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Showing posts from July, 2006

Adventures Galore …

My adventures for the day did not end with the take-off of the flight – which was uneventful however. On landing into Leon, as I handed over my passport to the officials – he gave me a suspicious look. I had known that there’d be trouble ever since they announced that they were diverting the flight to Leon, being well aware that Leon was in France and I did not have a Schengen Visa. But I had decided to play it – after all it was the air company’s headache, not mine – they were diverting the flight and planning to ply us by road to Geneva. So, this official curiously scrutinized my passport and then a list – which I suppose would be the list of countries whose nationals were allowed entry into France without a Visa. Had he known English, I would have spared him all the hard work by telling him that he will not find India in it; I had read about all these trespassing privileges just the day before (and out of curiosity looked for India as well in those lists of ‘allowed nationals’) w

The Murphy’s Laws!

I am writing this ‘on-board’ the Easy Jet flight 976 and I have been here since the past 3 hours while the flight stands still at the London Gatwick Airport. And if there is one word which I would use to describe the beginning of my Europe tour – it is ‘pathetic’! The trouble started when I got late to get back home and hence had to take a cab to the Gatwick costing me a good 40 pounds. But when I reached the airport at 7, I realized that I was not only well in time but I could have been safe even if I would have come there 2 hours later. Easy Jet (which I am sure has outsourced its IT operations to a non-Indian firm) had some problem with its computers – resultantly the check in system was not running. They tried to fix the problem for hours while the queues at the check in counter first elongated and then shortened – people started leaving the queues. Finally, some intelligent soul realized that they were not going to be able to resolve their software problem for some time and so Eas

Blog Blocking Case

On what can be termed as the most horrific onslaught of Indian Bureacracy on Blogosphere, the Indian goverment has asked certain blogs to be blocked. Initially reported by Indian bloggers in and outside India through their blogs, the case has now been confirmed by a news item on Rediff. Some Blog reports: Gaurav Sabnis Neha Vishwanathan - comprehensive summary Rediff News Item: As per Rediff, the Department of Telecom had "asked to block just some sub-domains hosted by those services" while ISPs "unintentionally" blocked the complete domains - Blogspot, Typepad and Yahoo! Geocities and more. The government "has asked Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to explain why action should not be taken against them for unintentionally blocking some Web sites." However, a spokesperson for the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said that ISPs had been asked to immediately comply with the government orde

The Invisible Enemy

Caution: Controversial & Opinionated The Mumbai blasts did not surprise anyone in India – one of the reasons why life continues unabated in Mumbai is that the disruption caused has become a course of life for people. India has probably faced the menace of terrorism longest in the world. Since the occupation of PoK in 1948 till date, 60 years have passed and violence has been regular – not to forget the Naxalite and Bodo movements of the north east which re-emerge every now and then along with the constant pain from the western borders. Below are a few stats on the bombings (For More Details click Here ): Timings of different explosions: Khar 1824 hours Bandra 1824 hours Jogeshwari 1825 hours Mahim 1826 hours Mira Road 1829 hours Matunga 1830 hours Borivali 1835 hour This is the fourth instance of coordinated serial blasts. The first was in June 1985, when some Sikh terrorists placed transistor radio sets filled with small quantities of explosives in different parts of New Delhi. Wh

Why the internet is a different world?

Alvin Toffler explains in Powershift, how every instrument and system in today’s world ultimately draws its power from the crude muscle power of the barbarian times. For example, a software company enforces software copyrights rules based on contracts which the client signed. The contract is thus the source of power for the software company. The power of the contract comes from the laws which facilitate the contract. The laws are powerful because the government ensures their enforcement through multiple means. And the government itself draws its power from the fact that it can enforce laws on the citizen (and other governments as well). And why CAN the government enforce laws? It is because it commands the military and hence has enough power to use its muscle power against those who raise a voice of dissent against established laws. Every law, every standard and every system in the world is finally dependent upon mere muscle power of the enforcing body for its existence and adherence.

... because English is a very funny language

One difference that all Indians observe when landing into the western world is the change in the way people ‘talk’ English. What gets noticed most often is the accent which is slightly curly with the westerners and hard/dry with Asians. This might also lead to a conclusion that the English speak in the same way as the Americans. However, there are a few subtleties in accent and language which you’d observe when you actually interact with these people. I have especially been observing this because: The project that I just finished in India involved working closely with our US counterparts and clients My department in UK is pretty diverse with more than 50% people being non-English – a mix of Americans, Australians, Africans, Chinese and of course Indians. English speaking differs in two ways – accent and the way certain specific words are pronounced. Lets take accent first – Indians talk with most words having an ‘a’ (Hindi letter a) sound to them. Americans talk with an open mouth with

Blogging from London

It’s been ages since I updated this place and a lot has happened in the meanwhile – the most important one being my shifting base to the UK for a short-term deputation. In the forthcoming posts, I will try my best to recap my life in the past few months. The snaps that I have been taking will be helpful to complete my narration. I joined office on 27th June! It's in Salisbury Square – East Central London – about 45 minutes by Ferry (across the Thames) from my home which is in Woolwich Royal Arsenal – South East London. KPMG has many offices in London - Canary Wharf, Salisbury Square, Dorset Rise and Puddle dock. Things are as yet quite exciting – I am still getting settled and we are now cooking our own food at home. While roaming around London I got a feeling as if I was roaming around in a model of an ideal city. Everything is too ordered and perfect here – though it isn't as glamorous as we expect – London is an old city and feels quite so. It also brought back memories of t