Friday, March 31, 2006

Acquisition Plans

This month, I have plans to spend more money than usual. The following are the objects under consideration:

  1. Bean Bag: Have been postponing this for a long, long time now. (Update- Done, a 5 kg leatherine monster is now sitting by itself in the hall, after suffering a bum onslaught from yours truly for most part of the evening. Once, I even jumped headlong into it, as a despo husband might jump upon his hapless newly wed wife on their conjugal night. Yes, we kissed).
  2. Air Cooler: Hyderabad summer, what else. My AC’s in mom’s room and I think an air cooler should do the job anyway in this dry climate. There isn’t an AC vent in my stupid room anyway. Checked out a couple of models today. Not happy with the way they and their price tags looked. But this isn’t an option. I don’t want to melt.
  3. Digital Camera: Yes, can you believe it? I still don’t own one! Have zeroed in on Nikon Coolpix L3 (5 Megapixel, 3X Zoom, 512 SD Ram) which is gonna cost me 13000 bucks if I buy it from JJ Mehta in Mumbai. Anybody have any better ideas on where I could get a better deal on the same cam? And don’t show me locations outside the country.
  4. Trip to Kanha Tiger Reserve (and back of course, I don’t plan to be eaten): Ok, you can stop laughing now. When I come back and show you pictures of me holding a tigress’s tail, you will realise that I was serious. This should be a 3-day, 2 nights travel package. Kanha is in MP and is supposed to be the place from where Rudyard Kipling drew his portrait of Mowgli and Sher Khan’s forest. The idea actually germinated in me because of this book I am reading right now, ‘Tigers in Red Weather’, by Ruth Padel. It’s a travel book, for the most part, where the author describes her journeys and experiences tracking and studying tigers and tiger conservation across nature reserves in many countries. I know I need to be really lucky to spot a tiger on this trip, if it ever materializes, but hell, I need the break anyway. Actually this trip somewhat depends on the result of acquisition No. 3. If I buy the cam, it’s a great incentive to go tiger hunting with it. If I don’t buy it, would I go to a wildlife reserve without a camera, I don’t think so.
    And you can join in if you want but there are certain conditions:
    -You are a good-looking female. If not, you should be someone I like (Sorry sis, you are excluded, though you fulfil both these conditions)
    -I get to decide everything on and about the trip. The buck stops with me. As Rajnikant might have said, "Naa woru dhadwa sonna, noor dhadwa sonna madhri (If I say something once, its like saying it a hundred times!) You get the idea.
    -Of course, you pay your share.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Scott’s Opinion

I visit the Dilbert blog everyday for my daily dose of cute, clever, cruel, bizarre, naughty or recognizable humor. Recently, Scott had asked his readers to post any questions on which they wanted his real opinion. This is one.

Q. Why do most people end up living mediocre, "regular" lives?

A. It’s easier.

So true.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

How to Love Me

According to this website, after it told me that I am an ISTJ (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, Judger) based on Carl Jung’s Theory.

-Appreciate my common sense, practical, and steady approach to life.
-Respect my need for routine and order; avoid sudden changes.
-Listen attentively and respectfully.
-Try to be calm, honest and specific when discussing problems.
-Give me plenty of time to think things through before discussing them.
-Above all - Notice and acknowledge my hard work and commitment to our family's needs.

Hmmm. I don’t know. I guess I don’t disagree with the assessment except that of course it would help if you also play chess and don’t ask me to cook.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Pleasure of a Slow Start

Ok. Some background is needed here. I work in an IT company, which like many of them is located far, far, far away from the city. So, many companies including mine arrange buses to pick up their employees from various points in the city. So far so good. But, the timings are a downer in my company. 8 to 5. Which means I get on the bus around 7 since I live 18 kms away. Which means I need to get up at 6 AM. 6.20 AM, if I can do without the coffee and the newspaper.

Sure, one can go late. Its not like school where you had to go see the principal who would come around and box your ears.

But these were the following options available to me if I decided to go late or missed the bus.

-Auto->Hyderabad City bus-> Share Auto
-Auto-> Share Auto-> Share Auto-> Share Auto-> Share Auto

I wasn’t using option 3 or 4 coz' I-cannot-say-this-since-this-could-be-held-against-me. And as you may have noticed, options 1 & 2, which were my refuge, are not very inviting. But last weekend I finally went and paid up my out-of-state vehicle tax for my bike and suddenly, option 4 was now less risky (The traffic police are very vigilant on my route to office) and very viable.

Today morning, when my mobile alarm went off at 6.20 AM (there’s been no morning coffee or newspaper reading for 3 days now), I mouthed an expletive at the mobile and went back to sleep. Got up an hour and half later, stretched, yawned and showed my middle finger to my mobile to rub it in. Put on Travis on my home theatre system (can do that since mom is away) and proceeded to brush my teeth while the band Sang, Sang, Sang. To cut a long story short, made my coffee and read about Sonia Gandhi resigning her post as MP. Admired my naked self in the mirror to my hearts content and as the last song in the album (The Humpty Dumpty Song) played itself out, was actually considering applying some moisturizing lotion on my body.
Finally left at around 9 AM.

The ride wasn’t pleasant though, what with the traffic and the Hyderabad summer creeping in. I think I must have lost a couple of kgs by the time I reached office. Well, I know what I need to do to get my car on the road to office.

I could tell you but then I would have to kill you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Living by Myself, Now and Then

Mom’s spending a fortnight in Chennai and am holding the fort at home, alone. It’s at such a time that you remember that you are pretty inadequate to manage a decent life for yourself.

Dinner is a big decision every night. House is a mess, as the maid can’t come in at the time that I am around the house. Plates lie in the sink, asking to be washed. I solve that problem by avoiding the kitchen or holding my breath when I can’t avoid heading in that direction. There is an alarm on my mobile to remind me to keep an alarm so that I get up in time in the morning. I am running out of clean underwear, need to use that washing machine pretty soon. I ran out of drinking water in the house today. So if you are reading this and planning to come home, get me a couple of Bisleris. Forgot to turn off the geyser today morning. Nothing happened, I guess will wait for the electricity bill. Couple of empty vodka bottles lie next to the fridge. Make mental note to get rid of them before this Saturday.

But I hardly spend a few hours a day in the house anyway. So its not so bad, you know, I mean, compared to the time when I was in Cochin, that is.

Now that was loneliness. My best time professionally till now, but my worst as far as my personal life was concerned. Add to the fact that I used to work from home, and it sometimes would be weeks before I would have a decent non work related face to face conversation with anybody. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner were all big decisions. House was still a mess as I used to tour extensively and the maid stopped coming after some time when she found that the door was locked half the time. I still had the work ethic hangover of six years of campus life, accentuated by this particular situation where I could work in bermudas and have a bath when I thought my boss would be busy having his lunch a 1000 kms away and unlikely to call me up. The oh so familiar walls of my flat would sometimes get so depressing at times that I would just rush out in the evenings and take a walk along the beautiful ocean promenade in Cochin, its Marine Drive. I didn’t have a set routine then as I have now, nor consistent hobbies to save me from existential boredom.

Nowadays, I blog, I go to the gym at least 3-4 days of the week, read books and jog on weekends. Shaves of at least 25-30 hours in a week from my free time.

Less time to wonder now what to do with it, a good or bad thing, do you think?

P.S. I also had some great times in Cochin. I made some great friends, toured all over the beautiful state of Kerala, experienced houseboats, hills, toddy and beef. And am not ashamed to admit it, learned to drive a bike while I was there.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Racing Mind

I read somewhere that we humans use only 10% of our brain potential. Not surprising, considering the sedentary lifestyles that most of us lead. I mean, writing these posts is probably the only time when my brain is required to weigh in, and maybe the odd day when I play chess. I had realised long back that brains are not required to earn a good living. At the most, mental capabilities are just a useful accessory, to be shown of in the guise of graduate and postgraduate degrees and GMAT scores (mine’s 730- 97th percentile :) ). As useful as an aquarium in a palatial house.

But today, I caught my mind racing. It all happened like this. I had gone to this bakery to catch an after-jogging snack. When I returned home and got out of my car, my wallet was missing and I thought.

Shit! Did I leave it at the counter while paying for the snack? Or did I leave it at the table? Or did it fall out of my trackpants while I getting into the car? That would be bad. Man, I will never use these tracks again, its pockets suck! I need to block my debit cards and credit cards. Fuck, both my bike and car licenses are in the wallet. Ok, now should I run back to the bakery, or take my car or my bike? Shit, I need to pick up Raghu from the airport tonight. Should I drive without a license on me? Or should I call him and tell him to find his own way home? Should I call my mom in Chennai about this? Fuck! I had close to 2000 bucks in there! Oh my god! Where’s my mobile? Don’t tell me I’ve lost that too. Oh right, its at home, I didn’t take it with me when I went for the jog, thank god!

Not bad, huh? My mind was practically racing at full speed as I was searching frantically inside the car for my wallet in the hope that it would be inside the car somewhere. I found it, of course, wedged between the door and the floor of the car. I heaved a huge sigh of relief, kissed the wallet, considered whether to leave the driving license inside the car and ruled it out.

I slipped the wallet back into the pockets of my tracks and stepped into my home.

Friday, March 17, 2006

My Word Cloud!

Cool, don't ya think? You can get yours too, here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Buddha in My World

I just finished reading Pankaj Mishra’s, ‘An End to Suffering’. Don’t worry, I don’t do reviews.

I just thought I would put down some of it here, stuff which spoke to me at a personal level. These are thoughts which I too have ruminated about at different times in my own life (my god, how old do I sound here?!), thoughts which I wanted to express but hadn’t gotten around to saying them, and anyway, couldn’t have said it better even if I had tried. So here goes…

“…I had so little to speak of, so little to claim for myself. I couldn’t stop being awed by what seemed to be their confident sense of who they were and what they could do. The privilege of having settled opinions and a steady view of the world: this was what people like Vinod and myself, all of us who had yet to know ourselves, longed for in different ways.”

“…Much of my life had been sheltered, spent in reading and daydreaming.”

“…But now I was settling into my new self- the self that had traveled and imagined that it had learnt much. I didn’t know then that I would use up many more such selves, that they would arise and disappear, making all experience hard to fix and difficult to learn from.”

“…In her own world- the streets and crowds of London, the vegetarian restaurant near London University where we presently went to have lunch- she appeared diminished.”

“…But there seemed something so particularly zestful and sympathetic about her, so without guile, that fantasy couldn’t but come tainted with guilt.”

“…things which that morning had added to my nervousness and made me think that I had arrived in the middle of a long and complicated film.”

“…the oppressive solitude that one could know in a large city, the lives of private longing and frustration which many of the people in the crowds seemed to lead, on whom the glittering past of the large metropolis that attracted a visitor like myself no longer cast its spell.”

“…they wanted to be accommodated beyond the life they had so far known, where they could shed the narrow racial or national identity they had been into and devote themselves to the making of money, the pursuit of learning and the search for love and freedom.”

“…To the more frustrated among them modernity already appeared as a tall mountain, where a few people already occupied the summit, watching others inch up the steep slopes, occasionally throwing down a tattered rope but, more often, giant boulders."

“…about the impulse to divide life into manageable parts, about the city as a collection of solitary individuals brought together briefly by a few shared interests.”

“…man as a psychological complex, who is a consequence of his past dispositions, of how and what he thought and said and did.”

“…He grasps them all but without clutching them, and he soon allows them to escape from his hands so as to run after new enjoyments.”

“…The constant striving for achievement, for the fulfillments that were small and brief in retrospect appeared empty, the effort to simply maintain a way of life that affirmed one’s identity, the hardening of social roles- all of this I had begun to see in my own life and understand more clearly.”

“Walk alone.
If they answer not thy call, walk alone;
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou of evil luck,
Open thy mind and speak out alone.”

And finally,

“Whatever beings may exist- weak or strong, tall, broad, medium or short, fine material or gross, seen or unseen, those born and those pressing to be born- may they all be without exception happy in heart!
Let no one deceive anyone else, nor despise anyone anywhere. May no one wish harm to another in anger or ill will!
Let one’s thoughts of boundless-loving kindness pervade the whole world, above, below, across, without obstruction, without hatred, without enmity!”

In unrelated news, discovered a bright clean scratch- probably made by a sharp metal object like a key or pocketknife or something- right down the whole left side of my car which caused me a lot of heartburn.

Darn, must have been one of those kids in my apartment complex who have been going berserk, playing Holi, today. Or could it be the guy who parks his motorcycle right next to my car? Or could it be the old fool with whom I had an argument in the park a couple of week’s back? Had he tracked me down and wreaked his vengeance upon my prized possesion?

When something like this happens, notwithstanding any amount of Buddhist philosophy that I may read, a small good part of me dies.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pain and Rain

I have been giving the gym a miss for the last two days. There is pain in my left arm. It’s not the familiar muscle pain, which I don’t mind. This is different. It’s a pain, which flows as if in a capillary tube deep within my arm. Sometimes I feel it flowing near my elbow, sometimes near my shoulder and today I could have sworn that I felt it near my ring finger. It’s not unbearable but it’s very irritating.

"Ligament trouble", Karam had said. "Take some time off, these things take some time". Karam is the very popular gym instructor.

Its also been raining in Hyderabad. Its unseasonal rain but a welcome break from the early summer, which had just started to spread its wretched tentacles. The last few days and nights have been cool, windy and very pleasant.

I missed the company bus today and was on my way to the bus stop nearby to catch an autorickshaw to work when a state transport bus splashed dirty mud from a puddle, all over my new shoes and trousers. I had to trudge back, change and start again. Then it started raining. Went back up again five floors to my home and reluctantly returned with a garish pink umbrella (Mom:"I have given the black one to your sister").

As I stood waiting for the autorickshaw in the rain, I suddenly didn’t like the weather anymore. Puddles exposed the emaciated roads, pavements looked dirtier, gutters were overflowing and the air seemed to carry the stench of garbage. Even the people around me seemed more irritated and restive than usual.

Then I suddenly thought about the slums, which are just down the road. Would their tarpaulin tents have held out this rain? Or would their life have become miserable with the slush engulfing and transforming their daily existence into painful drudgery?

When I passed them in my autorickshaw, I looked away.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Chess Quiz

I found a pretty interesting chess quiz on the internet. Had fun solving it and getting most of it right, of course. So, here it is, if you think you know chess, take a shot and let me how you did. I got 9/10. You can scroll down for the answers which are accompanied by my expert comments and explanations *smug smile*.
Oh, and before I forget, you can find the original quiz at

Question 1:
Which one of these endgame White setups (assuming Black holds a lone king) will always end in a draw?

1.king, knight, and bishop
2.king and two knights
3.king and queen
4.king and knight

Question 2:
If a knight is attacking the queen and king at the same time, which one of these strategies is being used?


Question 3:
Pins and skewers can be performed by several pieces, but not all. Which one of these pieces cannot pin or skewer?

1. rook
2. knight
3. queen
4. bishop

Question 4:
Which piece does the fianchetto strategy mainly benefit?

1. bishop
2. knight
3. rook
4. queen

Question 5:
Want to lose a chess game quickly? Fall for the commonly used Scholar's Mate. Which one of these squares is the target for this checkmate?

1. e2 or e7
2. f2 or f7
3. d2 or d7
4. h2 or h7

Question 6:
This is a chess situation: suppose White has a rook on d4, and Black's king is on g8, with three pawns on f7, g7, and h7. The pawns and the king are Black's only pieces left. It's Black's turn, so she moves her g-pawn to g5. What kind of checkmate is Black trying to prevent with this pawn move?

1. forced mate
2. back rank mate
3. smothered mate
4. double attack

Question 7:
Some structures of pawns are good, and some can really give you problems. Which one of these pawn structures is generally the strongest?

1. doubled pawns
2. passed pawns
3. isolated pawns
4. backward pawns

Question 8:
Now for some chess terminology- which one of these terms describes a situation where it is your turn and this puts you at a disadvantage?

1. zwischenzug
2. fianchetto
3. en passant
4. zugzwang

Question 9:
Another chess term- what is the term used for an 'in-between move', or a forcing move that is different from what would be normally expected?

1. zugzwang
2. zwischenzug
3. castling
4. en passant

Question 10:
There are several openings in chess, all characterized by a move, a position, etc. In which opening does White move his knight to f3 on the first move?

1. English Opening
2. Ruy Lopez
3. Reti's Opening
4. King's Gambit


Q.1. (4) King and knight, though mating with the first two options is not easy either.

Q.2 (2) Fork.
A bishop, rook or queen doing the same thing is known as a skewer.
A 'pin on a piece' restricts its movement, ie.discovers check on king, or threatens material loss.
And obviously, everybody knows what a 'check' is.

Q.3. (2) knight. Knights fork, as mentioned in Q2. And since knights can anyway jump over material, a pin by a knight is NA.

Q.4. (1) bishop. Refers to the bishop on b2, g2, b7 or g7. The bishop is placed on the longest diagonal on the chessboard from where logically, it is supposed to have the greatest influence.
With the same logic, knights have the least influence in the corners.

Q.5. (2) f2 or f7. The traditional weak squares in the beginning of the game since they are defended only by the respective kings and a double attack might bring about a quick downfall.
eg. 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 Nf6 4.Qxf7#
Of course, a 'Fool's Mate' takes even lesser, 1.f3 e5 2.g4 Qh4#

Q.6. (2) back rank mate. The king is trapped on the last rank by its own pawns and cannot escape a check from a rook or queen.
A smothered mate is a similar mate delivered by a knight on an enemy king which is hemmed in by its own pieces.
A forced mate refers to a forced sequence of moves (typically a series of checks) leading to mate.
A double attack is a move that threatens two things at the same time. Forks and skewers are both double attacks.

Q.7. (2) Passed pawns. Refers to pawns which can no longer be obstructed or threatened by enemy pawns. Such pawns are easier to promote to the eighth rank where as we know, they can take up new job responsibilities.
Doubled pawns refer to two pawns of the same color on the same file. They are weak since they are susceptible to attack. Moreover, they restrict and cannot support each other's movement.
Isolated pawns. Pawns which find themselves alone, ie. absence of pawns of the same color on their adjacent files. They are weak since of course, they cannot be supported by neighboring pawns. But interestingly, in certain situations, such pawns also aid an attacking player as the open files on either side can be used for piece activity.
Backward pawns. Like the name suggests, pawns which have not achieved much purpose in their life. Additionally, they might restrict piece movement, so obviously, they are a liability.
There are other pawn structures like hanging pawns, pawn chain, hedgehog formation etc., but they are out of scope of this discussion *smug smile*

Q.8. (4) Zugzwang. Refers to a situation where 'whatever move you make, you lose'. Its derived from the German: Zug (move) + Zwang (compulsion, obligation). Generally happens in King pawn endgames so if it ever happens in the middlegame its rare, so take a picture and mail it to me.
en passant. Derived from French and means 'in passing'. Refers to a pawn capture by an enemy pawn in this special situation.
-A player moves his pawn two squares, from his second row to his fourth row.
-There is a pawn of the opponent that can capture at the squares that is passed over by the pawn.
-In that case, this pawn of the opponent has the right to capture en passant in the directly following move.
-To capture en passant, the opponents pawn goes to the square passed over by the pawn (i.e., the square on the third row), thus moving diagonally forwards. The captured pawn is taken from the board.
zwischenzug. Refer next question.

Q.9. (2) zwischenzug. Another German term. I didn't know what this meant. Apparently, refers to a situation where, instead of making the obvious move, like an immediate recapture, a player interposes a move (like a check, I guess) to achieve a favorable objective.
Castling. A king + rook move to achieve a safe haven for the king. Of course, so many rules about castling, again out of scope of this discussion.

Q.10. (3) Reti's Opening. Well, actually, the answer is simplistic. The Reti is completely characterized by the first 3 moves, 1.Nf3 2.c5 and 3.g3. The first move can actually transpose into many other openings, including the English or even the Ruy Lopez.
Discussing these openings will mean I will have to write a book. But, if you find chess openings boring, read up on the King's Gambit :)

Well, sorry if I bored many of you with this technical ramble, but I had lots of fun. If any of you found it interesting, sure, anytime!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So Not DazedandConfused

Malli Mastan Babu (IIM Calcutta, Class of 2004) has summited Mt. Aconcagua (again), the highest peak in South America (6962 m), on Feb 17, Fri at 3.30 PM. He aims to be the first Indian to summit the seven highest peaks in seven continents and the fastest in the world to achieve the same. He has summited Vinson Massif (Antarctica) on Jan 19, 2006. He plans to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro next and will soon leave for Tanzania. By June, if everything goes well, he will be the FIRST and the FASTEST!

More about Malli at this slightly dated

My best wishes to you, Malli!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This Past Week

Couple of funny things that I read about or heard this week had me laughing out really loud.
The first was about Abhijit Sawant announcing that he was going to release his autobiography. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Prashant Publications is going to release it. I was thinking that there could be three kind of stupid people in the world. One, who write autobiographies at the age of 17, two, people who publish it, and three, who read it. But then I thought, if there were enough stupid people of the third kind, that would actually make people of the second kind quite smart and people of the first kind would then be stupid NOT to write an autobiography.
Hmmm...Anyway, I think there should be a law preventing people who don't hold a driving license or are not allowed to drink, legally at least, from writing autobiographies.

The second was about the story about President Bush and his retinue of 'security officers' of the four legged kind, which led to an accommodation issue at the Le Meridian in New Delhi which led to the Home Ministry officials having to step in.
I was chuckling to myself the rest of the week imagining the position the staff of the hotel found themselves in. I wonder if they received any tips from those officers, or are they lieutenants. don't get me started. Chuckle.

There was some indignation from my colleagues as well resulting from the Bush visit to ISB in Hyderabad, which is just across the road from my company. As no three wheelers were allowed in the said road from early in the morning, many of them had to make a trek to cover the last mile to office. I can empathise. Certainly, not the best of starts to a workday. Some claimed later in the day that it was all worth it as Bush announced the opening of an American Consulate in Hyderabad. You see, their trek in the morning resulted in saving the journey for millions to Chennai for their VISA interviews. Of course, karma.

Yesterday night, beer was guzzled after quite some time. Had decided to restrain myself unlike last time and was determined to keep it all in. It still ended up as quite an adventure though, as it poured and poured by the time I left. Lights also went out, it seemed, in the whole of Hyderabad. The result was yours truly, with 3 bottles of RC inside, driving an old bike in the downpour at 11 in the night with only the aid of headlights from assorted vehicles. Squinting through my wet glasses, dropped off a lucky friend at his house and somehow made it safely back home myself. Lights came on as soon as I came in. That was nice. And of course, Mom seemed to be pretty relieved.

She's been forwarding me profiles of girls from these matrimonial websites this last week. I find it all pretty irritating and asked her not to do it.

"But did you take a look at those profiles?" she asked.

"Of course not, I delete them as soon as I see the subject of the email", I lie.

And finally, am in the middle of a book written by Pankaj Mishra, "The End of Suffering". The structure of the book is unlike anything I have read before. He juxtaposes travel writing, history, philosophy and autobiography in a pretty unique way. And I agree with the review that Scotland on Sunday has on the book which says 'It is perhaps in these personal accounts where Mishra is at his best, simply because of the sheer evocative power of his language, and the land and landscape he conjures up'. Of course, am not some lit-snob so maybe am just being naive.

I have been thinking that I am leading a pretty happy life. But Mishra quotes Nietzche in a line, which made me think again,

Is my life the "cheerfulness of the slave who has nothing of consequence to be responsible for, who does not value anything in the past and future higher than the present'?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back to My Roots

Nowadays, am finding it really tough to find inspiration to blog. Not so long ago, it used to be so easy. It used to just come to me in the morning while travelling in the bus and I would get to office and put stuff down in under fifteen minutes.

It's an effort nowadays. I need a weekend and some good music to boot, to get my creative juices flowing. I was wondering why, for quite some time now without a clue. But today, I think I have found the answer.

I think it's the fault of all you creative (blogger poets) and terribly intelligent (Jessica Lal bloggers) bloggers out there who set such high standards. I just looked at my earlier posts and my latest ones. While earlier, I would happily blog about new roads in Hyderabad, strange menus in restaurants and obscure newspaper reports, my last three posts are discussing self important issues relating to my life's unfulfilled desires, national pride and my prickly ego. And all my spontaneous blog ideas are getting filtered by my new blogalter ego, which says,

"Are you really sure you want to put that up and expose yourself for the nincompoop you are?"

I am ashamed of myself for selling out. I have half a mind to delete the last three posts.

Today I had an interesting chat with Raghu, a colleague of mine. Now Raghu is also a batchmate from B School who I remember best as the CNC (thats Commander In Chief) of our hostel in the Inter-Hostel Sports meet (also known in secret circles as the World War). Now if you feel impressed or pity for him says a lot about the kind of person you are and whether we will get along if we ever meet.

But we are digressing,

"So how was your project?" I asked.

Raghu's just back from a 3 month engagement in the US.

"Screwed up man. Whole lot of escalations and issues."

He also expressed some choice adjectives for the project lead at which my ears kind of perked up.

I fished,"So what did the project manager do wrong? Just asking out of curiosity, you know, me being new in this industry and all."

He knew I was just interested to dig up some dirty gossip but even he wanted to get some off his chest. So he ranted about how the communication was poor, processes were not in place blah blah blah.

Then he added conspiratorially,

"The guy, Andy you wont believe, used to pick his nose so regularly..."

A pause. I do it sometimes myself and tried to recollect if I had done it in the last ten minutes.

"...and then, used to put the same finger in his mouth, immediately afterwards!"

"Wow!" I said in admiration.

"And he used to do this in front of the American clients in meetings!"

He was almost jumping now. I saw the old CNC in him again for a second.

This was good. I think a weight is now lifted from my chest too.