Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weekend Get-away..

The weekend comes to an end, and not without lots of things which came out of the store. First of all, the disappointing Cricket match - and the mood was lightened somewhat by the "RedNex" Concert (Wondering whether you've ever heard of Rednex? - Probably not - but you must have heard their only blockbuster thumping "Cotton Eye Joe"). But because even Rednex could not provide the much-wanted action, it was found 1500 metres above the ground, at Nandi Hills.
Nandi Hills is a 70 km getaway from Bangalore, and because nothing felt great at that moment at 12 midnight, we (B, Swap and I) went ahead for the trip - didn't take more than an hour, and it was a smooth drive. And yes, it felt good! Even if I try, won't be able to put it into words to describe how soothing sitting in the open air felt, at that moment - away from all botherations!
Anyhow, came back early in the morning, but missed the 7a get together :-(, but still...
Beginning of Sunday, and the first thought on mind was not Breakfast, or getting ready - but it was - "what's the plan for the day"! Went ahead and made plans for Eagleton Resorts (another hour's drive out of Bangalore), and dang! - the plan to play Golf was here.
Playing golf isn't as easy as it seems - with all the irons and the drivers and the swings and the misses - it really needs wondering - from where do all these CEOs get all that time to play such a sport, which needs so much precision, and accuracy! (Guess I have started using the Six-sigma methodology here - some use of the Six-sigma training I took a few days back). And it really is addictive, because the last shot of your bucket will be near your worst shots, and that would compel you to take another bucket, and start all over again! Vicious circle, as they call it.
Done with Golf, next plans are to meet M. Met him at Forum, and went to his place at Cox Town - some discussions which were long overdue, and then back home, for dinner. But to dine at home wasn't what was in the store, and Fioriano proved as perfect Italian Food to grace the occassion and complete the weekend.
Good weekend, so to say - but lots of things to be thought, and done, preety soon!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Is Hell Exothermic?

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington engineering mid-term. The answer was so "profound" that the Professor shared it with colleagues, and the sharing obviously hasn't ceased...

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or Endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote Proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let us look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added. This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa Banyan during my Freshman year, "...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you.", and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then, #2 cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze."

This student received the only A.

Quitting smoking now?

I think one of the main reasons it’s so hard to quit smoking is because all the benefits of quitting and all the dangers of continuing seem very far away. Well, here’s a little timeline about some of the more immediate effects of quitting smoking and how that will affect your body RIGHT NOW.
In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
In 8 hours the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal.
In 48 hours your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
In 2 weeks your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
In three to nine months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
In 1 year your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
In 5 years your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
In 15 years your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

So, you have more immediate things to look forward to if you quit now besides just freaking out about not being able to smoke.

After Effects!

There would be more blog entries on www on Cricket today, then any other subject (owing to India's ominous loss to SL, which sends billions of hopes for a toss). And yes, most Indians would be blaming this-and-that for the loss, but will be praying ferociously that Bermuda beat Bangladesh, to take India through the next round - another miracle round the corner, huh...or match fixing to the rescue, if it comes to that? Optimism, at its level best.
Anyhow, this most-talked-about-topic is not worth anymore of space here, and should be put to an end. All the beers, all the hours haven't gone in vain. Had fun - end of story.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Airtel Story

Dear Manager,

This is Abhinav Gupta (#99808085XX) from Bangalore. I took this connection 10 days back because I shifted to Bangalore recently from Delhi.

And the experience with Airtel has been full of gratitude - I have been on calls with customer service executives of Airtel with more than 5 hours in last 3 days itself, and I appreciate the background tones that I have been listening to, which I remember verbatim now!

Because I had shifted to Bangalore just 2 weeks back, I was putting up in a temporary accomodation initially (when I applied for the postpaid connection), and hence had given my office address as the correspondence address for the time being, with the assurance that I will provide my residential address as soon as I take an apartment here. Mr. Sameer Khan from Telepro Inc. Office Phone 08041489040, Mobile 9900130260 (the executive who very politely could convince me that Airtel is the best thing to happen to me after my birth!) gave me this connection, and asked me that the address will never be a problem, to start with. I gave him a deposit fee too, to which he did not give a receipt, and said that he will give it later.

Now, my phone/SIM gets deactivated just 5 days into service, and when I call up customer care, every time I get to hear that the complaint has been logged, and I will not have to bother to call again. And I guess I should not have bothered to call again, because however much I tried and talked to customer service, I listened to the same thing every single time. That is what I would call "Consistency", and it has set new benchmarks for me, when it comes to being consistent! I have been calling up for 3 days now, but to no avail. I once took the customer complaint number too, which is 11888640, for your records.

And another facet proves that Airtel is striving hard to reach 6-sigma level when it is about call management - all the shift managers are always busy, and all my calls are "accidently" cut after me waiting on hold for 10+ minutes, waiting to talk to someone after being put on hold.

I am highly obliged by your service, and will recommend the same to everyone. It really gives a lesson on "patience" and "perseverence" , to the least.

And please give a big raise to Mr. Sameer Khan too on my behalf, who supposedly is my contact point, and who effortlessly told me that whatever is happening is because of my fault only, and I should have been more careful is getting things done! He must definitely be reaching his targets with exceptional results.

Abhinav Gupta
Alternate No. 99860062XX

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fool !?

It is easy to fool yourself.
It is possible to fool the people you work for.
It is more difficult to fool the people you work with.
But it is almost impossible to fool the people who work under you

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


These are the turbulent times, with nothing decided as of now, though lots of things are on the cards. Meeting lots of people, and they are interesting too, but still need to figure out how much time I should spend on meeting people like this and taking the so called "gyan". It's not that it's getting boring or anything, but changing the perceptions based on anyone and everyone's thoughts is a bit different to do as per human nature.
In addition, the schedule has gone haywire, with nothing substantial coming out of it - I had thought that I'll not spend so much time on the internet; not even on the television, and would read more and more. Haven't been able to adhere to first two, but yes, have started yet again - to read. Good books are there in plenty, and we just need to grab the right ones. Just finished "The Monk and the Riddle" - the education of silicon valley entrepreneur. Good read.