December 31, 2009

Nothing at all

After a really long gap, Armin's ASOT 436 is here to make my day, again. Listened to the first 4 tracks only.
Nothing at all by Rex Mundi is pulsatingly awesome. Just the right track for me!

"This morning comes a step too soon
A lonely gaze, and empty room
You’re a far cry
a distant memory

but something inside of me always knew this
I’d be standing here without you

As if nothing’s happened
As if nothing’s wrong
the world seems to move on, the world carries on

I’ll starve for your love, hungry I fall
as if nothing’s happened
nothing at all

nothing at all
nothing at all "

(img src:


2010 is here atlast. Hope everything goes well this year!

Some friends called a little while time ago from Manuguru. Apparently they're having one hell of a time.
I thought this year would be just like the last- a couple of calls an smses and that's it. It turned out a little(and I mean little) better.

Asif called at 20:00, he started from Ameerpet and was here at about 22:30. We walked for a while and had
chinese for dinner. Juber arrived a full one hour later and off we went to his place(Nayeem called). Apne
Nayeem bhai bought a cake with 2,0,1,0 candles. As the clock struck 12, he cut the cake and after a few pics, I was the first cake smear victim(no photos!), the yelling and screaming lasted a few minutes and we settled down.

Asif, Juber n I started our walk back home and talked for a while. Then Asif sprang a surprise and said he
wanted to go back to his hostel("kal ki class important hai!"), we were planning on a terrace night-out. The sky was clear and the moon beautiful....excellent for chat . Even Juber seemed tired so he went home too.

Transferring a movie to my laptop as I blog.

December 30, 2009

ty-PC-l problems

Computers are fascinating. And a headache too.

Call it coincidence or just plain bad luck but I seem to have the most unique hardware/software problems
everytime. Right from my first PC in school, I have faced countless totally weird problems.
I used to bug my cousins for solutions then but I'm doing it all myself now.

Most computer breakdowns occur due to software errors(Operating system crash etc) but a dead PC can also be attributed to hardware faults such as loose cables, improperly seated memory modules, heating issues or worse a dead or 'fried' motherboard.

I remember in class 9, I wiped off the thermal paste under the heatsink of my PC thinking it was grease or
something! The PC still worked fine though coz PIII was a cool runner. Doing that on a modern processor will fry it(safety mechanisms are there though). My PC was so jinxed it used to crash several times in a month. Sometimes the IDE cables died and sometimes windows crashed. I played around with it so much, I felt a little let down when Dad sold it to someone for a meagre 3k! My old too Acer gave up a little over a week ago.

             My first PC in a cardboard case with its innards spilled out!

My cousin who's in class 9 now(like I was in 2001!) brought his PC some days ago- it's not booting up. I checked for the usual culprits: cables, RAM, heatsink assembly and front panel buttons. I rewired the whole thing but still no success. I knew the fault lay in the power supply. I removed the motherboard and tried it on my cabinet and tada! it worked. I'll get a new SMPS this weekend.

the fan spins atlast!

MS Paint Art 1

December 29, 2009


I went to a place called Indira Nagar yesterday. It is somewhere near Banjara Hills. It being my first visit to the area I was surprised by what I saw. It was very upmarket, the shops were glittery and posh and all noteworhty labels were there. There were a few I'd never heard about. Some were selling fancy carpets and some exqusite handicrafts. I need to go out more often...

On the way back I took the other route home, through film nagar and tolichowki which would be much less congested than the MP-ameerpet route I'd taken for the up journey. The slopes were really steep and the
auto was struggling in the second gear trying to keep up. Film Nagar wore a deserted look, which is normal unless there is a film crew setup somewhere. The who's who of Tollywood lives here and I peered
out to see if I could catch a glimpse of someone. I saw all kinds of cars- Audis,a couple of Mercs and the regular lot. As we reached the top of the valley, to my right was the panoramic view of the whole of Hyderabad, the west side I think. The dark overhead sky and the millions of little colorful light made for a great photo, but I dind't have my camera with me.

Now started the downhill journey, the driver let go of the throttle and concentrated on the breaks now. The topography started to change as the slope ended, the houses were now small, and covered in asbestos in some cases and little kids were playing on the streets. There were cars here too but they were Indicas and green Logans with yellow license plates. The change is very stark, in only about quarter of a kilometre at that! Then we passed through a really narrow lane filled with screaming kids and hawkers which looked more like a small village street and then into the congestion ridden Tolichowki main road. Was home in 15 minutes.

Well, what can I say. Had nothing better to blog about.

December 27, 2009

killing time with TIME

New year is around the corner but is it's all dull and gloomy here. The T issue has brought the whole state to it's knees. The colleges are down. The engineering students had all the fun(exams stopped dead midway) and are now bored. Corporate training colleges are at their wit's end. Premier exams like AIEEE, and IITJEE wait for none and the Andhra students are caught in a very awkward situation here. Of course the uncaring lot is all cheers.

At my end...
Now blame this on the current political turmoil or the sheer laziness of my 'friends', I am yet to watch 3 Idiots which, going by public talk and surprisingly critic talk too, is awesome. Now to spend time saw a handful of movies like To kill a mockingbird(ya first time), Broken flowers, The internationalA history of violence etc.
I was never good at commendation and hence will suffice to say that To kill a... is a true masterpiece that left me wondering how I'd missed it for so long in the first place. The scene where the girl smiles at Robert Duvall will go down as one of the most memorable movie moments. And the grayscale tone cuts out distractions and instead emphasizes on emotions. Gregory Peck was needless to say, awesome.

Among other things, I spent a good two hours reading all the TIME best and worst lists. Chesley Sullenberger deserved his place as the top hero of 2009 while the second place went to Neda Agha Soltan, who got killed in a protest and became the face of the opposition in Iran.

The other lists included top tech products and not surprisingly Motorola's Droid was adjudged first. The viral
videos section had me in splits. The cute kid in diapers dancing to Beyonce was hellishly funny while the JK
wedding vid was a true inspiration to many, no wonder it got 36 million views. Susan Boyle took the first place but I still like Paul Potts.

This is the age of top 10 lists and tongue in cheek one liners and cartoons. Who has the time to read long
articles or watch boring documentaries though a new breed of movies like mockumentaries, shockumentaries(yuk) are doing well. But (un)Reality shows are ruining every TV channel.

And yes, Blogger's in trouble too I think. '160 character' Twitter is the new fad. Actually, it's the new blowhorn for eveything from political crap to downright personal stuff. One wicked dude rigged his newlywed friend's bed to twitter... oops.

And ya I forgot.... Canon's new S90 is making waves. I need that camera...or better yet, a Pentax k-x. Better start saving...

December 25, 2009

I don't whine about the cold anymore...

A month ago...
It was not just another day. It was that lazy winter morning I hate to wake up to and... it was exam day. I wearily dragged myself out of my double blanket, took a hot shower and got dressed. My nostrils flinched as I stepped out of the house. Not only was it cold, it was damp too. It had rained the previous night. The road was sodden, I cursed as I manoevred through the puddles on my heavy duty boots.The air was very chilly and the slight drizzle was compounding it further by wetting my MC pullover. I stood under the asbestos shelter of a nearby shop as I waited for my bus. I longed for a mug of hot coffee even as some juniors standing there bought cigerettes to ward off the chill. As they sent puffs of acrid smoke my way I wondered how it helped.
Then I saw a scene I knew will remain with me for a real long time....

He walked unsteadily towards the Pan Counter and dug into his pockets(or what was left of them), produced some coins and bought a couple of cigerettes. What struck me as unusual was that he he didn't look like a run-of-the-mill street begger, he had that eery look to him I couldn't place. He was clearly middle aged, with unkempt, irregular hair and brown beard. He was wearing an old Sherwani that was so soiled it could pass off as a rag. The sleeve edges were all threads and the color undiscernable but I knew knew it was worthwhile because it provided him with warmth no sweater could  match.
He hung over his shoulder a torn and ragged piece of cloth which I presumed was his blanket or bedsheet... wrong word..."pavement" sheet. It was all wet due to the previous night's rain. As he walked away I could see he wasn't wearing footwear and covering his legs was a piece of soiled cloth that could have been a pyjama or a dhoti. I couldn't tell. All my previous curses and gripes went poof...

I have seen some heart rending scenes before but this one just shook me to the core. I still see him everyday at the cross road curled up in his blanket under the harsh glow of the overhead flood lights.
He sits there all day mumbling to himself and smoking cigerettes. Curiously, I once saw him holding a full pack of Benson & Hedges! This man has seen better days...

With temperatures dropping to new lows, I am planning on buying him some warm clothing and a blanket but I'm apprehensive since I've never seen him taking alms and my uncle once warned me to be wary of such people(paranoia again).
Homelessness is very common in our society. Thousands of people are on the streets today braving harsh weather and hostility from the so-called 'better people'. In many cases they are mentally unstable which makes interaction with them difficult.

Confucious said:
"In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of.
In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of. "

December 22, 2009


My stint with painting and art ended with School. I never touched a brush again.
4 years on I felt a craving for trying it again yesterday. I don't have watercolors and brushes so I drew a sketch instead with an HB pencil. I used A4 xerox paper.

I used a picture of Venice for the sketch. The picture above is a snap, not a scan so it looks all fuzzy.

December 20, 2009

The year that was

I don't know how 2009 went by so fast. The year was so uneventful(in some aspects) I bet I have better memories from 1994. The year started on a very boring note with me sleeping through the New year night(really ironic), not out of laziness or exhaustion but due to a depressing sequence of events better left unsaid.

Now a popular internet joke is that Bloggers refer to their blogs for recollecting past information. As much as I hate to admit it, I found I had to do the same here. I closed my eyes to try and remember any experience or incident from the year and I was surprised nothing came up. I literally sleepwalked through 3-1 and 3-2.

Some noteworthy events from 2009(help from older posts!)

--- January: Saba got a chance(luckily) to go to Singapore. Getting her a passport proved to be a real ordeal but all went well. She had helluva fun der.
Slumdog millionnaire won millions of hearts and several Oscars. Good movies sorta grow on you. This one didn't.

--- March was spent in fooling around with my 'new' Netbook and doin a few odd DIY projects with my old P3. My post on a poor guy in Aswapuram got great response and the donations were used to build a new shelter for him.

--- April: Exam time. Mids, labs... I was lost in the exam rush and yet found ample time to blog(29 posts)!

--- May: I missed my last exam due to an unexpected allergy attack but attended Microsoft Tech.ed at HICC Novotel Hyderabad a week later. Watching Steve Ballmer encouraging the software community on recession woes felt great. A few seats behind me sat Stephen Walther(the guy who wrote our ASP unleashed textbook! ), even 'Gadget guru' Rajiv Makhni was there.
--- Holidays in June! After a wasted trip to Manuguru, tried to pass time doing odd stuff. It was no surprise I got no wishes on my b'day save for a few from old timers... Not that I cared. Just an observation.

--- July: I bought my Panasonic LZ8. nuff said.

--- August: After a long time, attended Independance day celebrations at Manuguru. Had trouble keeping a straight face when the Dance group faltered thrice. The music wouldn't start!
Had another go at Online GT after the success of the first one. It went kaput.

---September: The month started on a tragic note with the passing of YSR. News Media had a good time looping pictures and videos. Spent the remainder of the month in Manuguru and had a good time with friends(very rare).

---October: Went to a movie with Atir and Praveen(after so long I don't remember the last). Inglourious Basterds was gloriously boring and violent but we enjoyed the ride anyway.
Then came a numbing shock. While Bini's passing was met with shock and disbelief here, it was all hush-hush in our otherwise volatile colony, implying something was amiss. May she rest in peace.
Then mids started...

---November was a mixed bag. After a spell of mid exams and labs the main exams started and all was going well when 'T' happened. KCR went on a fast and brought the whole of Hyderabad to a standstill. And made a mockery out of the exam system of JNTU(and OU). After days of tension and numerous 'bandhs' the government gave in. Now the 'A' is on fire.

---December: The battle for states still rages and the outcome is still unclear.

Hoping for an 'eventful' and 'encouraging' 2010

And this time I have no resolutions or schedules to keep track of. I'll go with the tide and see where it takes me....

December 18, 2009


2 hours. They made me wait 2 friggin hours for a fee reciept and at the end told me casually to collect it tomorrow. I'd already lost my cool and the expletives were locked and loaded, I didn't give a damn about the clerk. After all a final year student can get away with it, right? Wrong.

Now, there is one small room in our admin office which remains closed most of the time. It belongs to a man known for his short fuse, foul language and tantrums. He is a landmine, waiting to blast to smithereens anyone who miffs him. THE CHAIRMAN.
Hell, he yelled at me once in first year for no fault of mine. He's old and seldom sits in his office but as my confounded luck would have it he was there today. I caught a glimpse of him howling away through the waving curtain. Gulp!

I'd gone in at around 3.30 pm. As time went by I saw students, parents, staff as they haggled, whispered, cursed... atleast I was not alone. The clerk promised me my papers in 10 minutes. 4, 4.30, 5, 5.30.... Just when I knew I couldnt wait any longer, he told me the printers weren't working. Dude, really? Couldn't come up with anything better? Now I dared not do anything stupid with the aforementioned prick a few feet away so I quietly walked out.

That's college life

In pic: Closest match I found on google. He looks worse.

December 17, 2009

TranceUpdate: Alone...

Perfect Sky  by Espen Gulbrandsen vs. DJ Julian Vincent from the newly released Armin album Universal Religion.
The vocals by Maria Taylor are awesome. Soothing track.

A moment to let go
In a flash so much gone
Everything I had hoped for was lost
The world turned silent
Beauty destroyed
No stone unturned nowhere to go

Perfect sky is torn by the storm
Unpredictable and cold
In the sky you’re nowhere to be found
Here I’m standing all alone

No one calling
No one calling

A moment to let go
In a flash so much gone
Everything I had hoped for was lost
The world turned silent
Beauty destroyed
No stone unturned nowhere to go

Perfect sky is torn by the storm
Unpredictable and cold
In the sky you’re nowhere to be found
Here I’m standing all alone

No one calling
No one calling
No one calling
No one calling

Picture Source:

December 16, 2009

HD on wthD : 2012 in Telugu

Dad and I went to Bandarugudem(Damn, I'm not sure about the spelling!) to apply for a new broadband
connection. As expected the old, dusty relic that was the BSNL office was deserted save for a cleaner who told us the staff was 'out', while the office was open. Wow, we'd come 15kms for this.

On the bike I was contemplating asking him to stop at Venu for a quick meal when he pulled into the parking lot of... Venkateshwara theatre! I looked up at the poster and woah...2012, in telugu!
We bought a couple of balcony tickets, the movie was already on and we hurried into the um.. auditorium.

To fully aprreciate a movie one needs three most important elements: Picture, Sound and Ambience. For picture we had a yellow(seriously) screen with ugly streaks. For sound we had blaring subwoofers that were customized for bass heavy telugu numbers. The guy to my left was texting on his chinese smartphone, while a couple behind me talked. Cigerette smoke from somewhere summed up the ambience part. My seat had a beverage holder stuffed with empty popcorn packs, cigerette stubs and whatnot. I tried to focus on the screen...
Now the movie. 2012 is all about visuals. Tsunamis, volcanoes, winds, earthquakes and all kinds of CG mayhem I was so eagerly looking forward to. Who'd have thought I'd end up watching it here! One word to sum up the visual experience is "f..d", the awful screen completely ruined it for me. There's more.
All dialogue was in telugu, not that I donno how to speak the language. The speed was too much for me.
Though occasionally lines like this came up : "Door close kaataledu! Hydraulics jam ayipoiyayi." meaning "The door's not closing! The hydraulics are jammed" So door,jam, hydraulics and jam were the keywords that did the translation for me. There were other pure telugu words I couldn't discern. And knowing Roland Emmerich was never good at portraying emotions, the telugu dialogues sort of killed all that he tried to show. Don't "Say anything" John cusack, you look better that way!

I didn't sit long enough to see the little girl Lily say, "inka Pull-ups vaddu Daddy!!!"
I'd had it.

December 13, 2009


First post from my hero....

4 years....atlast

Engineering life is bliss they say. Movies and books highlight how campus life can be a transforming, life changing experience for us. Careers are made, lifelong friends are found and umm... in some cases life partners. Happy days...but I beg to differ.
I think every student passes through four phases: nervousness in first year, then the rise from obscurity(called "pankh nikal ana") in second year. Third year is usually spent in affairs(all kinds) and the final year
is the time of awakening, "crap! what was I doing all this while?" and here many students come to terms wth their life and find a suiting career.

Now my case was a little different. First year was a mixed bag, I was furious at first for many reasons(listing them out wouldn't be wise) and then nervousness took over, of ragging, of not taking taking things too seriosly and so on. After the main exams however I got a slight uplift in my confidence credit to my good grades.

Then came second year, the semester system took a while getting used to. Mids came out of nowhere and before I knew it, exams were on. Then my head gave way and it took a rather long treatment to sort it, and after huffing and puffing through the exams I got a really rude shock- my first backlog!

Third year was the age of indifference. I slid into oblivion and seldom cared about anything to do with study. Our exam system had made such a mess of my study organisation that I didn't give a hoot about internal exams even, or anything else for that matter. The consequences of lower grades never dawned on me nor did the the idea of fun. I rarely went out, my friends had all gone invisible and for the first time ever I slept through the new year midnight celebrations.

Common sense gleamed it's light on everyone at the start of final year but my brain was still lost in some deep abyss. while I was killing(seriosly) time listening to trance and watching movies, everyone around me enrolled in courses and registered for exams. I don't envy them, time and tide wait for none, innit?

Now I'm up from my slumber(or hibernation) and guess wat, I'm late...

December 12, 2009

Dummugudem Trip video

Back from Manuguru

I'm finally back from Manuguru. The low bandwidth internet there made it impossible to upload pics. Hell, even tweeting was a nightmare.

Here are some Colony photos I managed to get right.

This is the first time I'm watermarking my images. I'm no pro to fear infringement but recently a guy at an internet cafe shamelessly copied my images. So just playing it safe...

December 9, 2009

T for Trouble

Telangana. I didn't know what it was and didn't care. Not until last month atleast.

Exam season was coming to an end and I was eagerly looking foward to a care free, fun filled december when some TRS biggie went on a "fast to death" and a few ever-eager students at Osmania campus got lathi charged. A brief bout of mild tension ensued but the situation seemed to turn for the better with KCR ending his fast with a glass of juice. Now his supporters got furious. How could he! A few effigies were burnt and he resumed his fast again.

As the movement gathered steam, the government had to take action. They started by declaring a 15 day holiday for all higher ed institutions. bah! That meant all JNTU exams cancelled as well. The re-re-re-revised(seriously) dates are yet to be annonuced and going by the deterioting health of KCR, and the indifference of the government high command, the situation can only go downhill from here...
Here I am (stuck) at Manuguru safe from all this 'Telangana' melodrama. Hope it all ends soon.

December 7, 2009


No light source in mngr is spared from the wrath of these annoying little creatures. They whizz n buzz around until they lose their wings n fall to the ground or on to the bck of unsuspctng ppl. (Chldrn at the basketbal crt in dis case).
Lizards have a field day this seasn...

From my k770i

December 6, 2009

From my k770i

A much needed getaway atlast...

Plan was to start at 7 in the morning. I woke up at 11. There were about a dozen missed calls on my phone. I wearily put it aside to slide back into the warm, welcoming blanket when it rang again. There were a coupla expletives from the other end, Asif was waiting downstairs. I quickly dressed and we were off in 15 minutes. I was not the the only one late and it take a good half an hour for the others to arrive. Filled my petrol tank and started, the sun was getting hotter and it seemed imminent this trip was wasted too. The destination was checkdam again, it's sortof become a hangout for our group. When we reached there we were surprised water was still flowing over the Dam, though the flow looked stronger. We went as close as the rocks and had a good time clicking away photos. Asif who was trying to convince us into going further mustered up the courage and went ahead alongwith Ranjith. The flow was quite strong and it was evident from the way the duo swayed and struggled through the water towards the falling cascades. A couple of others followed suit and in no time they were under the falls, standing on a precariosly slippery algae infested rock. I went as far as the breakers a few feet away and settled down. Juber did the same.

An hour of screaming and dancing later we decided to call it a day and sat down on the hot dry rocks and chatted. I was all wet as I'd gone in fully dressed! We were back on the road again and the red dust and mud was sticking to my Jeans like iron to a magnet. Mom was going to be real upset...

rest of the photos were ...umm... graphic!

December 5, 2009

Papa kehte hain...

Dad gave a lecture on Personality Development at a Government School nearby, coupla days ago.
He was pleasantly surprised yesterday to learn from the Headmaster an article had appeared about it in Sakshi and Andhra Jyothi.

Here is a snap of the article from the Khammam column of Sakshi:

Dad was always good at lectures :-p but this time it was directed at third party!

In picture: Dad's at the left near the board and the teachers and headmaster on right. There were some 95 students, all from class 10 telugu medium.

December 4, 2009

Sunset at TB

Got quite a few awkward stares from passers by as I shot these pics of the setting sun frm TB. Fact was I ws alone and my my postures like laying dwn in da gras,leaning frm a fnce n al wer nt goin dwn wel wid da clny 'public'.
My frens arrvd a full one hr later. Lazy saale...

From my k770i

December 3, 2009

At Anand Sagar

From my k770i


The pic in the last post is invrtd! Sm script fault in my phne...

Day 1

I alwz seek cmpny on jrnys. Mom fel asleep hlf an hr into da jrny. Ntbuk ws runnin low on pwr n da sckts wer no gud. Cm mrng, thot of grabbng a fw pics bt da doors wer clsd tite n da plate glas wndz wer gud as opaque. At mngr stn, bumped into Nitin who'd been in the same coach! Dude slept thruout the jrny!
Apna usual reclusive nitin...
I am hm atlast!

December 1, 2009


Langford & Andrews' book on Starting Photography defines five priniciples:
Color Texture Pattern Line Contrast

The book urges us to find the above elements in daily life scenarios and capture them. I looked around for something to photograph and found these: Toothpicks!

I used ACDsee to convert the images to grayscale and tweaked the intensity values and the results are pleasing...