Archive for October, 2005

I’ve lived in Pune all my life, and to tell you honestly, I wouldn’t probably want to live anywhere else …
But of late, there have been a few things, really hurting, which I wanted to yell about.

I don’t know if this is happening in other parts of the country, but it shouldn’t generally happen anywhere at all.
Anyways, here are a few things which really hurt and I have no idea how I could help to fix.

1. Pathetic Roads
When the it rained recently, all the roads got completely damaged.
I mean – the roads were so bad, and nothing was being done about them … that someone actually came up with an online petition which was the number 1 active online petition till some weeks ago.

Even now, the roads are pretty bad and if you get out of your house, you are sure to face the brunt.

There is a road behind residency club ( which I have also written previously about ) in which people come to one of the ends.
Stop their bikes or cars, get off, observe the stretch, go back to their bikes / cars, turn around and take the longer route.
The Pune Police has actually barricaded the stretch of road to deter adventurous people from venturing there.

It’s already a month since the last of the rains and still most of the roads have not been fixed. Going at more than 40 km/hr for more than 2 min at a stretch is next to impossible and even trying to go above 50 km/hr anywhere is plain suicidal.

2. The Public Transportation System
In Pune, this equals to nothing but the PMT ( Pune Municipal Transport ) buses.
Everytime I go to college in the morning and see the scores of hapless people waiting at the bus stop, and hundreds of people hanging out of the bus, I thank my stars that I have a bike and don’t have to depend on the crappy system.

Everytime I see people hanging from the buses, and by hanging I mean – atleast 7 people hanging from the bus, I feel this blinding rage at the apathy of the PMT and PMC.

The true story goes that, sometime ago, there were the six seater rickshaws which would ply through most of Pune.
They were not allowed to move in as many places as the PMT buses were, but they covered a major chunk of Pune.
Of course, they were rash drivers and would stuff 8 people in places meant for 6 … but they were a blessing.
You could walk out of your house and be certain of catching a six seater within 5 minutes.
They stopped everywhere, and their sheer frequency was such a boon.

Anyways, naturally people preferred them, rather than waiting for the buses.
So, PMT went into loses and they got an order passed via the PMC, banishing the six seaters to the outskirts of Pune.
Their reason – six seaters cause too much pollution.

Later, more buses were promised …
But I think its almost 5 years now, and nothing has changed except the number of commuters.

All the people who switched over to using the public transportation system ( six seaters ) were stranded.
It’s so sad and pathetic.

The government creating a monopoly in a market which it itself does not have the resources to satisfy the basic needs.

3. Power Crisis
I have noticed this huge crisis cropping up ever since the congress government came into power.
There hasn’t been a single day where you had 24 hours of pure unadultrated power ( electricity ).

And on top of this, the government has the audacity to offer free power to farmers.
The farmers, naturally happy at the offer, elected these people, and are now suffering the most.

All villages around Pune undergo 9 hours of power cuts everyday.
And as all election promises go, the free power deal was eventually cut off …

On top of this, the maximum revenues of the MSEB come from Pune and it has always gotten step motherly treatment.
With hundreds of BPOs and software companies and industries in and around Pune, needing to manage power themselves for 3 – 4 hours daily, who in their right mind would want to come here ?

4. Fuel Stations
There should be a rule made in the constitution, which makes it illegal for fuel stations to go on strikes.
It has just been happening too frequently off late here.

These people know that they can hold an entire city to ransom, just by going on an indefinite strike.

The latest thing which happened just yesterday is just short of a joke.
The Fuel distribution centers went on an indefinite strike ( which has now been called off ) because they did not want the Oil companies coming and checking the purity of the fuel they were serving.

Their argument being that the oil companies themselves send them adultrated fuel and come later to check it themselves.
What utter crass !

I don’t know, but I sincerely hope something is done.
Sell off the PMT, sell off BSNL, sell off MSEB, sell off everything that makes any difference to the life of the general populous to private companies.
Though I doubt anyone stupid enough to actually buy any of these.
Privatisation, it seems might be the only way out …

You don’t see Mumbai undergoing load shedding of 2 hours daily … do you ?


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Oral exams or vivas have always been a pain in the rear end …
And this time, all the timings been missed up …

We had one AI ( Artificial Intelligence ) Viva yesterday and have another one ( Computer Networks ) tomorrow … on a Sunday !

Apparently, all the external examiners that come to take orals for BE students are people with jobs – working in companies.

The AI orals, was basically not worth the 3 day effort of cramming the utterly useless Rich and Knigt book.
The people who wrote it should be tied to a pole and stoned ( or booked in this case ) with their own book.
And the people who recommend it to hapless students as ‘Good Reading Material’ should be tied next, and again stoned with the same book – twice over !
No matter how much I tried, could not get stuff into my head from that book.
It was a frikkin discussion, with 18th century english and language so complex, that would put Ayn Rand to shame.

Fed up, last day, picked up the AI local author textbook and went through it from page to page.
Yeah … the language was really sucky, and in the end, lots of stuff didnt make sense, but then the satisfaction of having read an entire book is nice :)
Gives you that placebo effect.

Anyways, the external examiner ( bless his heart ) was one of the chillest dudes I have come across sitting on the other side of the table, and everything went off perfectly, awesomely well …
I had friends gushing “He’s so cool ya …” all over the place :)

Now, tomorrow, on a Sunday, have to haul my ass all the way to college for the Computer Networks Orals, which many people are predicting will be doomsday for most of us.
Again, some person from the ‘Industry’ is going to pay us a visit and probably, take our case.
Make sure his wasted Sunday holiday is well spent … eheheh :)

In contrast to that very crappy Rich and Knight book, we have an excellently written network book by Tanenbaum.
Now, this fellow can write … and very well at that.
The book is peppered with all these interesting anecdotes and examples, which make all the boring stuff network stuff – more interesting …

But lifes not fair, and we dont have much time.
So, even though I’d have loved reading the entire book – no time.

So, have to sit with the text book on one hand, and make sure to read ONLY the boring part.
Sooo … anyways, me sitting here blogging with less than 18 hours to go for doomsday, I have kinda given up …

Watch this space for more news from the grave :)

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Originally uploaded by saurabhj.

Because the previous place where I posted the image went offline, and Blogger is somehow not allowing me to upload this, I have put it up on flickr and linking it back here…

Take that Bravenet and Blogger ! :)

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Some painting …

Just tried my hand at this new form of art … err … yeah .. art … :)

Did some good old mouse painting and then touched it up with flower and bubbles and other kinds of objects …

Now, to get back to studying AI :(

[ Please see above post for picture ]

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Ad – Sense …

Wanted to talk about this topic since ages … but never actually got the chance …
Anyways, now that I am totally useless with nothing better to do, wanted to take this up …

Ads … hmm …
You get all kinds of them …
And ad making is not easy …

Imagine getting your message across in less than 15 seconds … something experienced speakers cant do in hours of speech.
It is an art …

How many times have you seen an ad, and gone
“Woah … Who ever thought of that must be God Damn brilliant !”

I do all the time …

The only thing going on in India, which we can probably compare on a world level – if you really think of it, are the ad agencies …

Ofcourse, we have all these crappy, utterly disgusting ads, which make you wanna run to the sink and puke …
Like all those Fair and Lovely ads …
I really hate them !
Apart from promoting low self esteem and making women believe that no one will marry you, if you are not fair, they come up with such utter crap like the one in which a mom and her daughter keep showing 5 fingers to each other signifying that a new sachet costs only 5 bucks.
Aaaarghhh !!!
That pissing off ad ran for so long, that I swear, I could have strangled the guy who made it if I ever saw him on the streets …

And now, that they get a person like Shehnaz Hussain in the ad, who looks absolutely – horrific, their ads have reached an all new low.
I guess she looks like that due to trying out all her products on herself first …

Anyways, I dont want to talk about all these “crap, waste of air space ads” …
I want to talk about those extremely slick ones doing the rounds nowadays … which give you that big grin on your face and that “woah !” feeling …

I really, really, really love the Tata Safari Dicor ad – the one which reads “Reclaim your life”
The “I always wanted to quit on Monday mornings” line, then the guy in the suit standing alone as the sea of humanity passes him by….
The “I always wanted to ride the waves” line, and then finally the car jumping out with the musical cresendo in the background is just so brilliant !!!
These guys got everything just perfect … and I just cant get enough of it …

Come to think of it, Safari has always had very nice ads.
Remember the one with the Canoeing and the “Make your own roads” punchline ?
That was very cool for its time …

The other really good ad doing the rounds nowadays is the Bajaj Avenger – “Feel like God” ad.
That is also brilliantly done … just loved it …
The punchline comes so very nicely in the end, that you cant help grinning everytime you see that ad …

Another product, which sometime ago had excellent ads, but now they mostly suck is Pepsi.
At one particular point of time, all their ads were brilliant.
The Sumo soccer players one and then the one in which the sky diver feeds the birds some pepsi, were really good ones.
I remember skipping through channels just to catch the Sumo Wrestler ad when it was first aired.

Can’t remember it properly now, but wasn’t one of their first Indian ads – one in which Aishwarya Rai ( before she became Miss World ) asks Amir Khan for a pepsi, and he jumps around, hopping from one bus to another finally manages to get her one ?
Now, both of them have switched to Coca Cola … :p

Coca Cola, in comparison, always had bad ads …
They weren’t any smart, but always piggybacked on the star power of Amir Khan and whichever people they could hire …
Their only catchy ads were about the Amir Khan one in which he pulls out bottles of coke from the well …

The only other cool ad which comes to mind, even though it gets bugging after a while was the close up one – “Kya aap close up karte hai ?” ad.
It was so different that it had to work.

And lastly, the Pulsar stunt ad, which these 2 bikers show off on Pulsars on a bridge was too slick to be an indian ad.
Very nicely done …

One thing I would really want to do is be part of the creative team which comes up with the Safari or the Avenger or the Pulsar ads …

So, incase you have unlimited resources, and are in need of a damn good ad idea, look me up :)
I shall be happy to provide you with my creative insights …

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I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

I believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold

I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity

I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye

– Savage Garden, Affirmation, 1999

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People changing the world …

Very often, something happens that makes you stop in your tracks and thank God, for just being alive …
It’s the stories of people … real people, standing up for what they believe in …
No matter what it takes, and what sacrifices one needs to make in order to go to sleep at night thinking that he / she has done the right thing …

One such story is of Gaurav Sabnis … a name which people will remember for a long time to come.

What it takes for one man to stand against a large, corporate organisation, with fancy lawyers and in the end, come out on tops …

Read the stories out here … and please follow each of the links in order …
And follow the relevant links inside each of the 4 posts …

Post 1
Post 2
Post 3
Post 4

And the actual blog of Gaurav Sabnis here.

Kudos to you Gaurav.
It’s people like you which make the world a place worth living …

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