Just another bunch

Come spring -
a fresh lease of green
drapes the bare branches.

The leaves, dancing and whistling
to the tunes of the wind
playing, screaming, and singing,
in each other's company, enjoying.

Singing to one another
promises of sticking together,
come what may, through it all.

The song goes on,
but the count goes down,
not noticed or just unacknowledged,
first by one and then by many more.

the song, still, goes on.
And the promises too, of course.
The song goes on and on and on.

Until silence falls upon, when all
of them are gone. The tree, knowing well,
watches on - it won't be long before
a new bunch springs up to sing the song.

Good, Bad or Human?

Well, this could be called a post after ages, considering that most of previous posts have just been 'news reports'. I have been wanting to make a post since long, but I probably lost it. I really am unable to write anything that I find worth posting [It does raise questions about the existence of this blog. I'm writing this, to answer that question to myself.]

This post is provoked by an act of sharing, an act of kindness, an act of goodness, that surprised me. This post isn't about the act itself, but it's about me being surprised. Why on earth should I (or anybody) be surprised, when someone is just being human? Aren't human beings meant to be and feel human?

I wonder why people say, "this is a bad, bad world." I find a lot of goodness and humanness around me. Unless I strain my memory really hard, I can only recall people who try to be as good and nice as they can be; People trying to be as human as possible. Either there's something utterly wrong with my judgment of people or there's something wrong with the general feeling that the world is a bad, bad place.

There's one other possibility that just strikes me - I am so nice to people that, everyone else tries to be nice with me. I don't think I am such a big deviation from the average. I'm just another goat, in the great herd.

And another one, I'm in a really special place, presently. I have been only to the special places. I have visited only the places that are at an extreme, far away from the 'average' place in the world. But, given I'm just another goat in the great herd, this is very unlikely. I am probably grazing at a random spot on the great grasslands.

Since these are ruled out, it boils down to either a wrong judgment or a wrong general feeling.

Coming to my judgment, I wouldn't call myself an Oracle or the wise one, but I'm no dumb ass either. Well, taking the statistical route, the number of times I've had any real "nasty" surprises in dealing with people has been much lesser than the number of times things turned out nearly as expected. My judgment could, therefore, possibly given some credibility.

So, that leaves me with just one possibility. The idea that the world is a bad, bad place is not entirely true, if not completely absurd and outright wrong. The world is really a nice place, with "human" beings inhabiting it. The nasty surprises that you get, really are the surprises and not the general rule.

To do or not to do

Achieve something, I'm often reminded,
achieve something, something that's worthwhile.
Don't just kill time, they say,
for, brutally, it shall kill you someday.

Make the best use of time, I tell myself,
for I realize, how I spend my days
is how I'm spending my life and
I'm going to get just one of it!

But, what is worthwhile, I wonder
everything seems so good one moment
and all meaning vanishes the very next.
I'm utterly confused, somebody help!

Pick one from, spoke my brother,
the 'everything' that seems good
and do it right, just, do it right!
Life, as you live through it, shall
teach you to do things that are right
and at the end of it all, you'll
never regret what you've done
but, only what you couldn't!

-—

Inspired by

  1. a late-night conversation with a friend
  2. Annie Dillard, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"

who am I?

dead and lifeless, in a box I lie
just my size, to be buried deep somewhere,
arranged with flowers, bright and fragrant
more alive than dead, are they
the final goodbye I have said,
gone am I, never to return–but
who am I, who am I, who am I?

am I –
the knowledge I arduously gained,
from all the books I read and re-read.
the wealth and riches I made,
at the cost of sweat, often also blood.
the skill with utmost care I groomed,
for that, today, has me world-renowned.
the numerous battles I braved,
where win or loss never, only a fight mattered.
all those dreams I dared to dream,
and the goals I never, or have, reached.

None of it, I realised, am I,
but, who am I, who am I, who am I
deep and loud, for one last time I wonder
"the difference, you make to the world,
is who you are", my Master answered,
"Life's fragrance is in service,
it grows and unfurls, far and wide,
long after you are lifeless and dead"

arbit blab

Well, just another post to make it clear that

  • I'm still alive
  • I haven't forgotten that I have a blog
  • I haven't forgotten my blog's password
  • I haven't lost the ability to write arbit crap.
  • I'm not busy with anything interesting
  • My Keyboard works fine

Arbit stuff going on around me off-late.

  • We've had our official farewell; So we've officially bid goodbye to B.I.T.S - Goa. People tried their best to make the occasion appear "senti" but it seemed more like "psenti" for me.
  • I wonder why our VC calls BITS as B.I.T.S; is it something similar to people choosing to call SAP as S.A.P?
  • Most of the advice given was of a copy-book style. But I liked one of them, though it wasn't expressed well enough for me - Learning from Books still remains an important way of learning, even if work teaches you a LOT.
  • College now has its own Debian Repository hosted on a server running Hardy. Hats off to bad\\_sector for showing the enthu to get things done. The LUG here's got a great bunch of people right now and its growing in leaps and bounds. I'm excited.
  • A couple of my friends picked up Debian recently and apparently both of them are loving it thoroughly. Linux, as addictive as ever.
  • It's been a while since I've been on the winning side in carroms. Its so boring to be on the losing side for so long.
  • Word is not a document exchange format1 ; Use html, plain text, pdf or the open document format.(if you are not averse to openness) [I mention this now because I faced a lot of trouble recently trying to handle some .doc files which replaced the html pages that were being used on the PS site.]
  • So often, little things get blown out of proportion, so quickly. Or its just that not everybody sees them as 'little' things.
  • On slow connections, the download 'handler' of firefox does really poorly. It's next to impossible to download anything over half an MB.
  • This from the preface of SICP2 ,a text book for an introductory course on Computer Programming at MIT

    Our design of this introductory computer-science subject reflects two major concerns. First, we want to establish the idea that a computer language is not just a way of getting a computer to perform operations but rather that it is a novel formal medium for expressing ideas about methodology. Thus, programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. Second, we believe that the essential material to be addressed by a subject at this level is not the syntax of particular programming-language constructs, nor clever algorithms for computing particular functions efficiently, nor even the mathematical analysis of algorithms and the foundations of computing, but rather the techniques used to control the intellectual complexity of large software systems.

    I would like to see a few courses developed on similar lines here.

  • Gmail themes are good. I only tried the "Terminal" theme, though. I loved it!
  • For the very first time, I upgraded a distro. I successfully moved to Intrepid from Hardy. (and that too with the campus net!) This was before the repositories had been set-up. Now, it should be a much simpler job to achieve the same
  • Just got the news of more Violence in Mumbai; What the hell do these people want? I end this post here.

Here's an xkcd strip I liked. real_programmers.png


Footnotes:

1

Word is not a document exchange format

2

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

What is... ?

This is a free world,
you are free to will and whim,
can it, at the cost of,
your brother n his freedom,be?

Life is price'less',
the big shots say, we realize.
is it why, you sell ya brethren's life,
cheaply, for personal gain?

The human'kind', we call ourselves,
aren't the rivers, the air,
the forests or our mother earth,
worthy of our acts of kindness?

We are making rapid strides,
from the micro to the nano,
is it just in sci & tech, or does
it coop in our loves and lives too?

The world's a small place,
the wise and learned say,
is that why, not all have,
a roof, under which to stay?

Its a world of press n media,
is it why we are pressed at,
with news that's dubious,
in truth and worth as well?

We are all for world peace, they say,
do you alone, make up "the world"? I ask
How else would war, uncalled for
bring about world peace?

I want my piece is all I hear.

Unchosen Choices??!

I was just wondering, a couple of nights ago, at dinner.. "When did I first decide that I would be doing Engineering?" The answer – I don't know… All I know is that, during my High schooling I was more interested in Maths and Science {Physics specially…} Then I did what most just-out-of-school kids with an interest in Math & Science do {specially in that part of the world where I live, Andhra Pradesh} Took up Math.Phys.Chem in intermediate and prepare for Engg. entrance tests alongside. After failing to get a rank that would fetch me an Engg. course in any of the IITs, I landed here..

Then the choice of discipline, that was just based on popular opinion and luck [called preferential allotment…] and I finally ended up in EEE.

But the question is when did I make that choice of becoming a so-called Engineer? Did I ever consider the alternatives and make a decision? If yes, then when?? What kind of an engineer did I choose to become? Did I make the choice of becoming an electrical engineer??

I think, I never knew what kind of an Engineer I wanted to be.[ with the knowledge of an average School pass out…, you wouldn't expect one to know all about the various fields of Engineering.] I think, I never even exactly knew [and don't do so now…], what it means to be an Engineer. An Electrical and Electronics Engineer.

But isn't it important that we the future "Engineers" of the Country, know what it means to be one and what is expected of us? Isn't that knowledge essential, for taking a decision to do engineering.. and also to make the most out of the Engineering programme?

I wonder what field {or profession or whatever you call that…} I would choose, if I were given a chance now… [i.e after a couple of years in an Engineering College…]… I wonder which discipline I would choose after getting this little insight into the various fields in Engineering… I wonder what I would choose, if I get this chance, a couple of years later… or five years later… :D

Engineering is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer's high privilege. – Herbert Hoover

What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world. – Albert Einstein

Non-e-Moments??!!

A few days back.. we [the usual gang of Ringo,9,UC,Vudum n me.. along with a lot of others who joined us later] were in the park, just relaxing and having a chat… but with the others joining us [with whom I usually don't hang around..] , the topics discussed were quite different from those that interest me…and we usually talk on.. I was getting bored.. but suddenly an interesting idea popped up… the funda of living on CS.. [though the tone in which they looked at the idea was different… I found it interesting..]

The ppl were criticizing a guy (don't wanna name him :P) {who hosted wierd maps with soccer and other such stuff in it..}.. the people were imagining wild things like.. maps in which class-notes would be read out/scrolled… maps where food items would be displayed at lunch time.. etc.. This might look like a funny and weird idea.. (that gave us all a nice laugh..) but it doesn't seem ridiculous or crazy to me.. the very fact that the idea was conceived, annihilates it ridiculousness, for me. Though such a degree of dependence (and addiction??) may be an over exaggeration but…

A walk in the hostel corridors any time during the night will tell you why i say this… I can see people in every room… (literally every one.. and mind you I am no exception to this..) stuck to their comps doing all sorts of things… [actually not a wide range.. its pretty predictable… :-(] and now after my comp's network card got burnt out (…probably… thanks to the lack of grounding in hostels) I can see it even more clearly… that computers are ruling our lives… [at this point.. I'm confused why I started writing this… what's it that's bugging me? I'm definitely not against ppl using Comps.. for I love them…]

Is it that it pains me to see people use comps for stuff that's not so technical? Does it hurt me that we have such "Powerful" machines before us.. and all we do with them is trivial things like chat with others or play? I don't think so… Yes, when I read the book Hackers:Heroes of the Computer Revolution, I felt ashamed of using my comp in a meek and powerless way… but then I realise that they were the Hackers from the Hacker land .. and everyone can't be one, can they? Then what's it, that bugs me?

I guess I miss the time we spent in the first (and a little of second) semester… when very few people had comps. We had a great time… doing other activities that were more physical… and refreshing (than sitting in front of a comp and posting this!!).. I miss those football tourneys we had in the quadrangles.. I miss those "leg" cricket matches… I long for something like the Wrestling match we [Vudum, Ravi,Thatha n me] had in my room… I miss those thermo sessions with Vudum n Ravi.. I miss the tuts in Ravi's room… (mind you we sometimes studied even when there weren't exams!!) I guess I miss a lotta things from the first sem… The time at dinner and the chats in parks, are the only things that are still intact… [ I wouldn't dare forget to mention our recent trip to the woods near the lake… it was awesome!! something that we'll all cherish for life…] I just hope we have more and more and such moments… moments that i will cherish for life… moments.. that "we" will cherish for life…

Update: I just saw Ringo's old cd of Illayaraja songs… and realised, I forgot to mention the wonderful time we [Ringo,9,Hari,UC n me..] had listening to them in Ringo's room on a CD player… and Ringo's mouthorgan!!!

Everyone hears what you say, Friends listen to what you say, Best friends listen to what you dont say. – Anon.

Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Johann Von Goethe

Andharu Mahanubhavule... Andariki Vandanamulu..

There's a post already with 'exactly' this name…. by 9… here… But this post doesn't have much to do with his post… [or may be it does??]

Here's a Quote on Mahatma Gandhi… /Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely believe that such a one, as this, ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. – Albert Einstein/

I was just wondering…. what would happen if the name Albert Einstein was replaced by punchagan… and it turned out that.. there's a huge huge list of candidates for replacing Mahatma Gandhi… [This is with due respect to the Mahatma and Einstein.. I don't, in any sense, intend to say that the Mahatma was not a Mahatma…]

All I want to say is… I am seeing a whole lot of new things, in people around me, that inspire awe and respect in me… that every person is unique… every person is special.. every person can teach you something…. there's something to learn from everyperson… that makes me believe God,truly, created man in his own image…

I am grateful to all the people around me (and those not around any more..)… who have shown, are showing, and will be showing me things bright and beautiful… wise and wonderful… which otherwise I would have failed to see..

I am grateful… for getting me back on track.. when i go directionless,.. for setting me examples to emulate,… for being with me whenever i needed and will need you…

[ I would've loved to write down each and every name here…. but that's too big a job for this little being to achieve… ]

As William Arthur Ward says….

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

To All Jaani's of the World… Thanks a Lot… (I know that's too small a word… but that's all I can give right now…)

/"God created man in His own image….  God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good."/ Gen 1:27, 31

“A friend is one with whom you are comfortable, to whom you are loyal, through whom you are blessed, and for whom you are grateful.” – William Arthur Ward

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. – Albert Schweitzer

Sometimes it not the wealth you have but what's inside you that others need. – Anonymous

Essential-Extravagance??!!

A DJ nite's going on here.. for WAVES…. I just went there for a while…. The arrangements were pretty good… with Huge huge huge spks.. [I can still hear the Music quite loud.. sitting here in my room.. which is quite a distance form the Venue…] There's real Heart throbbing music [Literally… With speakers of over 15000W your heart really throbs… dub.. dub.. dub…] being played there…

I was just wondering if we really needed such extravagant stuff… I know that such events bring ppl together… but do we need to spend so much money just to have a have a good dance with friends?? When a large number of people aren't able to get their basic neccessities like a Square Meal, Clean drinking water, proper clothing and shelter… here we are enjoying a good dance with friends… with elaborately made extravagant arrangements… [of course the money isn't ours… but…] [ I know a lot of guys wud've a lot to say against me…. but.. its ok..]

There can't be perfect equality in this world… of which duality is an integral part…. every elementary particle has a dual nature… so its but obvious that every thing in this world has a dual to it… so its not possible to have a perfect world with everybody equally placed.. if there is a rich.. then there will be a poor… if there is joy.. then there will be despair… if there is light.. then there will be darkness…

But can't we do anything… can't we spread the light to every place that we possibly could?? Can't we get together to minimize the difference? Join the race against nature… do your bit…

This, probably, is a good place to start off…