21 November, 2007

That '70s Show

"Work is for poor people. I am a rich person with no money."

14 November, 2007

"It's an overwhelming addiction, our systemic quest for 'more'; be it more ice cream, more alcohol, more drugs, more technology, more information, more knowledge, more megapxiels, more freedom, more war, more religion, more money, more whatever. It's all the same thing, it's ALL rooted in the external, as if our salvation lies there."
- Carl Donohue, www.skolaiimages.com

The above was an excerpt from one of his posts at this discussion:

08 November, 2007

The Rule of Thirds

As told by a friend of mine, the rule of thirds can be carried over from the visual arts to the real world and yield a more productive and pleasing life. Spend one-third of your day working, one-third playing and the final third sleeping. A simple way to a better life!

19 September, 2007

Grasslands: Soaking it up

Just back from a trek to Siruvani. As you work your way up from the bottom, you have dry scrub jungle to start with which gives way to dry deciduous as you keep moving (you're not climbing much here). Dry becomes moist deciduous which after about 600m MSL is transformed into evergreen rainforest. Keep climbing and you have grasslands at about 1000m above mean sea level. Now, climbing grasslands after the rains is quite tricky. Grasslands are said to be the glaciers of the non-alpine slopes and that is so very true. The loamy soil (black, in the case of Siruvani) soaks up water from the rains like a sponge and releases it slowly into the forest (which is why the evergreen patch is right below the grasslands, first in line to receive the water), throughout the year. Now, back to climbing grasslands: the lower grasslands are quite mushy. Plant your foot and it all seems very stable until you follow it up by weight transfer and your foot sinks deeper into the muck (which was dry mud a few seconds ago), more water is released all around, the ground begins to give way and slide under your foot and you end up with your arms flailing for support (but there are no shrubs, it's a grassland, remember?) and then, disaster! You've landed nose-first into some of the cleanest muck on this planet. Welcome to Siruvani!

25 August, 2007

Rice, anyone?

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel through Andhra Pradesh, starting from Chittor in south all the way up to Rajahmundry in the north, by train. Train journeys in India are slow, dirty, noisy, crowded, slow and--quite frankly--a pain in the neck. The only positive aspect is that one gets to see a lot of India, especially the countryside with all its farmland. After the south-west monsoon has shed a large part of its load by mid August, Andhra's landscape gets very monotonous. The countryside is green and farmers make use of these rains to plant paddy. So mile after mile, all you see from your train window is paddy, paddy, paddy, more paddy, (oh! look, a palm tree!), paddy, paddy, paddy, paddy, (wow, a neem tree), paddy, paddy, I mean, who eats so much rice? It could be forgiven if the terrain was undulating, a few ups and downs here and there, a different kind of crop in-between to break the monotony, but no, it's as flat as an anorexic supermodel's back with hundreds and thousands of miles of paddy. Frankly, I think it's time we ate less rice.

When in Rajahmundry don't forget to stop by the Iswarya Residency hotel just opposite the railway station. The ground floor has a restaurant called Sriram with some of the most amazing South Indian food (probably in the world) with the most amazing of all being the coconut chutney and the soft ghee dosas (five hungry stomachs unleashed after four hours of travel and the total damages came to Rs. 165!). And do finish with the filter coffee.

17 July, 2007

All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh I believe in yesterday.

There's not half the files there used to be,
And there's a milestone hanging over me
The system crashed so suddenly.

I pushed something wrong
What it was I could not say.
Now all my data's gone and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.

Need for backup seemed so far away.
Seemed my data were all here to stay,
Now I believe in yesterday.