28 May 2007

Unable to resist the temptation

For the first time in my life, I am working on an oil-paint. It is not yet complete. Still I am not able to resist the temptation to put it online.

There are a couple of things you should take care if you are into oil-painting

  1. The paint takes quite some time to dry up. If you are not careful enough, you’ll spread the colors all over the sheet and will use a couple of 4 or 8 letter words. I normally never ever use swear words. Still when I see that I did spread the paint carelessly, the very basic swear words pop out of my mouth – involuntarily! What a pity!

  2. It is actually very easy to paint compared to the traditional water color methods. Since the oil takes time to dry and since it won’t spoil/wet the background as water does, we can take all our time to give the shades.

  3. Don’t try with some complicated stuff for your first painting. I did this mistake and am struggling!

  4. Make sure that you have ample time… I mean a minimum of 3-4 days. You cannot finish one picture in a single day. Paint some part 1-3 hours, let it dry for 1-3 days, then the next part. This is the way to go. At least I guess so.

Now, here is the first draft of it. I am really so excited. The finished picture will go as a gift for my beloved Deutsch teacher!

So far so good.

Let me go and have my rice-soup. (In malayalam "kanji")

Signing off, Sands.


21 May 2007

The Motto is: DO IT NOW

We all have heard that "necessity is the mother of invention". Necessity seems to the mother of change too.

A couple of weeks back, I had written about "the mother of all decisions". To be honest, I was not really able to stick to the decision to its full extent. Anyway it doesn't matter. Now things are better.

After realizing that changing myself completely by a single decision is going to be very difficult, I decided to stick to very small small decisions. The only capital investment I had were my faith in myself, my willpower and the dire-strait situation.

So, the first decision was to get up early every day. For the past 32 days, I've implemented it pretty well. There was not even a single day on which I woke up after 6:00 AM.

Even on weekends and holidays. The average sleeping time has fallen down drastically. Earlier it would have been 6+ hours. I am sure, now it is well below 6 hours. This is just a byproduct of the new decision. Most of the days, I went to bed at 12:15, and woke up at 6:00. Those days I went to bed at 11:30, I woke up at 5:00.

After this successful implementation of my first decision, I am going to my second decision.

One major problem I am facing lately is lack of concentration. That is not true. When I am really near the deadline, I am able to concentrate well. I can finish even 50 pages of hard-core math in a single day, without burning the midnight lamps. I consider that to be really cool. (Of course, the exercises not included)

But on other normal days, the variety of umpteen tasks which I have to finish, seem to make me switch from one task to another very frequently, thereby reducing my productivity. This is the main problem which I am facing.

When I do a proper analysis of this problem, I come to a conclusion that, it roots from my habit of postponing things.

For eg.: I have to type in a single page of writing to my computer as a part of some official work. I have the page with me for the past 5 days, and it would take at the most 15 minutes for me to type it in to a latex file, and store it in the proper place. I myself find it hard to believe that I would have spent more than 15 minutes thinking about when to do it.

The solution is simple, the next time I think about it, simply go ahead and finish it off. Otherwise, it will continue to haunt me during everything I do – till I finish typing it off.

It is not laziness, it is simple procrastination of those things I don't like but are important. This is what makes things go wrong. This is what takes away my concentration by reminding me about the things to be done.

Next time I come upon something to be done, I am simply doing it. NO MORE POSTPONING of things.

Following "30 days to success" of early rising, I have learned and made a habit of getting up early and making use of the early hours of the day. Now it is the time for something new. The coming 30 days, I am practicing myself to "procrastinate procrastination". There by making myself able to stick to a single task for 3+ hours without switching to something else.

Yes, that's it. Let me finish typing it in now J

Signing off, Sands.

The picture was taken by me with the camera on my mobile phone. Cool.. isn't it?


16 May 2007

The Paper Day, Kids and their teachers too ;)

A couple of days/weeks back I had written about switching to complete digital life. I was mostly successful in that except that I had not cleared out the mess of old papers, the very old leaflets, notices etc.

I am planning to sit and clean up the whole mess tomorrow. I was planning for it now. As a part of cleaning, I thought of taking away the other mess of the past two days too. While washing the broken cup, I got a decent cut on my right thumb! So, I cannot do stapling or similar organizing work tonight.

Anyway before I move to the serious stuff, let us enjoy the picture I took from my window. It was raining and I found it very beautiful.

Hey, no need to worry. Today, I am not going to write about something controversial. I am into a real baby thing. I cannot say 'baby thing', but I say it 'kid thing'.

I love kids. Aren't they cute? I am not talking about the small babies one has to carry all the time. I am talking about the children of the age 3 - 10.

The place where I live is a developing area. New apartments and buildings are coming every 3 months. Of course, the new apartments are always taken by new families. The people are about to settle in life.

That means there are quite a number of children in my area. To give you an idea of how many children are in my area, I shall tell you something. If I look from my kitchen window, I can see 4 kindergartens. Yes, I say FOUR kindergartens. This is except the baby-care place situated in my building itself. That is mainly for the real babies.

Do you believe me now, that there are a LOT of children in my area?

I cannot tell how many hours I have spent watching those children playing in the kindergarten just opposite to my kitchen. There are times during which, more than children, their teachers attracted me ;). Why don't you too have a look?

Sorry guys, blood is dripping on... from my thumb to the keyboard. I am making an abrupt stop here. Wanted to write more about kids and the kind of girlish feelings :)

Finding something/someone "cute" is only said for girls? Is there anything wrong if I find kids to be soooooo cute?

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: I could say that this post was written with my blood ;)
PS2: The cut is very small; I love to exaggerate

13 May 2007

It's Dangerous - They are still there

TATA group is coming up with a cheap car. Cheap means - just one lakh Indian Rupee for a car. It will hit the market in 2008.

This news is a little old, but I came to know about it very recently. My first response was WOW!, that's cool. Cheap cars sound like a nice thing. More people can afford; the ones who always had dreams of owning a car can fulfill their dreams; The economy will boom more.

It was shocking to know that there are some people who think this low-cost car is not good for India. Actually, the reasons are quite nice. Let's have an analysis.

  1. The motor cycle industry will take a hit

  2. Does the argument look similar to this? - When computers were introduced to the market, many people were worrying about the people who would lose their jobs. Should we have let computers enter Indian business/market/life.

    The point is, the product which is needed/wanted by more people will survive the market. Let's change things - Good movies are not supposed to be released because it will make the bad ones run in loss. No good books should be sold more than 10,000 copies because we do not want those lousy writers to be bankrupt.

  3. Traffic on the roads will increase

  4. There will be HUGE parking problems

  5. If increase in the number of cars is a problem, why do not we simply stop selling *any* car? Let us wait till the government builds up enough roads and other infrastructure.

    I do not understand. How long will we wait? It is when more vehicles come on roads and there are problems, then only the government will open its eyes. We cannot wait on someone to wake up. Let's go ahead and do things, that has to get the government to wake up.

    There would be problems. But problems are to be solved. We cannot avoid them.

    Otherwise, stop selling cars/trucks everything. Let's wait... wait indefinitely.

  6. Crude oil consumption will go up

  7. Wonderful. What is wrong with that? Why do we actually have crude oil? To use or to save? It is to be used.

    The real issue I can think of is pollution/Global Warming. Yes, that is a valid point. In that case too, we would have to stop doing anything which creat pollution. Why only against the one lakh car? Even here we'll have to stop selling other cars, setting up industries and all. The solution would be to have much more strict restrictions and controls and of course to IMPLEMENT them.

There were two other points which are against the one lakh cars.

First one was this: The companies are bothered only about making profits : What else should be they doing? Should all the companies turn into charity institutions? If Narayana Murthi was doing charity instead of Infosys(for profit), he could not have done this much to the country. It is his personal motive which turned out to be good for millions. Companies aim for profit, which turns the society and makes competition in the market, which in turn makes better products, which will benefit the society. Or else, let's start advising the companies to stop thinking about profit. Let them run in loss and get out of the market - so that we do not have anything to use. The best thing we could do is to make sure that they do not do any evil in their pursuit to make money.

Another point was this: There would be people who cannot buy a *real* car, but this one-lakh car would be almost in their reach. They end up buying the car with the help of loans and finally will struggle in life because of their debts.

I have three questions regarding this.

  1. Is it the car manufacturer's fault that somebody was not smart enough to manage his funds? If someone is investing on something which he cannot afford, he ought to suffer. He has to think before doing it. Nobody can help him. It could be a one lakh car, or else he will always find something else which he cannot afford. It is his problem, only he has to solve.

  2. In the other case, if we are really planning to help, why not we help the ones who cannot afford the two-lakh car but planning to buy it? - of course with the help of loans, which would make him struggle in future. This new car would be a real relief for him. This comes completely in his reach, so this car would be saving him. Would it not be?

  3. Or should we put it like this? - do not let anyone reduce the price of computer (for example). There would be people who cannot afford it, but would go and purchase one because it is almost in his reach; but would suffer later. Let's keep the price of computers high so that the poor wont get trapped in it.

Now coming back to the un-touched part - Global warming. My question is only this - No other cars do anything on this issue, only one lakh cars contribute to it? [True, introducing this car would see a sudden rise in the number of cars which would be not so much otherwise. Still, while planning to stop this new car, we should think about other cars/trucks/companies/AC/Refrigerators too and stop manufacturing them]

Machines, including cars are made to help man. As time goes by, we see better and cheaper products. They make life easier. If they would create some problems along with making the lives of millions easier, let's solve those problems. The action should not be to ban them. Problems are not avoided, they are solved.

Now, the dangerous thing : There are people out there who think that I am crazy/stupid, they think that man is below society. He is made to serve the society. That actually scares me, the thought is dangerous. Let me tell you, without man there is not society, but man can survive even without society.

The funniest thing is that they would be thinking too that people like me are dangerous.

The only drawback is that their thoughts are not completely based on logic! The fundamental theorem is wrong!

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: Am I eleigible enough to write this? I guess yes, because I was once one among them.
PS1: Today the whole thing I discussed is against the ideas of two people, whom I respect a lot. I feel a little uneasy about it.
PS2: What has to be said, has to be said.
PS3: Why the Rs 1-lakh car is not good for India - the trigger.

6 May 2007

Coincidence? Telepathy? What should I call?

Notice: I hate putting links in a post. Links in the text could interrupt the flow of reading. Apparently, I had to put a couple of links. To get the flow, it is not necessary to follow them. You could simply read through and finally click on them - which are given at the end too.
During my IIT days, Saturday was the best day of the week - because of three reasons. The first and foremost was that Hiran used to visit me on Saturdays, second one being the variety dinner on Saturdays and finally the movie at Open Air Theater.

The very last Tuesday (May day), my day was more or less similar - or almost the same, except that Hiran came only to my mind and I didn't watch a movie. I was thinking about him, the night walks and all - a lot. I also thought about that it is a long time since I talked with him. And is it simply a coincidence that now I have to call him for some reason? I really need to call him for getting something done. I know it is, still not able to believe it as a coincidence that I was thinking about him.

On 30th of April, last Monday, I was coming home in bus. My friend was with me. We were discussing about the future of PCs Vs Internet. While telling her my opinion and the way I see it, using Moore's law and my calculations, I predicted something. Is it a mere coincidence that on 3rd of May came THIS article? Of course, the author has thought through it more that I had. But more or less it was the same I talked about... just 3 days back.

Now let's have a picture.

One day I came home from university to see that. How many days I've come home like that? Still that very day, the way I saw my room, I wanted to take that picture. The straight line created by sun's rays and the reflection on the book really looked good to me.

Is it again a coincidence that the name of the book on which the reflection happened was "Mathematical Reflections"?

I am a regular blogger. I read a couple of blogs regularly. The post which was planned for today was a post on Reading. Last night, to be precise, at midnight came an RSS feed from one of my regular reads - HERE - Is this again a coincidence? or is this telepathy? Anyway, someday I'll write about reading for my own satisfaction.

The very same thing had happened once HERE too.

These are just a couple of incidents or co-incidents (coincidences) of the many happening to me. Initially they were very surprising and now I find them really amusing.

The kind of parallel thoughts I get with my friend living 4 buildings apart - they are so frequent that they aren't coincidences anymore. Again, since we live in similar environments we might be thinking alike.

Does this happen to everyone? or am I developing some ESP? :)

Signing off, Sands.

  1. Link 1 - Prediction

  2. Link 2 - Reading

  3. Link 3 - Time blog


1 May 2007

Falling in love - do it ASAP.

My life just took a sharp turn. The past 8 years or more, my average wake-up time was 8:00 AM. Now it is moving to 6:00 AM. Life is becoming slightly systematic. And the best(worst?) part is that I find it good. I have started to prioritize things. There is a proper plan for doing things.

Yes, these all are very good signs.

Now coming to the bad part of it. I am not completely successful in making the plan and executing it. There are quite a number of unexpected things coming up - to be done and vital. I had not given enough time for those things. :(

Anyway, I am slowly learning. It is never late to correct yourself, never too late to improve yourself. Just go ahead and do it. If you keep on planning all the time, nothing works. Just jump in and do. I am doing it and surprisingly, it works for me.

Anyway, all these developments are new in my life. I shall give the updates later.

What I would really want to discuss is "love".

Before going to the topic, why don't you have a look at this cool abstract picture - it was taken by me, two years back.

Okay, to love. I've had crush on umpteen girls in my life. During my BTech, I was actually graduating in flirting rather than in CS. Except once, I never made a real attempt to get a girl friend. I would say it was so stupid of her to turn me down. Sigh!

When I turn back, I really feel that I missed a lot. I should not have missed that golden opportunity. While you are in bachelors, you can do almost anything - without screwing up your life.

Fall in love with someone "lovely/cute/handsome", then within 6 months you fight with that person who turned to a beast in 6 months. Then go get another person who is "lovely/cute/handsome" at the moment. Also keep in mind that you might get dumped anytime! That would have been a wonderful time!. If only I had a time machine!!

The experience you get through this love-break-up cycle should help you in future. It will help you to be sane when it comes to a situation where your "ideal-partner" turns you down. [may be you are the only one thinks it is "ideal"]

Hey, no no ... it was not me who went insane. It was someone else. It would be too bad of me to point at someone.

I would tell all those bachelor students to go ahead and find a girl/boy friend. The only thing you want to make sure is that your studies are going just fine. Everything else is fine. Once again: "Make sure that you do not screw up your marks".

Also, never feel committed. You should be free to walk away from it anytime; you can find your partner later in life. This is the time you learn how to do it better.

Do not hesitate to confess your feelings for someone. Just do it. You are not losing anything. And if you get rejected, just be relieved that then you can approach the next person in the list ;).

Fine, all said. I should point out some of the major drawbacks too. If you do not know how to manage things well, you will slowly lose your friends because of this "special" relationship. Later when that "special" person dumps you, you would have NO friends to offer tissues to wipe your tears.

Another thing is, most of the humans are slaves of emotions and hence there is a good chance of getting trapped in the relationship. You might want to get out of it and would not have enough strength to do it. Beware of these two important hidden problems.

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: If someone goes ahead and gets trapped, I will not take responsibility for that.
PS2: If some one is scared by the warnings [the bold large lines], again I will not take the responsibility of your cowardliness. Your decision is only yours.
PS2: ASAP means As Soon As Possible