31 March 2008

Tagged :(

Normally not a tag person, have done only for Karthik and Asha. Yes, when special people do tag, I make exceptions. :)

Some of the questions, I just leave blank.

  1. Last movie I saw in a theatre
    The Bucket List - simple decent movie.

  2. What book(s) am I reading?
    Hmm.. a) The Selfish Gene b) MOMO 3)Pathmarajan Kadhakal
    (Wow, three languages! - I surprise/impress myself)

  3. Favorite board game
    Chess - haven't played against anyone in a long time. And the computer seems to be much better than me - most of the times.

  4. Favorite magazine
    Right now, TIME and Linux Journal. These are the ones I subscribe. Sometimes, not able to finish all of it though. Very soon I'll ditch TIME and move to Economist, and ditch LJ and move to Popular Mechanics.

  5. Favorite Smells
    The fresh smell of soil - after the first rain. And .... .. .. . :) [naughty naughty]

  6. Favorite sound
    Why don't you try taking a walk in the woods .. in the morning (6-7 AM) ?

  7. Worst feeling in the world
    Right now, being denied to explain myself. Even a murderer gets to explain things. What if someone concludes on stuff which you meant for good and went terribly wrong? And if you are not permitted to explain! ... Try this one, it's awesome :)

  8. First thing I think when I wake
    Cannot generalize. Lots of stuff. Can vary from romance, sex, plan for the day, emails, some math problem .. looking for the output of last night's program - anything. But the second thought is always the same - TEA!

  9. Favorite fast food place
    Chef master @ Chalakkudy.

  10. Future child's name
    She too has a say - and I'll discuss only with her.

  11. Complete: "If I had lot of money I'd...?"
    Travel a lot and lot and lot. Then, I will go to rural areas in India/Africa - will put my effort to bring development - but not as charity. I want some win-win situation everywhere.

  12. Do I drive fast?
    Very much. Was a dare devil driver. But now much matured - still very fast. But "Amma Certified Decent Driver".

  13. Do I sleep with a stuffed animal?
    Not till date.

  14. Storms -cool or scary?
    Storms don't really affect me. Well, if I am out, I prefer to stand against the wind. Last week it costed me my umbrella. :)
    Let me put it this way - storms are more on the cool side.

  15. What was my first car?
    Could I call it *MY* first car? Then a maruti-800. I don't have plans to buy a car in another 3 years. But then it could be at least an E-Class (if in India).

  16. Favorite drink

  17. Complete: "If I had the time I would..."
    Will finish things from my TODO list faster and add more items. I do not mean that I don't have enough time now. I am happy the way it is right now.

  18. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
    Yes, I do. Say.. 2-3 times a month. :)

  19. If I could dye my hair any color, what would be my choice?
    The choice would be some transparent stuff, if you really insist me to dye. The way it is good enough.

  20. Name all the different cities/towns I have lived in.
    Thrissur(Nellayi), Madras, Hyderabad, Munich, Garching.

  21. Favorite sports to watch
  22. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you.
    She is probably more synesthetic than I am. And the level of it she is at - is really good. To an extent, her mind is an open book to me. :)

  23. What is under my bed?
    An old P4-machine, 1-2 keyboards, mouse, lots of wires. That's the only geek thing ;)

  24. Would I like to be born as myself again?
    Yes I do.

  25. Morning person or night owl?
    Damn flexible. All rounder. :)

  26. Over easy, or sunny side up?
  27. Favorite place to relax
    99% of the time, I am relaxed. When I do need to relax... I'd say somewhere in Englisher Garten, near the river. The steps from the temple, leading to the river at Nellayi would be really ideal.
    If to relax physically ... BED.

  28. Favorite pie
    Cut it before "e" and have pi=3.14 and e=2.71

  29. Favorite ice cream flavor
  30. Of all the people I tag this to, who's most likely to respond first?
    I was not planning to TAG anyone. But Priyakkutti could make use of this and then pass it over to many of friends and then start a chain reaction. [and create lot of junk text]
    As I plan to give it only to her... she should be the first person.
So, Priyakkutti... take it over and pass it over. I hereby declare that you are tagged. :)

Signing off, Sands.

29 March 2008


Isn't it interesting to see that - clarity comes from confusions, solutions come from problems and answers won't be there without questions? Still we hate confusions, problems and questions! At least I don't. :)

Well, that is not the point I want to make. How do we know about future? Where is our future? Who is the best person to talk about future?

Does it lie in R&D? in the labs? Should we ask scientists? Future.....!

Today I heard from a great person - that the best picture we can get of future is by looking at kids, they are in kindergarten and the person who can talk about future is no one but an experienced kindergarten teacher. Hey, it did make sense to me. 

[I know, you might want to argue. For the first time, I am not open to argument. At least what I heard today is true.]

I want my "future" as soon as possible. And I need at least 3-4 of them ;). I'll be very good at nurturing my future :). So, let me speed up my life a little and get ready soon.

Also, the whole thing reminded me of one of the posts by my sister - "I Sympathise".

Now, before leaving, another thought - "No one is able to think beyond the limits of his/her thoughts". This a complicated thing which I have written here. If someone is indeed able to think beyond his limits, then was that the real limit? Many a time have I wanted to bring somebody to my level, and also to think from someone's level - and never succeeded in that.

Finally, I am trying to push my boundaries! :) - am I succeeding? I'll know it in a few years.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Does this post look like non-sandeepish? If yes, then this is a new face! :). Get used to it.


26 March 2008

Stopped writing?? - Aha!

For the past two days, I was wondering.. why everyone has stopped writing/blogging? I wasn't getting any feeds. Today a friend mentioned about a new entry in one of my RSS-ed blogs. But I hadn't received the feed. Well, some mistake. It happens sometimes.

Coding horror feeds were absent too - this aroused my suspicions. A small check revealed that RSS department of outlook was on strike. Outlook and IE works almost perfectly well with feeds and it's a wonderful job they have done there.

Anyway nothing is perfect. I was a little annoyed - not because it just didn't work once in months. but for resetting the whole thing, I had to click and delete EACH_OF_THE_55_FEEDS!. Then I just imported the opml file and it works wonderfully! :)

Update: I am re-starting to listen to Aha-FM. It's cool :).. Tamil songs have a special beauty - which Malayalam nor Hindi has. IMG_4495

Song of the moment:
Keladi ninne njan kettunna kaalathu, noorinte note kondu aarattu.
Kannale neeyenee kettiyillenkilu, kanneerilaanente neerattu.
Appanum ammakkum aayiram veetham
Achaayanmarkkoke anjooru veetham
Ayalvakkakkarkkokke anpathu veetham
Acharam koduthittu kalyanam

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Someday this summer, I'll go and stay in this small hut - just some 2 kms from my home - by the side of a stream, facing the woods. :)

23 March 2008

Readers and Reflections!

I got a quite valuable feedback from a regular reader. And that matters a lot to me. Let me tell you a small story first.

While I was teaching the Fundamental Algorithms course, just about 15-20 minutes into the class, some students used to get up and go. Towards the end of the class there would be only about two thirds of the initial strength. Needless to say, this used to upset me. 

I contacted the another teacher and told him about this. He told me - "The students who come for this course are from different backgrounds and some of them already know what we are teaching, so they leave once they find that the topic is already known". Reflection - can you see my reflection?

He also mentioned to me that the whole point of giving the lecture was to teach the students something new - even if there is only one student who benefited from that class, it's better than having none. Yes, it does make sense.

Basically, the interest of the *really* interested ones are really important. And even that single vote counts. [On a second reading, this paragraph makes more sense than I had intended. *You* may want to read this paragraph a few times].

Hence, as per the suggestion of the regular reader, I keep my tech and non-tech blogs still separate. :)

Signing off, Sands.

PS: This is not something which should be written in a PS, still... I have never been able to surprise my parents. They seem to know what I think. And every now and then, they give me terrific surprises! Hats off to them.

22 March 2008

I told you so...

Notice: It turns out to be a little difficult to maintain 4 blogs. So, I am merging my tech-stuff with this blog - and will add a new category.

The two small problems, unrelated to my main work, which I worked on are (i) The 3n+1 problem and (2) The maximum matching problem.

I could successfully re-phrase the 3n+1 problem into different words, but no proof what so ever was found. Anyway I wasn't very hopeful either. I am happy to have done my fair share of breaking my head.

Regarding the matching problem, the solution is not about correctness, it is about speed. What I initially had in mind turned out to be wrong; I improved on it and have a solid solution, but all depends on how fast it is. That analysis is still remaining.

There is something which I have been wanting for 2-3 years. Fermat's Last Theorem (FLT) is something which has contributed a lot to the development of mathematics - over 300 years. There is no wonder that Andrew Wiles cried when he found the proof. What I want is to just learn his proof - yes, I know that it could turn out to be really hard.

Wiles alone has worked on it for about 7 years. And his proof is built on lot of other theories and what he actually proves is TS-conjecture, which is the equivalent of FLT. So, learning it could be very hard indeed. Still, I think I shall try a little bit. Let me add that too to my TODO list.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: I couldn't help smiling when Shimura said "I told you so", when he heard about the proof for his conjecture. :)

18 March 2008

Knowing what you do!

Paalam :)I had set a goal for myself. And that goal was supposed to be reached when I turn 26. And from my own evaluation, I feel that I have reached there.  

The goal was simple: To be able to know - what I am doing. And I know that now. Don't frown now - haven't I ever known what I have done / have been doing? Yes, I have always... but never as clear as now.

Don't get confused, be able to take sensible decisions at any time, and be sure about the things you do in life. Things could still go wrong, but knowing what you do is something important.

May I take this opportunity to dedicate this post to Guru. Now, I am at his age - at the time I was with him.

Here the photo shows the latest me - trying to cross the small narrow bridge shown Paalam :)in the picture above; I am neither scared nor confused nor shaken. :) - I am just glad :)

Signing off, Sands.

PS1: Photo taken in the small fields near my house - last weekend.

PS2: People do inspire me - even now, as they used to do earlier. Some people are really so good that you cannot help being inspired. And some people are really too bad that you can't help getting irritated too. Sigh!





16 March 2008

INR 5 Million

I had been considering, for the past few years, about buying a house. Not just any house - but, that house, that specific one which I have had in my mind.

Anyway I had been thinking about it. While I was in the library, yesterday, I thought that perhaps I should my first move. Today, I spoke with one of the owners of this house and he is fine with it. At the moment, that house is not for sale, but when it will be (which I am sure, will be within less than 5 years), I will be one of the potential buyers.

And the rough estimate stands at 50 lakhs. WOW!

Till date, I have never paid much attention to money - I knew, it comes and goes. But I have made sure that the money worked for me before it left me. I also have been boasting that money is one of the easiest things to make - if you have skill and will.

Life is beautiful, right? It takes you to/through different situations and makes you speed up or slow down the things you do; It changes the way you think, turns your concepts upside down; etc. In my case, my life is making things clearer and clearer in my mind. And this decision (about house) is one of such things which got cleared and I am stepping up to act.

It's a house, kind of farm house, surrounded by large, green compounds and it is by the side of a river. It's an old house, with black-cement/red-cement/tiled floor , wooden roof, poomukam and what not!

And what would I do with that house? To put it simple: whatever I would be doing in future, I'll take sabbaticals and go there to write the books which I would be doing during the sabbatical. Of course, my children would come with me too. hmm..... I'll not force her, but she will choose to join me :) [what a confidence! :)]

That's all for now! I searched for a picture of that house and couldn't find it. I have it somewhere in the hard-disk which fell down yesterday :( - 'll show you later.

That's all for now. Signing off, Sands.

PS1: Update on life. If you consider the saying "A diamond is nothing but a piece of coal which did well under-pressure", I am turning to a diamond very fast. Had a decent experience of tearing off a part of my heart - last week. No more details. [song for the moment - Pinneyum Pinneyum Aaro Kinavinte :) ]

PS2: Today is my birthday. The best one till date. :)

9 March 2008

Make me alive again?

Monkey and Goat!My grandma used to say that, for monkeys, all types of fruits taste sweet; and that every type of leaves taste good for  goats too.

I was talking about my food habits to a friend of mine. My wife would be really lucky - I'll eat everything she cooks, without any complaints. Because, everything tastes good to me. At least, there is nothing which tastes bad. Some things like "Leberkäse" and "Speck" which are a little too salty though.

As I child, I had problems with many many vegetables - quite a number of them.

Once, while having "puttu", I'd eat "puttu" only with sugar and "kadala" was allergic to me - or at least I thought so. My father, against his usual "no-compulsion(leave him free)" tactics, forced me to try kadala and of course I resisted.

Finally he said - "if you die because of eating this, I'll make you alive again".Kadala and Puttu

Well, that time I was small boy and nice too (unlike now). I used to obey :)

And surprisingly, the kadala didn't kill me and I have liked it ever since. Smile :)

Now tell me, considering the first paragraph, which category should I belong to? ;)

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Slept enough after a few days of lack-of-sleep. The sunny Sunday is asking me for a date :) - I'll take a walk to Isar, the river flowing just half a km from my home.

6 March 2008

Beautiful Nights and Miracles!

Aren't night outs wonderful? I might have written this earlier - that I love to receive the morning, after waiting for it all through the night.

It's 7 degrees below zero outside.. but I am going to go out. As I wrote in the previous posts, lately, I am in the best of my moods. And I am thrilled about going out now. While I will be out, sun will rise..., then I'll go straight to my office - start my day!

Even when I wrote about unleashing myself, it is not yet fully functional. But I can really feel it coming... sunrise

Was thinking of a nice thing... we four friends - Dinil, EP, Sam and Myself -- We were together at IIT. Now all four of us are pursuing PhD in computer-science. That too in neighboring countries - France, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany respectively. Can we call this a coincidence?

Apparently, I am the the laziest, most outgoing, most extravert, craziest and the youngest of all - but the senior most! :). 

But with PhD, may be I am the slowest. With all these superlative adjectives, can you call me an extremist!?

|--- a small question -- and how/why? ---|

Now, do you believe in telepathy? or in Miracles? Actually I don't. I have had experiences, when I and my mother spoke the same thing same time.

But with some one else .... that too, too many times! THE SAME THING at THE SAME TIME - both of us say, think - truly amazing. I still don't believe in miracles.. but then I don't know how to explain this experience.

Hey, I should be going out now. Let me get my thermal wear, pull-over and jacket. And of course muffler too.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: My grandma would be glad to know that I didn't sleep all through Shivarathri (or is it applicable only to unmarried young ladies?).

UPDATED LATER: By the time I reached university after that walk and taking some snaps with my mobile, there was not even an inch of my body - which was not frozen. I shouldn't have kept my mantel in the cellar, I should have known - where are my gloves hiding! But as a whole, it was a terrific morning - I enjoyed a lot.

3 March 2008

Yes I am doing it.... Unleashing!

The song for the moment - Kannetha Dhoore Marutheeram....  [Thazhvaaram]

Yes, I am unleashing myself. I am starting a new phase of my life now - lot of new things - lot of new thoughts - new energy. I am getting the changes I needed badly. I am in terrific mood - excited, energetic, euphoric, enthusiastic - and what not!

My dear readers (?) might wonder - what on earth is happening with me. I just moved to a new place and lot of things happened in my life - which require me to re-think lot of stuff.

There are only three things I have with me which I am going to invest - to reap a lot of benefits. My capital investment:

my brain, will and time.

Now, what do I want? There are mainly two things which really turn me on - intelligence, and knowledge. I cannot get the first one, but I can make lot of knowledge - as much as I want. And I am going to do exactly the same. Wouldn't it be nice if I list them out?

  1. Mathematics - I need in depth knowledge - real deep knowledge - just learn lot of it. Probability - which I need; Algebra - very much; Number theory - necessary; And all the interesting stuff.

  2. Latin or Spanish: Latin could help me understand the not-so-friendly words in different texts. Spanish would be useful when I make a trip to South-America - sometime

  3. Read a lot - which I am doing quite well now itself.

  4. Violin - Restart practice, I just need someone to help me with reading the notations - then I can use Suzuki-Method of learning

  5. Scheme/LISP - in depth - for the horror of it. joking feynman

  6. Salsa - I don't know why! I just want to.

  7. Learn to play pool/billiards/table-football well. Yeah, the last one, I am an average+ player though.

  8. Painting professionally - (want to do some nude paintings too) [FEYN1]

  9. Lock picking - doesn't it sound sexy? [FEYN1]

Of course, I am not planning to do all of them simultaneously. Maximum of two/three things at any given time and the first one is there always.

So, now hereby I declare that I have unleashed the beast - to the new phase. Will keep you posted.

[FEYN1] - "Surely you are joking, Mr. Feynman" - wonderful book.

signing off, Sands.

PS: And dude, welcome back, I still believe that life is multidimensional. But I am definitely keeping it as straight and focused as possible - but not at the cost of living! [I know, you understand this - and I will take my time out like you - when that time arrives]