Thursday, November 22, 2007

Can't help it

I can't help it. I deliberately do not want to write on cricket as my blog will look full of cricket posts. But Indian cricket board and its management committee think otherwise. And hence, here I am ranting about our cricket board. And as for the title, I did not want the reader to know that it is a post on cricket from the title. Thats' it.
Indian team for the tests came as a big shocker to me. How could they leave out a player like Yuvraj Singh who is in the form of his life. After a series winning performances in the T20 world cup and the Pakistan series where he dominated in all games, how could one leave him out of the test side ? Some argue that he is not a "Test Player". My question to them is why do you brand players? Everyone is playing cricket and it is just about adapting to the situation whether it be tests, one days or T20s. There are moments in test cricket where you need to go out and attack the opponent and there are times when you play literally on back foot in a one day game. Then why this branding like Test player and one day player. The next argument I want to put is we all admire Aussies as champions ( leaving out the sledging and stuff) . If you want to be champions we should start thinking like one first. They don't brand their players like one day players and test players and as a result they have got a match winning batsman in Adam Gilchrist who is equally good in all the forms of game. According to me Yuvraj is better than Gilchrist as a " test batsman" . Then why not give him a chance.
One side they showed signs of "moving ahead" by dropping Dravid ( Though I was not in favor of that as well) and the other side they are taking a step back by choosing a so called typical test team. Hope they show some consistency in their errors at least.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 Music everywhere

Have you ever felt like making people listen to your composition? But could not find people who give honest feedback on it. Here is a site where you can share your music, rather upload it for users to listen to it and comment on it. There are groups,bands of common interests . To upload music all you need is a login account which takes 15 to 30 seconds depending on your name length and your typing speed to create. Once you are done with this, you are all set to harass people with your compositions. The look vise, a rather plain and sober pretext for such a musical site, but you won't complain as it is really fast to load. Song quality also is good. I listened to couple of songs and to tell you what, they were not at all bad. Good going guys!!

So next time you have to show up your music talent you know where to hit.

My experiements with BCB5

BCB5 didn't come to me as a surprise as did BCB4. I knew its date and venue details much ahead in time and I did register also well in advance. Saturday, the way it began I thought we would have a blast. Me(without my camera),Vijesh,Raghu,Prem,Ambuj all met up at Sony world signal and set off to be joined by Suresh in IIM-B. With audi not booked no formal announcements. It was nice innovation to have mattresses and bedsheets for "discussion" based collectives. As volunteers we helped them finish some of the chores. No card hanging around your neck this time. It were stickers. " Cheaper doesn't necessarily mean worse, Natraj". The collective which attracted me from the very time I registered, XP collective, thats where we spent our first half of Saturday. Interesting session on Agile methodology with healthy arguments from all skeptics of the model. Post lunch spent some time (though did not understand) on Ruby collective and then went on to attend the quiz screening teaming up with Raghu. Then there was an interesting arguement going on " Myths and facts about generic girls and boys". After participating in it passively we headed home. Hey! I forgot to mention, we got the T-shirts on Saturday itself. And this proved out to be a mistake on the part of organizers. Sunday morning wore a deserted look. Prem, Ambuj and Raghu from our group did not turn up. First half went for a session on Indic languages and how to use them for various purposes on computer. Though I don't or plan to use it in near future, it was a good session. And hey, were wait listed for quiz finals.Afternoon attended a session on a news site, a nice news site which localizes your news contents . After that we did participate in quiz finals.(Raghu came all the way for this). Lets not discuss the results of it here. Then headed back home.
If compared with BCB4, personally i learnt more or rather it evoked the thirst for knowing a lot of things in me, but overall I think the absence of audi and the absence of crowd on Sunday proved out to be spoilsports.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bangalore Traffic and Diwali

I have experienced it for 3 years. The mad rush of Bangalore traffic on the eve of diwali to reach majestic/station (both are adjacent to each other in case you do not know). This year it began as a different experience for me. First and foremost, no rush in 171 bus from Koramangala stop. So here I was seated comfortably in the bus. Surprise no.1 : Shanti nagar depot having some buses going out to various places. Instant reaction from my brain: Good! They have done their home work well. Surprise no.2: Not much of traffic after corporation circle. Usually this is the place where the whole thing comes to a stop and people walk to bus stand/station during diwali break.
Surprise no.3: I reached majestic in 1 hour time which is a normal duration for Bangalore. Surprise no.4 : By the time I reached my bus platform my bus number was already marked on the list. I was very happy and elated on all this. Thinking that Bangalore has found an answer for the mad rush. The next surprise, told me the truth. Conductor was shouting "Chennai ,Chennai." Thats when I realised, seats in the bus were vacant. Which meant today was not the diwali eve which Bangalore is famous for. Diwali had begun one day earlier for me. And hence without a traffic blast.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Om Shanti Om can be missed

What happens when you buy a cheap canvas and in your efforts to show it as beautiful you paint it all with the most expensive colours of the world? The result is a movie like Om Shanti Om. The colors added are reincarnation , story of a ghost, a half baked love story,mother sentiment blah bhah blah. But, the basic problem of Om Shanti Om is it has nothing new to offer. No story. Funny moments here and there can't compensate for the story. Roping in all the stars of bollywood also can't.
Shahrukh Khan hams all the way in the movie like never before. Deepika is ok. Shreyas Talpade is wasted. I wonder what he saw in this movie. Arjun Rampal is the only performance which stands out. It claims to be a humorous movie. If that is the kind of humor one wants, one can rather watch MTV spoofs on movies. It is no different than that.
Music comes as a saving grace for the film which is well shot as well.
Watch it only if you are a hardcore Shahrukh fan .

Friday, November 2, 2007

My happiest day in Life: A personal diary: Part 1

A very common question one asks is which is your happiest moment in life. Well, even thought no one has asked it here, I would still like to draft this for my own sake.

After missing out on couple of occasions TCS and e-Funds, I was really depressed as far as the placement scenario was concerned. I had started concentrating on CAT as it looked like that was the last resort available. Came 25th September 2003, a day when my life was going to change. Previous day eve my placement rep told IBM has opened for us. With a single eve and a company of IBM's stature I never thought I had a chance. Unusually I slept early that day at 10 pm , to wake up and go for the written exam. Written exam was a usual affair for me. 20 questions on general aptitude and 20 questions on computers. Aptitude questions I not only managed to do it but to cross check it a couple of times. But computer questions, all were kind of bouncers. Come on guys!! only 1 bouncer allowed per over but 20 of them.. back to back... too much... mudiyalai... in vadivelu style. With no hopes of getting selected I continued with the normal life, went for lunch and after that went to hear the results out. And I was one among the 47 selected. 2 from my class. Later came to know the cutt off had been 20 and I had scored 21.

Then, began the preparation for the interview. Unexpected selection meant I was not at all prepared. Luckily, Sundaram Claytons was knocking the doors the next day, off -campus at PSG Tech, so had a shirt and a pant in place. Otherwise I would have been in deep soup, b'cos of my body stature. :)

Somehow collected the rest of it and got ready . Interview was scheduled at 6.30 PM but even a duffer could tell that it will be much later than that. Interviewers asking for the syllabus book started giving me goose bumps. Hence, began my preparation, ( lasted for about an hour only) where I was reading through my own syllabus book and making sure I know to speak on each word mentioned there.

I made sure my freshness was confined to my room till it is time for the interview. My friend went to the interview room and was monitoring. Once my turn came, he came and called me and I was set to what happened to be my last placement interview of life.

As this post is getting unusually big, I will post this in parts. So watch out for Part 2.

My Happiest moment in Life : A personal Diary: Part 2

Our calculation was on target and within 30 mins of me reaching there I was given a call to enter into the interview room. It was a 1-1 interview and one Sridhar was there to decide my fate. I was wearing my fav. sky blue shirt , new one ( wore only for the 2 previous interviews) and a cream color pant, a rather unusual combination, thats what everyone thought. But the black pant had been not so lucky for me. I had decided to take the interview my way and the first question" Tell me about yourself" just made things easier for me. After the initial braggings about education and all I went to my favorite topic of paper presentation in IIT Delhi and ended there for Sridhar to pick from there . I was lucky for this trick to work out and hence, began my explanation of my paper where I was in full form.(must be, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog)

On software and languages side, I played safe this time saying I do not know any of them. After about 20 minutes of mostly me talking and he listening he seemed impressed and told me to go on for the HR interview , which meant that I had cleared the "technical" interview. Officially I was informed that I had cleared outside by another gentleman from IBM whose name I did not know. Then after waiting for around 30 mins , I was called for the HR interview, there a very stern Balasubramanian was waiting for me. I tried to be as friendly as possible with him. But he was all the same. He asked " you look tired. It is a long time for you". I replied back " It is the same for you sir" . Then began my HR interview. I had questions on my role model which I had put as the Australian Cricket team of 2003. I had questions on 5 uses of pen apart from writing. Again I tried to use my sense of humour to lighten the mood but to no avail. I had questions on my career ambitions and where do I see myself after 5 years. This is where I thought I had blew if off yet again. I replied back " I do not set myself any goals in terms of position and money. I just want to grow with the company. I will look for challenges at every juncture". To which the question was " What if there are no challenges?". A very tricky one indeed. I tried to manage it with some excuses like I will ask for challenging role and that I will fight for it . He was stern on his stand that there are no challenges. The million dollar question. I played a gamble. I replied " In that case I will quit IBM and look for somewhere else sir". His reaction did not tell me anything. He was a thorough professional. On that note my HR interview was also over after 20-25 minutes of what I will say grilling.

Then it was a wait forever, for the results to come. After interviewing full 47 short listed candidates which went on till about 12 midnight, results were finally announced t 1.40 am. All of us, including friends of those who attended waited with out heart in our mouth. Finally , the HR came out with a list. He announced that they had selected 19 of us. Good news! I thought. Then he began announcing the names. And my classmate's name came . I thought I had screwed it up again based on our logic of only one production guy being selected among every two. But still I was praying and waiting. 16th name was announced " Natraj M" and here I was.... Didn't know how to celebrate I just did a punch in air and then ran out. Followed by our class PRs and other friends who were all happy as we had 2 on 2 in IBM. The late night call to my parents by my friend will not be forgotten by them for the lifetime , I am sure. Rest of the night was spent talking and trying to digest the truth. The truth that I had got placed in IBM. And I spent another sleepless night.

Bangalore : Rediscovered!

On Rajyotsava day, I was served with true delicacy of the real Bangalore and its life. I went for a quiz to Malleswaram, the area which supposed to be the older Bangalore (I would say the truer one ). It had a typical small city feeling about it. No big flats, No big malls, not every third restaurant was a place where you burn half of your day's pay for a meal,(there were not much of hotels also), not a place where every guy and girl dress as if they are going to de-throne Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai respectively, not every 9 in 10 people on streets where 20 something's and the best of it a smoother and better traffic . It was the older and the traditional Bangalore at display. A nice place for dinner, New Krishna Bhawan , a place established since 1954 , where you can find all Mangalore style dosas and stuff, which you won't find in any other part of Bangalore. But as soon as I finished my dinner and went on to catch an auto, I was brought to the reality that I am still in Bangalore when more than half a dozen autowallas refused to come to Majestic. Once I reached Majestic, I was completely brought back to reality , mad rush, mad traffic blah blah blah... all which have now become a part and parcel of Bangalore life.