A Trip to Abu Dhabi

Time for my first blog entry. Alright so I finally decided to get some air and sunlight everyday for atleast 2 hours. And taking advantage of this decision I was stuffed with a bunch of bills which were due by my dad. Darn! Oh well, another visit to BSNL's office, the guys whom I really adore, won't hurt would it?

Anyways, thankfully the customer care offices out here are more friendlier than the buggers who end up in the technical support, so that went well. That reminds me, I installed a new device on my bike. Its something that sounds whenever I change the gears on the bike. All you have to do is listen up for the "aaah" coming out of my mouth! :) Alright so its not a device, that spider really had a good bite on my left foot. Maybe I shouldn't have been so harsh on the guy. Could have signed a contract with the guy for Pest Control. Ofcourse, I would've had to take the pain of preparing a Specs list which he would have to oblige to and then this would be followed by setting up a good site for his home. And then I would have had to get some rules set apart for cleanliness and noise levels. Hmm...wonder if the corporation would require me to fill some forms for all this. Oh well, guess the kiddo wouldn't be able to handle the pains of reading through my Specs list anyway.

Was gonna tell you people of my hometown right? Not talking about Trivandrum, but Abu Dhabi. So where shall I start? A pretty expensive flight and a huge crappy procedure of purchasing a Visit Visa for around 500Dhs (revised to 1200Dhs now) will give you the access to one of the most happening town of the middle east (NOT! Although an hour and a half drive would get you to Dubai which IS the MOST happening City of the Middle East, this is more like its sleeping brother). Speaking of flights, you do have a cheaper option. Its a tube which is fitted with two cows up front, has wheels similar to the ones on bullock carts and runs on grass and has been christianed Air India Express. You needn't worry about anything as long as you don't get into one of these cheap excuses of air travel. They flight attendants will pretend you're not there, charge you for the air you breath and probably a dollar for the earphones which were used by drunkard who threw up on the last flight. Hungry? Yeah they do provide food, its a round thing the shape of a donut but chewing the same would remind you of pebbles you stuffed into your mouth when you were a kid....(you guys didn't? ok i guess its just me), they call it a vada and charge you 2 dollars for the same. Hmm...oh well lets get back to the flight I went by, Ettihad Airways! That's the true way to fly, not too expensive yet its got features that put Emirates to shame. Sigh, I manged to bug all the flight attendants in there. Coffee, Cappuchino, Hot Chocolate, Arabic Kebabs, Lamp Chops, ..... aaaaah my mouth still waters thinking of it. Poor them, they must've banned me from that airline after the pain they went through in the two and a half hour flight that I had from Mumbai to Abu Dhabi.

Now once you get to Abu Dhabi, you have to go and get your eye checked....or that's wat the security officer said. How nice of them, I was having trouble with my contact lenses anyways. There was this huge line there, but what the heck, its free and I don't really need to take the pains of going to a lousy doc who keeps complaining about how rare I take those lenses off. It was my turn, a stylish "Asalam Aleikum" later, they stuff me onto a machine where I was to show my eyes. Two seconds later an alarm pops up and I find a bunch of security guards around me. Jeez, I never knew having a problem with my eyesight would cause such a big problem. One guy kept his cool and asked me to try again, and well it came off pretty well and the screen showed a green light indicating my eyes were fine after all. Gotta get that report from them and meet my doc. Took me a while to realise that it wasn't a eye test after all...hehe was a retina scan and I was actually identified as a terrorist! Ouch!

A small wait at the baggage counter and I was outta there, a big smile in front of the security guy who opens up bags was enough for him to say "Stop!" Crap...there goes my pirated DVDs, but to my surprise all he said was, "use this door you crazy oaf!". Phew! that was close, I remember a friend of mine being caught for bringing a tape of his tour across India, supposedly they felt it was some porn movie and made him stay for a whole three hours to check the whole tape. Pity the guy! :) Parents were waiting out and as usual I had grown thin. Parents have this funny way of visualizing you as a real thin baby everytime you gain 4kgs! Out into the sun and into the silky roads (as expressed by a British reporter) of Abu Dhabi. A half an hour drive takes you to the island city of Abu Dhabi.

Alright now that you have reached Abu Dhabi, I shall point out a certain pecularity about my town. There is a certain big white thing with a blue stripe across it which you may come across if you are lucky. We call it the Unicorn of the City.....the Govt calls it the
Municipality Public transport. The city has the most lousiest excuse of mass transit in the world! They have a bunch of bus stops all over the city, but even a 24hour wait in there won't get you anywhere! Ofcourse you'll get a bunch of cabbies honking at you, mocking you rather than offering a lift. If you have some sanity (its a measely 48 degrees in the shade), you would probably get into one of the white golden cabs. A word of caution, do not sit in the front seat!!!!!! esp if you are a girl.....uhm....no actually the rule applies even if you are a guy.

Coming back to the ride. Well Taxis are pretty cheap, guess the guys who set the rates do realise that no1 would pay any more for the smell and courteous nature of the cabbies there. You will be greeted with a lovely smile and a smell that would probably get you a one way ticket to the nearest morgue. Try your best to pretend that you don't know hindu or arabic or any other language he tries to speak to you in. Just tell him your destination and pretend your on a call. Trust me, its not worth it. I've made a bunch of blunders by being friendly with these guys....uhm not really friendly, just spoke! Well there was once when these guys started talking about all.....gals close your eyes...the oh crap i can't say it....gals you can open your eyes...anyways, there was one incident that I could tell you about. I was silently sitting in the cab observing the Corniche on my way to my gym (yeah guys I was soo insanely bored I was a regular at the GYM!!) and suddenly the cabbie next to me picks out his pompons and cheers "give me a J...give me an I...give me an H...give me an A...give me a D...goooooo JIHAD!") A strange stare later he starts talking to me...oh no i can't handle this! Keeps asking me to listen to the radio and puts the volume on max...uhm..well I tried...tried hard, but i just couldn't understand Pushto! And there he started off explaining how 3 americans were killed in a bombing in Iraq! Uhm...he rejoices for that?!?!?! oh well a long conversation (owing to my destination being a 5dh journey....hehe guys from Dubai get jealous!! ;) 5dh journey = approx 10kms) followed and I asked him why Islam seems to be preaching hatred when the religion is the most peaceful religion the world has seen. And he gives his views on how Americans has oppressed his ppl and he feels happy everytime an american dies. hmmmm....Just couldn't get this into my system anyways....'coz well I'm Muslim and as far as I know it, Islam doesn't believe in walking around with massive loads of explosives strapped on and blowing up ppl! Fine so Batman did have a utility belt with the same number of explosives....come to think of, I wonder wat would've happened if he accidentally pushed the wrong button on his utility belt. July 4th a little early maybe ;)

Oh well those are the bad parts of it, but well Abu Dhabi is lovely. Get out of your Ice Cold flats, that often remind me of Tensings journey to the Mount Everest, you get to see lovely gardens, malls, and the works. The city boasts of many wonders, as an example we have an underpass on the corniche road which always makes me wonder why only one side of the Dual carraigeway seems to be going under while the other side of the traffic is up, with absolutely nothing above the underpass but a small patch of grass. hmmmmmm architectural wonder. And then you have two buildings with a ball on its peak which houses some of the richest and craziest corporate executives in the country. Its the HQ of the only Telecom company in the country...trust me their rates are alarming! I spent over 300Dhs....uhm...maybe more than that on just telephone cards! Uhm...alright so I was calling IDD but still! (Dad Mom, Don't believe this, I'm just lieing...its all part of a humour exercise that I'm going through)

Talking about rich people, well the city also hosts the most expensive hotel in the world! Expensive in construction, expensive in cost of rooms, expensive in all aspects of life! To give you an idea of how expensive, the cost of the construction is in the tune of 5 billion dollars! Each room has two 67 inch plasma screens and a walk in wardrobe and....oh well I can't get in there so why talk about it? Its the Emirates Palace Hotel. Abu Dhabi felt that they were not in the map and so they built it in the span of two years. Word of advice, sue the guy who sold you the Atlas of America and told you Abu Dhabi wasn't in it. Oh well they are happy and I'm happy to be a part of the construction of that bldg. You see, as i said I was extremely bored in Abu Dhabi and ended joining a company there as a trainee for a month and a half. They were the guys who did the security systems in the Palace Hotel. Trust me, technology can get no more sophisticated than it is in there!

Hangouts? Well you've always got the Marina Mall and the Abu Dhabi Mall...if you're interested in having a petty quarrel over a 11th grade girl, you might as well go to the Grand Al Maria Mall :) Speaking of food, there are a bunch of outlets there that I'm sure most of us would fancy, but well a word of warning you're sure to gain a lot of weight and then repent for the rest of your life! Look at me!!!

Well hope you had a nice visit to Abu Dhabi, hope to see you again when you're out of the Immigration Prison here...

cyaz guys

I'm seriously inspired...

Hey guys, thanks for the response. You guys made me think twice(it was hard) and actually start a blog. I'll probably get that ready by the year 2010, so keep watching this space (or rather any other space you find that suits your fancy) :) Alright, I'm kidding, shall get one up real soon and let you guys know about it. Finally something to kill time.

Sameer, bad news, I never write :) you see I'm a pack of lazy bones and although I've been pestered by a zillion* of my College Magazine Editors, I haven't taken the pains yet. Let's see how the blog goes. Btw, to keep you guys occupied, I would seriously recommend Vinod's blog. The guy is from Chennai and placed in Infosys and trust me he is GOOOOOOD!!!! I had a lovely time laughing reading his thoughts on the ever famous Captain. For those of you who haven't seen tamil movies, he's the guy who's got his left leg on the grave (he's still pretty young though, just a measely 84), the right leg on the police jeep, armed with a pistol that can pierce through the toughest of concrete walls. And yeah, you won't find this guy going after gals, 'coz he's trying his best to get all the younger cuties off his back...supposedly he's irresistible! Uhm...if any of you girls actually find him so....pleeeeeeease let me know wat I could do to get that popular ;) And yeah, he has one thing that's a trademark of all police officers in the country. Come on guys, you don't need to work that brain of yours for that...its called a potbelly!

check it out, its http://vinodg.blogspot.com/ If you want that particular artile on the captain, its http://vinodg.blogspot.com/2004/10/unforgettable-captain.html and hey i don't know the guy...got this link through a friend of mine and I'm pretty impressed by his smart use of sarcasm. I really loved the intro on that particular article....its a must read guys!

So we have a huge conversation of stocks. Talk about the world's most formal word for "Gambling". :) Alright alright, we need a lot more brains that just the know-how of how to pull a stick and yell hoooray to get some money out of a Stock Exchange, but when you think about it, isn't all those fancy words just a ploy to get more of your money? For those of you who are pretty much illiterate on this, stocks don't usually reflect on a company's profits or losses or their performance over a fiscal. Those are valuable only to those people who eagerly wait for the dividends that the companies issue once every year. The price of these stocks, like most commodities in the market increase and decrease based on demand and well if I had a trillion dollars in my pocket (wonder how I could stuff that into my pockets in the first place) I could probably get the price of the most lousiest company up by over 20%. Thankfully such things haven't happened out here in India yet, but it did happen out there in the US a few years back and ended up with a bunch of corporate heads being sued bigtime! I see the same thing happening in the most youngest and promising stock markets, Dubai Financial Market, as well. Out there you see a bunch of oil rich guys in white dishdashas (for those of you who think that's a boxing match, think again, its the arabic word for their dress which is a national heritage and can get u behind bars in some prison halfway into a lonely desert if you put it on :) ) have a nice coffee at the coffee shop located inside the market and decide which stock to sc@#w and which no to. So I get back to my initial question, how is this different from gambling?

Today i discovered something on the net. Pretty proud of it actually. I discovered that too much of it can get reaaaaaally boring! I spent three hours this morning staring at the numerous instant messengers that I have installed for someone to come online. Took me a while finally decide on getting out of my home and getting some fresh air. Opened my door only to find a certain spider who was actually shouting at me for having messed up his 3 month old home. The guy had the nerve of settling in without a lease and now he refuses to leave. When i finally kicked him out, he spat on my face and bit me on my leg. Thankfully it has resulted only in a minor swelling which i'm sure would lead to something drastic tomorrow and my left foot might need to be amputated. Anyways, one thing led to another and I was blinded for a whole 15 minutes. Got scared seeing something soooo bright on my face....it seemed soo beautiful yet it hurt my eyes soo much.....took me a while to realise it was the sun shining onto my face. Yipes! I really need to get my head checked! Anyways managed to get outta my house on my bike which has been due for service for the last six months....sigh....poor darling of mine...she was coughing all the way, patted her as much as i could and apologised for not thinking of her for quite sometime. Think she's angry with me....she didn't speak to me halfway through.....

uhm...that reminded me....don't believe in ads! The other day I decided to fill Extra Premium on my bike, filled a whole 100 bucks worth and it looked pretty neat on my fuel dial as well. Took my darling for a spin, went around almost all parts of this beautiful town of trivandrum which is oh so filled with protestors and lazy govt staff who love taking their day off. Come to think of it, they really do exercise a lot. I mean it does take a lot of energy to scream out the same ol' slogans through the roads and walk around 4 kilometres from the Kerala Secreteriat to the Kerala Legislative Assembly. Why didn't I think of that? Hey anyone from Trivandrum interested in blocking traffic for the next week, I think I have a protest up my head.....lets see....yeah "A Protest against protests!" :) how's that? Alright back to my darling and me on our romantic ride around .....uhm...alright lets just picture a beautiful green grassland (can't really make trivandrum seem romantic)...felt my darling screaming for a drink in between, but like the ad when i checked up the fuel dial and the length of the road, it seemed fine guess i could get to the next fuel station without a prob. ...... you guessed it right...my guess was absolutely wrong! Had a ball of a time dragging my bike all the way to the nearest BP station for some Speed (and this time around no way there is absolutely no gain of Speed by putting that thing in her!). So guys don't believe in ads.....or wat Shanim says, 'coz I just made that up :) hehe...alright fine so maybe i forgot to put the fuel position back on main after a long drive in reserve...but hey I need to blame some1!

Alright guys, guess most of you don't want me to write long mails so I shall cut this short....uhm...oops...its already long! aaaaaaaah I really gotta do something about my fingers!

* zillion = 3

The miseries of dealing with Govt Organisations...

Alright call me lazy. This morning i woke up to find my ever so efficient broadband connection dead. I was in a state of shock. Without hesitation, I'd called up the local customer care center here in Trivandrum and I got an appointment for the evening. Aaaaaaaaaah! How was I to survive the whole morning without exchanging bits of 1s and 0s to ppl around the world?!!?!? I would be cut off from civilization for just too long! Naheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Alright once the whole drama queen session was done with i decided to get some sleep and wake up when I was a little more sane. Guess I needed a real long time for that 'coz i ended up waking up at 12pm!

Anyways, lets get back to my connection. Thought of doing some diagnosis on my own. With my excellent skills in networking (NOT!) I was determined to get my connection up and running before BSNL could even call me back and say they're coming. Sigh failed miserably, called up a friend of mine working in Dell and armed with his suggestions I tried again. All in vain! In protest I decided not to eat food until I got it working. But well my darling network adapters still wouldn't budge. Talk about arrogrance and being stubborn.

Few more hours of struggling and I figured that the DSL modem was working fine and so were the cables that connected it to my pc. Figured that it was some configuration fault and thanks to Bill Gates ingenuity of making things soooo simple, he had actually managed to do away with most of the tweaking options that were once available. Sigh...alright alright, Tux fans are gonna be real happy with this. Finally I get a call from the buggers at BSNL asking me to get out for once and open the gate! :) was sooo stuck onto my PC that i didn't realise they were standing in the sun waiting for me to open the door :) Thought my worries were finally over....sigh if only.

They came, checked the modem and actually duplicated my connection (don't ask me why, guess they felt that duplicating would force the NICs to behave and listen to the commands behest upon by his masters). You guessed it right, didn't help. They played around with the Ethernet cables, switching from one NIC to another (btw...i have two, the second one was meant for my internal home LAN which i never got to execute....lazy to pull the wires and do the trunking :)) all in vain. Finally they came to the conclusion that it would work in Win 98 but no WinXP...ironic since i've been using it on my Windows XP system for almost 3 months now. Oh well, they're the "engineers", I let them have it their way. Rebooted onto Win98 and thanks to the "plug and play" wonders of the OS it didn't detect either of my network cards. So they confirmed that it will work on Win98 and that it was not their fault.

They were fleeing immediately after that but I didn't let them out. Slammed the door shut and sealed all exits. Asked them to prove it, and I brought one of my ol' shabby laptops (alright alright its not mine, my sisters which I was supposed to have sold off six months ago...hehe I've already told u guys, I'm lazy). It took almost eternity to load and finally i got the network set up on it. Sadly for me, (something I already knew) it worked fine. And they said "See its working now we leave", I blinked and they were gone. Houdini would have been proud!

With my last ounce of energy, i sat back in front of my pc and decided to have one last shot at it. WinKey+Pause/Break, Hardware Tab, Device Manager, right-click NIC1, uninstall, right-click NIC2, uninstall, F5, new hardware found, your hardware is ready to use, close all windows, start, connect to...., bsnl, connect.....VOILA!!!!! It worked!!!!!

You have no idea how many times I'd banged my head on the wall for being sooooo stupid!! And well, I suddenly have a real big disregard for BSNL employees. I did the honour of asking them if they were engineers just before they left. They said they were and that they had never encountered a problem like this before and that they usually just install and go. It was not their duty to make sure that the OS understood what they did and worked as they wanted it to. Sigh...

Oh well, that's my story for the day. Moral of the story....Don't pick up the phone and dial BSNL's customer care for an Engineer to visit your house when the lazy engineer in you is screaming for exposure.

Doesn't make sense does it? hehe....i know it doesn't to me, but well im bad at literature :)

Applying Thought

As I was browsing the net, came across an article on economictimes.com that got my interest. It said "Wipro plans European acquisitions". Since it was about our company, thought have taking a good look at it. I'm glad I did read it.

The following statements caught my eye:

"Wipro can choose from 280,000 engineering graduates every year, with another 200,000 college diploma-holders who are easily trainable. In the United States annually there are just 50,000 engineering graduates. In fact colleges produce more sports therapists than engineers," Wipro's chairman said. Education, Premji said, is the fuel that drove India's growth. But he knows that while there has been investment in higher studies, there has not been the same commitment to primary education. The result is that a third of the population over the age of 15 has no schooling, the report observed. So the Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit organization which spends 5 million dollars a year, focuses on improving India's elementary education.

Wouldn't all of you, my future colleagues, agree that our Company Chairman deserves more than just a mere applause for such a gesture! Education in our country surely needs all the funds it can get. But does funds really materialize into educated youths? I wouldn't think so. Literate, maybe, but far from educated. India really needs to look up its educational policies once again.

I come from Kerala, which boasts to be one of the most literate states in the country. However, our state does suffer from the lack of major developments owing to the pessimism shown by people in the state. It isn't a wonder that Keralites are second only to Bihar in terms of emigrants. Almost all major development programs are looked into with skeptism, too much if you ask me. Who do we end up blaming? Our Government. Personally, I think its our educational system that is to blame. Our schools have syllabi that force us to sit in the corner of our room and read through big fat books and produce essays ten pages long for our exams without any understanding whatsoever. And what more? Taking any course besides Engineering/Medicine is considered a shame. Aren't there a million other professions in this world? If it wasn't for the commerce stream, we wouldn't have Chartered Accountants or Businessman. Wait, we don't! I guess its the same all over India,
and besides funding primary and secondary education, I believe we could do a lot more.

Ironically I am studying for engineering as well, but I did so out of interest and not of compulsion or that a certain fortune teller told me that there would be a boom for the IT industry in 2005 :)

Kudos to Azim Premji and Wipro. Let's Apply Thought not just on our computers, but for humanity!


Hey ppl!

Alright guys, finally thought of starting my blog. Since I can't seem to think of writing anything now, I'll just post a few crazy mails I'd sent to the groups I subscribe to over the past few months.

Take care