We were being distributed Sodexho meal vouchers today and as usual there was a pretty long queue. The room is right at the start of a long corridor, next to the entrance of the corridor. The line snaked out from the room and was continually being added to by people who were stepping in through the corridor's entry and so kept growing longer till it was half inside the corridor and half outside.

This wouldn't be such a problem if it wasn't compounded by the fact that the door wouldn't stay open and the ones at the entrance had to hold it in place. The situation was further worsened since the people who had collected their vouchers had to pass out through the same door.

The situation could have been easily improved by queuing up in the opposite direction i.e. towards the other end of the corridor which was pretty distant. I suggested this to the people ahead of me and got the response, 'Oh sure! You go ahead and queue up that way! We'll stand right here! Ha-ha!' O..k. And this helps matters how? Are you stupid? Are you mentally challenged? Are you actually something that looks human but has the intelligence slightly lower than a lump of mud?

Anyway, I did just that. I stepped out of the line and went and stood on the other side. More snickering. 'So you're out of the queue now?' No, you stupid consumer of precious oxygen that would have been put to better use even if only by supporting combustion somewhere, I'm still in the queue. Only, you in your infinite stubborn idiocy refuse to help improve things by thinking a little differently.

How can people be so stupid? Would it hurt anyone to stand that way? Would they get their vouchers any sooner by cramping themselves and contorting into weird postures so they could be either in or out but not bang in the middle of the doorway? Would it be too much to ask to queue up in an orderly way and wait for their turn which is going to come anyway? Maybe it's because we have to struggle for everything everywhere, fight for what should be ours by right. But these are computer professionals ( ostensibly ); they are supposed to be intelligent and be able to think along different directions and come up with efficient solutions to problems. Not behave like brain-dead zombies shuffling along aimlessly towards the point of distribution, blindly following the person ahead of them.

That's another thing I hate: when people shuffle about in a queue; taking little steps and moving ahead half a centimeter at a time. And if you happen to be the ( rare ) person who actually does more with his/ her brain than generate heat, and you hold your ground until such a time when the distance between you and the person ahead of you is actually enough to justify taking a step forward; you will soon find yourself being elbowed and poked in the back and sometimes, literally being stepped into, by the jerk behind you, whose sole function in life seems to be nothing more than to consume food and produce fertilizer ( and, if you're unlucky enough, a rather pungent body odour that they do their best to bring to your notice by holding their arms up right beside your face ). If only they'd use that "drive" for something more constructive. If only they'd pay attention and realize that there is simply nothing to be gained from this behaviour; it doesn't help them, it doesn't help others, ahead or behind them. It doesn't make the line move faster and it doesn't get them more of whatever it is that is being distributed. It simply serves to irritate the hell out of everyone.

It reminds me of this story I'd read once, about a fly that gets trapped in a room. It spots a window and tries to fly out but the window was closed and it keeps smashing against the glass but that doesn't deter it. With heroic obstinacy and stubbornness and self-will, it keeps at it. Until it succumbs to its injuries. It was so focussed on getting out that it didn't notice that right next to that window that was tightly shut, was an open door with freedom beyond. I wonder how many of these dribbling fools will ever notice the door.

Power Cuts

After a couple of weeks of pleasant weather it's been getting quite warm here again. And to add to the suffering, there are frequent power cuts and low water pressure. Usually it doesn't matter much to me since I'm at office all day in air-conditioned comfort and by the time I'm back home, it's dark.

But today, a Sunday, was quite bad. The humidity's been on a rise and that makes the heat oppressive; the cooler's pretty much ineffective. Not that I had much opportunity to use it, given the length and frequency of power cuts.

The day started off with me waking up sweating since there was no electricity. Alright, fine. It was expected, kind of. So I decided to go about and finish off my chores and wait for it to be back. It did come back, after 5 hours, for about a minute! Then it was gone again, leaving me all the worse off after experiencing the somatic and psychological relief of the fan circulating some air in the room. It came back a while later but this was followed by yet another 2 hour power cut!

I'm seriously considering keeping a sleeping bag in my cubicle at work and gradually moving all my essential stuff over. I'd have an AC, a net connection and most importantly, uninterrupted power to run all that! What else could I want?

Segregation Of The Sexes

Two co-ed Mumbai schools, Vibgyor School and Jamnabai Nursery School have banned girls and boys from touching or hugging members of the opposite sex in school premises ( June 14th, 2007 )in order to 'discipline' students who, according to the school authorities, are exposed to and easily influenced by violence and vulgarity on TV and other media. I really don't see how this helps.

Why remain co-ed if you're going to segregate the students? And more importantly, how does this serve any purpose? The kids are going to find ways to meet and have 'physical contact' outside of school anyway. The whole point of having co-eds is to bring up the children in healthy, natural environment; to have them learn how to interact and behave with opposite sex. It's not like when they get out of school ( or even while in school ) they're going to be able to avoid contact with members of the other gender.

It's no wonder our society turns out twisted, perverted males whose perception of women is shaped by the way they are portrayed on television and other media. What stops them from seeing them, not as individuals and equals, but as objects of desire and weaker beings to be exploited and abused? By stopping healthy interaction, aren't they stopping the learning process? You only have to login to a networking site like Orkut to see how totally desperate guys are to 'have friendship' [sic] with random girls and how they seem to emulate what they watch in movies; singing out songs in classes in a completely misguided attempt to woo girls. Listen to the talk in a boys' hostel and you'd have a fair idea what most males in the country think on the subject of women.

And women don't fare much better either. Many young girls seem almost physically uncomfortable in the presence of boys. They don't want to talk to them and certainly don't want any physical contact; not even, say, handing over a pen. And perhaps, it makes them more susceptible to being submissive and to tolerating abuse when they should stand up for themselves. They end up having weird ideas about life too. When I joined my company, we went through a little induction programme, as a part of which, we had to make a little presentation on any topic of our choice.

This young lady, fresh out of college with an engineering degree, dressed fashionably, speaking fairly well, spoke about 'The Requirement For Polygamy And Why It Should Be Legal'. More, allowing a man to have many wives ( technically, this is polygyny ). Now, I have no problems with polygamy if all the involved parties are fine with it ( assuming of course, polyandry is given equal importance ). But the reasons she came up with were a little disturbing, to say the least. She said that if a man were to remain unmarried, everything was fine and dandy. But if a woman were to be without a spouse, her life was a failure. And since there weren't enough men to go around, multiple wives who would share a husband was the only answer.

Really? This girl was at the threshold of her career, educated to a graduate level, placed with an MNC, and her views on the requirement of marriage were, medieval at best. If this isn't a clear example of how denying healthy childhood interaction between the sexes and filling up children's heads with nonsense distorts the youth's perception, then I don't know what is.

By banning physical contact on the premises, the school isn't stopping them from knowing about much more than just holding hands. Everything is now readily accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. And children are much better with computers than most adults are anyway.

And finally, how long has it been since these people were kids themselves? Don't they remember anything? Since when did children start doing what the adults told them? Isn't adolescence the age of rebellion and defiance? Just the opportunity to break the rules will be reason enough.

Posts on other blogs:


I own it! The it in question being the domain name 'nogoodatcoding.com'. I bought it yesterday and I've been fooling around with ever since. It's made me aware of a whole new dimension to the Internet. I'm still in the process of setting stuff up and so I guess I'll be a little busy for a while...which means no long, drawn-out posts :D

I have managed to publish both my blogs to custom domains using the feature offered by Blogger. There will be a few hiccups though; notably with images loading. I've also noticed that if you type in the blog's original, blogspot name with a 'www.' prefixed, it doesn't redirect to the custom domain.

Also, the blogs may simply not be available as the propagation of the changes across the DNS over the Internet takes some time; most sites I've seen say 24-48 hours, a couple stated up to 72 hours. Though I've already checked that a few people can already access these, it may still take sometime. Actually, if you're reading this, it's already happened; and if you weren't, well, then you wouldn't have known what was happening. :D

I think this post is getting close enough to being drawn-out now; and my domain settings beckon!


There's been a heat wave here in Northern India for the past week or so. It's been bad. Really bad. The maximum temperature recorded at Delhi on Saturday at 45 °C almost broke the June 1945 record of 46.7 °C. It was predicted that Sunday would be worse at around 46 deg. Some weather sites even predicted a maximum of 48 °C! Thankfully, that didn't come to pass and the temperatures seem to have stabilized now.

If you haven't been in these temperatures, then it's hard to imagine how bad it can. The heat just saps you of all energy. You’re drenched with sweat all day. It's too hot to even eat. You just don't feel like doing anything at all but sleep isn't an option because the touch of the warm sheets makes you feel even worse. Even a bath brings no relief; the water at 0600 in the morning felt as though it had been heated.

With such high temperatures, it's hard to imagine why anyone who has access to an AC and a fridge would not make full use of it. I imagine one would be hard-pressed to make them see the importance of saving power and making do with traditional methods of keeping cool and do their bit to save the environment. But I think it is these very sacrifices that can ultimately tip the balance in the fight against global warming.

Anyone who doubts the seriousness of global warming and thinks that it's all a big conspiracy should spend sometime in this blistering weather that seems to be here to stay, and give it second thought.

I've been ranting about the heat. But I spend almost all day in an air-conditioned office and only a few hours facing the wrath of the weather. I shudder to think how those who aren't as fortunate as us cope. The ones who contribute almost nothing to the decline of our ecosystems but bear the brunt of the aftereffects.


Shaking hands is such a common act; we all do it often enough everyday. And yet, it's so hard to get right. It's an important part of your body language and it's supposed to show what kind of a person you are.

I always wonder, after every handshake, if I did it properly; if it portrayed the right ( or at least, a good ) picture of me. Was it too limp? Too firm? Too short? Too long? Too damp? Too rough? And shaking hands with members of the opposite sex ( read women ) is cause for even more anxiety; you don't want to crush her hand in a seeming display of your testosterone driven virility but neither do you want your hand to lay like a limp, dead fish in hers.

And just how many times do you shake? Twice is how much I tend to; though it seems just a wee bit short but then 3 seem too many! And I get really conscious if the shake goes on longer than 3. Some people just don't seem to let go ( read men )! They shake a couple of times...and then just hang on! It's just weird! I mean, the guy meets me, shakes my hand and starts talking about something and I'm not paying attention because, all the while in my head, I'm thinking, 'Umm. Hello? Can you let go, please? Right about now would be nice, thank you. I'd like my hand back dude!'. It makes me feel like one of those pairs of guys you see walking on the road, hand-in-hand. It's just such an un-manly thing to do! Not that I'm all into macho-posturing or against homosexuality. But that hand-in-hand walk is just so, girlie. It is. Really.

There's also thing I have about offering my hand first; I don't. I'm not quite sure why but I think it stems from the fear of rejection; I don't want the person to ignore my offer. But that often leads to situations where we're both clearly wondering if one of us will take the initiative and offer a shake but ultimately neither of us does. It gets a little awkward. Not quite as much as when someone offers a hand and the other person, quite innocently and with no malicious forethought, misses the gesture and then, does a double take on realizing what happened and tries to shake except now the first person isn't paying attention anymore. You get the idea.

But nothing can quite beat the weirdness having your hand shaken when you're not expecting it to be. My friend and I were walking out of our hostel when we met the warden walking in the opposite direction. We stopped and greeted him. He nodded and stuck his hand out pointing back towards the way we had come ( apparently he was about to mouth some sort of a question ); a gesture which I mistook for an invitation to shake hands and so, I grabbed his outstretched palm with great gusto and gave it a couple of shakes. He could only nod in his flabbergasted astonishment at being caught unawares and wonder silently, just what the hell was wrong with me!

Laptop Woes

I finally got my precious laptop back from the service center yesterday; after an agonizing wait of a week. But wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me take you back to when it all began.

A couple of months back, the LCD panel on my laptop went dark. Turned out that the backlight had gone kaput and so it needed to be replaced. Luckily, I'd extended the warranty on my machine and so it was completely covered. I went over to the service center and got it looked over and placed an order for the new screen.

After about 3 days they called and told me I could come get it changed. So I went over, got the screen replaced and headed back home. At home I realized, to my horror, they had given me a standard, matte-finish screen and not the BrightView that I had had. So I called them and the guy was a little suspicious. I think he thought I was trying to get an upgrade for free. I told him that he still had my old screen and could check it out. So they placed an order for the new screen and I went and got the correct one this time.

After about a few weeks, the newly replaced screen started flickering. I went back to them and they kept the laptop under observation for a day and then got back to me and told me that this screen would also need to be replaced. Sigh! So I waited for a couple of days while they got the replacement and went back again to get it changed. Except, this time, they were sent the wrong part! And they didn't know when they told me to come over because they only opened it once I got there! Another 3 day wait followed before I, once again, reached the service center.

This screen lasted a fair bit lesser than the previous one; it started blanking out when I opened or closed the lid. To make things worse, my DVD writer seemed to be not burning DVDs. I tried out 4 DVDs before I decided it wasn't the software ( I'd recently reinstalled Windows ) and took it over to them to get it checked out.

They kept it under observation ( yes, again! ) for another day and then called me to say that the motherboard and the DVD writer would be replaced. I was thanking my stars I spent the extra 7k on the warranty! Finally, the parts arrived and I went over to get my laptop. I hurried back home so I could finally get back online after a week of forced abstinence.

About 15 minutes into surfing, the machine just powered off. Just like that. It didn't shutdown or anything. It just turned off. I turned it on again and this time within about 10 minutes, it did the same thing. I'd faced something similar with my desktop about a year back; the heat sink’s vents had been totally clogged with dust and the processor would overheat and just switch off. I suspected it was the same thing and so, downloaded SpeedFan, a nifty little utility, to track the temperature.

Sure enough, it started off alright, and then steadily climbed higher and higher till the machine powered off. Completely crushed, I took it back the next day, expecting them to order yet another set of parts. They kept it for observation but said I would probably be able to take it back that evening. So I waited. Evening came and I called them. They said it was fine and I could collect it. So I rushed right over and the technician told me that there had been dust in the heat sink and that he'd cleaned it up properly so there shouldn't be a problem anymore.

I took it back home and, well, it's still here :D So I guess all's well that ends well. Though, it wasn't, so bad without it. I got all my stuff done in time. And I got back to reading a few books; hadn't done any reading for a long while now. But I still missed it and the convenience and comfort of being able to sort my files and folders and just escape from the confines of reality into the limitless world of cyberspace.