Saturday, June 21, 2008



I could definitely smell hope in the air. I continued walking down the passage, becoming increasingly aware of my breathing pattern. I was surrounded by clear blank walls that stretched a long way. Far in the distance I could sense an opening through which golden rays of light entered the tunnel. My footsteps made no noise and I cast no shadow as I approached the opening. The only thing I was conscious of was my own self, the pumping heart and the rhythmic breaths.

The opening was fast approaching and the light was dazzling now. I felt surreal and weightless as I came at the threshold of the opening. The sight which greeted me was breathtaking. I saw a pristine mountain valley bathed in bright morning sunlight. There were still dew drops on the grass growing everywhere around me. I sat on a nearby ledge and surveyed the scenery ahead. The valley was nestled between two gargantuan mountains with a brook cleaving its way far below. The brook shot arrows of reflected light I had to shield my eyes from. The morning was cold in spite of the sunlight and I was nearly shivering.

There was complete silence but for the rare chirp from the birds. To my left a forest of trees stretched on all sides of a hillock but failed to conquer the top.
I settled down and prepared for the wait. I was wondered how long he would take to come. The suspense in the air was electrifying; I could almost feel it on the tip of my tongue. But I knew I had to be patient. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing again. I was aware of nothing else other than the taste and smell of the crisp morning air. Time seemed to have stopped in the valley. I felt I could stay like this for ever.

Almost magically I knew the time come. I would get my answer now. I opened my eyes and looked around. There, in the distance from among the trees I saw the figure walking towards me. He was real and imaginary at the same time. The whimsical man covered the distance surprisingly fast and before I knew it , he was just meters away.

He had piercing eyes, flawless skin and long flowing hair that half concealed his gown. “Yes, I’m immortal" he said. Taken aback at his ability to read my mind, I gained more respect for this being.

He sat on a nearby ledge and said "Ask".

My moment had arrived. I would now get answers to all my questions. I proceeded with bated breath "All my school life I sat through many boring exams. Was there any meaning in it at all?"

Sadhu-man answered "Yes. There was meaning in it. The exams serve the purpose of reminding you that sometimes you may not know why you are doing something, but should do it anyway. You must have faith, belief, karma or whatever else you call it. Without this life is useless."

I asked” College was mostly a waste of time for me. Everyone spent all their time trying to be cool and followed some random guy in everything he did. Was there any meaning in it at all?"

Sadhu-man answered "Yes. There was meaning in it. The college serves the purpose of reminding you that- You must always run your own race. Don’t be affected by dogma or by the people around you. Don’t waste time living other people dreams. The world is yours.. Go fly!!"

I asked " I actually wanted to become either a detective or a chocolate shop owner or a sky diving instructor, but ended up as a hardware engineer. Is there any meaning in it at all?"

Sadhu-man answered "Yes, of course there is meaning. Sometimes life does not give you what you want, but gives you what you need. Learn to accept reality and focus on how you can improve your current situation."

I said "Wise words indeed! I had two trivial questions to ask.. I want to inspire the people around me. What do I tell my friends who are unfortunately in the dark?"

Sadhu-man answered "Good Morning!"

I said "Oh.. Ok.. I really didn’t get that. Anyway next trivial question.. I'm the laziest ass on earth and also the baadshah of procrastination. In fact my No 1 hobby is sleeping. What do I do to rid myself of this habit?"

Sadhu-man answered "Wake up! There is nothing more important than waking up!!"

I said "Ok.. I was really looking forward to an insightful elucidation, but thanks. I won’t bother you anymore but for one question which is consuming me day and night. I can’t sleep; I'll have no peace till it is answered...
The question is --- What is the meaning of life? "

Sadhu-man said before dissolving "If you don’t get up now I'll pour boiling water on that head of yours!!”

Crap! Was I indulging in my favorite hobby once again?? Dammit, I don’t think I'll ever attain enlightenment :(

Friday, June 13, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 4

Why are sumo wrestlers so egoistic?
They keep throwing their weight around.

What did the religious donut say to the pastry?
I am much more holey than you.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh Secret Admirer

Oh secret admirer from country X,
You make me feel like I have lotsa muscles to flex

Day and night you read my latest post,
To you alone I raise this toast

What you see in my blog I seriously dont know
but you give my hit counter a really good go

So many times you reload this page, it almost sounds lame
Dame, you beat me at my own game !!??@#$!!!!!

I wonder who you are, I wonder what you do
I wonder if you wonder about me in the same way too!

I know I'm making this public, I'm making up hype
Please forgive me if you are the shy type..

But I'm a nice guy (no, really!), I can be discreet,
Anytime you want I'm ready for a private treat

Dont worry about how I get my visa,
I'll do anything for a chat with you over a pizza.

With me baby its all uphill..
Impossible though it may seem, I'll even foot the bill !!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 3

Whats the problem with cyborgs?
The immune system, they are attacked by both human and software viruses.

Why did Salman take a gun while going to the press conference?
To Kill the Mocking Herd

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Monday, June 09, 2008

Games Children Play

This was taken when my college friends and I went on a trip to Karwar some weeks back.The children (Sumedh and Raghunandan)are both 23 years young.

Rants : How to read a textbook

Its been about six years since I first joined RVCE as an engineering student, and I finally (think I have) figured it out now.. The way to read textbooks is the way you read magazines.

First of all, start with a blank and clear mind. You don’t read Sportstar thinking
1) I have to finish the article on Sachin Tendulkar first because its the most important.
2) Oh, the cover story on Sania Mirza is 25 pages, I'll never be able to finish it..
3) The beach volleyball poster girls are the best part, but I can’t spend more than 5 minutes ogling at them, I need to do justice to all the other *chapters*.
Read what you find intrinsically interesting in the textbook. Don’t go like a drone from the first page to the last. To hell with what the author is trying to say. What’s more important is what you want to listen to.

Don’t always listen to others opinions (esp negative ones) about textbooks.
Each person is different and has pre-conceived notions about the textbooks he/she reads based on his experiences. Two people can almost never have the same experience with the same book. Once you start having pre conceived notions about a book, you take in only things which support your initial notions, and fail to notice other positive things in the book. You build upon your first impression and make a compelling negative image of the book in your mind.

You don’t know how your brain works. Accept it. For a million reasons you may find page 17 to be the most significant part of the book, while your friend may find it worthless. The brain is a complex man. If Mr. Brain likes page 17, give it to him. Don’t bother about page 16.

Mr. Brain likes to have fun, and doesn’t like important or responsible things. That’s why Mr. Brain doesn’t complain while wasting time with friends, while doing night-outs watching TV, while reading the back pages of the infamous Bangalore Times etc. So here is the trick. Impossible though it may seem, try to fool Mr. Brain into thinking you are having fun while reading that Goddamm text book. Make up imaginary plots where you are Superman, and all you need is the correct formula mentioned in para 4 page 216 to save the world from disaster. Hell put on a bright blue cape while reading if you want to. Once Mr. Brain is in the groove, there’s no stopping him. Desirous of saving the world again and again, Mr. Brain will, of his own free will, mug up all the formulas in the textbook!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Soul-in-search-of-Excellence

Quotes from Harsha:
Arrogance is the biggest stumbling block to excellence.

Talent dazzles, but it has hardly anything to do with excellence. It is what you make of that talent that matters.

If you really want something, you will get it and there is no scientific explanation for this.

I can’t be Tendulkar but mind you Tendulkar can’t be me either

Friday, June 06, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 2

What do crocodiles and hardware have in common?
Both employ Very Large Scale Integration.

Why do verification engineers have a pearly glow around their corporeal endowment?
Because to bug is human, but to debug is divine.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Abysmal Jokes (AJ's) Part 1

Yesterday this guy got into the lift with me on the ground floor. Is it going up or down, he asked.

Why can’t the new Intel processors be used within Apple Computers?
An apple can have only one core.

If you have some abysmal jokes and like getting hit with tomatoes, send them to

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Push-win and Python-ya

Best of luck to Push-win and Python-ya. They are leaving their ultra secretive organization which had been their rendezvous for the past 2 years, to pursue masters’ degree. I’m using codenames because if their ultra secretive organization comes to know about this treacherous act of theirs, they will be permanently blacklisted. This ultra secretive organization has a motto "Pintel Pinside". Pushwin, Python-ya and I worked on an ultra secretive project here the goal of which was shrouded in mystery. But we were able to convince our guide (lets call him Mr Mystery) about the cleverness of our project. After our project, I managed to escape the clutches of the ultra secretive organization, but Push-win and Python-ya were unfortunately lured. They have been hypnotized by the ultra secretive organization, which used techniques like making them work night-outs , and now insist they are doing everything on their own accord.
Push-win went so far as to say that he will join the same ultra secretive organization after he finishes his masters degree. I will post a picture of Push-win and Python-ya later (with their faces erased, of course).
Once again, best of luck to Push-win and Python-ya !

PS: Python-ya *may* have asked me to put up the following comment -- "All characters depicted in this article are purely fictional and any resemblance to a real person is purely coincidental"

BERMUDA TRIANGLE : Every young Engineer's Nightmare !!

Chicken Soup for the Living Soul

Quotes by Randy:

You’ve got to get the fundamentals down because otherwise the fancy stuff isn’t going to work.

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are your ones telling you they still love you and care.

The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.

Chicken Soup for the Scientific Soul

Quotes by Feynman :

"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.

I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.

Chicken Soup for the Techno-Entrepreneural soul

This is the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University.

Quotes by Steve :

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Take this SOP with a pinch of salt

An anonymous quote that I found in a cookie goes "To eat is human, but to cook is divine". This perfectly describes my attitude towards cooking. From time immemorial, my passion for cooking (and eating) has never faltered.

Throughout my early childhood and adolescence, I have always been one of the best cooks in my family. Whenever I tasted something out of the ordinary, I was always piqued, and tried my best to find out more about the dish.

By virtue of the 10,000 plus taste buds (see letter of reference from family physician for proof)on my tongue and my shark-like sense of smell, I was the official food-taster in the Balaji household. Food tasting is a rigorous task, and requires extreme mental concentration. It also taught me to take courageous and risky decisions, like deciding to be truthful when my father asked me how his Sambar tasted.

In my house I was the youngest member to be allowed access to the kitchen stove. In what proved to be a seminal experience, I prepared Maggi noodles for the first time when I was only in 3rd standard. Making Maggi at such a young age gave me significant experience in cooking, and has served as an inspiring force which has kick started my lifelong tryst with cuisine. I was completely involved in all the stages of making Maggi, right from using correct type of scissors to cut the masala packets, to arranging a fork and spoon at 120 degree angle over the finished delicacy.

What I learned from this is ability of independent thinking and research. I learnt what research really means, the importance of hard work and perseverance. While in my initial years I attacked the problem of maximizing taste, later on I moved on to the most important problem mankind is facing today : how to make a healthy meal while maximizing taste , speed of devour-ment, and looks. I never gave up, and dutifully had my parents and younger brother sample every dish I made. Considering how obstinate they can be, this speaks volumes of my leadership skills and delegation abilities.

I believe discipline, determination and ability to work hard are qualities essential in a research cook. I look forward to a fulfilling career in cooking and particular, I relish the prospect of experimenting in interdisciplinary fields. I have sizeable experience in this matter. A selected list of my most innovative and bold dishes are as follows:

1) Ice-cream –la – Tomato sauce
2) Rabid Ragullas – Rasgullas dipped in cream colored phlegm-like molasses-derivative.
3) Brown Sugar – A highly intoxicating powdered mix of Marie biscuits, cashew, pista and sugar.
4) Curd Bread – Quick snack of curd, garam masala and groundnuts sandwiched between bread.

It is my firm belief that no other university can offer the exposure, experience and multicuisinal experience that Rice university can offer. And I have to admit the name of your university carries enormous symbolic weightage. I would thus like to submit my application to your university, and hope to receive admission, fee waiver and free meals.