..Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic. I wouldn't say no to Road Glide either. In fact I wouldn't say no to any bike from Touring Family of Harley Davidson. Is any one getting any hint or do I need to be explicit? Okay, I am not taking any chance when it comes to Harley:
December 31, 2007
..Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic. I wouldn't say no to Road Glide either. In fact I wouldn't say no to any bike from Touring Family of Harley Davidson. Is any one getting any hint or do I need to be explicit? Okay, I am not taking any chance when it comes to Harley:
December 27, 2007
December 24, 2007
Millbrae station at 9 PM. The next train was at 10:24 PM.
"You can drive on the wrong side of the road?"
Its the RIGHT side of the road, in all the sense what-so-ever.
"I can't see any pedestrians on the road!"
Welcome to US!
"There are so many people in the camera section of this store. Back in London, no one knows about the electronic stuff."
Circuit city store. Weekend before Christmas. And yes, an average American is a "Gadget-freak". They want to have all the latest piece of equipment even if they don't know how to use it.
"She knows about Panaromic view in a camera?"
We were trying to capture Christmas Decoration at a mall when the attendant asked us whether we are going for the panaromic view. And almost all the cameras now-a-days (at least all the Canons) have panaromic option.
"People in Europe are extremely health conscious."
We have a bimodal distribution (consisting of two peaks or in lay man language, the people can be broadly divided in two categories) here: Extremely Health conscious and Extremely Taste Conscious.
"Come to London, I will show you better decorations."
I was pointing to the Christmas decoration in a local mall. My mistake, I agree.
"Wow, its beautiful out here. Just like Highlands in Scotland."
Finally, one compliment. I have given up. I know nothing here can be better than UK so I am satisfied to be at least as good as them in some respect. (BTW, the compliment was given when we were in the wine country).
"You have become an American."
And you, my friend, have become a Londoner.
P.S.: 1. No offense meant to the Londoners or the Americans here. Its just two friends catching up after 4 years. I apologize in advance if I hurt someone's feeling in the process.
2. A side effect of being with a Londoner: Politeness. It means I apologize quiet a lot these days. Forgive me, if that distresses you. :)
December 22, 2007
December 19, 2007
And to top it of, we (me and my visiting friend) were chased by my friend and her mom. They wanted to pay us for the hours we put in, it seems. As if its not my farz to help someone trying to learn my language. They literally chased us till our car with the envelop in their hand. That was a first for me. To be chased away by the money! Not that I chase money but I was never chased away by it either. I hope I haven't angered Laxmi devi. I don't want to loose the little money I have (remember: I am a PIGS (Poor International Grad Student)!
P.S.: Please pardon my grammar and spellings(if they are wrong)...I told you my mind is in CHAOS.
"Meri Tabiyat Bahut Ghabra Rahi Hain. "
She started the translation by writing the literal meaning of the words as:
Rahi Hain: Is
So it actually summed up to: "My health is very terrified." instead of "I am feeling nauseated." Don't you just love the language translations?
December 18, 2007
December 16, 2007
December 14, 2007
December 13, 2007
- Intermediate between: if its intermediate, it automatically means its between two things. you don't have to say it twice.
- Revert back: you revert to or go back to and not revert back to. If you revert back to something yo will end up in completely different direction.
- Plan ahead: well if you are planning, it will be in advance. Thats why its called planning!
- Advance reservations: Again reservations are always made in advance and not on the spot.
- Advance warning: imagine giving the warning after the event has happened.
- Armed gunman: well if he is a gunman, he automatically has a gun and hence is armed, for crying out loud.
- Baby boy was born: I know, you don't see anything wrong with this, do you? How about if I say baby is redundant? Who can born but a baby?
- Free gift: Gifts are supposed to be free, signor.
- Frozen ice: As opposed to boiling ice?
- Commute back and forth: When you commute, you do go back and forth.
- Unexpected surprise: Is there something like expected surprise?
- Regular routine:So whats your irregular routine?
- Difficult dilemma: Dilemmas are always difficult, trust me.
- Green in color: As opposed to Green in taste or Green in smell?
- Poisonous venom: Oh please, snake that bit me had non-poisonous venom. :)
- Reason is because: you are an idiot?
- Pair of twins: means four people, i.e., two sets of twins.
- Autobiography of my life: as opposed to autobiography of someone else's life?
- at 12 noon: At noon means at 1200 hours. It can't be at 1100 hrs or 1300hrs, can it?
December 12, 2007
Yep, thats the whole story and it happens to be my favorite story. Only difference, Amitabh sang and acted it out in an unforgettable way. I never pondered about the actual story before today. I was always so wrapped up in the whole song that I never thought about how pongi (stupid) the actual story is. But thats magic of Amitabh, isn't it?
December 11, 2007
Result: I actually have a new respect for all those fashion-conscious girls around the world who undergo this torture willingly. My salute to everyone who can wear and walk around in high heels. I simply can't.
December 10, 2007
I know few people may have problem being all covered, all the time but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Just stop whining.
December 9, 2007
"You should sell your shots of Stanford Campus to the Stanford students and alumni".
Okay people, I am on cloud nine. Does anyone know the route back to the Earth? I am seriously scared of heights. I will send you this picture for free (I told you, I am on cloud nine), if you help me out. That is, if you like it. But either way: HELP.
Our eyes are like the color computer monitors or color TV (Actually its the other way round, they took inspiration form human eye system). It has three nodes to give the entire spectrum of colors. You might have heard some where or the other about the RGB (Red, Green Blue) nodes. Thats what we have in our eyes too, which help us define the entire color spectrum.
The simplest way to explain color-blindness: Remember, when your color TV got old, one or the node stopped working so that you had a greenish hue or reddish hue over everything. There were certain colors that didn't appear right. Thats how color blind people see the world depending upon which color node is defective (I think. I am not an expert on the subject so thats the best I can come up with) . The most common ones are red and green blindness. Blue color node usually work for most people (only one in 10,000 people has blue cone/node defective). Anyway, here is how different color-blind people see the rainbow.
December 8, 2007
Update: Got the whole series. Now I just have to wait till Tuesday to start the first book. Or may be I can sleep half an hour less and get started on it tonight. My mind is playing non-stoppable record of: "Can't. Wait... Must. Read. Now... Can't. Wait...Must. Read. Now."
December 7, 2007
- papers and papers and papers everywhere. It takes approximately 2 minutes to find the right document
- The applications running on my computer: 8 presentations, 6 word documents, Adobe Illustrator, Windows explorer, Mozilla Firefox (obviously) with 8 tabs and a calculator
- An open bottle of coke and an open bottle of water. Oh yes, papers and papers and papers everywhere. Dangerous combination, no?
- iPod attached to the speakers singing, "Humne Sanam Ko Khat Likha". Papers again..
- On the cover of shelf overhead, a small piece of paper attached by scotch tape telling me the colors I can use for my poster so that the poster is color-blind friendly. My advisor is color-blind. Well he don't ask us to us those colors but obviously you want your advisor to be able to read your poster at least. Though while trying to find those colors, I found out that color-blindness is far more common than we think. Out of 250 people, 10 are color-blind. I think its a good practice to make the presentations color-blind friendly.
And my 10 minutes are up. I am sorry for this disarranged, random post. But its better than nothing, no?
P.S.: I am going for movies tonight, so I have to finish up before that. The movie is: The Golden Compass. After all, a girl deserves some entertainment, I was in the office till 12 midnight last night and was back in the office at 10 in the morning.
December 6, 2007
Somehow my friends never believes me when I say I am a misfit. For them I am just being whiny. They have more trust in my capabilities than I do, which makes it scarier. I wish I had as much faith in myself..
Anyway, I am off to make the poster for an upcoming conference....
December 5, 2007
Next time I lend my car to anyone, I am going to have them sign an affidavit that if they end up killing someone while driving/in possession of my car, I can't be held responsible. Anyone knows a good and cheap lawyer in the bay area?
I say, "Let's put a financial sanctions on all the countries who have knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon. The biggest sanction should be on US, as its the only country who has ever used a nuclear weapon on another country. Or are we putting sanction only on Islamic countries? Then let's put it on some other Islamic countries with technical know-how, like, I don't know, Pakistan."
Honestly, I respect the way the administration has owned up to this blunder instead of suppressing it like most of the other countries would have done. Hats off to Bush for admitting to the facts that led to this diplomatic nightmare but when will Mr. President accept it and be a bigger man and apologize?
December 4, 2007
P.S.: You can tell by my current topics of discussion, I am too much into my work at the moment. In case you don't like it, don't worry. It won't last long. I am, after all, Grad student. The motivation graph doesn't stay up for long.
December 3, 2007
I lost my brand new Natraj HB pencil with a rubber attached. The pencil costs Rs.3/. the orkut people have come forward to bail me out. If u forward this msg to one person I will get one paisa from orkut. If you have heart and want to help a poor child in need, plz fwd it to at least 10 friends. Please don't neglect. Otherwise my mom will scold me. If you forward it then your life will change for ever (u will get one pack of sketch pens and an apsara non-dust eraser within 3 days). Do NOT delete this message otherwise Greek gods will get angry with you and your life will be pencil-less forever. Good Luck will come to you for wasting time & forwarding this nonsense message. May God bless you. Reply to me is a must.
I don't know what is worse: getting the same message from 20 different people or getting excited to see the name of your close friend in your mailbox after a long time and discovering a stupid message like this when you open up.
December 1, 2007
All this excitement makes me wonder, why do people get excited for watching a game? They don't get to play it. They are sidelined behind the fences and made to watch other people enjoying/playing. Most of the spectators don't even play the game in the real life. Its more like, "Hey, I love cricket but I don't play it. I like to watch other people playing it." It doesn't make sense to me but then I am a confirmed weirdo.
Once someone argued back by making comparison between arts and sports. Not all the spectators can make masterpieces but they like to see and appreciate the masterpieces. May be she is right. But somehow I enjoy playing more than watching (though choice of sports is important too, American Football is better with other people playing it)...but then again I am a confirmed weirdo who gets stuck with images of red tower and pink water. Not arguing...
P.S.: I am too busy to take pictures at the moment. I have taken a few shots though. I didn't get time to download them into the computer. Will post them whenever I have time...
Update: Surprisingly, We Actually Won.
November 29, 2007
But the best feature is that you can switch to Sky (available in newer version, you have to download the newer version). And then there are again online files available on showing exploding stars etc. Or just revolve the sky around you. Its an amazing view. Just a few snap shots to prove my point...
November 28, 2007
I have to make a 5 minute presentation and its taking forever to get started. I don't get it. How can you wrap up your 3 years of work in 8 slides and 5 minutes? But somehow I have to so I am drinking coke, watching 'Sex and the city' and writing this or rather procrastinating till it will become impossible to procrastinate anymore. May be thats now.
Oh yeah, before I sign off let me get to the real point of this post. I am presently overloaded with work and as I have already established procrastinating doesn't help so I am cutting back on this addiction for at least next two weeks. I know its going to be hard but I will try hard not to give into temptation. I promise I will be back with more stories about sleepless nights, stressful days, arranging a baby shower and may be Google Earth.
Okay I have to write this too. Just heard on the Sex and the city. The context: Samantha tells Carrie that she doesn't have time to read her column every week. Reason why it affected me: Got the same response from few of my friends when I asked them about this blog: they don't have time to read it! And, finally, here is Carrie's response:
"Even my friends find me irrelevant."Okay now I am really going back. See you all soon.
P.S.: Don't worry. I don't think I can stay away from this space for more than two days. So I will be back sooner though regularity and frequency will be an issue.
P.S.: BTW, I would like a feedback for this new site template too. Criticism will help me to improve it further. So if you are having a rough day, vent out and criticize as much as you want.
November 26, 2007
If you are trying to court a girl, never tell her/tease her about/joke about/whisper to her: 'Girls are Stupid' or any other equivalent generalized statements like 'Girls are bad drivers' or 'Girls gossip'. We girls, in general, take these allegations personally. So the statement 'Girls are stupid' are translated to 'You are stupid' and hence forth. Obviously, you don't want to say that to the girl you are trying to engage. And please the add-ons like, 'Present company excused' or 'Of course, I don't mean you' etc. makes us wonder even more that you actually do mean it personally.
Once you made any statement like that, its an all-lose situation after that. Don't even start giving some isolated examples to prove your point. Even if you prove it to be true, somehow, you will loose her. Each and every statement you make in favor of your allegation, will just expose your insensitivity, lack of proper manners and a 20th-century mentality. None of these qualities are desirable.
If you think you are being funny or just teasing someone by making these ridiculous statements, you need to get your sense of humor checked by an expert (I volunteer. General diagnosis: You have a sick sense of humor. Incurable disease. Sorry, I digress..). We don't think insults are amusing, even though we might not express that on your face (we are more polite than you are, obviously).
And for those of you who think these statements to be actually true, I have full sympathy for your spouse. She either must have very high level of tolerance or very low self-esteem. And no, I am not a feminist. I don't raise flags of woman empowerments but I refuse to be insulted because of some stupid notion you have about female species.
Thats it for today's "Nevers". Watch out this space for more "Nevers". Someday, sometime it will be back.
November 25, 2007
My only passage to desi front is through my friends back in India. Orkut provides a great platform for that. And as all of you using Orkut know, it has a lot of new cool features now. So one of my cousin (bless him) decided to add few trailers/songs from recent movies as Saawariya and Om Shanti Om. And thats where I found this.
You can't imagine my shock. How long have I been out? When did this start? Display of male body on a big screen, that too in a song! I am really interested in knowing about audience's response. With my, now limited, knowledge about Indian audience, there has to be a pin-drop silence in the theatres during the opening scene of the song. No one must have moved or coughed. The moments when you know everyone is holding their breaths by ample amount of oxygen present in the crowded theatre. I always thought, they want to think that they are invisible in those moments so that person next to them wouldn't know that they actually watched that (Guilty Pleasures?). Rest of the times, they would make their presence known to the whole theatre at large, by shouting, whistling, laughing or just talking very loudly on their cell phones or to their neighbors.
But may be none of this happened. May be I have been out for too long. Someone please enlighten me about latest reactions given by theatre audiences.
P.S.: 1. Its a nice song. Shaan has rendered it beautfully.
2. Excellent cinematography as well. Typical Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Its just the subject of emphasis shocked me.
November 24, 2007
"She was doing this because she knew what it was like to hit rock bottom and to need someone to give you a leg up. She was doing this because she understood how a world jammed with phones and e-mail and faxes could still leave you feeling utterly alone. But she also knew if she said either of these things, Jack's pride would have him halfway down the street before she could take another breath."
The emphasis in the quotation is mine.
November 23, 2007
Well the worst realization was the profiles of these murderers established by these cases: Straight A students, avoid confrontations and like to read about the murder cases. I personally know so many of people matching this profile (including me) that it scares me. And all these geniuses always come up with the poisons with no known antidote (another reason why they didn't want to divulge the poison's name). Guess its high time to start believing in God and start praying that I don't piss off any of these dormant killers.
P.S.: 1. BTW, my BFF (BEST friend and not Boy Friend) is a PhD in chemistry. So don't piss me off either. Consider yourself warned. :)
2. On the second thought, I will use my Karate skills instead of poisoning. Poison always leaves a paper trail behind (the reason all of them were caught in the end). Still consider yourself warned.
November 22, 2007
Anyway, the discussions were pretty interesting. Amy's brother, a political science major, made the statement of the evening:
Indians in America are the new whites.
He compared Indians in America today to the Jews immigration during late nineteenth century and the way they got assimilated in American society. He compared Indians with other Asians and said that Indians are more easily assimilated in American society than Chinese, for example. Obviously we all disagreed at first, as Indians love to be in their well knitted society even in foreign land and inter-racial marriages aren't welcomed by the families. But, as he pointed out, the Indians are different from other ethnic groups in the way that they can easily get accustomed to/mingle with an American group as friends, if not necessarily get married. They have better language skills (read: Good in English). Their technical superiority is being acknowledged, making them a respected and desirable member in any educated society. Well those were good points and we didn't have arguments against them. No matter how we, Indians, view foreigners; those goras and kallus (at least the educated ones) are recognizing us as a welcomed member of society, just like Jews in America in late nineteenth century. I am not sure how long will we Indians take to recognize these changes and welcome them back.
I thought that most of big stores would have a restroom. The first stop was Safeway (the big grocery store). But somehow they didn't have one. I figured the food and toilets together should be some health violation, may be thats why. Ok next stop, Walmart (the big convenience store). Did I already tell you I hate national holidays? The store was closed. That also meant that most of the shopping center was closed. What about Pharmacy stores? Usually, pharmacy and grocery stores doesn't close on holidays. And they shouldn't have trouble with any health violation. So I walked into Rite-aid. I went around the store twice. As I was walking out the store, I saw one of the employees eyeing me suspiciously. I was on the verge of walking upto him and tell him that they don't have what I am looking for. A restroom.
My last resort was our office. Seven miles from our home but it has restrooms. So I started driving towards the office a little bit faster now than usual. Ok I will admit it. I was speeding. I didn't even slow down when I saw a police car standing on the side of road. This was an emergency. And if the officer would have stopped me, I would have told him/her to mail the ticket to my address. I gotta go. But thankfully they had other things on their mind to go after a speeding car.
Finally, I reached my destination. No further troubles...Thankfully.
P.S.: 1. Our toilet is still clogged. I think I already told you, I HATE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS. Nothing can be done till tomorrow, the plumber says. So tomorrow morning, I have to follow the routine again.
2. I think its toilet's way of telling us that we should be thankful for having a working toilet in our home. Its Thanksgiving, after all.
3. Oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Remember to thank your toilets!
November 21, 2007
Step 1: Started driving on the road leading to the movie theatre, wondering am I really going to pull this off.
Step 2: Turned into the movie theatre driveway. 'Oh God, there are so many people around.' Thought of turning around and leaving.
Step 3: Parked my car in the parking lot. A couple comes out of car parked next to mine. 'Do I really want to do this?'
Step 4: Started walking towards the theatre. Extremely conscious about walking alone.
Step 5: Reached the ticket counter and bought a single ticket for movie, 'Enchanted'. 'I am doing it.'
Step 6: Went Inside the theatre and walked straight inside the complex. Tried to merge with the crowd of giggling girls in front of me. 'Hope no one who can recognize me, is in the theatre today.'
Step 7: Sat in last middle last row. 'Its the darkest row, so no one can see me.'
Step 8: Trailer starts. A lady comes up to my seat and ask whether the two seats next to me is taken. 'No'. She and her daughter sits down.
Step 9: Movie Starts. 'Stop the urge to comment.'
Step 10: Movie ends and I was the first one to be out. Actually I don't get why people keep sitting after the movie ends and the titles start. Do they actually want to read the credits? Or is it there something that I am missing?
BTW, the movie is pretty good. I laughed the entire time. As for the question 'Why I did it?'. I really wanted to watch the movie (it opened today) and trust me it was worth all the trouble. The most difficult task was Step 9 actually. Keeping my creative comments to myself.
For all the people concerned: its not a big deal. It actually was a good adventure. Try it out some time. What a thrill!
For all the people who are thinking what the big deal is: its not. It was just my first time.
November 20, 2007
They were in a restaurant talking about something, he can't recall what. All he can recall now are the expressions in those eyes and the way they watched him. Their number was called and he went to get his coffee. When he came back, he caught her staring at the napkins they were writing on during their discussions. She was staring at his hand-writing. He could see the nostalgia on her face: remembrance of the times when they used to sit next to each other in class, the way he used to write on the side of her notebooks, make smilies, just distract her. He could also see the struggle on her face: whether to sneak the napkin in her purse or leave it there. He sat down, picked up the napkin and started tearing them apart. He couldn't make himself look in those eyes while doing that..how much is this hurting her. 'Throw them in garbage instead', there was a tremble in her voice. He did. And when he did look in those eyes again, there was more concern in them than pain. Thats when he realized how much that hurt him. He wasn't tearing those napkins apart but his own heart. She saw that pain. Like always, she read him like a book.
Is this what they call love? Why didn't he realize it sooner? She was his best friend. She was there when he started going out with his fiance. She was there when he lost his job. She was there when he was trying hard to start a new career. She was there during all the hard times he can recall and yet he never realized what all that meant. He knew he had a crush on her. She thanked him when he told her that. She confessed having crush on him too. But thats what it was, a crush and they both were mature enough to maintain their friendship even after those confessions. They flirted occasionally but with understanding thats all it was. Nothing serious. None of them had courage to confess to being in love now. Or may be it was too late.
Its been years since he got married and lost contact with her. They have been acknowledged as 'Made for each other couple', 'Soul-mates'. Still he can't shake off those eyes. Those expressions. That meeting. Her.
2. Don't worry, I am not that big a fan of romanticism. Just the question of Soul-mates stirred this up.
3. I know I am not a writer so I am not looking for any critique either. Read it and forget it..
I took this shot in Jammu's Bagh-e-Bahu park. Its a beautiful park. If you happen to visit Jammu do visit this park.
November 19, 2007
Thats what I like about Jodi Picoult's books. They actually make you analyze your own believes. She provides really good insight to her character's psychology. She usually takes up a social issue and describe events around that issue while analyzing each and every character's thoughts and beliefs. There are no blacks and whites in her books. May be thats why her characters are so real and their way of thinking affects you. The people chasing ghosts aren't freaks and scientists not believing them aren't perfect. Its just the circumstances, they have been through, affected them and their beliefs. How can anyone, who hasn't been through those particular circumstances personally, say that he/she wouldn't have done the same under those circumstances?
The best quote from this book is below. The circumstance of this dialog was argument against existence of soul-mates or an argument against destiny having any part with our choice of life partner.
...Fate is what people invent to explain what they can't understand. If you think Eli's the one, you tell yourself it was meant to happen. And if he breaks your heart, you'll tell yourself it wasn't meant to be. I've spent ten years trying to find a man who knows where I am in a room the moment he steps inside, without even having to look. But it hasn't happened. I can admit the truth to myself - that I've got lousy luck finding love - or I can tell myself that I haven't crossed paths with my soul mate yet. And it's always easier to be a victim than a failure.
P.S.: I added two more mails in the whole charade and we still don't have a conference room reserved as I am having problem accessing Stanford network from home. It will be done tomorrow morning when I will be in my office.
November 18, 2007
No, I am not going into the whole vegetarian/vegan debates. I eat non-veg myself and I am invited for a traditional thanksgiving dinner next week so I am very much going to eat a Turkey then. I didn't go there to mock their protest either. I just wanted to see the farm and take few pictures. It was fun interacting with animals too. The point of this post is that Vegan Lunch that I ate. It was awful. I can't describe it in any other terms. I somehow swallowed it. People there (including kids) finished everything they had on their plate (though I guess those kids have never tasted anything better, their parents being vegan). And somehow during the talks they kept mentioning and thanking for some "delicious" vegan food. I swear I didn't get that one.
The trouble with that vegan food was that they were trying to get the texture of meat using vegan materials. They did get the texture but it tasted awful. I don't know why do they have to imitate a traditional meat diet using vegan materials? Why can't they come up with some other recipes, add few spices and make something worth eating (Actually they will be able to turn more people to eat vegan that way)? For example, they had some boiled beans and corns with salt. Just add some grounded black pepper and lime juice. It will taste so much better. Why torture yourself for loving animals? Or may be they just want to torture themselves. Becoming a vegan is just a way of doing that...
November 16, 2007
I have an older version of this Motorola phone (I couldn't even find the phone I have anywhere online, guess its completely obsolete) that I bought 2 years back. I am not sure what to feel? Embarrassed, insulted or just amused? I am just numb at the moment.
'Which camera do you have?'
Somehow photography has not been accepted as a form of art. Its as if the camera does the clicking itself. The same way as some people think that a result from computer can never be wrong. They have never heard of the concept of 'garbage in garbage out'. They don't understand that computer does exactly what you, as a user, tell it to do. If you give wrong instructions, the results will be erroneous too. It doesn't matter how fast your computer is or what processor it has. Same goes with the photography. As Ernst Haas puts it best:
The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.
Thats the point. You have to see and not just look. I don't claim to be an expert in photography. When I see something interesting, I try to evaluate the thing that attracts me most towards that scene and how can I capture that feature best. Rest everything falls in place. I can point out at least 5 mistakes in most of my shots afterwards but thats how I learn. I try to remember all those points and try to correct them next time I am shooting similar scene. I also learn by seeing how other people have captured the similar shots. But my camera don't teach me anything regarding those shots.
Camera is just a piece of equipment that facilitate my efforts to capture a composition that I find beautiful. SLRs are amazing that way as they give me a lot of freedom to capture those composition but again they don't click themselves. Its true that you need to learn how to operate those cameras in order to click but being expert in camera doesn't necessarily makes you a good photographer.
What makes a good photographer (again, I am no expert)? As Ernst Haas puts it:
A picture is the expression of an impression.
Style has no formula, but it has a secret key. It is the extension of your personality. The summation of this indefinable net of your feeling, knowledge and experience.
In sum, Photography is all about you. Its a way to express yourself, just like any art form. And like in any art form no one is born expert in the technique. We all learn gradually from our mistakes. But don't make the mistake of making the means (the equipments, the technique) the end result. To end I want to once again quote Ernst Hass (believe me, I was just researching for this post when I stumbled upon these quotes and not the other way round):
Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the 'ah-ha'.
P.S: I just realized this post is the result of one of those irritating questions that sets off my trigger. I am creating a new label 'Questions' to put all those posts together.
November 14, 2007
Its been a long while since I have put a picture here and as I don't have anything better to write, here is a shot from yesterday's experiments. Its not one of the best pictures. Its slightly out of focus but I like the idea of this one. I will try it out again some day, may be at time of day when there is no sunshine in the picture. Just to make clear the two doors are mirror image of each other. I am standing inside one of the doorway (doorway to my home) while taking picture of the other.
November 12, 2007
The discussion made me recapitulate few confessions/reasons that my friends have given me over the years to be in a particular relationship. It was surprising to realize that that reason wasn't what it should be: Love. The various reasons I have come across are (in no particular order, first come first serve from my memory)...
1. Habit: I have been forever with him/her. He/she has become part of my daily habit. I am sure I love him/her. (I have one word for these people: Variety).
2. Obligation: He/she waited to be with me for so long, I don't have heart to say no now. He/she isn't bad either. I think I like him/her. (So keep asking a person out..he/she will finally cave in).
3. Need: I don't know how to cook/to take care of myself and she/he can. Its a perfect match. (Yeah for you, what about the other person?).
4. Greed: She is successful and earn well. We will have ample money to spend (Believe me, I have heard this one more than once).
5. Trophy Spouse: He/she is so good looking/popular. It makes me look cool. (Well they exactly didn't say the last sentence but thats what they meant..)
6. Reflection: Because he/she loves me so much. He/she is so obsessed with me. (Actually this is a modification of trophy spouse..these people actually like to show off how much their spouse loves them. I guess this is the closest I came to Love, at least one of them was in love).
7. Whatever: (This is my favorite). Because he/she asked me out and I wasn't going out with anyone at that time so we started going out. (Give me a break).
8. Convenience: We work together and this way I don't have to quit my job and settle down somewhere else. (I think they are in love with their job instead of that person).
9. Revolt: Because my parents have been pressurizing for the marriage and I didn't want to go for arranged marriage. (well isn't this a new type of arranged marriage when we arrange it instead of our parents? Isn't this just a revolt against parents/tradition?).
10. Help: This one is very popular among Indian students. He/she has good network and can get previous course notes/assignments. That way I can get good grades.(Very professional, I say).
11. Lonely: Last but not least, is being alone. I have to have someone in my life, no matter who. I can't cope with loneliness. (Well, so far this is one reason I can somewhat live with).
May be being in love is fashionable and thats why these people are in those relationships (so that they have a boyfriend/girlfriend to make their fashion statement). Or may be I don't know the definition of love. Will someone care to explain it to me?
November 9, 2007
P.S.: Just realized, this post follows the post on Atheism. Please don't get confused, I set all this up (including the black cloth (actually a pillow case) in the background and a bright table lamp to get proper lighting) to get some cool pictures of Diwali and not to pray for prosperity or anything. I am big fan of traditions even though I am agnostic. See how pretty this looks!
November 8, 2007
My close friends know that I am a big fan of Gandhi and always had an aversion towards the violent freedom struggle. In fact, Gandhi is my second favorite character from the history, the first being Chanakya/Kautaliya. And let me be clear, I admire both these figures for the same thing: their cunningness and their political/financial understandings that actually made India strong at two different time periods in history. But I digress. Coming back to the article in discussion, I never expected Bhagat Singh to be an atheist, let alone have such a deep understanding about religious beliefs. As Amit Verma puts it, the article makes you want to learn more about Bhagat Singh as a person.
I like to think myself as an agnostic and not an atheist. I don't have courage to discard the existence of a supernatural power and not because I am scared of an Almighty and his wrath but because its a psychological need that I have come to accept. As I wrote earlier, I am a hypocrite when it comes to concept of God. I believe in him when the pressure/stress around becomes too much for me to bear. If I am in a stressful situation, the only way I can relax is by believing that He exists and will be responsible for the consequences of my actions/decisions (As we say it, aage uski marzi (All is in God's hands now)). I don't have enough strength to take responsibility of all my actions and I have a ready made concept/person to blame, then why not use it (I say, When going gets tough, believe in God)? But I do so in full knowledge that I am using the concept of God for my advantage and ultimately its me who has to change in order to succeed (it just gives me a brief respite). Having said that, I completely agree with the views of Bhagat Singh. I wish I had enough courage and emotional strength to become a full-fledged atheist.
The article makes me wonder that how many of the atheists in the world were brought up as an atheist? Most of atheist I know(including me), have come from families of firm believers and thought their way to Atheism. As Bhagat Singh puts it:
According to me, any man who has got some reasoning power at his command always tries to reason out his environments. Where direct proofs are lacking philosophy occupies the important place. As I have already stated, a certain revolutionary friend used to say that philosophy is the outcome of human weakness. When our ancestors had leisure enough to try to solve out the mystery of this world, its past, present and the future, its whys and wherefores, they having been terribly short of direct proofs, everybody tried to solve the problem in his own way. Hence we find the wide differences in the fundamentals of various religious creeds, which sometimes assume very antagonistic and conflicting shapes. Not only the Oriental and Occidental philosophies differ, there are differences even amongst various schools of thought in each hemisphere...
...All these creeds differ from each other on the fundamental question; and everybody considers himself to be on the right. There lies the misfortune. Instead of using the experiments and expressions of the ancient Savants and thinkers as a basis for our future struggle against ignorance and to try to find out a solution to this mysterious problem, we, lethargical as we have proved to be, raise the hue and cry of faith, unflinching and unwavering faith to their versions and thus are guilty of stagnation in human progress....
But above all, I like the underlying question of the article:
Is it due to vanity that I do not believe in the existence of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God?
I think, all the atheist, agnostic people reached to their conclusions by only one reason: Common Sense.
November 7, 2007
How do you function as a lawyer when the law is what the general says it is? -- Babar Satar, on Pakistani lawyers' protests against President Pervez Musharraf
I don't understand what they are complaining about? Isn't that the whole point of dictatorship? Being "God" of your own country...
November 6, 2007
November 5, 2007
Tip #83B: If forwarded mails/spam mails scam, I mean trick, doesn't work, try some match making sites and make fun of few idiotic proposals.
(P.S.: For previous references of the aforementioned book please click here.)
Here is something from my forwarded mails. I knew saving all that crap as a word file will pay off some day. So today we are actually trying to catch a lion. See how our dearest, cutest grad students will go about it but first few legal stuff.
1. Please don't try any of these at home. They are only theoretical conjectures. Trying them in the field can be dangerous.
2. Geek Alert: This manual is specifically meant for Engineering and Science graduates. Any other person trying to comprehend this document will be responsible for the consequences (For details about the consequences, please refer to the manual).
Copyright disclaimer: If the person who authored this document, happen to visit this site and think about suing me, then sorry dude you gave up that right when you forwarded it. Now sit back and just enjoy the ride...I mean popularity of your manual. BTW, great work.
So here it goes:
Manual for catching Lion
Six ways to catch a lion
2. Einstein Method: Run in the direction opposite to that of the lion. Due to higher relative velocity, the lion will also run faster and will get tired soon. Now you can trap it easily.
3. Schrodinger Method: At any given moment, there is a positive probability that lion to be in the cage. So set the trap, sit down and wait.
4. Inverse Transformation Method: We place a spherical cage in the forest and enter it. Perform an inverse transformation with respect to lion. Lion is in and we are out.
5. Thermodynamic Procedure: We construct a semi-permeable membrane which allows every thing to pass through it except lions. Then sweep the entire forest with it.
6. Integration Differentiation Method: Integrate the forest over the entire area. The lion is some where in the result. So differentiate the result PARTIALLY w.r.t lion to trace out the lion.
This manual is STRICTLY for circulation among ENGINEERS and SCIENTISTS only.......anyone found violating the rule will be the lunch for the lion that is caught.
Around 1:30 this afternoon, I decided to go back home early as I wasn't feeling too good (most probably due to my lunch). I parked my car on the fifth floor of the parking structure and since I wasn't already feeling very well, I decided to take the elevator (Big mistake). An elderly gentleman joined me with my wait for the fateful elevator. It arrived and we both got in. BTW, this elevator was the one with the transparent glass on the other side so that you can see outside. Anyway, I pressed the button for my floor and politely asked him for his. He was going to floor 4. The elevator door closed. And then the wait begin...but the elevator didn't move. "Why isn't this elevator moving?", I asked after 10 secs of waiting (how fast our patience run out these days). The elderly gentleman looked up(he was apparently in his thoughts) and realized that the elevator wasn't moving. And then started the pressing of different buttons.
Did you ever notice the "Alarm" button or the "Emergency Call" push buttons in the elevator? Did you ever wonder how to use them? Well I was wondering that so I asked "So do we use Alarm button now?". "Not yet", came the answer and a moment later he added "Don't panic.". I assumed he was telling himself that. We continued pressing the "Open Door" and "Level 1" button alternatively for another minute. Then we tried "LL" (Lower Level = Basement) button (may be it will go the other way). Nothing worked. So he finally decided to press the "Alarm". Well it rang an alarm with in the elevator. Hmmm...thats interesting to know. Why would anyone want to sound an alarm inside the elevator when he is already in the elevator?
Anyways, I suggested to go for the "Emergency call" button. Its supposed to blink indicating the help is on way. What to do if it doesn't blink? Ours didn't. It just went off after 5 secs. We pressed it again..no change in results. By now we have learnt that pressing the button repeatedly isn't working for this elevator. So I took out the cell phone (Surprise, surprise, I had my cell phone and it was fully charged..trust me, me and my cell phone are rarely found together) and said a bit shakily, "well we can use the phone". He said equally shakily, "Is there a phone number we can reach?" I canvased the whole elevator for a number to reach. There was "How to operate?" writing, a permit of elevator operation but no phone number. So should I dial 911? That was a scary thought. Trust me. But as I was contemplating dialing the emergency number there was a sudden bang and the elevator started to go down towards the basement, at normal speed I must add. 'Well now', I thought, 'finally I can go back to being sick', but then another thought struck, 'what if doors still don't open'. Well, it reached the basement level, finally, and slowly and smoothly the door opened. And we were free to climb six floors (five in case of elderly gentleman). Great.
I know its pretty anticlimactic but hey, this is real life and not Hollywood, what did you expect? Handsome, cute, macho firemen coming to our rescue? Sirens blazing everywhere and us coming out of a hostage situation? Dreams, dreams...
P.S.: In case you were wondering, yes, thats what I was contemplating about when that wretched elevator decided to start working again, breaking all my dreams to be rescued by a handsome prince...sob.
November 4, 2007
November 3, 2007
Sharing thoughts is communication, sharing with whom makes it private or public. But now-a-days the means of communications decides the audience and hence deciding about it being private or public. Still that doesn't deter us from putting our most private thoughts on a public platform. At times, under an assumed name. The question being: Are the personal thoughts communicated on a public platform under an assumed name private or public?
Take me, for instance (no I am not using any assumed names), I like to blog (as should be evident by the frequency of posts on this blog) but only very few of my friends know about this blog. None of my campus friends have this url (which is ironic as the blog is titled Grad Life). I don't want any one and everyone, who knows me personally, to know about my personal thoughts but somehow strangers reading these posts doesn't bother me. Does that make me a hypocrite? I want to connect with a world beyond the one I am living in but I don't want to open up in the world I am already living in. And somehow this is an issue of privacy for me. Strange, isn't it? I guess this brings us back to the initial question: where does the privacy begin? What is privacy? May be, being a social animal we can't live in a private world, we will communicate and reach out to someone, not necessarily our friends, somehow, not necessarily by a private communication. Thats our instinct.
November 2, 2007
MK is wondering whether she will ever be a real scientist.
5 hours ago. (Yep. She is a Stanford Geek!)
GC is in love with this weekend !
7 hours ago. (And she isn't.)
10 hours ago. (She is sooo.. in love. She is obviously a teenager. In fact, A sophomore.)
KMis wishing a very happy birthday to her special guy :)
MP is starting a weekend adventure.
10 hours ago. (Hmmmm..."Weekend Adventure". Interesting.)
VB is going to be catwoman on Saturday!
22 hours ago. (Fun Girl.)
on Thursday. (Okay, I have no idea, what does that mean.)
PJ is applying for a green card!
on Wednesday. ("PJ" will be soon American.)
YA is excited he felt the earthquake.
on Wednesday.(Crazy People.)
GC is is back in the game!
on Tuesday. (Which game? )
RP is feeling old-er-er.
on Tuesday. (His B'day was two days before the day he posted this. Explains the two "-er"s. )
NA is having beers
on Monday.(Good for him.)
a moment ago. (That's me. :( )