Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hell and Heaven!

Read this somewhere:

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said,"Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like." The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man lookedin. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man'smouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appearedto be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that werestrapped to their arms and each of them found it possible to reach into the pot of stew, and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoon back into their mouths.The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. TheLord said, "You have seen Hell."They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same asthe first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew,which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with thesame long-handled spoons, but here the people were well-nourished and laughingand talking.The holy man said, "I don't understand." "It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill." "You see, they have learned to feed each other,while the greedy only think of themselves."

Good one na?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Of life and life-saving..

Many of the Bollywood movies would potray a scene wherein a patient will be taken to the hospital only to hear the doctors say, "Had you brought him/her 30 mins early we could have saved him/her". Even in real this may be pretty much possible and could happen to any of us, anytime.

In todays busy world everyone seems to be busy.The haste with which we expect things to happen, the sheer insensitivity, and the absence of civic responsibilty is the root cause for such miseries to happen. Almost everyday, on the way back home, I find atleast one ambulance getting struck in the Guindy traffic. Adding futher to the tragedy is the mismanagement in traffic control that happens despite the traffic police on duty. No one seems to show even a least bit of concern for the poor soul at distress.

Every evening I hear the sirens go on and on at the junction only to fall on deaf ears. For atleast 15 mins, there is an inescapable wait for the ambulance.The traffic seems to be an unanswerable problem. The presence of the traffic constable doesnt even make a difference. When there is not enough clearance for the ambulance to pass by, there are no efforts to make way for the ambulance carrying a soul fighting for life.

Even if slightest of common sense is given a chance, this problem could be resolved. The traffic cops can easily stop the timed functioning of the traffic signals and open the traffic so that the vehicles preceding the ambulance can clear out and pave way for the amulance to pass by. Then the normal routines can be continued.

A couple of days ago, there was a report on NDTV about the number of deaths that happen on the way to the Hospital, in the ambulance, getting struck in the traffic. Every week atleast 2 or 3 cases are reported in Mumbai alone. And the figures for the whole of India??? You fill in the blanks!!!

Also yesterday, when we reached office and was about to alight the bus, there were a bunch of people block the bus to enter the Infy gate. They had come down to protest against what had happened the previous night. The reason being that there was someone in the adjoining vilagecritically ill and had to be taken to the hospital. They had come to ask for the infy ambulance. The security guard had dismissed their request stating that he does not have permission to do so. The patient finally died in the midst of the wait for medical help.

I would say, the Security Guard could have spoken to the authorities and could have given teh ambulance to the villagers. Or even at the worst case, could have taken a decision on his own to give it. Saving a life was much more important than the hierarchical order of doing things and not by passing the order.

Even if an ambulance was not supposed to be taken for saving a life, then wat kind of a Social conciousness are we speaking about in corporates? Is it all worth the say? Will there be some change in our moral responsibilites atleast in the days to come? Only time will answer this question.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Eventful Day today!!

Before i could eloborate anything, let me tell u, i had a gr8 day today!!

i am now released from my project. so thought i head to MCity to see wats happenoing there. It felt so nice to be there after being in Sholz for soemtime. here I go away from the hustle and bustle of shols!!! MCity is a lot calmer, Greener and welcoming than sholz.

It felt so nice to meet old friends again. The same breakfast fun, hopping into everybody s cube and paying courtesy visits. Wow!! ya ya i do agree all this is signs of joblesness but being jobless once in a way is actually nice!!!

Today i accomplishedone important job. Well, will let out the secret if it materialises!!

Evening to beach with babe and D1. overall, it was a funfilled and eventful day!! :) :)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brooks' law

This is something interesting i read:

Brooks' law was stated by Fred Brooks in his 1975 book The Mythical Man-Month as "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." Likewise, Brooks memorably stated "The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned." While Brooks' law is often quoted, the line before it in The Mythical Man-Month is almost never quoted: "Oversimplifying outrageously, we state Brooks' Law."

The reason for the seeming contradiction is that software projects are complex engineering endeavors, and new workers on the project must first become educated in the work that has preceded them; this education requires diverting the resources already working on the project, temporarily diminishing their productivity while the new workers are not yet contributing meaningfully. Each new worker typically must "ramp up" in this way with not only one, but multiple engineers who must educate the new worker in their area of expertise in the code base, day by day.

A commonly understood implication of Brooks' law is that it will be more productive to employ a smaller number of very talented (and highly paid) programmers on a project than to employ a larger number of less talented programmers, since individual programmer productivity can vary greatly between highly talented and efficient programmers and less talented programmers. However, Brooks' law does not mean that starving a project of resources by employing fewer programmers beyond a certain point will get it done faster.

Possible solution

The common way around the constraints of Brooks' law is to segment the problem into smaller sub-problems, each of which can then be solved by a smaller team, and to have a top-level team that is responsible for systems integration. However, this method relies on the segmentation of the problem being correct in the first place; if done incorrectly, this can make the problem worse, not better, by impeding communication between programmers working on parts of the problem which are actually closely coupled, even when the project plan has decreed that they are not.
Architecture provides another component of a solution to Brooks' law. When the software application is designed around a stable design pattern, then the rest of the programming team(s) can work within the framework of that pattern. The design pattern defines the rules that the programmers follow and provides consistency and scale-ability. Brooks' law, however, still applies when building out the components of the design pattern or the development framework.
Some authors (see Creating a Software Engineering Culture by Karl E. Weigers, for example) have stressed the importance of the social and political aspects of the work climate as determiners of the effectiveness of individual programmers and the project team as a whole. Rather than depending on "heroes" to carry the day with extraordinary efforts, Weigers argues that a team of ordinarily-skilled individuals can repeatedly deliver timely results in the right work environment. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of teams can ameliorate, if not eliminate, the consequences of Brooks' law.

Open source software development

Some would claim the programming practices associated with open source software development allow open source projects to defy the predictions of Brooks' law, but this is not true. A late Open-source software project will become even later if additional developers are added for the reasons addressed above.

Application to other disciplines

Brooks' law's applicability to other disciplines varies depending upon the nature of the work. In any area where the work products are commodities, the law does not apply. For example, on a late construction project, one can employ additional dump trucks to haul refuse faster, without suffering the time penalty. The function of hauling refuse can be performed by anyone who possesses a minimal level of skill and a truck. Nothing differentiates one truck from the next, and no additional communication or training is required to commence the additional hauling. The requirement to get the new truck drivers up to speed is minimized and the resultant additional communications channels do not exist; truck drivers do not need to talk to other truck drivers in order to haul the refuse.

This is in sharp contrast to the typical work of software engineers, whose work is impacted both by the need to train and educate new workers, and by occasional mistakes that new workers are expected to make before they are fully familiar with the software project.

It Happens Only in India!!!

Had been to College a couple of days ago to submit my application for the Convocation.
Yes people, even I am going through that jing-bang even to grab hold of my diploma in hand!

I hopped into my Guide s room paying him a courtesy visit. He was talking to Congo, my favorite research scholar (calling him my favorite, I am obviously being sarcastic here). Then broke into my department head's office. He was more than happy to see me. After all, I am one of the best students the University has produced and I successfully conned to make it feel so, at least!

The Head's son works in Trilogy and obviously, he was well informed about how software firms function, the work-culture, the attitude of the people working there etc.. he was talking to me about it. Just then Dr.Rabbit hopped in with a pile of papers for some attestation. They were placing orders for books for the Department library and just then, The Head cited an interesting situation to me. It seems that UGC has sanctioned 1 crore for the department fund. But then, more interestingly, they have to spend all the fund within 20 days or else, this fund will be carried over as opening balance for the next cycle and apparently, less fund will be allocated next year. So they all are bent upon spending the entire crore within 20 days. This gives me a deja vu feeling of some Rajinikanth movie where his father gives some huge sum of money and asked to spend it in stipulated time in order to actually inherit his wealth.

Adding up to the tricky situation is that, for any kind of purchase or any kind of infrastructure development process, there is a long process which cant be by-passed. It appears to be another variant of Murphy's law. When you have money to spend, you cannot spend it but it has to be spent!

Well, it always happens at Indian Government organisations. The speed with which things happen is obviously like that of a snail. For everything, there s a well defined absolutely a complicated way which nobody knows how to simplify. We all would have experienced it in some form or the other in Government offices may it be electricity Board, a voters ID, or some kind of NOC or an approval and many more to add on.

Question is does it happen only in India?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nature - let us conserve share and care!!

I happened read an article from The Hindu few days ago. It was speaking about how Chennai’s garbage disposal has become ineffective in every which way. It spoke about how Garbage disposal has become the most difficult job practically. There was a simile brought out in the article. It is something like this: If you have a garbage bin in the kitchen and you can only dump garbage and cannot empty it. You keep on dumping waste over and over on it. You can’t empty it but only got the choice of filling it!!! How disgusting could it turn your living at home?

The scenario in Chennai is also pretty much the same. There are 3 dumping grounds and all of them fully loaded. They can’t be emptied. All the garbage is being stacked from the bottom up. There s no way out. Though there was some initiative to collect garbage separately as wet waste and dry waste, the enthu to do so, lasted only a few days amidst our people.

Actually, the effective way to organized waste disposal will be something like this. The wastes are to be segregated as wet, dry and toxic wastes.

Typical examples of wet waste would be the kitchen and the garden wastes. They are to be composted or vermin-composted.

The recyclable things like paper, glass, metal scrap etc would fall under dry wastes.

The toxic wastes, say for example battery cells, bandages and expired medicines are to be landfilled.

Perhaps most important of all is to reduce the amount of garbage we dump everyday. Carrying our own shopping bag rather than getting a plastic bag every time we shop, carrying our own water bottle rather than buying a PET bottle every time, or carrying your own sandwich box than wrapping in aluminum foil - al these are small small things which will make a big big difference to our environment. If we have not thought about it before its high time we start thinking about it.

This is the golden mantra we should remember if we don’t want our beautiful earth to turn from bad to worst - Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Friday, February 09, 2007

DV and VC!!

This morning I was sitting in FC having my grub. There were a bunch of people sitting in my table. Freshers just joined, looks like. The reason why I say this is because they had this book, ‘Five Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat with them and they seem to be excited about it.

And then, to my suprize, they started speaking about DV, our very own VC. Looks like they just had their convocation. Swearing him throughout the discussion. It reminded me the days in Anna University. Hmm.. adventures!!!

My 3 rd semester, we had to take a subject, Basic Mechanical Engineering. And guess what, DV was my faculty. The first entire week we never had any classes. We would not have a class as usual, we thought. That ‘we’ stands for me and Mitts of course!! And that particular BasicMech Class followed the break. We hopped into the canteen and happily walked backed to class some 20 mins after it was supposed to actually start. As we were walking on the corrider, approaching the classroom, a bunch of my class guys were frantically waving their hands, gesturing us not to enter the class. We were puzzled but we walked ahead. The moment we stepped in, adding to even more suspense, we found half the class standing on the teacher's platform near the writing board. We were totally lost. Absolutely no clue of what  was happening!

“Welcome!” sounded a voice from the middle of crowd. He walked out and proudly introduced himself, “I am your Mechanical Engineering Professor”. “Have you people come here for a fancy dress contest? Don’t you know the university dress code?” he continued. We were wondering:What fancy dress? What university dress code?  Finally, I understood that we were all wearing Jeans and Tees. Oh ho. Are there some written rules about the dress culture at all in Main Campus was the first question.

The first day was more a Moral Science lecture than a Mechanical engineering class. In addition to which was his non-stop self praise that he assisted APJ in the making of the Agni missile. And then, he was the founder of the AVRC, the Department of Media Sciences in the main campus.
We all were puzzled than anything else looking helplessly at each other’s faces.

The next day, it was even worse. Someone sitting in the first row was biting his nails. He started his most imaginative and powerful thought oriented lecture. If you bite your nails, you end up swallowing them. They will rupture the walls of the intestine. You will get ulcer. It might result in cancer. Inference was ‘Biting nails may lead to cancer’!!! Folks, did you ever knew it?? Heights of it!!!!!

This went on for a week. The same kind of lectures continued for a week. He was teaching us “Thermo-dynamics”. Every class, he will write
thermo = heat
dynamics = motion

on the board. This was the only thing I learnt in the entire tenure of his process of teaching us Mechanical engineering. And then he went on with his usual non-stop non sense. For all the big talk he does, some thing is rotten and moth-eaten about him. I may sound like as thought I am being brutal cynic. But you end up commenting this way when you are ‘frustrated to the core’.

Many such incidents followed for a week and then he was replaced by another Lecturer due to some reason. What an escape!!!

Now, this guy who was incapable of delivering a single lecture in Mechnaical engineering is the Vice-Chancellor of the most reputed Anna Universtity, one of the biggest universities which encompass 256 engineering colleges and over 2 lac students. No comments!

I don’t have to say anything about his new policies in the college governance - the Dress Code, the cell phone ban, the ban on movie club in college, ban on the culturals and many more to add on. Well the essential part of enhancing the management of a university should be towards its educational policy or towards developing the infrastructure or towards faculty enablement. This kind of measures which have been taken are not going to lead one step ahead towards the betterment or upliftment.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A message from blank noise

For those of you who dont know wat BlankNoise is, its an organisation formed to voice out against the day to day issues women undergo, the sensitive ones, in particular. This is the mail i received from blanknoise reg their latest project. and a humble request to those who are reading this blog. Please do not stop here, Go on...


Last year just before March 8, International Women's Day, Blank Noise set up a blog-a-thon , linking all of you and many other readers not on our mailing list, to each other through a particularly sensitive and private subject - the re-telling of experiences of street sexual harassment. We thought the solidarity in numbers, the anonymity the Internet offers and the significance of the day itself might allow some people to tell stories they had never told before. We expected some thoughtful stories, some provocative ones, some that would disturb and stay with us, perhaps forever.

But we did not expect over 240 deeply personal testimonials to come rushing out. We did not expect 131 comments on a single post. We did not expect the media to pick it up the way they did, with coverage ranging from regional to international.
This March 8, we're hoping to take the journey begun last year one step forward. We've heard each other's testimonials, now let's share each other's actions. On March 8, 2007, Blank Noise launches an Action Heroes website, which collects no 'victim' testimonials, no stories of bit-back hurt, no stories of indifferent onlookers.

This archives and builds your testimonials of a situation where you emerged as the hero! This space will launch with the stories of action plans. Give us your strategies. Your interventions. The time when you subverted a situation, flipped it on its head and gave the 'perpetrator' no chance but to stop what he was doing. Give us your success story. Tell us which action hero you are. We will post strategies and interventions from eight countries up on our brand new space on International Women's Day.

We're also looking for volunteers to help on this project:
1) Technical support to construct the website
2)Volunteers to collect strategies from those who cannot access the Internet or cannot write: either writing down what they say, translating and/or recording audio (if anyone has a problem accessing recording equipment, we can help)
3)Media outreach

Please email us if you can think you can help out: this is a two-month project only and we could do with all hands on board! Especially with reaching out to people who might not be on the Internet or able to write....

We will have lots more details for you when you email , the words "march 8 volunteer" in the subject line.And of course, start writing straight away! A sample piece along with guidelines is attached as a PDF file to this email.Hope to hear back soon!

The Blank Noise team

Here is the content of the PDF they had sent:

Here are some brief guidelines for what we're looking for, from Action Heroes:
The action heroes blog is separate from the kind of testimonial space we created on March 8
last year - it is about coping and strategising when you've been harassed. Have you ever
turned the tables and established a completely different relationship with the perpetrator thus
ending the harassment?
Like Jasmeen, who started the Blank Noise Project in 2003, often photographs men who
stare at her or act lewd, thus quickly flipping power relations and actions.
Like Atreyee Day, who described an effective way she’d coped in Kolkata, with this incident:
The blog isn't launched yet. It will be when you send in your strategies and those that you've
been able to collect.
But essentially, we're asking for:
How different women have coped with street sexual harassment/ or dealt with it by turning the
tables around.
In Atreyee's case the man in question shifted from being a lewd perpetrator to someone a bit
more vulnerable, who shared his childhood instead - and it happened because
1. She looked beyond the harassment
2. She developed her own strategy
Tell us about the situation that didn't cow you down. Which action hero are you? Send us a
post marked 'action hero' to and include a brief description of
which Action Hero you see yourself as.
We're asking for the description of any circumstance you’ve encountered that you haven’t
felt cowed down or overwhelmed by; one in which you perhaps spontaneously ‘strategised’ to
overcome harassment. We're asking for which Action Hero you relate to; it could be one
specific to your culture... it could be G-Girl. We're asking for a photograph of you – we won't
put up your name. Send us an audio clip if you can – that'd be perfect.
Why this name? Blank Noise?
Blank: no form, no meaning.
Noise: heightens, builds, breaks form.

Blank Noise put together are two words that contradict themselves.
We experience eve teasing daily. It is a sexual violation but we ignore it. At the same time, we
structure our lives to avoid the occurrence of it - by 'dressing decently', 'coming back home on
time', etc, thereby making unwanted rules for ourselves and not recognizing ourselves as

When? Where? How? Why?

Blank Noise was initiated in August 2003 by Jasmeen Patheja from Bangalore and a small
group of 9 participants, all girls. Over the years it has expanded to four metro cities and over
100 volunteers.

We don't believe that one policy change or one street intervention, or one media report can
change the world. We have to address the issue from multiple avenues over a period of time.
Eve teasing is a societal issue, has its roots in patriarchy, reflects in films and in our popular

We are proposing to initiate a transformation, start the dialogue, through recurring public
events, public participation and collaborations. We are looking at communicating, through
participation, with policy-makers, as well.

Blank Noise is interventionist, and critically reflective of the issue. It seeks to confront, and
create communities through public art. Blank Noise works with people through performance,
blogging, and street interventions.

This is a public art project seeking to address eve teasing. There are several ways to address
an issue and we choose the language of public and community art.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Mitts the great!!!

I receive a call at 10 which seemed to be my wake up call for today. And the call was from none other than Ms.Mitts the great. you all must be know Mitts and I are best of pals from college. She was one of the very few people who shared my frequency in college. The first 2 years in my engineering degree was too good. and Mitts is one of those few people who made life good at college!!!!

The most fun time we had in fact was our  preparation towards our second term Physics exam. I am sure Mitts, u ll agree.  We haunted in Ann's room pretending to study. Had we stayed in our we ll get disturbed and wont study. All vetti scene. And Ann used to beg us in her shrill voice "People please study"In fact, any of you who wants to know any of the time wasting tactics, you can ask us. We ll perfectly show you how not to do anything to perfection.

Highlight of our joblessness is the  times we spent in the coffee shop on that Garden Restaurant road at college. If it was Ananadham's maths class then it means we had to be at the coffee shop. That was the order of the day!!!!

Let me tell what happened today. Mitts landed up today morning at 2. Now catching up a little bit of sleep, I know the next thing she did was to call me. Disturbed my lovely sleep!!
That's ok. Once in a way. So maaf kar diya!!

I drag myself out of bed, and lethargically get ready and drived my most popular Scooty to her place. The moment I step into her home, I found a big meal being served to a huge number of people at her hall. Oh god! only now I realize. Today was her Parents wedding anniversary!!! Oh god, as usual me bulbing :(

Well thanks to my presence of mind. At least then I realized. With one quick round of wishing 25 happy years of wedded life, I land straight into Mitts' room to strangle her neck for not telling me. And thank God, I went there decently attired. What if i had hopped in with a shabby Capri and damaged Tee like I always do! Mitts babe.. I would have blamed you for that if I handed landed up in such a situation and people would have given me weird looks up and down twice.

Her mama, happy at seeing me after a long time showered all the love she could. I am always special to her and she loved feeding me! In a little while, we get invitations to eat. It was a traditional South Indian lunch. Too Good. Numerous varieties of curries and veggies, sweet and savories, we were struggling to eat. The lunch was awesome!! And we hogged like hell!! I will be posting the hogging pictures very soon :)

The effect of over eating, the drowsiness. I look at Mitts, she looks at her little sis, and she looks at us both. With the guests still in the Hall, we lock ourselves inside her room and slept for 3 full hours!!! And again as usual, woken up by a call. This time its Mr.Nerd reminding me that I should get ready for class. I get up and freshen up and ride back home to go to class, with Mitts still sleeping there. I ll take care of you tomorrow baby!!!!