16 December 2010

Lazy Goose, that I am

I am being extremely lazy… Whether it be cleaning my room, doing laundry or replying to my emails… I am not doing!

I go to office in the morning and try to do kickass job (which I think I  do) and get back home to my medium-comfortable-couch… and spend the whole evening on it.. sometimes reading… sometimes watching some old sitcom.

I think, this is the effect of having the feeling to relax for a couple of weeks after the PhD. I have to get up from this. I have to start being active (you see, I am starting to get back to blogosphere)

But all the same, even when I tell this, I think I need to do NOTHING for the coming few weeks.

Perhaps my friends are getting angry at me…. for I don’t even properly reply to their emails (or pings/calls).

When I look back, this is what I see

April : finishing the thesis and submitting it.
May : Submission needed me to stay away from teaching during the first few weeks of teaching, catching up with it.
June: India, the dark chapter of my dad’s demise
July : Backlag from June (work-wise and also the emotional drag)
August: Finishing the semester work + catching up the pending work
September: Finalising the thesis, defense, the logistical things
October: India, orchestrating relocation and stuff … WHOLLY packed.
November: New city, new life, new work, relocation

And December, I am here, starting to relax! I hope hope hope that my friends do understand when I am taking this month completely off. Unless someone REALLY needs me for something, I am just out from this world for sometime. (I stress this point of friends, because I feel a “little” guilty)

So far, I am enjoying the job. It’s nice to have time-limited working hours, unlike uni. which was more or less flexible – meaning it took a lot of my “mindspace”. But I have to see how long will I like this… I like multi-dimensional way of living… mixing things up.

Life’s good! Great food, great place to live, ample entertainment…. I am more or less living a little dream – a world where I live without much constraints…!

This is/was a quick post… will be back with more on current affairs and what I think about “life” in general! :) [also, that would be proof read]

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Lethargy is awesome… but I need to get up! :P

9 December 2010

Winter is here and I am a carpenter

Oh well, so many things happened in life during the past  6 months..

  • I am not in Munich anymore; relocated to a small town near Frankfurt.
  • Not anymore a PhD student, but a “responsible” security expert! :P
  • Living in a single WHOLE apartment instead of a member of a shared apartment.
  • And such…

All about those will be written as time goes by, in my future posts. This post is mainly for a few photos.

After moving in to the new apartment, I had to have some new furniture. So, I decided to make them… yes, I bought the ‘raw-materials’ and tools and started making some.



Working with chisels and saw wasn’t as easy as I had imagined  - mainly because of the noise (I didn’t want to annoy my neighbors)





The first two photos are of “something” I made for the kitchen.

Every single time I took the chisels, I was reminded of Perumthachan (and his son)




Here is a small thing I built, and fixed on the wall… and a foldable table. I knew, I didn’t  want to move it around.

So, it is fixed, but one can fold it back when not needed.




And now, I shall show you some pics from this years snow.

Two cycle tracks on the snow and the city’s yellow light on it.

How would I go without leaving footprints? ;)

On my way to office…!

I am still on my way…

I have to cross this little “river”. :)

Well, that’s all my dear fellows.

You all have a lovely time! Till very soon,

Signing off, Sands.

1 November 2010

Shall shine again…–as Dr. Sadanandan.

I haven’t written in a long time. This is not going to be a long post either.

DSC00070This post is just to let my readers know that there was some reason for not writing (for being busy).

The reason is that, I am now Dr. Sandeep Sadanandan and the transition from Mr. to Dr. took quite a bit of work. (Plus some personal reasons)

Now, I am back to normal speed of life. (Even though so many things happened in the past 2 months or so)

Expect me to be regular again.

Signing off, Sands.

21 September 2010

A bunch of things–half baked.

Listening to “Yesterday, all  my troubles seemed so far away”. How lovely a song it is!

“I don’t know” is a good answer when you really don’t know what is being asked/discussed. Don’t you think so? At least I do.

But many prefer to give half-baked ill-informed answers/opinions when they are asked something. And guess what? that drives me mad. I don’t claim that I know everything about anything I know.

I know only very little. But unless I am quite sure, I won’t be commenting about anything. Oh yes, there are human errors everywhere – I am not above/beyond them either. So, I do cut some slack for everyone. (who do I think I am?)

But when I hear half baked ideas and see half assed effort to be informed, I react badly. Especially when the hard-earned facts and irrefutable logic are ignored. Perhaps I should mellow down a bit.

IMG_0058This blog doesn’t really follow a theme. But lately, I am writing a little too much about atheism and “free-thinking”. Before we  go there, I’ll give you some updates.

After my “Bookshelf Dilemma” post, I decided to get an e-book reader and have it in my hand already. Yes, an amazon Kindle. So far, I have liked it a lot. All the same, I should say that I haven’t read even one complete book in that. But since my vacation is to start next week, I am keeping my reading postponed till then.

A few days before Kindle, I had bought an iPhone too. I am quite satisfied with that gadget as well. I am quite pleased with it.


NOW, coming back to ignoring facts and going with ill-informed opinions. This is perhaps why, I cannot understand “creationists”, the reason I don’t understand superstitions, or blindly religious people. Well, apparently, people simply refuse to think…., which is so sad.

Anyway, today I am not going to talk/write about beliefs. I shall just share some lovely videos I came across.


Thanks to Pramode sir, for bringing this (Deconversion) to my notice.

For a good laughter


Then, there was this debate I saw online – whether church is necessary or not. It is a playlist of 5 videos – worth watching.



Now, to an entirely different topic: Vegetarianism. I became a vegetarian, more than a year ago, and stayed so, faithfully. The choice was mainly philosophical and there was a small part of the question which I hadn’t answered. During my vacation@home, I think I will be revisiting the whole issue – all over again.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Sometimes you don’t know – “whether you like the person because of his ideas or you like his ideas because you like him” (my example is Stephen Fry). Something similar is – “Do I like those parents because I like their kids or do I like the kids because I like their parents?”. There is a malayali family in Munich which I simply adore – parents and two little girls.

PPS: It was Keralasamajam’s Onam celebration on Saturday and I (and MG) painted something for the stage.  Here they are:


29 August 2010

The Bookshelf Dilemma

Two Years AgoMy bookshelves are sort 0f overflowing and I am buying more and more books as time goes by. I don’t know how I would manage to move all of them while relocating to another city or even a country.  (The picture shows a part of my collection two years ago … lazy to click a present one)

That is where an ebook reader (eReader) comes into picture. Shall I go for one? or not?

  • Don’t I love the “physical feeling” of a book? The smell of it?
  • Don’t I love the sight of the books in the shelf?
  • Don’t I love to tell my guests to “pick that ‘green’ book from the third row from top of the shelf on right side” and then tell them to read something from it. (You know? -- just to spice up conversations and such!)
  • Am I not simply proud of my collection?

An eReader would kill all this fun. So shall I not get one? But then I’ll be missing the technology train. (Which I never missed with netbooks, smart-phones, iPod, iPhone, etc.)

All the bullets above add up to less than 10 percentage of what I love about books. What I want really is the content. So, wouldn’t it be great if I can carry around my collection in a little handheld device? (claiming to give the perfect-reading-feel)

I don’t know. I was (am) quite confused about it. What if I don’t like it after the investment? Wouldn’t it be a waste? What if I do like? Won’t I move away from the good-old-smelly-books?

I spoke with a fellow-reader (RG) and she recommends to take the plunge. I have nothing to lose. And if I don’t like the device, I can give it to someone. Yes, sounds reasonable enough. Still… but… Hmm…

So, take the plunge? or not?

Signing off, Sands.

PS: The title of this post is shamelessly taken from this post @ Within/Without, which provoked my eReader thoughts.

17 August 2010

Sweet and bitter somethings

6a00d8341c66b253ef013484b83ccd970c-800wiThis month had been so far a book-month. I finished the whole twilight series in the beginning, then I finished “Superfreakonomics” – which is a nice, slightly thought provoking book.

And yesterday, I went to the bookshop (well, not that I don’t have enough unread books in my collection). I went to buy “The last lecture” for a friend (Nth copy of that book I was buying). And I bought a book for me as well (you know Tyler Cowen of MarginalRevolution? – his Infovore book)

While in the train back home, I sat opposite to a lady who was reading. I took the new book, opened it and inhaled directly from the pages… it felt so good - the pleasant smell of the new book. I looked up to see that she was looking at me and smiling. I smiled back, and knew that we had the ‘reader-to-reader’ rapport between us.

If only she were in my age-league, I could have had a bit of flirting flow! :P (I soooo wanted to know which book she was reading – try “Judging a girl by her cover”,  slate magazine)

17082010558Today, in the morning, I was standing near the letter-boxes. The post woman was delivering letters/cards, and I thought I’d like to have that card she had in her hand. And guess what? She put it in my letter box! Smile Smile

The moment she moved,  I took it and was just very happy!  And as the sender asked me to, I did feel very much bear-hugged!

Now, the bitter things: Why do people put their close ones through guilt trips to make them do things against their own wishes? It is being used by so many people, and comes in different flavours – that disgusts me.

Why don’t people follow the minimum manners of removing the hear/ear-phones while speaking to someone? Why can’t you simply remove your tainted-glasses while talking to someone. Don’t you think, looking into the eyes is an important part of any conversation?

Why do people simply go ahead and use someone else’s computer, without asking? Don’t they know it is called “personal computer” and the meaning of “personal”? (Applicable to books and other things too)

And finally, why am I being so touchy? ;)

Signing off, Sands.

5 August 2010

Light weight post..

I was with muggle-girl, in the train, when she remarked about our co-passengers – “Why do they all look like they’ve lost something?”. I looked around, and it was so true. Except a lady with her kid (and us too), EVERYONE in the train was so gloomy. Why oh why?

It was just 10 in the morning.. not that they are all tired after a long day’s work (not that any excuse can be entertained). I wanted to get up and shout – cheer up people, cheer up!.

(On a different note: have I mentioned that Beatles songs are great? Yes they are - listening to them now. I’m happy just to dance with you..)

Have you sometimes, while flipping through a book/newspaper, felt that you saw a word in a page, even when you didn’t [have time to] read?

Then you have to go back and hunt the whole page for that word, and will be surprised to see that the word really did exist in the page?

I had a similar moment in the morning. I thought I saw some Indian word in the ad, which I saw for only a split of a second on the info-screen. I had to wait till the ad was shown again.

And there it was – Shiva. What are “Cosmos” and “Shiva” doing in an ice-cream ad? I looked it up and figured that the words represent the Indian meanings and it’s the model’s name.

Remark: I happened to look at these words, instead of her cleavage????. Am I that boring?? Sad smile (Well, she’ll be disappointed ;) )

Then, I walked straight to my “chocolate-drink” kiosk. I did my usual trick for impressing the cashier-girl, which is spinning the coins on the table – not many cashier girls were ever impressed though. Today it was a cashier-boy and he was royally impressed. I took my drink and walked away quick! Smile with tongue out

Well, readers, the last few posts were a bit heavy for my blog. Hence the light weight post today.

And, I am gradually getting back to normality – hyper-activity and such.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: That (beautiful) lady was showing off her iPad and I was properly ogling both.

3 August 2010

Indian Supremacy Theory..

Recently, I had a conversation with Eva Maria – a German lady who is staying in Kerala and collecting data for her doctoral thesis – “Resistance of regional-medical-systems against globalisation/allopathic medicine – in the light of naturopathy in Kerala”. I took a while to grasp what she’s doing and the scope of this post doesn’t cover that. :)

She told me, when she visits some villages in Kerala, they tell her – “Kerala is the best place on the planet [to live]”. On asking back which all places they know to have such an opinion, they say, they haven’t ever been away from their cute lovely villages. So much for “informed opinion”.

I wonder, how many proud mallus know that the Kerala-tagline “God’s Own Country” itself is not original. [LINK]

And you know what? Indians tend to make this “we are the best” comments about almost everything [Facebook-Group].

To make it worse, we cannot even accept a bit of criticism. Once, in a group, I was telling [non-Indians] about some flaws and faults of Indian system, when this friend from Bihar told me [shouted] (in Hindi) to stop telling about the bad-things back there.

No society is going to grow if they cannot accept their own flaws and discuss with others to see their blind spots. india-map123

WE ARE FLAWLESS attitude spans from culture to technology. Indian culture is the best EVER. Home grown technology beats everything else (Remember Ramar-Pillai?).

A word about Indian culture – the colours, variety of food, festivals etc. are some of the best of it.

At the same time, don’t tell that a system where women are second class citizens is good. I simply won’t be able to understand the “goodness” of a dowry-based-arranged-marriage-family-system. Let’s not even talk about the caste-based classification of people.

I am not exactly patriotic; It’s your choice to be or not. But don’t let patriotism blind you. Please don’t.

And my dear Indian readers, if you still think we are the best, see where India stands in these global ranking systems: Satisfaction with Life Index (India:125), Quality-of-life index (India: 73), etc. We are not exactly at the top of these lists, are we?

So, there must be something which we are not doing right. (And others doing it right?)

There are many great things about every place/system. It is the same with India too – lot of great people, things, places, traditions, etc. But please try to have informed opinions; and be open to criticism.

And wouldn’t it be the best if we know what our faults are and get the best from wherever we can? Life will be happier, world will be a better place to live.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Also, don’t think that this “attitude” is completely Indian, for I have seen people who say their system is the only good system around (have you spoken with newly-imported-Chinese students?).

PPS: People who are proud of the age-old beliefs/traditions/customs would shamelessly say that the hard, non-bendable, non-criticisable rules in Qur’an were written for 6-7th century A.D, and are not applicable now. (But that argument doesn’t apply to own faults, right?). Having majority support, or having been functional for ages shouldn’t support any system. Let changes happen, for good.

24 July 2010

Earn it mates... Respect I mean [4]

If you want to be treated well/respected, then first learn/start to behave well and respectable!

I have been using my motorbike quite often lately and riding is great, fun, lovely etc. But other bikers irritate me a lot.

Bikers want to be treated like cars, to have that much parking space, but they just don't behave well. When there is a traffic jam, they take all those small narrow paths and get to the front of the jam and get their way.

Having a motorbike is not the licence to go beyond the speed limits; it is not the licence to overtake where you aren't permitted to. But they all do.

How do you then expected to be treated well by other motorists? And we, the ones who actually follow the rules have to share the bad-image you create.

No offense to youngsters, but they seem to do it the most - and they wear the least amount of protective wear. God only can save them - meaning, they cannot be saved! :P

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Tomorrow, we'll read about Indian-Supremacy-Theory!

22 July 2010

Mission Accomplished.. [3]

So, in such a big university like Technical University Munich, students came asking for my course, and we offered it, I did the course and finally conducted the exams – ALL on my own. And I feel really great.

When I look around and see the opportunities my colleagues/friends had, in Raincomparison with me, it feels even more great!

All what remains now is evaluation and I’ll do it tomorrow, and that will be the end of this semester work! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!! 

And, it rained today - heavily. When it did, I went out in the rain – after quite a long time. There is nothing which is as good as walking out when it is pouring cats and dogs!

Hmm, this daily blog for a month is going to be a little hard! Let me see! :)

Signing off, Sands.

21 July 2010

God or No God? [2]

It’s an age old decision to never take part in theism/atheism argument.

Personal experiences tell me that religious people tend to react badly (emotionally too) if something hurts their beliefs – well, they have something to lose, if the argument doesn’t favour them. (Why should I do it?)

It must be true with non-theists too, but they are in general more open (or at least aren’t too sentimentally attached to non-theism – of course, they have only a God to gain; nothing to lose.)

Obviously, a very hard decision to follow. Lately, I had been following some bright blogs [Greta, mal-bright]  and they made me a bit edgy when it came to God.

To add insult to injury, after my dad’s demise, I am even entertaining the thoughts of militant atheism. Read WikiLink.

Yesterday (late afty), I did get atheist-businto one such argument. My opponent challenged me that she’ll break my arguments one by one  in the evening. Luckily, there wasn’t any argument. Lucky, because such arguments usually don’t reach an end, and I am very good at hurting others’ beliefs.

All the same, I prepared a LIST of thoughts/questions which could be used in such arguments. Most of them aren’t even explained well, each point is simple a tip of a huge iceberg.

You could read them, use them, answer the questions if you want. If you take it very serious, you could even copy paste them to an editor, answer them and send them over to me.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: For your benefit, I copy paste the thoughts/questions here! :)

  1. What is God?

    • Everything?
    • Surveillance camera?
    • Concept to help the weak??
    • Cannot even define??
  2. What does he/she do?
    • Creation? - why think a complex thing got created from nothingness, than the simple universe created itself?
    • Taking care of things? - look around at the state of affairs.
  3. How do you prove?
    • Russel's Teapot? - teapot going around sun, between earth and mars. The one who claims its existence should prove it.
    • Flying Spaghetti Monster. - we were all created 5 minutes ago. Just that our brains were filled with long lasting memories.
    • Invisible Pink Unicorn… :)
  4. If he/she does exist, what is the big deal to prove it?
  5. Why should all questions be answered?
    • What if a lifetime in not enough?
    • What goes wrong if a Question is not answered? (should we be satisfied with a wrong answer than none?)

      The magic I don't understand is a miracle? or not? Why can’t we take that time will show it to us slowly, but now it is unknown.

  6. God of the Gaps? Shrinking God?

    This argument has the form

    • There is a gap in scientific knowledge.
    • Therefore, the things in this gap are best explained as acts of God.
    This is not based in logic. It is simply a statement of pessimism about the future progress of science.

    The God is shrinking. 1

  7. Does God interfere with normal life/mortals?
    • If yes, why all these atrocities?
    • If no, think about praying.
  8. is Life = God?
  9. I could be wrong; So could you be.. right??
  10. Faith = without proof? (axiom?)

    I refuse to accept something without a proof. You believe in something without proof? Because someone said so? How can he be right? (Flying spaghetti monster and teapot)

  11. How about other religions? are they wrong too? Just your religion is right?
  12. Does majority/minority matter? – if yes, people who don’t believe in your faith is MORE than the ones who do .. and it is true for EVERY religion. If no, never say atheists are less in number.
  13. I see a bear and a lion hugging each other here. Am I hallucinating?
    • What if I see God in my dream? How is it different from normal dreaming?
  14. Do miracles happen? Coincidences? (Have you heard the word probability?)
  15. Could the scriptures be wrong?
    • Why life is so hard if they have everything in there?

      All it takes is read the scriptures up and have a good life?

    • Why dedicate life for science? Go learn the scriptures – well which religions’ ??
    • Scriptures are finite, Unknown is infinite. How can we have infinite knowledge in finite scriptures?

      (I know examples of mistakes in Indian scriptures - esp. in Astrology/Astronomy. Not to mention church’s reaction to heliocentric system.)

      (When science makes mistakes and gets it corrected later, they simply accept it without fighting.)

  16. Why most logical thinkers are Atheists?
  17. You deny N Gods, atheists deny N+1. What’s the big deal?
  18. Are all Gods the same? then why do religions contradict? Why doesn't he/she step in and make people understand and make the world a better place? (have you heard about the tower of Babel?)
  19. Why natural disasters? Did/Do all those people deserve same treatment at same time?
  20. How does praying help? Isn’t it as bad as bribery? Does god need reminding? Can he not simply know your wishes? why utter them?
    If praying doesn't help...why pray?


1Down through the centuries, science has eliminated a great many of its gaps. People who had used the Gap argument were embarrassed, since their God shrank in power with each new scientific advance. For example, after the work of Galileo and Newton, it was no longer thought that angels pushed the planets across the heavens.

A more recent example is the argument by some Creationists that complex molecules (such as amino acids) could not have arisen by natural processes on the early earth. Hence, life could not have arisen by natural means, and God must have miraculously created these chemicals while creating life. The chemicals were part of a Purpose.

The basis of this argument was a gap in scientific knowledge. This basis fell apart when molecules (including organic molecules) were detected in interstellar space by astronomers. The argument came further apart when amino acids were found inside the Murchison meteorite. Apparently the basic molecules of life form naturally in some quite harsh places, and there is a way for vast quantities to have arrived intact on the early earth. So, their existence has Purpose only to the extent that the entire galaxy does.

20 July 2010

Punctuality? (does that exist?) [1]

Hmm.. first post of the monthly series happens to be a cribbing post!

Waiting long for someone (something) can practically drive me crazy. Of course, there could be reasons –  the train didn’t just come, or the bus was late – which could be entertained.

But something worse is that, the late-comer did (does) know about the delay, but the person who’s waiting won’t be informed. Better Be Prompt!

Why don’t they give a call and say, “Hey, I’ll be these many minutes late”. That would give me (or the waiting person) the chance to make better use of time. [Isn’t my/his/her time valuable?]

First of all, be punctual – it is not THAT hard. Many people do that quite well. Even I, such a lazy bum, have been doing it for the past 10-15 years.

Of course, there were times when I was late; and whenever there was telephone connection, I have informed the other party.

Now, it is 7:05, I am still waiting for someone who told me that we’ll meet at 6:45; I haven’t heard anything yet. Luckily, I am at home.

Give or take 5 minutes… other than that, being late cannot be tolerated, without proper ‘letting-me-know’. It feels like my time has NO value.

Making someone wait is like not respecting his/her time (and that person him/herself).

My time is precious; Your time is MORE precious : let this message sink in us.

Signing off, Sands.

19 July 2010

New Moon – yes, Twilight:2

Warning: I am seriously considering about a month of daily posts. (All will be small and short (hence sweet and beautiful too)). Not decided yet. All it would take is getting up early, publishing a post, and starting the day. Are my readers with me? Ready to endure?

After coming back from home, I started reading “Accidental Mind” – concerning brain-theory/neuroscience – mainly because I wanted to know more about what happened to my dad’s brain.

But I figured soon that it was not the best book to read at that time. If you read non-fiction and have tears because you relate those theories to your life/near-n-dear, then it is time to put that book down and pick some light-weight reading. Mind needs time to heal.

Without reading/finishing even a book in 3 weeks, I was also starting to feel bad that I am not doing anything useful in life.

So, what could have been lighter/better than vampire stories? :)

So, after a loooooong time, I finished a book – New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. Don’t give me that look – I know, it is teenage stuff. But I wanted to know what is this big drama about “Edward Cullen” – vampire. (Had read the first book in the series a few months ago – and found it ok.)

I think the book is Ok, even though I fail to see the reason for such a hype. Girls are screaming with joy on hearing the name “Cullen”; but, to my eyes, he never looked like a decent hero. Never mind, next time someone talks to me about twilight, I can speak authoritatively.

For one thing, I like to have the privilege of saying – “I know what I am speaking of, I have read that”.

For another thing, it wasn’t too bad a book.

Anyway, just thinking – whether I should take the next one in the series? Or take a break.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Mind teeming with thoughts…. will have to sit and structure them.

PPS: A little thanks to RG for Twilight introduction. :)

12 July 2010

Double standard alias Patronising…

My long absence here – you know why, if you read my last post.I have made up my mind to come back here and be regular all over again. The show must go on – right?

Personal freedom – I stand for it, I support it, I advocate for it. I tell others to fight for it, if necessary.

This is how I live, that is how you live; You live your life and I live  mine” – I totally get this.

In most of the cases, I act so too. But sometimes, I think I am adding one more line to it – “Anyway, my way is superior. You could be like me.

Now I am not so clear whether I give such a vibe too often/strong. But in general, I have an attitude that my way is better and I am happier than the average Joe.

I like to be RIGHT. But I shall not deny others’ right to be right, right?

As RG once pointed out, I like to “feel good about myself” than the average Joe. That’s all fine… as long as I don’t force it on others.

Perhaps, I am not doing it a lot. But lately some incidents make me (re)think. And isn’t that something I should pay attention to? Yes, it IS; So, I will.

Thanks to the ones who brought it to my notice; Apologies to the ones who suffered my superiority complex. ;)

I’ll live my life and you figure out yours; and feel free to kick my ass if I interfere with your way! (Hmm… I won’t hesitate if you interfere with mine) ..

On a different note, I am afraid of the time when the picture here becomes true – some day!

Signing off, Sands.


PS: Dedicating this entry to the one who helped me see the issue better.

PPS: Was reading THIS (the real trigger).

PPPS: Blogging is very good to get your thoughts structured. Reason #1: it won’t talk back to you when you are half way through your conversation. :)


21 June 2010

Life will never be the same..

Every incident changes life. But some have more gravity.. don’t they?

With such an incident, I have become the “man of the house” : a transition from ‘responsibility-is-optional’ state to ‘responsible-for-a-family’ state.

Not that I feel crushed under the pressure. It was anyway bound to happen at some point of time… (perhaps 20-30 years down the lane though).

The transition was testing… Being angry at the system.. which delayed medical treatment to him for two hours… anger was the dominant emotion.

Moments of irrationality… even when I knew I was irrational, I continued to be irrational for sometime.

Now when I look back, it is strange that I broke into tears.. thinking that he was alone in that long, narrow box in the mortuary.. I knew, it was just a body; I’ve never believed in soul. Still I considered that body to be a person. Irrational? or too emotional? (are they the same? ;) )

Saw and experienced quite a lot. More than anything else, saw the real faces of some people.

  • How can you trust someone who is nice to you but not to others? Even though he shows the nice face now, the knowledge that he has two faces destroys the trust. Doesn’t it?
  • Thanks to the ones who were just there when I couldn’t afford to break down. If nothing else, I’ve at least made some GREAT friends.
  • I also figured it out from experience – why do people believe in God, heaven and such. It is some sort of escapism…. which guarantees peace of mind. [By the way, I am, now, more inclined to militant atheism, than ever before.]
  • The complexity, loopholes, pitfalls and defects of the bureaucracy were well revealed. Corruption and bribe – unbelievable!
  • Not to mention the heights of turmoil+agitation.
  • The list goes on and on and on..

If I am as observant as others say I am, I must have known him better than anyone else. And with that I should say, he was a good man, a very good man, a great dad (of course, not faultless). His absence won’t create a practical/financial/similar void…. but a void which can never be filled with anything but him.

He’d have been happy to know that hundreds of people came to have a final look at him. (I myself had royally underestimated his popularity)

Anyway, the show has to go on; time will heal everything... I get a new role in life and I’ll try to play it well. As I told him just before lighting the pyre, I’ll make sure to live a life which’ll make him proud. And will be there for my mom and sis.

(again irrational right? do I need to promise that I’ll be a good man? Am I not trying to be so even otherwise? Anyway, let me have some cultural/traditional things in me… can’t hurt too much)

Signing off, Sands.

PS: Funny that, I hope/wish that nobody has to go through what I went through, even though it was on of the most teaching and revealing experiences in my life. (Am I that selfish? ;) )

18 May 2010

Rant + Something special… :)

It’s been quite some time since I came to blogosphere. I had a few good reasons for taking the break. To start with, I was quite busy. And I won’t bore you with the details of my busy-ness.

But before I get into the normal blogging, a little bit of rant. If you don’t want the RANT part, skip the next 4-5 paragraphs.

Why do some people want others to want something? Why are people supposed to do some things? Why does the society expect people to follow specific paths? Why don’t many people have the courage to stand up and say “I do this, for I want this”?

Now, I don’t have anything against parents. In fact, my parents have always given me enough freedom and whenever I thought I wasn’t given enough, I’ve simply taken it. (of course it has hurt them sometimes, but in the long run they’ve figured that my decisions have only made me (and in turn them) happy)

But, many parents create a restrictive atmosphere. And guess what? many a time, the reasoning is “what would others think?”. Who gives a damn about what others think? (As you can see, it’s the society which controls parents’ minds)

My dear fellows, when you want something in life and someone else says that you are not supposed to want it, but you are supposed to want something else, just know that there is NO SUPPOSED TO crap. Just stand up and claim what you want. Claim your freedom and personal space and independence. And feel good, in fact, great about it. [read PS]

After all, there are only two types of people – the ones who care about you and the ones who don’t. The ones who care about you will be happy when you do what you want and are happy. The others, they don’t care about you and why should you care about what they think?

It seriously hurts when people just don’t realise this and make their own lives miserable! :(

But as I always have said, there are so many GREAT people on this planet to compensate for the idiots who make life miserable for others (and themselves). And I am glad to have such friends to whom I can rant after I see/talk-to the aforementioned idiots.

Now, what kept me busy all this while? I won’t tell you about all those.

But I can definitely tell you what is keeping me busy NOW.


I bought a bike – a pretty good strong lovely one – Honda CBF 600 (S). It’s been named “Rudra” (the name is being disputed though).

(600 CC, 77 BHP, 4 cylinder engine. Max speed 220, I’ve clocked only up to 155)

And this bike is my response to my own old post “Green with envy”, which itself was a response to a post in Necker Cubicle. Many thanks to Daniela who is the motivation/inspiration and who is worried that my mom would hate her for  making me a biker! :P

And here is the stereotypical rider on his bike. (picture taken in front of the computer-science/mathematics department building)


Of course, I am extra careful about riding. As my professor said today - “he is an adventurous fellow”. While loving the adventure part, I know I shall not cross the line separating adventure and stupidity.

Signing off, Sands.

PS: There are people who stop your from what you want because they can see the risks involved. That is reasonable. But “what others think” is never a good enough reason.

22 April 2010

Yahooooooooooooooo! and Pony Tail.

Last Saturday, in the morning, I received an email from a bachelor student – asking whether I am offering the course I did last summer. I didn’t reply immediately.

In the afternoon, an email from another student. And I started wondering!

On Sunday morning, I had an email from Professor, asking whether I wanted to offer the course. It seems he also received a few emails requesting my course.

Sunday being a busy day for me, I couldn’t do anything about it. I just said, I would LOVE to… for I love teaching.

We did the paperwork to get the course approved – on Monday; and published the details on the webpage – on Tuesday.

Now a word about it. The course is “Python for fine Programmers”, a simplistic course. An elective course. No one needs to take it, and it won’t fill anyone’s credit requirements.

And still, I have 12 students… and only two of them are there for credits. The rest came because they want to learn, they heard about me.  (And it is going to be some work.)

  • Preparing the lecture (material + presentation)
  • Finding out reasonable problems. I want a new set of them… no reusing of last years problems
  • Solving and coding them before I give them to students
  • Evaluating the code they all submit. (12 evaluations could take quite some time)

I went to professor to report and he told me “Sandeep, you’ve become famous. Students are asking specifically for your course”.

Isn’t it great? What more can I ask for?

And another dream is coming true as well – I’ve always taught Algorithms/Programming kind of courses. This semester, I am tutoring Theoretical Computer Science – the core thing. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

Hailing from a small normal village in Kerala, I am offering a course in one of the BEST universities in Germany (Europe). I feel good, very good indeed. :) :)

As the icing of the cake, now, I may even look like a solid geeky, useless, crazy, academic, for I have a little pony tail – very short indeed.

Now, to add the rough edge to it, I am going to get something next week. And something else the week after that.

I’m all excited! Yahooooooooooooo! Juhuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Signing off, Sands.

PS: And pony tail reminds me of Tony. He’s getting married in less than 2 weeks from now! Happy for him. :)

16 April 2010

Some little nothings

  • To explain the principle of relativity – that, time is subjective –  a friend gave this example. Relativity can be explained by the way two people perceive time – two people standing on both the sides of a toilet door – one waiting for the toilet, one using the toilet.  [thanks to Vivek]
    (When I was very young, my mom had told me that time flies when you speak to a lovely person, and time drags when the conversation is boring – and that is the crux of the thing. And I seem to like the toilet example now) 
  • If I were a chemistry teacher at high school, I would teach “irreversible process” with an example of toothpaste. Once you squeeze it out, there is no way to get it back – that is an (almost) irreversible process. Right?
  • If I am were math/computer-science teacher, I’d use the same example to explain One-way functions which are easy to do one side, the other way around is not so easy! :)
  • I recently read a small passage in a (malayalam) blog where the author says he envies some groups of people. So do I, envy such people …
    • who can sleep when mosquitoes are attacking
    • who can talk while watching TV
    • who can work[@computer] while listening to songs
    • who can read while having lunch/dinner/food
    • who can telephone while driving
  • The Easter/Vishu celebration is on this Sunday and as usual I’ve invited 4 friends – Jo, GrübMäd, Lud and a MuggleGirl. But this time I’ll be busy compering and I hope they’ll take care of themselves. I’ve always wanted to take RG for this function, but never could make it. Anyway, I am looking forward to Sunday.
  • My apartment mate from Greece: I like that chap. He’s intelligent, knowledgeable, arrogant and aggressive. If I look at him and say “if you’re looking for trouble, you’ve come to the right place”, he’d easily say - “oh yes, I am looking for trouble”. Nice confident chap… but I cannot help foreseeing the chances of we having clash of titans. :)

Well, that’s all for now. And I’ll get back to my work.

You all have a wonderful time, a great weekend.

Signing off, Sands.

12 April 2010

A disappointing post.

This is a post which I had been wanting to write with all the time it takes. It’s a book-review post – of three books I finished recently and which I very much liked.

But in these times of time-crunch, I am not sure whether I can do enough justice to the books, not sure whether I can give due respect to them. (Having not enough time guarantees that I won’t be satisfied with the post, and hence the title).

  • Pygmalion: George Bernard Shaw.
  • The lady of the Camellias: Alexandre Dumas, Fils (Junior).

PYGMALION: About a phonetic expert in London (1910s) and how he changes the life of a girl and his own. I shall not reveal the plot, for I hope – at least one of my loyal readers would read the book.

A wonderful play – witty and thought provoking. How can you not like a book which this in the preface?

The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.

While reading it, I found myself, during breaks, taking the book and going to Johannes to read some dialogues to him. (I hope, he wasn’t much bored ).

The heroine’s dad gives some of the funny and thought provoking ideas. He does question the status of the society. On asking why he (the dad) doesn’t marry his missus, he goes:

DOOLITTLE: Tell her [missus] so, tell her so. I’m willing. It’s me that suffers by it. I’ve no hold on her. I got to be agreeable to her. I got to give her presents. I got to buy her clothes something sinful. I’m a slave to that woman, Governor, just because I’m not her lawful husband. And she knows it too. Catch her marrying me! Take my advice, marry Eliza while she’s young and don’t know no better. If you don’t, you’ll be sorry for it after. If you do, she’ll be sorry for it after; but better you than her, because you’re a man, and she’s only a woman and don’t know how to be happy anyhow.

Doesn’t it so well show the ‘hardships’ of a man before, and of women after, the marriage? ;)

I can go on and quote more. But I better get to the next book. I humbly request you to read this book. It’s a short one and won’t take more than 3 hours.

THE LADY OF THE CAMELLIAS: A tragic story of a courtesan (and her liaison with a young bloke) set in mid 19th century Paris. If you have watched “Moulin Rouge”, then you have seen a VERY loosely related version of the original. n3320831

The book surpasses the movie by all means. I would recommend the book at least all my male readers.

Have you ever written a letter to your beloved and regretted for having (or not having) written something?  (I have)

Have you ever refused to accept that some of her actions hurt you? just because your ego won’t let you admit that you, the super-human, were hurt?  (I have)

And a thousand similar things happen while you are in love. Many a time I felt that the author had seen my mind when I’ve been through the pains of love.

Have you been “possessive”? (I haven’t)

He: "You are right," I said, letting my head sink on her knees ; "but I love you madly."
She: "Well, my friend, you must either love me a little less or understand me a little better."

I went “wow” for the reply. If you don’t get the feel when it is out of context, I am sorry! :(

It’s a beautiful book. It won’t change your life or anything. But there are some profound thoughts here and there. I think, it is more about the style and speed of narration which makes it nicer.

Life is pleasant, my dear fellow; it all depends on the colour of the glass through which one sees it.

Even though I insist my male readers to read the book, female readers would definitely like it too. Won’t you want to know why we men are sometimes so stupid (especially when in love? ;) )

Third book : JANE EYRE – this would (could/should) take a whole post. Being too late, I shall go to bed, postponing Jane Eyre.

The loyal readers who reached here, who cared to read the non-proof-read, non-structured post, are special to me. :)

Signing off, Sands.

8 April 2010

A fine film; Cults (of non-normal people)

Disclaimer: Late night post – no proof reading – read at your own risk ;)

After a wonderful day, I reached home with a decision that I’ll finish some work before sleeping. Without even touching any work, I cooked (and ate) a wonderful dinner - “Penne Arabiata, with loads of cheese”. And watched a film – a fine film after a long time from Malayalam film world.

I had read the novel a few months ago and was waiting for the film to be available. A historical-detective story, narrated in a very different way. The actors have done a good job. Some bit of initial days of communism in Kerala, the socio-communal situation, power of feudal lords etc. are captured quite well.

We all dreamed of changes in the society. We changed, the society didn’t. The dreams remained always as dreams, without ever being materialised.

So said one of the communist-characters in the film. I don’t know whether it was meant for a message to the viewer about communism or not. In any case, my views are in sync with the message.

Hats off to the makers of the film.


Holmes, QI, Blackadder, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hitch Hiker’s Guide, etc. are some (non-tech) stuff I am so passionate about. I was avoiding Blackadder, for I knew it had all the potential to get me addicted but I did watch all the episodes over the weekend and my fears came true!

Am I falling prey for these cults? And when I look around, no normal person is following these things with such passion. RG and MG are the only ones who are into all (or a subset) of these and neither of them is the so called normal person.  (Not counting the two Tamil Girls who are HP + LOTR fans)

Whether I am falling prey or not, I thoroughly enjoy each and every one of these great stuff. It’s time to re-read HHGG again. I recommend these to my readers as well.

I like people with passion.. Passion gives energy to do things, passion makes one patient enough to get things done, passion gives one enough tenacity. And the passion in one thing will reflect in other stuff as well, and would make life better. (if you look closely, they are geek-characteristics)

Anyway, I didn’t keep the word I gave myself – about the work. I’ll go to bed and get up early and cycle to uni. in the fresh morning air.

Good night and signing off, Sands.

PS: I didn’t tell you about my ‘lady of camellias’, did I? I will, very soon.

PPS: Two days ago, I found spelling and grammatical errors in BBC in a row of two days! Totally unacceptable! :(

1 April 2010

Simple reasoning (and again pictures?)

An excerpt from Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’ (which I am reading now and enjoying very well):

PICKERING: Have you no morals, man?
DOOLITTLE [unabashed]: Can’t afford them, Governor. Neither could you if you was as poor as me. Not that I mean any harm, you know. But if Liza is going to have a bit out of this, why not me too?

Of course, moral codes and empty-stomachs cannot co-exist.

But the well educated and well doing, rich enough people? Shouldn’t they be at least honest? I am not talking about white lies – but serious hiding of things.

And it hurts when it is someone who’s close to me. Even when the dishonesty is not towards me. The idol breaks!

Would people do wrong, if they knew for sure that they won’t be exposed? I guess, many would. But isn’t there a conscience to which one is answerable?

‘Economy of life’ itself is a good reason to be honest. To lie – book keeping of who knows the truth, who knows which version etc. – is expensive.

Trustworthiness, integrity, credibility – one can never exaggerate their importance. Who am I to demand that others should be honest and trustworthy? I could only suggest, but the choice is ultimately theirs.

With a quote from Bernard Shaw himself, I shall wind up my write up.

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.

Anyway, here are some pictures from my Weinheim/Heidelberg/Heppenheim trip – some towns in the south-west Germany.

Weinheim 2010-03-28 016Windows to heaven

Marita Weinheim 2010-03-28 041House-couple at the hillside

Marita Heppenheim 2010-03-30 001My tall-hostess and her parents

Marita Heppenheim 2010-03-30 003Towers of the fourth castle I visited in 3 days

Marita Heppenheim 2010-03-30 048The so typical and beautiful ‘fachwerk’ houses (townhall).

Marita Heppenheim 2010-03-30 050First flowers of the year.. we are still waiting for the spring here in Munich.

Marita Heppenheim 2010-03-30 062A little boy to keep the windows open :o

Marita Heppenheim 2010-03-30 064Every street-lamp has a story painted on it and a detailed account of the story at the bottom.

Signing off, Sands.


24 March 2010

Poems, from my melancholy

FutureA few words for you my dear
To tell thoughts from my heart
The future looks so very unclear
Thinking of it pierces me like a dart

Unclear it may be, but I fear it not
And what I fear, that matters not
And you who matter, I have not
Will we be together, I know it not

For a long time in my life, I never dared to let feelings flow as they wished. It scared me to let me be in bad mood.

But now, raw feelings of passion, love and pain do easily engulf me and leave me helpless. Have you ever held your love in your arms, so close, so near… but knowing that it is not as close as you wish for – words which could describe that feeling don’t exist and never will.

Yeah, the feelings, especially in some situations, leave me helpless, but never hopeless.

They say, most men don’t ever get in good-terms with their emotional side. Fortunately, it seems, I don’t belong to the ‘most men’ category (not an overnight development, of course).

I am glad – so very glad. I believe, these experiences (experiments?) with life and feelings and emotions, make me a new and better man.

Anyway, above was just a set of rhyming lines by me. But below is a real good poem to capture my feelings – by Emily Dickinson.

If you were coming in the fall,
I'd brush the summer by
With half a smile and half a spurn,
As housewives do a fly.

UsIf I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls,
And put them each in separate drawers,
Until their time befalls.

If only centuries delayed,
I'd count them on my hand,
Subtracting till my fingers dropped
Into Van Diemen's land.

If certain, when this life was out,
That yours and mine should be,
I'd toss it yonder like a rind,
And taste eternity.

But now, all ignorant of the length
Of time's uncertain wing,
It goads me, like the goblin bee,
That will not state its sting.

Hmm.. I should get to my usual self. Not that I am not enjoying every moment now. But enjoying this melancholy won’t get my day’s work done.

Y’all have a great day!

Signing off, Sands.

PS: One never ceases to have great experiences in life. And, be wonderful or painful, they make the life worth living.

22 March 2010

Home away from home; and pix

After being away from Munich for four days, I am back.

During the course of the past few years, I have become capable of being very comfortable - wherever I go. But, visiting and staying-with RG is more than just being comfortable – I do feel ‘home’ with RG – feeling myself.

I could even dump my clothes as it pleased me – without giving a second thought on should I behave like a ‘guest’. A home away from home. :)

The only sad thing is that I felt very much at home that I was taking salt/tea/etc. from Chris (room-mate) without asking. (of course, informing him afterwards)

I even managed to break two wine glasses within 2 days. :P

We had plans to go to a few cities in France. After going only to Strasburg, we decided to ditch France and to tour only Saarbrücken. Being lazy, and talking, talking and talking, we ditched Saarbrücken too.

Truth be said – I was very glad to be confined within those 4 walls and to have a part of the bed to sleep on. We had a lot to catch up since our last meeting. And we just had lovely time.

Know what? Many people add value to our lives. But a few of them.. – they altogether multiply the value of our lives.

This post is dedicated to RG. :)

And here are some pictures from Strasburg (France)

2010-03-18 192 Cute little girl from the play-ground.

2010-03-18 195 The city-centre.

2010-03-18 004 The railway station

2010-03-18 007 Another view of THE railway station

2010-03-18 010Five roads join here

2010-03-18 011 Waiting for the spring

2010-03-18 019 ‘FRENCH WINDOWS’

2010-03-18 022 The strange tree

2010-03-18 023 The photographer in me was awakened :P

2010-03-18 051 Inside the church

2010-03-18 056 Coloured glass is wonderful, isn’t it?

2010-03-18 060 Better to see this way than being burnt.

2010-03-18 086 Grotesques @ the church

2010-03-18 146 This creature’s scientific name is ‘adorable’.

2010-03-18 159 Aren’t these shoes adorable? :)

Signing off, Sands.