Archive for March, 2009

March 18, 2009

Mount Kinabalu Trip

March 17, 2009

Singapore IT Show @ Suntec

This weekend Singapore has hosted one of the big IT shows in Asia. This has lasted for 4 days (Thu-Sun) in Suntec Convention & Exhibition Center. Most of the well known IT and electronics vendors were present during the event. The show was sprawling over 5 entire floors of the Convention center. Consumers were offered with discounts on almost all the products. Every year this has become another excuse for people round the world for a trip to Singapore.

All these days I have been hearing about recession recession and only recession all over the world. So we thought recession would badly hit this time IT show. If you are claustrophobic then this was not a place to be. But to my wonder neither recession nor the huge crowd stopped people from buying the Laptops, Cameras, LCDs, Play Stations etc.

I have been to the show for 3 consecutive days (Thu-Sat) with my friends. Even though Thursday and Friday were working days, I could see many people coming to Suntec. On Thursday I bought a Laptop. On Saturday again we went to buy a play station. I must admit that even before I entered the exhibition hall I started to realize that it was a bad idea. Despite the significant number of people in the mall, we managed to get a seat at the food court. Had our lunch and then went into the mall. We felt that the crowd was a bit less when compared to Thu and Fri. Anyways we decided to get out of there as soon as possible before we both choked.

Once we were done with our shopping and came out we were astounded at the surge of masses. To control the crowd even the elevators were stopped, people were asked to come back in an hour, people were stopped while one batch of people would come out of the mall. Luckily we escaped such a scenario.

From the news I heard that, for about an hour there was a technology glitch, all the electronic payment lines went down. There was a huge loss for some of the companies as the frustrated customers walked off. There was heavy rain, which in turn resulted in a massive human jam at City Link Mall. Mall operators had to close some entrances to stop more people from entering and put marshals on duty.

Again looking forward for the IT Show in June …

March 17, 2009

Every Question has a Solution !!!

Vanilla Ice Cream that puzzled General motors!!!!

An Interesting Story

Never underestimate your Clients’ Complaint, no matter how funny it might seem! This is a real story that happened between the customer of General Motors and its Customer-Care Executive. Pls read on…..

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

‘This is the second time I have written to you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we’ve eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem….. You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds “What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?” The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway.

The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start. The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas uses, time to drive back and forth etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now, the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Eureka – Time was now the problem – not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer: “vapor lock”.

It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution, with cool thinking.

Don’t just say it is “IMPOSSIBLE” without putting a sincere effort….COZ even “IMPOSSIBLE” says I.M.POSSIBLE…..:-)

What really matters is your attitude and your perception. So never be shy to ask out your questions.

Courtesy: Forward mail from Hemant Pradhan

March 15, 2009

Movies Movies and Movies

This weekend was all about the movies. Watched the below movies …
Matrix Reloaded
Glory Road
Ullasamga Utsahamga
Shoot em Up
Hot Fuzz

March 13, 2009

My New Laptop

As soon as I came to Singapore the first action I took was to buy a laptop. There were lot of consultations as what to buy and what not to buy. At last I bought Dell Inspiron. It worked well (I know my roommates would never agree with it) for a year. In January my laptop got screwed up and since then I have been using my friends (Srini) laptop till yesterday. I was very skeptical about investing in another laptop. My roomies encouraged me to take one as they would share some amount as my marriage gift. That very statement made me go and buy a new laptop. This time again after many consultations I took a multimedia laptop which is good for watching movies and playing games.

The specifications of my Acer Aspire are:
16″ Monitor
2.2GHZ AMD Processor
350GB Hard Disk.

Got some stupid free gifts like
USB Mouse
USB Speakers
Cleaning Kit

March 12, 2009

Gujju Bhai coming – Watch Out

Yesterday evening I was in such a circumstance which provoked me to write this post here. In Hyderabad I never interacted with guys from North India. After coming to Singapore I have been interacting with different people from different cultures. My friends here always told me how typical Gujjus are. They told me that a Gujju bhai will always see you as an investment. He would not invest his time, money and emotions in you unless he expects something from you. Yesterday I have seen that a Gujju bhai will never let an investment go waste, even if it is with his friends or colleagues.

One of my colleague “A typical Gujju bhia” who likes using the free Internet, likes drinking free coffee at office etc has bought some stuff at a store and got some free gift coupons. If they were some direct free coupons then I would not be in this situation to write this post. They read, you spend $30 and $10 will be refunded. This gujju didnt like buying which is not necessary and at the same time he wanted to en cash that $10 dollar free coupon. He got a plan in his mind.

2 days before the incident, we both met at the water cooler in the office.

Gujju Bhai (GB): Hey hi ..
I: Hi ..

GB: Yaar I have 3 Fila gift coupons, do you need them? Its $10 discount on every $30 purchase.
I: Thats nice. Sure will take it.

I was not sure what was going to come. Yesterday evening.

GB: Hey, yeh le. These are the 3 coupons.
I: Oh OK, thanks.

He started explaining.
GB: You have to buy $90 worth goods and you will get $30 discount. That means you have spent only $60. You give me $10 that means you spend $70 for $90.
I: Sorry, I didn’t get you.

GB: You have to buy $90 worth goods and you will get $30 discount. That means you have spent only $60. You give me $10 that means you spend $70 for $90.
I: So you mean to say that I have to take these coupons and give you $10.

GB: Yes (Smiling).

I never expected such a deal from someone whom you know for sometime. In anger:

I: OK. First let me go to the store and if I like something and buy something and avail your discount then I shall repay you.

I thought after hearing this he would say OK and then leave. But again he showed his Gujju flair.

GB: Yaar, you have to take a decision very early as these coupons are only till April 1st. If you do not buy before that date then I would be at loss.

I was appalled by this statement and said OK. I am not sure how people can behave this way with some one whom you know for at least sometime. From now on I shall be very apprehensive with all the great Gujju bhais.

March 11, 2009

Wish you all Happy Holi

First of all Happy Holi. Last night when I and Ramya were discussing about holi we just tried to remember if we know anything about Holi. The conclusion was never did not know anything about the legends and rituals attached to it. So I went ahead and read on the net for what holi actually means and why it is celebrated. I would confidently say that 90% of my friends would not know any of this. So I thought I shall collectively post all the myths and legends about this festival in my blog.

Holi, the festival of colours, has many interesting legends and rituals attached to it. The mythological origins vary in different parts of the country, but the variety only gives one more reason to enjoy the festival!

Legends and Mythology
Legend 1 :
In Vaishnava theology, Hiranyakaship was the king of demons, and had received the boon of immortality from Lord Brahma. As his power and arrogance grew, he began objecting to people’s belief in the divine power and demanded that they worship him instead. However, Hiranyakaship’s son Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. When he failed to destroy his son’s beliefs despite placing him in near fatal situations, he ordered young Prahlad to sit on a pyre in his sister Holika’s lap. Holika was blessed with a shawl, which would prevent the fire from harming her.

Prahlad happily followed his father’s orders and prayed to the lord to save him. As the flames grew, to the spectators’ amazement, the shawl flew from Holika to Prahlad. From that day on, the burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.

Legend 2 :
In Vrindavan and Mathura, Holi is celebrated in memory of the divine love of Radha for Krishna. It is believed that when Lord Krishna was young, he often whined about his dark complexion and wondered why Radha was so fair. One day, his mother Yashoda playfully suggested that he can smear colour on Radha’s face and change her complexion to any colour he wanted. Fascinated by the idea, Krishna proceeded to do so and thus, introduced the festival of colours.

Lord Krishna is believed to have popularised the festival by playing pranks on the gopis . The holi of Braj is famous all over India for its intimate connection with the divine deities and their love plays. Mythology also states that Holi is a celebration of the end of ogress Pootana, who tried to kill infant Krishna by feeding him poisonous milk.

Legend 3 :
Another Holi legend, which is popular in Southern India, revolves around Lord Shiva and Kaamadeva (God of lust). Kama’s body was reduced to ashes by the force of an angry Shiva’s third eye, when he shot a flower-draped arrow at him to disrupt his penance. On the tearful requests of Kama’s wife Rati, the lord restored him, but only as a mental image, representing true love rather than physical lust. The Holi bonfire is believed to be celebrate this event.

Legend 4 :
Also popular is the fable of ogress Dhundhi who devoured innocent children in the kingdom of Raghu. She was ultimately chased away by the children’s pranks on Holi. This is the reason that young boys are allowed to indulge in rowdiness on Holi.

Rituals of Holi
True Holi:
Fire or water? The emphasis is on ‘ Holika dahan’ or lighting up of Holi on the eve of Holi. The origin of the Holi bonfire is attributed to the burning of demonesses like Holika and Putana . In places like Bihar and UP, ‘ Holika dahan’ is also known as ‘Samvatsar Dahan’ . The concept of Samvatsar New Year varies in different provinces of our country.

The name says it all. Thandai is part and parcel of Holi celebrations. This refreshing and healthy drink is to be served amid the play of colours. In fact, Bhang thandai is used to set the mood for the festival of colours. Drinking thandai in this season also goes with the weather, as it acts as a coolant for people in North India, where the temperature is usually high at this time.

Vital ingredient: Bhang
There are no two ways about it — Bhang has become the official Holi drink. Culled from the leaves and buds of cannabis, the intoxicating bhang escalates the spirit of Holi. Lip-smacking bhang thandai , bhang pakoras and bhang vadas are some popular snacks people look forward to on Holi. The tradition of bhang on Holi is particularly popular in North India where Holi itself is celebrated with a zest not witnessed elsewhere.

Holi Mela
Holi melas are grand affairs and an ideal way for people who want to spend Holi in a different and more colourful way. Apart from being a source of entertainment, these fairs play a significant role in bringing people together. Colour is the main theme of any Holi fair. Everywhere, one can see aromatic colours kept in thalis or gunny bags. Even shopkeepers are seen with painted faces and hands to create the perfect aura.

Rang barse!
Splashing coloured water, smearing friends with gulal (coloured powder) and tossing water balloons on each other, playing with colours will be the order of the morning and any offence caused to anyone is washed away.

The beautiful, intricate patterns made from coloured rice powder or sand are considered auspicious. Traditionally, rangoli is made by unmarried girls of the family.

Say it in style!
Tray-loads of sweets and colours are distributed to near and dear ones. Blessings are exchanged and gulal is used to anoint the feet of elders or the forehead of a younger person. Other gifts, such as puja thalis, pichkaries (long metallic syringes used to splash water), packets of colour, chocolates can also be gifted.

March 11, 2009

Luck by Chance is Sincere

Last night I have watched yet another lovely movie from Akhtar clan. Yes, thats Luck by Chance, Direction and Script and Screenplay by Zoya, Produced and Acted by Farhan and Lyrics by Zaved. The movie is all about the inside story of Bollywood film industry. It deals with wide range of issues in film industry right from Casting couch to Showbiz politics. The star cast is so nicely picked up and their acting seemed very sincere. Farhan and Konkana were very good in their roles. They both have very strong characters with a subtle difference and their scenes together ooze warmth and innocence. The background score and the songs were brilliant in the movie. The movie has a huge star cast in the guest appearances and everyone were used properly at the right time. Last but not the least, Isha was amazing in the movie and did her role very well.

There is a recent Telugu movie by name “Neninthe” which is on the similar lines. But this movie by all means is better than Neninthe. Overall its a brilliant movie with a strong theme. The moral of the story is Luck would be favored if you take some chances at the right time. My rating would be 8 out of 10.

March 10, 2009

Five Years Industry

Immediately after Engineering I dreamed of going to US. I never wanted to work in India. But god has something else in store for me. March 8th 2004, I joined Goldstone Technologies as a fresher. Its been an eventful journey of 5 years (2004-2009) in this IT industry. Last 5 years, I have worked in 3 different companies (GTL, CA and CS) under 3 different managers (Srinivas Reddy, Dhananjay Pershad and Nagaraj) in 2 different countries (India and Singapore) in just 1 single technology (Business Objects). Today when I look back, I am happy to see that I have worked with some good people and have learned a lot not only professionally but also in personal life.

Learning Curve During these years

Today I have come a long way from who and where I was years ago. But I didn’t really change who I am at the core. In my professional life I am where I imagined I would be, if not farther than that. May be I did not really had my priorities set to focus on my career, but still could manage all these years. One thing people might have learned from me (Goldstone guys would definitely accept this) is Work smart rather than working hard. I have never struggled or hooked up for something which I could not do. I always had the information of who can do what. So it was never tough for me to get the things start working.

My learning curve has not be so acute but still have learned a lot of things and now I am in a comfortable position to crack all kinds of technical interviews. Coming to what I should be in next 5 years, hmmm frankly speaking I have never thought so far. But definitely I would not like to be in a technical role. I would try moving into a pre-sales or managerial role by that time.

March 10, 2009

Curious Case of Benjamin Button is Lengthy

After hearing about the 13 Oscar nominations I had been waiting to see this movie for quite some time. At last this Saturday we made it a point to watch this movie. I had high expectations on this movie. Its a slow paced movie. Oops its a lengthy slow paced movie. But still the movie managed to keep me stick to my seat for 2 hours 45 minutes. The star cast Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett did a great job in their roles. The music in the film is great as well. The make up was awesome for Brad Pitt, right from the start till the end. The cinematography, Special Effects were simply amazing. The story went on just like the way Forest Gump went on. Later I came to know that the makers for both the movies were the same.

Finally its just like our potli baba ki kahaniyan which we used to see in our child hood days in Doordarshan. The similarity in both of them is the story starts with an old man telling about the events going on in his life while he becomes young. I would rate this film as 8 out of 10. This movie and Slumdog Millionaire could not cope up with the hype given to them.