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Archive for December, 2007

Hello world!

“Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!”

The above is what they said when I created this blog for the first time. I decided to keep it (edit the formatting – but that’s all) to remember the date and the time and the message – especially the message because perhaps this would be the only time when WordPress.com will write to me personally – ever. Anyway, I opened the account at WordPress.com alright, but I have no idea what I want to write! I don’t want to waste the free space of 50 MB that these guys offer, but what is 50 MB these days? Nothing! And unless I write anything, I don’t use it either. And when I write, I use it – even though the value content of the text may be zero!

Enough of all these crap – happy writing to me (hopefully) – and Season’s Greetings and a Happy & Prosperous New Year 2008 to all of you folks out there!

happy-new-year-animated.gif

Love, IC

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I have opened another blog account today – at WordPress.com. It’s called – extremely mundanely – “Indrajit Chatterjee’s Weblog“. Haven’t finalised what I want to write there that I cannot possibly write here. But opened it anyway.

I must admit – I should thank Kamalika-di for asking me a question about “categorising your posts into logical groups”, a feature that I could not find in Blogger.com and hence assumed Blogger.com doesn’t provide the facility – and, of course, to thank Samit Basu for sharing the blogroll link for WordPress.com in his site following which I discovered that WordPress.com does provide the facility I was looking for [buy tutorials for WordPress.com].

Best wishes for me to find something useful to write in the new blog account, as well as to continue to type in things in this old space – in the coming new year!

Ciao, G.

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I guess the best news of the day – even though I was a little less informed, hence couldn’t capture the news even earlier – was that The Unwaba Revelations [buy online here (India only)] is now finally published! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. And don’t know where to get it from. Going through the forum discussion in Samit’s orkut community, it seems the book isn’t even properly distributed yet in all major cities of India (strange that even Bombay has not got it!) – so I have nearly zero chance of getting my hands on it here in the United Kingdom! But since hope dies slowly, will do some surfing in sites like firstandsecond.com or even Penguin India to see if they deliver internationally.

Anyway, coming back to the theme of the day – the last day of 2007 – I wanted to write something that came to my mind. Just now. The question was: why was this day so important? And when I ask this question, I ask this from a purely Indian point of view.

I can understand it well for the majority of the western countries – since they have a close relationship to this time of the year financially, and festively. Finance – of course – is the most important thing of all. You set a target for your organisation in January – chase the same through the year – check your results in December, and switch off the lights and go home to visit family and be merry with friends during Christmas – get some good rest for a week till new year – and come back to office all charged up for another year.

But what about India? Why do we hold this time and day dear as well? We no longer follow the Jan-Dec cycle for national economy or for educational advances. So why do we care? Is it just the market gimmick to make Archies and Hallmark shops reacher by provoking people to buy Xmas Cards and New Year Gifts for friends and family and business partners – and not to mention the intent interest of millions of small-time-businessmen who get to make some fortune by feeding and entertaining us during our meaningless celebrations on 31st – that is making us somehow continue this celebration trend? Or is the reason somewhat different – more basic than the need for money and more widespread than the interests of those millions of small-time-businessmen and few corporate giants like Hallmark and Archies? Could India have done without having another “new year” to celebrate – amidst celebrating multiple new years in multiple states – from “poila boishakh” to “gudi padwa” – and waste money on?

The answer is difficult to get by. If we look at it practically, the answer is “no”. If we look at it sentimentally, the answer is again “no”. If we look at it logically, it could be “yes”. But who cares about logic, anyway?

Strange in a way we don’t understand yet, human emotions seldom blend well with logic. The reason I call it strange is, assuming everything in this Universe follow certain governing rules, human emotions must be the manifestations of certain processes – which must obey the Universal Rules – and hence must be “logical”. However, every time we try to relate logic and emotions, we fail miserably. I still hold my stand on the assumption that emotions are logical – it’s just that creating a logical construct, when you lack complete information, is a bad attempt. Some assumptions may seem logical on the surface, but you may find reality is behaving differently. You dive down deeper and find that some key information was missing in the first logical construct – causing the “seemingly logical” deduction to be flawed. It’s the same thing for emotions. We know too little of the science of mind to be able to draw logical explanations of emotional behaviour.

All we care about is to feel good. And the way to get there – apart from paths difficult to travel with light minds – is through merrymaking. And we do that. The lonely human beings, wanting to be part of big things – if not big events, big gatherings – find solace this way. We try to find happyness by seeing other people happy, we want to find importance by being part of a botheration. We want to wave at a television camera to be seen by the nation (even though we ourselves don’t remember a single face from the crowd that we see on TV, unless the face is exceptionally memorable like Razak Khan‘s [buy his movies online]). We do many such things that finally count for nothing – but we do them anyway. Because those are the moments that we want as part of our happy memories. Those are the moments when we can drop off the load of “care” that we constantly carry. We celebrate for celebration’s sake – for our sake – whether there is a category of greetings cards to be found for that day or not – whether there are pawbhaji stalls on Juhu Beach or not.

So now, when I go to get prepared for my own celebrations for tonight, let me part by saying “Season’s Greetings and wishes for a Healthy, Happy & Prosperous New Year 2008 to all of you”. Enjoy the night, forget the pains of last year, look forward to the year ahead (because you cannot avoid it anyway), think logically before you take the next step, and do good for others who could do with some of your help.

As always – Love, G.

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Finally it’s gone. The 2 days of pure bliss. Waking up late, doing everything that followed late, and finally going back to bed late. It was fantastic. But every good thing comes to an end. And so did this one. The 25th and 26th of December 2007 are now gone. And I am back in office.

Fortunately the vacation for the entire office crew is not over yet. Many of the people here will return to office only on 2nd Jan (some even later – lucky them) of the new year. Hence the floor still looks empty more or less. Except for some of us, contractors, the company employees always enjoy their vacations to the fullest. They care less about what is happening in the office, because they have got us to care for it. It’s nice when you are wearing their shoes – it’s not that nice on this other side of the fence. Reminds me of that global outsourcing dream statement: “I have outsourced because when I lie down under a coconut tree in a Caribbean island and seep up my pina-colada, I want to be sure that someone is there running my business for me!” And most of these guys are doing just that right now.

Sometimes, like this time of the year, I can dare to say that “it’s fortunate” – but at other times, like August, it’s not that fortunate that they are not available. Because, when they come back in September, they expect the results of our efforts to be there on their desks ready for them to pass judgement on – whereas if we get stuck before they won’t be there to give us the right answers. But anyway, I shouldn’t complain – it’s classical life in the world of outsourcing, and we get paid to handle this mess.

Coming back to the last 2 days that were great indeed. Saw couple of movies, did some shopping (thankfully some of the shops were open yesterday and trams to the city were running), and did some eating out. Did some unplanned chores and missed out on some planned ones. Did many a things. And among all of them, did the most important one – kept ourselves happy.

Now looking forward to the weekend with some plans. Let’s see how it goes. And till then, eat less fatty stuff, sleep well, go for a long drive on country roads, and be merry.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the World!

Ciao, G.

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Resuming blogging after more than a year, but with no guarantee that I will be writing anything again within the next 12 months! You can guess how consistent and persistent I am from just this one line, can’t you? But anyway, the blog is not about my qualities. It’s about my thoughts. So here I am, albeit a year older since I last typed random ramblings in this place, but no more coherent in terms of thinking and typing weird things! Well…

Anyway, coming back to what I thought I would write today. Today – 20 Dec 2007 – just 4 days away from Christmas Eve – I am sitting in front of a 21″ TFT monitor, connected to a Dell Intel Pentium 4 machine, running Windows 2000, with somewhat good hardware configuration like 768 MB RAM so that I can run the needed set of applications without much headache, and having no interest to do other things (for which this machine has been given to me – i.e., office work!) writing this post. The sky outside is dull. It has been dull since last 3 weeks now I guess (memory fades away when nothing changes, you see). If you get to see a brief spell of sunshine, consider yourself lucky – that’s how it goes in here. And it’s chilly – enough to rattle your bones together so that you neighbour can hear the clicking noise. It varies though, between -10 and -1. The websites claim that the highest temperature during the day is about +3. But I don’t believe them. It feels like you cannot even believe that it’s ever going to change – this weather! And it’s just 20th of December.

Day before yesterday a portion of the pool in front of the office froze over with a thin icy surface that didn’t even got the white it wished for. And we threw stones to gage the strength. Small stones didn’t do the trick. But a medium sized one, thrown with some downward vector force, finally cracked the ice. And today when I came in, I saw stones of the size of ones head are now lying on the middle of the pool (boys will be boys). The pavement was looking like the icing on a cake you’d love to order. And was sleepery like hell! (And, no, I did not fall ;-)

And crossing all these, once you reach office, you see almost all the people are on vacation, or in the mood of the same. Work is taking smaller strides, and talks are taking leaps abound. And I, among the midst of many unlike, am sitting here and thinking what to do on the Xmas Day when there won’t be a single means of public transport available! Well, yes I have some movies in stock that I can watch, or, even better, chores like cleaning the house for a change – but I can’t help envy the guys who would be roaming around Europe (may the cold of Alps smite them!) or the guys who will be drunk like sailors (may their hangover become a headache next day morning!).

Enough rambling – and outside it’s now almost dark. Clock is ticking towards the hour I get up, switch off the monitor, and head home. A post a day while you manage your way through the tasks and meetings and emails is not a bad hit-rate. But a post should not be just for writing a post’s sake. And I did just that! A post should have some value – some story to tell or some message to pass. Let me go back and think whether in the next post I would be able to do so. Or should I… delete this blog… err, never mind… will keep the blog… and will ramble on.

Till that time, read some good books, eat cookies, watch some nice movies and keep smiling.

Ciao, G.

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