Wednesday, October 26, 2005

go start a company

... but first, listen to this podcast, Paul Graham speaking at OSCON 2005.

Oh and also go watch The Corporation.

And then go create something.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

pent up thoughts

some pent up thoughts from not having blogged in a while...

The other day my wife was complaining about how I'm too skinny. And it got me thinking. For my entire life, I've had relatives make comments like "hey - you've lost weight since we last saw you!", "you should eat more!", and "you're all skin and bones!"

I have tried retorting with the very logical "You say that everytime. If it really were true, I'd be non-existant by now." but that usually just gets brushed off and is followed by some oily snack being thrust in my face.

Anyways, it got me thinking how ridiculously biased society is. No one meets an overweight relative and makes comments like "hey - you've put on so much weight since we met!", or "you should really cut back on your food", or "you're all lard!". Why is it acceptable to publicly make fun of skinniness but not of fatness?

:) I'm not all that bothered by it, but I think the next time someone says I look skinny, I'm going to tell them that they look like an elephant.

On a totally unrelated note. Today I went to play tennis and this guy was just getting off the court from practicing; he was just picking up a basket worth of balls and putting them into his bag. After he was done, he went back to the court, bent over and touched it with both hands, lingered there for a few moments, straightened up, and touched his hands to his heart and then his forehead. The gesture was so pregnant with reverence and sincerity, that I was moved and disoriented afterwards. It wasn't a quick, ritualistic, obligatory movement; but slow, deliberate, and sincere.

On the one hand, gestures like these are so built into Indian culture (a similar gesture is used as an apology for accidentally touching someone with your feet) that most of the time they are done in a very obligatory-type manner (quick, unthinking, instinctive). On the other hand, the idea of revering your 'craft' (sort of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"-like) is just built into most people.

Two examples of that: Almost every driver (chauffer) I have seen will fold their hands in prayer for a few seconds before starting the car for the first time in the day. Second, the other day there was a festival during which people gave the instruments of their craft a day of rest, and worshipped them. I know of a few IT companies where all the servers were shut down in the morning, coconuts broken and prayers and sweets offered before they could be brought back up in the afternoon.

Monday, October 03, 2005

the depths of your heart.

I've been a fan of Trevor Romain's blog for a while. It's a good daily dose of feedgoodness.

Among other things, it (his blog) gave me the inspiration to attempt to start drawing. Yesterday I was just feeling an alltime low at work so I left early to go home. My wife was feeling the same way so we went out to Gangarams (a stationary + book store in Bangalore) and bought a notebook, pencil, and some pens. Then we went and hung out at Infinitea - a chic tea store on Cunningham road. I drew a few pictures, and she got started on a story she's been meaning to write.

I remember when I was a kid, my mom would learn various art forms (oil and water painting, sculpting, sketching) from a teacher (Anna Aunty). A bunch of ladies would get together at our house and paint and gossip under Anna Aunty's guidance. Well one time I decided that I wanted to try as well. I was so distraught at the outcome that I decided that I couldn't draw.

My abilities haven't changed much but, after reading Trevor's blog, I've realized that it's okay to not draw masterpieces as long as they reflect the depths of your heart.

At the beginning of next year, I want to take some time off work and head up North to the Himalayas and learn to kayak, as well spend a week or so at one of the numerous ashrams. Thoughts of being in the mountains again and battling a gushing river have been going through my head for the past week (uh. sorry. tilt your head 90 degrees to the left):

I'm hosting this picture on our media - I'm surprised they don't have a way of scaling down images - so sorry if it takes a while to download.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

star traffic police

On Saturday we were driving around the Commercial Street area in Bangalore. At the busy intersection right near Commercial Street was a traffic policeman (wonder of wonders) dressed in a smart blue uniform. He was stopping traffic for pedestrians, stopping vehicale who were trying to cut red lights, and generally doing a fantastic and whole-hearted job.

We thought he must've been a private cop hired by the commercial street shopkeepers to keep order in the area. But low and behold, he was actually a Karnataka state cop. I felt pretty proud and gave him a big smile and wave. I wish I could remember the name I read on his badge. Whoever you are; keep it up.

On a side note; if the Bangalore Police allowed volunteers to do traffic police duty, I would gladly volunteer my time for that. I go berserk when people break traffic rules. The worst part is that they look at me like I'm a freak for doing things like stopping at red lights. grr