Saturday, October 11, 2014

What is the most ghostly experience you ever had?

One summer we stayed in my boyfriend's aunt's mansion in Stockholm. It was scary, and there were random giant mirrors in hallways, and sides of balconies to give it a grand perception.

One night, at about 2 AM, I decided to bring some cherries from cherry basket in the central hall. (Do not ask why.) It involves going from bedroom to one floor down via a dimly lit corridor, then terrace followed by spiral red carpet staircase. My heart was pounding even before I started to make my move. I decided not to look into the mirrors or the paintings, and the plan was just to keep my focus on my feet as I go down and bring the stuffs back. I asked my boyfriend to keep talking to me while I go and come back. Sound like a good plan?

When I started, he started to tell me the Red Riding Hood story. Bad choice. I was laughing when I left the bedroom. I realized the lights were bright enough to see everything as clearly as day. The creepy thing was it was too damn silent and cold. And, the plan was flawed. As I was walking through the corridor, I realized the destination is far enough that his voice would eventually fade away. The second problem was, I could still see the mirror from corner of my eyes. So, I was looking at my feet and I could see them in the mirrors, though I wanted to avoid them.

As I was moving forward, the story voice was fading away, and noise from my footstep was becoming more intense. My heart started racing. I lost my friends voice when the wolf attacks the girl in the story or may be I panicked and stopped hearing his words, and instead my ears became super sensitive for whispering and hushy sounds made by my clothes, slipper, and creaks of the wooden floor. Just before I reached to the open area on terrace which was not scary, I do not know what hit me, I decided to see my face in the mirror. Oh, it was not so scary, I thought. Until I notices the parallel mirrors were creating infinite reflection of mine and I could see my face was distorted more in every subsequent one or so I felt. I ran about 10 feet, to turn to left to the balcony, I thought heard someone whispered, "Sherry...". I screamed. I ran to a corner and sat down with my back tightly touching the walls because I am always scared of something coming from behind.

I rested a good three to five seconds to realize that I was just being stupid. I rationalized the situation. I could hear aunt Becky's daughter talking over the phone. I also realized that the place was modern and very well lit. I thought I was too scared that viewed the mirror for too short time to come to any conclusion about distortion. I also decided to not have parallel mirrors in my house if I own one. Stood up. Tighten my clothes for minimum obstruction. Took my slippers in my hand. Slowly, I reached to the mouth of the corridor. Gulped my saliva. I did say something which was like a prayer for my life. And I broke into a sprint till I hit the room door flung open to find out that my boyfriend was was about to finish "The Miller, his son and their donkey" story.

I was surprised that I took so long that he finished two stories. He said that he realized that the Red Riding Hood was a bit grim story, so he changed it as soon as I left the room. It surprised me because I was hearing him tell the Red Riding Hood tale till the fox attacked. When I told me what happened to me, he took me through the corridor to show me that the mirrors were just one side of the wall, denying any possibility of seeing infinite reflection.

PS: I originally told it to my friend who was reluctantly answering a Quora request.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Douchebag Poster

Someone posted this poster which appeared on my Facebook timeline. It is so hateful that I wrote a parallel to it.

(click the image to see full glory)

Here is the parallel version:

I have read this douche-bag poster on my friends wall. It is full of cliche and vomits full of "I am so nice. I am so caring." Screw it. I have written a parallel.

WARNING: not for faint hearted, retarded, show offs. Politically correct people may carry wet paper towel with them. NO. SERIOUSLY!! (don't grin like a monkey)

Turn off your TV, leave your house:
> It's fucking 3AM in freezing winter night, back home to find you were robbed.

Know your neighbors:
> Got punched in face for asking if he can tell you some about gardening, apparently he did not want people to know that he grows weed.

Look up when you are walking:
> Fell flat on face because you did not notice a fucking dog sized boulder

Greet People:
> when they are in the most awkward situation?

Sit on stoop:
> back in house your milk is boiled and overflowing; your newly born fell off the bed, into cat litter, face down

Plant Flowers:
> So that your neighbors' kids can burn them at night, and shout, "die, devil! DIEEE!!!"

Use Your Library:
> which has stinky smell, you are alone in it. Librarian hates you because now he cannot watch porno on free broadband.

Play Together:
> You buy the ball, you arrange the schedule. You arrange the transport. You are the one who searches ball when it get lost. When you find it, everyone has already gone.

Buy from local merchant:
> who sells half the quality available on Internet, at a price double than it says on the carton. Threatens you when you tell the truth.

Share what you have:
> It never comes back

Help a lost dog:
> it has three legs. Owners' decline to take it. You end up feeding it. And it killed your cat.

Take chidren to garden:
> Parents sue you for child abuse. You pay them with all your savings.

Garden Together:
> Your neighbors' grow weed, they plan to kill you and bury under those weeds. (You are anyway an useless person)

Support Neighborhood School:
> They decline to take your kid, because you were sued for child abuse. Though they knew you were innocent, because they were the ones who sued you to buy a Lamborgini.

Fix even if you did not break it:
> Because everyone blames you if something is broken. If you disagree they would sue you.

Have Potlucks:
> Because no one like to eat remaining of dog food of a three legged dogs that is lost and you have it.

Honor Elders:
> Because they are the ones who are organizing the community wide hate operations against you. If you don't, prepare for another meeting the court.

Pick up litters:
> Else they will be thrown to your face.

Read stories aloud:
> At 3AM, reading Fifty Shades of Grey near your hottest neighbor porch, will cause another jail.

Dance in the street:
> Another jail, for disrupting traffic

Talk to the mail carrier:
> Who known you are a loser.

Listen to the birds:
> because no one talks to you. You are a jobless, honorless, egoless, pathetic loner have plenty of time to listen to... whatever.

Put up a swing:
> which no one likes, because there are already tens of these and no one want to come close to a creep. You better use the ropes to hang yourself.

Help carry something heavy:
> Because you are suffering from arthritis and already survived two heart attacks... heavy lifting is all you should offer to help your 200 pounds weighing gym going gorilla like neighbor.

Barter for your goods:
> Exchange your voice activated home theater cum music station for coming Sunday church service, where community priest forces you to confess all the crimes that you never did; which he later spreads in the community with added shameful events that never happened, and you never told.

Start a tradition:
> that has only one follower: you!

Ask a question:
> never get answered; or heard.

Hire neighborhood:
> and gets into jail for harassment charges. Sell your furniture to settle outside.

Young people for odd job:
> 3 year olds for radio active experiments to nuke the neighborhood with exposure value greater than 30 Gray, without lead shields.

Organize a block party:
> and invite party pooping neighbors, who play with food.

Bake extra and share:
> Gets fed to receivers' pet. Who on planned death of the pet sues you.

Ask for help when you need it:
> And no body helps.

Open your shades:
> to let photograph you when you are naked and put it up on community wall.

Sing together:
> except the fact you are singing alone, and your three legged dog died because it could not bear it.

Share your skills:
> except that you have none.

Take back the night turn up the music/turn down the music:
> You have gone officially cuckoo. Everyone wish you die.

Listen before you react to the answer:
> because that's the only thing you can do.

Mediate a conflict:
> and get beaten by both the parties

Seek to understand:
> an asshole, a retard, a psycho, your dead dog...

Learn from new and uncomfortable angle:
> Pull out your Seven-six-two millimeter. Full. Metal. Jacket. This is your rifle, this is gun. This is for fighting this is for fun. Keep it next to your toilet seat.

Lace yourself with .223-caliber Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic. Time to understand things from an uncomfortable angle.

Know that no one is silent, though many are not heard, work to change this:
> Come blasting out of your house, spray fire to anyone in vicinity until all your ammunition exhausts. Go back to your toilet. Know that no-one who is not dead is not silent. It's so cacophony that many are not heard. You have changed the community.. forever. Congrats!!!

Take your rifle next to the toilet. Put the barrel in your mouth. Feel how clean and cold it is. Press the trigger.

– Nishant

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Road Ahead or the Road Behind

This is an inspirational poem I have taken from the TED talk "The Difference between Winning and Succeeding" by John Wooden. One of my favorite.

John Wooden: the difference between winning and succeeding

I think the fates must grin
as we denounce them and insist,
The only reason we can’t win
is the fates themselves have missed.

Yet, there lives on the ancient claim-
We win or lose within ourselves,
The shining trophies on our shelves can
Never win tomorrow’s game.

So you and I know deeper down
There is a chance to win the crown,
But when we fail to give our best,
We simply haven’t met the test

Of giving all and saving none
Until the game is really won.
Of showing what is meant by grit,
Of playing through not letting up,
It’s bearing down that wins the cup.
Of taking it and taking more
Until we gain the winning score
Of dreaming there’s a goal ahead,
Of hoping when our dreams are dead,
Of praying when our hopes have fled.

Yet, losing, not afraid to fall,
If bravely we have given all,
For who can ask more of a man
Than giving all within his span.

That giving all, it seems to me,
Is not so far from VICTORY.
And so the fates are seldom wrong,

No matter how they twist and wind;
It’s you and I who make our fates,
We open up or close the gates
On the Road Ahead or the Road Behind.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

WTF is Karaoke?

It's been 15 years (since 1997, when we got first cassette player) that we have learned this word Karaoke. We always assumed that it's an English word. Today, Rajat was fiddling with my new Sony Walkman mobile phone, and found this feature, 'find Karaoke for this song on YouTube'. Quick witted response was, "Karaoke? Japanese are obsessed with Karaoke." (given the fact that Sony is Japanese). "I am sure that Karaoke ain't a English word, it's Japanese."  He continued.

Well, indeed it is. Wikipedia has it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

MediQ: Elixir to Medical Management

AIIMS Delhi, March 31, 2012 11:30AM, NRD and I were looking at multiple gigantic queues -- Queues to get appointments to doctors of their concerns, or to get some sort of medical help. What even more surprising was, that some of these guys were queued for more than 8 hrs – since 3AM!

Varanasi, Dr Hatwal, known expert of Thyroid related problems. He has a unique system. Patients write their name on a paper and put it under the brick. A Friggin Brick! The brick is not guarded by anyone. On a windy day, an innocuous lift of brick, to put one’s paper-slip, can just literally blow everyone else’s application. Come on doctor, you can do better. He wouldn’t hear, or at least pretended not to.

Saraswati Heart Care, Allahabad. I call in from Varanasi to get an appointment, three days in advance. I can’t. I will have to come to the hospital – be physically present there in the morning to get the appointment; which, the receptionist says, wouldn’t be much trouble as everyone does that. I, be assured, will get the appointment for the day.

In India, we are use to of queues. Starting from our college days – queues for fee deposit, queues for admission, queues for food, queues for enquiry, queues for deity, and queues for shitting – literally. While some queues are cut short by advent of information technology (IT), most of them are not. The queues – that are solved by IT, are mostly profitable entities for upper/medium upper classes – movie tickets, club tickets, air tickets, train tickets… off the top of my head.

Why can we not have a universal queuing system for medical/doctors’ appointment and patients’ history keeping? Let’s call it MediQ (yeah, I have googled and this domain name is not available and already owned as a firm’s registered name.)

The Story: I like to think in stories. So, let me tell you a story of a Mr. Hardbody. Hardbody did not have a healthy life as most stories’ protagonists do; but he is a smart person. For last three days, he had this chronic pain in his eyes. So he requested an appointment to his eye doctor from his smart phone which turned out to be a week ahead. He thought he could wait. But suddenly the next day, he had so excruciating pain that he just looked into MediQ for the nearest available eye doctor with closest open appointment, reserved it. It was in next 30 min, a 7 min drive from his home. The doctor made some temporary relief to Hardbody but suggested a surgery as soon as possible. Hardbody called his insurance agent who sympathetically declined that the particular procedure was not covered in the insurance, sorry. Hardbody will certainly loose a major fortune if he paid for the bills. So, he searched for the lowest cost surgery over MediQ. It turned out to be a doctor in India. He looked at the recommendations for that doctor, and talked to the patients who had recently undergone through the surgery by him. It was a good deal, affordable including flight costs and little tourism. He requested the doctor in India to look for his case, over MediQ. Doctor promptly replied, since all the reports from pathology and previous doctor were automatically available to the doctor. Hardbody packed his stuffs and left. He had gone through surgery successfully. The doctor, looking at previous history of Hardbody on MediQ, figured out that some medicine’s causes him acidity, so he prescribed the alternatives. MediQ analyzed the post-surgery medicines were available in stores in nearby Hardbody’s house. Hardbody came back home happy. Posted a review of the surgery and provided his rating for the doctor over MediQ. He can be found in MediQ discussion groups with people having similar issues. And his history is updated in MediQ.

Fundamental Requirements: These features are the core of the idea. It can’t be compromised. MediQ must
  1. reliably manage appointments
  2. be free on the patients’ end
  1. People can make appointment to doctors via internet, via smart phones, or via SMS
  2. There is going to be only one appointment list. So, any appointment made by calling the doctor, or by going physically to the clinic, or by any means that is not mentioned in #1, has to be entered in the MediQ by the operator/receptionist.
  3. On unavailability of slots on request date and time, MediQ should automatically suggest the closest available appointment schedule.
  4. MediQ should also manage cancellation of appointment by the doctor or by the patient.
  5. MediQ should manage doctors’ schedule, so that it does not allot appointments on the doctor’s day off.
  6. MediQ should be able to make two way communications between doctors and their patients so that patients can be communicated about the upcoming appointment X hours ahead, or a sudden cancellation by a patient should push the candidates behind, one slot ahead, or an emergency request shot up to top priority irrespective of its position in the queue.
  1. Like any new system, doctors – specially, the government hospitals, the biggies, would not embrace MediQ with open arms. So, we need some ground work done beforehand, in convincing people.
  2. Awareness – people should be aware of the system so that they can request appointments by themselves; ask for appointment number when appointment made by physically going in or over phone call.
  3. Funding is a minor roadblock, but it is as real as it gets.
Nice to have:
  1. Medical History: MediQ should manage patients’ history.
  2. e - Clinic: Things that do not require patients to be physically present to doctors can be taken care over MediQ. This includes upload of reports, and suggestions by doctors.
  3. Integratability: This is revolutionizing. An integrated system which is hooked with pathology labs, emergency systems, medical stores, various doctors and research centers, and with people having same form of illness.
  4. Sociable: MediQ creates a society of people connected over internet. People can talk with others with same symptoms; doctors will have millions of case studies to go through.
  5. Location tied – Location Free: A search will get you to nearest available doctors and closest available appointment slots to them. You can get medical expenses that might cost for a surgery anywhere on the globe. So, if you find that your insurance does not cover laser eye surgery, and it costs a fortune to you in USA, while the same treatment with equally good doctor in India is much cheaper (including your air ticket) – just make an appointment. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Firefox is slow in Ubuntu?

It's probably working OK for you, but not for me. I've seen Firefox as awesome, in Windows -- could not bear slow Internet for millions of pages I browse everyday. So, I googled around and there were way too much confusion but most of them were pointing directly or indirectly that the culprit is IPv6 . I have found a easier fix (somewhere on the Internet).

Here is what you should do.
  1. Open Firefox and type
    in address bar, hit enter.
  2. Scroll down until you see a line like this
    network.dns.disableIPv6 = false

  3. Double click on this line so that it becomes
    network.dns.disableIPv6 = true
Now, try opening a new web-page. You should see the status-bar, it is connecting to the website quite quickly.

PS: This is the solution that worked on my machine. There might be other issues related to network that might cause page load latency. This is just one of the solutions.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dodgy Common Sense

I received this mail from our apartment authorities to remove dogs because they cause noise pollution and unhealthy environment. I replied to their mail, quite honestly, what I think about this. Here it is

This is rather funny and stupid in some sense. I do not own a pet neither going to. And I am a cynophobic as well (see here). But you should realize the fact that

1. People really love their pets, and what's suggested here is to kill your dog as immediate effect.

2. Dog causing noise pollution. This is the most lame excuse that anyone can ever give. Tomorrow, they will come and file a petition that birds' chirping is deafening them. At the same time, they can sleep like a baby when 120 dB loud music is played in Thiruvella or loud music sessions that happens randomly in nearby areas. This is crazy.

Get real, people. If something you can do -- stop using plastic bags, avoid power wastage, file petition for slip-disk cases that bad road can cause. Barking dogs are not real problem, unavailability of freely available drinking water is.

- Nishant (Tulip - 4)
Court directs removal of dogs from residence in Coimbatore

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has held that as a matter of right, no one is entitled to keep dogs or other animals in a residential area, which create public nuisance.

Justice S.Tamilvanan, who confirmed the order of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate/ Revenue Divisional Officer, said it was the duty of the authorities and municipal administration to remove the nuisance, in order to regulate the same, in public interest.

The case pertains to D.Vikram, a resident of Circuit House Road, Coimbatore, holding a large number of dogs without obtaining licence for commercial purposes and causing noise pollution and an unhealthy atmosphere in a residential area.

The impugned order had directed that the activity of keeping any dogs be discontinued and that the dogs be removed forthwith.

His neighbours, who were affected by the barking and howling of over 30 dogs at odd hours, had filed a complaint that he was violating Section 352 of the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation Act.

Thanks and regards.
Some Bozo, President.
Another Bozo, Secretary