Issue No 74

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stress-fishinblender

Sanjay is sitting tensed as another contestant is performing and he is the next one to perform and its final round the chance make or break . Once the other contestant’s performance is over the crowd goes wild and the compere as well as the judges are full of praises about the superb performance. The compere then announces “After that scintillating performance we have our last contestant of the day please put your hands together for Sanjay crowd again starts howling and Megha starts whistling, Sanjay walks onto the stage the compere asks “Nervous” Sanjay nervously utters “not really” compere replies “Sounds gr8,so what are you going to sing” Sanjay looking at the crowd said “Its Dekha na hai re socha na hai re from film Bombay to Goa” crowd roars, Meghna waves frantically. The compere smiles and says “wow another rocking number go on Rock man” the music begins but whats this why is it sounding different something like Bryan Adam’s Summer of 69, Sanjay looks at the musicians in horror then suddenly he feels somebody is shaking him vehemently and he hears Naveen screaming “Abe uth phone’s ringing pickup, phone baj raha utha Sanjay jumps from his bed rattled and gropes for his cell phone which is flashing and singing loudly “I got my first real six-string Bought it at the five-and-dime” he quickly silences the tone and groggily looks at an unknown number and cursing he picks up the call and utters “Hello whos this” a male voice answer from other side “Hey Sanjay its Arvind here, sorry to disturb you were you sleeping” Sanjay looks at alarm clock which shows 2.17 AM, he thought to say “no actually dreaming” but said “Yeah sort of tell me whats the issue”. Arvind is Sanjay’s onsite manager and Sanjay knew a call at that hour meant what.
Arvind says “Yes Actually we have a serious issue. Did you test properly before the release.” Sanjay “Yeah boss I did it why its not working any major problems” Arvind quips “Yeah we’ve got a show stopper here can you please come over to office so that we can work on it”. Sanjay had long stopped reacting with “WHAT!!! U mean NOW !!!” or “Boss its midnight here” etc etc etc so he remarked Okay I am coming”. Arvind answers “Thanks once you get to office give me a call then we can discuss,bye” Sanjay replies “Bye” and disconnects.

Sanjay still dizzy tries to lie down once again. Naveen who was lying upside down with the pillow over his head to block the noise moves the pillow and says Kya hua phir se so raha hai abhi to bola jayga (what happened lying down once again just said you are going). Sanjay little starled that Naveen was listening all this while retorts tu sun raha ta sab kuch (you were listening everything) Naveen turns around and said Kya karun saale teri Bryan Adams ne to sara nashey ka Ma* *$#* diya. kitni bar bola hai ki Friday raat ko phone mute rakha kar(what to do bl*$#* your Bryan Adams has f$#@#* the whole intoxication. How many times I told to mute the phone on Friday nights). Sanjay understood the frustation but couldn’t do anything as Fridays are D-days or R-days as they call it. Its a day when they give releases to the onsite team and naturally nights can become long nights. Sanjay said “Sorry bhai tu to janta hai apni life, chal tu so ja main nikal ta hun“(Sorry brother You know how our life is, come on go to sleep I am leaving). Naveen muttered something which Sanjay couldn’t hear.

help-button

Sanjay somehow got up as he was still feeling dizzy seemed night’s vodka was still in his head.  Sanjay started his motorcycle and hit the road with vengeance. While zooming through the empty streets the only  song that started playing in his mind was Andheri raaton mein sunsaan rahoon par…Har zulm mitaane ko ek masiha nikalta hai jise log shahenshah kehate hain (a famous bollywood song which means ‘on dark nights a Messiah whom people call Shahensah roams through the empty street to squash all crimes’). Yes Sanjay was the Messiah who’s zipping through the dark night streets to squash  bugs in a software code which is stopping the show. He felt little happy at the power he held at that point as untill he fixes the problem some people on the other side of the world will not be able to save their a****.
On reaching his desk he quickly unlocks his work station and picks up the phone to call his onsite boss. Arvind answers “Hey Sanjay. Good afternoon so you are there Ok please open the Issue No. 74 and see what’s the problem the program is simply dying down….

Its around 4.00 Am, as the dawn breaks and  yet another day begins in software programmer’s  life, Sanjay readies himself for the battle with Issue no.74

PS : All characters in this story are fictional but the situations bear resemblance with many software programmers lives living or dead.

Image credits :
http://rerevealed.com/debilitated-friend-needs-a-mac-based-voice-activator-know-of-any-help
http://www.reallysarahsyndication.com/tag/hebrew/

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The lovely summer morning…

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summer_morningToday I woke up pretty early at around 6 Am(way too early). It was a quiet morning and after a hot night yes Bangalore’s hot nowadays it was really refreshing. Sun had risen but it was mild so it was quite cool and I went out to my Balcony with chilly morning breeze greeting me. I saw the children from the neighbourhood cricket summer camp playing to become tomorrow’s Sachin, Sourav, Dravid. The sounds of the boys with a background score provided by cuckoos, Indian mynas(strangely I don’t see crows and sparrows the most common birds of India in Bangalore) delighted me. Seeing those little boys I lost into my own childhood when summer vacation was a real fun and in the early morning my mom used to wake me up(to my utter dismay come-on it was SUMMER VACATION) and send me to play with the neighbourhood kids. We used play under the gul-mohar, jamun and other trees. We boys used to climb the trees and tease girls from the branches above(though some tough girls used to follow us but it was gr8 fun). By 8 AM it used be very hot and sunny in Hyderabad so we rushed indoor after some frantic calling and kaan moola(ear pulling) by our moms. Once inside my mother used give me and my sister crayons and water colors to draw and my favorite was ahem “Bajar”(market) with mostly fishsellers with huge bonti(A Long blade, You can refer Jhumpa Lahiri’s Mrs. Sen’s story from her book “Interpreter of Maladies” for more apt description), though occasionally I used to draw hills, mountains, rivers, villages I mean “scenery”.

trees

Then the summer morning in Kolkata during my teens was spent well again waking up early and going to swimming club in “Dhakuria Lake” and after swimming lessons used to have breakfast of Ghungni(a special Bengali Peas curry), pau ruti (bread) and cha(tea) there in club, then spending the time under the trees around the lake with nirbhejal adda(chatting and discussing girls, politics actually everything under the sun)  till noon when we had to run home for lunch.

In college the swimming club was replaced by the Gym and after the work-outs we used have boiled eggs, bread and milk for breakfast. With time the relevance or the utility of Summer morning was gone as that is the only time when I get some sound sleep in cool atmosphere so that I can recharge myself for the “hectic” day ahead but on days like today when accidents happen I go back to the “Happy days” of life and a feeling for the necessity of the ‘Summer Vacation’ arises.
 
Image credits :
http://www.hudsonvalleypainter.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/070802-end-michigan-rd-500.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/royalld/image/82497587

Lunch with the CEO

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power lunch

Actually our India CEO has become more visible at the cafeteria now-a-days, maybe due to recession/cost cutting he’s forced to have ‘low-cost’ lunch @ office canteen or maybe he’s trying to get pulse of the fellow employees as he recently declared that there’ll be no pay revision this year.

Anyway it happened like this today my friend lets call him Mr. M, was waiting at one of the tables with his lunch box and we were in ‘Q’ for food when the CEO approached the table with the plate in his hand and asked whether anybody is expected in that table. Well this perplexed Mr. M as he didn’t want to refuse the CEO but the table was only for 4 and including Mr. M we were 4 and getting a place for 4 in the peak hour was very difficult. He reluctantly said “Yes we have 3 more people coming”, CEO not minding at all(well atleast he looked like that) moved to a different table. This is a common sight in the cafeteria at peak lunch time when you hover around with a plate-full of food from table to table to learn that people are expected there(unless you have Mr. M in your “Group” to pre-confirm your seats) but a CEO moving around with his plate for a space to eat….. well isn’t he an employee too??

As soon as we got to the table with our food plates , we  started praising his ‘courage‘ that he refused “THE CEO” that too in these times of job cuts and downsizing. We also chided him for missing the opportunity to have a lunch with CEO who could have provided a more profound view of the state of affairs at the helm as it’s the CEO‘s habit of starting a conversation with people on the table with him. To this Mr.M said that nothing to worry CEO‘s  pretty regular now-a-days so we can catch up with him any day :D…hope we have our power lunch someday soon.

Image credit : http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/p/power_lunch.asp

Second month Wrap-up

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Actually I should have written this couple of days back but somehow got delay :(. Nevertheless its been 2 months since I started this blog and WOW the going’s been I must say great.

blogger_friendship_award_2009

First things first in this second month I got my first award isn’t it too soon :D. Well THANKS Kaddu for considering me for the honour and I am elated. I am supposed to pass on this award to anyone but the problem is whoever I want to Pass it to has already got it a many times over but I must mention some names here and they are not in any order  Adesh Sidhu, Kadambari Singhania , Pal, Kadambari Iyer, Tikuli, Mukund, Mixedblessings89 and all others who have commented and reviewed in my blog(some of the reviews are there on my sidebar).
A special mention about SM Thank you for being a regular visitor and commenting consistently and I love your realityviews 😀 and AnjieThanks a lot for being my very first reviewer and commenter.
Besides Thanks to my family and my offline friends for your suggestions and opinions (How can I leave them out).

Ok 2 months done and the stats are : number of posts 18+1(way below target I can do better, yes I can), 1200+ visitors , around 34 comments (including my replies 😉  more ). So am I  a rocking blogger? Well no I need to improve miles like I said before.

This month was also spent in reading hundreds(well almost) of blogs and commenting but I realized I am not a good commenter at all most of the times I did not know what to say after reading the posts.
Out to many reviews the biggest complaints were about the lenght of posts(size does matter) and having less pictures. I know a picture is worth a thousand words but I am more of a textual person but anyway I am trying to bring down the size and add more pictures. Point taken.

While reading different blogs I discovered that most of the bloggers are really very good more so with Indian bloggers THEY truly rock.

Talking of Indian Bloggers I must thank ‘Indiblogger‘ for most of my blogger friends are thru it only. One more thing I noticed that Indian Blogosphere is round(gol) that’s because whichever network you follow and reach blogs you end up with familiar names in Blogroll or comments :).
Lastly is there any connection between blogging and putting on weight as my weighting scale is indicating northward movement, Hmmm… needs closer observation.

P.S : Excuse me for not using any major pictures in this post other than smileys.

Can I speak with Dhiman

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phone

Yesterday while I was getting ready to leave, my colleague who mans the support desk called out for me and said “Dhiman a call for you”. My manager who sits in the cube next to me looked up in awe and said “a caall for you on support linea ??”, well I myself was surprised as I donot support any applications. I replied to my friend “Are you sure its for me”  he got angry and retorted “Ya man she’s asking for you. Do you think I am joking?” I knew he cannot joke with support calls, so I started walking towards his desk wondering who could “she” be asking for me directly ?
Hesitatingly I picked the receiver and spoke “Yes Dhiman here, How  may I help you?” trying to sound like a support desk personnel, the caller responded “can you be little clear I can’t understand you” I repeated the same this time a bit louder and slower as I had seen the support guys speak slowly while on call. The line was crackling with lot of disturbance and I couldn’t listen anything but thought she said “Can I speak with Dhiman” I said “Yes ma’am Dhiman here, How can I help you” then she said “No no I am looking for Dhiman”, I was getting irritated it was already late and I am stuck here with somebody who’s playing pranks or what anyway I controlled myself and politely said “Ma’am you ARE speaking to Dhimaaan” to which she replied “I am asking for Dhiman i mean D-A-I-M-Y-N, a lady does she work there ?” I was stunned for a moment and didn’t know what to say or do and quickly said “Oh ma’am I am sorry I think you got to a wrong line, there’s nobody by that name here” hearing it she promptly apologized and disconnected. I kept receiver and scolded my colleague “Hey this call was for someone else and you called me” He smiled and said “Man you spoke to her yourself tell me how do I figure out who she means”. Then he  laughed and said “Just see what we have to deal with everyday”.

call-center-agent

Well he was right I myself had spoken with her. I smiled back to him and said “yeah I understand” and returned to my seat. Then started thinking about the plight of thousands of “call center agents” who have to deal with this kind of accents whole night yet provide great service. No doubt they are trained but still its really difficult. At the same time I felt bad for the caller as she had to waste so much of time just to know that she had got to wrong number. I was told by my collegues in US, UK about the hard time they have talking to Indian counterparts but they never faced any difficulty with me.
Anyways this was a freak incident and the caller was patient enough and didn’t get annoyed but with the ‘agents’ sometimes it does get worse.Thank God that I don’t need to take calls directly but kudos to these ‘agents’ who do it day in out and yet are able to chill out.

Mothers and Hunger – The Facts

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This post is my humble way of contributing to the cause of  “Mother’s Day – Help a mother in developing nations”.  Kindly take a look at the facts below and decide.

Key points: 

  • More than 60 percent of chronically hungry people in the world – around 580 million people – are women. (Source: FAO) 
  • In 2008, 82% of WFP’s beneficiaries were women and children. 
  • Educated mothers have healthier families. Their children are better nourished, less likely to die in infancy and more likely to attend school. (Source: FAO) 
  • Increasing opportunities for mothers has a particularly strong impact on hunger because women devote much more of their income directly to feeding their families than men do. One study found that increasing women’s primary schooling could boost agricultural output by 24%. (Source: World Bank) 
  • As women have unequal access to resources, a food crisis – such as 2008’s high food and fuel prices crisis and the present financial crisis – only worsens the situation. 
  • Continuing high food prices have forced families to reduce their food intake while increasing the workload of women in order to earn more income to purchase food.  
  • Breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty at its roots begins with women. Hunger breeds insecurity and often exacerbates circumstances that lead to conflict and crisis, and creates situations where women and girls are often the victims of abuse, rape and violence.

 Other points: 

  • A quarter of all hungry people are children. All too often, child hunger is inherited: up to 17 million children are born underweight annually, the result of inadequate nutrition before and during pregnancy. (Source: Unicef) 
  • Around 50% of pregnant women in developing countries are anaemic. Lack of iron increases the risk of death of the mother at delivery, accounting for at least 20% of maternal mortality. (Source: Kraemer, K. and Zimmermann, M.B. Nutritional Anaemia, Sight and Life, 2007) 
  • Children born to iodine-deficient mothers have been shown to have an average 13.5 point lower IQ than children born to iodine-replete mothers. (Source: Bleichrodt, N. and Born, M.P. A Meta-analysis of Research on Iodine and its Rrelationship to Cognitive Development. The Damaged Brain of Iodine Deficiency, New York, Cognitizant Communication, 1994) 
  • As a result, women, and in particular expectant and nursing mothers, often need special or increased intake of food.  
  • The prevention of maternal and child undernutrition is a long-term investment that will benefit the present as well as the future generation. 
  • Women are the world’s primary food producers, yet cultural traditions and social structures often mean women are much more affected by hunger and poverty than men.  
  • In most developing countries women produce between 60 and 80% of food, but own less than 2% of the world’s titled land. (Source: Rural Development Institute) 
  • A mother will often be the last to eat – instead saving food for her children and other family members. 
  • There is a danger that mothers will engage in negative coping mechanisms, such as prostitution, in order to provide for their families in times of hardship.

 What WFP Does to Help Mothers and Other Women 

  • As the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, WFP feeds the world’s hungriest and most vulnerable people – the overwhelming majority of whom are women and children. 
  • WFP’s policy on gender issues has been in place and guiding our work since the mid 80s. 
  • WFP uses a range of activities to empower mothers and their daughters, providing vital skills and income-earning opportunities through Food for Training and Food for Work programmes.  
  • WFP supports children and mothers by providing them with nutritious foods during the critical stages of their lives, including childhood and pregnancy. Our focus is not to just give any food, but to give quality, fortified foods to ensure that we contribute to the nutrient needs of newborns, pregnant and nursing women. 
  • WFP works with national governments, the African Union, FAO, IFAD and others to encourage increased sustainable food production and a ‘green revolution’ in Africa. Women smallholder farmers are key to unlocking this potential. 
  • WFP supports women smallholder farmers through our local purchasing of food. Half of WFP’s budget comes in the form of cash and we use 80% of that cash to purchase food from farmers in the developing world.  
  • WFP gives extra take-home food rations to girls in our school feeding programmes. This virtually guarantees that girls will attend school, even in cultures where women have had no access to education. 
  • In crisis and conflict situations WFP works closely with our female partners in implementing our projects, including food distributions. In 2008, 574,000 women were in leadership positions on food management committees, an increase of 140% over the previous year. 
  • In camps for refugees and IDPs we allocate family food vouchers to women, thus helping to protect them against abductions and violence. Also, the nutritional support we provide to formerly abducted children, especially girls, has facilitated their social reintegration and reduced their vulnerability to sexual exploitation and abuse.

 References :

Mother’s Day Photo Gallery :

Below are some articles talking about the issues facing women and mothers in developing nations:

Maa ki Khichdi

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Well finally words started flowing actually I had pictures, title etc for a different post but was not able to write a word from yesterday don’t know why ? Maybe my Mom got a cue or something as out of the blue today she prepared “khichdi” and see here I am again back to writing. Well in this post I am not talking about how to make khichdi but I’ll talk about “Ma ki Khichdi”.

Wiki says Khichdi(also khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari and many other variants)  is an Indian food preparation made from rice and lentils (dal). Khichdi is commonly considered to be a comfort food, and was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish of Kedgeree.”

Khichdi or rather Kichuri has a special place in Bengali household. Its a “must” dish during rainy days when its impossible to venture out so you sit at home and have Gorom(hot) gorom khichuri with begun bhaja (fried eggplant), aloo bhaja(fried poatato) actually any vegetable that can be fried that bhaja(fry). Being a true Bengali how can we leave Nonveg so we add dim bhaja(egg fried/omelette) as well, actually it can be maach bhaja(fried fish) if available. Khichdi can itself be a Nonveg one How ? well you can add mutton(lamb) or chicken pieces to it. Mmmmm…

Kichuri with Beguni(Eggplant fritter)

Kichuri with Beguni(Eggplant fritter)

The khichuri is also served as prasad(Sacred food) at festivals like Saraswati Puja (mandatory), Durga Puja and all other pujas performed by the Bengalis. Khichuri becomes “Bhog” at the festivals, where Khichuri is generally accompanied by Labra(MIXED VEGETABLES)-A tasty mixed curry of all types of vegetables. The khichuri at the festivals have special taste of their own. But the khichuri that’s prepared at home by Mom is unbeatable, simply superb and this nobody can prepare other than your mom.
This quote from one of the food blogs sums it all “The main ingredients of khichdis made by moms is a dollop of love. There are some things money can’t buy, right?”.
Thank you Mom for your humble Khichuri(Khichdi) which made my day, hence deserved a dedicated post. It brought back loads of childhood memories of the rainy days in good old Kolkata when it would rain incessantly for days and we were trapped inside our homes due water-logging everywhere. Only thing that brightened up my day was ……..

Now those who wanna try here are the recipes :
Khichdi : http://www.indianfoodforever.com/rajasthan/vegetable-khichdi.html
Labra : http://www.dreamindia.com/rasoi/mdvegla.htm

Image Courtsey : http://www.bongcookbook.com/2007_03_01_archive.html

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