30 Minutes For The Rest Of The Day

What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?

This is especially important nowadays since I am working a 4:30 am t0 1:30 am shift. I reach home at around 2:20 am almost every work day and go to sleep after changing my clothes and getting some water to drink. I usually wake up at around 9 and for a while it seems like I’m a zombie trance. I must look out for Rick, Darryl, Michone and Co. who hate walkers.

Anyways, once I wake up, it’s a slow process of wanting to but unable to push away the comforting sheets and put something to wear and stumble into the bathroom for attending the call of nature. Then it’s a face wash with water and brushing my teeth. I get back to my room and switch on the laptop and then get to the kitchen for my first cup of coffee. Until it is inside of me, do not attempt to have a conversation with me. DO NOT! People have been mauled and mutilated for just asking me the time or how I am!

Once the coffee is in my system I am a different animal altogether and among the land of the living and cordial people. About 20 minutes after I go to the toilet, it will be time to get some breakfast (this will be around 9:40 am or so). Then it’s a couple of hours of internet, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube before I watch an episode or 2 of some tv show before shower and shave. Then it’s lunch time and the wait for the company cab to take me to the office.

As long as I get past that coffee and atleast 2-3 hours of leisure I’m alright for the day.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Larger Than You

Look out your window and up at the sky. Do you believe in something larger than yourself?

Yes I do. There are some people larger than me. A lot of animals too. Like a lion or a rhino or a bear! This apartment is larger than me. This building is lager than me as is this block and the streets and the area and the city and this district and this state and this nation. The sub-continent and the continent as well as this planet is way, way, way (add a few more “ways”) larger than me. Before the planet Earth there is the moon and several other moons and asteroid larger than me. And then there are the planets bigger than this planet in our solar system. And if you go beyond this solar system there will be planets way larger than the earth. And then there is the sun. And there are other stars like our sun that are larger than our sun.

And if you check out this galaxy – wow man how large is that. How large is a nebula? I dunno. And there are possibly trillions more such galaxies of which, I dunno, a heck of a lot could be larger than this Milky Way galaxy of ours. And beyond that. Well I dunno. And neither do you. So don’t make shit up and expect me to buy that but none of us do. I prefer to believe in things that are true and factual. But yeah I do believe and know that there are more than just one something larger than myself.

Are You Afraid Of Death?

Yesterday as we were in a company cab heading to the office and we had made a turn to a smaller road where there were a bunch of cars parked on one side. There was a security guard, stationed outside the car park of an office building, helping the car owners parking or leaving the area. And he had motioned for car to initially slow down as he though someone was about to cross the road and the driver of our car slowed down. When the woman wasn’t walking and just standing there, the guard motioned for us to move on and so our driver did – and that’s when the elderly woman decides that she is going to move on and cross the road. If our driver hadn’t pressed on the brakes real hard our car would have hit the lady and she could have been seriously injured or even killed on the spot. We in the car had a jerking motion and bumped our body parts on the seat or dash but nothing serious. She – just walked on by – I”m old and I don’t care :) – without a thought.

I’m just giving an anecdote of what happened yesterday as this topic is about being afraid of death. Now, I’m not afraid of death myself. I’ve come to think of it as an end to this life and unsure of anything after that (but kinda sure that there is nothing like an afterlife what most people who believe in an afterlife think it’s going to be) and since I can’t do anything to prevent the inevitable death of myself, my position is – why bother! Now ofcourse no one wants to die young or while you are still energetic and have a lot more to do / contribute / experience of what life has to offer. That will be a shame but once you die, it’s not like you can regret it. “Oh gosh darn it, I died and now I can’t do all those things that I wanted to do. Shit!” – no it’s not like that. But I wouldn’t want an early death.

I would be afraid of pain, like the stuff that a serious illness or a fall or something like that can be caused. I am afraid of a prolonged illness, losing a  limb, broken bones, failing organs etc that I would want to avoid at all costs. I don’t want to be in a hospital fitted to a machine that allows me to breath or make my organs work. So if that ever happens, I would want an assisted death. I’m not afraid of the end just the long process of dying and pain it can cause.

Re-springing Your Step

Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?

Still waiting for such an experience. I can’t remember anything that has made me feel like that in a long, long…..long time. I would kill to have such an experience like that someday soon. I will wait for it and I will wish for more. I wonder if I could go to a spa like an ayurvedic center for 2 days or so and get my joints and bones rubbed and massaged. I would love (and I mean absolutely love)  a back, neck and foot massage in massage oils.

Maybe in a couple of months I will take a couple of days and go to a resort for a few days and just chillax and breathe in some sea side air or enjoy the greenery in some place and drink juices and eat only fruit for the duration. I could really use it. That would be good for me. Just yesterday someone told a few of us about a 3 day stay at a resort near the beach in the state and I hope it’s not too expensive. But I think I’d enjoy a quite little resort area than a beach place.

Either way I would enjoy it a lot. I’ll check something out in the near future.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Cleaning Out My Cupboard Of Old Clothes + Vlog

I admit it – I’m a lazy slob. I do not do proper cleaning of my stuff in my room. Well there’s a maid who comes in on weekdays and every alternate day she sweeps the floor. But overall I do not organize my stuff properly and do very little in the cleaning stuff bit. Also I’m very bad at clearing out old & unused stuff. Case in point :


That top layer was filled with dust ridden old clothes – old clothes that are too tight for me and which I haven’t worn since 2007-early 2008. Yet did I thrown them, send them for charity pickup or recycling? No! I just left them in there to smell and collect dust till this morning. I finally have decided that I am going to make some changes in my life and that starts with my stuff. I am planning to get a couple of bookshelves for my room and in order to do that I have to do some reorganizing. I have this old steel cupboard and the built in cupboard. Once I get rid of the junk from my built in cupboard and clean it up, I can move some stuff from the steel cupboard into the empty spaces of my built in and then remove the steel one.


That frees up space in my room to get the bookshelves that I want to get and arrange them in such a way that they don’t take up too much space in my room so it doesn’t look too crowded. I have some plans to display not just my books but also some knick knacks and collectibles that I have and plan to get. It’s high time I made my outlook reflect the interests that I have and not just keep things cultured in one closed place just because of some limitations imposed on me and also self imposed.


So here is the before and after of the main layer of clothes like shirts and pants. The top layer was mostly for underwear and hankies. I’ve also kept a couple of knick-knacks and some files, including hard copies of my resume and bank stuff in it. The bottom layer has a lot of junk and I need to sort them out soon as well. So the time has come for a new computer chair (perhaps even a new table) and some book shelves. Let’s see what happens. This will take some time. I only plan to do it slowly over the next couple of months. Here’s the video.

Manchester City 0 Arsenal 2

Yes an away win, finally against one of the top 3 clubs. Arsenal’s first win at City since October 2010 halted City’s 12 game unbeaten league run. Arsenal finally came up with a Plan B, sat back and defended enmasse and when they got a chance they counter-attacked in style and came out deserved winners. Santi Cazorla scored a goal and created another as Arsenal ended Manchester City’s 12-match unbeaten league run and damaged their title hopes. Spain playmaker Cazorla converted a first-half penalty after Vincent Kompany fouled Nacho Monreal. Arsenal added a second after the break when Cazorla’s free-kick picked out Olivier Giroud and the France striker headed in from close range.

The result left City five points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea. At Etihad Stadium on Sunday, it seemed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger finally realised he cannot play his usual open style of attacking football when his team are away from home against the best teams in the Premier League. Instead, the Gunners were set up to defend and keep a clean sheet. Right from the start, there were times when all 11 of their players were defending deep in City’s half. Chile forward Sanchez, who has scored 12 goals for Arsene Wenger’s side this season, was well shackled by the City defence. Instead it was Cazorla, 30, who was the game’s outstanding attacking player and it was fitting that he was to have such an influential role with both goals.

Monreal played a one-two with Giroud and the Spain left-back went down after his run was blocked by Kompany, who looked rusty in his first match since 13 December having recovered from a hamstring injury. Cazorla sent the spot-kick low to Joe Hart’s left and even though the City goalkeeper dived the correct way he was unable to get a hand on it. Despite City’s pressure, it was Wenger’s side who scored next when Cazorla lifted a free-kick into the penalty area and Giroud escaped his marker and took advantage of a disorganised City defence to head past Hart.

This was a game in which the defense was brilliant with Bellerin & Monreal in particular who deserve plaudits but Per Mertesacker & Laurent Koscielny were solid as well. But Francis Coquelin who has been solid & impressive since rejoining Arsenalafter a loan spell at Charlton, showed us (and I hope Wenger too) just what we can do with a good defensive/holding midfielder playing just in front of the back four. How we have needed that so badly in the last couple of years and what a difference it makes. Carzola was Man of the match for me by Coquelin was a close second.

Pens And Pencils

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

I rarely ever write stuff by hand using a pen (or a pencil) on paper/books. It’s weird when I do have to do that, which is usually during a training session like I am at the moment as I have joined a new job. Another time that I feel that I have to write a bit using a pen is when entering forms while joining a new company. This too I did recently but luckily for me the majority of the forms was online on the company software and hence I didn’t overwork my right hand writing stuff on paper in slots that are usually too small to fill in anyway.

Even the bank forms are much easier now. You usually only have to fill in your name and address and sign in several places. The bank executive will do the rest for you and then enter the stuff at his office. That makes it easier for us. Now back at work, every so often you will need to put pen to paper and write up stuff a lot, new processes or products or at meetings or trainings and usually I find it hard to do so in a legible manner as I no longer have the smooth writing style I once had. Let me specify that I never had a nice handwriting (my Chemistry teacher in high school once said that my handwriting looked liked dead insects :D ) but it was atleast legible and smooth. Now however my hand seems to tire out more quicker and cramp up as well. The handwriting as a result looks ineligible to me as well at times!

I suppose the only option is for to use a laptop at work cause a tab just won’t do for typing long hours.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

John Wick

John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. The movie stars Keanue Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, and Willem Dafoe. The film pays homage to Hong Kong cinema’s choreographed fight and gun battles as well as other martial art films as well as Spaghetti Westerns.

John Wick is a retired contract assassin who quit the buisness after meeting Helen, who would become his wife. After Helen dies due to illness John receives a delivery that she had arranged prior to her death – a puppy named Daisy. Initially distant from the pup, John quickly connects with the dog after driving around town the next day. At a gas station Russian gang members led by their leader Iosepf (Alfie Allen aka Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones) demand that John sell them his car to which he bluntly refuses. The three men follow John back to his home, break in and beat him up, kill the puppy and steal his car causing some other damage as well. Ioseph and his goons are informed by Aurelio, the owner of a chop shop that they stole John Wick’s car and that he won’t touch it. Ioseph’s father, Russian mob boss Viggo Tarasov, informs his father about Aurolio’s hostile rejection the mobster calls Aurelio, only to be stunned on knowing whose car his son stole.

Viggo berates Isoeph for stealing from “Baba Yiga” (Russian for the Boogeyman) & killing his dog; John was his best assassin and had helped Viggo gain control of his syndicate by single-handedly eliminating all competition, a task Viggo considered “impossible”. Viggo attempts to dissuade John from retribution but John disregards it and must fend off a hit squad that Viggo sends to his house. After dispatching them off and calling a cleaning crew John hseeks refuge at the Continental, a hotel that exclusively caters to assassins, with the rule that no business can be conducted on premises. However he must fend off from a female assassin after Viggo puts a contract out on him and fend off numerous Russian mobsters and killers before he can get to Ioseph. And ofcourse once he does kill the son will the Russian mob boss leave him alone? There’s also a fellow veteran assassin named Markus who is sympathetic to John’s situation and wants to help, but will it come at a steep price?

Wonderfully well choreographed this thriller starts off at a slow pace with the funeral and John adjusting to life as a widower and then getting the puppy. Once the film gets going it barely takes a breath and is edge of your seat excitement. Reeves shines in this type of role and I smell a sequel of two in the near future. The cinematography is amazing and everything looks so well done. With a great cast to boot, I think this was my favourite action based movie in a long time. 8 outta 10!

Time For A New Phone

Now that I am back to a regular paycheck (and getting the best pay I have ever had till now) it’s time to think of making some upgrade to my life. I need to get a new book shelf (coming up next month) and a new phone and finally a new laptop. Hehehe no I am not making that kind of money but yeah I could get the new phone & a new laptop in a couple of months. I think I will go for the phone first and wait until I get my credit card, which I applied for, before I get a laptop.

My Blackberry Bold 3 is a good 2.5 years old which is why I want to upgrade to a new phone. Problem is I don’t want to and can’t really afford to pay too much either. Unfortunately BlackBerry’s India prices are ridiculous (as are for some other phones as well but seriously dudes) and though I want the Passport (pictured on the right) I might go for the Q10 (which is there on the left). I found the best prices from reputed vendors on ebay India and will look out for even better prices both online as well as the shops here. But while ebay and some other online stores have regular discounts and offers the shops here usually don’t have any. And hardly ever for BlackBerry phones.

I will see about an EMI on the credit card and if I can get a low interest one I might get the passport but I don’t feel good about paying so much for a phone (Passport best offer is around Rs. 35,000-37,000 and for the Q10 is Rs. 14,000-15,000). I most probably will go for the Q10 because I do like it and the price is reasonable. We’ll see!

Disagreements & Arguments

Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?

I think everyone will have close friends & relatives that they will have disagreements on religious & political topic as well as cultural on occasion. I, like most atheists in India and perhaps in most countries where following a religion is the norm, will always have disagreements with religious people on a lot of things. It’s a given when we have one group who do not question the godly authority no matter what and one side who won’t stand for such nonsense and won’t believe in the existence of these gods, forget about the laws/morals and ideals passed down from people who claimed that they were contact by these “heavenly beings”.

Why should there not be such arguments and disagreements? And does that mean that you can’t be friends? I don’t think so and it can be hard when both sides won’t budge but you gotta work at it. My two closest male friends are religious, though not fundamental, and we always have lively arguments when we get together. However, beyond them telling me to “blindly & must believe” they haven’t given me any points to ponder about. Hence I do not take their banter seriously. They are still my good friends and will continue to be so unless one or the other turns fundamental.

Politics is something else that I abhor and want little to do with people who want to discuss it on & on and are obsessed with one political party or the other. This land of mine is filled with some really dishonest, corrupt & bastard politicians and yet the people never learn. They keep voting for them and get burned time & again. So I avoid the discussions at all cost unlike religious ones, which I must say that I never start but always get dragged into.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Two Shows That I Enjoyed During My Childhood

Did you have a favorite TV show as a child or youth?

Other than the usual famous ones which I have stated and blogged about I’d like to focus on a few tv shows that I used to watch and enjoy a whole lot as a kid.

Kimba the White Lion : is a Japanese shonen manga series created by Osamu Tezuka which was serialized in the Manga Shonen magazine from November 1950 to April 1954. An anime based on the manga was created by Mushi Production and was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1965 to 1966. It was the first color animated television series created in Japan. Kimba is the son of the king of the jungle Panja who was trapped by hunters & killed for his hide, and the pregnant Eliza is put on a ship, destined for a zoo. Kimba is born on the boat.

Eliza teaches him his father’s ideals. As a huge tropical storm nears, she urges her cub out through the bars of her cage and he is urged to swim back to Africa. There he is found by people in a village who take care of him and decides that when he returns to his wild home he will bring culture to the jungle and stand for peace like his father. The show follows Leo’s life after he returns to the wild, still a young cub, and how he learns and grows in the next year. Leo soon learns that only communication and mutual understanding between animals and humans will bring true peace.

Misfits of Science is an American superhero fantasy television series that aired on NBC from October 1985 to February 1986. It features super-powered humans and their madcap adventures. A double-length pilot and 15 additional episodes were created. Dr. Billy Hayes, the non-powered leader of the team Dr. Elvin “El” Lincoln, Billy’s colleague and close friend. He is a towering man who gives himself the ability to shrink for minutes at a time from his height of seven-foot-four to eleven inches via hormonal treatments which he activates by pressing a nerve on the back of his neck. Johnny “Johnny B” Bukowski, a rock-and-roll musician who was electrocuted on stage, thus giving him formidable electrical powers. He continually drains any electrically charged items in his surroundings, forcing him to live in isolation. Gloria Dinallo, a troubled telekinetic teen with a history of juvenile delinquency and a mother in a mental institution who claims Gloria’s father is from outer space.

Jane Miller, Gloria’s probation officer who, although attracted to Billy, is often put off by his eccentric behavior. Her character appears only in the earlier episodes. Miss Nance, the scientists’ secretary who usually seems more interested in doing her nails, going on her coffee break, and watching her soap operas, she is actually the one who keeps their department running and is always there at the end of the show to turn off the lights and say good-night to the bunnies in their cages. Dick Stetmeyer, the uptight director of the Humanidyne Institute rounds out the main cast.

These two shows were instrumental in giving me hours of pleasure and anguish when the show was off the air. I have both shows on dvd and have watched them for the first time since I was 11 years old and enjoyed them a lot.

Brain Power

Let’s assume we do, in fact, use only 10% of our brain. If you could unlock the remaining 90%, what would you do with it?

That was the storyline of the movie Lucy which was released last year and which to a certain extent answered that question. Ofcourse Luc Besson took heavy liberties with what is science, science fiction and science fantasy and ran with it but I suppose that one thing I can possibly agree with is that if we unlock the remaining 90% of our brain’s ability, we will gain main a few “powers” as they say.

I think we will understand more, have fabulous powers of deduction, reasoning and unlock the secrets of this universe. We will chuck away the unwanted and unproven crappy stuff that we seem to stick on to (woo & religious nonsense) and we will move on to understanding the world in a much better capacity. We would be able to make inter stellar travel a thing of easy fact, being able to travel with luxury and comfort as we see it in the beloved science fiction tv shows & movies.

I think our evolution to the next stages will depend heavily on us progressing & improving the utilization of our brains and the usage we put of the capabilities. A slow and gradual development is necessary for any species’ growth.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Nominees For The 87th Academy Awards (Partial List)

The list of nominations for the 87th Academy Awards : this is only 6 categories and the only ones I usually look out for. Take a look.

Best Picture
“The Theory of Everything”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“American Sniper”

Actress in a Leading Role
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days One Night”

Actor in a Leading Role
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Laura Dern, “Wild”

Actor in a Supporting Role
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”

Changes In Asianet’s Basic Unlimited Plans

Two  good things I  got to know this morning with regards to broadband internet in India. One : Even though the government haven’t taken any steps towards implementing it, the NTP 2012 recommendation of minimum broadband speed of 2 Mbps is supposed to be rolled out by 2015 year end. And two : my ISP, Asianet, has taken a self initiative to increase their unlimited basic broadband plan speeds. Now these are not blinding speeds that you usually see in developed countries in the West. But for me these match my current requirements.

For example the two Unlimited basic plans were the Rs.450 plan which had 512 kbps speed and the Rs. 510 plan which has a 700 kbps download speed (the latter is the plan I have signed up for). Asianet now offers, as of 12-Jan-2015, a 700 kbps for its Rs 450 unlimited plan up from 512 kbps and 1 Mbps for Rs 510 unlimited plan from earlier 700 kbps.

Post FUP speed for other unlimited plan still remains at 512kbps. These plans provide ultra affordable true unlimited broadband at decent speeds. Most ISPs were reluctant to increase minimum broadband speeds to current 512kbps when it was implemented last year. Even though NTP 2012 recommendation of 2 Mbps is still a long shoot, it is good to see a regional player like Asianet has made a small step towards it.

Two Day Weekend

All my working life I’ve loved and longed for the 5 day working 2 day weekend model for companies & employees. To be honest I don’t care which two days of the week it is as long as they are together. My first couple of places, smaller establishments were all 6 day working. When I joined a BPO in Calicut back in July 2002 it was 2 day weekend. In 2003 I came back to Cochin and worked for AspinWall and it was 5 day working and 2 days off but …. 6 months in they changed the format to 6 days working. I moved in the beginning of 2004 to Idea Mobile Communications and it was 5 day working and 2 days off for 2 years until I joined one of their outsourced BPOs and it was 6 days working there.

In 2007 I joined Firstsource SL where till 2009 April I was on a 6 day working week after which I got alternate Saturdays off until I left the company in March of 2011. Since then till now it’s been 6 days working. Here in my new workplace it is a 5 day working and 2 days off (mostly Saturday and Sundays but will change on occasion) and I love it. It’s only been 10 days since I joined them but I still love the weekend. It feels great and I wish everyone could have a 2 day off system, irrespective of which 2 days in the week it is. I think everyone needs it and it is essential for you. One day for going out, running errands or shopping and having fun. The next day to sleep in and relax and watch movies and chill out. Recharge your batteries so to say! And doesn’t everyone need that?

I find myself planning the weekend in advance. Last Saturday was a shopping one till late afternoon and this coming Saturday will be one for paying some bills and maybe lunch with a friend somewhere. Sunday will be spent in bed watching movies & tv shows and online. That’s cool eh?