Apple surprised everyone by making a product which was exactly predicted by the self-claimed Apple gurus. For iPhone(not to say anything about the earth shattering latest versions of MacBook pro, Air, TV, iPods, iPads etc..) Apple has surpassed itself by releasing something as path breaking as Mountain lion. I’d like to imagine that the designers are vacationing & boasting about the scams they pulled off. The worst part is, there are not many products to kick Apple’s butt. Between a dell & Macbook, I will pick the latter any given day just because of the build quality & battery life.
With mobile, Samsung has screwed Apple’s happiness & seems like Microsoft might join the party too. Though I am yet to get my hands on Metro interface but it seems like something promising & finally Microsoft is trying to fight. Finally a phone which will play nice with Office documents. My only concerns are with the hardware quality & app developers. The app developers in iOS are in a different league when it comes to keeping the aesthetics same across apps. That is why Microsoft is not opening up the SDK to everyone right now. My next phone is definitely going to be a S||| or Lumia 920. The best part is, I wont have to stand in line to get either of these phones.
One has to be crazy to run a half marathon during noon time near beach, but it takes something extra to run during the height of summer in Chennai. I went to Elliots beach a day prior to the run for meeting the CTC guys by bike. For the past three weeks my regular running / cycling schedule has gone haywire and I only managed to run thrice. I thought, going to beach by bike will get me in some shape. I took leave from the guys and thats when disaster struck. I was doing three things at the same time - changing gear, adjusting my iPod & braking. I fell with a big thud. I was stupefied and was thinking how this happened. A gentleman helped me up and made me sit near the pavement. My arm was burning with the scratches and bleeding, & the rest of the body seemed quite okay until I got up. Since i had fallen sideways, my hip had taken all the impact & it wasn’t that easy to move around.
The first thing that came to my mind was next day’s run. Pushing that thought aside, I started slowly cycling towards my home and the pain started easing out a bit. After a helping of volini and anti-septic I hit the sack. I decided to give run a try but wasn’t going to really push myself hard. Volini came to my rescue again & went to marina beach.
I was surprised to see Dr. Ram with a full emergency support team & an ambulance. We started our run at around 11:15 near lighthouse in marina beach and it wasn’t that bad. Someone told the temperature was around 37-38. Dr. Ram & Ramesh were helping out the runners with water & gatorade in between. If not for them, I wouldn’t have really finished my run. The first 5 Kms was not that difficult to do & did it at a decent pace. I had taken a bag in which I kept water & some electrol. The bag became very uncomfortable for me to carry & I gave it to Ram for keeping it in his car.
The return to lighthouse wasn’t as easy as the one towards RBI as the wind was against the direction of the run. But it did help in cooling the body. After I finished my first 10 Kms, I was energetic somehow didn’t really feel like I had run a 10K. Having had some gatorade & water, I blasted off and was in the zone(best part of the run). I would have done a couple of Kms before I started slowing down as I started feeling the heat.
Doing my regular speed in this heat & that too after 10 Kms was a big mistake. Soon it started taking its toll on me. I became exhausted after I crossed memorial(KM 13). This patch of more than a kilometer is supposed to be the toughest in the whole loop. The air is quite still & a lot of heat gets radiated from road & pavement(seemed like granite). I couldn’t run anymore & felt dizzy. I started walking & after 5-10 minutes of walking was contemplating catching a ric. Then I spotted Ramesh & Shreyas, and they gave me the much needed gatorade & water. They asked me to pour water on top of my head to cool me down & I felt a lot better. If not for these guys, I would have quit the run.
After struggling to reach RBI, I started getting cramps. I couldn’t even take a step & it was hurting badly. I just sat under a tree in the pavement for 5-10 minutes & then did a few stretching exercises. Luckily, it eased out the pain & I started to feel better. A police guy helped me with water near the quarters. After chatting up with him for a bit, I started for the last 5K. Karthik was also into his last leg of the run & I joined him. The muscle pain would come in every now and then. I used to pause & stretch a bit and start over again. Ram & Ramesh helped out with water & gatorade.
Pouring water over my head helped a great deal. During the last leg the wind was against me & though it made running difficult, it was helping in cooling the body temperature. The last Km & a half, I found some energy from my reserve and started pushing myself to get to my regular speed. The muscles were hurting and were asking me to stop. Since the distance was small & the motivation to get this over with was very strong, I could easily ignore the cramps & muscle pain.
Some of the highlights of the run were curious, smiling kids tagging along for a short while. I don’t know what went through onlookers mind when they saw us running at noon. Likewise, I was surprised to see so many of them here to enjoy the baking hot, humid, sunny beach. The feeling was mutual, I guess. Out of 20 people who started the run, only 7 of us finished a half marathon. A lot of them I guess were only going to do a 10K. Kudos to everyone for participating in the madness & especially to Shahid, Ram, Ramesh & et. all for their support.
I always learn things the hard way. Be it my maiden trek, maiden alpine trek, starting a company or the first half marathon I learn a lot by doing mistakes & paying for them. All in all a great run & have learnt a great deal from it.
I went for a trek to Nagari over the weekend(21-22 April) and it turned out to be a roller coaster ride of emotions. On the first day I got lost while searching for water near our campsite. I met the team again only the next day after more than 14 hours. I had to be there all by myself during a cold night without any water, food or proper protection from cold.
It all started around 4 PM, when Guru & Jai(organizers for the trek) along with me were going around in circles because of the GPS in search of water near our campsite. After a few futile attempts, Guru asked me to check whether I can see anything straight ahead. I went a few steps ahead & I thought I heard sound of water stream flowing. We were all very thirsty, and having heard the sound of stream, I with a sudden burst of energy went straight ahead only to find the sound coming from the leaves. I then retraced my steps or atleast I thought i did, but I couldn’t find these guys. I tried shouting a bit to no avail. I went back up and then tried to retrace my retraced steps. I guess I was going deep in, and after going & searching to my left as well as my right I realized I was lost. My shouts were also not really audible as the place I was in was a bit thick.
The sun was setting and I made a dash for the peak to see if I could spot these guys before its dark. All this while I was shouting and running. After catching my breath and checking the top out, I started shouting in all the directions. Remembering that the guys might also be looking for me, created a flag kind of thing using my tshirt and started waving in the wind.
Meanwhile, they were searching for me and the sun had set. Later I heard a whistle from one of the guys and since it was getting dark and I was not really sure which direction the sound was coming from, I didn’t move. Their shouts were barely audible due to the wind blowing in my ear. After it became dark, I saw two torch lights coming in towards me. It gave me hope and thought I would after all not spend the night alone.
I started shouting “Up” & “Peak” to direct them. Since they were scaling hills the lights would disappear for a few minutes and reappear again & it only made me all the more anxious.
A little more than half way through the light vanished for one last time. Initially I thought something had happened in between and thats why they had stopped. I was shouting my lungs out all the time in regular intervals. At some point, I had sort of created a rhythm for shouting & i started doing it like a involuntary action such as breathing.
Later it started sinking in that they had abandoned the search & I will have to spend the night alone. I didn’t think going after the light source when I first saw them was a good idea since there were many boulders along the way. Being a new moon night the visibility was quite bad. Injury was the last thing I wanted at this point.
I was without water / food / anything. The last meal I had was a soup around 2. After 5-6 hours without water or any form of food I started searching my empty pockets to find a used 5 star wrapper. I licked whatever chocolate was left(very little as I dont normally waste when I eat) stuck to the wrapper. My stomach was making all kinds of noises & I had abandoned shouting thinking that doing anymore of it was only futile. Now I had to find a place to sleep & it was quite windy and becoming cooler by the minute.
I found a big rock which was sliding in both the directions, choose a side which was not in the direction of the wind. The night sky was extremely beautiful and it helped a great deal in distracting me from thinking about food & water. Thoughts of loved ones & what the plan of action for next day would be started doing rounds. This only made things worse and with great difficulty I dozed off pushing those thoughts off. Somewhere around 2 in the night, the wind shifted & it became quite chilly for me to handle. I shifted places and just sat leaning in to a side of the rock away from the direction of the wind.
Thought I had damaged my throat with all the shouting I had done the previous day. After I saw the first ray of light, I tried giving a shout & was surprised to find it alright. The tongue and throat was extremely dry. I thought I will lick the dew(effects of watching discovery channel) formed in leaves & didn’t find anything as the place was extremely dry. I started walking slowly in the direction of last position where I had seen torch light.
I could see a lake far off(atleast 25 miles from my position). My plan was to head for the lake if I don’t find them by 10. Shouting from the previous day had sort of become a habit and was doing it at regular intervals while moving down. That day morning, the luck was on my side I guess and my shouts were going in the direction of the wind. One of them reached the camp and the guys came literally running.
I heard a faint shout “SUNDAR” and dismissed it as some kind of hallucination. The next time it came, I was elated. Started running in the direction of sound and climbed the boulders to spot them. I was doing this every 50 meters, and the sound came nearer & nearer. They asked me to stop & and wait for them to come to me. Then later enquired whether I was injured & when I answered in the negative, asked me to come to them. I just dashed at them and jumped on Harish & Raghav, almost taking them both down. Guru, Jai, Harish & Ragav had come for me & had bought water, glucose & chocolates.
After nearly 14 hours without water & food, the water never tasted this good. EVER! That feeling of relief and bliss is still with me whenever I try to visualize that moment & only brings a smile to my face. Though I kept my cool, I was extremely lucky & there are lot of things that could go wrong and its not fun to get lost & be all by yourself. Extremely thankful for the organizers & the team for doing search both the days.
All in all, it was one helluva experience.
I can’t get a life if my hearts not in it
Have fun at whatever the hell you’re doing. Because fun is good. — @alexia
Forever trust in who we are and nothing else matters
Tanjavur Periya Kovil
One item of the list of things to do this year!
The timing sucks(2h:20m), but there is certainly room for improvement.
Thanks to Chennai runners(21X21 Bala, Karthik et all) for running along.
Je ne sais pas.
My first rage comic: Swimming debacles.
If I have to explain it, its not good enough.
Its pretty normal to loose poonal in a swimming pool / pond / beach while taking a dip.
Being a fun loving / father fearing / pseudo-religious / pseudo-modern guy, he wants to avoid his father’s wrath & doesn’t want to go through the procedure of putting poonal every time he takes a dip.
The guy in the comic ties his poonal to naada of his swimming trunks so that he doesn’t loose it.
And is proud of doing it.
After a disastrous start with ridebeat.com, I am planning to revive it because I still feel it can work.
BTW, the site was designed & hand crafted by Ritwik Roy & it was really wonderful of him to help me out. I owe him one for that.
More on it in the days to come.
People never really had a medium which had greater reach than the internet. May be due to its asynchronous nature or ability to express or convenience or duality or cheap or fire & forget or persistance or any of the million reasons I can’t think of, the internet has really taken off.
Somehow all the politicians regardless of the country they come from, have realized the importance of internet and the need for putting an end to the internet as we know it. I can even get a rap for writing this since, I will be annoying/offending someone.
Why didn’t they make amends in the beginning when they had a much better chance?
Politicians(not just in india) are dumb and are always reactive & never proactive except when it comes to election planning or bakshish err campaign donation err performance incentives. They only realized its true disruptive power when people started participating(the politicians don’t want people to participate) in events like Egyptian protests, Iranian protests, Syrian protests, Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption protests and London’s riots. Much of the co-ordination & communication was done through the internet sites.
The politicians by nature are control freaks(otherwise they wouldn’t be in the state they are in) & like to have everything under their control & manipulate it for their benefit. The classic example is that of the current string of offensive materials found in the internet sites(only of congress leaders I might add) to be taken down.
I don’t know how the RTI act became a law, perhaps they didn’t understand its potential. From here on the government(regardless of political party leading the govt.) will make every attempt to water down that piece of legislation. As of now all them are engaging in extra judicial activities(threatening / killing RTI activists, journalists, applicants)to control its impact.
Somehow it seems the whole purpose of the IT act is to be vague and all encompassing about its limitations at the same time. We have already been sentenced to be incapacitated & have put our heads inside the guillotine. The blade is suspended for now, but it may come down on us any time.
What I like about market dynamics is that it auto-corrects the prices based on supply & demand. There are three things about electricity supply in Mumbai(where I hail from),
a. It is also operated by private entities(Reliance power & Tata power).
b. Per unit rates are one of the highest in India.
c. There are no power outages.
I used to pay at the very least Rs. 500 every month for using basics(W/o A/C & geyser) and the bill used to sky rocket during summers(due to A/C). What I essentially pay here is Rs. 80(No, the meter is alright - got it checked :D).
Any house I visit in chennai these days have at the very least 1 A/C. Most of them have one for each for a bedroom & its not surprising anymore to see a split in each room(including kitchen). There was a time when A/C was seen as a luxury, but now its downright one of the basic necessities to survive. The so called IT companies(many of them run 24/7 offices) which are supposed to be at the fore front of technological innovations are not doing enough. Why should the government bear the brunt of such disrespect for energy resources. Why can’t the rates of electricity be market regulated. I do know we have obligations for poorer sections to make electricity affordable.
That can be easily solved by using different slabs, where the rates exponentially increase with amount of usage. As soon as the rates starts biting people in their ass err purse, they will soon start watching their usage. They will start going for efficient A/C’s & refrigerators, use them only when necessary, use the timers accordingly, use optimal temperatures & settings. Since the electricity board(esp. private ones) will loose a lot more money on power wastage, the electricity boards will start using efficient products & materials. Even the appliance industry will start innovating & greately improve the efficiency of power usage in their products. The builders of new houses will start giving importance to natural light & air ventilation.
As of now nobody has an incentive or an dis-incentive for being prudent.
I am reminded of the hindi proverb:
Laathon ke bhooth baathon se nahi maante.
& we Indians(I am no exception) by nature respond better to stick than carrots.
In fact I will be very much interested in the study of this relation between rates, usage & human psychology and the cycle it kicks off.
Can AMMA(J. Jayalalitha) known for her pragmatism, bold decisions & having unlimited power can tackle this shortage of power?
tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?
Windows blue screen :P
I would have said mac had the question been for animated objects.
Its a little late to make new year resolutions, but who gives a shit apart from me anyway. I can claim today is a new year for some extremely rare & almost extinct race of elves living in shbhaduvia(pronounced as baduwa). There are more calendar systems than the number of days in a year, I dont even know what calendar to follow since I fall under a category of people just as confused about their identity as about their different calendar systems. Then there are the tolkenists who can invent a new species(every fucking second) with multiple races following multiple religions speaking different languages in different regions each following their own calendar systems.
After our startup bombed(or didn’t even create a ripple let alone a splash), I am left with a lot of time and a feeling of complete dis-satisfaction, void, emptiness, anger & a lot of other feelings I can’t even describe in words(just a failure to master GRE word lists).
At the time when I took the break an year and a half back, I wanted to change the way I live, think & do stuff. Just like any rewrite projects that I have undertaken so far, it starts with a ideal/ultimate/great/bohemian vision. Perhaps there is no clean, new shinny v2.0 and only v1.1 & in order to get to v2.0 one can only go incrementally(or just short circuit the versioning system like ff).
Now I don’t have a lot of savings left and will have to inevitably go and work somewhere Or I have the choice of creating a money minting machine. Just like the Indian mantra of nichodna(squeezing the max out of anything), I am going to stretch the savings as much as possible and get the world for it.
The worst part is the feeling of incompleteness & dis-satisfaction. And this is exactly the problem I am trying to attack with the list of things I am planning to do:
If I had as much sense I have now, I would have been more focused during my break & would have improved a great deal more.
So after spending nearly 0.7 million of my hard earned savings(took 4 years of working my ass off & some great investments in MFs) & year and a half I have learnt one important lesson of to start doing stuff incrementally & to persevere at it.
I have started work on some of these things already. Some of these things are not objective and too idealistic(I can’t change overnight even if I want to). For doing 3, 4, 5 & 6 I am planning to create a open-source application & get used to the idea of writing great code. I will definitely suck initially, but over a period I know I can get there.
Why write this? Use this as a reminder for me.
My old blog (Good bye blogspot)