martel, the one that won the booker prize last year. The book starts with the plight of a boy who was named piscine patel by his parents, in honor of a swimming pool. It goes on to describe how piscine patel became Pi patel to avoid the ignominy of being called ‘Pissing’ patel for the rest of his life. Well, I have a different story in hand - of a name that refused to remain the same. As the book fell off my grip … I traced again the beaten paths that my name’s taken for the last 22 years.

I was supposed to be called Vipin – short, crisp and very meaningful. My parents even bought a school bag for me and stitched my name on it (something that’s still a part of my childhood memories). On the day of the naming ceremony, my grandfather comes up with this wonderful idea of naming me “Rathish”. A learned man that he was, no one wanted to question his call. Moreover, more than half of them there didn’t know that Rathish actually referred to lord Manmadha – the god of love. So, Rathish it was, rather “Rethish” as my dad has been calling me since day 1 in his typical Malayali accent.

It never stuck anyone why someone should be called cupid of all things. Rathish as a name wasn’t bad. It fell in this thin line between being queer and unique. Often in school, when a new teacher, in an effort to strike a friendly note, asks each student to introduce himself, I used to sit there biting my nails completely aware of what was going to happen next. It was a well-rehearsed scene with a Shakespearean timing.

“My name is Rathish Madam”.



“Interesting, I’ve never heard it before. What does it mean?”

And the whole class would wait for me to say “Lord Manmadha” and giggle as if they’ve never heard it before. No. “I don’t know madam” doesn’t work either coz a faceless last bencher would scream at the top of his voice that I am lying.

Semantics apart, my name soon started showing signs of multiple personality disorder. Rathish soon became “Ratheesh”, “Ratish”, “Rathesh”, and “Rethish”. All this was ok as I had a standard answer of “Proper nouns are not spelling specific”. But disaster stuck when the names of top scorers in class X were written on our school’s notice board – “Rathusu”!!! Can you imagine my plight! Till the last day the walls of the school are going to stand, there on the board right at the entrance of the auditorium, will my name remain as “Rathusu”. I could already hear people screaming “Rathusu” wherever I went.

Thankfully after my twelfth, I packed my bags and left to a place 3000 kilometers away from home – a remote corner in Rajasthan where people from all places came in droves. I was sure that my name would never be weird in such an eclectic mix. But the name was a vice that was not going to let go so easily. Everyone in my college had to have a nickname. If you didn’t have one, you were a Non-Existent-dull-Person. What else would Rathish be? ‘Rat’ of course. I seriously didn’t have qualms with it considering the names my friends came up with. However, there was this one time I was honored to have dinner with the director and the dean of the university. All of us were seated in a table and engrossed in a conversation and suddenly one of my friends called out, “rat, can you pass the water”. One lady who heard only the “rat” part almost fell off the chair in panic. It was as if the moment froze and stayed that way ad infinitum. Finally the director broke the ice, smiled and said, “You guys have weird names … rat!”

Then happened the one thing that I would forever thank my name for … there was this girl for whom my heart fluttered day and night. And as luck would have it, we were in the same compartment on our first return journey back home. We got into this “I’ve never met you before” conversation and in the end, I was pretty satisfied with the impression I had left. So, I was waiting with bated breath for the day of reunion – wondering if she ever talked or thought about me in those few days (years rather!) that passed. The day I met her, the first thing she told me was “Rathish, my sister wants to meet you”. You should have seen my face! She did talk about me, and talked so much that her sister wanted to meet me. A hundred thousand 60-watt bulbs burnt bright on my face. I should have ideally left it at that … but ego persisted,

“But why me?”

“Oh, we were playing this game where she wanted me to recall all the names of people I remember in BITS and she found yours really weird and wanted to meet you”.

Someone must have heard an atomic explosion in the Chennai central station … but hey, she still remembered my name… those bulbs again! I thanked my name as if it was not a part of me.

I am now in France and French is one language where R is replaced with a sound that can be best pronounced as “kkkkhhhhhrrrr”. So, Rathish is now Kkkkhhhrrrratish. And even in written communication it’s always Ratish (sounds so similar to reddish, rubbish or radish). Here’s a mail that I received recently from my professor.

PS: incidentally on a lighter note...'Ratfish' & 'Radish' are the options that appear as an alternative to your name in MS Word... they don’t sound bad at all!

So now when he’s too excited, he calls me Ratfish. I got my first article published and even that called me ‘Ratish’. These days, I’ve quit worrying about it and just let it die. Let the soul of the name “Rathish” rest in peace.

But the name isn’t just a name isn’t it. “It’s the sweetest melody to anyone’s ears” as Dale Carnegie puts it. I know Cynicism sells, but I still love my name for all its oddities. In that decisive moment when my grandfather decided to name me, he gave me a gift that I can never part with. When at the end of the day, I want to identify myself, I do it with my name – Rathish, rat fish or rathusu – whatever they might call it. It’s still the first thing any stranger asks me about. I even joke about how the only thing I got from Lord Manmadha was the name.

Late at nights, I even have dreams of my illusions coming true, and a girl in a flowing dress coming and telling me, “Rathish, you know you have an interesting name. Show me what else have you got.”.

All’s in a name.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Other blogs that I read

Parmanu -
The German connection

Santhosh -
Friend, fellow-friend to a friend and a Co-confused classmate

Avinash -
A few Lanes in VL Puram house our memories

Bridal Beer -
A pitcher full of wedding woes/vows!

Rajasree -
A chanced encounter - totally different dimension

Six foot two -
A tall order ...

Jax -
My play mate ;)

Anirudh -
Fellow SAP-ian (Part 1)

Praveen -
Fellow SAP-ian (Part 2)

KP -
Oldest memories of childhood. Part 1

Sriram -
Oldest memories of childhood. Part 2

m. -
Facts as they are

Gamesmaster G9 -
A huge mile long funny bone

Senthil "Santosh Sivan" Kumaran -

Mint Chutney -
A good taste (that'a lame one I admit! But the blog makes up for it)

.... and some more as I remember them.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

So, here's the list of Bitsian bloggers that I have noticed so far on the internet. I am sure there are many many more of them - just in case you know of anyone, just post a comment to this page and I shall add him/her to the list.

BITSian Blogs

Dr B R Natarajan -
Dean, Distance Learning Programmes Division
Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS)
Pilani (Rajasthan) India 333 031

76 Batch

77 Batch

78 home page

84 Batch

90 Batch

94 Batch
93 Batch
95 Batch
96 Batch

97 Batch

98 Batch
99 Batch
00 Batch

01 Batch

02 Batch

03 Batch
2004 Batch
2005 Batch
2006 Batch

And yeah, I found these addresses while hopping from one blog to another. I am just making life easier for people who are looking by bringing it under a same roof. If any of you on the list want your addresses to be removed from here, just let me know and it shall be done.