23 January 2007

Getting more than I deserve

Yes, I do feel that I am getting more than what I deserve. I am noticing this for quite some time. My friends who read this are supposed to act as if they haven't read this at all.

First case : Personal Relations
I am always good to my friends, for that matter, to anyone I meet. But sometimes I feel that the warmth they give me is much more than what I give them. Let me consider the people at my village. I know, not all of them love me. But the consideration they give is much more than I give them.

I care about almost nobody. I don't bother about any one's feelings. I don't try to make anyone happy. (A few exceptions are there) Still I see people are very good to me.

I don't call up my friends very frequently. It's once in a blue moon, I take actions for contacting them. Or it would be them who contact me regularly. Still I think I am considered to be a better friend than many others. Why Why Why?

There is only reason I can think of. The things I do, the way I behave, the way I treat them - all these seem to be normal to me. But they must be finding it nice and good. How else my judgment be wrong? The thing I think normal is too good for them. Or the other way around - That they are being normal and I find it too good. But the second case below makes me think the first way. (too complicated sentence?)

Second Case: Professional
I had a meeting with professor in the morning. I went to him with the guilty feeling that I did some under-performance during the last few months. I asked him for the feedback of my work during the past few months. To my surprise, he seems to be happy with me. What the heck, I only know how much I screwed up. Still he is happy with what I did. (Don't think the professor got fooled by me. He was a prof in Stanford for 8 years and in TUM for 16 years with a good number of ground breaking results and a guide of so many students)

The same happened earlier too. The work I do/did seems to make everyone happy - even when I am not satisfied with it! This is a very bad situation. The problem must be that I am too much of a perfectionist. Or my level of expectation from me is much more than others' expectation. What I think OK is good for some others.

Third Case: Teaching
This teaching is something which I put quite a lot of effort and not satisfied enough. After every class, the students give a small applause - that formal applause embarrasses me every time. I might have slipped a couple of things and would be feeling so bad that I messed up the whole thing.

So, yesterday I asked the students for feedback - even about the silly mistakes of repeating the same word 100 times in a class. But they seem to be happy (except that I should use much bolder pens to write and should write more structured in the board so that they can note it down easier)

So, finally the post boils down to a "BRAGGING POST". Trust me, I didn't mean anything that way. And what the heck, I don't care whether you think that I am bragging. It's my blog.

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: To my beloved friends. I do love/like you all. It's just that you are so nice to me and you give me more than I give you. I got used to it, so continue to be nice to me :)

PS2: Want to shed the skin of a perfectionist. But I want to be a perfect non-perfectionist. What to do!

20 January 2007

So much to do, So little time

Many a times have I heard the term "confused youth", but was never sure what it meant exactly. Now finally, I am realising what it is. The term very well suits for a couple of friends of mine, of-course for me too.

Actually, being confused is not that bad also. A confused mind only can find out solutions to problems.

Fine, what are the confusions we have? Basically, we want to grow a lot, achieve something too great, accomplish something uncommon. We want to do each and everything in life. From browsing - to - owning a company, reading - to - removing the evils from the society. The list is too big. We dream big and are in pursuit of our success.

Then, where is the confusion? Yes, we just know we want to do so many things. We ourselves don't even know which all things. A long list of things. And we don't have enough time. Is it the real problem? No, we have lot of time. But we don't know how to make the best use of it.

Every night, before going to bed, we feel that we wasted a lot of time during the day. We might have done a couple of useful/productive stuff during the day. But the satisfaction is not there. The list of desires is too big and catching up with the list is practically a very hard problem.

What all degrees you want to take before you stand on your own? What all challenges will really be enough to satisfy the ego? How can the time managed well? Which all things could/should be postponed for the time being? What all are to be concentrated at, at the moment? - all these are the sample questions. While in the pursuit of success, where will you plug-in a marriage? That is another million dollar question.

And I think, there are mainly the following three which are required to get us out of this situation

1. Knowing exactly what we want. Knowing the boundaries of our dreams.
2. Knowing the priorities of each item in the list of dreams
3. Managing the *precious* time efficiently and judiciously according to the priorities.

As they say "Rome was not built in a single day", we won't come to that confusion-less state very soon. Nor will we reach to our goals in a short time. It's gonna take time, years. It definitely is going to take some time. But we WILL reach. The confusions will vanish. We will know what, when and how to do.

There is another side of the same coin. As it says above, we are in pursuit of success. Even the definition of success is not available. Is it the best thing to go for success? I read somewhere - "Success comes to those who are too busy to look for success". Doesn't that make sense?

Yes, that makes sense. But not enough sense to keep us away from the pursuit of success. There are two things about which we don't have any doubts or confusions - "There is not shortcut to success" and "There is no substitute for hard work". [Doesn't mean that we(I) work hard :)]

There is this person who thinks - why to follow the normal/conventional path of challenges+accomplishments+growth path of life? Why not a smoother path with less challenges and more relaxed life? Yeah, good question. But we don't seem to appreciate that question well.

This subject would be an endless one as of now. I wind up here. There are lot of internal details and complications. I am believing that things would get calm slowly. It's just a matter of time. For the first time in my blog, I wrote something representing a collective group of people. I do believe that they share my feelings and thoughts. If you don't think so, replace all "WE" with "I".

Time to sleep... it's too late for a Saturday night.

Song of the moment:
Mama thozhiyayi vaa priyamayeee.....

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Am I posting something against the blog protocols? Am I supposed to post something which is too personal?
PS2: Title courtesy - the movie "Batman". The villain says this twice.

18 January 2007

A storm is on its way

As I had written in the last post, I have to do my German exam by myself and should submit it in the next class. I was just going through the syllabus and my phone rang. It was in silent mode, it didn't ring really :)

It was Daniela, my teacher. Today's class is cancelled because of a storm this evening. Yes, from morning itself there is very strong wind. It might get stronger in the evening. You know what? this could be the signal of a strong snowing which is going to come. I wish it'll snow a lot.

I went to the weather sites to see the following.
Wind: 26 mph / 43 km/h / 11.8 m/s from the WSW
Wind Gust: 47 mph / 76 km/h / 21.1 m/s
And Wind Gust is defined as this : "The wind gust is the maximum wind speed recorded over a specified time period. When wind speeds are measured and the peak wind speed during the measuring period is roughly 10 knots more than the average wind speed, a wind gust is reported." (never mind, you really needn't understand it really)

So the wind is going to be really strong tonight - 76 kmph - cool!

That's all for the weather reporting.

I wanted to buy some tea. I can't go out :(. I don't have anything to cook tonight. I will eat rice + curd + pavakka vattal :)

Back to work. Signing off, sands.

Creation of Diamond is hard.

It's exactly one week back I landed back in Munich. One week is over, I still haven't settled down properly. I still haven't had two consecutive days which were the same. Quite a lot of things to be finished. Is it because I was absent for a month? May be...

Life is a good teacher. I always thought I am a good student with all the quick learning abilities. What happens when life teaches you much more than you can take at a time?

Let's do a comparison of life in India and Germany. Back there, life is very slow. For a PhD student, there won't be anything other than his studies/research (if any). He doesn't have to do anything other than his curricular things. Everything is given to him by default, everything is taken for granted. Even his teaching assistantship is an easy thing to do. He needn't take classes, he needn't prepare weekly class notes. He even lives in the campus itself.

At the same time here one needs to do his work along with making a living. Nothing is taken for granted. He has to start with making every morning's coffee/tee, till the dinner, then even cleaning the kitchen. Here, one has to do his daily shopping, commute to college, go to offices to get his accommodation ready, insurance OK, etc.

I was just thinking about the things I've been doing / done in the past one week.

  1. Preparing for the regular tutorial
  2. Preparing for the extra make-up tutorial
  3. My regular studies
  4. Settling down work - starting from doing the basic shopping
  5. Back to German class
  6. Meeting my wards (?) yeah, the sandwich students - This is no more a duty. I enjoy meeting them.
  7. Making arrangements to make sure that I get a room in another one month
  8. Getting my ausweis (ID) again (this is my mistake.. I lost the first one I got)
  9. Making sure than the insurance people get all the needed documents they need - so that they won't trouble me in future.

Running around here and there, meeting people and getting things done is not at all an easy task. As you know, going to some place to get something done takes a minimum of two hours. And many times you will have to make more than a trip to get one thing done.

In between these, I am supposed to give the exam for my German LKG. The teacher has given the question paper to me and asked me to answer it from home and submit it tomorrow. She trusts me it seems. Yeah, sounds nice to hear that. But I only know that it takes up another 2 hours of my time.

I was complaining to myself. I was even complaining that "I am complaining too much lately". While looking for the reasons behind this time-stress I could find two of them. One is that I want to do many things in the very little available time. And the second reason is temporary - I was absent for sometime, and I have to make up the things I left out. You know what?, when I think I am a little stressed, I look up to some professors or high officials and console myself by saying "learn dude, learn how to manage... some day you have to be like them". That really gives me more enthu. Getting more stressed actually increases my enthu.

This all is training for life. The life is busy and I am coping up with this. I still haven't lost in this competition with the fast flying time.

Like they say - "The bad news: Time flies. The Good news: You are the pilot".

I wasn't planning to put a post till this evening. In the evening I got a mail from my sister. She is a little stressed with her assignments, records, graphics-sheets and some other stuff. And she feels bad that she isn't able to manage things. I replied to her email... and thought that a few years back I wouldn't have been able to do what I am doing now. Life has taught me. Some day I was like her - struggling to manage all my work. Now I have grown to the next level. So, I know after two years when she will turn back, she would find all these stressful things to be cake-walks. So would I too. :)

For the past two-three days another funny thing is happening. My future-don't-know-who friend also is very busy like me (or even busier). So sometimes in gtalk, we just exchange four or five words and then say "dude, I am busy... catch you later". Every time I have this kind of 4 line chat with him, I smile. Poor guy, he is getting heavenly screwed by all the profs where as I am getting screwed by all the works which I myself have volunteered to do. Anyway self-screwing is better than getting screwed by someone.

Again Why? - just for the reason that we weren't happy serving some software giants to get thick pay-cheques.

Anyway, I have finished almost all my work till today and tomorrow onwards I am busy with my normal life. Nothing much of the vacation is remaining. Now I can start my regular work.

The title of the post comes from here "A diamond is just another piece of coal that did well under pressure".

Present song:-

"Oru nullu kaakkappooo kadam tharumo..?
Oru koona thumbappooo pakaram tharam....

Adharathal vaariyal pinangumo nee?
Athu ninte chodikalil virinjathallae...?

It translates as follows...

female sings
"Will you lend me a little of kakka-flowers?
I shall give you a heap thumba-flowers in return....

male replies
"Will you be angry if I take them with my lips?
Aren't the flowers blossomed on your lips..?

Romantic, isn't it?

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Isn't it nice to hear good things about self? My friend who visited me sometime back was telling me that he has to meet me more frequently. You know why? He thinks I always spread some positive energy around me and talking to me gives him some enthu it seems. Yeah, he made my day!

17 January 2007

Performance testing

Just want to test the add-on in Firefox. The name of the add-on is Performancing. Earlier when I had tested this one, it didn't work. It even crashed my Firefox. Since then I was keeping myself away from this.

Anyway the post seems to be successful. Or else how are you reading this? :)

This doesn't seem to have a built-in spell-checker. However, I don't need that either :)

Have to come up with another post tonight. So signing off, Sands.

14 January 2007

Raja - Small or Big?

It never felt that I was away from here for a month. Except for being a little tired after the journey, I got back to normal very soon.

Cleaning the room was quite a task. It was a mess. The scattered papers of the packing before I left and one month's dust together!. Thanks to the one who found out vacuum cleaner. Now what remains is washing. I can manage for another one week more without washing.

He definitely has a magic. I always knew about the magic but never felt it as I felt yesterday. I am talking about Ilayaraja.

It was the future-dont-know-who (he wants to be everything) friend of mine who introduced me to Ilayaraja. It wasn't introducing me... he took me close to Raja or brought Raja near me. The 6 CDs he gave me before my first trip abroad had saved me from a lot of boring times. I still ave the collection exactly the way he gave me... (of course in a DVD)

During the time at home, I didn't hear any of the Tamil songs. Yesterday, after seeing the list of songs on my g-friend's (Nowadays G stands for Google. So it's not girl-friend, read it Google-friend) gtalk status, I desperately wanted to listen to Ilayaraja. I really felt like something incomplete without listening to him.

I had to be at the sandwich guy and I literally forced him to play Ilayaraja. Unfortunately, he didn't have the collection! I heard the songs after downloading them from my lab-system. :)

I am not a fan of anybody other than Yesudas. I cannot name out more than a couple of songs by this music director. I wouldn't even know much of the lyrics too. But still I could feel the Ilayaraja magic. The songs are too cool... soothing, refreshing and what not!

Why call him Ilayaraja? Call him Periyaraja!

Pani vizhum iravu...
Nanainthathu nilavu...
Ilankuyil irandu..

Signing off, Sands.

11 January 2007

CCC alias Crazy Color Combination

That's it. I am trying new colors daily. Every template seems to be great in some monitor and the same time it sucks in another monitor. How am I going to get the optimal color combination which gives maximum readability? - that too globally!


10 January 2007

CIAL Corner

It was decided earlier that I will be putting my next post from Dubai. The flight from Cochin to Dubai got delayed and blogging got preponed. So, I am sitting in a corner of Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) and scribbling down. Anyway the post has to appear from Dubai because that will be the first place where I will find internet.

Sometimes, for weeks I don’t feel like blogging, nor I don’t see/think anything which I feel I should put in blog. The same way, there are times when I have lot of stuff in me to put online. Unfortunately, I don’t find enough time to do it. Has to get over this problem. Be a regular blogger – find topics regularly and always make time for the topics.

I read somewhere that “Failing to PLAN is planning to FAIL”. So, without fail, let me first put down my plan for the year. I can’t call it a plan, it’s just a list of things I should do. The plan is very simple and I have it in mind. At the end of year, I should cross-check this list with the things I really would have done by then.

1. Put a paper, Attend a conference. (Is this completely in my hand? May be not. But I should see it done). This is just a bye-product of doing first class research.

2. Get an internship in a good research lab for 3-6 six months.

3. Read at least 30 books which are not related to my research. This could be literature, philosophy, physics, math, anything! But not directly related to my research area. (30 is a big number. But a book a week seems so normal. That too if I consider a book is 300-400 pages on an average, 50-60 pages a day too is normal. Cant I take out one or two hours a day for building me up?)

4. Get back my original tummy. (this is not actually a thing for this year. This has to happen in 3 months from now) – swimming, biking, hiking, skiing, dancing(?).

5. Make my average wake-up time to be 6 - 6:30 AM.

6. Visit at least 6 places in Europe. (London, Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Swiss-Cities, Paris and Vienna again etc.) This will be like one trip in every two months which is fine. Also 6-10 places near Munich. Monthly one trip.

7. Try to give my best to my wards (?). Yeah, the IIT-Sandwiches in Munich. I can learn a lot from them.

8. Give a course each in every semester – teach well, learn more, gain experience and confidence.

9. Have more involvement in International Office. Tutoring, Organizing etc.

10. Learn German better. Make the best use of KlarText. Start talking to walmart-girls, strangers and anybody I meet – Only in German.

11. Overload me with all the work I can get. Work 14 hours a day. 10 hours for my research and 4 hours for these things I have numbered out.

The list is just a very high level view of my plan. Better I call it the spec. More details would be like a boring design-doc which is boring to write and to read. But I do have it in mind.

Failure to implement your plan in implementing your failure” – not as crisp as the first one (my creativity)

Showing your love for a grown up male is a very difficult task. Males deal with each other in a different way. I think, it’s the problem with the culture that here males don’t hug each other. They don’t kiss either. I show my love to my sister by doing stuff which makes her happy. The same with my mother. Unfortunately, this time I couldn’t do something similar for my father. It really burns me. I hope that he can feel the depth of my love which I really don’t know how to show!. Anyway I hugged him just before entering the terminal, and it really made me feel better. 

Last post in my blog was about my mom. It wasn’t planned that I write about my father in this one. But it came that way.

That’s all for now. I feel a little feverish. Should get into the flight and sleep. It’s a long journey. Dude Sandeep, get ready to be bored to the core, you don’t have even your MP3 player with you.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Isn’t there a word ‘preponed’ in English? My MS-Word shows it spelt wrong.
Addition: Reached Dubai. Have to rush if I dont want to miss the flight :)

8 January 2007

Tribute to her

It's the unconventional way of thinking and living which makes her different.

# Despite of being a girl from an orthodox brahmin family, 26 years back she was brave enough to go for an inter-caste marriage.

# Just with the qualification of SSLC (10th), she managed to have about 5 job offers simultaneously!! - that too 26+ years back.

# She grew to the position of a grade 1 officer in one of the best private sector banks in India.

I prefer to write in paragraphs than in bullets - switching the style.

Unlike many of her-aged people she gives value to values. She has some of the 'ayn rand' qualities built-in (she would never have heard about rand). She has the best book-keeping I have ever seen. She decided to leave her job the moment she felt she has enough money - she knows "money works for us" rather than the other way around. After leaving her job, within 7 months she became the leader of the whole women-community in the village. She organizes things which never happened in the past 20+ years in the village. Man, I am getting impressed more and more every day.

Except for the malluistic character of "reacting against every evil which she sees", I cant see even a single fault in her actions. Her kind of women, that's whom we should have in our society. Our growth depends heavily on women and we need these kind of women - to show us how to live.

Lately I am surprised to see the way she reads minds and predicts things. She observes the traits of people and just predicts what they will do and it happens. Lack of opportunity at those times, that was the only thing prevented her from being a top-level executive of the present. I always tell her "you don't belong to this place, you should have been abroad where there are no restrictions".

Last but not the least, the best thing she has done is she gave birth to a great-guy of tomorrow [that's me ;) ]

May be the post was too unorganized. Writing just the facts without having even a little of emotions isn't easy - especially while writing about mother. I am proud to be her son.
Don't know what more to write. This entry is in honor of her.
Signing off, Sands.

2 January 2007

Namukku Parkkan Computer Gallerikal :)

Pavizham pol, pavizhadharam pol....
Panineer ponmukulam pol....

is being played in the back ground.. The song simply matches my mood ;)

I was impressed in the first meeting itself. I was in search for a computer - a new desktop PC for my home. She was the shop-girl in the first shop itself and I never went to another shop. I was with my mother and I had to have a control over myself during the chit-chat with the good looking shop-girl.

Let's call her Sharika. After(During) the first meeting, I knew, I am having a strong crush after a long time. Definitely, it's not just the looks. The 10 minute chat with her really impressed me. A very sweet adorable girl. (I know, my sister and mother will read this post within one day. What I don't know is their reaction!). She is *Nandini* category girl.

Somehow, Later, I put myself into the position of "Prithviraj" in Nandanam and started singing "Sharikae, hrudhayamoru ven-shangu pole". [Lyrics don't match the situation]

I met her a couple of times again. And finally today this entry was triggered by her call. Will be meeting her once more before I leave for Germany. Mostly that will be the last time I see her. But that will be enough for another couple of months - until another girl impresses me. ;)

As a matter of fact, while we were getting out of the computer gallery, my mother even remarked "How am I going to find a girl for you? - this Sharika kind of girl!". My heart pounded strongly. Did mom know that a crush was budding inside me?

Anyway Sharika happens to be a crush after quite a long time. Let me enjoy the crush.

The song now is "Aakashamakae.... Kanimalar kathirumay". Again matches the mood. :)

Signing off,