Monday, December 22, 2008

Apologies, Awards, Cricket and Christmas

Posted by Varun | Monday, December 22, 2008 | Category: , , , | 25 comments

I am sorry for not updating my Digital Diary for so long.

I hate to give my work as excuse because I firmly believe if we make an effort to take some time out of work we can surely do anything and everything we think of doing. I promise that I’ll make it a point to post regularly from now on. This is the first time that people have been demanding my next post. It is cheerfully encouraging to see people waiting to read my next post. I will try my best and keep up with your pace.

Now that I am through with apologies I’ll move on to next topic in the title.

The awards have been flowing in even though I have not been a regular here. Thanks a lot for all the encouragement and support. These awards are as big as Oscars for me.

Proximity Award (Awarded by Smita):

Thanks will be an understatement. This award comes with a small write up as well. Here it goes;

This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even
more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
What more can I say about this award!? Here comes the tough part now.

I pass this award to;
Kreativ Blogger (Awarded by Archana and Vivek):

If there is anything creative in my blog that should be my template :). Thanks a lot for the award. This award will now act as an inspiration for me to write something creative. Blogging is not just about writing. It is about creating something new every time. So this award goes to everyone on my blog roll and to everyone who is making an effort to write a blog.

Now for some Cricketing action;

If you are a cricket fan you would know that the last 10 days have been a golden period for test cricket. If the Indian run chase made me think about writing a post, the South African run chase made me sit up and write. What an awesome run chase it was!? Is it because the well oiled engine called Australia is running out of steam? Or is it the never-say-die attitude of South Africa that helped them pull off such a tremendous win. Only time will tell. But nevertheless it will be match to remember for decades to follow. Same is the case with the Indian run chase. It is one of those matches that will be telecast on TV time and again as a classic match. I am so glad to have witnessed it live. I would like to congratulate and thank the Indian and South African teams for taking test cricket to a new level.

Another accomplishment that any Indian cricket fan would have taken notice of is Rahul Dravid’s century. I was more relieved than Dravid himself. It was disheartening to see him in such a pathetic state. With this innings, he has not just managed to silence the critics; he has made sure he has zipped up their mouths for another season. I just could not understand what was there for him to prove. If there is anything l
eft for anyone to prove in the current Indian Cricket team it has to Harbhajan Singh. Anil Kumble’s shoes are turning out to be to too big for him to fill. Dhoni will not be able to shield him for too long. The so called critics want a scapegoat and I am sure the turbanator is slowly turning(doosra'ing') out to be the right candidate.

That was the cricket update. Moving on to Christmas celebrations;

If I could trade one of the thousands of festivals we have with a festival from a different religion it would be Christmas any day. It has a certain aura around it. Christmas brings with it lots of fond memories. This was one of the festivals we celebrated in school with great enthusiasm. We used to decorate our class rooms, decorate Christmas trees, play lots of games, exchange small gifts, cut cakes and the best part about this whole celebration was the holidays that followed. Now when I am working in an IT organization, all I get is a day off. The office is decorated alright but no one seems to be enthusiastic about the whole thing. This has not left me disappointed though. I have my own plans for Christmas. I will be watching the first-day first-show of Ghajini with my family and will probably be lunching out after that. And since there is a sale going on in every nook and corner of Bangalore I might do some shopping as well. So, What are your plans? How are you planning to celebrate this festive week?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Orkut - Social Nuisance Site

Posted by Varun | Tuesday, December 9, 2008 | Category: , , | 46 comments

Orkut, the most happening social networking site in India has lately managed to irritate me by adding new features to its repertoire (Apps, Photo Updates). But it is its latest feature that has managed to irritate me the most. First thing I notice this morning is I can chat on Orkut!. What the hell!? What annoyed me even more was it had automatically selected few friend groups and added them to my Google talk list without my permission. 

It has destroyed the whole purpose of keeping instant messaging personal. If they wanted people in Orkut to chat with each other they should have created new software or a widget that would have enabled them to do so. They shouldn't have brought in Google talk to do their job. 

Don't be surprised if you type in your browser tomorrow and find an unwanted person pinging you (all in the name of social networking) instead of finding what you were looking for.

I have so far found few ways to get around this nuisance;

1.  Go offline in Orkut - But this solves only half the problem. You will not be able to remove people that Orkut obliged adding. Moreover, you will not be able to chat with people you really wanted to chat with. You will be offline :( 

2.  Sign in to Orkut -> Go to settings -> Chat Tab -> Uncheck all the check boxes and save changes. This will remove all the people Orkut had added without your permission. 

3. Do not sign-in into orkut :)

Once you complete the first two steps, you can go back to your usual chatting. 

Looking at the flip side of the coin, this new feature of Orkut has few advantages as well.

1. It is now very easy to find an Orkut friend’s Gmail ID and add him or her to your Google talk List. 

2. Chat and Scrap without having to switch between browser windows.

I have nothing against Google or Orkut but it is just that I got irrirated looking at its latest feature. Now that I have blogged about it. I feel so good :)

Since my rants were focused so much on Google, I would like to leave you with an interesting piece of news that I read in the Times of India today. It is about 'Kosmix'. It is a search engine which is set to challenge the search-engine-giant, 'Google'. Venky and Anand, two Indians who missed two chances to buy Google way back in 1998 have now raked in funds to start their own search engine. You read me right! Google was on sale 10 years back for a cool $1 billion :) 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jab We Met

Posted by Varun | Monday, December 8, 2008 | Category: , | 21 comments

Before you get into any sort of confusion or conclusion, this is neither a movie review nor a discussion about the size-zero girl Kareena Kapoor. I will be talking about my first ever blogger get together(Not exactly the first meet because the first blogger I ever met was Preeti during her book launch) with Oxy who is probably four or five sizes more than our very own size-zero girl :)

It was an email reply to a comment on my blog post 'India Bleeding' that made this meeting possible. Here goes the conversation;

Oxy: "Exactly, I too did not feel like writing anything on it but my reasons were not same as yours that they all had written it greatly. I disagree. I came across many blog posts, which were absolutely trash."

Varun: "I hope you didn't classify my post in the trash list :)"

: "o no no no no.. not at all.... else I wudn't have commented at all buddy..... chill... moreover u had clearly written many have already written on it.."

Even though I was just kidding, Oxy felt that I might have got offended by his comments and disclosed him to me by adding me to his Google-Talk list. I recognized him by his profile snap (Cowboy hat made it easy). We cleared all confusions we had and chatted for some time. While we were chatting on Thursday, he told me that he had an extra ticket for the movie (First-Day First-Show) 'Dil Kabaddi' and asked me if I could join him. I could not say NO for the following three reasons;

1. It was a movie invitation :)
2. It was going to be my first ever Blogger-Get-Together.
3. It was a First-day First-show.

I was so excited about the meet and movie that I reached PVR Cinemas fifteen minutes before time (The guards did not allow me to get inside the mall :)). Luckily for me, I had to withdraw some money from the ATM and that helped me kill time. By the time I withdrew money and came back to the mall, they had opened the gates. I parked my bike, came to the rendezvous point and waited. Oxy made it just in time for the movie and we rushed in after the initial Hi-Hellos. We got time to chat only during the interval as the movie was pretty interesting and we did not want to miss Irfan Khan's antics.

Both of us liked the movie and reached a common consensus that the movie deserved three and a half stars (***.5). The conversation during interval led to disclosure of few secrets about fellow bloggers and I also got to know more about a person I always knew only as Oxy. I had always read about blogger meets but it was fun to be part of one. The movie was entertaining and so was the meet. Thanks for the invitation Oxy. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you.

The movie and the meet kick started my weekend a little earlier than usual. How I wish every single day started with a movie :)

I received few lovely awards over the weekend. I would like to thank Vimmuuu for awarding me a trophy and a beautiful 'Butterfly Award'. I have proudly displayed it on the right panel of my blog and I hereby pass it to Ashwini, Archana,Arch-Fully, IHM, Valerine and Vivek. I have tried not to repeat awarding the bloggers who already have these awards.

Here are the awards;

Monday, December 1, 2008

India Bleeding

Posted by Varun | Monday, December 1, 2008 | Category: , , | 36 comments

I wanted to write a post on the Mumbai Terror Attacks but I was in a complete state of shock and could not express what I felt. Moreover I have nothing left to write because great writers and great bloggers have already written everything about it.

It is now the time of post-mortem of the entire episode when facts and secrets are dug out from the dead bodies of the terrorists. It is also the time when every secret agency claims that it had warned India about the attacks. Every citizen of India has lots of questions in his or her mind but I don't see any person who has the answers to all of them. So it is time to find our own answers. Why do we always wait? I think that is how we are taught in schools. We always ask questions and wait for the teacher to respond. It is that time of our lives when we have to change and act.

I came across a lovely poem (written by famous lyricist Prasoon Joshi) that more or less sums up what I wanted to convey;

Nahin aaney doonga zindagi ko aasani se patri par

Nahin utarney doonga usey keechad main,tedhey medhey raston pe

Nahin sookhney doonga deewaron par laga khoon
Halka Nahin padney doonga uska rang

Is baar Nahin banney doonga usey itna laachaar ki paan ki peek aur khoon ka fark hi khatm ho jaye

Is baar ghawon ko dekhna hai gaur se thoda lambe wakt tak

Kuch faisley aur uskey baad hausley kahin toh shuruat karni hi hogi

Is baar yahi tay kiya hai!

My heartfelt condolences go to all the martyrs who played a big part in digging us out of the hole that we had dug for ourselves (The blasts just made it easy).

I would not like to put the entire blame on the politicians here because they became our leaders only because we voted (or not voted) for them. Please use your power, your vote judiciously and choose a worthy leader instead of moaning later.

I reached a milestone last week. The “five thousand hits” milestone. I wanted to celebrate it in style but this whole episode made me sad and I could no longer celebrate it. But since life has to move on, here I am, proudly displaying the number of hits on the left side of the screen. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers from the bottom of my heart for making it possible. With each comment and each post I have improved and I would have been just another unknown blogger (Google finds me now:)) in this big wide blog world without you all. Thanks again!