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Thursday, April 29, 2004

If you really come to think of it life is all about taking chances. It is so true!

Post on http://www.gmail.com/

Gmail organises your mails in the form of Conversations.
Each mail and its replies are grouped together.
For example, If you send a mail to ten people and five of them reply to that mail, then all those five mails are grouped together as replies, with different colours separating their replies, and that is a conversation.

This grouping of messages in conversations is a very good feature of Gmail. Gmail also has search facility so you can search for messages, plus by default all replies to a mail are grouped together as Conversations and you can apply 'Labels' to messages and set filters for them.

Coversations in Gmail is a very good feature.
Let me illustrate this.
If I send a mail (say, Hi Friends! How are you doing?) to Ajay, Sunil, Achal, Punit and Nilesh and I receive three replies at different times, on different days (say, Ajay, Punit and Sunil reply), then all those three replies would be grouped together with my mail that I sent them and that means four mails (my original mail and three replies received would be grouped together). This is a Unique feature, besides the whopping 1000 MB of free space! :-) This grouping of mails will help in tracking replies to a mail from different people on a particular topic.

Now about Google's Contextual Advt. Posting on Gmail. Yes, Advertisements are posted on Gmail and they are relevant. Like for example, I'd sent a mail to one of my friends in Hindi and the advertisements displayed were about Punjabi web sites etc. So the advt. mapping is relevant, although, I'm not much concerned about the Privacy issue. Even if the mails are being read to put up advertisements, this is an automated process.

So, my take on Gmail is, I'm happy with it and I don't have any concern about privacy, at present.

Gmail does not have a Draft facility as yet and it also doesn't have the facility to create groups, to send multiple messages. Gmail does have a Contact address book. There is also a facility to create filters.

I'm using Gmail and I'll post more reviews later on.

Have you used Gmail? You'd like to share your thoughts about it? Let me know.

Bye for now!

A Thought for Today.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Keep discovering.

I like this song. They play this song on SS Music sometimes.

Take me to your heart take me to your soul.
Michael Learns to Rock.

Hiding from the rain and snow
Trying to forget but I won't let go
Looking at a crowded street
Listening to my own heart beat

So many people all around the world
Tell me where do I find someone like you girl

Take me to your heart take me to your soul
Give me your hand before I'm old
Show me what love is - haven't got a clue
Show me that wonders can be true

They say nothing lasts forever
We're only here today
Love is now or never
Bring me far away

Take me to your heart take me to your soul
Give me your hand and hold me
Show me what love is - be my guiding star
It's easy take me to your heart

Standing on a mountain high
Looking at the moon through a clear blue sky
I should go and see some friends
But they don't really comprehend

Don't need too much talking without saying anything
All I need is someone who makes me wanna sing

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I'm using Gmail daily and I like it!! It's good. A post about Gmail very soon!

The Exit polls predict that NDA won't get a majority. I wasn't able to cast my vote on the 26th as my name is in Pune and I was in Hyderabad. I would have voted for the BJP. Let's see who wins in Pune!

The Exit polls predict the exit of Chandrababu Naidu and TDP from power.
Hyderabad is not Andhra Pradesh and while Hyderabad prospered over the last five years, the rest of Andhra Pradesh remained backward.
Last year I had read very interesting articles on the state of rural Andhra Pradesh in The Hindu Magazine written by P. Sainath. Here are the links to these two articles. Make for very interesting reading.
The Bus to Mumbai.
The Wrong Route Out.

I've seen a lot of movies over the past two weeks. Almost daily, I've seen a movie. Go back home from office. Get dinner packed from the Dhaba at Madhapur and get a CD from the nearby shop. Return the CD next evening and take another one. The same routine for the last two weeks.

Go to work. Reach office around 09:15 a.m. Lunch from 01:00 to 01:45 p.m. Reach home by 08:00 p.m. Go to the Dhaba, get dinner packed or else eat there, take a CD, see the movie, then switch on the TV for sometime, go to sleep. Wake up at 07:45 a.m. and the whole cycle repeats for five days.

Met Sunil and Dipayan yesterday. Felt good meeting them after a long time, almost four months.
Feels good to catch up with friends. Don't feel lonely!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The net connection is down in office due to maintenance work, hence writing this post offline. I'll upload it in the evening.

This post is about thoughts in my mind.
I get restless and impatient very soon.
I thought about it. I think I often concentrate on the end destination and not the journey. The key for me is to enjoy the journey, not hasten to the destination. Instead of that I should enjoy what I do and not concentrate too much on the end result. For example, if a job is given to be completed and there are deadlines, I try to beat the deadlines by way off margins, that is if five days are given to complete the work, I do it in two days, focusing on completing the work and not on enjoying what I do and that is a point I have to improve upon. I don't have to hasten to the destination, I need to enjoy the journey.

I am bringing that into practice, slowly. I have brought that into practice in my personal life and would get that in my profession too.

I try too hard to complete the work and the enormous amout of work makes me forget about enjoying my work and I do 'submission' work, that is, a task is to be completed by this date, complete it and give it, don't think too much about it, don't care whether you enjoy doing it, whether you've learnt something new from it!

In my personal life, I've started to enjoy the journey and not hasten to the destination. Now, in the evenings, on my way back home, I don't rush on my bike, I stop at the cafe to have 'Irani chai', then even when there are traffic jams and they are daily on Begumpet, I try to find calmness in all that noise, I don't honk at all and 'actually enjoy the traffic!!!' :-)

So these were some thoughts in my mind. Put them on paper.

You'd like to share your thoughts about this post?
Let me know your comments!

A Thought for Today.
Enjoy the Journey. Don't hasten to the Destination.

I read 'Fireflies' over the weekend.
Fireflies is a collection of epigrams (short sayings, two-liners, four-liners) written by Rabindranath Tagore.
The theme of 'Fireflies' is Nature (earth, sky, moon, flowers, birds, mountains, rain, spring, clouds, dawn etc.) and human-nature.

Some beautiful sayings from 'Fireflies' that I liked very much.

Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.

The net connection is on! So I'm posting this.

Friday, April 23, 2004

23rd April 2004 Friday 02:38 pm IST.
I want to read a good book over the weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

My email id on Google is chirayu@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

On some days there is so much of work wonder when it will finish, on other days, don't know what to do!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A Thought for Today.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Photos Link

Friday, April 16, 2004

This evening's post is about the traffic in various cities.
Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Bangalore.

Pune: Pune is the city of two-wheelers. City with the most number of two wheelers, the most number of netcafes and the highest pollution in Maharashtra. It would be interesting to find which city has the most number of two wheelers in India. If I'm not mistaken, it would be Pune. In Pune each household, middle class, lower middle class has a two wheeler. One reason for this is that Pune does not have a good public transportation system, as compared to the other cities. The most common mode of commuting is two-wheelers, although the buses are as crowded. I haven't travelled by bus in Pune ever since I got my Bike. Now that I have my bike, here in Hyderabad, so the next time I go to Pune, I'll travel by bus.
In Pune, the traffic sense is hopeless. Very few people follow the traffic rules. Plus the roads are narrow as compared to Hyderabad. How many six lane roads would be there in Pune? Very few!
Now on to the traffic in Pune. People say, agar Pune mai bike chalaya to kahin bhi chalayega. Although I don't think the traffic of Pune is that bad. It has to do with the infrastructure alongwith the traffic sense of people. If there are wide roads then definitely the traffic of Pune will improve.

Hyderabad, Secunderabad: Hyderabad has very good infrastructure. Lots of flyovers, roads without any potholes, well-maintained traffic signals, streetlights, atleast on the main roads. The density of traffic is more, as compared to Pune and Bangalore.
Cars, buses, two-wheelers, autos, minibuses, vans, cycles, scooters all try to outdo each other and even if there are three lanes on each side, still the place is crowded. And this is the case after having so many flyovers.

Bangalore: I commuted by bus in Bangalore. I liked the bus service of Bangalore. The bus service is good, the buses are frequent. Ladies board from the front door and alight from there. The men board and alight from the rear door. There are separate seats for ladies, three to four rows on both sides. The bus fare is very cheap. For a trip from Shivajinagar to BTM Layout, almost 13 kms. it costs only Rs. 5/-. There are two types of buses in Bangalore. The blue and white coloured regular buses and the brown and yellow coloured 'Pushpak' buses which stop at a few select bus-stops.

Pune is a lot like Bangalore. Small roads, two wheelers.
Hyderabad is like Bombay. Although the density of traffic is more in Hyderabad.

In Bombay, traffic in town is of cars. In Hyderabad it is a mix of everything!
In Bangalore, cars, buses and two-wheelers. In Pune, more of two-wheelers.

That's it for now!

Buraiyaa to sabhi mai hoti hai... acchaiyan dekho!

A Thought for Today.
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

For the last ten days, I've had lunch at the 'Makhan Shah Family Dhaba' near our office.

A series win in Pakistan! Our batting strength was too good for the Pakistanis.
The surprise was our bowling. Anil Kumble is a matchwinner. The support from Irfan and Balaji was terrific. Balaji's swing defeated the Pakistanis in the first and second innings. A well deserved win for India.

In the final analysis, with or without Shoaib Akhtar, our batting strength of Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Saurav Ganguly, not to forget Akash Chopra and Parthiv Patel alongwith the efforts of Irfan Pathan proved too good for the Pakistani bowlers.

It was a fight between our batsmen and their bowlers and our batsmen came out on top.

Highlights of the Test Series.
Sehwag's 309. Sachin's 194*. Rahul Dravid's 270. Yuvraj's century. Laxman's half century. Anil Kumble's bowling. Irfan Pathan's opening spells.
Find of the tour: Laxmipathy Balaji.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Usenet Faqs. To Read.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Nice thought.
Count your life by smiles not tears.
Count your age by friends not years.

Reached office by 09:10. Had tea at the cafe on my way.

Monday Afternoon: 12th April: Very Spicy Dal Fry for Lunch.
I go to the Dhaba, near our office, for lunch.
Last week when I had 'Dal Fry', it was too bland, so I'd told the waiter to make it more spicy by putting 'Red chillies' the next time I ask for it.
I had Dal Fry yesterday, and it was sooo spicy, could barely eat. He had put red chillies and green chillies. I'll stick to roti, sabji, dahi and paratha. Once the dal fry was tasteless, next time too spicy, so I guess, the next time I have it, it will be of the right taste.

Whenever, I eat Dal Fry, I remember the 'Dal Fry' I used to have when I was in Bangalore last year. Spicy, with red chillies, green chillies and not too much of a paste (not too sticky). I used to have Dal Fry, rumaali rotis and onion and cucumber salad. I used to have that almost daily!! for a period of more than five months.

Moday morning: Bike got punctured, near Diamond Point. Found a repair shop nearby. The approach road to my office, Sikh Road, is very narrow and lots of sand and stones are kept at some places. A nail caused the punctures.
Reached home by 07:20 pm. Takes around 40 minutes to reach home in the evening. Morning it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to reach office. I start at 08:35 a.m. and I'm in Office by 09:10.

How the weekend went:
Saturday: Went to Charminar, with Mummy, Achal & Arpee, to buy Pearls. Had lunch at Banjara Darbar, 'big very big rotis', did some shopping in the evening.
Sunday: Saree shopping and then dinner at 'Sitara' with Pappa, Mummy, Achal & Arpee.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Time flies when you're having fun, is a nice quote! I want to have fun! Because, time isn't flying for me, right now!

Monday, April 05, 2004


Wah! Badhiya Khana!
Had lunch at the Dhaba near our Office.
Chaar tandoori roti, do plate pyaaj, Alu Gobi Masala aur Lassi!
Enjoyed the lunch! :-)

Saturday evening had dinner at home with Achal, Arpee, Gurdev & family.

It was overcast throughout Sunday afternoon, rained in the evening.
Got drenched on Sunday evening, had been to Achal's office to give him the bike keys. Had dinner with Achal & Arpee, late in the evening at 'On theWay.' Achal says the 'Sizzler' at 'Shikaar' is better than the one at 'On the Way.' Will check it out sometime this or the next week!

Friday, April 02, 2004

Irani Chai!!!! :-)

This evening's post is an ode to the 'Irani Chai.'
The popular Hyderabadi Tea available in numerous cafes all over the city.
For those of you not from Hyderabad - Irani Chai is the popular and famous tea that is available Hyderabad cafes. Note the use of the words, popular and famous. Irani Chai is the chai that is liked by all. It has a unique taste that no tea vending machine can provide. Cafes are popular in Hyderabad. Cafes offer chai (Irani Chai), biscuits (not your Parle, Britannia ones, special biscuits - they're known as Osmania biscuits), alu samosa, chhota Samosa, pastry, dlikhush (sweet preparation, sort of jam & bun). A lot of cafes also offer south indian dishes and even Chinese!!!. There are a lot of cafes in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Almost each area has a cafe. I wonder how many cafes would be there in Hyderabad!

Discussing cricket over a hot cup of Irani chai aur samosa. Woh taste jo Irani Chai mai hai woh aur koi chai mai nahin hai. One never knows how time flies in a cafe.

I want to write about the waiters at the cafes. Most of them would not have studied beyond primary school, still they remember information about the customers.

There are ten customers and as customers go to the counter to pay the bill, the waiter remembers the bill of each person. To give an example, If you've had "teen chai aur do samosa" and another customer has had "ek chai" as soon as you reach the counter the waiter calls "payle ka pandra rupya baadme teen rupya." (Fifteen rupees from the first customer, three from the next). That shows that even if they haven't studied, they have a good memory and know the business. That is the way it is, in almost all the Cafes.

The taste of Irani Chai is the same whether you go in the morning, afternoon or late evening. The cafes have names like, 'Good Luck Cafe', 'Diamond Point Cafe', 'Begumpet Cafe', 'Rose Cafe' etc.

If I'm meeting an old friend of mine, I would anytime like to spend half an hour in a cafe, discussing life and times, over a cup of hot Irani chai aur samosa rather than go to Barista or Pizza Hut or some other upmarket joint.

In Pune and Bombay lot of cafes are closing down. In Pune, on MG Road, out of the two cafes (Cafe Maha Naaz), one closed down (almost two years back) and Barista coffee bar opened at that location. The one thing that you don't get in Hyderabad cafes in 'Maska-Pao / Bun-Maska', which is available in Pune and Bombay.

I'd mentioned Irani Chai, samosas and biscuits. In Hyderabad you ask for chai aur samosa, by default the waiter will get more than one samosa, similarly for biscuits, if you're alone, and order for "chai aur biscuit", the waiter would get four biscuits, if there are two of you, he would get eight biscuits. You eat what you want and pay for that.

It is the same in Pune. At Cafe Naaz on MG Road (Cafe Naaz ka samosa), you order for samosa and by default there are eight samosas, you eat what you want and pay for that.

I always have Irani Chai on my way to office. Now as my office has moved to Secunderabad, Cafe Diamond Point is on my way and I start my day with an Irani Chai. "us chai ka mazaa ki kuch aur hai." I don't know how they prepare the tea and how is it made at most of the cafes in Hyderabad, still legend has it that people from Iran came to Hyderabad and they bought the recipe for the tea and hence it is known as 'Irani' chai.

Chai honaa bole to 'kef' (that's what people say in Hyderabad for cafe) ka Irani chai.

Bye for now!

PS: Hey, you have your favourite Irani chai and Cafe musings, let me know. :-) Let's meet over a cup of chai, not chilled coffee!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

We've won the first test match versus Pakistan by an innings and 52 runs. Well played India! A well deserved win. A comprehensive victory for India.

Virender Sehwag's 309 and Sachin's unbeaten 194 paved the way for a huge first innings score of 675 and once we'd that score, it was clear that the only team that would like to bat twice would be Pakistan. A lot has been said about the pitch. Why wasn't Pakistan able to play on the track where we scored 675? Our bowlers bowled better than their bowlers.

Irfan bowled a fantastic spell in the second innings and he provided the breakthrough in the first by taking Razzaq of the first ball of the fourth day's play. Irfan Pathan has given new strength to the Indian attack. Irfan took four wickets in the first innings and two in the second. Entertaining, daredevil, attacking batting by Virender Sehwag, the solidity of Sachin's inning, the breakthroughs provided by Irfan, the bowling of Anil Kumble - this would be the nth number of time, he has proven his abilities as a matchwinner; all of them paved the way for a historic Indian win in Pakistan.

A lot has been said about the declaration. My take on that would be, "All's well that ends well!" and if Sachin is happy (which he was, after taking Moin's wicket), why should we be upset? It's a game and we've won! So be happy, enjoy and eat sweets!

The Magic of Indian Batting at Multan.
Virender Sehwag's 'Bindaas' (that's the way he plays!) batting on day one.
The solidity of Akash Chopra's batting on the first day.
Sachin's chanceless innings on the first two days of the test.
The bowling of Irfan on the 3rd day. The bowling of Anil Kumble, the run out of Inzamam by Yuvraj on the 4th day and finally the wicket of Yousuf Youhana on the final day (I haven't seen that! I'm in office).
Dravid's astute captainship and handling of the bowlers during the Pakistan innings. He made good bowling changes, bringing Yuvraj on and he took Yasir Hameed's important wicket!

1st April 2004 won't be remembered as April Fool's Day! It will be remembered for India's First Test Win versus Pakistan in Pakistan and that too convincingly by an innings and 52 runs.

Well Played India! Well Played Irfan!

Irfan Pathan is the find of the tour. He played well in Australia and now he is our main fast bowler in Pakistan. He has performed exceedingly well in the series, so far. His bowling in the test match was exceptional. On a pitch where all the other fast bowlers were seen as average, Irfan consistently beat the batsmen and bagged six wickets in the match.

Now on to Lahore for the 2nd test.

Let Pakistan prepare any pitch. Now India is on a roll. Our time has come and no one can stop a team whose time has come!!!

Way to go India! All the Best!