Sunday, April 30, 2006


There have been some questions, some grievances and even some threats about explaining what the hell the poem under the title of this blog means. I thought the poem was famous, but as I now realize, it is not so famous in my friend circle. After a heart-wrenching cry from my MS dude friend Ashish to explain what it means, I decided to shine some light on this.

First I should say that the poem is "Waiting" by John Burroughs and for any of you who thought that this was by me, I can only fold my hands serenely and say "Thenkew, very flattered...". I am not qualified to really explain what this poem means, so I thought I would just give the entire poem here and that would quell at least some questions :) Its a beautiful peace of work, pure pleasure! Take it away!!

Waiting - By John Burroughs

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst Time or Fate,
For lo! My own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own, and draw
The brook that springs in yonder heights;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delights.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave comes to the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A singular event at 4733 Aldgate Green

< Note>

This article (?) was posted earlier in September 2005 but it proved to be very controversial, so it was taken off the blog. However, several readers expressed a wish to see this article up again. (OK, that is a blatant lie). So I am putting it up again, however all the controversial statements have been removed.


< /Note >

I swear its true. It really happened. This goes back to March 2005. J and I were deep into our study books (yeah right) when we were disturbed by a singular event.

We looked at each other in astonishment. Something totally unheard of was happening. We were hearing human voices from the other room in our townhouse. This room, among other belongings, contained our roomies N and K and a couple of sparrows staying in the roof of that room. Till that day, the only sounds escaping that room were chirps from the sparrows, who, perhaps sensed that the room needed some liveliness.

And now this was happening. My belief in humanity was being shattered. J cautiously took a few steps towards their room and I followed at a safe distance. No-one knew what to do. J gently opened the door and the sight that lay before us, was unique, rare and wonderful.

To our surprise, N was looking at K and saying something. To our further astonishment, K was listening intently and nodding in agreement.


This had never happened before. We got nervous, uncomfortable and restless. A code had been broken. Not knowing what to do, we stood there, dumbfounded. The sparrows listened too. They weren't used to human voices. Till now they accounted for most of the speech in that room. And now out of nowhere, this was happening right in front of their tiny sparrow eyes!! They cleverly recognized this as a rare opportunity to hear some conventional English words, and took their positions behind the student benches.

And so we all just stood there and watched the great miracle, which is paralleled only by the miracle of the day when J slept for just a little over 8 hours.

We watched. The sparrows watched. N spoke. K listened. It was a golden moment that is frozen in time and etched on my mind.

Amazingly enough, I lived through it to tell it all.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A poem by Johann Sebastian Bach

When I was in school, one of the best things I discovered was the German library in Pune, Max Mueller Bhavan. It was a free membership, to add to the joy of reading new books every month. And so every month, I would make a trip to this place. One of the important milestones in the trip was to go to the small burger shop in the library campus :) And then, the books! I could spend hours looking at new books, reading their last page. They also had audio cassettes, ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to the world war tunes to the latest in rock and pop.

In particular, I was drawn to one section of the books, where biographies of great music composers were kept. And so it is that I read about the lives of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and other composers. Interestingly enough, I hadn't listened to too many of their musical works (except some Beethoven), but still I found reading their biographies very interesting. Each ones life reflected so much more than just their musical work. Their values, their society, their struggles, their hopes, their despair. And I found a common thread in most composers lives, that they often led one of emotional turbulence. Perhaps that is the price they paid for being gifted with such extra-ordinary talent.

In particular, I was impressed by some of the events in Beethoven's life. One that stands out is the letter he sent to the prince who patronized him, refusing to play for Napolean's forces, inspite of the prince insisting that he do so. In dramatic fashion, he wrote in his letter: "Prince! What you are, you are by birth and by accident. What I am, I am by myself. There have been, and there will be, thousands of princes. There is only one Beethoven." Amazing. Almost every person on earth, however ignorant of music, must have heard "Fur elise" by Beethoven. The story of his life is something that everyone should also read, along with enjoying his musical works.

However, today's article is about another composer, who was slightly different from the rest. Who had a relatively calmer life, and whose only joy in life was music and only fear was God. Johann Sebastian Bach. Extremely talented, extremely religious. And in his biography, I found this poem which is attributed to him. There is no evidence that he wrote it, and yet most people believe it is his work. Regardless, this is a beautiful piece of poetry that gives immense pleasure (see italicized stanza)

Edifying Thoughts of a Tobacco Smoker

Whene'er I take my pipe and stuff it
And smoke to pass the time away,
My thoughts, as I sit there and puff it,
Dwell on a picture sad and gray:
It teaches me that very like
Am I myself unto my pipe.

Like me, this pipe so fragrant burning
Is made of naught but earth and clay;
To earth I too shall be returning.
It falls and, ere I'd think to say,
It breaks in two before my eyes;
In store for me a like fate lies.

No stain the pipe's hue yet doth darken;
It remains white. Thus do I know
That when to death's call I must harken
My body, too, all pale will grow.
To black beneath the sod 'twil turn,
Likewise the pipe, if oft it burn.

Or when the pipe is fairly glowing,
Behold then, instantaneously,
The smoke off into thin air going,
Till naught but ash is left to see.
Man's fame likewise away will burn
And unto dust his body turn.

How oft it happens when one's smoking:
The stopper's missing from its shelf,
And one goes with one's finger poking
Into the bowl and burns oneself.
If in the pipe such pain doth dwell,
How hot must be the pains of Hell.

Thus o'er my pipe, in contemplation
Of such things, I can constantly
Indulge in fruitful meditation,
And so, puffing contentedly,
On land, on sea, at home, abroad,
I smoke my pipe and worship God.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

(Un)successful room decoration attempts...

Sometimes one feels ones room should be decorated. While past wisdom has dictated that one let such feelings pass by, once in a while, the madness stays long enough. And the room gets decorated. Well. Sorta. I had a couple of CD boxes, two cute gifts from a very special friend, and also an idol my roomie gave me. The result: Tada!!

A million words...

Continuing the trend of posting some of my old poems (along with some old memories) here, I am presenting ... *fanfare* A million words...

A million words...

Why did u say a million words
A million words of praise,
And if you did then why was it
With warm and heartfelt grace?
Look what those million words
Have done to me today!
Look what those million words
Will never be able to say!

I go around in circles
Feeling like an absolute fool,
I can't forget my first love
Which I had in school…
Those million words are pleasure and pain
And oh! the pain is such!
Those million words won't let me forget
Why I love you so much!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Love Letter ...

A love letter I never posted... those of you who attended the valentine day party in 2005 have already got this one :) Its kinda silly n kiddish, but close to my heart because I read it out to someone when I was a teen and she was more amused than impressed :) So I finished reading the poem to her and waited for a response, but she looked only amused. Finally she said, I like the lines with "to live with you or live without you..." and even though she probably didn't mean it, it more than made my day :)) Now I know what you are thinking, but hey, gimme a break, I was only fifteen!

A Love Letter ...

If you think someone's been waiting for you through the long years dear
I wonder if you shall even think of me as one of the people for whom you care

Perhaps you will recognize there dwells a love for you even in my eyes
& it is there that the dream I so often love to dream lies.

But will you be able to make out the meaning of my stammering lines?
Or will you never realize you are the one for whom my heart pines?

Whether or not you come to know, my love for you will remain the same!
& I will always look around at the mention of your sweet name

To live with you or to live without you makes all the difference in life to me
But still what matters even more is to see my sweet baby happy!

If you love me too, tell me so & I will give you all my love ever
But if you think we'd better be friends, I promise you my friendship forever!


History repeats...

Nothing better to start a day than by watching a hilarious episode of FRIENDS at 6.00 am. I did that today and laughed my way into the day :) I remember only one other time when I saw FRIENDS so early in the morning. That was when I was 21, and having discovered FRIENDS with my friend Ashish, watched 14 episodes of season 5 through the night. As they say, history repeats, except I was a happy college kid then :( Wait a min, I am one today too! Yay! :))

Surrender to sleep...

There has been more progress on the whole "get my sleep cycle in order, back to the good ol' days of March 2006 when I got up at 11 am :)" ... Accidental progress is vital for achieving such goals... A brief synopsis of that is presented.

What I Intended: Sleep from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm and get back to work.

What Actually Happened: Slept from 7.00 pm to 5.30 am and got up hungry, having not had dinner...

What I realized: Yippie yuppie, a big step had been taken (literally) when I was sleeping!!

I can hear the applause. Ok, ok, please no more pictures.

Thankoo, Thankoo!!

ps: What I didn't say: Obviously since I slept, I didn't finish da work... So I am going to get one more opportunity of scaring Karthik and the gang at 7.00 am in da lab!! *sheepish smile*

Monday, April 17, 2006

Amusing extract on Google calendar...

So Google calendar released... I am sure almost everyone has read all the reviews already... but one thing I found very amusing was on Robert Scoble's blog...

I quote from the blog:

I heard some other company announced a calendaring service this week. Oh, OK, it was Google with its calendar. But did you check out Kiko too? They have a bunch of things that Google doesn't do like it can send alerts via any IM and lets you get RSS feeds off of your appointments. But, does it really have a hope of competing against the big guys? As I watch people use calendars, I sense that they are swimming upstream. As Steve Gillmor said in his podcast with Mike Arrington the other day, he wants Google and everything else can go to heck. What I thought was fun was here at Microsoft employees were sending around instructions on how to get Office 2007 to work with Google Calendar.

Heh. The article is here


God has hi-tech ways of sending his messages to you... After having a funny sleep cycle for the whole of last week... which reached its high point yesterday when I slept from 7pm-12am and then stayed awake through the night... a guy does tend to feel a little down... add to that a small little fake fight with a nice friend online... well, things dont look so good then, specially when u r in school at 8 am for work...and its only the third time this year that such a thing has happened...

Just when u r thinking how things are wrong... God places this blog in front of me... (of course, very discretely, almost as if by accident)... and I see the light. And maybe some of you will, too...

Have a good day! :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Photography - Early days - Kids 3

More pictures from the Google summer picnic 2005.

Isn't she just adorable??!!

Kids had fun playing "Go to Jail"

My friend Karina... heh heh! Shez not a kid, but shez as cute as any kid!

A room just to jump around... wow!


The only thing more fun than playing like kids is watching them play!

Kids loved this huge dragon!

My friend Pie-ling... again not a kid, but as cute as any!!

Photography - Early days - Kids 2

I took all these pictures during the Google Summer picnic 2005 during my internship. Kids were having a ball of a time and I was only too happy to shoot the devils :)

Luuuved this kid... he didnt care abt anything and was having the time of his life in the water

Running up n down the stairs is a serious activity!

At this point, he saw me and ran out of the frame!!

He returned a while later, in a sombre and reflecting mood now...

Dinner moment with Papa!

The crayons almost as big as him!!

Two kids, two pencils... (I luv the wandering lost kid in the background)

Shashi's cute nephew with his 'spoils' for da day!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Photography - Early days - Kids 1

This kid was having fun making castles on Santa Cruz beach, CA

Jalpari ? Shez really that cute!

Saw this kid at the Mountain View Railway station

Hey, what do u want?

Off to do something more important!

The little girl and the sea

Surely therez something important under all that sand!!

Photography - Early days - Flowers

Web on a hard drive! - Will Webaroo succeed?

Time will tell! Downloads start tomorrow! (April 10 2006)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Wish you were here...

its no fair
wish u were here...

miles away, worlds apart
never felt the distance
as much as i do today...
how hard is it,
for two friends to meet
i know we have different lives
dreams of gold yet to fulfill
yet God knows i crave
the simple pleasure
of sitting beside you
talking for hours
holding your hand
is it too much to ask
its not a rant
just a faint prayer...

its no fair
wish u were here

7.40-7.51 am, 7th apr,2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

A brief history of Google

A really brief history of Google products and Google aquisitions, right upto March 2006. Contains just dates and images...

Read upwards from the bottom... kinda a slice of history.

Pretty interesting, hmm?

Random pictures!

Lincoln memorial ... if you know something about Abraham Lincoln's life, these words mean something to you.

Capitol Hill, DC

Up above the sky so high!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Annapolis my love...

Here are some photos from my trip to Annapolis with my friend Joel D'sa in September 2005 (photos courtesy: Joel D'sa). For the uninitiated, Annapolis is the capital of Maryland.

Annapolis is beautiful!! I am the kind of person who loves cities with old charm, and Annapolis was full of it... There is a small region where everything from buildings to the tiles on the road are red in color and its just beautiful to walk in the evening. Some people don't understand this joy because they are always looking for landmarks to see. But, you see, thats the beauty! The peace you will find there will win your heart easily.

I have been planning for a long time to go there one day, with a book and my ipod, and sit there for a couple of hours in the evening... It will be fun, a book to read, smiling people, and a cup of coffee on a pleasant evening, surrounded by red buildings and looking out into the sea. I promise myself, I am going to do this!!

There's also the Naval academy, there are some pictures of that and our cruise in the sea too. Hope you like them.

Footprints in the trails of water?

A bad day at sea is better than a good day at work!

Annapolis Naval Academy

I loved walking around the old city

Road to the sea

Red is the color in the air

Some more pics...

Google building 41


Computer History Musuem near Google

Outside Charlie's cafe at Google