Monday Apr 21, 2014

A Note Of Gratitude

As per the Malayalam Calendar it happened to be my birth star today, and much to my surprise I got a wonderful gift from my friends from the Big Blue who have come for a training program on Solaris Cluster. The following picture will explain it all
:

The following 'file photograph' from a class conducted during the second week of March 2014 on Solaris 11 has every single individual who made my day today. I'm grateful to each of them is an understatement.


Before I leave, let me introduce to you some other friends of mine, who came for two separate batches on an OU training around Oracle VM for SPARC last week, one in Bangalore and other at Hyderabad:



Thursday Apr 28, 2011

With MySQL Batch on Birthday

The current MySQL training batch at Mumbai threw me a surprise on my DOB, today, and I'm so thankful to 'em for making my day. Many thanks to all friends for their wonderful b'day wishes.



Thank you, again

Thursday Dec 30, 2010

New Year Wishes - Year 2011

In just a few hours time, one beautiful desktop calendar that served me for the past twelve months would find its way to trash. Thankfully, my memories wouldn't go accompanying it.

For those who know me for over a year now perhaps know I show up on this 'special day' every year, where ever I'm, to remind you that you're in my thoughts and that I'm so grateful for your significant influence on my makeup. I call this a 'special day' not because any of us expect the world to be any different, when Sun rises tomorrow, but because at least some consider this to be a day to draw the curtain down on a year long episode of life and start a new one, a better one, with greater vigour. Like every year, let time tell us if we were smart enough to keep our resolutions realistic. But I do hope that we develop and maintain the will to achieve all noble goals we have in our mind for the Year 2011.

With some hours left in Year 2010, maybe, it isn't futile to quickly look back at it, cherish all great moments once again, try and absorb the events that invoked negative emotions in us and forgive ourselves for all mistakes made and figure out corrective measures to fix it. With a hope that we all turn mature enough to accept all events in life with equanimity and make necessary changes in life, if,when and wherever required, to keep ourselves reasonably happy at least most part of the year, let's get ready to welcome the Year 2011.

On a personal note, I'm grateful to have been able to maintain positive relationship with most of the people whom I knew before the beginning of Year 2010 and more so for being able to connect with some more wonderful human beings in the year that's passing by, and for the great lessons of life they made me pick up from them. Thank you! Sorry, if I didn't live up to the expectations of some. Next year, I hope to reduce the degree of separation with the world citizens even further.

Before I leave you to let you enjoy the New Year Celebrations in your own way, I want to thank you again for all your support and wish you and yours a New Year full of purpose and meaning.

Celebrate the arrival of Year 2011.

Wednesday Dec 30, 2009

New Year Wishes - Year 2010

To my ever tolerant audience, to my friends and relatives, available round the clock for valuable support and guidance, and to all those who are very close to my heart, here is a special note, exactly a day before yet another sunrise in our life that'd see us replace one more calendar with a brand new one, quite symbolic to our mind's act of replacing unfullfilled dreams and promises with new ones and to give it all a fresh beginning. Though the Nature does nothing spectacular on the day of New Year, every year, I'd wager we continue to consider the New Year to be that one special occasion when new exciting goals are set and some strong resolutions made. How far would we stretch ourselves to make our resolutions count and to achieve our goal is something that only time will tell. Nonetheless, we have every right to hope for a grand beginning to a new episode in this short journey called life. And with a mind brimming with such positive thoughts about a promising future, it is but natural for us to celebrate the moment when another New Year would march gently into our life.

Before we bid farewell to this year and welcome the New Year, it isn't inappropriate to spare some moments to reflect on the surprises - some pleasant, some shocking- that life had in store for us in the year that's passing by. Such sessions of reflection would only bring into light a common pattern in our lives: some moments of glory, some of utter misery, some exciting ones, some very depressing, some that invokes happiness and some grievous and sick. One would imagine that all such elements of emotion shall continue to show up in everyone's life and that all of us, at least on the day before another New Year in our life, spend a few minutes figuring out means that'd help us raise ourselves to a different plane enabling us to digest all ups and downs in life with equanimity, and not just hope for a New Year full of only favourable events.

Like I have written elsewhere, every time I fall into a retrospective mood, what comes to my mind instantly are memories of time spent with some good human beings and their influence in my makeup: be it my loving relatives, affectionate friends, extremely professional colleagues or cherished training participants. So on the last day of an eventful Year 2009, the least I should do to satisfy my conscience is to spend some time remembering them all, expressing my deep felt gratitude and affection. I thank God for connecting me with so many wonderful people and giving me opportunities after opportunities to learn so many valuable lessons in life. I'm hopeful, the Year 2010 would bring me many more such great 'teachers'.

Here's wishing all a very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year 2010.

Friday Dec 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday Apr 28, 2007

'Soliloquy' Released

It took me almost four long years to package the memories of my past in the form of a book. I had written about this book in the Sun Blogs sometime back. But I never thought, in any stretch of my imagination that I would be in a position to publish this book so early. And the sleepless night that I had on 22nd April 2007 was in fact the culmination of my struggle in putting the memories of my past on paper. It was tough.

I am not a professional writer and I had my own difficulties in completing this book, for there were times when I thought I ran short of words in my vocabulary to get on with this work. On the other hand, It was also my dream to pass this on to so many people close to my heart at the earliest possible time, because I wanted to tell them, through this book, how much they all meant to me. And on 22nd April this year, when I got so close to complete this work, I felt very restless to somehow finish this of. And when my colleague Sindhu offered me to help me in getting this printed in a record four hours time, I knew I was very close to fulfiling my dream of passing this over to my parents on the date of my birth; that's today. It was an emotional and memorable moment for me.



I don't think there is anything in this book for the public. Hence this is meant for private circulation only. Of course, it's not perfect; there could be mistakes in it, which I will correct in course of time.

I must not fail to mention here the fact that there were a whole lot of people including my relatives, friends and colleagues, who encouraged me in this whole process and helped me directly or indirectly to make this happen. I take this moment to thank them all for their valuable suggestions, support, advice and encouragement.

It's one of the wonderful birthdays that I have ever had.

Sunday Apr 22, 2007

A Sleepless Night

I thought of taking some rest during this weekend, but didn't happen. No regrets though. Tonight, I am doing something that I have been trying to do over the last couple of years. I wouldn't want to detail anything about that now. Time is not suitable for that. And I wouldn't sleep until I complete my job. Perhaps I may not get any sleep tonight. But that's okay as I have no class the coming week. I will talk about what I am doing now later, may be another few days later. This may turn out to be a remarkable day in my life, when I would achieve a milestone in my personal life, subject to the completion of what I am doing now. Hence I pictured this moment myself.

The week passed by I completed a workshop on JES and a course on Sun Java System Directory Server 5.x: Maintanance and Operations. It was a difficult week for me as I was just recovering from Laryngitis. But I believe I managed to ensure that the bunch of people in the picture below, who flew from various parts of this country for this training program carried back with them a fair amount of knowledge on the JES and Sun Java System Directory Server 5.2. All thanks to them for their understanding and more so for their cooperation and active participation.



Good luck guys and have a great week ahead:)

Monday Apr 16, 2007

Duty Calls for Disobedience

For the last three days I have been doing continuous steam inhalation and taking in the Novamox (Never take medicine without the advice of a doctor) capsules three times a day. My situation is slightly better now. My doctor had advised me absolute voice rest for a week, which unfortunately is not possible in my case. I am going to speak again today, but this time the audience seems to be smaller in number. The doctor had warned me about a possibility of my blood vessels rupturing in the event of putting too much of strain while speaking, which would then take a longer time to heal. I can only hope that such a situation does not occur. In the interest of my duty that I love the most, I am going to disobey my doctor. But I shall try my best to speak soft all through this week. Let's see how it goes. Good week ahead to all you.

Sunday Apr 15, 2007

Happy Vishu

Wishing you all a very happy Vishu.

Sunday Apr 08, 2007

Down Memory Lane

A long weekend is coming to an end and tomorrow the normal office activities would resume. I wouldn't offer you a prize if you would guess about my journey homeward this weekend, for if you are one among those who have known me for a while or have occasionally hit the writings on this location in the past, then you would know how frequently do I journey home, especially if the weekends are longer than usual. Tomorrow, I have a class on Solaris 10 , and to ensure that the weariness of an overnight journey does not show up in me while facing the audience, I decided against my usual Sunday night bus ride from Kochi to Bangalore and hit Bangalore early this morning instead. That's again one day earlier than usual.

It is vacation time for all school going children and I have a few cousins who belong to that category. Needless to mention, it was fun being with them while at home. While being with them, talking to them and taking them to the backyard of my house, the fond memories of my summer vacations surfaced out in my mind, convincing me, for the umpteenth time, that those were undoubtedly the most carefree days of one's life. My father has managed to plant varieties of plants and trees in our premises and most of them have now grown big. I walked around my premises, into the backyard, escorted by my younger cousins, capturing photographs of some of those fruits that we used to have in plenty during our school days. And in those days, I could climb on a few of those trees, an adventure that is no longer there in my agenda for obvious reasons.

If you have a few moments to spare, then let's take a short walk in my premises.

The fruit in picture is Rose Apple. I figured out the proper English term for this fruit only after spending a considerable amount of time searching the Internet. And in the process, I came across a web log, where the author has expressed similar sentiments through her writing. You may kindly read her blog here. It is really good to munch on one of these because it is really sweet.

As mentioned earlier, I had no intention to revisit my school days to such an extent as to climb up the trees to gather the fruits. That decision, however, did not give me the luxury of having a clear view of the guavas located on the top branches of the guava trees in my premises. The lone member in the tree to the right of this text was the only one at a shorter height. There are different kinds of this fruit available and is supposedly very good for health.

Moving a little bit more into the backyard, you would hit a number of Jackfruit trees. The word 'jackfruit,' I read, derives from the Portuguese jaca, which in turn is derived from the Malayalam word chakka. Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines. It can be eaten unripe (young) or ripe, and cooked or uncooked. The seeds can also be used in certain recipes. Chips made out of this is very popular in Kerala.

Mangoes grow in plenty at our place and stands as one of the most preferred fruits by all of us, mainly because it is so plentiful that you could be standing on the ground and yet be able to reach up and grab a few of them at a stretch. Its popularity can also be attributed to its wide range of usage as food. Again, there are different types of them available within our premise and I must thank my father for nurturing them so carefully.

I don't know Premnath. But without the help of his blog I would have had to spent a lot of time identitifying the right English word for the fruit that you see on the picture alongside this text. I like the look of Bilimbi fruit, but it's sour in taste. May be, you will see a clearer photograph of it here.

We do have a small plantain garden in our premises and it's a good place to spend some solitary sessions. The one plantain tree on the picture here bent itself at an angle good enough for me to get a decent view of the banana flower.

I am regarded as a good walker. But today, this short stroll, taking you around in my premise has taxed a bit on me and I am feeling slightly tired. May be it's because my mind traveled a long way into my past, bringing back the vivid pictures of the memories of my childhood days, when I seemed to have been a little bit more in tune with the Nature than what I am in the current phase of my life.

Wednesday Jan 10, 2007

Apple iPhone is out

Planning to buy a new mobile phone, a new ipod and a new Internet device? Well, consider this amazing device launched by Apple . I read more about this gizmo here. I am going to leave you with this short note to find out if I have enough money in hand to acquire this lovely device:) To folks at Apple, I have only this to say: fantastic.

Thursday Jan 04, 2007

A Movie Worth Watching

Elsewhere in this blog, I have expressed my disappointment on the quality of movies that come out these days. Recently, I happened to see a Spike Lee movie titled The Inside Man. All I can say is: for a change, this one's worth the money. So go ahead and watch it.

Saturday Dec 30, 2006

Happy New Year

As we prepare ourselves to welcome a New Year, it may well be the right time to take a stock of all that this wonderful life had to offer us during the year that's passing by. In retrospection, I feel immensely satisfied to have been able to seize several opportunities to be a part and parcel of various events that in some way or the other brought us together and connected us. I'm dominated by a sense of gratitude towards that unseen force, from where the scheme of life originates, to have presented me with so many opportunities in life. In the process, the subtle lessons of life that I could learn was indeed a bonus. And at this juncture, when one more year and its events, both joyous and grievous, would become a part of our memory, I would wish to extend my thanks to each one of you for all good moments that you shared with me and also for several lessons that you taught me in this eventful journey of life, which I shall surely cherish for the rest of my life.

When this year would meet the next one, you wouldn't certainly spot me partying around, for that's not really in my nature for sure; I would rather position myself in a corner of my room and sit with a strong wish to be a part of a New Year full of promises and devoid of any disturbing event. Well, that's just a hope; and life rests solely on such hopes.

May the cosmic power help us to evolve ourselves to such an extent as to change the environment itself to something that is conducive for our spiritual growth. I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and peaceful Year 2007.

Monday Dec 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Last evening I went away from this blog to celebrate the Christmas Eve in the backyard of my house here in Kerala. This was a humble attempt made by all of us here to drag all children in our family away from the digital world for some time at least and show them the power of being together. The most time consuming, but perhaps the most satisfying thing that we did prior to this celebration is what you would see in the photograph below. Merry Christmas.

Saturday Nov 25, 2006

Home Sweet Home

After a week's stay in Singapore, I have hit home in Bangalore. Woke up as early as 3:30 A.M. SST to catch my flight at 7:50 A.M. SST. While in flight, I had a quick flash back of my stay and training in Singapore. The streets in Singapore were all lit up as a part of the preparation for the Christmas celebrations. There were music all around the place. Shopping malls were overcrowded with people from different parts of the world. The impressions of all this were indelibly printed in my mind that I had dreams of being in there during my afternoon nap today at home. The only problem, if I may say so, that I had in Singapore was the difficulty in getting hold of some vegetarian food. But otherwise I enjoyed the stay there and more importantly the moments that I spent with those guys who had come down for the training from various places. Along with some good memories, I carried back with me the following photograph, which we took during one of those training days.



I must mention my thanks here to Dr. Rex Di Bona (the gentleman in yellow coloured T shirt) for taking some interesting sessions on Solaris Internals.

Wednesday Nov 22, 2006

The world is small

What I enjoy the most in my profession is the opportunity that I have to meet so many people in such a short span of time. With the certain degree of open-mindedness that I possess, all my participants have been good teachers to me, giving subtle lessons on several aspects in life. Everytime I conclude a training program, I do so with a hope that I would, one day or the other, stumble upon my audience in some part of this globe. And I am taken to believe that there is nothing in this life as lovely as the wonderful moments of togetherness. Today, after a considerable gap of almost an year, I met up with a couple of my friends, who got introduced to me through the exciting world of Solaris. And this small note, is an expression of my gratitude to them to have taken time out from their busy schedule to come and meet me and then offer a lavish dinner in an Indian restuarant out here in Singapore.

Monday Nov 20, 2006

An Evening to remember

Had no problem getting to my training venue this morning except that I got there a bit late and had five of them waiting for me to get started. Apart from me there are four more participants for this training. They are all from different parts of this globe: Singapore, United States, Indonesia and Japan. And my Instructor, Rex Di Bona, is from Sydney, Australia. We had a good start to the Solaris Internals course. Rex is well experienced in this field and I am dead sure to have four more interesting days with him.

In the Evening, my friend Yusuke from Sun, Japan and myself set out for a visit to the famous Little India in here. I had been to Little India last evening as well. Believe me, I walked all the way from my hotel to Little India and back to my hotel yesterday. And today, we took two trains to reach there. One from the City Hall MRT to Dhoby Ghaut and the second one from Dhoby Ghaut Interchange to Little India.Of all the things in Little India, what attracted my friend the most, I reckon, was theSri Veeramakaliamman Temple. We also got into one of those Indian restuarants to have some snacks. And here you see my friend enjoying the taste of a delicious South Indian food.



We then had a lengthy walk from the resturant to the Mustafa Centre, which was over crowded. But of course a good place to do some last minute shopping.

We then parted to our respective destinations. For all that we spoke about India, Japan and various other things, and for the long walk that we had through the busy streets of Little India, this evening in Singapore would go down as one of the memorable evenings in my life.

Sunday Nov 19, 2006

Welcome to the Lion City

In Singapore. Stationed at the 14th floor of a hotel located in the Stamford Road. Look below, and you would see what I see from my balcony here.



I am here to attend a Solaris Internals Training. The training center is in Ngee Ann City Tower B, Orchad Rd. I wanted to spot the training venue today itself so that I wouldn't have to spend time tomorrow going through the map and searching for the place. So I used the MRT from the City Hall to Orchad in the North South Line. Reaching Orchad wasn't a problem, but finding out the Sun Education Center in the Ngee Ann Tower was. It took me almost half an hour to figure out that the Sun Education Center was located in the 11th floor of the Ngee Ann Tower B. Now that I have found out the venue, I hope I can hit the place tomorrow early.

After three weeks full of events, it is rather boring to be finding myself alone in my hotel room. I hope things would be in place once I get to the class tomorrow. But for the time being, let me sit in my room and contemplate over the mysteries of life. For now, it's bye.

Sunday Nov 05, 2006

Ssssssssssssssh...

I was silent for quite some time because I was asked to remain silent. The Mumbai journey for the IDM 345 unfortunately gifted me a sore throat. And I cosulted with one of the ENT specialist in a famous hospital in this part of the world and what he told me incidentally is the title of this log entry. My condition was so bad that the doctor advised me to carry a pen and paper to communicate! Luckily, I journeyed home for a week and worked from there for a couple of days. My plan was not to say a word during my stay at home. But with my parents and talkative sister around, keeping quiet of course was next to an impossible mission. And as if it wasn't enough, one of those days my cousin, my friend and myself set out for a journey to the Kuttalam waterfalls, which is located in the state of Tamil Nadu. We had to go for my friend's enagement and from there we travelled to the aforesaid place. The journey onward was excellent: full of fun and rain all the way. But the backward journey was really pathetic due to bad roads. I am sure it wasn't really a pleasant experience for my cousin to drive all the way through those really bad road. I here unto append a photograph taken at one of the view points en route Kuttalam waterfalls. The gentleman alongside me is my cousin who drove the car all through our trip and then fell sick the following day

.

After a week stay at home, I travelled to Hyderabad to deliver an Advanced Administration Training on Solaris 10 Operating Environment to the folks at UBS. I was told that the UBS building, which was also my training venue last week came up in a few months time in a deserted place full of rocks. I had a few smooth sessions on Solaris in there in spite of the fact that I was delivering a Solaris training after quite some time. My throat problem continued to bother me and I ended up buying a big pack of salt, which I used at my hotel to gargle with hot water!

I happened to mention to my participants about the Project Blackbox and one of those guys couldn't help but laugh his heart out, when stumbled upon the amazing photographs on Project Blackbox. I am sure he reacted so because he was wonder-struck by such a simple, yet extraordinary idea of packaging a datacenter in a self contained container. I don't blame him, for my reaction wasn't any different from his, when I first came to know about this project not so long ago.

For security reasons, I couldn't carry my camera in UBS campus. But a participant of mine was kind enough to get hold of a camera official and took a few photographs, one of which is presented below:



Not all the participants are present in that photograph. Some of them were very busy with calls and conferences. So I couldn't get hold of them on time for this snap. Sorry about that folks.

Yesterday I spent the whole day in Sun Education lab preparing the lab for the next weeks class. Well, that's a surprise about which I will talk only in a few days time. All I can tell you now is that I am quit excited, at the same time a bit nervous, about this forthcoming assignment. Everything, I believe, has its own time and until the time comes to talk about this new assignment of mine, let me put my lips to silence.

Saturday Oct 07, 2006

An Expensive Love Affair With Apple

Well, it appears to be a busy weekend for me. I seem to have lot of things to do. But still haven't prioritized the tasks. I was spamming my participants over the last couple of hours over lot of stuff. And it shall continue the whole day today. It was a productive week, last week. I was sitting through the LVC for ZFS. Jeff Ferreria was speaking on ZFS from his place. And for that, everyday he was up till 1:00 A.M his local time. I am sure that would have been really tough for him. Still, he did an excellent job and went out of the box to give us a "bootcamp" session on 3510 storage (Well, we were duing the ZFS labs using a 3510)! Personally, I was benefitted to have an informal training on iChat from Jeff:) I had never bothered to use iChat ever. And during one of those days, when I stepped into the "classroom" an hour early or so, Jeff was in there and we had a chat using the iChat tool. Believe me, it's coool. Well, that was a free training from Jeff:) And now my only buddy in iChat is Jeff Ferreria. Let me see if I can pull in lot of other people as well and create a new network.



Just when I thought Jeff's training on iChat was cool and was free, a price came for that from a different direction:) I sneaked into a local Apple Service Center on Thursday to sort out the problem with my keypad (If you are still kept in the dark on what my Apple PowerBook G4 keypad did to me, click here) and it didn't take much time for me to discover that I was getting into an expensive affair. Well, my Apple PowerBook G4 was outside the Apple Care Protection Plan (which is one year) and hence was billed, royally, for diagnosis and the spare (keypad). I have raised a request for the spare and I shall be getting that in a week or so. But the fact is that by Indian standards, the bill that I got from the folks at Apple was a little high. So my advice to the Apple lovers in India is that next time you decide to pick up an aesthetically pleasing piece of an Apple product, just ensure that you extend the Apple Care Protection Plan (you need to do so before your one year warranty expires) or reserve a few bucks in your pocket to shell out at the Apple Service Center, in case your product behaves a little different than what you expect.

I am heading to Mumbai tomorrow morning for delivering a training on Sun Java System Identity Manager (course coded IDM 345) and I am looking forward for an eventful week full of fun and learning.

Wednesday Sep 20, 2006

International Day of Peace

Tomorrow is September 21. The United Nations designates the day as the International Day of Peace. Ten days earlier to this date we observed the fifth anniversary of the tragic 9/11 incident, an incident that certainly left some traces of fear in all of us. The New York tragedy perhaps flagged off a new era in the history of mankind, for over the last four years or so there have been several heart breaking incidents of such nature in different parts of this world, in different forms, executed by different people, taking the lives of innocent human beings like you and me. On several occasions I have pondered over the reasons behind orchestration of such brutal activities. And when I don't get answers to such questions, what dominates in me is a feeling of helplessness. What could I do, if a couple of planes crash on to a twin tower, bringing down the huge tower in split of a second and killing several people in it? And what I could do if there is a series of bomb blasts in the heart of Financial Capital of India,blowing up a few hundred middle class people eagerly journeying to get back to their home in the evening? Well; watch helplessly all the pictures that are captured by the television crew - risking their life- and then sympathise with the victims, occasionally blaming the culprits with a strong feeling of hatredness. But what's the point? By doing so, I know very clearly that I don't contribute to the world peace. But then, what else could I do? Perhaps, look to a higher authority, whose essence is within me, whom we may call as God or by any other name for that matter and then appeal to Him, with folded hands and with a heart full of love and devotion, to bring peace on planet Earth and make it a wonderful home for all of us to evolve spiritually. I believe if such thoughts, which are noble in nature, constantly emanates from mind and are strong enough, then perhaps it could make a huge difference.

United Nations Organization has chosen September the 21st as the Internal Day of Peace. The least we should all do tomorrow is to sit in silence for a few minutes, giving out a strong suggestion that one day, not far from now, peace will prevail on this third planet from Sun.

Sunday Sep 10, 2006

Italian Grand Prix witnesses a great moment

I got hooked on to the TV this evening to watch the Italian Grand Prix. Micheal Shumacher was second in the pole position. As always, my bet was on him. To my excitement, and to the delight of millions of his fans, he did it one more time , he did it in style. And what he achieved today is an unprecedented ninety Grand Prix titles. He has raised his bar so high that his successor would require to display a special show to reach anywhere near him.

I wasn't really interested in Motor racing until I came across an article in The Hindu Newspaper written my Nirmal Shekar. And then on, I was educated by a friend of mine on the jargons like pit stop, back markers etc. I have not missed much Grand Prix races after that. And every time I sit to watch a motor race I sit with a surety that the red Ferrari with Schumi in full control of it would hit the chequered flag first. And today at around 7:20 IST Micheal Shumacher sat for a press conference prompting all of his fans to hold their breaths to listen to the much awaited revelations about his future plan. As always, he maintained his calm as he revealed to the world that he wouldn't race after this season. My friend sitting near me produced a sigh of depression and waved his hand as if he lost something really precious. He then said to me, "Why is he doing that man? He is at the peak of his career." Well, I do not know. Schumi would know it better. Perhaps he now knows that not a common man could achieve what he achieved in Formula One. Perhaps he doesn't want to be a spoil sport winning all the races that he participates in and giving no one else a chance to touch the Championship trophy. Or may be he felt that it is not possible to improve upon the perfection that he already achieved in the art of driving. Whatever may be the reason, Formula One fans would find it difficult to accept the reality that when the next season would start, they wouldn't see the handsome Micheal Schumacher on the track. Thank you Schumi for all the wonderful moments that you gave to all of us out here.

My favourite newspaper in digital format

The following is an extract from my autobiographical account:

Roughly speaking, Sport seems to be a trivial pursuit. But it wouldn’t be fair on my part to say that Sport has given me nothing. It has been the root cause of some of my productive habits like reading newspapers on a regular basis, particularly The Hindu. A sport scriber named R Mohan, who worked with The Hindu was the first one to ignite in me a passion for reading the articles published in that daily. From then on, I began to carefully read through the reports and comments of various journalists working with The Hindu. The role that The Hindu played in helping me improve my reading abilities as well as standard in English has to be underlined.

My favourite newspaper has taken one step forward in providing the news and articles in the form of an E-book. Well, three editions are available at this point of time: Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. The Hindu's digital editions are available for viewing from 6:00 A.M. IST everyday. Access is free for now but users are required to register online.

Saturday Sep 09, 2006

When will this ever end?

Yet another terrorist act in the state of Maharashtra in India. This time, thirty-one people were killed and over 100 injured in two bomb blasts in Malegaon in Nashik district of Maharashra on Friday. Don't we all deserve a better situation on earth? What are "they" gaining from blowing up a few innocent human beings like us? Don't stare at me; I am as clueless as you are. And I know of only one person whom we could all send an appeal to see these activities come to a full stop: and that's God.
A couple of months back a series of bomb blasts had shocked the people in Mumbai. The impact of that devastating incidents in Mumbai was so huge that I couldn't sleep the whole night until I completed drafting the following note that I sent to all my acquaintances the next day:

E-mail dated 12/July/2006.

Dear friends,

It is quite hard to greet you all this morning after those terrifying events that took place in different parts of Mumbai last evening. For me, like anyone else away from the city of Mumbai, it was just another story of horror. May be, I only felt a fraction of its intensity; yet it had its impact on me at least to an extent to make my sleep a miserable one. It is difficult then to imagine what the people in Mumbai are going through at this point in time.

I saw my father shell-shocked and speechless while watching those clippings on T.V. I sat beside him viewing those pictures live from various spots in Mumbai, occasionally glancing at my father only to find his face display a mixed feeling of sorrow, helplessness and strangely, but understandably anger. I don't think he has any friends in Mumbai; not even a person whom he could exchange formal greetings with. Still, the whole story affected him deeply for sure. For me, my father's reaction was one more evidence of how common we all humans are and how much we all are bounded regardless of all the differences in caste, creed, colour and even the geographical boundaries. Yet there are some people out there who do not realize how valuable a human life is. I wonder what they achieved by mercilessly blowing up a few hundred people, who were on the move with an eagerness to get back to their homes after their days activities. Well, it's insane even to think that there can be any reason for such a nasty orchestrated operation. It can only be madness at the highest level. Oh God, can any one do such a thing even to his foes? I don't think so; not certainly anyone with a stable state of mind. Damn those who did this.

By the very courageous nature of the people in Mumbai, it is quite natural to expect that the normalcy would be returned in the city not many days from now. But there are several families whose loss can never be compensated for. What on earth could ever compensate for a human life? I sincerely pray with my folded hands for a better home, devoid of any more of these heart throbbing chapters and would wish all of you to participate in such a prayer, for when we unite in pursuit of a noble cause, our appeal will reach where it has to reach and probably would wipe out evil from the surface of earth, giving us an environment conducive for our evolution.

With prayers,

affectionately yours,

--R Rajesh

Monday Sep 04, 2006

Happy Onam

Tomorrow is Onam. Onam, considered to be the most popular festival in Kerala (the southern state of India), is celebrated every year in memory of an Asura King Mahabali, who was pushed down to the core of the earth by ‘little’ Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu. In Hindu religion, they believe in a Trinity, who are in charge of the three main processes of creation, protection and destruction. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the trio, who are entitled to perform the acts of creation, protection and destruction respectively. All other Gods in Hindu religion - thousands of them - are supposed to be either their descendants or an alternate form of one of them. In fact the term ‘GOD’ itself is considered to be an acronym for Generator, Operator and Destructor. Coming back to the story behind the Onam celebrations, Kerala was once ruled by the Asura king Mahabali, under whom the land prospered, much to the envy of Gods. They all wanted to terminate the asura king and for that they seeked the help of Lord Vishnu - one of the Trinity. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a small brahmin Vamana and went to Mahabali requesting for three footsteps of land. Mahabali, out of his generosity, offered him the same without a second thought. At that point of time, the little Vamana grew physically in such a manner that his two footsteps covered the universe in its entirety. He did not find any more space for his third footstep. Mahabali, with an intention not to break his promise to Vamana, bowed before the brahmin and offered his head as a place for his third footstep. Vamana placed his foot on Mahabali’s head and pushed him down to the core of the earth forever. However, Lord Vishnu was kind enough to grant the asura King, the privilege of visiting his people once in every year. And so he comes to the land of Kerala, every year, on the day of Onam. I'm sure, as always, the people in Kerala would be welcoming Mahabali with the same pomp and show as they have been doing for long long years. I would miss the show being away from home. But that's okay. Happy Onam!

Thursday Aug 31, 2006

Oh, for a new telephone connection...

Thank God that a night separates the day. And I hope tomorrow is not like today. Nope; my depressing state has nothing to do with the training I am delivering now. Well, I am delivering an Identity Manager training program (this time it is not IDM 345, but IDM 2525) at Sun Education Center, Bangalore. And in between, during the lunch break, I set out for an adventure. Before I talk about what the adventure, let me give you a oneliner background on the same. Of late, I have been thinking about a new telephone connection from BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.) so that I could take a broadband Internet connection at home. Having understood from the call center that the payment mode to get a new connection is only through a Demand Draft (they still live in some old century I believe), I went to my bank to make a demand draft. Unfortunately, the machine was non-functional (of course not the first time). Then I went to another bank, which has been in exsitence in our country for quite a long time now. Don't they look very lazy out there? Yes, they did and it was really an experience in itself to get hold of a Demand Draft from there. Time then was 12:50 P.M. Took an auto and reached the BSNL office to submit an application form for a new connection. It was 1:10 P.M. then.I was told that they open only between 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. (a very convenient time for other employees to visit the BSNL office !!!). And I was the the last in the queue, which had only three people! The lady there at the counter was keying in the details from the application form to the computer very slowly and carefully. That's understandable. I was getting a bit restless because I had to reach back the Sun lab at 2:00 P.M. for my afternoon session. At around 1:30 P.M. (well, exactly at 1:30 P.M. rather), that lady told me rather harshly to get back to her at 2:30 P.M. after her lunch break. I wonder whether she thought that the people who went to BSNL to submit the forms are unemployed and had no other work than sneaking in at the BSNL counters as and when they tell. By all means I had reached there much in advance to their lunch break and hence had all right to request her to spend another five minutes to accept my application form and give me the acknowledgement. She mercilessly rejected that. Well, I felt really annoyed and walked out of the BSNL office immediately. Well, who cares. Afterall they don't get anything if a new connection is requested for.

I came back to my office and during the tea break wrote an E-mail to all reachable authorities at BSNL on this issue. I have absolutely no idea whether they would be generous enough to read through my E-mail at least. But I have decided to cancel my Demand Draft tomorrow and try to get a broadband connection from some other private companies who offer this service. I am sure they wouldn't be harsh like this BSNL people. Having had this personal experience, it is no surprise to me now why these private parties are flourishing in our Nation in spite of allegations like hidden charges etc. Well, service matters. It's high time that the Government organization learn about it and make appropriate amendments to their working model. Need some good sleep today to get over this frustration.

Friday Aug 18, 2006

A Dream Come True

Well, I have been associated with Sun Microsystems for more an a couple of years as an external consultant for Sun Learning Services and now I am quite excited to be on board with the Standford University Network and to be a part of fun@sun. I have been maintaining a habit of writing diaries for several years now and have printed out a majority of my personal writings only to keep it in a wooden box (my paternal grand mother's property) in my small bedroom-library in Kochi, Kerala (a southern state in India popularly known as the 'God's own country). But those writings are quite personal and I don't intend to make it public in the near future (you rightly guessed that it would also contain all embarrassing moments in my life as well). Well in this blog site of Sun, which I believe is a wonderful initiative as it gives out the opinions of some major Sun fellows, I wish to write something that's neither too personal nor too official. I like writing and I do write a lot, which only means that you would see me writing something or the other more than often in this blog. My only wish is that whatever I scribble down in the time that I get, my dear readers would derive something relevant out of it. So welcome to my blog and I sincerely request you let me know your comments and suggestions, if any, for I have been a firm believer of constantly improving the quality of activities that I indulge in.

Now, before I proceed further, I think it makes sense to give you a vague idea about me. Probably the best way to do so is to let you know my interests so that you could try to derive what kind of personality do I belong:

My main hobbies include reading books on English classics, on spirituality, writing diaries, letters and the likes, sketching (of late I have not been doing this; there was time in my life, when I had spent lot of money on buying mediums like pencil, charcoal etc), Graphology (I wouldn't, of course, rate me high in this), mirror writing (inspired during the school days reading about Da Vinci) and playing Guitar (Well, I have a couple of instruments with me, which I generally use to figure out how to produce some "noise" that's pleasant for a small family audience; as of now, I play Guitar for myself; it's risky to play it for the public). Some of the books that I have read and which I believe to have changed me (either in improving my language or in the way I think) are mentioned below (list incomplete):

All the books by my spiritual guide (Shri P Rajagopalachari)
The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle
The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Wings of Fire by Dr. A P J Kalam (Honourable President of India)
Ignited Minds by Dr. A P J Kalam (Honourable President of India)
Guiding Souls by Dr. A P J Kalam (Honourable President of India)
Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Vivekananda
Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Practical Unix and Internet Security (Publisher: O'Reilly Publications)

Watching movies was a routine affair in the earlier days (these days the standard of all movies regardless of the language have come down drastically; that's what I believe personally) and some of 'em that stays with me even now includes the following in no specific order(again the list is incomplete):

The Sixth Sense [English]
Nayakan [Tamil]
Parinda [Hindi]
Manichitrathazhu [Malayalam]
A Few Good Men [English]
Pingami [Malayalam]
Amrithavarshini [Kannada]
Dil Chahta Hai [Hindi]

I presume I have written sufficient to give out an idea of what my interests are and to some extent what type of personality do I belong to. Having introduced myself, I think i will take leave for the moment, hoping to come back with something more interesting, more informative in the days ahead.
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