Friday, November 26, 2004

Thanks for putting up with me!

My dear harishkutta,

Today is Karthika.....the envelope that you sent me is lying right beside as I write this. Somehow being away from home is making me very very nostalgic about Karthika. The lamps, the aura of the festival, the silent and peaceful evenings..........Miss it all.

You may not remember the fun we had when we were growing up. Though I keep forgetting most things, childhood memories seem to be etched in my mind forever.

I even remember the day you were born as clear as day. I was studying in UKG then, it was a strange day for me because instead of amma helping me get ready for school that day, it was appa who did everything and then he asked me to be a good girl and said that there was gonna be something new when I come back after class. But I dint know why he looked so tense if there was going to be a surprise. I thought mom was sick and maybe something bad was going to happen to her.

When I came back home for lunch, I was really scared to see our home empty. My first thought was that everyone has run away somewhere leaving me alone. The maid servant could not answer any of my questions. Then dad came over and took me to a big building in his red scooter (in which I used to love standing in the front and let the wind hurt my eyes). I saw amma sleeping inside a white room and you were lying inside a cage. An ugly boney thing.

My little brother.

It took me quite a few days to realise that from now on I would have to share my world with you. But then my dear brother, you must be the most easy-to-be-with brother ever. You used to lie around sucking your thumb without a care in the world, never interfering in any of my business. How many times have I rocked you to sleep in those cloth thoolis. (Used to be so jealous of you then for all the attention you got!)

You were my figthing partner during all those care-for-nothing years.

Be it fighting over who gets the bigger piece of cake

fighting over which cartoon to watch

fighting over who gets to lie in appa's oh-so-comfortable lap and watch TV

In the rocking chair Posted by Hello
fighting over which way to make Maggi

fighting over who gets the maximum vishu-kaineettam

fighting over who is taller (I've lost it forever now)

Look who's taller :P Posted by Hello
bets on WWF championship

fights over who gets to use the PC and the internet late at night

blaming each other for peeing in the bed

fighting over which CDs to buy

School days Posted by Hello
all the April fool pranks we've played on all our neighbours

sharing T-shirts and jeans

playing video games together

You and me Posted by Hello
how you ALWAYS used to run away when I came near you to give you a hug

gorging on Pizzas under amma's unapproving glares

taking care of the kittens...oh well...u did the most part of it

How chubby you were Posted by Hello
how you never kissed my cheek even after my repeated requests(you were so girl-shy!)

fighting for the best place in the bed

fighting over why I always get to buy more clothes

Happy us Posted by Hello
how you patiently listened to all the advices I doled out once in a while

discussions on all the small things

how u used to update me on happenings at home when I come back on short vacations,

fighting over who gets to drive the kinetic and then later the car

how you used to patiently eat all the stuff I used to 'try' to cook creatively

We have come so far and here's something for all those karthikas when you have made me feel special, dear brother today is your day or maybe OUR day.

Miss you very much.

your akka, whom u have never called akka!

ps: lets fight once more.....WWF style when I come home this time.

One picture says it all Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 20, 2004


na...its not another one of those very specialised and complex thingies like Astrocartography or's nothing but an 'unlovely' word coined by Nokia to describe photos taken using a mobile.

Camera phones...been just a year since they have been really popular. And given the fact that the young ones today have more than enough of dispensable income, almost every 20-something is sure to have one. Well, notice that I said 'almost'. Cause there is a different group of people in the same planet who think that a phone should be a phone should be a phone. And nothing more.

Thats why when I came across this interesting news, it sounded more than just interesting.

"If one definition of art is what hangs in a gallery, then a new artform has arrived: the camera phone photograph."

Nokia has invited artists and photographers - among others, Tracey Emin, Sir Peter Blake, Nan Goldin, David Bailey and Rankin - to test the camera phones.

The results will go on show at London's Association of Photographers Gallery next week.

Subjects vary from Emin fingering the lid of a beloved Royal Doulton teapot ("It looks like I'm touching a nipple: my nipple") to a portrait of actor Isabelle Huppert in Paris by Goldin. Bailey produced a self-portrait with skull, while the painter Jack Vettriano snapped a girl wearing stockings and suspenders under a scarlet Scots Guards jacket.

Well well...this may be a harbinger of another sophisticated art form. I am proud to be contributing towards the revolution.

Frankly, I had no such noble intentions when I set out to buy my sleek (ok some may call it dubba) Sony Ericsson. Nokia was ruled out plainly because the coffin shape doesn't really appeal to my asthetic sense. Moreover Sony Ericsson won hands down when compared with any other model....well except Motorola A70. But then that was a bit un-userfriendly with its stylus. So that's how I ended up with a Sony Ericsson.

So what's the use for a camera phone when I have a digital cam?

Plenty of them!

The day I went home after buying this phone was some sort of a 'technical exhibition' in my home. My mom, my dad, my granny .....everyone were gaga over it. So surprised to see that a phone could take a picture! (same AHA effect when I first told them that we could send a mail to our cousin in US and it would reach there in less than the time it takes my mom to say 'no way') My granny made me take a good number of pictures of her and was happy showing it off to all our visitors in the next few days!
My camera phone had arrived!

Another very convenient use I have found for camera phones are that they are very good instruments to break the ice between two stragers. People are always piqued by a latest model cell phone. And almost everyone loves to play around with the camera and see themselves in the tiny screen.

The pic of P&A in my cell, was a riot in the campus!

But then is all this worth the investment? I can hear all the stingy-sams questioning.

I would say YES it is!

Some of the most memorable pictures I have are the ones taken using the phone, impromptu.
My phone helped capture some of the 'glory' during my recent Kappad beach trip, where noone had carried a camera along.

It also doubles up as a memory saver. How many times have I taken a pic of a phone number or an address written on a scrap of paper oh-so-conveniently by just a couple of clicks! Perfect for people who cant be bothered to carry bits of paper with them to note down all these technicalities in life.

When my friend in Dubai, gave birth to a lovely daughter, I could see the darling just minutes after it landed in this world!

Another use is to be able to watch people without letting them know that they are being watched.
Me, pkt and sankalp were at the cinema to watch MunnabhaiMBBS and suddenly this very 'hot' girl and her boyfriend come along and stand right opposite to us at a distance. Both of them wanted to take a good 'look' at the girl but were a bit apprehensive because of the size of the boyfriend's biceps. Ta da!....the zoom function in my cameraphone was liberally used that evening.

Another thing is that people are not very shy to pose in front of cameraphones! Beats me why!
A testimony to this is the photos I have of Kanav and Reddy in varous stages of dressing up as 'Push-me-up Sen' and 'Munia'.

Have dozens of amazingly funny photos of my dear classmates snoozing happily in class, people caught in their very embarrassing moments, photo of a grasshopper doing pushups, photos of yellow teeth, utterly timepass pics taken during the munnar trip which would never have been taken using a normal camera, photos of my mom and dad and brother, photos of my friends doing funny faces, photo of a kannadiga woman helping herself to Go-muthram right from its source, photo of a very beatiful hand, nostalgic shots of hosur road taken while riding pillion on a bike on the way to office .....
But the best one todate is the pic of a tiny butterfly that I captured during one of my early morning walks in bangalore - a very beautiful green and yellow striped butterfuly all fresh and happy in its own world!

And more than anything it's 100% fun to have a cameraphone around. You know never know when you would want to take a photo!

Some interesting Dos and Donts given by Guardian's picture editor, Roger Tooth.

1. How to zoom?
Fill the viewing frame with your subject. If in doubt, go nearer

2. If you take a rude picture, don't send it to your parents by mistake

3. Don't breakdance and try to take pictures at the same time - this causes camera shake (THE BEST :P )

Thursday, November 18, 2004


Feels real good having a strong coffee after watching the latest mallu flick

It's a Mammootty movie. This is one of the very few Mammootty movies that I would have compromised on to watch in big screen. Well, he is a good actor. But then I kind of don't like his movies...they tend to be quite serious or action oriented...or even if they aren't, he dominates the whole movie so much that it makes me sick!

So how did I end up going for BLACK?
Well actually I set out to watch a Mohanlal comedy flick called 'Mambazhakkalam' ....but Kerala State Govt decided that they need to have some service differentiation and had the second shows scheduled at 7:30pm rather than the usual 9:00pm, which these consumers were not aware of. So I had to make a choice between no movie or Mammootty movie.

On the spur of the moment I decided go for the bigger evil, and chose Black

Reached the cinema and balcony was Housefull! Tried to chat up the ticket guy and after a lot of prodding he said he had 2 tickets available. But there was a problem, the seats were set at 90 degrees from the screen. I would have to actually strain my neck to watch the movie....well he didn't say that in so many words.....he just said that the seat is at 'an angle' to the screen and we thought what difference does an angle long as it wasn't 180 degrees.......we bought the tickets. The show starts, we enter the hall and the gravity of the situation sinks in. There's no way we could have watched any movie in those seats. Wonder whose idea it was to put those seats there.

So we decide to watch the movie in 'thara'(first class). Ticket-counter-guy says he can't do anything about it but maybe the manager would be able to help us. We go to the manager and tell him about our problem. Would he please be a darling and demote our seats to FirstClass.
He says N-O, NO!. Distributor wouldn't agree..we'll have a loss of 50 bucks....u are too late...blah blah blah.
We say Please chetta... Perseverance finally won. He allowed us in. And we get to sit in the privileged front row :)
What a better place than this to watch an action packed movie!!!

Now some gyan about BLACK...
Cast: Mammootty, Rahman, Siddique, Shriya Reddy
Director: Ranjith
Producer: Lal

It is a story about 'Goondas' or the people who do not have proper identity or address but still form a part of life in the city. Shanmugham (Mammootty) is a money-lender and a police officer who doesn't wear khakhi and hardly goes to the Police station. And he has hajaar contacts in the right places. Rahman is the newly-joined SI who Mammootty has a soft spot for since he almost 'killed' Rahman's elder brother and that guy asks Mammootty to take care of his younger brother as his dying wish. Anandam (Shriya Reddy) is a Tamil girl whose iron-wala hubby is brutally killed by the police and finds solace in Shanmugham’s house as the little girl's friend. The little girl is the major (guessable) suspense in the story.

******People who want to see the movie don't read the next 2 paras********
The story starts off with action and continues with more action and ends with action + gore. No dearth for blood in this movie. As the movie proceeds, Rahman gets killed in a very dramatic or I can even say 'mind-blowing' scene by Siddique. That scene was full of panache and the monsoon rain really added to the dramatic effect. A local iron-wala is made the bakra and is charged for the murder. Poor thing dies after a lot of dishoom-dishoom by lots of well-fed pot-bellied and half naked police junta. In between there are the local pimps and the goondas leching at the iron-wala's wife, and the-trying-to-be-humorous-and-almost-succeeded accountant to add some spice into the story.

The next twist in the plot is when Mammootty realises that he has a duaghter in his old flame and that little girl is deaf and dumb. This makes him want to turn into a 'good' human being, that is something other than black. Get the connection now? He tries to reincarnate himself, but his already established gang don't agree to this and even goes to the extent of inviting 'quotations' (Goonda slang) for his murder. He realises they won't understand anything other than gun-talk and finishes each one of them smoothly and pushes off to Chennai with his brand-new-daughter and the iron-wala's wife (who I don't know whether will eventually be his wife or just a maid!)

Thats black!

Well I really enjoyed the movie. Not for the story....but for the way it's shot. Siddique, as usual, has done a terrific job. It was a pleasure watching him on screen. So was Rahman and his jhatkas :P
Maybe I like this movie so much because its been a long time since I watched a mallu movie and I would have liked anything mallu :P

Now that I seem to have started a trend, can't wait to watch the Mohanlal blockbuster Mambazhakkalam.

Wish these movies had subtitles......all my dear friends are missing out on all this fun and action!

Learnings from the evening and the movie

- Mammoootty wears brown, black and maroon lipsticks based on the scene.
Black for action scenes, brown for long dialogues or angry scenes and maroon for soft or romantic scenes :)

- I need to revise my mallu swear word vocabulary. Couldn't follow some of the dialogues which brought in great applause from the audiance.

- Action movies can be fun too.....especially if you are watching it from the 5th row from the front in thara....where you can actually make out which colour lipstick the hero is wearing and and also count the number of teeth fillings he has.

- Keralites...though not very good at customer service are slowly getting there. They just need to polish it a little bit. If it was in bangalore, the changing of tickets from balcony to first class wouldn't have been a problem. But then there wouldn't be such stupidly-positioned seats in the theatre in the first place.

- Some movies are better watched in the front row than the balcony. Like Manichithrathazhu, which got Shobana her National Award. Can't forget the 'Vidamatten' scene that almost made me pee in my skirt!

- Mallu movies desperately need some good-looking heroines.

- Mammootty looks just perfect in a Royal Enfield. Made for each other.

- Unlike Hindi movies, Mallu movies can be successful without a heroine and a dozen song and dance sequences.

- Once upon a time I had a crush on Rahman (the actor). He has become 10 times the man he was then...of course in size! :)

- My fav restaurant 'Rajadhani' is no more. Theres just a big vacuum in the place where it existed once majestically. Run by a Haajiyaar (which I think is a local term for an elder Muslim man), this place used to have very soothing old hindi songs playing in the background. Have some good memories at that place. This blog is dedicated to all those yummy 'noolappams' I have had from there.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


3:30 am: Heavy knocking on my door. Think for 10 seconds whether to open the door or to let them bang it down. Decide on the former thinking that living without a door would be painful, even for a day. Get up groggily, open the door a crack and see Motu standing there along with Kanika with a very sick (the sickest smile I have seen till date) smile on his face. Still trying to figure whether this is a dream (Oh but I hardly dream. What if this is my first dream ever....Oh no...Motu is the one featuring in my first dream? :( ) Slowly I realize that there are more people standing around. Then I thought maybe something bad has happened. But then why is everyone smiling. They look as if they are poised to do something. Just waiting for the right moment. I dared to go out. And then it happend.

Splash. Splash. Splish Splash. HAPPY DIWALI

Bucketful and mugfuls of 3-am cold water were blissfully sending shivers through my body. One second I was happily sleeping quite snug in my warm bed.....and then I find myself completely drenched and shivering. If looks could kill, I am sure I would be in for a minimum double death sentence. Oh that way I could have had a small meeting and discussion with Kanchi Acharya and talked about different ways to do a smooth murder, especially without using a cell-phone :P

7:00 am: Switch off the alarm. Happy that I have two alarms. One to get up ON time and then sleep again. Another one to get up IN time. (I hope I got the usage right)

7:30 am: Snooze the second alarm and fall back into bed for that nice feeling of lying in bed watching the sun-shine and the Sweedish joggers.

8:30 am: Get up and check email. 2 mails to reply to. Get back to bed for more morning-sleep.

9:30 am: Have to get up. Can't go sleeping whole day on a Diwali. Moreover busy day ahead.

10:15 am: Get dressed up for Diwali. Try to get in touch with my feminine self by applying a little bit of kaajal and bindi and wearing slightly bigger earings and Salwar. And people do notice! Missed my long hair today. Yummy corn flakes and poha as usual for breakfast.

10:30 am: Me and Vishy start to work on our IT paper for horizons. We make plans of finishing it off within a few hours and part.

11:20 am: Me watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S :)

11:30 am: Realise that I haven't done much for the paper and try to google some stuff that I can download straight to the paper.

11:45 am: Get this great respondent(read Friend) who gives me some inputs for the IT paper and also participates in my CATCH salt survery. The only problem was that he hadn't heard about CATCH salt. But I managed. Anyways I learnt that it's strictly Mummy says when it comes to buying salt for a 25-ish Software chap living with parents. Hmmm.....

12:30 PM: C hostel decides that it wants to watch a movie and it wants to do it right now! The obvious choide - Yash Chopra blockbuster Veer's got ShahRukhKhan, Priety Zinta and Rani Mukherjee. What more could one ask for. It's funny how fast the priority list can tumble upside down. Just a little bit of kajoling and I am first in the line.

2:30 pm: 6 girls in a jeep.
No not a movie name. We 6 girls set out to Crown cinema in a jeep.The journey becomes very painful when we get to know that the movie has already started. What's the point of watching the movie if you miss the dramatic Shah Rukh Khan entry!

3:00 PM: How to find an empty seat in a pitch dark cinema hall. That book definitely wouldnt sell if I write it. Finally find a seat somehow and tap the person sitting next to me and ask "Who's this?" I was just scared that maybe one of the 'calicut male' population was sitting there and would mistake me for his partner. But turns out it was just my friend who definitely cannot partner me in writing the book.

4:30 PM: Interval. Calculating my oppurtunity cost of NOT sleeping the afternoon and taking an apparently WRONG decision of coming for this movie. Too much math...give up the calculation. Some things are better left un-calculated.

5:00 PM: Suddenly remember the 'incident' I had witnessed in another cinema hall in Calicut. Check to see whether anything like that is happening in my immediate vicity. Negative. So far so good. All I can hear is Neeta giggling and commenting on a very dramatic scene in the movie. I am not alone.

5:40 PM: Happy to be outside the cinema. Journey back to the hill we 'owned'. Strategic discussion with senior girls on eligibile guys (if any left) in their batch and our batch. We all agree on the scarcity of 6ft specimens.

6:30 PM: Diwali day at K. Time to lit up candles and Diyas. Mess looks completely different with the Diyas and disco light.

7:00 PM: Puja starts off with the pujari mentioning that the tanthras are highly confidential and can't be chanted aloud. We had to be contended with his lip movements. Gaurav not happy with this and swears to do it himself for next Diwali puja. Good. That would reduce the costs also.

7:30 PM: Sandipan with the Swedes. Ofcourse!

7:45 PM: Time for some quick photo sessions. My big eyes and 'bobbed hair' and 'not wearing a sari' are the current topics of discussion. I thought we should be chating some mantras or atleast pretend to do so. I tried pretending then gave it up after I found that it was more fun to watch people pretending.

8:00 PM: Enough of Puja....time for dinner. Best part juicy sweet and sour apples. My favourites. 3 apples get lucky to see my innards. So did the two puris and the peda. And the pan.

8:30 PM: Timepass outside the canteen. And more timepass. And ofcourse more pics. And ofcourse the latest gossip. And yes, Malini and I do our bit for 'keeping the country clean and green'.

9:00 PM: Housie kicks off. Me lucky enough to get a free ticket, but unlucky enough not to win a single prize. Who wants to win anyways! I belive that the most important part of the games is participation and not winning...... ..... .....atleast I would believe this until I win something.

9:30 PM: More timepass before Crackers.

9:45 PM: shhhhhhhhhh boom booom bang dong pffffffffffff sssssshhhhhh
fireworks start off. Ofcourse nothing but phooljadi-sparklers for me! can u think of fireworks without these? No!

Diwali crackers Posted by Hello

10:15 PM: Just holding phooljadi can get boring. Decide to watch whatever action there is rather than trying to contribute my delta. I've already done my bit.

10:30 PM: Three casualities. Devroop dhar injured badly.....who was asked to go back to college after shaking the dust off from his 'burned' part.
Abhineet....who had a thumb fracture from the sound waves or shock waves. Talk of the college now. Shock waves are little naughty suckers. Or maybe Abhineet, you should not go around throwing balls at good girl's behinds. See this is what happens.
Sandipan......Both hands badly injured while he was trying to detonoate the biggest bomb. With another bomb safely tucked inside his pocket, which is what he offerred as consultation fees to the doctor. Well Sandy, was this a ploy to impress the Swedes? I am sorry, but I don't think they noticed.

10:45 PM: Some more timepass...this time the longest and most boring of it all.

11:00 PM: Kaapi and Dumb-C time in the night canteen. Thank god for Qaynat, acting out Qayamat is so easy.

12:00 AM: Check mail before falling off to sleep. The paper writing carried over to the next day. Set both the alarm clocks.

01:00 AM: Someone has kidnapped me. My mouth is gagged. Wake up with a part of the pillow inside my mouth. Damn. How did this happen!

03:00 AM: Someone's banging on my door again. No way am I falling for it today.
Not everyday is Diwali.

Monday, November 08, 2004


Bumped into another one of my ol' fav sites. 20Q.

The site says "The program is very simple but its behavior is complex". I donno why but it sounds funny.

This AI program is a simulation of the Twenty Questions game (which I used to play almost always during those powercuts in the evenings in Kerala). I would have taught this program half of what it knows during my initial 'bench' days at Wipro :P

Check out 20Q here. One warning though, it is pretty addictive. Already spent around 1 hour trying to beat this program and I did teach it a thing and two :)

I must be crazy fooling around right in the middle of our Midterms. But then the first one (Cost Accounting) was a real walk in the park and I am hoping that the rest of them would follow the pattern. Like VV says, 'Anything that begins well, ends well'

Friday, November 05, 2004


Artificial Intelligence has always caught my attention....right from the time I had this subject in my BTech 7th semster. My first encounter with AI was Eliza. The chatterbot that was created by MIT scientist Joseph Weizenbaum and named after Eliza Doolittle of My Fair Lady fame, it was designed to simulate a conversation between a psychooanalysis and a patient. Crappy versions (according to the creator and newer versions of Eliza is available here.
But mind you, Eliza is not that intelligent. I guess this was just a pet project and not much effort was put into perfecting this chatterbot.

But then the first thing I did when I heard about this from my Prof, was to look up how this thing exactly worked. I was a little disappointed when I came to know that it was nothing but a combo of a parser and a sentence matching program. But then later on I came across some newer versions which could actually learn from each chat. Now that was interesting.
Since then have spent so many nights chatting with Eliza and trying to see whether she had learnt something from me ;)

Had even tweaked her data file so that it would look like I was the one chatting on the other side.........sadly lost the whole tweaked version when my hard disk crashed.

There was another thing that I used to do with these....connect two chatterbots so that they talk to each other and I would just sit back and watch the word-war. It used to get really funny at times. :)
Well, 2 months of annual vacation really makes one do lots of stuff!

Eliza is not the only chatterbot around, there are many more like her. Even the Yahoo helper and AskJeeves are chatterbots. Now there seems to be a whole lot of chatterbots around. Check out this link to see Eliza's cousins. NannyB, RunABot (where you can create your own chatterbots), PandoraBots, Jack the Ripper, Yu sound promising. Wish I had some time to check them out.

Check out the lil chat I had with witty Shampage

SHAMpage: A penny for your thoughts; $20 to act it out.
GWBE: ha ha. you are just too much
SHAMpage: Sometimes there is no reason. Shit Happens.
GWBE: i think you are just talking randomnly
SHAMpage: Why do you say that, GWBE?
GWBE: becasue you are so stupid
SHAMpage: You're the one who's chatting with a stupid machine, GWBE!
GWBE: so you agree that you are stupid
SHAMpage: Why?
GWBE: u said that
SHAMpage: What am I DOING here???
GWBE: yeah tell me
SHAMpage: Me, me, me... do you live in front of your mirror?
GWBE: yes i do :)
SHAMpage: Yyes? Are you THAT easy?
GWBE: yes
SHAMpage: That's easy for you to say, GWBE.
GWBE: yes
SHAMpage: That's "si" to you. You're in South Florida now!
GWBE: thank you
SHAMpage: Any time...
GWBE: so tell me more
SHAMpage: Don't you have anything INTERESTING to talk about, GWBE?
GWBE: nope
SHAMpage: You're being contrary and obnoxious again.
GWBE: ha ha :)
SHAMpage: You think that's funny? Try looking in the mirror, GWBE!
GWBE: you are just too much
SHAMpage: No kidding!
GWBE: who is your bestfriend?
SHAMpage: Stop with the "Who" already! You sound like a freakin' owl!
GWBE: where is your best friend?
SHAMpage: In jail.
GWBE: what did he do?
SHAMpage: Like I care...

All these memories came flooding down on me when I read about this Computer Program that can predict the author's gender accurately. Since a machine learning technique is used, it learns everytime someone uses it and now the creator claims that it works 80% of the time. I would disagree and say that it works even better. Tried out with some of my friends writings and most of the predictions were correct, but then me and Neeta seem to have a masculine touch in our writing cause we were identified as male!!! I wonder what it will say if I try some writing by a homosexual person. hmmmmm I tried out Yash's, he was identified as a male. Maybe I should ask someone near Mananchira Square to write something so that I have a good sample :P

Anyways, the way it works is pretty simple. The basis this program is built upon is that 'men talk more about objects, and women more about relationships'. True? Am not very sure......
Patterns detected by the program include the use of pronouns, such as I, you, he, she, them (female) and words that identify and quantify nouns, like a, the, that, one, two (male). The software, developed by Moshe Koppel of Bar Ilan University in Israel, was designed to "identify the most prevalent fingerprints of gender." These words are given different weightages and the problem just scans how many times these words have been used by the author.
This program seems to have got it right. Check it out here and fall in love with AI.

But then I wonder what real life applications such a technology would have? Would someone ever want to buy such a thing?

Maybe Foreign universities which scrutinises students' applications and essays can use this as an additional check to find out whether it was written by a same sex person or even whether the person has tried to grossly change his/her way of writing.
Na...........doesnt sound very viable.

This can be used to check the gender of anonymous chat partners.
Now that may be an interesting use!
But then I guess these days people would be smart enough to talk like a girl, if they impersonate as one. But then, you never know.

Can even be used by profs at K to check whether the guys have copied any assignments from C hostel or vice versa.

And of course its a great way to catch someone's attention. Would do great as an Online Curio which is what it is today.

If you can think of some other use for this, do let me know.

Just found an answer, this would be a great use of chatterbots. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

OPUS04 & Rankings

OPUS '04

Another weekend gone by. Another Seminar. This time it was K's debut annual seminar of Operations and talks were mainly on SCM, Six sigma, Logisctics and dist management and blah blah blah.
Early sunday morning saw all of PGP I dressed up primly for the seminar. Though there were many speakers, the one that stole the prize of the day and was most talked about after the talk (maybe not for the right reasons) was the Key note address delivered by Commodore M.K. Murthy, Chairman & MD, Cochin Shipyard Ltd. A true retired army general, who looked his part perfectly, his talk as vibrant as he appeared to be.

Though he talked mostly about how principles and strict management and quality changed Cochin shipyard from a loss making company to a dividend paying one after he took over, what stole the show were the amazing idioms that he used. His comparison of the long list of problems at Cochin shipyard to Draupadi's sari and a tit-for-tat answer to a question on JIT that it works only in companies where you have a situation of In goes the pig and out comes the sausage! :P
He must have been a PJ king in his college days!
Looking back, I think thats one speech that I wont forget soon. It just reinforces the fact that "make your talk interesting and you are an instant success". Especially if you have a huge audiance of which the majority are not really
interested in the 'Operations' of things!
Had bought this book called '1000 anecdotes to make your presentation interesting'
from Blossooms in bangalore sometime before coming to K. Yet to read it.

My To do list counter increased by one.

What commodore reminded me was of the time, we (my family) had gone on a visit to Cochin Shipyard. Only thing I remember is the guided tour that we got of a passenger ship. Dammit dont remember anything more. From that day onwards I had fantasized umpteem times about a voyage in ship to a far far land.....and recently had even eyed one of the glossy ads in TOI about a Luxury cruiser.
When When When?! Too many unfulfilled wishes and here I am trying to figure out and
read for tomorrow's Quiz on FM. Though I kind of like the subject now, I still dread
the quizzes and Prof UD seems to just enjoy shooting quizzes now and then.

More on OPUS...........
The other speakers in the seminar were
Dr. N. Chandrashekharan, Senior Consultant CII and Head CIL.
According to him the five enablers for achieving excellence were leadership, policy & strategy, people, partnership and processes. He embedded examples from Amul, Britannia, BHEL and PNB as case studies during his talk.

Mr. Kumar Kandaswami, Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited
talked about the Global Benchmark Survey that Deloitte had undertaken last year
on companies around the world.

This was one talk that made me sit up and listen. Maybe because it was more structured and had some interesting results.
The survey done by Deloitte divided the pariticipating companies into 4 quadrants based on varying criteria and it explained how some companies are different from the others and stressed on the importance of Value chain synchronization in achieving operational excellence.

Mr. Sachin Bhatnagar, Manager - Commercial, Marico Industries Limited
He gave a very drab presentation of a real life case study on Marico. By this time I had almost lost interest and was trying to concentrate more on my growling stomach
than on the seminar. But I heard that his talk was actually good.

Mr. Jagdish Ramaswamy, Vice President, Quality Team, Wipro Technologies
Mr. Tapan Roy, CEO, TCI Logistics
Dr. A.H.Kalro former Director of IIMK

Since I dint attend the afternoon session (and am threatened to pay 500 bucks fine or no job for me in the final placements) due to MediaCell work (so am not paying the 500 bucks!!! PPPBbbbbbt) I dont know what the talks were about in the afternoon.

But another important talk was the one by our dear Director, Dr. Krishna Kumar. After his usual talk, he delved into the rankings issue, which he knew was the talk of the college after K's supposedly poor performance in all the rankings. He expressed his concern over the authenticity and the methodology of the rankings published by the leading magazines. He said that IIMK had not participated in any rankings because they believed that what was important was Education of Business and not business of education. I wish he would make some strong statements like this in the media.
Anyways I believe that rankings dont really matter to an extend. What are they other than just a ploy to increase the mag sales when the MBA aspirants are sure to buy all the copies even if they dont believe in the rankings. Most of them buy it not to be left out when the losers who actually go by the rankings buy all of them and discuss this. Peer pressure. Simple.
Even I had gone through all the rankings in ABC and YTR mags when I had to choose between the 3 offers that I had. But then I would say they hardly infuenced my choice. I agree 100% with our Diro when he says that What would matter is the brand ambassadors of K who go out into the world every year and not some numbers game.

One simple thing, if rankings are reliable, why the hell are they so different when done by different mags? And hello some of the names in the Top 10 weren't even there in the top 25 last year. So according to the critera used, did they go buy themselves a truckload of permanent faculty and another 10 truckloads of research papers and a skyscaper with all latest mumbo jumbo to add to the infrastructure of the institute?

Am sure those who are really intersted would be logical enough to do their own survey rather than going behind the bloated numbers game.

Long live common sense!