Saturday, April 15, 2006

seeking sponsors for my Mount Everest Camp III trek

to all readers:

i'll be trekking to Mount Everest Camp III (North Face) in the May of this year (2 to 3 weeks from now). this trek is the highest possible trek per se in the world. let me make it clear, i am not attempting a summit bid, i would be going upto 3 quarters of the way up Mount Everest.

we'd be approaching Mount Everest from the North Face as mentioned above, which means the trek would be in the mystical land named Tibet. the highlight of the trek is that we would be attempting to reach an altitude of 6340 metres above sea level (21000 feet). having been to Mount Everest Base Camp (South Face) in November 2004 has helped increase the confidence level multi-fold.

given the current unrest in Nepal, we will have to travel to Tibet directly, which has added to our woes of planning and cost estimates. the total trek expense per head has reached to the tune of 150,000 Indian Rupees per person. the expenses include travelling to and fro, paying for the Tibetan Tourism Permit for entering the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), paying for services of the Sherpa staff we would be hiring (to carry our camping gear and cooking equipment for the expedition).

we have put in a lot of efforts for this trek, and we do not want to let this chance slip. if anyone reading this can help us get sponsorships from any institute or likewise, even if it is part of what we need, we would be obliged. luckily enough, we are not travelling with any group, we (a group of 3 friends) are going by ourselves, so we would ensure that our sponsors are well covered. i would be maintaining an individual blog where i offer to put up the advertisements of the sponsors, and we also plan to hold a press conference before embarking where we shall ensure that they get enough mileage.

any helping hand would be more than welcome!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

rambling on reservation for education in premier institutes like IIT in India..

Merit. Everything to be based on merit. Easier said than done I'll say. I'd like to make a statement starting with an example.

I witnessed a very unexpected admission process to a course that's unique to the city Pune, named MCS (Masters in Computer Science). I'm speaking about the academic year 2000 - 2001. Doing this course from any college beyond certain premier colleges was not of any major importance, since all that mattered was placement in the software industry at the end of the course. Software companies did not bother to target colleges beyond the set of premier ones. Number of seats for that course (MCS) per college during that academic year: 40. Number of premier colleges offering MCS in Pune: 3. Total number of seats that the "cream" eyed: 40 * 3 = 120.

Reservations for backward categories, all put together: 50%. The number hit 50% (earlier used to be 48%) because 2% reservation was added for a quota named SBC (Specially Backward Classes). And that particular academic year, an interesting reservation was added. Reservation for girl students. Percentage: 50% of remaining seats after the reservations for backward classes was applied (25% overall). Which meant that male students belonging to OPEN category, had 10 seats available per premier institute, 30 in all. Total number of such male candidates: Well over 1000.

The government came up with this "reservation for girl students" for the engineering and related branch (that covered the B.E. degree and courses like B.Sc, BCS [Bachelors in Computer Science], MCS [Masters in Computer Science]). The reason the goverment gave at that time was that they wanted to encourage girl students to take up engineering courses since the observation was that hardly any girl students were taking up engineering courses (beyond Computer Science). There was such a huge protest against this, that the government was forced to drop this rule after 2 academic batches "suffering" due to it.

While the government had intentions that were good enough, the way they implemented them were certainly not correct. In this case, when we speak of reservations in premier institutes, a vast majority of us would be against reservation system. And some of those from this vast majority would belong to the backward caste as well. What distinguishes those who take any stand then? Their caste? Their thinking? Their ideals? You might end up choosing at least one of the above. But it is not that. It is how successful you are at "this instant" in time. If you are doing pretty well at this point in time, you have all the options to take either side. Ever wondered what happens to those who do not even come close to being asked this question? Who never got that opportunity?

I get extremely weird remarks from well-to-do people about beggars seen at signals. One such remark is "Why do these people beg? They should rather seek work somewhere and make a living". Do not take a potshot at the above statement. I have used it as a metaphor, let me make it very clear.

It makes absolute sense to have the reservation system in place. Being from the open category, I feel no hesitation in saying this. People see a decision being made and make statements for or against it. Look at what is the bigger problem. Its the population explosion that has lead to all this, and will lead to further issues over time in countries like India. You have billions of people to feed, to educate, you have infrastructure to educate only thousands, how the hell is the system going to survive in the first place? And those are ultimately in the race for getting educated, face the problems majorly owing to money. But the solution is not to give scholarships to those who are poor. Those here on this thread should do statistical analysis of who is poor. The majority of them happen to be backward castes. The backward castes have their rich brethren too, but limited. They can never be compared in ratio to the rich people from open category. Till the ratio comes to a somewhat comparable level, there better be reservation. You'll often find the politicians in India exploiting the time period at which such issues are raised. I won't consider that here though.

I have an extremist stand for countries like India. There is a genealogy project going on in some university on this Earth (most probably in Europe or US). All Indians should submit their blood samples to that project, and only those with the better* gene should be allowed to live. All others should be put to death (I personally dont mind if it includes myself given the fact that I am making this statement).

* better gene: a gene pattern that would have maximum positives. In other words, least negatives. That way, those contributing to gene pool degradation will be eliminated.

Monday, April 10, 2006

sms rape and evolution..

wait. do not yet give up. this post has no illicit content whatsoever. or maybe it has. illicit is relative. everything is. anyhow, if you are reading this, focus, if at all you can, we are discussing a grave issue here.

do any of these sound familiar:
"to vote for your favourite breed of dog send an SMS 'my-fav-mutt-is-' followed by the breed of your dog to 7575 or let the dog bark after you dial in the number 1904 4242 2500 05."

"if you think bipasha basu should accept john abraham's 'package' deal of playing with his you-know-what while eating a roshogulla simultaneously, send an SMS 'mouthful' to 8888."

"whether india should give a chance of introducing more youngsters as 12th men in the remaining matches of the ODI series, send SMS 'young-dozenth' to 672455."

"those dimwits who dream of participating in who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire indian version, send SMS 'dreamer' to 646 if you are a retail subscriber, or send 'greedy' to 123 if you are a hcuth subscriber."

"model carol gracias was involved in a wardrobe malfunction fiasco at the lakme fashion week. to let us know whether someone else should also have been involved, SMS the name of the model to 457835."

"to let us know your opinion on whether any cricketing captain should be sued for using the azharuddin patented sentence 'the-boys-played-well', do send an SMS 'royalty' to 4444."

the reason i spiced up the above examples is that a person like me doesn't give a damn to any of the above as much as the non-spiced up counterparts of the above examples. but i'm still put through all the above through one medium or the other. most of which cannot be turned off, for the basic reason that you never know which new medium they will hit you by, and when. Television, Radio, Service Providers of variety of services, newspapers, the list goes on..

the future as i see it:
cell phone evolution will result into one cell phone having multiple typing pads. and to cope with them, human evolution would lead into humans having fingerlets spawning from fingers on the hand. legs would soon be vestigial organs. more the number of SMS-es you send, more fingerlets you will have. i guess hrithik roshan would be considered the Adam of such a gene pool. procreation via SMS-es would be the next in-thing.

solution: strike the problem at its root. chop off your fingers instantaneously. i just did.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

UG and more bullshit..

people go seeking gurus in life or somehow gurus happen to them. blind as these people are, the words and actions of the guru is what they follow. i tried my level best to refrain from passing judgement whatsoever here. but i couldn't stop myself from writing this.

if the belief system of these people is what they go by i.e. what drives them, what they follow and what happens to be their trust or faith, then they are too fragile. these very people are seen guru-hopping, based on how a certain guru can impress them. that's all they know. and that's what breeds this world of gurus. you never know whom to trust.

there is one such person who i happen to know of. not personally, but through a friend who had some video clips of this person. he never portrays himself as a guru, in fact is a much touted anti-guru fellow, doesn't wear robes nor does he have thousands attending his 'lectures'. his name is U G Krishnamurti, popularly known as UG. here is something more to read about him, and i suggest you read for yourself before evaluating my comments in this post about him. You can also browse this site for some more stuff about UG.

he does nothing publicly, all his beliefs are discussed about at either when some people go to his house or when he goes to someone's house. much the same way it happens with any other person on this earth. so what makes him so popular you'd ask? it is his dialogue delivery, which leaves people stumped. so whatever (bullshit) he would be giving, most of those who hear appear mesmerised. its but natural that such people who bear the capacity of getting 'mesmerised', will pay rapt attention when someone makes statements that will shake their belief system.

check out his audio or video tapes if you are interested in hearing how this anti-guru cusses well known gurus, thinkers like J Krishnamurthy (with whom he isn't related in any possible way). figure out for yourself? bullshit..

Monday, April 03, 2006

this article intentionally not posted..

as i was writing this, i realised that this is just a series of thoughts and not something worth posting anywhere, especially on any blog. and the reason why i wrote this line is to remind myself that i must NOT accidentally post it.

the one and only thing i do at work is _____. well i prefer not to write it here because if you get to read this and happen to tell this to my manager, then i'll be doomed. and therefore you know what that word was.

one of my favourite pastimes is reading fortune cookies. and since linux has a game that keeps spewing out fortune cookies, i love linux. in most distros of linux, given the fact that you have installed games, you should get fortune cookies on typing "/usr/games/fortune". consider yourselves very unlucky if you don't find them on your system. i might be able to arrange them for you somehow, but do not depend on me. somehow lay your hands on them. worth all they are.

cookies for today:

"Wharbat darbid yarbou sarbay?"

"It's been a business doing pleasure with you."

"How long a minute is depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on."

"If I don't see you in the future, I'll see you in the pasture."

"You must dine in our cafeteria. You can eat dirt cheap there!!!!"