31 January 2008

Bi-Cyclists

Dear 100CC/150CC Bicyclists;

1. There is something called High-Beam in your motorbikes and it is meant to be used only on a highway. Not on city roads. Of course, you cannot go out on the highway with that bicycle of yours to understand the difference. But, please do listen when someone tells you. Do not use high beam inside city, coz if I switch on my high beam and my supplementary head lights, you are sure to crash onto the vehicle in front of you.

2. There are two appendages to the handle-bars called rear-view mirrors. Please use them. Do not leave them in some awkward angles. They are meant to let you know what is coming behind you and what is coming aside you (Yes, rear-view mirrors will eliminate blind spots provided you have an occasional glance on it). Please do not dart across the road and most importantly, dart across in front of my Royal Enfield. I can guarantee you that when you fall, since it is your momentum that is high, you will suffer the maximum damage. If you are not convinced, please ask the Hero Honda Splendour bi-cyclist, who crashed onto me, fell down and hurt himself quite badly today, while all that I had was a momentary imbalance. Not even a scratch. Zilch. Nada.

Thanks
(A visibly pissed off with "bicyclists yearning to be motorbikers" Shyam)

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 4:41 PM 1 comments

24 January 2008

Measure up

All you worthless software engineers who proclaim that you do cutting edge work, are always in the line of fire with high pressure deadlines, have no time in the world for anything else, blah blah kind of shit -- You better read this article. I sincerely hope that after you read this, you reduce that empty boast of yours and come to the terra-firma, to understand that the world is not just occupied by you, but by countless others, who also have to be respected.

K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:26 PM 0 comments

Contenment

Real satisfaction is relaxing and watching Sachin hammer the hapless Australian bowlers.

K.Shyam

PS: That aside, I still fail to understand why the media is hyping up the Perth victory as something which would equal a world cup win. Is it as a retort to the Australian media which highlighted/hyped the Perth pitch as the fastest in the world ?

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:09 PM 0 comments

21 January 2008

Mumbai Marathon 2008

And so the Mumbai Marathon was hunted down once again. The timing was a bit disappointing though. I am hoping that my friend Jacob's advise on improving my endurance might make a difference for the next Marathon.

On a side note, Ladies and Gentlemen, if I say that I have run a marathon, it means that I have run 42.195km. Period. So, please do not get onto my already frayed nerves by asking if it is 7kms or something like that. I do not mind if you ask me as to how many kilometers it was, but, please do not make any assumptions of your own.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 6:28 PM 4 comments

18 January 2008

Mumbai Marathon

Two years after my rather unsavory experience in Mumbai (Bombay) Marathon , I am trying my hand at it again. The only difference is that in these two year's time I have run 7 more marathons. Hence, I hope my experience would help. But then again, I have not had enough time to acclimatize myself to this searing heat and humidity. I kind of feel ashamed to confess that running in Madras at 5.30AM beats the shit out of me. In any case, I do hope to finish strongly.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 12:09 PM 0 comments

BSNL

And so now that I have moved back to Motherland Madras, I decided to get myself a BSNL connection for my mobile. Yeah, among all the operators that I assessed, even though BSNL has a slightly bad network, their rates and coverage are second to none. So, I duly applied for a pre-paid connection since that seemed the easiest to get.

Since my number was not activated even after two days, I decided to call customer care, who duly informed me that they have received an application for grant of a mobile number, but in a different name.

I then went to the shop where I bought the number and the shopkeeper laughs his ass out. I see that my application is there in the shop and they have not yet forwarded it to BSNL.

Case of number re-use ? Or the monolithic gargantuan PSU acting crazy ? I will know in another few hours !

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:59 AM 0 comments

17 January 2008

Unforgiveable

Sachin Tendulkar, of all people, is not expected to drop catches, and that too off Symonds. Yes, it was not an easy one, but not an impossible take.

K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:58 PM 0 comments

16 January 2008

Carnatic Music

If the ignoramus inside you thinks that carnatic music is the sole and exclusive property of the educated elitist, please slap yourself and head over to the nearest FM radio station and listen to any of "King" Illayaraja's songs.

K.Shyam

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 11:45 PM 0 comments

11 January 2008

Mexico vs India

After having stayed in Mexico for a year, here are some of my observations on what we Indians can learn from them, and what Mexicans can learn from us.

But first, what we can learn from Mexicans

1. Simple life. At the end of the day, you gather your friends, have a beer or two, pull each other's leg, backslap each other and go to bed with a smile on your face. Note that it is not that they do not have any problems or whatsoever, but after all it is the attitude that counts. There is nothing to be obtained by worrying too much about your problems.

2. Leading a simple life translates into so many good things. There is no feeling of jealousy or ego or animosity. Everyone has space to grow and be somebody.

3. Hypocrisy. It is hard to find hypocrites there. Contrast that with most Indians, who, when they travel abroad, think that they have to be the epitome of Indian culture and what not, but deep inside, they themselves do not practice what they preach.

Now, what Mexicans can learn from Indians

1. Cheap and Quality education. I need not stress more on this. What I spent through nine years of my college life, would not last even a semester in most colleges in Mexico. They must do something about this.

2. Public Transport. Studies show that a lot of Mexicans have not travelled to places within their own country, mainly because of prohibitively high costs involved in travel. A distance of 300kms, is around 40% expensive than in India. They could do well to use their railroads to allow some passenger trains. They do have a decent network of railroads, but they are used mainly for transporting goods and not humans !

Overall, Mexico is a very nice place and I would strongly recommend a visit, if someone can, to see how a country with pretty much the same GDP and other parameters as ours, manages to achieve a better quality of life.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 10:35 AM 5 comments

10 January 2008

Well Done!

Mr.Ratan Tata, for silencing your critics. For whatever it is worth, you have made everyone around the world stand up and take notice.

It is here that the despicable "Crab Mentality" of Indians crept up. Instead of trying to contribute their might to making the project a success, for the past year or so, all that I have been hearing of, is nothing but pure negativism. If you cannot contribute, atleast give constructive criticism.

Pictures are up Here.

Update: There seems to be a lot of criticism surrounding this car. People come up with all sorts of points, the most standard ones being the lack of space in Indian roads, pothole ridden roads e.t.c, e.t.c. For a moment, pause and think about this. Why should this car be restricted to just Indian roads ? Why should this not be exported all around the world ? Why cannot this become another iconic symbol like the Beetle ? Any advancement has always been met with criticism. However, until we try, we never know the kind of advancement that we can bring about.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 3:55 PM 0 comments

Overheard

Overheard on my flight from Houston to Paris from a conversation between two Americans.

"I do not understand why we are going to war. If I take a dog from Bush's ranch and a dog from Osama Bin Laden's ranch, and put them together, there is nothing to suggest that they will not get along together."

They have hit the nail squarely on its head. No wonder Bush is having an all time low rating.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 8:12 AM 0 comments

Travel and Photgraphs

During the last few days of my stay in Monterrey, Mexico, I traveled to two places.

The first of them was Parque Estanzeula. It is around 15 or so kms from Monterrey, and it is supposed to be a stop over place for the Monarch butterflies that migrate from Canada to Morelia, Mexico. There is a nice trek for around 5kms or so. Not recommended if you are not in shape, as there is a steep incline, which the three of us, Sachin, Lokesh and myself, in spite of being in top physical shape, were quite beaten by the time we reached the top. It is a different issue that we were doing a pretty good pace, but still, I would not recommend it if you are not in decent shape. Here are some pictures from there.

forest_hdr

A stream where we took a dip. The water was freezing cold and yet, the dip was quite refreshing !!

Monarch_4

My personal favorite shot.

Monarch_2

Monarch_3

Monarch_5

Though the focus point has moved out of the butterfly in this shot, I still like this for the light. This will also teach me to keep my hands a bit more still when I take a photograph. What could have been a nice shot has been mauled :-(. Anyway, there is always a next time !!


I also traveled to Morelia, Mexico. However, this time, we chose to drive down from Monterrey. The drive was fairly decent one. The migrating monarch butterflies from Canada reach a place called Angangeao, around 150 or so kms from Morelia. All the while during the drive from Morelia to Angangeao, I kept wondering whether there are any bus services to reach this place for backpackers. Well, I was proved right the next day. If you are a backpacker or planning to backpack in Morelia, fret not. If you get to the cathedral in Morelia, (It is quite a famous landmark and hence, it is easy to find) on both the left and right sides of the cathedral, there are guided tours available. These tours are all day long and take you to the butterfly park in Angangeao ,the volcanoes in Patzcuaro and the park in Uruapan. Each of those tours last nine hours and include lunch and multi-lingual guides. You can get more details from their website here. And the food in Angangeao is fabulous. Dirt cheap and typically Mexican. Of course, if you are hoping to get vegetarian food, well, you are in for a rude surprise. You might get some rice and beans, but I am skeptical of that too !

Here are some photographs from Morelia.

Cathedral

The cathedral in Morelia.

antique buildings

Church

Some antique buildings in Morelia.

Fountain

A fountain near the aqueduct.

Shops

Shops outside the butterfly park in Angangeao.

Peace

An old man at peace with himself.

Down

Foraging

Monarch_1

Some monarch butterflies that we saw in Morelia.

Moon_2

A landscape on the drive from Monterrey to Morelia, somewhere near Saltillo.

K.Shyam

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Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 7:10 AM 4 comments