Sunday, October 12, 2008

Self Driving car

The legend goes that, Dr.Knight had created the world's most sophisticated artificially intelligent autonomous vehicle. Tt is called, The Knight Rider

Being born and brought up in a wealthy family, my mom was brought up with so much fun and energy. Being the little sister of her two big brothers, she was the most pampered. She had everything she wanted in life. If there was anything that I felt she didn’t have; that was fear. I am not saying she is not afraid of anything in the world but the attitude she had to anything was that of fearlessness. She is very much a God fearing lady but ..... mortals intimidating her!! , you must be joking guys. The things that sometimes she does are so bold and outgoing that, anyone in the immediate vicinity will look up to her with awe.

Be it in a temple, railway station, government office or any other place where if it was I or dad it would have taken hours to get a thing done, she will get the same thing done in fifteen minutes. I just can’t believe the kind of contacts she has. Invariably she will know someone who knows someone there. If all else fails, no guard can stop a lady who says, “ I am Padma kumari Amma, from ERTL South,Central Government of India. It has worked even in passport office. Such an amazing social skill she has, which I am sad to say I inherited only in partial. Now that you got an idea of what kind of person my mom is, I would continue with this one particular story.

It all started when we went to Ettumanoor,kottayam her hometown. My uncle (her brother) had recently brought a brand new 4x4. The little girl in my mother very much wanted to drive it. She was like the typical Indian woman, who owned a drivers license but rarely get a chance to drive out of ‘non-support’ from the family. She was a short plump woman, so it was difficult to see the front when she was in the drivers seat. Some pillows solved this shortcoming. Yet we could see the struggle she was having. My dad was skeptic about she driving it, but it was her brother’s kingdom and he was the ruler so that settled it. She gradually gave the accelerator and the vehicle started moving backward..oops the gear.. she changed it and with a horse like jerk it started to move, first slowly then a bit more faster. As we watched with wonder at the ease at which she is driving we saw the jeep moving slightly away from the road. We waited it to steer back to the road, but that never happened. Oops... so as it moved outside the road we started saying “amme amme.. turn it this side... ”. The car slowed down as it entered the grass, just as we sighed... instead of giving brake, mom pressed the accelerator. Shoooo... here goes the car straight through the grass and BANG !!!!.. hit the mango tree ... a part of the tree fell off. We rushed on to the spot, really worried. Poor mom, was there, a bit scared. While we were helping her out she had a sheepish smile.

By this incident she was shaken, though not stirred. Also this gave some supporting evidence to dads skeptism of her driving a car. All this wouldn't shake her. My mom is a strong woman. After some months she did take our old Maruthi 800, and drove all by herself. If dad is there she says, she will get nervous. Ignoring all our plea shecontinued to take the car even after many parts of the car lost paint on it. ;) . Finally, now she drives from home to office and back on her own. Our teasing didn't stop there. We continued to tease her that now, the car knows the path so well that it is driving by itself!! :) [ By the way, My mom had drivers license long before dad had taken one, or even before we even had a car. Told you, she has such a good network of friends. ;) ]

It was last autumn that I understood the importance of her perseverance. Driving a car was not about an easy way of transport, it was about independence. She has to no more worry about the auto rickshaws, crowd in the bus or walking long distance. She was a free bird. Once when dad was away on an official tour , I managed to bruise my ankles quite extensively. :) .

That day while I was sitting beside her and she was driving me to hospital, I noticed quite a number of flaws in her driving. I kept quite, I knew that it didn't matter... she is getting done,what needs to be done. :) .
she showed me what womenhood meant, the strength, perseverance,patience and care lying within. So here I present before you Ms.PadmaKumari Amma from ERTL south, additional director by designation, respected social lady by position, caring wife and above all a loving mother.

Sidenote : Now she drives the car nicely and she has taken charge of teaching my sister how to drive a car. The story goes that, now she is almost repeating the same words which my dad used while teaching mom. :) [ even the shoutings like, accelarator alla, clutch clutch]

Update : Guys, if you reach till here, do comment. So I can tell mom, "Mom, you are famous now" :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I am feeling so happy....

He : How are u?
She: I am fine, how are u...
He : I am feeling sooooo happy. so great :)
She: y?
He : y? :-? I dunno... Do u need a reason to be happy?
She: May be, it depends.
He : depends ? on what?
She: I dunno... but i know u r really happy and dunno for some reason, it makes me too happy. :)
He : Sometimes, I feel like a spreading the smile, the joy around. :)
She: :)
He : ok then I have to go. catch u later. bye.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

In Pursuit of Happyness

In a world, where happiness is spelled as h-a-p-p-y-n-e-s-s ; people tried to correct it, but then some were contend with it, because they understood, there is no point in changing it.
They were in "pursuit of happyness".

In every man's life, there is a point of time, when they feel so low. Just when you think, things can't get worse anymore, things start falling apart. Things that you take for granted doesn't exist anymore. You lose everything. A point of realization comes, that in this world, you are alone.
In the end, it is not honor, self righteous, truth, benignity or any of those noble things that you cherished all your life, you upheld all your life that helps you survive this low. It is pure belief.
Belief in Life, Belief in God, and above all belief in yourself.

Ever been in a position, when the whole world was against you. When anything you set your foot upon goes wrong. Everything you try fails. You go mad at everything in the world, you blame the world, you blame the whole system. n'then you shut the door, go into the cave and cry.

The point of no return -

You don't feel anything more. You don't smile, you don't cry , you don't feel anger. You just have that blank face. People stare at you, "what happened to you?" , "You look crazy man". You feel like explaining, but you realize there is no point. You give a smile,the one you can possibly give. It looks weak, you see the "I am sorry" look on their face. You feel like telling "I don't want your sympathy", but doesn't feel like telling even that, and be the subject of more sympathy.

Next day, you start smiling. Paste on your face, your best smile. Everyone around you sees that you are fine. They are happy to see your smiling face. Only you know the volcano that is boiling inside. You don't allow anyone near it, not even your best friend,
parents , girlfriend or your wife.Not because you want to hide, but because you don't want to see them feeling down cos of you.

You go like clock-work for many a morning,late into night, sleeping little, trying to make things work out by any and all means. Months fly past, like days because the boundaries of days doesn't exist anymore for you. All you get to sleep is the long sleep that you get on sunday morning. You wait for the results to come some day for your toil. After so long,you stop believing in the system, resign to your fate having done all you could do for making your dream. You understand the good old saying "Who told you life is a fair game? You assumed so."

and finally, finally the day comes when you hear, "congrats, you made it" . When all your work, pay of with dividends . It is like finding a bottle of water in a desert. Your joy is so much that you feel like crying,but the tears are all dried up. You see the days of toil unfolding before you. It feels like, it has been so long, since you dreamed of this day. You feel that "that day, when I saw this moment it was exactly like this. This same dress, the same everything ,even the smell. It was so long back". You feel so old now.

You shout silently to the world “ I won”.This small little part of my life;
This is called happyness.

PS: Inspired by film “Pursuit of Happiness” , narration from experience.


Dedicated to all my dear friends, who has been of so much support and help. To name a few, Aswin, Jaya, Radhika, Ganapathy, Himanshu, Ranjith, Rakesh, Shiny, Josen, Priya, Asha, Aashik, Nikhil, SKV, David sir, and to all of my family Minu, Dad and Mom, who treated me so well during those difficult times.Thank you all. I love you all.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Harsh reality

It was just after my 10th exams that I got the idea to rush to my native place, a village in the countryside. With images of beautiful, exciting days from books, I reached there full of hope. Mainly, to see the never-ending paddy fields, the splashing of water and the sweet noise of birds. Awaiting me was harsh reality. The fields were being filled in by large earth-movers. The water in the river had dried up due to a dam upstream. Birds did not have any home and I saw only crows. The night under a fan was no different from the city.

As I departed, I saw the black, smoky hands of urbanisation enveloping my sweet old village.

Manu Chandran, XII
Thiruvananthapuram: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan S.S. School

PS : This was my first published work; in Quest,HinduSo I thought it needed a space here. This is the link.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A tale of one city

“We are screwed up dude….” , we were sitting in the Amritha restaurant, first floor, Nila having two masala doshas each.

Twenty minutes back
The power had just gone and heman was staring at the lappy with the power level near 20% and swearing all the god-damn-words he has picked up all through his life. My PC just lost its power. I was sighing in relief, I had saved all my data 2 minutes back.

Me: “O, Cmmn man, we got 5 days more to complete”
He: “O,ya ? two weeks back we had 3 weeks of lavish time to complete and we are not even 20% over”

Me: “But man now we know all the fundas, all the booby trap holes… it will be easy.. don’t worry.. I am sure u will find some dates in between to get married off.”

He: “manu chetta ( in his rajastani accent) , u miiiiii… ; What the fuck man, this bloody protocol wont let me get married and wont let u get off this job”.

Me: “commn heman, we are going to make it, u will plenty of time b4 marriage and I am going to go to this new job. Ok.. now let us move our ass and get something to eat. We will be back by the time power is back.okiey?? ”

I took my key chain, which I always keep inside my helmet so I don’t forget the helmet. I choose not to take the helmet today.We got out of the office, or more of what it was. It was pitch dark outside. The guard was having his dinner besides his emergency lamp. We informed him that we would be right back after the dinner. Justise chettan(guard) gave a knowing smile. Can’t really blame him, he has been seeing this scene for the last some 3 weeks. Thanks to the notorious Kerala electricity Board we were having power failure quite often and thanks to the cold war with technopark we were left with no back up power and a Damocles sword of deadline hanging above us.
We took the bike, went to Sharma dhaba. It was almost past nine forty five. The place was so crowdy with people from the night shift of UST. Some people were discussing how bad a night shift was. Oh,really? So how about working from 9 in the morning to three late into night? Almost around the clock, around the week without even the “Oh, thank god, Sunday is here”. Howzzz that buddy? We looked at each other ,didn’t say anything, the price we have to pay for daring to be different, daring to be in a small company.

We were really hungry, so we thought we will go to some other place. Off in the bike, to the next junction. The whole place looked as if it has been ages since the shops are closed,it was just past ten. Ya, that is how the city of trivandrum is. Always lazy. You can feel the laziness in everything from the transport to the style of shopkeepers. The little old, sweet, lazy trivandrum. It is a great place to settle as family. No hassles of traffic jam, very clean air, good food. Capital of Gods own country.

So here we are back at our good old amritha deciding to settle the dinner with two masala doshas.
We were discussing so many things, about life, about future dreams – mine of building robots and his of starting his own company, about having no girl friends or having so many of them or in short how FUBAR life has become. U don’t know what is FUBAR? Fucked Up Beyond Any Recognition. Ya, and how similar it was to the code that we were trying to get up running. It was a perfect analogy, a frightful one.
We went back having had the small dinner, enough to keep us awake for another 3 hours. We also packed up some paratha and curry so that we wont be hungry late into night. We decided on doshas cos, a heavy dinner makes u a lot sleepier after around 1’o clock. Wisdom from experience forced us to buy food so that we were sure we will get hungry at around 1 and now back to the FUBAR protocol.
Only two of us were there, and we had the same taste in music. Thanks for being in an audio company, we had the highest quality speakers that you can find only in professional studios. So we started up with our usual start up song.

” Thu hi meri Zindingi…Thu hi meri har ghushi…Kaise phoolegi mera naam…“

And u know what? Even in my new company if I really want to focus on work and nothing other than work. I get my mp3 player into this song, and I am into the “in**P” work mode. Focused, full of energy, only issue being I cant sing along or play the rhythm on the desk and missing the nice smile of my comrades.
So, ya after working about 3 hours more, with lot of banging-head-on-desks , we go for our second round of foodings. Though heman looks fat , it is I who take up most of the food during our these dinners. Again a set of new songs and work till 3, and we reluctantly agree, “man, we are really screwed up”. We make up new plans, new routes to take the program and decides to sleep.

This was happening all the time all the days and usually we go to heman’s place since my home was some 20km away. There were also days when I went back to home reaching around 4am in the mornign, got in house with my extra keys and see the surprise on dads face next day morning when he finds me home. But today, it was really cold. I thought aloud

“heman why not sleep here itself? “.
“are u sure man? Where? “

“ hmm, we will arrange the chairs and sleep on it.”

We slept at the office that day. (No, we are not gay, just in case your perverted mind started thinking so). Next day morning one more lesson added to the book of wisdom. In case u want to sleep at office, sleep on the floor or the table, not on cushioned chairs,cos cushioned chairs get the hell of ur body and all day u will have pain on your body.
Almost the same drill the next some days, with the exception of going home or hemans place after work and a little early like after 1am. We found that we cant go without sleep for many days, cos our productivity was declining rapidly without sleep. There were times when we were finding NO solution at night; we wake up next day and within the first 15 minutes a hell lot of bugs get cleared.
So ya, a lot of lessons, a lot of musings on the good old ICT days when the whole office was awake till one with even discussions at one o clock with the master brain rakechan leading and cracking his well known “ki ki ki “ smile, and how hard the protocol is and all.
There is only one way to describe it and a man had done it better than me, none other than Charles Dickens.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way
in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil.”
-A tale of two cities

May be an outsider or ‘some’ managers couldn’t really understand and appreciate what it meant. But for the working black horses, who really pulled the weight, can easily understand all the words, phrases, the inner meanings and the twist and the turns that Dickens wanted to convey. Even the last two sentences mean a lot; if you read those once more.( “in short…noisiest authorities…” ) :-)
If someone thinks that they had any part in our successes, not this alone but any we had at the office, I just want to reaffirm here that “We the pillars earned every bloody penny and nickel of it”. I am sure, all the load-bearing pillars of this office know the truth and that is what matters. We finished many a project in time, We the black horses.
Hats off to you, comrades. “It was the best of times…It was the worst….. The Saga continues…

Signing off, MC

Please read the comments also. It is quite interesting.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Just for you, hold my hand

A tiring day it was, after the 4-hour journey to and fro for the new project meet, making it a total of 8 hours in a stifling train. Finally at the station, managed to wiggle through the milling crowd. As I walked along the footpath heading for the bus stop, I saw this beautiful young lady and within a moment the handsome guy beside her. The momentous envy gave way to the feeling of fondness to them, when I saw their hand in hand. It was special, the way they were holding each other’s hand. On my way back home, I made quite a few interesting observation.

As I was getting on to the bus, I saw this child and mom. The cutey was looking at me with the innocence seen only in children. I love children so much. She was holding onto her mom’s hand. Isn’t a mother child relationship, the most beautiful in the world, to which nothing can commensurate? Energy of Love beyond words and feelings flow between the caring mother’s hands and the little hand.

“Show me the world mother,
Show me my fellow beings”,
“Oh my girl, hold my hand,
For the world is a beautiful beast.”

As the bus moved, I saw a car broke down near the bus stop. I was thinking ‘poor guys’. Then I saw this guy coming out of nowhere, and asking the driver what was the issue.After some mumbling the new guy moved to the rear and started pushing the car all by himself. Soon a few more guys joined and the car sparked on. The guy who was driving was beaming, so was I. A friend in need is a friend in deed.
World has still a lot of good left in it. The car guy offered them a lift and off they went.

“Alone we perish,
Together we flourish”,

“Conquer we shall,
All of the land and beyond.”

I stopped at a restaurant to pick up my dinner. It was late and everybody at home must have slept. I had told them not to bother about me. As I was waiting outside after giving the orders, I saw this man and woman waiting for a table. It seemed to me like he is quite an insecure guy, afraid that his girl will leave him. Suffocating her with his affection.Holding her tight, so that she doesn’t run away. Lol, you will take the breath out of her man… :P

“Dear are you fine?
You look different today?”
"I am fine,
Leave me alone for some time”

“But I don’t want to leave you
I can’t leave you with noone around”
“Trust me, I will be fine,

I just need some time alone”

After getting the food,I boarded another bus, which was rather empty. I got myself a window seat. I love traveling like that, enjoying the cool air whispering in my ears, watching the full moon showering milk all over silhouettes which are trying to hide in the pitch dark. I closed my eyes to relax, which was shortly disturbed by a giggle not so far. As I turned I saw another pair. Must be the new wed, coming after the first show. How did I know they were newly wed? She still had the playful look in her eyes, there is still a lot they don’t know about the other. Also she had this fresh new ring and 'thaali', announcing proudly to the world that she is taken. :) .Again, he was holding her hand.

It is a promise,

Promise for a lifetime,
“ I take care of you ,
and you take care of me”

The bus reached my stop, and as I was walking to my home, I saw another pair on their way home. She was holding his hands; or rather he was pulling her along. I started feeling sorry for the guy. She was tired, yes but that was no reason for making him carry her. Poor guy, he is too must be tired. Doesn’t she understand that he needs some independence?

“You are my everything,
You are my support,
I always need you”

“So be it dear, the night is long,
Miles to go we have, Tired I am,
And you demand too much.”

The memory of the couple I saw at the station was not leaving me. I didn’t understand why I found it interesting, amazing or rather unforgettable.After having seen them, I had waited outside a shop; tired I was, as they entered the store. They came out after some purchase, they still had their hand in unison. The man had a bag on his right.It must have been heavy, for he was stooping to a side. Deciding it was time to stop prying on a lovely couple I mentally bid them bye. I saw them disappear in the crowd, and just before they vanished I saw her reaching out for the handle of the bulky bag.

As I was heading for the bed, I was playing the day’s events over and over again. It dawned on me that I adored their relationship, at least from a distance.
They had a deep bond ,which doesn't tire you nor grows on you. Independent,yet very much connected,a beauty bringing the charisma in them. Sharing the burden,giving respect to the other for who they are and what they are,
letting each other be themselves.
Simple love, deep inside, which doesn’t show in itself but oozes out in small gestures.

In the shore, hand in hand,
Together they stand,
Facing the world with a smile,
Till the waves cease.

PS: This blog is different from my previous ones,
the style was inspired from the blog

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I feel sorry for GOD

Wow, what a wonderful day. Can’t believe all these goddamn things happen on such a beautiful day like this. I just wish that for just one day, I could take a break, that I can be just normal like anyone else. I just wish I didn’t have to be…. GOD.

I was walking along the road; the exam results have come. I just wish that it was just a dream. I cant believe that I lost in this subject, I was so good at it. How can I ever lose in this subject, I was an expert in this, during the labs, during the class tests….. How can I lose it? My eyes filled with tears. Losing was a not new thing, but never in a exam. I was so good at it. My mind was desperately trying to console me, to believe that it was all a lie.

I cried all night, when no one was in sight. It was so hard. That day I saw god. He came near me and sat there. I felt awkward; it was as if suddenly help was there. It was as if he heard my prayer. He just sat there and listened to me. I talked with him at length, told him all my worries. Felt a lot better when he told me that everything is going to be fine. I started smiling. “God, thank you so much for listening to me. I feel so much relieved now. In fact I feel so happy. Shall I go and sleep.”

God looked at me quizzically and with a winning smile, “ I thought we were friends”

“ Yes we are friends, we are great friends. You are now my best friend ever.”

“Is it?” “ ya, it is”.

“ you didn’t even ask me how am I feeling?”.

“ What? “How are you feeling?” But you are god, you must be fine. Why should I ask?”

“I am god, but just like anyone else I too feel sad, I too feel happy. Just because I always smiling doesn’t mean that I am never sad. Just because I listen to everything you have to tell doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to tell.”

That was new. God is just like one of us.

“ my friend” , he said “ I am really sad.”

“what happened GOD?”

“ Why are you humans always like this?”


“ All of you are alike, as long as you are happy, you don’t even think about me. When you are sad you call me up. Do you ever bother to ask if I am fine?”

“well, god hmmm …. For one thing, I didn’t know god ever had a bad day, or even a bad moment. Again, I also didn’t think that you needed a company, you are GOD. You are so powerful, you can have anything you want.”

“Anything, anything but love.”

“ But god, all of us love you. We love you so much.”

“ god damn it, you love me? How many times have you ever bothered how am I doing? Or even just ask ‘how are you’ ? “

I was dumbfounded.

“ It is my birthday today, I am actually alone. Do u mind celebrating it with me.”

I never knew that god had a birthday, was it not supposed to be like god has no beginning, no end. So what is this new thing?

“well, you just don’t know me. You just assume so many things. So many people called me, wished me. But the most important people never bothered or rather forgot, my dad, mom…and well some others too.”

My head is spinning, what the hell is going on?

“I can read your mind.”

“ hmmm… well god, it is like I never knew god had a family. well are u really god?”

“no I am a devil. What do you think? There is no point in telling…. You are all the same…” and he vanished.

I don’t know if god found someone who could understand him or just give him company on his birthday.

I started calling my friends…. I just spoke to god…