May 26, 2005

Arz hai....

Dashth e khudrat ki misaal paayi humne is naazuk tabassum me,
ilm e khudrat chhipee hai is chhehre ki maasumiyat me,
izn e khaayam kiyaa hai na waqt ne, na shariat ne ,Sajid
hum gul-chin nahee hai, bas pursish ne, haan pursish ne...

May 24, 2005

Murphys Law

The immediacy,the insanity, the exhileration, the horror, the moral dilemma....No I'm not talking about the America's most surreal and nightmarish military campaign in Vietnam, neither am I talking about the plight of the ideal Hindustani bahu in an Ekta Kapoor soap on Star TV who periodically breaks into mournful lamentations on learning that one of her ex-husbands is going out with her one of her step sisters.Its this thing which happened last friday at our firm which I'm blowing out of proportions to make it look more menacing..I aint the hero...Just the protoganist...A la Benhur...Here goes...

It was midnight...Ripples of electricity lunged through the telephone cables.....and BANG.....sethigs mobile played its blaring ringtone...A feature of the mobile phones which is not usually appreciated at such an unearthly hour.And I declared with utmost coercion ...Our workflow system in the head office is down....Bang!! Bang!!Bang!!I didnt want a mission..and for my sins they handed me one... A volvo bus was on its way to Nellore.Travelling in it was a man who was the master of a product of which everybody in the firm became a slave..unreachable through his mobile..Krovi and Yuga were crashing after attending the first day sessions of Sun Tech Days...dreaming,sleeping,sleeping,dreaming..Probably rehearsing some out of the ordinary act which they might be asked to perform on stage....And bang....I deprived them of a piece of peace or perhaps maybe a peace of piece...

The system which these guys had built started throwing exceptions.And people in the head office went frenzy over it...'Mai iske binaa jee nahee saktaa, jee nahee saktaa, jee nahee saktaa' Sounds like a dialogue from a typical hindi flick in the nineties right? ...And hence I had to call the folks who actually built it who were attending a tech fest at Bangalore....they asked me to look at the logs which i sincerely did...Unfortunately I couldnt make much sense out of it..KILL! they said..I felt like a class twelfth class student being asked to make sense out of Shrodingers equation..Apparently the process was utilizing 98% of the cpu and could crash anytime now....But then, It slowly started coming back to normal...lower...down....down...and it finally became normal...I sat for more time monitoring the cpu utilization...And then went home...But it didnt end here...How could it ? A sum of the remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to programming which despite our sincerest efforts could not be eliminated from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision(with due apologies to The Architect). An intangible malaise was lurking just around the corner...Waiting to attack once again...

The clock started running...tick tock tick tock..things ran smoothly for the rest of the day there... The next day my PL kept calling me every five minutes...literally...And there I was sitting at my desk, reading the logs, monitoring the cpu and reporting ..The problem would have to be debugged before the trading starts in the head office...Krovi was asked to fly down to Hyderabad in the earliest flight..Apparently, the flight got cancelled and our man was subjected to 'Bhrastachar' on zee cinema at the Airport...Murphys law was in full swing..tick tock..The sounds of seconds passing on...An approaching inevitable daylight at our head office..Very soon the trading day would begin...And at when the clock struck 8:00 at nyc, the problem started reappearing once again..People started throwing in "Mai iske binaa jee nahee saktaa' mails..I started running to and fro. between the systems room and my desk..demonstrating my athletic skills...Later that night the football coordinator here asked me if I would be willing to play a game the next day...heh heh...Well anyways after my collegues pin pointed the problem as being located in the database, the DBA was asked to takeover.Fortunately a deadlock was located in the backend db which was later killed and things came back to normal...I heaved a sigh of relief...And after the deranged influence of that frenzied episode,I relinquished my hold on my usual self....u know what i mean...adios

May 13, 2005

The Crippled Warrior

Mirth no dearth, ye warrior returns
Submerged in guilt, the kingdom beckons,
breezy at ease, he treads along,
musing, the fruition of a combat, long
Singing along the elegy of the arena

ignorant, not innocent, the peasants embrace
thy valour, an epitome of courage and grace,
hand him the sickle, ye shalt now reap,
harvest seeds of battle sown so deep,
Singing along the anthem of the arena

Spirited, not skeptical, he picked his tool,
dawn of a pursuit no time to drool,
chaperoned, in the valley, by the shepherd,
skills of trade, thy trooper learned,
Singing along the ballad of the arena

Sickle conquers sword, dishonour! dishonour!
an art bygone, the spirit obscure,
the midst of the travail, thy zest detached,
A craft unknown, withdrawn and subdued,
Singing along the elegy of the arena.

May 01, 2005

A cricket team, bag of chappatis and a matchbox

Ghoomtalakalagalagala.....I screamed at the top of my lungs,gagging up blood as the scream weakened...I was expecting a 'hoo haa hoo haa' in return.Well that was the code we all had agreed upon in case any of us get lost in the woods.A couple of my friends had gone for a walk and were found missing for quite sometime...No answer came...My voice grew hoarse and strained from screaming and my guts felt heavy and cold...A dense chilly wind blew over my face..A minute before, Sachin and I had encountered a mysterious trio carrying a huge torch.They flashed the torch on our faces and I dont know what came over them ,they started running across the flat expanse (It had to be my spooky eyes or my intimidating physique..:B) .And we darted in the opposite direction. It was then we realized that those two guys could have been in trouble.I started feeling a little nervous . Ofcourse they wernt wearing platinum necklaces or diamond studded ear-rings ,so the chances of them getting robbed were very low.And the subjects in question wouldnt really appeal to wild cats and cannibals unless they like bony meat...As far as I know only dogs like bones and I 'm pretty confident they could have fought dogs in case they were chased by them.Then we decided we would go back where the rest of the gang had parked and ask people to split and go in different directions..........

A day before - 7:30 PM IST, Hyderabad
I still wasnt sure if I would be going for the trip.Eleven of us had planned to spend the extended weekend at Mahabaleshwar.Our project was at a critical stage and me holidaying at a hill station at this juncture would be a bad idea.When I informed my neighbour about the trip, he let out a snicker.However my PL had ratified the proposal and asked me to hand over my modules to one of my team mates.And I handed them over.What happened later(after I came back from the trip) is a disturbing tale by itself which I shall narrate sometime in the distant future.And then I rushed home, packed my suitcase AND my make-up kit and rushed to the railway station.We boarded the train and settled ourselves in our allotted seats.There were uncles and aunties all over the place.I sympathized with them.Little did they know that this pack of punks would start playing antakshiri in a few minutes and they would be treated to our high pitched mellifluous voices.I too was asked to join the game.I'm pretty sure,the people in the neighbouring compartment had really horrible nightmares(like sitting on top of mount everest with bare minimum clothing or walking barefooted in a cactus field etc., etc.,) that night if in case they listened to me.The game went on for a good 4 hours and then we decided to crash.The aunties and uncles heaved a sigh of relief.

We woke up at 5:30 the next morning and got down at Kurdu Wadi (thats Sachins village).The population of that place spiked by a huge magnitude.We reached his place and Sachins mom(henceforth referred to as 'Aunty') welcomed us. She packed a huge basket of goodies for our trip and we did the usual 'itnee takleef uthaane ki kyaa zaroorat thee Aunty' and she replied with the usual 'Isme takleef kee kyaa baat hai bete' and similar blah blah blah...Neways,all the dirty dudes like Jitin et al took bath and the ever fresh hunks like yours truly decided not to, and setout on the cab.We reached at about 2:45P.M...We had planned to go on a moonlight trek in a forest which could be reached only through water but before that we had to take permission from a certain local forest authority there.But the forest officer there refused to grant permission 'cause apparently a wild life census was going on at that time and he felt that the count might exceed if we were let loose in the forest.So we set out to a different, less exotic trekking place.We reached the place at about 6:00 PM.We parked the cab at the base, packed our equipment and set out for the trek.It was drizzling slightly and I had promised a friend that we would be lighting a campfire that night.We prayed to the clouds to go away...It worked!!!.Meanwhile Ashish got friendly with a buffalo and it wouldnt leave him...It chased him for sometime.Then with 'utmost' difficulty, we made our way through the dense forest and reached the top of a hill by climbing a tree.we felt like we were on top of the world.Even Edmund Hillary wouldnt have been more elated after scaling everest.

The Bon-fire
As mentioned before, we decided to light a camp fire this time by hook or crook.A few of us set out to collect twigs,dry leaves and wood.They were easily available(or in Jitins jargon availabalable)...We digged and made a huge pit using a tool belonging to the neolithic age.(a stone)...doublechecked for any hidden treasure we could lay our hands upon.On finding none, we arranged the leaves,twigs and the wood in and around the pit.Ashish and I got under a bedsheet and lighted the ensemble.Within a minute there was a huge fire.We danced around it for like an hour,took photographs, ate, drank and lied down counting stars .And then a few among us
started discussing patterns, axioms and the metaphysical.Unable to tolerate it, a couple of us decided to go for a walk.And they went...I however decided to stay back and take a nap but couldnt....Then Sachin and I decided to go for a stroll...We reached a place , a kind of plain land, and saw a bright huge torch moving towards us.We waited patiently until they came reasonably close .They flashed the torch right at our face and started running across the flat expanse..........