Monday, 29 March 2010

Cars and our mis-adventures with them ..

The weekend was fun in many ways a very dramatic one. Saturday after the much planned out morning sessions of doing some constructive work, we decided to lunch at Hotel Ashoka in Egmore .. I ve heard the hotel is a good one .. but it was my first time there. After the good food and some vetto talks .. I along with my friends D and H got into my car .. Almost 10 mins into the car and we hear some peculiar sounds .. and the people in the road are pointing to our car and trying to tell us something .. Pulling the car to the side of the road , we got down to check what was wrong - The silencer was broke and was hitting the road as we drove ... :( :( .. We were almost a kilometer away from my place .. My dear friends D and H helped me move the car to my home in the " karagata karan movie style" - for the uninitiated , the car in that movie always had to be moved with people pushing it ..

After relaxing at home and refreshing ourselves .. we had a fun evening shopping for my friend Jaya's bday .. which entailed me into getting 2 new dresses for me :) :)

Sunday , Midway into celebrating Jaya's bday .. D's car got stuck in the sand .. after trying out various techniques .. and all that stuff that i came across when our canter at Ranthambore forest got stuck the same way .. but it didnt help here .. and after quite sometime of experimentation with stones , stick , sand and the car .. We finally did it .. after some serious rubber burning.. literally .. we could sense the smell of the tyre after its great impact with hot sand .. Neverthless, the car didnt give up until we all reached home safely ..

The last week also started on an adventurous note where I along with D and H walked from nungambakam to Anna nagar .. huff.. whata week its been ?? :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A beginning for a lot of things that is going to end soon...

I wrote my last cycle test (probably) that I would ever write today .. It was on Data mining .. It went on decently well ..

It is the beginning of a lot of things that is going to end soon(Courtesy : Ashish)- like the last cycle test , the last day in class ( sigh, I don' want this to happen too soon ).

The status message of many of my friend's in Facebook is the count down of the number of days left in college .. In one way I'm sad at the thought of not being around with so many of your friends at the same time , being totally irresponsible , aimlessly roaming the city, movie times in class, walking around the campus under the hot scorching sun , diwali get togethers with friends , a dozen of us fighting for a news paper , group studies, friendly chat with the staffs .. I'm sure Im gonna miss them all very soon ..

But, on the other hand I truly feel I have been here and done all these a way too much and its time to move on to the next phase .. Jus' the anticipation part of what it is gonna be like is making me feel the same way, when was put in a new class in college couple of years ago .. This turned out to be really good and I hope the future is as good and fun in every way :)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 85

I sat in my seat, as my new grade six classmates found theirs. At the front of the class our new math teacher stood watching us, "Come on, class. We don't have all day. Get settled please."

Mr. Stevens was the strangest teacher we ever encountered. At the beginning of the school year, he rented the basement of a house on the other side of the cove from our school. He drove a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, but usually jogged to school - a rare and strange thing in the early 1970's in Nova Scotia. There were rumors that he flossed daily, which was later witnessed in class after he ate his healthy lunch of vegetables and fruit. All of these habits were things we were not used to in our small fishing village.

The bell rang.

"Ok, class. Welcome to a new school year. I'm Mr. Stevens and I'm sure I'll learn all your names in no time." He walked around the class handing out math books. When he was done, he returned to the front of the class and looked at us. We stared back. "What are you waiting for? Get started?" He said.

We looked at him - confused. Wasn't he going to teach us?

"Is there something wrong with your ears? You're not all deaf are you?"

One brave soul at the back of the class asked what we all wanted to know. "Mr. Stevens, aren't you going to teach us?"

"Rubbish!" Mr. Stevens replied. "You're smart kids. Open your books and get to it. If you have any trouble or any questions raise your hand, and I'll come help you."

My friend Paul and I exchanged glances and opened our books to the first chapter. A competition began. Paul and I spent all our free time at home working through the lessons. Mr. Stevens, true to his word, helped anyone who was stuck on a problem. It was his clue a lesson was needed. He'd stop us from what we were doing to teach all the students what one struggled with. It was a strange method of teaching, but it was very effective. He only had to push a few of the less disciplined students to work through the book. Not Paul and I. We worked like dogs and finished two and one half math books that first year.

It was a turning point in my life. Mr. Stevens made me realized I was good at math and also able to reach the top of any class I attended. In our small elementary school, I studied under his guidance for two years.

Mr. Stevens was a strange man, but I loved him. Monty Python's Flying Circus was a popular television show back then. The actors brought the best and most warped of British humor into our Canadian lives. Mr. Stevens would often act out one of their skits in front of the class. He mimicked John Cleese walking the German goose step and often recited line-for-line a skit for the latest show. Some thought he was strange, and I guess he was, but he knew how to make a math lesson interesting.

In the spring of our ninth grade year, we were told to chose the classes we would take in our first year of high school. There were three choices for every subject: general, academic, and advanced. Mr. Stevens made it quite clear, general classes were for the students who were going no where. Academic classes were middle of the road and would get you to university. The advanced classes were college prep classes. You studied the same topics but were given more work and harder challenges. Paul and I looked at our choices. General classes sounded easy. "Rubbish!" Mr. Steven's scolded us. "You will take the advanced class in math. You're too smart not to."

We compromised and took the academic class. During my second week of high school math I raised my hand. My new teacher, Mr. West, also known as wild, wild West because of his temper, came to my desk. "What can I do for you?"

"Well, I'm not sure what they want me to do in this chapter. Can you explain it to me?"

He stared at my book. "We're not doing that chapter yet? Good gosh! You're six chapters ahead of the class."

"I'm sorry, Sir. I've always done my math this way."

"Don't be sorry, young man." He leaned closer to me. The garlic he had for lunch made my eyes tear. "Look, Mike. Do you have fifth period free? If you do, I have an advanced class then. You need to be in that class."

"I do, but ..." I began to protest.

He cut me off. "Mike, this is not the class for you. You need to be in the advance class. I'll work it out with the guidance teacher. Be here tomorrow at the new time. You're through in this class."

I thrived in my new environment. I finally had classmates with the same passion for math as I did. It was all because of whacky Mr. Stevens, the man who gave us a book and said, "Get started!"

I've carried his lesson with me all my life. Whenever I am faced with a new challenge, I think of my first day in grade six math. Instead of sitting and staring at the challenge, I just get started. Before I know, it the challenge has been overcome.

I just get started !

- Michael T. Smith

To read other Monday Morning Inspirations click here.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

My life's happenings ..

First the good things , I ve been placed with Ernst and Young which I'm super excited about it :)

I got to read the March issue of Lonely Planet .. I for general love travelling and this was so perfect for me to while away time. I toally loved the magazine for what it is, the quality and quantity of content I feel is totally worth its price. A well spent 100 bucks every month I would say.

I along with my friends test drove the Volkswagen Polo today.. Been wanting to do it for a while now, finally it happened today. Loved the exteriors and the interiors were fine too . The driving experience was good too..

Next planning to test drive i 20 and Ford Figo :)

Apart from all these nice happenings I'm badly in want of a break.. On one hand I feel its much better if life gets busier and on the other hand I'm so in want to take a big break and come back afresh to do all my deeds.

Planning to blog hop as well, its been a real long time...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 84

A story of Steve Jobs

I was lucky I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz¹ and I started Apple in my parents' garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a two billion dollar company with over 4000 employees. We'd just released our finest creation the Macintosh a year earlier, and I had just turned 30.

And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. And so at 30, I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down --that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me: I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT; another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world's first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, and I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometime life sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love.

And that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking and --don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking don't settle.

To read other Monday Morning Inspiration click here.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Monday Morning Inspiration # 83

STEVE JOBS convocation speech at Stanford.

I'm honored to be with you today for your commencement from one of the finest
universities in the world. Truth be told, I never graduated from college, and this is the
closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation.

Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first six months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.

So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking, "We've got an unexpected baby boy; Do you want him?" They said, "Of course." My biological mother found out later that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would go to college. This was the start in my life.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life.

So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out okay. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms. I returned coke bottles for the five cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me.

And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the "Mac"would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them.

If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the wellworn path, and that will make all the difference.

To read other Monday Morning Inspirations click here

I will save the other two stories for the coming weeks.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Vinnai thandi Varuvaya :) :) - Movie Review

*No spoilers*

A movie that was totally worth the wait :) :)

Every time I saw the poster or the trailer or the news paper Ad I kept telling myself that I should surely see it as soon as it releases, like the way I do to most other movies and this one I made sure it happened.

I've lived this movie twice already and i'm already planning my next trip to the theatres to watch it again :) It sure is going to be one of my all time favourites , an evergreen movie that would appear fresh each time I see it.

I'm sure most of you by now would have realised that I have hardly been bitten by the VTV bug :) .. Every single aspect of the movie was so appealing .. Right from Trisha's clothes the finesse with which Simbu has portrayed his role .. to the cinematography .. to the locations in which the songs were shot .. to the choreogragraphy of Hosanna .. the itsy bitsy naughtiness and chemistry between the lead pair that was so beautifully pictured .... timely humor by Ganesh (simbu's friend in the movie).. Mindblowing musical score by the Madras Maestro ARR ... And Gautam Vasudev Menon who has brought his brain child VTV into such beautiful picturisation with his conseptualisation .. Direction and what not ..


I loved every bit of the movie :) Thou' the twist in the climax was totally unexpected of , I totally liked it .

Let me know how you guys liked it .

Let's meet up ..

I jus' got back from college , checked my gmail and I'm not able to think of anything else other than coming here to blog at my space ..

I'm so really excited to be attending the Indiblogger's meet in Chennai on 20th March 2010 at GRT Convention centre in T.Nagar .

I've already registered .. What about you guys ??
Those of them who are interested can register with the above link .. No fee , the event is totally sponsored by Univercell .. There are only 150 seats available in a city with over 1500 bloggers ..

I will catch you guys there :)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Holi Times !!

Wishing you all a very happy Holi and a colorful year ahead!! :)

Holi brings back fond memories of my childhood of how everyone at home used to be against me playing holi and how I used to sneak out jus' to enjoy the holi spirit and get into trouble at home .. It wasn't long ago since all these happened.

Now again I want to sink into the festive spirit of Holi but its been a couple of years since we full fledgedly played holi .. I wonder why thou ??

Missing all my school pals (Nishi, Gari, Mona, Raz, Shamita ...) with whom I share wonderful memories of Holi.

Let me know what you guys did this holi.