Thursday, September 30, 2004

Its not enough, it seems, to send the blog url to your friends by email. You've got to publicize it using some other means. So here it is, one of the mean.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya ...

Having said Ganapati bappa has an appetite for enjoyment, the pinnacle of the merriment comes as the Visarjan (Immersion) ceremony. At least for kids.

I mean what could be more exciting than carrying Him in a procession to sea (with loads of music and dance), chant His aartis, and finally immerse the idol in the deep sea amidst the slogans of "Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya" (Come back soon next year). I don't know the significance of immersion. Maybe I need to ask some elder why do we do it. But it is undoubtedly enjoyable.

That reminds me of a joke. Once a marathi manus, a christian and a muslim are traveling in a boat. In middle of the river the boat topples and all three are drowning. Sensing their end near, they start praying. Christian calls for Jesus. Hearing the prayer and seeing His faithful worshipper in trouble, Jesus comes and saves. Muslim prays for Allah. He also rushes to the rescue. Now if you do not know, there are 330 million (I am becoming more and more Angrez these days. Somehow its not Crore, but its Million :D) gods in Hindu mythology. Isn't it bit difficult whom should you refer to when in trouble? But our marathi manus is ek-devi (if Shri Ram can be ek-baNi, why not?) and worships only Ganapati bappa. He prays and Bappa arrives. Observing His favorite disciple drowning, He starts ..... Singing and dancing! You got the rest.

I missed all the fun of ganesh chaturthi this year. Hope I can make it next year. Bappa, come back soon next year!

signing off,

Monday, September 27, 2004

Ctrl Z

Does this happen to you? On some days you just don't get started. You either don't get any ideas. Even if you do, you feel lazy to do anything about it. And when you ain't feeling lazy and actually doing something, "external actors" play spoilsport!

The past few days have been like this for me. A prominent example that comes to mind is of writing the blog. I was not feeling like writing anything, though so much is happening around here. One fine day when I decide to pen something down, is not accessible. Finally I get to access and I start again with a determined mind. I write a few lines, and (quite naturally) commit a spelling error. By habit, I press Ctrl+Z thinking it would erase the wrong word. And voila! The whole blog vanishes. For a moment I feel like David Copperfield!! And you guessed it right, I have not saved anything. My new found enthusiasm evaporates like my blog.

Man proposes and computer disposes!

signing off,

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Bulls and Bears

After a recent IPO release by TCS - one of India's software giants, there has been sudden call for interest in the stock market business here. Just the other day, I got involved in a discussion on equities.

Note that till now my knowledge in share trading had been limited to one five marks problem in high school Maths exam. And my interest in this business is quite low. I don't understand quite many things in business what these people find intriguing. So when they were telling me about what these companies are offering and at what price it may close, at first I was quite disconnected (unconcerned would be more apt). But after two/three similar sessions I kind of developed interest in it. Let me try this one too, I thought.

So one day, I was assigned task to buy some shares at dip. I looked at the graph previous day, and extrapolated that it would be nearing trough at around 12-12:15 PM. I looked at the price at 12, subtracted 0.5 from it, and ordered to buy it. Now what I did not realize is no two days are equal in the market. And that was the day for this particular company. Maybe some bad news was out or something, but it decided not to go in bullish phase after the dip. It kept doing down and down, even when I was back from my lunch! At the end of the day, it recovered a bit, but just a bit.

Thus my first stint at stock market was kind of a let down. My friend is still trying to break even from my buys!

signing off,

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ganapati bappa morya!

Its Ganesh Chaturthi tomorrow. Lord Ganesh is one of the deities worshipped by Hindu community. I won't say he is the mightiest god or something like that. But if there is ever an opinion poll on the most likeable and friendly god, Ganapati should win overwhelmingly!

All over my childhood, I was fascinated by Him. I think growing up in Mumbai was predominantly catalytic for it. You could not have stayed in Mumbai for Ganesh Chaturthi and possibly missed the sheer enthusiasm of the festival. Even in heavy rains or August/September and clogged roads. People usually celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi for 1 ½ days, 5 days, 7 days or 10 days. At our place it is for 5 days. And we used to have 5 days off from school. Naturally when we all cousins of same cohort used to get together, we used to make a hell of a racket!

That get together I liked most. Festivals are meant for people to come together and celebrate and enjoy. We children had a task assigned to us. Decoration. It used to be very hectic as everything had to be finished before the first morning, but it was worth a slog. We used to visit other places to compare which decoration is better. And finding ours as one of the better ones used to be quite comforting! Now that we are all grown up and busy with our schedule, we don't find as much time for it. But still sometime I'd like to take some time out and get lost in decoration work on Ganesh Chaturthi eve again.

What truly makes Ganapati everyone's (or should I say everyone who is not calorie conscious!) favorite is He is very fond of sweets! And to make him happy you are bound to serve Him with different kind of sweets like modak, karanji, ladoo, and many more. You serve Him with different menu each day so that He is satisfied and would give you more wealth, health and wisdom. Naturally, the menu would in turn find way to our dish. And that is what used to make us utmost satisfied!!

to be continued..

signing off,

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Just in case you are wondering why this blog url is ghatotkatch, here's a brief for you.

Let me clear myself at this time. I am not at all worried about my name being one of the most commonplace one. Nope. But it does spell trouble when you try to create a personal email id. How? Read on.

Ever since I was introduced to emails, I wanted a nice looking email-id for me like my friends had. There used to be some emails like their actual full name or cool_name or some funky words (like I remember one of my lean and usually cool as ice friend had this email id diabolical@). Now one of my friend (who already had a email id) was helping me to get started with his tried and tested (and used by myriad people) email provider. After few tutorials of email basics and connecting to internet using modem, I was ready.

Obviously some one was real faster than me and I did not get my first name id. I was convinced it is probable, or more than that, obvious. "It is because the internet is too popular".

I tried with full name. No result. "Fine again. There must be hundreds of people with my name".

With cool_firstname. No result. "Because email ids are free, people usually sign up for more than one id".

With just initials. No result. "Hey come on. Its only 3 letters."

With lastNamefirstName. No result. "Uh Oh!"

My friend was getting bit worried. I was, worse still, getting impatient. "Lets try with some nick names." We played around nicks for a while. No result. "Ok. How about celebrities?" Elvis Presley? James Bond? Daffy Duck? Naaah!

Exasperated and out of clues, we sat hopelessly for a while. Then suddenly he sprang to life and typed ghatotkatch as the user id. I looked at him blankly. Ghatotkatch? For those who don't know, he is a mythological giant from a ancient Indian epic. To call me ghatotkatch was something similar calling Mickey Mouse a Brontosaurus. But much to my dismay, it did not give any error, and I got this virtual identity.

Ghatotkatch would have surely fainted at his downfall on that day!!

signing off,

Monday, September 13, 2004

Rules? Not for me..

I am not in the greatest of moods today. I'll tell you why.

The very first thing in morning I happened to watch was an accident on the main road. Just the case of negligence or arrogance or disregard for rules or harakiri whatever you like to term it. A small van is driving rashly and trying to overtake a bus at a crowded signal. Inevitable happens and it crashes into bus. There is a huge row between two drivers and it further worsens traffic jam. The vehicles behind them are stuck, they are honking relentlessly as if the world is going to end if they don't move and its utter chaos.

Next scene is from my organization. They have Speed Limits zone, No Horn zone. But people seem to think the signs are for others and keep speeding to 50-60 in the small stretch of around 300 m. Also they keep the used coffee cups on benches/windowsills/staircases when there are requests not to do so. They have their lunch on lawn and litter it where there are signs advising not to do so. Even after numerous requests and mails. And if that is the scene in one of India's top companies which showcases (self proclaimed) hugely talented and supremely educated bunch of elite citizens, one can hardly imagine things getting better outside.

But come to think of it, the scenes are better outside at times. Chances are that you'd find more courteous and rules-abiding person in so called poor and lower middleclass areas of city, than in the posh sleek areas. This class of people have become lethargic towards rules, in my opinion. But I also know very well they will not litter their houses. Or they will not do break lanes when they go abroad where they would be fined heavily. It's just when we come out in public, this tendency prevails. We are so much used to ignore rules, it seems the most natural and obvious thing to do. Jump signal, shift lanes, break speed limits, bribe officials, litter workspace, spit on pavements, ignore signs of Don't do .. man .. who cares?

I am totally flabbergasted to say least. Everything I learnt about Civics in school goes for a toss in real world.

I remember in my college years for some group discussion, I was involved in a debate on this topic called "Indians: successful individually, failure collectively". Who me?

signing off,

Sunday, September 12, 2004

House cleaning

Cleaning house can be a painstaking task. I realized this (again) yesterday. Being a Sunday, I thought I should tidy up my wardrobe. But what I did not anticipate that it would contain so many things other than clothes that it would take me whole evening to do it.

But come to think about it, I like this cleaning out my closet stuff. You get to discover so many things you had dumped in it over a period of time. And the things can take you back days, months, years (well, if you have not cleaned it for a long time!). Yesterday I happened to find my diary and an old album. And it was really a nice experience while I sat in the dusty mess flipping through the photos and turning pages. Each page, each photo bringing back memories: some good - some bad - some exuberant - some grievous - some worth remembering till eternity - some worth forgetting in a flash.

Now back to reality, I have yet to clear two out of three racks in the closet! And boy, it looks grim from here!

signing off,

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Ultimate code

I broke the ultimate code today. With help of someone though! It was on my mind since couple of days now. Now after knowing what it is, I feel it was so simple. I suddenly feel like Dr Watson myself :-)

I have finished Da Vinci Code, Deception Point and Digital Fortress in span of 3 weeks. I found all very riveting reads. Dan has a neat style of writing, and what impresses me about all three is the kind of ground work he must have took up to write these. Its awesome. It seems as if he has studied all the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, the working of NASA, NSA to the core. The level to which he goes to mystify a reader is very detailed and methodical. But that would be my complaint (just one as of now) about his work as you can easily guess what would be the climax in next books, it becomes too predictable once you have read one/two books. But then, you can also do same while you are reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie.

All in all very good books. I m looking forward to read Angels and Demons.

signing off,

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Good old writing

Back to blogging .. This time i will try to be a frequent blogger!

Y'day i painted (or tried to paint) the pic on back cover of Calvin and Hobbes - The Revenge of The Baby-Sat book. Where Calvin and Hobbes are happily sleeping on a tree branch. Its come out good, or so said my roommate so that I'd prepare coffee.

They never cease to amuse me, these two characters, Calvin and Hobbes. It seldom happens that I read their strip and I dont find myself smiling. Its not just Calvin or Hobbes. Its about Mom, Dad, Susie, Ms Wormhood, Rosalyn, Moe, Dinosaurs, Spaceman Spiff, Stupendous Man, Transmogrifier guns and many many more things. Its about any boy of 6 who has his own world where he can instantly become a pterodactyl and fly away from class, where he can talk to his stuffed tiger Hobbes and Hobbes talks back to him too. Other people can't see the world his way. Maybe because they are too old, or they dont have the kind of mindset, or whatever. But all said and done, Calvin's world is an amazing place. Read some strips and you'd know what I mean.

signing off,