Friday, November 18, 2005

Saat Samundar Paar!

Hi All,
I am going outside India tomorrow, for a week or so. The trip might get extended by one more week. I don't know, how much busy I will be there, so I might not be able to blog from there. I'll try my best to blog from there. Let's see, how things work out.
Till then have a great time. Enjoy.
By the way, till then, you can read 20 Things about me, if you havn't read them earlier.

Monday, November 14, 2005

20 Things About Me

I saw the '20 Things about me' at Divya's and Neetie's blog. Its easy to think about 20 things about others but its really very difficult to think about 20 things about yourself. You can always easily say that he likes this, she hates that, he is this, he is that - because when you come across people you observe what they say and what they do and based upon that you make perceptions about that person in your mind. But you never quite think of yourself. Of course, we have perceptions about ourselves also in our mind, but mostly they are pretty vague. So, this exercise of listing 20 things about me, might help me in knowing myself better.
It will require a lot of thinking. Let me give it a try - here I go...
1. The first thing that comes to my mind is that - all my best friends are childhood friends i.e. we have been friends since class second. We were a class of 25-30 students in class second and till date out of them atleast 10-15 are still bonded together by that beautiful thing called friendship. Out of which 5 are very close to me. Although I made a lot of friends at various places and stages of life, but no one ever came even close to that childhood friends.
Oh, I think I had to mention things about me, as the title "20 things about me " suggests - and I have started talking about my friends. Okie, now I am getting to more personal level from the second point itself. Come on - understand - the first point was a warming up exercise - you already know that its becoming very difficult for me to think about myself.

2. I love kids. Rather I should put it this way - I love kids that are between 1 year and 10 years of age. The age limit being due to the fact that a kid lesser then 1 year can' t talk, can' t play much and beyond after about 10 years of age, the innocence, the playful nature of the child is gone. The age limit of 1 year and 10 year is just to get an idea, not a hard and fast rule.

3.I am shy and reserved sort of a guy. It takes time for me to open up and make friends.

4.I did my schooling at Shimla. Ohh.. those beautiful gals of Shimla. St. Bedes Girls College. Don't ask me. I feel like packing my bags and heading off to Shimla right now.

5. The next 4 years after schooling were spent in Chandigarh. Chandigarh is also a very nice place. Clean, greeny, well planned and a great city to live in.

6. I like hill areas, natural beauty and living a simple life. Maybe I'll just work a few more years, collect enough money and then go and live at a hill station.

7. I am a Virgo and have most of the characteristics of a typical Virgo. If you want to know more about these characteristics then read Linda Goodman's Sun Signs.

8.I hate waiting for anything.For me time is precious - I can't tolerate wasting time.

9.I love reading books. In fact, I have such a huge collection of books at home that I can open a library.

10.I am deeply interested in understanding humans i.e. human physology, human behaviour, human brain etc.

11.I like to go along new unproven paths. Going along the herd is not my way. I will listen to other people, get their viewpoints, but even if all of them are going along a certain path and I feel that I should go to some other, then I' ll not hesitate to follow it.

12. I get easily bored by doing mundane daily tasks. I like doing something new or something different now and then to keep my neurons working.

13. I don't like giving arms to beggars but I will give money to him for finding a job.

14. I had a short temper. I have been working on it - its much better now.

15.I am good at planning and executing things.

16. I am a simple and down to earth person.

17. I like honest and true people. Honest, simple and true people go a long way with me. I can' t tolerate liers and selfish people.

18.Anyone in need, will always get help from me and I always try to do, whatever I can, in order to help him.

19.I have just gone once outside India - to Seoul, Korea.

20. In India I have gone as far as Bangalore in the South.

Phew, Thank God! I see that 20 in the above line. It took me days to complete the list. Did you see that the last few things are just one liners. Thats because, I wasn' t able to think of anything much.
I done want to tag anyone - whoever wasnt to do it, is most welcome.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Flop Show - Bloggers meet

There was an article in the newspaper that there was a Blogger's meet arranged by some one named Tarun, in Delhi.. Yeah, thats the same city I live in - fortunately or unfortunately.

He had arranged a big place in Saket expecting hundreds of people to arrive. Lot' s of arrangements made. Tons and tons of expectations!!

But, guess what? Only 4 people arrived. Man! That was shocking, even to me. Guess! what would have happened of the poor soul. He has gone nuts, read about him at his blog - here

I came to know about it from the newspaper only.

If you want to know more about it - read this


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Phantom Menace !!!

This story or rather I should say the - Phantom Menace started, many years ago, when I was in Engineering College and till date it has not ended. God only knows -How much I wish to end it, but I am not able to do so. And it keeps haunting me, time and again and it has bugged me again now.

It all started when I opened an library account in the State Library of Sector 17, Chandigarh,. They took 100 rupees for a year and you could take any book for a period of 15 days, after that if not returned, there was a penalty of 1 rupee a day. The books could not be reissued.

Once, I got a novel issued, and the saddest part is that now I do not remember the exact name of the novel or the author. The novel was pretty old, with the pages turned deep yellow, as if it were centuries old. On the backside, the condition was so bad that even after staining your eyes you would not be able to read the reviews. The name of the book was "Phantom" or "The Phantom of the Opera". I am not sure about the name, only just a slight memory at the back of my mind, something to do with Phantom, I guess. The story was good, but the more important thing was that, there were many paragraphs, sentences and lines in the novel that were so emotional and such beautifully written that it touched your heart at the deepest levels. After reading those heart touching and emotional paragraphs many times I stopped reading and just gazed in the emptiness for hours. If Hitler had read those lines, his heart would have also skipped several beats. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but I think you are getting the drift.

I completed the book in 20 days or so, but didn't want to return it. So, I read it again and copied all the sentimental and emotional paragraphs on sheets of paper. Those accounted to about 5-6 pages and that was my treasure. If you have read the previous sentence carefully then you will notice that there is a "was" in it, I lost my treasure. I paid 12-15 rupees fine for the late return of the book, but that fine was well worth it. At that time I did not have my computer and moreover computers were hardly used by us for anything other then writing programs in BASIC and C language, so that bunch of handwritten pages were the only copy I had.

I made a second copy of the pages and sent them to my friend in Shimla. After a few months, another friend from REC Warangal, came to Chandigarh for a few days and I took the original copy of the papers, just to show him. We were sitting at his place when he read them. We were chatting, laughing and cracking jokes on each other before that, but after reading them, he suddenly became very quiet. He did not speak anything for 10-15 minutes and after that just said, let us go out. We came downstairs to the market, hired a rikshaw and headed off to Sector 17. He did not speak a word. After reaching Sector 17, we roamed form a couple of minutes, after that he said, "That stuff is nuclear bomb, man, it is highly explosive, I exploded into thousand bits". After that the conversation drifted in other directions. While returning back home, I asked him to return the pages, but he said that he would return them later in a few days. I reminded him that it was the only copy I had and at no cost should he loose them or give it to anyone. He promised that he would return them in a few days.

After a few days, I again went to his home and asked him to return them. He searched, but could not find them. I felt like killing him on the spot, with my bare hands. How could he loose them? In spite of my repeatedly telling him that it was the only copy I had, he did the same thing, I had so feared about.
After that I tried to search the same book in the Sector 17 State library, but could not locate it. The state library is like a jungle. They have all the catalogues there, but all the books are scattered here and there on all the shelves. Even if you are able to locate a book in the catalogue, it would be nearly impossible to find it on shelve or block written on the catalogue. The shelves are open to everyone and while searching for books; everyone just dumps the books anywhere he/she feels like. In the catalogue, there were more then thirty books with the names matching Phantom, Phantom of the Opera etc. from various authors, but without the specific book name and author it was almost impossible to locate it. Then also I searched for several hours and several times, but of no use.

I had sent one copy of it to my friend in Shimla. That was the only chance I had left up with. He has a habit of saving every textbook and other reading material and has been collecting it since second standard. So, I thought that he might have preserved my letter. When I got a chance of going to Shimla, I asked him about it. He said that, he had put it somewhere in his collection and had not thrown it. We searched the whole of his awful lot of junk books and all other nonsense but could not find it.

I had forgotten all about it, but I had these Diwali holidays and had time, so was resetting the collection of my books and I just saw a thin pale novel "The Phantom of Manhattan" ?by Fredrick Forsyth, in my collection. Then I remembered that, over a year of so ago, that Phantom worm had again infested my mind and I was on the lookout of that lost novel. In that hope, I had bought this Fredrick novel, thinking that maybe if it is a sequel or continuation of the novel I was searching then I might be able to find my treasure. I had read the first two pages and had junked Manhattan..

I read the book again and thankfully I was able to read it completely."The Phantom of Manhattan" is a sequel of "The Phantom of the Opera" by Gaston Leroux. But neither are the books, which I was searching for. Fredrick novel is okay, but it is just that.
Now again - the search goes on and on and on....