Wednesday, 27 August 2008


Today was not just another day. Sitting in her office on the 4th floor of the RMZ Infinity building in the EPIP area of Bangalore she leaned back in her swivel chair and stretched. The clock on the bottom right corner of her screen said it was still just 3:40pm. A gentle smile crossed Vasundhra's face. However hard she tried, she'd never her finish her work early. Not today. But finishing work early in office was not what made Vasundhra's day special. Manu had turned six today!

Her little angel Manu - how they loved her. Her birth marked the turning point of her and Shekhar's life. Their lives had changed for the good ever since. Manu was now their sole purpose. In fact, Vasundhara had spent the whole of last weekend trying to find a gift for Manu. A perfect birthday gift that would delight her daughter on the occasion of her 6th birthday. As was the family custom, only the first five birthdays were celebrated ceremoniously. So she had been very careful while choosing a gift. After spending the whole day in Jayanagar's 4th block area, she finally managed to find it...the perfect gift! It was a beauteous red frock with yellow flowers sprinkled all over. The bottom was a brilliant verdant green studded with birds, rabbits and snails running around in gay abandon. The moment she has caught sight of the dress, the mother in her knew that the search had ended. The Rs.799/- tag had not deterred her, for there was nothing more precious to her than her Manu.

Manu was a precocious child. Unlike other kids of her age, let alone demand, she didn't even expect any gifts from her parents. She knew she would be turning six and so unlike the previous five birthdays, this time there would be no ceremony. Not that she could recall any of those, but she was now mature enough to realize it. So on the morning of her birthday, she was overjoyed when amma presented her with a gorgeous red frock. The animals and flowers instantly reminded her of the summers she spent with her cousins out in the country in Kollur. She could not wait to wear it. Had it been some other day, Vasundhara would have rebuked her with a firm "No". But today, there was nothing more that she wanted than to see Manu happy. So after packing her lunch-box, helping her wear her shoes and dabbing on some fragrant talcum powder, she kissed her a gentle goodbye on the forehead and watched as Manu stormed out through the front door, eager to show all her friends her new frock. There are some moments that make being a mother so gratifying that all the pains and troubles are worth this one moment. She wiped the tear from the corner of her eye with the pallu of her saree as she turned back to the kitchen.

Stepping out onto the street below, she made a beeline for the bus-stop. It was early March and the heat was oppressive. The rains had not yet showered their blessings on Bengaluru. She boarded a 335E and made herself comfortable by the window of the second seat on the left, behind the driver. This was one of the rewards of getting out early. The buses were almost empty and the traffic sparse, by Bengaluru standards that is. She began to ponder over how she could surprise Manu. Everyday, Manu came back from school at 5:30 and religiously settled down on the sofa to watch Tom and Jerry on Cartoon Network or Takeshi's Castle on Pogo. That was one thing she was very finicky about. Anything else she could compromise. And if you gave her a packet of potato chips, and she would as grateful as a bear being fed a potful of honey. Vasundhara was shaken back to reality from her reverie when the bus pulled into platform 17 in Majestic. It had taken her only an hour and her wrist watched now told it was 4:03pm. The golden plated watch had been a anniversary gift from Shekhar. Without wasting time she headed to one of the shops adjacent to platform 1 and bought a packet of MTR Instant Gulam Jamun Mix. Not wanting to waste anymore time, she got out of the bus-stand and flagged an autorickshaw and half asked the driver "Rajajinagar 6th blocku!?". She got a nonchalant nod lacking even the slightest hint of courtesy.

As the auto finally swerved around the last bend, she looked up from her cellphone. She was mildly surprised to find a crowd of twenty odd men huddled together, blocking the traffic. Apparently there had been some incident and people were milling in to have their cut of the action. Not wanting to waste time waiting for the traffic to clear, she asked the driver to pull over. She paid the auto driver the fare and stepped down onto the pavement. It was not uncommon to see such huddles, but it was not common either. It usually involved a freak accident involving two short tempered commuters, each one trying to blame the other in an attempt to bilk. Unable to contain her curiosity Vasundhara told herself that a little peek would do no harm. After all, she still had an hour to spare and preparing gulab jamun would not take more than 45minutes. Keeping her reservations, she tried to see what best that she could.

The moments that followed were pure unadulterated panic and sheer terror. A chill ran down her spine raising the hair on the back of her neck. Her legs gave away and she collapsed right onto the road. Her mind went blank and her throat went dry. Her heart throbbed. The pain in her chest was searing. Her tongue tasted bitterness. She had managed to catch a glimpse of the body lying on the road, now soaked in crimson blood, its head mangled beyond recognition. But the red frock and the yellow flowers could not have been mistaken for anything else. A placid, almost memorable evening had unforgivably transformed into a incubus. Vasundhra had lost all her senses. She was lying limply on the road contrite, her cellphone lying on one side and her velvet bag on the other. It was almost as if rigor mortis had set in. She had no sense of time or space. Few people bothered to notice her. Their minds fed by innumerous vapid Kannada movies, they found the grisly sight more captivating.
The delicate bubble that she and Shekhar had nurtured all these years had burst in an instant without a trace. The agony overshadowed the pain of labour. Regaining her sense, Vasundhara turned away from the unsightly scene in a desperate attempt to farther herself from the truth - to find a puzzled yet thoroughly amused Manu standing before her, her velvet vanity bag slung over one shoulder almost reaching down to the road, absorbed in a game of Snake on her cellphone.

There are some moments that make being a mother so gratifying that all the pains and troubles are worth this one moment.

Friday, 22 August 2008


What do you call a bunch of guys who spend the night of 21st August 2008 at a consumer electronics outlet trying to get their hands on a 3G 'smart' device for over INR 31,000 that does not let you so much as

  • Forward a text message
  • Single button speed dial
  • Copy-paste a line of text
  • Send an SMS to multiple recipients
  • Listen to FM Radio
  • Record video
  • Send MMS
  • Set an mp3 track as your ringtone
  • Share files over bluetooth
  • Support Java or Flash
  • Support voice dialing
  • Change your cell phone operator
  • Use it as a wireless modem (when you are shelling out by the thousands every month)
I don't care what you call them. But I call them JERKS.

For all the hype and hoopla surrounding it, the apple iPhone is nothing short of a white elephant. Over priced and over hyped, its just not what the Indian market wants. If you're gonna tell me to look at the initial sales figures that should be out in a weeks time, let me tell you. All the initial sales that it is raking in are from the media hype and the popularity of it being an Apple phone. If one were to consider the functionality keeping value for money in prespective, a Nokia 1200 would fare much much better. Its reported that over 2 lakh consumers have registered for the iPhone already. But what they don't tell you was the figures are from the registrations that began way before the prices were announced.

Imagine having to turn to i-tunes for even trivial things like a petty currency converter. Isn't that just outrageous, when there are thousands of wonderful free java applications out there? What is even worse is you cannot connect to iTunes through your iPhone. You need a mac or a PC to do that. God! Thanks to Google, iPhone now has atleast has an IM client. And in the worst case, (if were still using it for the sole reason of having spent a fortune on it) if you had to change the battery after a year, you can't just do it by yourself. Yet again, get down on your knees and ask Apple to do it for you. And if you are still convinced that you want to get one, go surrender yourself into servility. God help you.

So Ms. Swathi, in case you're thinking that you've just made an achievement of a lifetime by buying the first iPhone, well... I'm sorry. I think you're just a nitwit.

Getting ripped off has never been this easy*...

PS: There can be no better personification of the saying ಜನ ಮರುಳೋ ಜಾತ್ರೆ ಮರುಳೋ

*Conditions Apply

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Flower Show at Lalbagh

Here is glimpse of Lalbagh's ravishing annual flower show, held around the days of I-day. Vibrant and vivid, I say there are more colours here than what even the human eye can percieve.

You can view individual pictures of the collage, just by clicking on them above. Isn't that just brilliant!? You can mouse over the logo on the right hand top corner to view the embed in full size.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Your 74663 is smarter than 968 think

Well, if you Sending 8398 63772437 shouldn't be about hammering out the ABCs. It should be about 78425 and easy communication.

With T9 Text Input, you can stop 8277464 out the 5388377 and start getting out the 6377243. T9 is predictive text 76389273 that makes it faster and easier to type on small 662453 devices.

Pre-loaded with thousands of words, emoticons, and punctuation, T9 77334287 what you want to say as you type. If you type in a word T9 doesn't recognize, T9 532767 it and recognizes it next time. It's a text experience that gets 327837 every time.

Published verbatim from [Title Included]

Friday, 1 August 2008

Spice up you Gtalk

Here are some little known/ unknown tricks for all you Gtalk users out there. You'd know many of them, but there are lots more that you don't too..

Text Formatting:
1) Bold: Enclosing text within asterisks (*) makes it appear in bold face.
So the next time, try *GTH !!* instead!
2) Italics: Enclosing text with underscores(_) italicizes the text.
Ergo '_Abbey sale_' would be easier to comprehend than just 'Abbey sale'!

Here is a list of really handy shortcuts.
  • Windows + ESC: Open Google Talk (if it's minimized, or in the tray)
  • ALT + ESC: Minimize the current window
  • ESC: Close the current window
  • TAB: Switch between multiple chat windows
  • CTRL + I: Same as TAB
  • SHIFT + TAB: Same as TAB but in reverse order
  • CTRL + TAB: Same as SHIFT + TAB
  • CTRL + Mousewheel up/down: Change the font-size in the typing window
  • F9: Open Gmail to send an email to your friend
  • F11: Start a call with your friend
  • F12: Stop the current call
Mozilla firefox addon:
In case you'd prefer to chat from your browser (read Firefox) itself (because you are either too lazy to login into gmail just to chat or you cant install Gtalk on your office computer) then grag the gTalk Sidebar addon. This nifty little fellow launches as a sidebar (by pressing Alt+g) in the browser window itself and lets you chat conveniently (and clandestinely). Shortcuts for the chat window tabs are the same as those of Firefox. Having Google Toolbar makes signing in that much more hassle free.

There are a number of themes and addons available out there. Mytheme is the one that I use and really love using! It lets you change the chat window background and has got tons of really cute and adorable smileys.[Don't forget to check out all possible smileys listed in the help file]
Extended Talk is another addon worth trying. It offers a wide gamut of features as compared to Mytheme. Worth a specific mention is the (independent) control of chat and main window transparency(of course, at the cost of higher CPU usage) which dilly dalliers in office will find really handy.

Winamp 5.5 'Now Playing' hack:
In case you do use Winamp 5.5x and find that Google Talk hangs every time you set your status to 'Show current music track', then there is an easy fix. It has been reported as a bug and an easy fix has also been suggested. Just go to your winamp installation folder (C:\Program Files\Winamp\ by default) and create a file named "winamp.m3u" (For nubes: Create a new text document and rename it). Restart Gtalk and lo and behold.. You're ready to sport your current track!

If there is more you want to know from me, just drop me a comment. And in case you are hungry for more, I suggest you look up the Google Talk Fan Site.