Speed of Infection

I was just going through the news of Swine Flue. 2 things struck me
1. how the hell did it go from the pig to the man ?
2. The tag of Pandemic given to it.

pt 2 set me thinking. A few centuries back this would not even be a point of fear. Some place halfway across the world has a flu outbreak. When Ashoka was an emperor in India, Mexico was not even on the world map. So that place has an outbreak, its contained in that village , probably a couple of more, and people die. The rest of the world does not even know that they existed.

Fast forward to the 20th century, and information is going around in newpaper print. People get to know that some people died in a far away land. Shrug, talk about how bad it was, and go about their world.

Enter the 'flight' age and then the 'information technology' age. People travel across the world at the drop of a hat. Information is now spreading through casual networks like facebook and twitter. People get to know of a happening even before it happens. ... err... read that as when it happens. No more waiting for DD news or the morning's paper. You get to know it in office... AajTak and other 'sansani' channels pick it up - usually with a video from youtube and have people who don't even know what they are talking about proclaim we are in danger. Add to it , people who are travelling, catch a virus and before the day is out bring it to another country , and it spreads out there.

Scary scenario.

Is it happening or is the media irresponsible in shouting that it is happening ?? How can the death of 150 people be labeled a pandemic ?

Why Indians have to be reborn !

The angel Gabriel came to the Lord and said 'I have to talk to you. We have some Indians up here in heaven and they are causing problems. They're swinging on the pearly gates, my horn is missing, they are wearing Dolce and Gabana saris instead of their white robes, they are riding Mercedes and BMW's instead of the chariots, and they're selling their halos to people for discounted prices. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clear, since they keep c rouching down midway eating samosas and drinking chai (tea).. Some of them are even walking around with just one wing!' 


The Lord said, 'Indians are Indians. Heaven is home to all my children. If you want to know about real problems, give Satan a call.' 


Satan answered the phone, 'Hello? Damn, hold on a minute.' Satan returned to the phone, 'OK I'm back. What can I do for you?' 


Gabriel replied, 'I just wanted to know what kind of problems you're having down there.' 


Satan says, 'Hold on again. I need to check on something.' 

After about 5 minutes Satan returns to the phone and said, 'I'm back. Now what was the question?' 

Gabriel said, 'What kind of problems are you having down there?' 

Satan says, 'Man I don't believe this ... Hold on.'

This time Satan was gone at least 15 minutes. He returned and said, "I'm sorry Gabriel, I can't talk right now... These Indians  are trying to install air conditioning and making hell a comfortable place to live in by putting out the fire...fire is there to keep them uncomfortably hot!! Since they are so tech savvy, they were trying to start a telephone connection between heaven and hell...I am having such a hard time controlling and dealing with them!! Some were trying to start a chai - pakora shop, which I had to stop...I am requesting Lord to send them back on earth as soon as they arrive as re-birth".
Indians will be Indians... 

So this is the story why Indians are re-born!!!!!!!

Delhi, A Trip and a New Job

So, here I find myself finally, back in the hometown of Delhi ... Delhi NCR to be more correct as the office is located in Noida.

Moving to Delhi was a different experience. I usually associated Delhi with pollution and bad traffic. It still has that, but the pollution seems to be lesser than what would be there in Pune in peak hours. The amount of vehicles on the road is mind boggling !

My first impression of Delhi was ... "hmm.. pleasant weather" , especially coming from the sweltering heat of Pune. The second one was "mmm. Good Food ! " !!

Trip to Dehradun

I still had a few days left in hand before joining the Job, so I decided on a quick journey home to Dehradun. This time I decided to go in the car, rather than in the train as everyone was suggested.

The route is not enjoyable for a drive. I think that the next time onwards I will be going by Train. Most of the road is a single land with mad truck drivers. Many times I had to slow down and almost get off to the road shoulder to avoid trucker/busses overtaking other vehicles.


A stop on the way.

But once you reach roorkie, the road becomes good. It is fun to drive through ! Then , once you get to UttaraKhand , the roads become even better ! The last few kms are through the Shivalik ranges and skirt the outside of the Rajaji National Park - absolutely fun !


Lapwings in the field behind our house


Mom and Dad with the Car


Roads just out of Dehradun - Paradise !

I just stayed a day in Dehradun, and then headed back. This time I took the canal route. This is a seldom used road, so the traffic is quite less, and it runs alogside the ganga canal from Haridwar to MuradNagar so you basically cut out all the Heavy Vehicle traffic. However, when I was doing the drive, many parts of the road were in bad condition, and at many places, the construction of the brick railings were in progress. Furthermore, at many points this road crosses other roads - basically bridges across the canal, and just before and after these junctions, there are unmarked bumps - which you have to be careful about. Apart from these irritations, this is quite a cool route.


The Canal Road
One97

On 6th I joined a new company. The company is in the mobile VAS ( Value Added Services) space. I was surprised to see around 15 people joining with me ! In the days of economic slowdown, the VAS industry is doing quite good ! I also had this feeling that we Indians don't have a Product mentatlity , as most of the software we use is from companies from elsewhere around the world - but this company proved me wrong. Many of the VAS products are being used by the big operators in India ( Airtel, Idea , etc ). The work seems to be quite exciting ! !

The office space is also designed in a very open manner. The managers share the same space as all the developers , and the cube (if it can be called that) height is half - so you can see from one end of the floor to the other. Advantages and Disadvantages abound - as you can easily see the length and breadth of the floor, but at the same time, it becomes noisy. Now, it is quite the same as what Wipro was, but I have been spoilt in the last few years of working in individual cubes - so that it feels quite noisy to me ! However, its a thing about getting used to , and I think that in a few weeks, i will not even be realising the noise ( the body is an amazing machine!)

What I really liked in the first few days of work is that there is a lot of Enery and Enthusiasm in the people here. There are hardly any whiteboards here, so the glass walls that are the walls for the few discussion rooms are used for writing. Pretty cool usage if you ask me . Also, there is no hard and fast rule of what to use and what not to use - e.g. I am using Linux as my standard OS on my laptop and a few other people are using Macs etc. Nice.

Now, for the new few weeks my concentration is going to be on work and finding a house. So forgive me if I do not update here more often !

iPhone view for Google Reader

I don't really like the cluttered interface of Google Reader

I always had problems reading RSS feeds using the Google Reader. If you use the default scroll, it marks as read the items that you were just scrolling through, and if you change the settings, you have to manually click the items that you have read to be 'mark as read'. I don't know who designed the UI, but it sucks. 

On the other hand , the interface on the iPhone is pretty good. I realized I was reading more on the iPhone than on the desktop. Hmm.. 

What people don't tell you is that it is doable on the PC also ! All you have to do is use the correct URL for the google reader and presto, it shows the blog items as though you were on the iPhone ! Now this is comfortable for me ! 

The URL you have to use is : 

Neat and minimalistic interface of the Google Reader in iPhone view.

Have Fun !