Friday, March 21, 2008

Power of God

It pays to be connected. at the highest level possible.
this may not be new to you, but, when you see that in reality, one starts thinking...
Today, a strange thing happened on my flight. i had, through web-check in got my favourite seat - and was the first to check in, as reflected in the SEQ # on the ticket.
i had to check in a suitcase, and went to the counter, the person was very confused. she found that my printout said 10c, while the screen showed that 16f was blocked for me!
after a couple of rounds of hush hush discussions with colleagues and a supervisor, i was told that there was some confusion and gave me a boarding pass with the new seat allocation. the SEQ on the boarding pass was 87!
i could not guess what the reason could be.
inside the aircraft, i was very curious to see the person who had stolen my rightful seat! he looked somewhat familiar - and there were a couple of airport officials who were making some petty conversation with him.
so, i asked the hostess who that gentleman was. ever ready to help the passengers, she smiled and said that she did not know his name, but that he was a swamiji.
that was when i realized the full impact of the first line of this post..

a related contextual line that i had heard from a friend - after the recent cricket controversies during India's tour of Australia, abot the clout of the BCCI..
Q: what is the difference between BCCI and God?
A: God does not think that (s)he is BCCI!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bangalore Traffic : the inspiration for science

Bangalore has been known as the seat of science and technology.
the reasons were the Indian Institute of Science and the public sector and defence establishments that had a lot of activity based on research and development.
Also called the silicon valley of India, many wonder what the magic of Bangalore is and how it came to be.
I want to share my theory about how science is very natural to bangalore.
Darwin is said to have been inspired by Galapagos for his survival theory. Actually, it was from Bangalore. The theory that india was actually attached to south america long ago gives rise to the possibility that Darwin mightg have actually come to India and wrongly written in his diaries that it was Galapagos.
one has to see Bangalore traffic - where the theory of survival of the most aggressive is very visibly and simply demonstrated. this behavior is based on another theory that one has the might of way. the bigger the vehicle, the more might you have to chaneg your mind as often as you can and, like an ad claims, 'make your own road'.
the survival insticnt is in the genes of the drivers. if it is not, they acquire it after driving in bangalore for some time. this goes to show that genetic behavior can be modified.. the basis of most genetic resesrch today.
it is not only in biology, that bangalore traffic has been an inspiration.
take physics - the Bernoulli principle. those who need to visualize it only needs to drive in bangalore. the more number of lanes, the slower the traffic. as the road narrows at some point, vehicles speed up, to make sure that they get across the narrow spot fastest, ahead of others. every vehicle and driver suddenly remembers that the ancestor for the buses and the big SUVs was the simple two-wheeled cycle and think that their genes convey that they just need the width of the cycle to get through the narrow patch.
it is not all serious onthe roads here.
everyone plays the game of blink at intersections. if you blink, the other person gets the right of way! or, when the policeman blinks, you can sneak through..
i can feel that my own driving style has become more aggressive over the years that i have been in bangalore.
there are a few mre such theories - but more of that some other time

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Enjoy your towel, sir!

i have always been curious to understand the training programs that some industries have.
in some five star restaurants, i wonder why the trainees are made to wear shining brass badges that say 'trainee'. it makes me nervous when trainees bring or take glasses of water or soup, precariously balanced on their hands.
maybe it is to ensure that the guests are more understanding when they see a trainee.

as part of that training, they are also trained to make some small conversation - such as
? how are you today?
? did you have a good day at work?
? enjoy your meal!
i can understand that.
one of the airlines that i regularly travel with, even has a question in their passenger feedback form - whether one was greeted on entry into the aircraft.. making it explict that it is a standard instruction to repeat the welcome greeting for every person boarding.

recently, a trainee steward [the cabin crew normally does not wear the trainee badge ], but i could sense that this person was new to the job - by the enthusiasm displayed to please every passenger.
while serving snacks, he made sure that everyone was wished - enjoy your meal, sir / madam!
while distributing the cold towels to freshen up, he said - enjoy your towel, sir!
to me, that is the limit...

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I came across this site recently.
called ficlets - this is a collaborative authoring site that lets the members collaboratively develop stories.
another similar site is storybox
one of the types of party games that i used to enjoy a lot was the team storybuilding games.
the simplest is when one person starts with a sentence and each subsequent person continues the story with one sentence each.
the more difficult version is where we need to build a story word by word.
to make it even more interesting, a condition that the words have to be in the alphabetic sequence may be added.
this mode is best played by a team of two and the speed of the story building will be a factor of victory.
the opponent team will choose the first letter to start the game.
anyone game to play this?
maybe we can try to play this online - as a wiki story.