Friday, December 02, 2011


In our life we tend to take a lot things for granted knowingly or unknowingly. Most of us will agree, that we  take our friends & families for granted, quite often. We expect them to be there for us, whenever we need them, like nothing else matters to them other than ourselves. And often we realise that, like us, the people around us also have their own priorities. I am not going to talk about that subject here, instead I'll be talking about things/subjects, that we take for granted, inadvertently, in a more subtle way.

I come across many things in my daily life, and I think sometimes, I take it for granted. I don't even know who spend their time, inventing these things to make my life better. Language is something that we  use daily and I feel everyone takes it for granted, like we own it. Well, who gave that language to you? or Who created/invented the language you speak? It is so complex that, it's not possible to have come into existence all of a sudden, from nothing to its final form. It got evolved and evolved from the sign languages and sounds that our primate ancestors used. And depending on the geographic divisions, we got numerous diverse and beautiful languages that we speak and hear now. Linguistics is a fascinating field of research, especially the origin and diversity of languages, but I am not a language expert to have my say on the origin of any language. All I wanted to say is we are lucky to have learned a language, and have a medium for communicating our views and visions in a proper way, unlike our primate ancestors.

Coming to the geographic divisions, that caused the diversity in languages as I said, there is something else we take for granted: Our Country. I would argue that all countries are imaginary, it's something inside your head, it's something we have been taught from our childhood, that this is our country and that's our neighbouring country. You are naming a piece of land on the planet and claiming that it is yours. My point is that, the earth was not meant to be divided into countries with borders and passports. We love our country, for we were born there, and we feel its ours and we follow her culture and fight for her and that is being human. But  there was a time, when there were no countries as we see today. It is just a perception of mind, a feeling, that you belong to a country. Of course, there is a constitution and government that takes up the control of a country and who decides the borders and who enters the country, that's something real. The 'my country' patriotism is human nature, a feeling of security and homeliness and many times we take our home land for granted, even if we are far far away from her.

I am sorry that I can't talk more on the 'imaginary countries', but I'll take your attention to something else very simple. Take a look at the save icon on your favourite word processor, which looks like a floppy disk. A very thoughtful designer designed this icon, during the time when floppy disk was the only storage medium. Anyone who is used to computers, sees that icon as a rescuer of their work. But the fact is, we don't use floppy disks any more, we are the generation who have seen a floppy disk and knows its use. I have used floppy disk only a few times, to boot into dos just out of curiosity. The next generation is not going to see floppy disk any ways, but they will definitely see the floppy disk icon. This is one icon idea that majority of software manufacturers have copied and have become a kind of standard in user interface designing. As a user, you expect all your work to be saved, the moment you click on that icon. Granted?

And talking about user interface design, there is a lot of brains and tests that go into it when designing a user focused system. Features like the use colours, images, work flow, persuasive elements etc play a lot, in planning what you want your users to do with the system that you have created. The blue colour of ambulance and police siren have been thoughtfully given and is illegal to use without permission in many countries. I have no idea  clue who designed the media control buttons, the play, pause, stop, fast forward and others, which is internationally standardised. Most music lovers use it everyday, and have started seeing it from their childhood. We've learnt that the triangle button means, music will be played on pushing it and  the square button means music will be stopped, thats all that is to be needed to know. Who created it? I just came to know that it was standardised in 1973 under the title "IEC60417 Graphical symbols for use on equipment", by International Electrotechnical Commission in Geneva. Here goes the link to its preview version.

A very common thing that we all have taken for granted would be the zipper. You find it with almost all fabric in and around you. A very simple invention, which is extremely handy. This great and most useful inventions of all was developed to today's form by a Swedish-American electrical engineer Gideon_Sundback, someone whom you should thank while zipping up your pants after peeing or whiling putting your jacket.

You may find these things are very small to even take notice of. The bottom line is we should learn to thank everyone who has spend considerable part of their life-time to make our lives better. Today someone have helped me and I will not take that for granted.

Lectures by Linday Marshall and Ewan McLaren Mackenzie have influenced a lot in writing this blog.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Going to jump off an aircraft

Going for sky diving on Sunday. Very much excited about the first jump.

The parachute club in Newcastle University is going to give me training for the first solo sky diving. The two days program starts tomorrow. Will meet the team at 10:00 am Saturday in front the Students Union building. Go to the Dropzone and get trained for 8 hours. Spend the night at the dropzone in bunkhouses. And the D-day is Sunday 16-Oct-2011. Lobbing of an aircraft is super fun.

I am gonna fly... fly like super man.....!!!

I am gonna miss my friends for two days. They are all going for the Edinburgh trip. I wish I could fly to them.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

One week at Newcastle Upon Tyne

It has been a wonderful week here at Newcastle, the Geordie land, but feels like we have been here for very long. The place is cool, University is damn cool and the chicks are hot!!! This has been a wonderful week for me, full of events, shopping, sight seeing, parties and cooking at friends place. Met some pleasing personalities out here, and I am already sure that we are gonna be friends for life.

The Journey

Packed everything and set off the journey to Newcastle on 19th of September at 9:00pm, from Calicut via Dubai. Reached Dubai by 11:30pm and connection flight to Newcastle was at 7:20am the next day. That was a looooong wait at the Dubai airport terminal 3, but was not at all boring as I was with this wonderful girl Vibha, and we sat there and talked and talked and talked through the night. No sleeps. I am sure she enjoyed the company as much as I did.

Some more people joined us at airport, coming from different parts of India. Arun, Praveen, Abel, Pooja and many Chinese people whom I'd never recognise were there. We all were excited about the journey, the place and all other mysteries waiting down the lane. Just a few hours more!!!
Emirates treated us well with their services. Food and beverages were provided in time by the gorgeous attendees. :)


The flight landed on time at Newcastle airport and there were Newcastle University International Welcome team waiting for us already. Just before landing, the view from the flight was so beautiful, there were lot of greenery, fields, cattle and horses, which reminded me of #Farmville. The welcome team was very friendly and the took all of us to our respective accommodations. Mine is Newcastle University owned, student house at Leazes Terrace, which is right next to the legendary St. James Park foot ball stadium. A very clean and tidy place to live in. Unfortunately I din't get any fellow Indians on my floor, got a bunch of people from China instead. After reaching accommodation and collecting keys just kept all my luggages and I just rushed out to get the feel the city.

View Larger Map

International Students Welcome Week

Did all the formalities like registration, opening bank account, registering with the doctor etc etc in the first few days. There were some sessions held in different buildings. It was interesting to see all these buildings shattered here and there.

Life at Newcastle

Climate is pretty cool. Last week I felt it was too cold out here, but now can get out even without jackets. Food is quit expensive here. I noticed that most of the houses here are constructed alike and most of them share compounds nearby. The traffic is brilliant, everybody obeys traffic rules and lane disciplines. I wish one day traffic in India be like this. Roads and environment is always kept clean.

Most of the time me and my team (Praveen, Arun, Abel, Vibha, Teena, Pooja and Mokshda) were together. We did some shopping, walked all around the City Center, from one shop to another, here and there, ah that was a lot of walking. Tesco and Poundland were great options for getting groceries. Poundland is a great place, were you get everything for one pound. Eldon Square shopping center here is so huge that it has got entrances in all the main streets around.

Leazes Park is one of the most beautiful site near by (That picture was taken by Jerry Joel). A nice romantic place, which has all the essence of beauty. To relax your mind, just take a walk.

Millenium Bridge at the Quayside across Tyne is a master piece. The view at night is more beautiful, you can see all colours of rainbow upon the curve.




Losing Things

Thats another episode. Right after I started my journey I started losing my belongings. And it all started from the first flight. There was this book with me Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, which I gracefully forgot to take from my seat. Thats number one. Then I lost my gold chain from the Sunday night party. Someone lucky might have picked it up. Then a cap and a scarf. I lost the cap and I gave my scarf to a beautiful young lady who said she was feeling very cold. I am so generous you know. :/
Finally my phone fell down and now there is a beautiful crack from left top corner to right bottom corner. Its so artistic.

Cooking with friends
Lucky to have Arun in our group, who is a very good chef.

The University has a very vibrant students union, lots of societies and clubs and activities. I have joined the Parachute club and will be skydiving soon. Too much excited about my first solo jump.

Almost crashing now... got more to write.. will update it here later... good night for now..

Thursday, June 09, 2011


There is a girl who comes in my dream every night and smiles at me, slightly, her tender lips curved only a bit, like something is holding back her within. She is so extra ordinarily beautiful that I gaze at her and forget to smile back. Then she turns her head slowly, without losing her charm, and wind blows her golden-brown-black hair. I stand there motionless, bedazzled, so weak, not even able to open my mouth or move a bit to hold her back. Feel like nothing else is important other than her, like she is the center of gravity pulling my whole attention. I forget to breath, lose all my energy, heart pounds louder, loses balance and falls down. I knew I am going to fall, just before going to fall, I knew if I fall I'll wake up from the dream. I try my hard to keep the balance, but still falls down to wake up.Waking up to a world without her, to a day that has no dreams.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Useful Info

Some useful info that I got via mail. I thought sharing it in blog is better than forwarding as mail.

1. If you see children begging anywhere in TAMIL NADU, please contact: "RED SOCIETY" at 9940217816. They will help the children for their studies.

2. Where you can search for any BLOOD GROUP, you will get thousand's of donor address.

3. Engineering Students can go through to search job opportunities.

4. Free Education and Free hostel for Handicapped/Physically challenged children. Contact:- 9842062501 & 9894067506.

5. If anyone met with fire accident or people born with problems in their ear, nose and mouth can get free PLASTIC SURGERY done by Kodaikanal PASAM Hospital . From 23rd March to 4th April by German
Doctors. Everything is free. Contact : 045420-240668,245732

6. If you find any important documents like Driving license, Ration card, Passport, Bank Pass Book, etc., missed by someone, simply put them into any near by Post Boxes. They will automatically reach the owner and Fine will be collected from them.

7. By the next 10 months, our earth will become 4 degrees hotter than what it is now. Our Himalayan glaciers are melting at rapid rate. So let all of us lend our hands to fight GLOBAL WARMING.
-Plant more Trees.
-Don't waste Water & Electricity.
-Don't use or burn Plastics

8. It costs 38 Trillion dollars to create OXYGEN for 6 months for all Human beings on earth.
"TREES DO IT FOR FREE" "Respect them and Save them"

9. Special phone number for Eye bank and Eye donation: 04428281919& 04428271616 (Sankara Nethralaya Eye Bank). For More information about how to donate eyes plz visit these sites.

10. Heart Surgery free of cost for children (0-10 yr) Sri Valli Baba Institute Bangalore-10. Contact: 9916737471

11. Medicine for Blood Cancer! 'Imitinef Mercilet' is a medicine which cures blood cancer. Its available
free of cost at "Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai". Create Awareness. It might help someone.

Cancer Institute in Adyar, Chennai
Category: Cancer
Address: East Canal Bank Road, Gandhi Nagar Adyar, Chennai - 600 020
Landmark: Near Michael School
Phone: 044-24910754, 044-24910754, 044-24911526 044-24911526, 044-22350241 044-22350241

If you have a function/party at your home in India and food gets wasted, don't hesitate to call 1098 (only in India) - Its not a Joke, This is the number of Child helpline. They will come and collect the food. Please circulate this message which can help feed many children.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Incredible India

Mark Twain wrote about India after his visit "This is indeed India! The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty - of genii and giants and Alladin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million Gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition...!"

India has more degree holders than total population in France.

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