Sunday, January 16

The guest

I'm in a room... feeling lonely. I'm sitting on the window sill looking at the street.
My eyes darting for the passerbys in the murky street, hoping to see someone turning his way to my house.
Occasionally, I would see red glowing pairs of eyes turning their gaze on me, asking for an invitation.
I would turn them down by avoiding eye contact.

Then... I saw those eyes. No... it was the pristine white gown, which I noticed first. And then his eyes - filled with love and compassion.

I stand up and wave my hands inviting him in. I run to the door. Open it... And there he is! Standing with a face, which is so hypnotizing! It is overflowing with calm and peace.

He steps in. He looks at my tiny little room. His look literally lits up the room.

For a fraction of a second I am out of my trance.
I have nothing to offer to quench his thirst or hunger. He will not stay longer. That much I know. How to keep him here?

I have to act. It is now or never.
I grab the key; lock the door; and throw out the key through the window.


And then I woke up from my dream.

Sunday, September 20

Frog in the well - A different twist to the story

There was a Little Frog who lived at the bottom of a deep, dark well.

It was a very old well filled with water. The walls of the well were covered with wet moss, but were stepped. Now, the Little Frog had been living at the bottom of this old well since he was born. He had never been to the outside world. Once in a while he would hop to the edges of the well's wall, but would never venture beyond that point. The outside of the well was covered with thick bushes, blocking the little frog's view from the beautiful horizon. Besides, he never felt the need of exploring the "outside world"! He was very happy and satisfied.

When the Little Frog was thirsty, he drank a little bit of the well water, and when he was hungry, he ate some insects. When he was tired, he lay on a little rock looked up at the sky above him. He was the king of the well. His friend - Mr. Water Strider - had never seen the depths of the well, as he had seen. His fellow frogs were scared to dive to deepest point of the well. They didn't know where to get the finest pebbles of the well. He knew! His fish friends had never felt the softness of the moss. He had! All his friends found him very knowledgeable. They praised him and looked upto him.

Whenever a bird or birds flew by and stopped at the edge of the well, the Little Frog always looked up and bragged, "Hello! why don't you come down here and play with us. It's so pleasant down here. Look, I have cool water to drink and countless insects to eat. Come down!"

Sometimes the birds would tell the Little Frog, "Hi, Little Frog! You see, the outside world is much bigger and nicer. It's many times more beautiful than your well." But the Little Frog would not believe them. "Don't lie to me, I don't believe there is any place that could be better than here! Tell me... do you know the deepest point of this well? Do you know where to get the finest pebbles in this well?"

The birds would obviously have no answer to those questions. And the little frog would say "If you don't know the answer, how can I believe your claim - that the place outside is better?"

Gradually, all the birds began to dislike him. They thought he was too stubborn and stopped talking to him.

The Little Frog could not understand why nobody would like to come down to his nice place. He would tell his friends in the well that the birds are arrogant and ignorant.

One day, a sparrow stopped by at the edge of the well. The Little Frog was so excited, he greeted the sparrow and invited the sparrow eagerly. He bragged as usual, and irritated the sparrow. The sparrow understood that the frog will not realize his ignorance until he sees the outside world. So the sparrow flew to the bottom of the well, picked up the Little Frog on his back, and flew out of the well. The sparrow went beyond the thick bushes and showed him the outside world.

The little frog was impressed!!

By the time the sparrow dropped him back, he had made up his mind - to explore the outside world.

When he informed his friends his decision about departing the well, they were all surprised! After all, how can the "king of the well" - who is so knowledgeable - leave the well! They tried to persuade him to stay back. But the little frog was adamant.

The next day he gave his friends a good-bye hug and left the well. He started exploring the outside world. He liked it a lot, till he felt thirsty. He explored the nearby area for water - till he found another stepped well similar to his, but much smaller and shallower.

He hopped into the well - to meet a spotted frog, who considered himself as the king of that well. He had his set of admirers and friends in that well. The spotted frog was happy to see the visitor. He bragged, "Hello! Nice to see you. Why don't you stay back and play with us. It's so pleasant down here. Look, I have cool water to drink and countless insects to eat!"

The little frog knew he was looking at his old self. He did not say anything to the spotted frog, but just murmured to himself: "I need this well to quench my thirst; till I find a pond or a river"

Saturday, November 10

Talent - A different twist to a Bible Parable

Before I start the parable, for your information.., 'talent' is an ancient unit of currency.

Now the parable...


A just man, about to go on a journey, called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.

Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.

In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.

But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.

Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, "Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents."

His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master."

Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, "Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents."

His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master."

And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, "Master, I thought you are a hard man. I was afraid to put the talent in the market and risk losing it. So I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours."

His master answered and said to him, "You lazy slave, you knew that I'm a hard man. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents."

At that, the slave pleaded him for another chance. The kind hearted master gave him a deep look... and then decided to give him another chance.

The slave took the single talent and walked away...


What do you think? Will the slave make best use of the new-found opportunity? Was the master right in giving the slave a second chance? If the master is God, and you the slave, will you make best use of the new-found opportunity and enhance your 'talents' and abilities?

You can access the original parable from here

Friday, April 20

A car journey

Four guys embarked on a car journey from Piscataway to Parsippany. The month was December and it was very cold. With the heater on and the music system shouting, the four guys started barking to the tune of the music...

Suddenly they stopped barking. Disgust filled their face. And they shouted in one voice: "Who farted?" First they tried to tolerate the smell. When they found it impossible to bear the dingy smell, they tried to open the window. But the chill wind did not let them keep it open. They shut the window.

To their luck, they saw a gas station and drove in. All four got out from the car; let the window half open for the fart to dissipate into the chill air...

After a while they started their journey again. With the heater on and the music system shouting, the four guys started barking to the tune of the music...

Suddenly they stopped barking. Someone farted... Again!

"Not again!" shouted all four. They drove in to the rest place. All got out and let the fart dissipate into the environment. They huddled in the rest place and asked a question: "Who did it?"

No one responded.

They pleaded to each other to stop ‘it’. That this was the farter’s chance to let ‘it’ go. Toilets are abundant. But none got no response.

With the hope of no-fart troubling them again, all four started their journey. A few miles passed. There was no sign of fart. All four got a bit easy. They let themselves and the music system loose. And started barking again. That is when someone farted... Again!

All four went mad. All started accusing each other. With heated exchanges on, they drove into another rest place. All stepped out from the car and headed to four toilets. They had decided: No matter who is the culprit; all four will go and relive themselves.

10 mnts passed. All four were back in their car ready to continue their journey. With a grin they switched on the music system; barked with it and turned on the ignition. This time; during this stretch of their journey.... Nobody farted!

Monday, March 5

A tale of Adam and Eve


Adam and Eve are friends.

One day…
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam: What is it? Tell me…

Eve shares her problem with Adam. Adam consoles Eve. Eve feels better.

After two weeks:
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam: What is it? Tell me…

Eve shares her problem again. Adam consoles Eve. Eve feels good. She feels ‘close’ to Adam.

After a week:
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam’s mind: Not again…
Adam: What is it? Tell me…

Eve shares her problem again. Adam consoles Eve. Eve feels good. She feels ‘closer’ to Adam

After five days:
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam’s mind: Come on! Give me a break! Your problems are really silly!
Adam: What is it? Tell me…

Eve shares her problem again. Adam consoles Eve. Eve feels good. She feels Adam is the only person who understands her.

After three days:
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam’s mind: This is eating my nerves. Why didn’t she get the hint I had given her last time! Hmmm… Let me listen to it anyways.
Adam: What is it? Tell me…

Eve shares her problem again. Adam consoles Eve. Eve feels good. She is in love with Adam!

After one day:
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam’s mind: Enough is enough! I’m going to be direct this time.
Adam: What is it? Tell me… But before that, don’t you think you should handle this problem more objectively?

Eve is impressed! Adam is wise too! Eve shares her problem. Adam consoles Eve. Eve feels great! She is madly in love with Adam!

After a few hours:
Eve: I have a problem :-(
Adam: You know what... I think your problems are really silly. You have to sort it out yourself.

Eve is heart broken :-(( She has now two 'big' problems…


Sunday, December 3

Dark Angels

I don't know where I am. I don't know why I am here. All I know is that I'm shit scared. All I hope is that someone will come someday and release me... and take me to that lovely heaven where I used to feast 24 by 7. I hate this cage in which they have jailed me... us... to be precise. I used to think that other inmates stink. But no longer. I guess I stink more. I have got used to it. I can't figure out which is worse - the sweat or the shit that has accumulated in this stinky hell. We breathe the dingy air that comes from the shit. Shit has become part of our biological system - constantly recycling itself.

Everything was fine till a few weeks back. I had a family. We had a beautiful dormitory, where we used to eat... and play. I remember vividly: one of our favorite games was to see who can devour most of the food in a day. We competed with each other to add more flab. I was proud of my body and its complexion. Many were jealous of me.

Look at me now... dressed in filth - not even a shadow of my past. And all this happened when those dreaded dark angels came and dragged us into these cages - one after the other. None was spared. This was done in the wee hours of the day, when we were half asleep. We didn’t know what was going on. There was huge pandemonium. I heard screams. And my scream joined others'. But that couldn't stop the brutality of the dark angels. They dragged us one by one into these jails - torturing machines. Once in, you can't move your feet... even a wee bit. You can't stand. You have to squat... and so you remain for the next few days.

There was no sufficient water, nor food. Supplies used to come once in two days. They would throw the food through the bars of the jail. Through the bars, precious water was pumped in. I don't know why they treated us like this.

This ordeal ended on the fifth day, when they took some of us, in the cages, to a strange place. The treatment here was no better. The only consolation was that once in while the warden would come and take one of the inmates to a silent enclosure. That gave us sufficient room to stretch our legs and arms. We never knew what happened to those who were taken away. We would hear their screams before silence enveloped the enclosure once again. Rumors were that they were being taken back to the old dormitory - our heaven. That rumor lit hope in all of us for the first few days. Everybody wanted to get into the 'enclosure'. As soon as the cage door would open, all would compete to get the attention of the warden. This didn't last for long. The reason was another rumor: that those who were taken away were murdered! This rumor gained more strength when one of the inmates observed that no trucks came to take those fellas back to their heaven. This theory was corroborated by the blood stains seen in the hands of the warden. We started calling the warden "The butcher".

Things started getting worse. The inmates fell sick. Each would fight for the little food that was distributed. The fight resulted in injuries. A few ventured into cannibalism. They would feast on the blood and wounds of others. It scared me.

That is when I decided that I got to escape from this jail. I had observed that at times the butcher left the cage door open. He was pretty sure that none of us had the energy to crawl out. He fed us little and left us to exhaust our little energy by quarrelling with others. And he was dead right. But he made one mistake: He under estimated my will power. I waited for an opportunity.

I ate whatever that came across and conserved my energy. I hid my wounds from the cannibals. And one day... there it was... the butcher came to our cage and picked one of my friends. He left the door wide open. I was sitting next to the door. With all my energy I leaped. I had thought it would be an easy jump. But it wasn't. The butcher’s arrogance to leave the cage open was not misplaced at all. I couldn’t hop out. I tried once again... with all my strength... and I was out...! Lying on the ground, breathing fresh air! I tried to stand on my legs. But I failed. By keeping us in the cage those dark angels had not only weakened our souls but also our muscles. I couldn’t walk! I cried for a while... silently. With tears and fear in my eyes and mind, I started crawling. I crawled and managed to reach one corner of that enigmatic 'enclosure'. Through a small hole I peeked in. What I saw was horribly shocking! My friend’s torso was lying in a pit! There were people in the enclosure. They were waiting for something. The butcher picked up my friend’s dead body; skinned him and gave it to one of the persons who were waiting there. I fainted!


That happened a few hours back. I'm back in the cage. I don’t know who put me back in this hell. Now I know what awaits me. I don’t want to tell other fowls what I saw. It will scare them. Why take away the joy, if any, and replace it with fear in their last dying days. I'll keep this to myself. The hen next to me started pecking on my wound. Let her... It doesn’t matter anymore…

Friday, December 1

fdisk /mbr

This is the sad story of a poor soul who worked in a big MNC that reeked (and still reeks) in bureaucracy. This is not for the weak heart. If you suspect to have one, please don't pass beyond this point ==> .

Once upon a time, in the country called India, lived a good-techie-guy called Mr. Tec. This stallion used to love computers. The wonders that computers can do fascinated him. He wanted to be the creator of those wonders. He wanted to inspire and instruct the machines to create wonders. And he was successful... to a certain extend. He wanted to make a dream career out of it. So he studied hard... not the subjects prescribed by the University; but computers prescribed by the demand of the latest technology need.

It was during that time, that the company run by Vogons stepped into his life. They brain washed him with their achievements – “historic”, they say – and wooed him to join their company. The simpleton bastard didn't know who the Vogons were. So... thanks to his ignorance, he joined the Vogon Company. [Silence for two minutes please… You are about to hear the cracking sound of Mr. Tec's heart...... CRACK....] His heart sank when he saw what the Vogons do. Their efficiency shocked him. He realized that the Vogon Company was nothing but a big bureaucratic system that converted energetic and vibrant talent to mushy and dumb donkeys. But how?? How can they achieve so much with that great bureaucracy?? The question baffled him. The more he thought about it the more he was puzzled. All he knew was that, that he is a good fighter. “Winners never quit and Quitters never win”. He knew that too… So he decided to stay back... and fight... and try his luck… and realize his dream… in the very Vogon-Bureaucratic-Company that offered nothing.

Years passed. Our fighter stallion - Mr. Tec. - started mutating. The Vogon Philosophy had dented his determination. He started accepting some of the Vogon philosophies. He now looked like a mule. But even then… he remembered those good old days. The knowledge he had acquired in those good old days stayed with him even when his passion and priority took the beating.

One day his ThinkPad decided to go on strike. It won't boot. The LILO boot loader won’t load the Windows OS!! He had to complete lot of work - junk work to be precise - and this machine simple won’t come up! With frustration written all over his face, he took a deep breath and then a deep look at the ThinkPad. The neurons in his brain started to emit electricity. There it was… he diagnosed the problem! "It is a boot loader problem. The boot loader got corrupted. All I need to do is replace that." The mule had not forgotten the wisdom acquired by the stallion.

Since he didn’t have the utility that could overwrite and thus replace the corrupted boot loader, he dialed 4343 - the extension of the Vogon Company Helpdesk. They promptly gave him the answer: "The machine has to be reformatted and the OS has to be reinstalled. Before that, you will have to backup your data. It will take minimum twelve hours to complete this task - two hours to find a guy who would allow you to backup your data into his hard disk; two hours to backup the data; six hours to install the OS and update the patches; and two hours to restore the data."

The dying stallion-mind in the mule woke up: "What!!??? You just need to rewrite the boot sector. It will hardly take 5 minutes!!"
"Sir, we don’t have the permission to do such tweaks. This is the only way. The early you start the sooner you finish"
The helpdesk guy cut in before Mr. Tec could complete "The early you start the sooner you finish. Understand?"
"Ok... Let me try to solve this problem on my own. I'll get back to you if I can't fix this." An upset Mr. Tec replied.

The mule took his ThinkPad to home; pulled out a Windows 98 Installation CD and booted the machine with it. He went to the command prompt and typed - fdisk /mbr. A pause; and then the command prompt was back. He rebooted his system and voila... his ThinkPad was back in action...! Working just as how it used to work! Mr. Tech was overjoyed. He patted his own back and lifted his collar. But then... sadness gripped him. What is he doing here? – In the Vogon Company – working with Vogons who waste their and others’ time. They don’t value time or talent. What has he done to himself? He wasted six years of his life working in the Vogon Company! Will he get it back? Depression seeped in. The mule's depressed gaze went to his table - a blade way lying there.


Next day's Time of India carried this headline "Suicide of a Vogon Software Engineer"