By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.

Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]

At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]

Rendezvous with a great man

Alright. I totally comprehend the deep feeling of nausea that people have begun to face just after rolling their eyeballs over my previous posts. Sorry, if it spoilt your table-cloth(or should I say keyboard). But then its all in the mind. Its the way how people look at things. As I said everything is embedded here. Its how you interface it. Yikes! I just survived that brickbat. Cool it. I sure am posting this time about something far more serious and interesting.

Yesterday, I got a message saying that a person, one Mr. Satish Gupta from MIT was coming over to BITS and wanted to have a separate chat with the core team of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), BITS Pilani, oof which I am part of. I didnt know the credentials of this person, apart from the MIT tag. The memory device in my cranium beeped saying that after extensive data mining, a search result was found matching both the keywords, 'Satish Gupta' and 'MIT'.

That sure did ring a bell. Mr. Satish Gupta, one of BITS Pilani's famed alumni. When BITS Connect launched NEURON, the networking facility here at BITS in March 2004, there was a panel discussion on "Technology-Driven Enterprise". That discussion, though was lost amidst all the other conferences happening in the buildup to APOGEE. It is said,

Success is being at the right place at the right time
There I was, a nerd, who didnt give a thought of management, entrepreneurship et al. All, that drew me to the talk was the big names - Satish Gupta, Prem Jain, Gulu Mirchandani, Mukesh Chatter. And, the rest as they say is History. I discovered that I am born to be an entrepreneur (too far-fetched, but still thats how I dream). The discussion surely changed my perspective of life.

Back to the present, I was so eager to meet Mr. Satish Gupta, CEO, Cradle Technologies. A bunch of us met him at 9 pm in the VFAST Conference room. His first greeting showed the business acumen in him. His handshake and introduction, concealed in it transluscently the number of businessmen he had met and shook hands this way. I slightly rearranged the room to suit this small group who were there. We sat down and presented a brief insight on the activities of CEL. Murphy's law was at work again, as the PowerPoint presentation got screwed. The file didnt open at all. (One more reason to run Linux!). And then it began, a hour and a half of open discussion from topics ranging from entrepreneurship to leadership to Silicon Valley to rural India to BITSian alumni. It was a very fruitful discussion, one in which he showed the class of a true gentleman, the acumen of a true entrepreneur, the spirit of a true BITSian.

I shall keep posting quotes from Mr. Gupta in my future posts.

After all, knowledge is fathomless.

Screwed, Elated, Amazed, Awoken - all in a day

Very interesting day.

Primarily, the test was horrible. Got screwed big time. Man, what a start to a semester, I thought I would crack out of shape.

Then, I generally try to meet a professor. I actually get to meet him, and also manage to convinve him into handing a informal projrct to me. The efforts to accomplish this were on since a week, but progress was never seen. Suddenly, today was an impulse or probably a step function (too much of circuits and signals !). Well, I was damn elated.

Cricket enthu in the wing has reached new heights, with us playing out hardcore matches in the new set of rules that we have framed.

Then, it was time to hit the dance floor in the Music Nite here. Probably, the only music nite I have stayed almost till the end is this one. And for the first time, danced through the whole event. The 'amazing' factor was because of the performance of a couple of performers. Man! Were they good !

And right now, I am sitting here, blogging about how the day went, but thinking what lays in the future for me. I would do better with a clairvoyant, I presume. My semester schedule is getting more n more hectic. But I have been woken up from deep slumber. I have an opportunity to rise like the phoenix ....

Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Courtesy Reagan, came across this amazing song: GREEN DAY LYRICS - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

My predicament is so damn similar to the singer's . Well here goes -

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I'm the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone

I'm walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line
Of the edge and where I walk alone

Read between the lines
What's fucked up and everything's alright
Check my vital signs
To know I'm still alive and I walk alone

Where am I ?

In my recent blogs, I had talked a lot about passing through a SIP blah blah blah. Now, I am beginning to ponder, am I ?

Am I a hopeless person in life, who does absolutely nothing but read some book which he hears about and starts drawing analogies between him and the book ? Or was I serious, when I said I am on the verge of a SIP? Life seems to have a meaning now, though. The keyword is 'seems'. Thats because I still dont know that meaning. I am struggling to find out where am I in the grand cycle of life and death. Where am I heading? Everything seems to be so hazy and clear at the same time. I told you, I love paradoxes ! Somehow, somewhere, something does not make sense. I am still on the lookout for that elusive last piece of the jigsaw puzzle of my life.

Not enough caffeine in my blood. Got to pump in some more. Antaragni must have had a song "There's nothing Like caffeine". There seems to be more progress though in my life on many fronts. One, as I blogged, I threw away some extra baggage. Two, tests coming up, so no more linuxing-till-late-in-the-morning(!) . Three, I have kind of identified core areas of study for this semester. Dying to get cracking on them. Four, Now this is something interesting. I have begun to love Hindi songs (especially the slow old ones). Five, Lots of good things happening on the professional sector(!) - Good progress on the Conquest front. Things pretty interesting on the Linux Club front.

Totally out of caffeine.

Who am I ?


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

You are Form 0, Phoenix: The Eternal.

"And The Phoenix's cycle had reached
zenith, so he consumed himself in fire. He
emerged from his own ashes, to be forever

Some examples of the Phoenix Form are Quetzalcoatl
(Aztec), Shiva (Indian), and Ra-Atum
The Phoenix is associated with the concept of life,
the number 0, and the element of fire.
His sign is the eclipsed sun.

As a member of Form 0, you are a determined
individual. You tend to keep your sense of
optomism, even through tough times and have a
positive outlook on most situations. You have
a way of looking at going through life as a
journey that you can constantly learn from.
Phoenixes are the best friends to have because
they cheer people up easily.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Eternity Knight
Eternity Knight, the fifth class of vampire. You
stand for both righteousness and vengeance, two
sides that eternally tear you to indecision.
Your servants follow you and serve you as
squires, of sorts, as you teach them how it is
in afterlife. Your powers are brute strength
and the ability to shape weapons from your
battle energy. You are the highest judgement to
others. Do not let the lust for revenge
overwhelm you.

What class of vampire are you? (more new images!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Attached detachment (!)

Well, I officially delcared to the world that I am giving up something(?) that in recent times had stolen a sizeable chunk of my heart and mind. It was after all a tough call. When I brooded over in the holidays over this matter, I had thought about giving more of my heart and mind to it. But this semester, I have discovered a new person in myself. I never even thought of giving it up, because it was so close to my heart (though I had kept denying that). I learnt that I have more to give to this world than to ????. I have bigger, better things in life.
Now, I feel that fire within me lighting up again. I feel like I am that Abhilash, the Abhilash of my second semester. The passion, the focus, the power; all are back within me.
Inspite of all this, it will remain in me with special status. I remember reading about a concept called Attached detachment in the Vedas. I feel that this is a true epitome of that concept. I am detached and attached both at the same time. I love paradoxes!

Here I move on like the proverbial juggernaut. My wings are on fire. As I had posted in one of my old blogs, "Watch out, stars, I am coming out there to get you!!".

Lack of challenge - One thing I can't sustain

Sitting in front of my computer for 7 hours at a stretch is not a mean feat considering the premise that it was from 0100 hrs to 0800 hrs in the night! Yup! That's me.
Well, I had expected a long night (minus the chinwagging and luciberating(i guess the spelling is wrong, but I am not to blame, you know who..) ) . But the night passed away, and before I knew it, it was morning. I had planned to repartition my hard disc, assort my song collection, create a new partition for Alienux(More about this, coming upon in Alienworks Inc.). All these tasks were accomplished, but then GRUB failed, and all my efforts to restore it went in vain. The /boot got screwed, in entirety, my comp got screwed. After hours of patience and witful thinking, I was able to get it running in good shape. It was a pyrrhic victory. The loss I payed in terms of valuable rest to my neural cells was pretty huge. Then again, the experiences I gained, I believe are unparalleled.
And today evening, I felt as if I am an unemployed post-graduate, doing nothing here. I had nothing to take on, no challenge to conquer, no peak to scale. It was sick! I have always maintained that I cannot stand stagnation and there was more than an illustration. Now, I am tapping away at my comp, late in the night, trying to get yum running in FC3. Good challenge ! I am happy.

Destiny and Judgement

These Anathema lyrics make more sense tonite.

"I tried to murder the lonely,
Contemplate our mortality.

Into infinity,
Frozen memory

Wipe the tears from yesterday,
A time for change, take the pain away.

Angel, my destiny,
Can you feel me?"


Asleep is the rose, in tired innocence... dreaming time away.
Secure in the comfort of slumbers faint embrace.
Blissfully ignorant, unaware of the imminence...
Recurring memories emerge from the deep... of old secrets unforgotten sleep.
They sink beneath the surface just long enough for you to breathe.
Then return to choke you when you wake up alone.
Shredded inside... there's one place left to turn.
A long-term problem, a temporary remedy,
but fuck it all anyway you can pretend to be happy.
So many years of pathetic lies,
empty promises and unfulfilled dreams are scattered like dust into the winds.
Looking for the sun that eclipsed behind black feathered wings.
Tomorrow never comes, there was only ever one day... but now it's too late.

The inequity of fate
The pains of love and hate
The heart-sick memories
That brought you to your knees

And the times when we were young
When life seemed so long
Now you are left alone
Where did it all go wrong
Day after day
You burned it all away
(and it's too late)

All the hate that feeds your needs
All the sickness you conceive
All the horror you create
Will bring you to your knees

When everything goes wrong

I repeat what I had blogged long back about -

People call it as coinidence, I term it as 'Providence'

Two days back, in this very electronic equivalent of paper, I had crapped at me being at the beginning of a SIP and blah blah blah. Now I realise how it is to 'really' be in a SIP. The emotional feelings one has to face during the process is excruciating. The anger, the frustration, the depair, the helplessness, the stress, the feeling of spiralling downward, the feeling of sinking inwards, coupled with the joy of solving a problem, the elation in wriggling through a narrow hole , the egoboo in leading through turbulent times.....simply unexplainable. It is this very paradoxical behaviour of the human mind that makes me think - 'Why should I think?', after all this world is nothing but maya.

Things couldnt get worse for me. In every aspect, today was a black day. I see many more coming as I wade through this SIP.
First, most of the companies we were looking forward as sponsors for an event which I am co-ordinating here backed out. Things were getting bad.
Next, I could not meet a prof whom I had to do so urgently. Things were getting worse.
Then, I saw O-labs, the new hi-tech VLSI lab that has come over here. Amazing lab, but I am not at all inclined to VLSI. I have to develop some interest in VLSI to work there. Things were getting too murky to handle.
Then, I had a long chat with one of my friends, and realised the folly that i committed last sem by splooshing my acads. Man! Am I going to get out of this deep s***hole I have burried myself in . Things were not making sense.
Then, I goofed up while talking to a HR manager of a company. I had resigned from today
Then, I come back here to see that the application time for scholarship has closed. Life had come to a standstill.
And the last pain I have to suffer...write the practical record for MT-2.
Sheesh! It has been a bad day for me. A 'real' bad day.
Hope the dawn has something better.

Just like that

Just came across an old Italian saying -

"When you think you`re fooling them, they`re fooling you"

One more thing I read in this month's HBR - about Competence :
Two guys are in a camp in a dense forest. They wake up in the morning to see a huge grizzly bear approaching them. One of them stands motionless, totally petrified. The other hurriedly puts on his sneakers. The former, perplexed, asks the second guy -" Are you crazy, can you outrun that grizzly ?! ", to which he recieves a prompt reply - "Well, I dont have to outrun the grizzly, I just need to outrun you. ".

SIP! Let Chaos reign.

Reality strikes to the human psyche at astonishingly interesting times. Many a times, I swallow it with a pinch of salt. But at times, the law of averages catches up. And when it does, the whole world seems to shake. I would have reached a SIP (strategic inflection point, if you are hearing this for the first time, then you probably should read Andy Grove's 'Only the Paranoid Survive' and get back).

Today, I believe is a very important day for me. I am on the verge of a SIP. As Andy puts it, i am letting Chaos reign. In a recent essay I had to write on a topic which went something like - " There are two kinds of laws - just & unjust. One has to obey just laws and more importantly, disobey the unjust ones", I had written a whole sheet on how Chaos is the driving force behind human progress, and how it affects legislature , blah blah blah., with the word 'Chaos' appearing atleast 15-20 times. I believe in Chaos, being the mother of innovation, progress and development. Here I am drowned, in chaos. Psuedo-random thoughts whizzing past my mental edifice.

I am just like a leader of a bunch of guys travelling in the woods, who keeps insisting ans assuring the rest that we are not lost, though the fact that we are, still lurks in the dungeons of my mind. But, thats what I am, one who loves to wade through turbulent times. (Check this gr8 HBR on Leading through turbulent times in the library). Taking a look at 'the valley of no return' I grin.

Well, let me stop being so cryptic and go ahead. Well, the SIP, I am about to tread upon, has a major impact in the near future. 'Future' - the first thought would obviously hit the bull's eye - Acads. Yes, thats exactly what I have realised.
1. I have to slog through the rest of my BITSian life to make into a decent college later. Diligence has been a word very far from my character. I have never believed in hard work, i have been a huge votary of smart work - which does not always pay in the short term, but sure does in the distant future. But, I have to free my mind, and give atleast a small place in my dictionary to the word - diligence.
2. I will have to to do something that hasn't been done before to set me apart from the rest of the group. I have always believed in 'innovation' being my middle name; and the spirits of time have come. It is time to prove it. This is the biggest challenge, yet the most sweetest.
3. Apart from all these technical stuff, I would still remain that guy who freaks around, thinks about ? for hours and hours, remain the true ambitious entrepreneur. Thats life isnt it !

Walking that fine balance is a gripping task. Bring it on!
Currently more said would be premature, as chaos still reigns in my neurons. A more concrete post once I rein in chaos.

Till then, let chaos reign !

Takeaways from 'Swades'

Janmabhoomi swargadapi gariyasi
From Sanskrit to English, it translates to
" Homeland is more valuable than Heaven "

Swades , one of the much talked about movies in recent times. A compelling one, I must say.
"It is a dangerous movie. It makes you think! " is what I would say if Peter Drucker would allow me to modify his qoute about 'Only the Paranoid Survive'.

The most important takeaways from the movie for me, would tantatmount to these prioritised bullets:
1. Entrepreneurship and Education is the key to India's progress
2. Setting up a firm in the rural setup might be unacceptable to many. Agreed. Then, entrepreneurs must branch out into untapped segements of the rural areas. For a smile on that Unheralded Indian with sweat beads tricling down his brows,plowing the land in the summer sun, is worth more than that extra buck one might pocket by selling to the stereotype city-dweller.
3. Where you are, it doesnt matter. All that matters is whether, you are contributing either directly or indirectly to the growth of India to the maximum possible extent. Here I would vehemently avow that it is not a sin on one's part to cross the seas and settle there. It becomes a cardinal sin, if one forgets to even contemplate over one's home country's state.
4. An idea can bring out the best in you. Your inherent qualities reach their zenith. You don't care about your girl, you dont care about your job; all you care for is the successful implemenation of that idea.

On a lighter note ( yet perfectly valid in the fuzzy set of truth):
1. The probability distribution function of extremely beautiful, passionate girls has an exponential distribution with increase in number as the distance from the cities increases.
2. Even if your ideologies differ from the girl's , you can either take on the gargantuan task of changing her's or you can take the simple step - change yours, afterall she's all yours.
3. Hit at the Achilles' Heel of the girl. Show some chutpah, some intellect, some passion and voila.

Comments are invited for sharing of open-source takeaways from 'Swades'

Conscious mistakes....

The other day I was contemplating on how the human psyche is so intriguing.
The premise is how the human conscience many a times fails to stop one from comitting a mistake eventhough it is previously registered in the grey cells as a sin.

For the sake of simplcity or tradition as people might say, lets consider the working of the cranial cells of a person Mr.X (Ladies, next post will have Mrs.X).

Act 1:
Mr.X follows a lifestyle A. He later lands in a position in his life when he senses his lifestyle gradually changing to lifestyle B.

Act 2:
Whooooooooooosh. There comes Ozzmosis Jones. Hop on to his spaceship/gutship/bodyship/whatever. Revvvvv. Blast. There we go, into the nasal cavity. Ehy did I choose this ?! Yuck.
Soon, we are zooming ahead behind the eyes. Aah. There comes the brain.

Act 3:
Here comes the best part. Philosophy or Science or both into work. The conscience due to its previous experiences, which are taken into as input, alongwith lifestyle B, swings into solving a huge series of complex mathematical equations involving Fourier series and Dirac's equations to run a process which should deliver as output, the morality of the new lifestyle B. As nanoseconds tick as if they were seconds, the output finally arrives. The output is in the negative. This result is officialy broadcast to all reveiving radio stations in the brain, and formal instructions are made to stop all activities of lifestyle B.

Act 4:
All stations decoding the encrypted message being waved across the cranial ionosphere by the conscience. Silence. The cells manning these radio stations remain impassive. Their faces(assuming they have one) bear no expression. They have been expecting some order from the Conscience about the lifestyle B, but his was May Day. The order has been received. Stop all activities in lifestly B and revert back to lifestyle A. A secret slurry of Morse codes are sent fervently across all stations, with certain fundoo cells preventing the Conscience from intercepting these clandestine messages. A flash VoN (Voice over neurons) conference has been called for; to discuss the future course of action over the recieved order. But one does not comprehend the secrecy.

Act 5:
Cells at all stations log into the VoN conference which was set up in record time by a bunch of networking guru cells. Nycthemeron conferencing occurs. Every signal sent through the system is encrypted in different algorithms to evade the policing cranial cells. After a long long time, the traffic of the data sent through the conference seems to decrease. It finally ceases. An official press release is released by the spokesperson cell.
"The cells are in a more comfortable position in lifestlye B. Hence the hoi polloi of cells will work in the norms of the lifestyle B. Any thrust to shift to lifestly A will be dealt with severe labor union strikes throughout. "

The Plebian community of cells have done it again. They have managed to keep Mr.X in lifestlye B. The Police dept. being understaffed doent take the risk of countering the Plebain community.

There it is. The mind refuses to accept what maybe more beneficial but very boring.
All the mind needs is excitement, some tintinnubulation of sorts.

So, if you hav started boozing recently or any such radical change in your lifestyle, you know whom to blame it on . The working class cells of the brain.

The only way to stop this is to have a very efficient labor union. Keep all cells within the rigid confinements of conduct. Thats the only way to be the consonance of consensus.

Assam quake: For heaven's sake 'NO'

Very, very rarely am I moved to tears by anything on this planet. But that 'rarely' does happen, and when it does happen, I tend to think,.. think about the sheer insignificance of human existence on this planet. What are we doing on this planet? We crib over failure to win a game over the LAN, we cry over not making grades, we shout over minor mistakes, we think all day and night about a loved one, we fight over territories......what for ? The quintessential answer was discovered by Indians long back - ZERO. Nothing. Void. Null. But we are humans, we still do it. We believe that the world is at our feet. We proclaim ourselves as the undisputed ruling species on this planet, which we believe is probably the only planet with such a supremely intelligent inhabitant species. All I can think of is "Dhiyo yo naha prachodayat"- The eternal truth embodied in the Gayatri Mantra -'Enlighten our minds'

After feeling a surge of secretions from the tear glands after watching TV coverage of affected children in the Tsunami-hit areas, I just switched over to a different channel. The reason being that, I believe a shower of such negative thoughts on the human mind, reduces the power of the mind. Think, spare a thought for the affected, shed a tear, help them to the maximum extent, but then take your mind off it. The more you keep thinking, you shall feel yourself getting sapped. After all that human suffering, I shuddered when I read that
Alert sounded in Assam over US tremor warning . Please, Please Oh God! For Heaven's sake not another quake. We have had enough for atleast some decades. The very thought of a big quake in that region squeezes my intestines. Think of the total devastation, it would cause. No, it should not happen. That too in the Assamese region. No. For the people living there deserve to be worshipped for being the true personification of the human spirit. They have bore the brunt of the vagaries of mother nature. They have survived quakes, they have withstood floods, they have looked at the barrell of the gun in the eye, they have endured the step-motherly treatment by the Indian Central Govt. for decades. Yet, they live there, live to tell the grand tales to their children. The true undying spirit of mankind. May the spirit glow. May people be spared from Nature's fury.

"Sarve janah sukhino bhavantu"
May everybody live happily - Source: The Vedas.

crazy new year's eve

Check this out.
Its Dec 31 1700 hrs.
Plans for a new year bash were, well, smothered down by
1. Flu
2. The dull atmosphere after the tsunami disaster.

There was one crazy mix of activities, I did on New year's Eve.
1900 hrs. Prayer at the Ramakrishna Math. Soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating, enlightening.
2000 hrs. Appointment at a good-for-nothing ayurveda doc for my persistent cough. My observation: he is a quack (vehemently refuted by my parents)
2100 hrs. Sumptous dinner at a good restaraunt. One of the highs of the day (!)
2200 hrs. Watch the kannada equivalent of MTV bakra on TV. Probably, the best kannada TV show, for it is atleast watchable.
2300 hrs. Tune in to some AR Rahman concert being aired in Star Utsav
0000 hrs. Wish my parents a happy new year, just after which they go to sleep
0020 hrs. Recieve a call with all kinds of foul words from the other end. Figure out that its a BITSian friend!
0100 hrs. Start watching Rimi Sen in 'Hungama'. Aahh, what a way to start a new year!

This is life.


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