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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

These videos are hilarious and this guy, incredibly talented. See only if you appreciate Hyderabadi humor. You have been warned!

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We had a long diwali weekend here at Google (yes, I work there) and in grand anticipation we planned a day trip to Nagarjuna Sagar again. This time we decided that it be on a much larger scale than our last trip.

So this time it was a whopping five families, which came to approximately 30 people of all shapes and sizes. Dare I mention that the word chaos was thrown around quite often. The naive little idealist in me thought that this trip would pan out well and everyone would have a great time. While thankfully the latter did happen, the former left much to be desired from.

People and all their nakhras are hard to handle. Period. From convincing my own family members to come along, to calling others a zillion times to know if they're coming:

Us: 'Are you coming'
Them: 'Sure!'
Us (thinking that was easy): 'Great! We're leaving on Sunday then.'

A little while later

Them (with guilt that kids are not studying): 'Our little chintoo isn't studying too hard, so we don't want him to miss his Sunday class, so we won't make it'
Us (still figuring what happened): 'Umm.. sure if he has to go, he has to go.'

Next scene: Chintoo is riding beside me on the bus to Sagar.

So anyways, with the pooling of resources and the vestiges of our sanity erased, we tarried forth. The trip was fun overall, we had a fun ride, breakfast on the way, a bit of throwing rocks in the water, a tasty meal of fried fish and khatti daal, (I ate like a pig), then headed to the falls where we played for about an hour and then headed for home.

A few observations:

- The intensity of the fall was much greater. Points that were accessible the last time we went were off limits. The sheer pressure of the water kept pushing us away.
- I keep injuring myself in the same foot that leaves me limping for a few weeks
- Never insist on family (read the ladies) coming on day trips. It's either them or the schedule.
- Push your estimates by 2 to 3 hours always. For ex. we thought we'd reach home by 10 in the night, ended up reaching at 12:30.
- It's nice to have these group trips once a century. We've covered the 21st.


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Friday, October 17, 2008

If you services like Gmail, Google Reader, Youtube, Google Videos, News sites etc. you can now access them through one interface at iGoogle. It's amazing how effectively they've integrated all of it. You simply need to login once and all your services are available. You don't need to go to each services' web page.

I find this highly convenient and time saving. Kudos to the people who've thought of this. There's even a mobile version of this. Unifying services and 'cloud computing' are all the rage these days.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's been a while since I posted on this blog. It's sad that I'm forced to blog again because of insane turn of events in the past few weeks. What with the arrests of a few guys associated with this new group calling itself (or being called) the Indian Mujahideen (seriously they could've atleast come up with a better name, like the jihadi harbingers of death or summthin)

What's alarming is how decent looking guys are being implicated. Take this piece in the guardian for example. It says one 'Peerbhoy' has been arrested for being a terrorist. Before I continue with this I'd like to say that if someone is a convicted terrorist, they should be punished. There is no second opinion about that. But when I look at these events, I can't help but feel that there's more to it than meets the eye. Take the case I linked to for example.

- Guy has a well paying job. Visited the US on many occassions. Sounds like he has a career ahead of em. So Muslim guys who have good careers ahead of them can suddenly become terrorists.

- These guys belong to, and I quote "highly qualified, computer-savvy people belonging to good and educated families". So now decent Muslim families, with educated members can produce blood thirsty terrorists.

- The article says he became a radical (whatever that's supposed to mean) after visiting Mecca. So now the millions of people visiting Mecca are all now at the risk of being radicalized. Young Muslims guys, beware of travelling to Mecca.

- Also what changed him was his attendance of an Arabic class. For God's sake so many people learn Arabic. Osmania University has an entire dept that teaches the language. So now, anyone trying to learn this language is potentially a... here it comes.. radical.

If you're not on drugs, you'll notice a definite trend here. It's about taking a perfectly normal setting, which applies to millions of Muslim families and turning it in to a threat. Ooo you betta be afraid of the young Muslim guy! Don't be fooled by his good manners or decent family background or the fact that he's actually got a good career ahead of him. He's a filthy terrorist!

I ask all fair minded individuals, if you have Muslim friends (and you should, we make the best food around) don't you feel this could apply to them. I mean if you know a Muslim guy from a decent family, does it occur to you that they could possibly want to harm someone for no justifiable reason.

This is what is disturbing about this whole situation. Until now, the media was telling us that it is the unemployed and disaffected youth that took to terrorism. But now, your everyday, middle class, educated, career-oriented, young Muslim male is potentially a terrorist. The message being communicated here is a dangerous one and all thinking people should strive for the facts before they accept what they find in the mainstream media.

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