Category Archives: Life

Thank you, folks, for giving me a fantastic 2010

To all, from my heart…

Thank you, folks, for giving me a fantastic journey of 2010

A mixed bag it was. 2010. Loads of happy moments, and a good share of trying moments too. Every single day has taught me something new, and every one of you have been a special part of my life.

I want to take the time to thank all of you for being so wonderful and for being in my life. You have made me what I am today. I hope our paths cross again, near Barista or Starbucks, so that we can talk over a cup of coffee on all the important trivia and smile together :) :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

Love,
Karthik

We, the family ...

Transcending nostalgia …

We, the family ...

A few lines about my trip to US…

Memories come rushing back,
From the abyss of my soul and heart -
Fighting back my tears, at the end of a short journey.
Thank you all, for making it special – worthy of reminiscence,
and an yearning for living those eternal moments, again…

Those first images we captured on our cameras
The first view outside our windows…

The days we ran the length of Wall street,
The classrooms, seminars, cornflakes and coffee breaks.
Project meetings, design docs and (others’) codes
The Independence Day we celebrated at office,
And the days we had lunch together -
Stone Street pizza, Combo at Bombay’s and Pasta at Pax…

Hours we spent at Boston, DC, Phily and the caves,
The enchanting moments at Niagara Falls
Hiking at Woodstock and gambling (and winning) at AC
The rides at 6Flags and Universal Studios
Museums, Central Park and temples
And the *dramatic* rescue at Miami beach…

An always active room, you made mine into,
Collaborative cooking, shopping at Patel’s and the Deli’s
Movies we watched in cinemas, 20-D and 2146.
The tears of missing our family back home
With video chats and calling cards to minimalistic rescue…

Metro, PATH, ferries, buses and flights
Subway, Burger King and Chipotle,
Gatorade and Powerade and Snapple
NY Times and Wall Street Journal,
BJ’s, J&R, JCPenney, Strawberry and Macy’s
Dell, HP, iPod, Kindle and clothes…

The Morning mist
The evening chill,
The clear blue sky
The drops of rain
And the Hudson river…

Now it’s time for a few lines of specifics…

Sweta,
The days you told me your stories with zest,
Those incessant kicks, hits, punches and blows you gave,
And the times we walked, talked, shopped and lunched together…

Sowmya,
The moments I read my poems to you,
The times you sang when I played the violin,
And the motherly affection and dinner table PJ’s…

Devi,
The times you cried your heart to me,
The rice, sambar, rasam and omelette you made for me
And the times I shared my personal stories with you…

Kichu,
The dearest thatha with a trademark stare and smile,
The second you pulled me down into the sea water,
Thou shall sleep, lest the croc might awaken!…

Shafeeq,
The pair programming in Brad’s class,
The mud castles on the beach sands
And the passion for books that we both did share…

Varsha,
Those seconds you regretted for having heard my PJ’s
Those moments you hit thatha with all your might
And those times when you got a few from me…

My emotions now transcend nostalgia -
Countless memories are flooding my heart,
Not much space and time to pen them down.
Bidding adieu brings me tears
My only solace is the hope
that we shall relive these moments together…

With loads of love

Am I living a dream, or am I dreaming a life,
Am I dreaming a life, a life with you,
A life with you, in this beautiful world,
In this beautiful world, I am living a dream.

Let the daffodils sway with their yellow might,
And the roses spread the fragrance of love,
Let the stars sprinkle their shimmering light,
And the guardian angels guide from above.

Where can I find you, my precious art ?
Where can I see you, are you in my heart ?
The wind whispers to me, the nature whispers to me,
That love is in my heart, and love is in my eyes.

Will I get some space, in your beautiful eyes ?
Will I get some share, in your demure smile ?
Will I get some love, in your tender words ?
Will I be a part, in your blissful life ?

A favour I ask, from the Master above,
To fill this world with lots of love,
With you and me alone in the vicinity,
From the twelfth of march to eternity.

Karthik Sankar – v21.1

Karthik Sankar – v21.1 has been released and will be available as the primary version starting from today (26th May, 2010)

HISTORY

  • The first version (v0.1) was released on May 26, 1989.
  • Version upgrades have been carried out annually.
  • Regular patches and bug fixes have been made to every version to improve the performance, accuracy, efficiency, maturity and sensibility.

VERSION 21.1:

  • Release 21 is the current production quality release.
  • Among other things, it improves the processing, thanks to a better and more robust handling of in-memory emotions. It features faster and customizable parallel computing by transparently integrating distributed priority scheduling into the core thinking engine.
  • The new version also incorporates a career mode, which is a significant shift from the academic mode available in the previous versions.
  • It now provides a lightweight career framework (which in part replaces the college API), along with support for salary, deductions, tax and many new extension modules.
  • It also has professional networking features which is a value addition to the existing social networking capabilities.
  • New features and fixes will be added to this release only.
  • This is not an LTS version. For support and other queries, Click Here.

P. S. : HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME !!!

the clarity of passion

the clarity of passion

“What I’m trying to say is, I understand a feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places that you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get or gyms you join or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends. You still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy? And sometimes you can even convince yourself that (s)he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long ‘all that’ may be, you’ll go somewhere new, and you’ll meet people who’ll make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back; and all those fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted – that would eventually begin to fade.”

[Adapted from the film, "The Holiday". Monologue by Kate Winslet]

Here is the video:

75

The Platinum Post – ‘My 75′

Here are 75 little facts about me. Perfectly befitting a 75th blog entry !!

  1. I am weird. Insane. I am their synonyms too.
  2. I am extremely unpredictable, shifting to happy depressions with objective opinions.
  3. I spread happiness. At least, I like to believe that I do.
  4. Mokkai is a well-timed witty statement that might sound like a poor joke (PJ) to you.
  5. I put a lot of mokkai. Incessantly. And it can sometimes annoy you.
  6. Multitasking is my talent, but completing the task is not.
  7. I am most efficient when I am overloaded. I halt abruptly if I am over-overloaded.
  8. No stage fear whatsoever. When I do something that I know decently.
  9. I can’t work while listening to music.
  10. I play the violin. Quite well. About 30 concerts.
  11. I play my guru’s style. Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan. He’s no more. His music lives.
  12. I dream a lot. Am I a visionary? I don’t think so.
  13. I always dream I were a U.S. Federal Agent, or a cop with a gun. Saving the day. Unrealistic. I don’t mind.
  14. My realistic dream: to present a seminar at MIT… Yeah. You heard me right.
  15. I won’t forget my last semester exam paper. I slept off. And I had a dream too.
  16. I used to sleep maximum in my room during my semesters.
  17. None but my roommate would believe it. He’s Saurabh, the jack of all trades, and a master too.
  18. I’ve cooked once. An exam night. Maggi 2-minute Noodles.
  19. It took 7 minutes, to be precise.
  20. I eat anything vegetarian. Bitter gourd, my favourite. Your favourites come next.
  21. Milk: without sugar. Juice: without sugar. Coffee: less sugar. Because, I’m already too sweet.
  22. So is my dad.
  23. My dad cooks awesome!! but quite infrequently.
  24. My mom is the best. She loves me a lot. I love her too. She did my homeworks.
  25. Siblings, none. Feeling bad. Can’t complain, though.
  26. The next 8 points are exclusively abt me. Affirmative.
  27. Sweet angel. I am sweet, yes. But angel is a bit overboard. Agreed.
  28. Iridescent person. A man of various hues.
  29. Never-ending short-story, my biography. Planning to write one. Buyers??
  30. Delicate melancholy. I sometimes retreat into such a mood.
  31. Humble unicorn. But don’t imagine me like that, please. Not a great fan of Harry Potter, either.
  32. Uncrowned Queen’s lovable kid.
  33. Jiggling specimen. Never at a single place doing a single thing.
  34. Amethyst, the symbol of purity and truth… err.. chuck.
  35. I’m a perfectionist. I am organized, perfect, neat and clean. And I’ll expect these from you.
  36. I am a hypocrite.
  37. I hate people who are two-faced, deceitful, backstabbers.
  38. I am a Gemini.
  39. I talk a lot. Am frank and open. Sometimes a chatter-box.
  40. I am an introvert.
  41. What’s true is that I am currently very confused. Badly. Polar opposites in me
  42. What’s false is the point stated next to my DOB.
  43. I won’t start anything unless I have my full heart into it. But my heart is a constant variable.
  44. My handwriting is generally excellent. My mood must be conducive to that.
  45. I love Tamil – to read, write, speak and listen to. I like Mallu too. Hindi eludes me.
  46. I write Tamil poetry – long ones. I have my own style.
  47. I hate India’s population growth rate when I don’t get tickets in train. I wish it reduces.
  48. Personally, not planning to support the above cause in future.
  49. I hate it when I drop my mobile phone. Got to bend down.
  50. I like green. The colour of leaves. 00FF00.
  51. I love walking long distances. Brisk walk. I need a good company, though.
  52. Silence – I love it. I hear music in it, but not for long.
  53. Movies – I have a huge collection of them. I usually doze off by the time I decide which one to watch.
  54. I wore braces. I still am not satisfied with my teeth alignment.
  55. I wear glasses. I am myopic, only w.r.t. eyesight. -3 Dioptre.
  56. I hate becoming fatter. And I hate people pointing it out to me.
  57. I go for a jog. Every day. Starting from today.
  58. I convince people easily. I get convinced easily too.
  59. Egosurfing is one thing I do quite often. And I am currently quite happy with the results.
  60. I hate boasting and showing off. I hate myself when I do so.
  61. I adapt. Effortlessly. I will be you when I am with you.
  62. I sleep in awkward poses. And I never wake up from the place I slept.
  63. I am a good observer of the finer details.
  64. I firmly believe world is moving back to Stone Age. With increasing power cuts.
  65. I’ve planned to enjoy my life to the fullest before Dec 21, 2012
  66. If Newton is right, I have time till the year 2060
  67. I have gone out on dates. Shhhh!
  68. People find it difficult to associate romance with me. Yet to prove them wrong.
  69. I am the honey bunch of my sweetie pie.
  70. I make things happen. If I firmly believe I can, it’s done
  71. I’m misunderstood sometimes. Not for long.
  72. I take care. Of everything and everyone. Perfectly. Now, don’t scroll up to 60.
  73. I know you just read 60. Never mind. I forgive easily.
  74. This is a trailer of my personality. I haven’t seen the full picture myself.
  75. That’s it. Done. End of story…

Dear teachers …

Politics, good or bad, has infiltrated almost every institution in our country. But when it invades educational institutions, what it leaves is such a filthy sludge that it sucks in one victim after another and it leaves the entire organisation in shambles. What is more? It has swelled enough to directly affect the student community.

Adding fuel to the fire is corruption. It is one field where there is no dearth of innovation. It has a variety of faces like embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, contracts given to friends and relatives, personal expenses charged to university accounts, hidden records, destruction of records and a number of activities that you wouldn’t normally associate with universities. The lack of personal honour and integrity is widespread.

What makes to the news and public domain is only a minuscule part of the ground reality. Here are some of those news:

  • Illegal appointment of faculty – MANIT [Link]
  • Corruption in NIT Warangal – Director forced to resign  [Link]
  • Corruption and Bribery – MCI Chief Arrested [Link]

Imperfections in students, have gone to know no limits these days either. They even tend to lack the basic etiquette of respect and morality. But, let us set aside all the imperfections, that are by and large associated with the student community, for now.

“A teacher affects eternity. He can never say where his influence stops.”

Before continuing this article, I find it necessary to tell that I am what I am, because I have been fortunate enough to have certain devoted teachers. To some people you feel like giving respect, some others command respect, some you hold in awe but there are really a few who make you feel incomplete if you don’t respect and you choose to hold them in awe and reverence. And such good, respectable people, and who are passionate about teaching are everywhere. They are the guiding stars for the students. They add to the divinity of the profession. I am leaving out this subset from the rest of this article. We shall always stay indebted to them.

Teachers should have fear. Not fear of students. Not the fear of senior teachers. Not the fear of administration. But fear of themselves and their conscience. Not everyone is perfect. Not everyone is expected to know everything. But it is necessary to realize one’s incompetencies, and also act upon those realizations. The problem at hand is not that teachers do not realize. The problem is that they ‘refuse’ to act upon them. They refuse to realize students should be taught not to cut flowers, but to grow their own plants.

One of the most respected and adored faculty of my institute once exclaimed, “Teachers here get full pension before retirement and half pension after”. The humour in this statement, cannot make the glaring truth, oblivious. Along the teaching curve, it is said that teachers learn as well. The preparation a staff puts in, before coming to a class, reflects in the way they teach. The level of dedication invariably has a profound influence on the student. But looking at the path the education system is taking, I don’t find any light at the end of the tunnel.

What is more shocking is the fact that teachers sometimes resort to extremely unethical and wrong means to try and coerce students into doing deeds favourable for them. It ranges from relatively trivial deeds like asking students to run errands for them, buy breakfast for the morning, get quotations for lab instruments and many more – to more serious issues like forcing students to do projects under them which would eventually help the lecturers get their own degrees. Suggestions and guidance are accepted as necessities. But force is not. And truly, these accusations are not from my imaginative mind.

Let us move one step further. Will the students yield to the coercion? Oh, yes. Because, coercion goes hand-in-hand with “threat”. Threatening students with their marks and grades. Threatening to ruin a students life if he does not yield to the commands. Threatening students if he dares to formally object to the atrocities. Are students are meant to “obey” however iniquitous the command might be? Are students meant to live an overly subdued life?

How about one more step further? Not only students suffer this plight but also the junior teachers who are newly recruited. They are forced to take sides, and remain a virtual servant to some dominating senior members among the faculty. They are curtailed from taking their own decisions and acting based on their discretion.

Regarding students being threatened, I would like to tell this. Times are changing. Students can no longer be expected to remain silent and oblivious to the situation around. Threats will not have any effect. And when students voice their concerns in a proper way, they should get themselves ready to substantiate their actions.

I would not be talking about all these issues if they do not directly affect the students. With politics on one side and corruption on the other, students are sandwiched in between, and remain as dumb coins on a carom board.

The negative influences of teachers who are more interested in the politics of power than in shaping up a student’s career, go a long way. Teachers teach much more by what they are, than what they say. Students pay fees for dedicated teaching, high academic standards, good industry exposure and decent infrastructure. If an institute cannot provide these, then why make false promises and try to attract budding intellectuals holding high expectations ?

Lecturers must grade themselves – neither by their age nor by their position; neither by their qualification nor by the number of publications; neither by the kindness they show nor by the respect they command (or sometimes, demand). They must grade themselves by the number of students who come back 1, 2, 5 or 10 years after graduation and say, “Thank you”. Good teachers will never be forgotten.

It is time to realize that corruption and politics are diseases. Contagious ones. And it is high time they are cured. otherwise, we will be facing a pandemic very soon. So, please start cleaning up the mess. Make the institution a healthier place, and enrich our lives with a brighter shine.

P.S. Special thanks to Abinaya for helping me with editing and perfecting my article