Saturday, November 22, 2008

4 ways to be a different person

Are you bored with your life? Are you tired of being nerdy or geeky or cool or cute or ugly? Do you want a new avatar?
Use one of the following get-ups to make the world look at you in a different way and notice the sea of change that will come into your life!

Wear Specs

Qualities that you will be automatically associated with:
hardworking, intelligence, more productive

Male spectacle wearers have a tough time, picking up chicks. See pic above for further evidence.

Grow a beard

If you travel a lot, you are only going to be frisked even more


People who smile are considered to be humorous, and playful.

Carrying a smile all the time will only make you look psychotic.

Grow Your Hair

Right from Moses to Abdul Kalam all great Men had long hair. People with hair longer than 5 inches have a 73.2% greater chance of becoming famous. Did you know that 61.7% all statistics are fake and are made up on the spot?

You could be mistaken for a girl, so keeping a beard may come in handy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

I heard this on TV, and just couldn't get it out of my head.
Play the song and follow the lyrics.

Audio mp3 of Track

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4:00 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead; sometimes you’re behind; the race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive; forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you wanna do with your life; the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry -- maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children -- maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40 -- maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either -- your choices are half chance; so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body; use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.


even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography, in lifestyle, because the older you get the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise; politicians will philander; you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund; maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia: dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Audio mp3 of Track

American Rhetoric: Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 08

Today's blog action day, and this year, the issue being dealt is poverty.
I have personally been doing some research on poverty for some time now, for next year's Imagine Cup. Poverty also happens to be one of the millennium goal that's been set by the UN and by far the most important one.

Coming back to Imagine Cup, that's one of the most prestigious competition held for students and is backed by Microsoft. Even though they pass it on as a non-profit event, everyone's expected to use only Microsoft software, so much for Open Source Movement.
I'm going to save my views regarding the Imagine Cup for another post.
Now looking into the blog action day issue, I find myself in a similar situation as while I was deciding for a topic for the Imagine Cup. Money is one of the four parameters required to be happy (the others being health, family and job satisfaction).

While the world goes all berserk over the financial tsunami, we find ourselves in such an ironical situation today. On one hand we have millions of people who have no guarantee for their next meal, and the other side we have the other half of the world who are worried about their extra-materialistic wealth. Even in a developing country like India, the city dwellers are relatively cushioned from acute poverty. Most people at least end up with a meal in a day. But the real challenging situation lies in the rural areas of the country. The number of suicides by farmers is proof that India is dying in its villages.

I believe there is a solution for poverty somewhere out there. Where? I don't know. But I am going to do my bit for looking for that solution.

Friday, October 10, 2008


There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
- Richard Feynman (On the US of A financial situation)

.....and I always thought India was in a poor financial state

Monday, September 29, 2008

The last question

Life moves at its own pace. There are some people who keep pace with it and others who lose out. It is not possible for anyone to dictate the pace of life, but there is a way in which destiny can be chosen and not received.

Steve was once, attending a seminar. During the seminar, he noticed a pretty girl. He was immediately attracted to her. But like most people, he hesitated and didn't want to rush things since, it was an important phase in his career.
Then a thought struck him, he asked himself, "What if, this is the last night of life?"
Will I still live it in the logical way, or would I do something different? The next thing Steve did was go up to the girl and asked for a date. She did accept his invitation.

Steve Job's question is a great way to look towards life. It is the very instinct of 'no tomorrow' that compels us to live, our today, to the fullest.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It wasn't me!

As human beings, we are programmed to accept praise and repel criticism. Nobody likes to be blamed for another person's mistakes, but that doesn't mean he will be bothered if he gets another person's praise.
This can be seen extensively in group activities, where most often, one person walks away with all the credit. This just happens to be one of the cruel realities of life.
History is filled with people who have never been given their due.

Chinese Sailors were the first ones to discover the Americas, and Australia, but history favors the colonists and pronounces Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of America. (

Calculus has been explained in Indian texts dated back to 1500's long before a certain Isaac
Newton was even born.(

Antony Meucci was the one who invented the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell only patented it.(

Some of the above stories could be dismissed as urban legends but there's no denying the fact that not everyone gets rewarded for their work.

The emotions of denial

Stage 1-Something's fishy
No fingers are pointed yet, only the problem is examined and eyebrows are raised.

Stage 2- Why would somebody do it?
Everyone loves playing detective! Honestly speaking, one good crime drama series, is all it takes for someone to think their good enough to be the next Sherlock Holmes.

Stage 3-Whodunnit?
Now things start to get a little complicated. A lot of fingers are raised, and suspicious activities are followed all the more closely. Why the hell are you sweating so much?

Stage 4- It wasn't me
With or without evidence, someone is blamed for all the happenings, and his most likely reply would be...It wasn't me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Murphy's Laws

What's that?

The laws have little to do with any individual and definitely nothing to do with Eddie Murphy. Murphy's law is a term used to describe something along the lines of "if anything can go wrong, it will."

Classical Murphy's laws:

  1. If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway
  2. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something
  3. Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
  4. Law of Variation: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time)
  5. Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Modern laws:
  1. The cellphone will start to ring the moment you enter the bathroom.
  2. If you are expecting an important call, your cellphone will ring and when you say "hello" vodafone's callertunes will start playing.
  3. Any cool computer game will need more memory than you have.
  4. Your hard-disk will crash the moment you finish your project.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Website

After 2 previously failed attempts, I finally manage to put up my website together.
It took me over a fortnight to get it together and there are still some issues with IE. But I am still more than satisfied with the outcome.

It is being hosted on one of the free servers at and hence may be a little slow. or

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gates shut on Microsoft

Little Known Facts about Bill Gates

  • William Henry Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington.
  • His SAT score was 1590. The top score for the test is 1600.
  • By the age of 17, Gates had sold his first computer program, a time-tabling system for his high school, for $4,200.
  • Gates told his university teachers he would be a millionaire by age 30. He became a billionaire at age 31.
  • While at Harvard, Gates co-wrote Altair BASIC, which became Microsoft’s first product.
  • He met his wife, Melinda French, in 1987 at a Microsoft press event in Manhattan while she was a worker for the company. They would go on to get married on New Years Day in 1994.
  • In 2002, Bill Gates was considered more idolized than Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tungin a poll of teenagers in Hong Kong and China. The survey was conducted by the City University of Hong Kong.
  • He is currently having a building named after him at Carnegie Mellon University, called the Gates Building of Computer Science.
  • Bill Gates earns $250 every second; that’s about $20 million a day and $7.8 billion a year!
  • If he drops a thousand-dollar bill, he needn’t even bother to pick it up because in the four seconds it would take him to pick it up, he would’ve already earned it back.
Another interesting write-up that I stumbled through yesterday, was one of his employees account on Bill's work techniques. It just goes to show, both the talent as well as dedication showed by the world's richest man.
Joel Spolsky’s tale of a technical review with Bill Gates

Bill Gates was amazingly technical, and he knew more about the details of his company’s software than most of the people who worked on those details day in and day out. He understood Variants and COM objects and IDispatch and why Automation is different than vtables—and why this might lead to dual interfaces. He worried about date and time functions. He didn’t meddle in software if he trusted the people who were working on it, but you couldn’t bullshit him for a minute because he was a programmer. A real, actual programmer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I think...therefore I am

I happened to watch a documentary which went by the name of 'The Secret', an adaptation of a previously published book.
The first 5 minutes of the movie is very cluttered, it appears to follow the rendition of Da Vinci code, and understandably makes an effort to replicate it's effect. But once the narration starts getting clear, it starts looking more like Discovery channel material.
I did'nt intend to make this sound like a movie review, but thought it was worth a mention, coz I could really connect with the point of view of the producers.

The working of the universe is beyond any mortal's understanding, but that does not mean one cannot live in harmony with the other higher elements. In other words, it is possible to control the vistas of the future. Even though this may be apparent on a regular basis nobody pays attention to these things. Neither did I, till at least a week back. Two incidents that made me rethink my approach towards life.

I travel by bus daily, not just that I more often than not take at least two buses to college/classes. That means I will have to approach 4 bus conductors daily to buy a ticket, that makes it 28 tickets in a week and approximately 1120 tickets in a year. So after traveling for 3 years, and after buying tickets worth over Rs. 10000, I suddenly think, what the heck! why should I buy a ticket, the probability of me bumping into Ticket Examiner is not greater than me being eaten up by a shark. I don't buy a ticket but keep thinking about what if I am eaten by a shark caught by a Ticket Examiner. And yes, I was caught by a TC that day.

I wonder if I didn't think about the Ticket Examiner all through the way, would he still have been there at the bus stop. Does the way one thinks, really shapes the universe? , whatever be the case, I am a believer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quote of the year

"You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy,the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named Bush, Dick, and Colon".

-Comedian Chris Rock

Friday, May 2, 2008

Guide to Interpreting Photos on Orkut

jo dikhta hai....humko lagta hain,
jo nahi diktha....humko lagta hai nahi hain.
lekin kabhi kabhi...
jo dikhta hai woh nahi hota aur jo nahi dikhta hai woh hota hai

-Ishant Awasthi

Profile Photo


What they want you to think




Has acne, possibly moustache if female


Eccentric, possibly Japanese

Computer programmer

Holding some sort of alcoholic beverage

Fun, Laidback

Never photographed without the bottle


Doesn’t care

Dangerous, possibly a terrorist

Dude jamming on guitar

He's in a popular band and rocks out all the time




Immature, possibly fat

Face at strange, usually downward, angle

Eccentric, possibly supermodel

Unattractive; this is the only good picture of them ever taken

Very closely cropped



Guy milking a cow

Owns a cow and thinks that’s cool

Owns a cow and thinks that’s cool

Original article :

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What's so happy about a birthday?

If there's one thing that's common between a 4 year old and a 94 year old, is; both of them will be looking forward towards their next birthday. The same cannot necessarily be said regarding the others. The more birthdays we have, the more complicated our idea regarding a birthday gets.

An analysis of birthday from the point of view of age:

1) 0-2 years

how old are you?
This would be answered by a third person, a parent in most cases and oddly enough you wont get a straight answer.
"She's 17 months old"
Why would I want that? I find it very difficult to convert that into years. 5 months is no big deal for me, it would make a lot more sense if you just told me she's one year old.

2)2-13 years

This is the real fun part. Birthday's are not all that common, and you love the perks they bring along, birthday parties, gifts and more importantly a promotion.

how old are you?
Nobody is just 5 years, you are "5 and a half", yeah, the half is a big deal now. It's like I am closer to 6 than 5.


how old are you?
"I am going on 16", the one month that's passed since my last birthday is good enough to take me to the next whole number.


how old are you?
This is probably the most honest phase of your life, so you are just as old as you are.

5) 30-40

how old are you?
The fact that I am 35 is good enough to pass me onto the "early thirties tag".


how old are you?
"I am in my late thirties", you don't expect someone of my age to lie, do you?


how old are you?
It doesn't make a difference, I am closer to the finish than the beginning.
"eh! could you repeat that?"

8) 95+

how old are you?
This is where the cycle takes a 360 degree turn
"I will be completing 99 next year, and if I am lucky you will see me on my 100th birthday as well!"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Engineering - An applied problem

Tution Fees for one year @ college: Rs 52,000/-
Tution Fees for maths classes @ vidyalankar: Rs 6400/-
Fanatic guides: Rs 1500/-
Clearing sem I, after scoring
40 in maths + 40 in CP + 40 in BEE: ..........................Priceless

After answering over a few hundred tests in the past 10 years, I never thought I would ever be happy with 55%, But that has changed, and by how! I have honestly never been happier with my result.

A little build up on the scenario:

Post 10th - After scoring over 85% you take up science, and would kill for a vocational subject.
Post 12th - After slogging for over 1 1/2 years, you finally give your HSC, then you give JEE, then AIEEE, then BITSAT, and if still there's some life left in you, you appear for CET.

In case your smart make that really really smart you manage to get into a college on merit, else in case you're lucky enough to have a rich daddy, or like the majority of Indians come under a minority tag you manage to get in.
Now, that was the easy part what follows is years of struggle of what will be a B.E. degree.

College begins, and by the time you sober down you realize your internal tests are on, then you have your practical exams and then finally you're in, for the university exams. Now the exams, as in case of the Mumbai University is one month of exams, each paper is spaced by around 5-6 days. 6 days is all you need for revision. But the problem is for revision you first need to study, that's where smart play comes in.

Smart play by student:
Now this is what students think they are good at
e.g. 1) take BEE, you'd realize that just 2 chapters, AC/DC (no, not the band) make up of 50% of the marks, so you leave the rest for option.
e.g. 2) You open you maths book, and realize that you are actually capable of solving 9 out of 10 sums. The 10th one is too much, for your modest brain, so you leave that.

Smarter play by paper-setter:
The BEE paper will hardly have 20 marks from AC/DC and even Phd holders in electronics won't be able to solve and your maths paper will have only the sums that were too much for you.
Think you're too unlucky?

Friday, March 28, 2008


Korn, came out with a song called 'evolution', some time around last year. The video shows a few scientists trying to explain a phenomenon which they call as 'de-evolution of man'. They put forth some pretty decent evidence supporting their claim; alongside this, they manage to compare a chimpanzee with man. Finally however the theory is rejected, in true yankee style.

To the casual observer, evolution is a thing of the past, something you'll come across in your history books, but the truth is man is evolving at a much faster rate than ever before. Even if you would compare today's average man, with that of the 1900's you'd find some difference. I really can't say if this is something that's desirable or isn't. But one thing is for sure that 500 years from today, man will not be the same.

Coming back to a more realistic dimension, there's been some evolution rather de-evolution happening with me on a personal level. There was a time I would score 80% and be sad about missing a rank, today after scoring 40/100 in 3 subjects, I can undoubtedly say that I'm frigging happier than anyone else. So from an academic point of view a de-evolution might have taken place, but ain't I happier now?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

after thoughts in black

"to be, or not to be"

For any given question there will always be two possible answers. No matter what answer you pick, there's never a middle path, it's always a positive one or a negative one. Everything from computers to cars works on this. There is either an on or an off, there's no third possibility.

Wherever life takes us, there will always be a point of time when we need to make a decision, it doesn't matter if you like making decisions or try to avoid them. The truth is that everyone on this planet has to make choices. A few may have to take a choice for a few million others, but that doesn't make it necessarily an important one. The president of USA may have to make a choice between supporting the Dalai Lama or condemning him. This will in turn directly influence world politics. But the system that has put Mr. President in charge of taking such a decision is built up completely on a wonder called democracy which would again fall back to choice.

The point that stands out is how a choice is made. You either operate on your instincts and act, or think and make a decision. Throughout my life I have been working with the latter and at this quarter life phase that I'm passing through, I realize, I may not get a chance to work with the former method. In other words I will now try to work more on instinct or what I feel is right, rather do what I think is right. I will leave the thinking part for the after-thoughts.

PS: Ideally this should have been the first post in the blog, but as I said I'm not exactly living a ideal life, so it should not make much of a difference. Coming back to the blog, I would love to have it named just 'afterthoughts' but due to limitation of blogger names, I have added the in black part, because I always wanted to do something for black. The rockers have done their bit for the other colors, purple(deep purple), red(red hot chili peppers), green (green day) now its the time for some colored blogs ;)

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

"It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?"
-Christopher Gardner

Most people think of life as chasing goals and more often than not, after tackling all sorts of difficulties, they realize they are now still further from the goalpost than when they began.

It's odd too see how people look up at attaining happiness and lose out on the journey called 'The Pursuit of Happiness'. Why is happiness something that has to be pursued? Why can't everyone have it?

A Plan For The Future

An investment banker was on the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. His boat was full of beautiful yellow tuna. The banker complimented the fisherman on his catch, asking how long it took to catch.
The fisherman replied, "Only a short time."
The banker asked, "Why not stay out and catch more?"
The fisherman replied, "I've enough fish to feed my family."
The banker then asked what did the fisherman do with the rest of his time, and he replied, "I will sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening, sip wine with my friends, play my guitar. I have a full and busy life."
The banker was not impressed. "I have a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat and from those increased proceeds you could buy several boats and soon have a fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you could control production, processing and distribution by building your own cannery. You could leave this small coastal village and move to the city then to New York where you could run your expanding enterprise."
The fisherman asked, "How long will this take?"
The banker said, "Ten to 20 years. Then you would announce an IPO and sell your stock to the public, making millions and millions."
"But what then?"
"Ah, now you get to the best part", said the banker smiling. "You could retire to a small coastal village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings, sip wine and play your guitar with your friends."

eXTReMe Tracker