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]

In my dreams

In my dreams

My obession wirh Anathema continues. I just cant get the song out of
my head. It is a must hear for everybody out there.

One last Goodbye

In my dreams I can see you
I can tell you how I feel

In my dreams I can hold you
And it feels so real

One last goodbye

Its Valentine's Day. I can blog at length about how I feel at certain instances that it is such a lovely festival of love - one of the most powerful human emotions, and at the same time about more instances where I feel this day lacks relevance and love is but a blanket if illusion over the human eye. But I am not in a mood to do either. I just feel like humming a song along. A song that truly conveys my feelings this day. I was generally sifting through my close-to-10 GB songs collection, when I came across this amazing song by one of my favourite bands - Anathema. I am amazed at how a song's lyrics can so profoundly coincide with my thoughts today. Well, I feel every word of this song. So, this goes out to a special person. Download the mp3.

How I needed you
How I grieve now you're gone
In my dreams I see you
I awake so alone
I know you didn't want to leave
Your heart yearned to stay
But the strength I always loved in you
Finally gave way
Somehow I knew you would leave me this way
Somehow I knew you could never stay
And in the early morning light
After a silent peaceful night
You took my heart away
And I grieve
In my dreams I can see you
I can tell you how I feel
In my dreams I can hold you
And it feels so real
I still feel the pain
I still feel your love
I still feel the pain
I still feel your love
Somehow I knew you could never, never stay
And somehow I knew you would leave me
And in the early morning light
After a silent peaceful night
You took my heart away
I wished, I wished you could have stayed.

Aham Brahmasmi

The very essence of the Advaita philosophy is "Aham Brahmasmi". I have been a staunch believer of Sankara and his philosophy of Advaita - The oneness of the human soul(atman) and the soul og God (Paramatman). It is a pathetic state of affair that this amazing phrase - "Aham Brahmasmi" is quoted so oftenly in the wrong context. Ignorant people use this phrase to epitomise ego and haughtiness, while the actual meaning is one of humility and submission to God. The Advaita philosophy states that the atman and the paramatman being the same, any offence to any other atman(human soul) is an offence against God. We are drops of that ocean called God. We are a manifestation of God himself. Just as the whole universe is a manifestation of God.

Now, here begins my set of interpreations of Advaita, which are also shared by a roster of 75 respected scientists from 41 different nations working on the Global Consciousness Project. If we are all a manifestation of God, if we all form drops of water in the ocean of God, then we must share something common in all of us. (Apart from the fact that we are all humans, and we all are dolts ;-) ). We all have this common thread of thought that passes through all of us. But, we havent yet been able to tune our minds in to that frequency. That common frequency that will render all modern forms of communication useless; no telephones, no internet, no fax, no email, no blogs, all that will be required is a thought. Just coming to think of the proposition, it sends shivers down my spine. That will forever change the face of humanity. Knowledge will be open to everybody. You can know what your loved one thinks of you, you can know when your boss is planning to fire you, you know who is planning to rob your priceless painting in your living room this night. Every disaster in the world can be sensed beforehand. We will have a sneak peek into the future. If you believe this is fantasy, then read on.

Can This Black Box See Into the Future? Professors and scientists from 41 nations are working together on 61 Random Number Generators which are just small boxes, but they presume are crystall balls with a vision of the future. These boxes (or Eggs as they are called) generate a random series of 0s and 1s. Probability states that if these series are plotted on a graph sheet, the overall figure has to be more or less a straight line (as the probability of getting a 0 or a 1 is the same). And it is experimentally verified. Here comes the catch. On rare days, the graph has shot up remarkably or climbed down drastically; and on those days something phenomenal has happened in the world. The probability of such a event happening is 1 in a million. And such events have happened on the day prior to Di's death, 9/11, Tsunami disaster. People might call it coincidence, but then the probability of such a coincidence is 1 in a (million x million x million ) which is outrageously small. Then, is it true that we are having a premonition of the future. The task lies in the hands of those scientists slogging to explain this paranormal phenomenon.

Time shall be testimony to history in the making.
I dont have a premonition of the future. So, no predictions from my side.

Aham Brahmasmi.

Da Helau Alliance

When it comes to having fun, we rock! The 'we' here refers to me and my close bunch of friends who include 'Da Bombs' and a few others (One of them is a part of another group called 'The Diabolic Angels'). 'Da Healu Alliance' is the latest addition in the elite groups here.
Whew! A lot of jargon in the above paragraph. Let me make life simpler for all of you who did not comprehend it. (Here's another test: Try comprehending the median of a triad of phalanges held up. If you got the answer, Sorry! I did not mean that to you. It was meant to lesser mortals who could not comprehend it.)

'Da Bombs'. A group of elite men who are ready to blow up. Nah! I didnt mean the Fidayeen. We are men who are reservoirs of potential waiting for the right moment to explode and show to the world who we are. We claim ourselves (and legitimately are) to be a bunch of highly competent men from varied backgrounds, yet share a common thread of friendship that runs through us and leads us to our vision. This group came into being in August 2004, deriving its name from the popular song by 'Inner Circle'. Since then, we have had loads of fun and still continue having that so often that I wonder whether I can sustain more ! As a pioneering group here at BITS Pilani, (pioneering in many aspects which are intuitively obvious) we have our own dictionary and we have been the proponents of a new kind of jargon. And the word that claims to be the most popular word among us and a lot of other BITSians here is the famed word - "Helau"

Helau - It is a Da Bombized version of the greeting 'Hello'. But its usages far exceed the ever-hear usages of the word of 'Hello'. The primary meaning being the same as 'Hello', the word 'Healu' can make a Da Bomb turn back whenever the word 'Healu' is uttered. It has usages like
1. What on earth did you do ?
2. Alright !
3. Warcry
4. Blushing ;-)

'Da Helau Alliance' came into being with three teams we generally managed to form for a small quiz organized by the IEE Chapter of BITS Pilani. The teams were named Helau-1, Helau-2 and Helau-3.
Helau 1: Uday Kiran, Uzma (The only girl in the alliance, also part of the 'Diabolic Angels') and Yours Sincerely Abhilash
Helau 2: Vishnu (A visiting member of 'Da Bombs"), Kar and Ankur
Helau3: Hemanth, Bharadwaj and Vikram (another visiting member)

The elimination round began with all members of 'Da Helau Alliance' lining up in a bench to make a united thrust towards total control of the Earth(I am a megalomaniac!). And surpisingly, either the opposition was pathetic or we were too good that even Zeus would have bowed to us. Two Helau teams Helau-1 and Helau-2 topped the elimination round and went into the finals.

The finals was a good series of rounds, with us having barrells of fun, finally the Helau-1 team won the second prize and walked out with Rs. 600. Not bad, uh ! Will suffice for a grand treat of 'Da Helau Alliance'. Man! Today was one helluva experience. Though I still believe I was a dolt to go against Uzma's answers and give some asinine answers which sent us plummeting when we were in the lead. Who gives a damn! We won 600 bucks with absolutely zero effort ! Now that's what I call Infinite RoI !

Hail Da Helau Alliance.

Intuitively Obvious

Hmmmm.... I am a staunch believer in the saying that goes like -

There are 3 kinds of lies - lies, damned lies and statistics

But then, once in a while I forego my trust in the saying and check out statistics. After all, lies are juicy.

Here are some site statistics on 2 sites of which I (being the administrator......ahem) have set up counters on.

Site 1: Conquest - The Business Challenge , a premier business competition being organised by the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at BITS, Pilani.

Browser Stats:
66% - MSIE
24% - Firefox
6% - Opera
3% - Mozilla

OS Stats:
91% - Windows (All variants)
5% - FreeBSD
4% - Linux

Site 2: Yeah, you guessed it right, It is this very blog of Abhilash. R , a unknown student at a university called BITS Pilani in a remote desert of India. Abhilash R also calls himself as the alien (or ali3n as he writes it). Hence the blog derives its name as Alien Ponderings.

Browser Stats:
54% - MSIE
37% - Firefox
7% - Netscape
2% - Mozilla
1% - Safari

OS Stats:
91% - Windows
5% - Linux
2% - FreeBSD
2% - Mac OS

Conclusions that are intuitively obvious to me: (If it is not for you, then you better undertake a course on intuition that I plan to offer, if I become a failure in life and settle down as a lecturer/professor - No offence meant! )

1. Gates has managed to keep the Windows of his glasshouse , safe and secure from the penguin's attempts to throw stones at it. Great going, mate. Wish you luck in the future because you will be needing lots n lots of luck. I believe
Who needs Gates and Windows when the world is Free and Open

2. But then Gates has huge competition when it comes to the fiery marketing strategy adopted by the Firefox group. I am a great ardent follower of the Firefox group, and their brilliant marketing strategies. If you are on MS Internet Explorer, go get a life. Go Get Firefox. You will forget that existed a browser in the not-so-far past called IE.

Any more intuitively obvious conclusions that I have missed out are welcome. ( I promise you, i will rethink my course on Intuition)

Apathy towards FOSS in our own IT Capital

Maybe this is what happens when one loses the habit of browsing through the newspapers. This article published in the newpapers in Banglaore in December 2004 caught my attention on the net. The Karnataka Government has inked MoU with Microsoft according to which Microsoft will set up 3 IT centers in India and impart Kannada education using Microsoft tools to both teachers and students, basically in the rural government schools. Laudable initiative! But only to the point that Indian educaiton is accepting technology for its betterment. The accolades stop there. The question I ask is 'Why Microsoft?'

Hundreds and thousands of people in Bangalore and nearby areas who support the Open Source Movement are in deep shock and anguish. What might be the spate of the FOSS (Free/Open Source Software) movement if the Government itself allies itself with Propreitary software? It reminds me of a popular statement in our friends group - "It aint like digging your own grave. It is searching for a deep hole all over, jumping into it and yelling 'Bury me, Bury me!'". It is deep apathy on the part of the Kanrataka Governmetn to sign the MoU with Steve Ballmer during his visit to Bangalore.
Tehelka had an article over this issue.

The zeitergeist preaches Open Source and we at Bangalore who claim ourselves to live in the IT capital of India, India's own Silicon Valley blah blah blah take one step back in time. It is high time the Dharam Singh Government is taught a lesson or two in current IT affairs. Bangalore has already lost ground as the IT capital. It is being overshaodowed by Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and other cities , though it still has a huge potential for growth in it. I believe the root cause is the present CM Mr. Dharam Singh who by my knowledge, does only one thing best - 'Closes his eyes, tells you to put the briefcase on his table, calls for his PA, and opens his eyes once his PA has taken the briefcase into his locker room'.

Here's what Hari Prasad Nadig, a prime Kannada Open Source Initiative promoter had to say -

Microsoft would be teaching kannada teachers all over the state in what is coined as 'Project Shiksha'. MS would be teaching the teachers the MS technologies, and understandably expanding and exploring its own market and pushing its own technologies and software. The irony is that even though opensource alternatives are available for absolutely no cost, the Government is reluctant to wash its hands by handing over the responsibility to an MNC. Finding open source alternatives would mean more jobs and more self reliance wrt software and technologies. Moreover, the money the government should be spending on development works in various part would flow to one of the world's richest MNC! Needless to say, the issue has sparked a lot of attention these days.

Here are a few links about Kannada OSI (Open Source Initiatives)

Kannada Project @ SourceForge
- A brilliant OS project. "Ought-to-check-out"
Kannada Computing list

I believe that localisation is one of Open Source's distinct advantages. It is time we contribute to it.

Sign of things to come

Sign of things to come

Event: "BITS Big Bout" ( The most popular and hugely attended
fortnightly panel discussion in BITS Pilani involving faculty as well
as students )
Date: 4 Feb 2005
Topic : "Creative Entrepreneurs vs Handcuffed Managers"
Thus I spake:
" An entrepreneur is half-born, half-made"
" We all remember Mark Twain's creation Tom Sawyer and his stories.
One of the most memorable being the story of the picket fence wherein
Sawyer' is forced to paint the fence of his house, but then being the
cool dude as he always was, Tom makes his friends do the work for him
in addition to paying him for the privilege of painting Tom's fence.
Here is a case wherein a person is forced to be a 'manager' but then
the entrepreneurial spirit in him surfaces, he senses an opportunity,
converts it to his advantage. Now, this is what I term

Reports from the frontline

Very very eventful days have just passed. More are in the offing. Here's a brief recap as to what happend in recent times (Its alright, this aint another recap from the K- serials).

Interface, the annual All India Management convention organized by the Management Association of BITS, Pilani was held this weekend here. I really love this event, as it is the Mecca of all management and entrepreneurship oriented programs here at BITS Pilani. I did participate in a few events.
1. I generally wrote a mock CAT test conducted by Career Launcher, and to my surpise found that with six more right answers, I would have got a call from some IIM in CAT 2004. Yikes! I had underestimated my math capabilities.
2. Because of my score in that Mock CAT, I was given a bye into the second round of YMOM (Young Manager of the Meet) - the most coveted title during Interface. The second round was a gruelling 12-member Group Discussion. Whew! The true face of Chaos (!). Everybody out there exceptionally good orators and howlers(to a certain extent) dying for a chunk of the fourth dimension which was restricted to 15 minutes. i couldnt make a headway in the first 10 minutes, but ended up doing a lot of summarizing during the last 2-3 minutes. Bu that was nowhere close to being the best 3 in the Discussion who went on to Round 3: Personal Interviews.
3. "The E-Factor" - a team of 3 - me, Srinivas Jampani and Vernon Fernandez. We had formed this team without much ado and thought to participate in Insomnia - The Biz Quiz. In the Audi, during the prelims, I could see atleast a dozen teams who were much much better than us in pure quizzing terms. Siz teams were to go ahead to the finals. So, hopes were abysmally low. But then it is business, mate! You never know the result until the last card is played. Half an hour later, we found ourselves sitting on the stage in the auditorium after having outwitted half a dozen of the so-called 'better' teams. The finals was a cool quiz, with lots of Biz fundas flying over. We were in th joint lead till the last round, but a superb performance by 2 other teams, pushed us to 3rd place snatching away a total prize of Rs. 10k. Damn! We were a hair's breadth from earning a semster's supply of Dosas in the All night canteen!
4. Then I and Uzma, being good debating partners participated in Laissez Faire - a supposed debate competition which ended up being a cross of JAM and Negotiation rounds. I goofed up totally in the JAM, plummeting out hopes of a place in the finals. Coming to think of it, I should have let her speak in the JAM, she is much better than me when it comes to spontaneous speaking.

This was Interface.

Then I had to slog for a damned course called "Electrical Sciences -II" to understand why transformers are called so! Ended up screwing the test bigtime. What a beginning to a semester.

Coming up, a test on Microprocessors, the only course this semester which is making sense. Surely, I dont want to screw it up.
I have a presentation to make on the activities of the BITS-IBM Linux Club here, of which I am a core member. And also up is a talk on 'Grid Computing' by a IBMer.

Chaos and Equilbrium

Chaos! Just a glance at the word brings out a surge of emotions in me. It is hard to explain. The word has a plethora of hidden meanings and implications. Just try to recollect the places that u have heard this word - "Chaos"
1. Kings of Chaos ( btw I am going gr8 in this online game ranked 68k overall Join me )
2. The Chaos Theory ( does this need an explanation for aliens like me ! )
3. Eternal Chaos ( my theory - soon to be published in this space )
4. Thermodynamics ( All that entropy and other crap)
The list goes on .....

But I would like to add a new dimension to things. The Chaos that the Merovingian speaks of in the Matrix. The Chaos that is inherent in all of us. Here I am sitting in front of the cathode ray tube illumiated monitor of a computer typing this blog calmly, and there you are doing the same thing except for the difference that your agile fingers are more camly on the rodent species attached to your computer rather than tapping at a not-so-good musical instrument called the keyboard. Both of us appear calm and poised. But underneath the external calm, lies "Total Chaos". Every neuron in our brains working overtime to bring out a crazy idea lodged in our brains since eons. Every blood cell screaming past the bland walls of the arterties and the veins to deliver oxygen to every cell in the body. Diving right into the heart of this Chaos, I believe that it is this very Chaos in our minds, that has been the driving force behind our progress. Chaos increases with time, and reaches a inflexion point; the ideal setting for a breakaway progress/decline. As Andy Grove would have put it, Chaos is a 10X factor. At the inflexion point of Chaos, there are two possibilities in the dimension of time. We either land up doing something so extraordinary that we will leave our footprints on the sands of time (or atleast make a mark in our lives itself...this is applicable only to lesser mortals like many of us) or end up doing something so asinine that even God would have been ashamed at us. The probability depends upon many circumstances, but then Murphy's law and the Law of averages fight it out in this great phenomenon.

Equilibrium is staganation. It is asking for peace, when one has a chance to wage a war and make it big. (Disclaimer: I am not a war-monger. This statement should be taken in its metaphorical sense , and with a couple of spoons of salt). Equilibrium is for people who dont dare to think beyond the zenith (no pun intended, Mr. Choudhary). On a personal front, I cant stand equilibrium. I believe in the power of Chaos. Since ages, Chaos in people's minds has led to great innovations and breakthroughs. It is Chaos that has led us to the state that we are in now. It is Chaos that is driving us further. The trait to let Chaos reign in one's mind and to rein in Chaos at the right time is the greatest gift to man (yet one of the most seldomly used ).

I love Chaos.
Do you?

Tryst with Trust

How I wish, I could stop posting such negative posts on this blog. But then, destiny has other plans. These days, it has been more of a mixed bag of emotions in me. To be fair, the bad things in life outnumbering the good ones. Come to think of it, there are no such things as bad events in life because ultimately i believe that all these are mere illusions. Choice itself is an illusion leading to the logical conclusion that all events occuring because of a choice that one made are predestined and hence illusions themselves. The logic is pretty easily extended to the proposition that 'Life is maya'. Life is an illusion draped over our unsuspecting eyes.

Coming back to the topic I intended to blog about. Well, it is said that trust is built over time, but broken in moments. I realised it the hard way. Loads of Virtua Tennis, some con*** games, the net, linux, flash, and the E-factor - a heady mix to break trust. Nothing hurts a person more. The pain that one suffers, when he loses trust, when somebody loses confidence in him is torturous. God forbid these pains to people. But then, I am not a guy who takes things lying down. I rise now to build again that wonderful edifice called 'trust'. To show the world that 'I still can. All that happened was a passing mirage'.

BTW screwed up one more test ;-)


This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.


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