Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Manusmriti and Marriages

I was at my friends Brothers marriage this weekend. He is from a caste which is known for their very ritualistic approach to life, be it worship, marriage or any other event that requires the solicitation by Gods.

The priest kept saying that this was a "Brahma Vivah" or "Brahmana Wedding", which stuck me curious. I wanted to know, in what all ways, a man could be united with a woman in holy matrimony. I was kind of taken aback by my findings...

Not only does the Vedic Religion provide 8 ways of getting marriage, it varied from marriages for learned men, kings, workers and rouges (WTF...). Also i was amazed that Vedic Religion is not at all averse to love marriages as people are led to believe. It supports it as the third most approved way of getting married...

There are eight types of marriage described in Manusmriti (Laws of Manu):

  • Rite of the Brahmana (Brahma Marriage) where the father of the bride invites a man learned in the Vedas and a good conduct, and gives his daughter in marriage to him after decking her with jewels and costly garments.
  • Rite of the Gods (Daiva Marriage) - where the daughter is groomed with ornaments and given to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice during the course of its performance of this rite.
  • Rite of the Prajapati (Prajapatya Marriage) - where the father gives away his daugher after blessing the couple with the text "May both of you perform together your duties"
  • Rite of the Gandharva (Gandharva Marriage) - the voluntary union of a maiden and her lover, which arises from desire and sexual intercourse for its purpose.
  • Rite of the Rishis (Arsha Marriage) - when the father gives away his daughter after receiving a cow and a bull from the brightgroom.
  • Rite of the Asuras (Demons Marriage) - when the bridegroom receives a maiden after bestowing wealth to the kinsmen and to the bride according to his own will.
  • Rite of the Rakshasa (Rakshasa Marriage)- forcible abduction of a maiden from her home after her kinsmen have been slain or wounded and their houses broken open.
  • Rite of the Pisaka (Pisaka Marriage) - when a man by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping or intoxicated or is mentally disbalanced or handicapped
The first 3 are the most sacred, the last two are strictly forbidden and are termed as barbaric. and the others are acceptable.

Wow... I never knew my culture was so open (though it is usually termed otherwise ). Makes me wonder if we should abandon Hinduism and go into the core of Vedic Religion which is about how to live life to the fullest, rather than trying to please the so called Gods by various rituals that we ourselves do not understand, which makes us hate our own culture.

Amazing Sachin... for All Sachin Fans

Here is the video of mindblowing shots from Sachin Tendulkar.
This video has wonderful shots which will never fade.....

Enjoy ! (thanks uprightvideos for the above video)

Monday, March 27, 2006

My Footage Woes...

I attended Kailas's (one of my best friends and my roommate) brother's wedding last weekend at Palakkad, Kerala. When we reached there for the fanfare, we were struck with the desire to wear a dhoti (our very beloved traditional dress). Me and Praveen went to the town and bought ourselves a dhoti... Only to realise that i only had a Reebok Running shoes to go with it, which reminded me of the scene in George of the Jungle, where George in his Jungle wear complements it with a Nike Air :)

What Will I wear??

But baring my foot to the sweltering heat was the only option (since i was not as cool as George) and I "dared to bare".

But when the time came to go, i found a battered old sandal, somewhere in the corner of the house, which i decided, was abandoned by some guy who decided to move onto a better option.

So there i had a footwear now, that didnt make me look like an alien who was trying to blend in. I looked just fine...

Lady Luck Shines

But little did i realize that I had broken one of the 10 commandments (no... not thou shall not kill)
"Thou shall not Steal !"
The footwear i was wearing turned out to be of the cermonial priest and i have never have been put to so much shame in so little time. Apologies poured out and he (magnanimously) forgave me my sins and accepted my confession. So now I was clean, but without footwear and i had to walk barefooted, only to amass boils on my legs.

Back to Square One... It hurts
(The Circle of Life)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Divine Scientists & their Research Paper...

It’s a while since I felt religious. May be the hectic work life has drained me of my inquisitiveness about my culture, one that is so vast and amazing that it spans a spectrum that no other culture, mythology or religion can boast of. No I’m not talking of Hinduism… its but a mere reflection of the great phenomenon called Vedic Religion.

VEDAs… The treasure house of knowledge, the treasure house that the scientists (rishis or sages in this case) of yore amassed from observation, analysis and a sacred bridge to the divine. The knowledge that is packed in those 4 Vedas is the pillars of this civilization (which is one of the oldest, still standing religions. It has withstood all the test of time, not withstanding its own innate and inherent flaws).

Here is an excerpt from an article that I found on Vedas (see the whole article here)

“The term Veda comes from the root 'Vid', to know. The Veda is the source of the other five sets of scriptures, why, even of the secular and the materialistic. The Vedas are the eternal truths revealed by God to the great ancient Rishis of India. The word Rishi means a Seer, from 'dris', to see.

He is the Mantra-Drashta, seer of Mantra or thought. The thought was not his own. The Rishis saw the truths or heard them. Therefore, the Vedas are what are heard ('Sruti'). The Rishi did not write. He did not create it out of his mind. He was only the spiritual discoverer of the thought. He is not the inventor of the Veda. The Rishi is only a medium or an agent to transmit to people the intuitional experiences which he received.
The truths of the Vedas are revelations. All the other religions of the world claim their authority as being delivered by special messengers of God to certain persons, but the Vedas do not owe their authority to any one. They are themselves the authority as they are eternal… and that is their beauty.”

Do I believe in it…? My conclusion is the same but my interpretation of the whole is a different perspective.

I believe that you have to view the rishis as scientists, people who were so inquisitive about finding the ultimate truth about why we are here and who are we and the other entire high sounding questions that theologists usually ask, that they dedicated their lives for it. For some, their research led them to a point of contact with that ultimate storehouse of knowledge.

Each took back something that he wanted to share with the world, a collection of which finally resulted in the Veda Samahita... their ultimate research paper and a collabarative one at that...

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Dream I never dared to dream..(The US Diaires-6)

I have been a fan of Macromedia products since college. My love for MM started with Flash5 and then spread like wild fire through later releases, Dreamweaver and Fireworks.

Its been a dream big enough to get into MM (which is now reality, though MM in itself is history now that Adobe has bought it), visiting the MM HQ was like a dream i never dared to dream. So, I was feeling all honored and elated at the prospect of visiting the MM office at 601, Townsend, SanFrancisco.

It all started with my uncle driving me to the San Mateo Caltrain Station and then the half hour ride to the 4th & Kings station, in the heart of San Francisco. The ride was a nice change from the Indian trains (though i have heard the Delhi Metro is better)...

I found that they had a seperate cab for people with bicycles and i was surprised to see how many people actually cycle to work from the train station. There were bikes stacked outside the train station, i found BMWs, Yamahas, Vespas and our very own Bajaj Chetak (4 Stroke)...

As I walked out of the 4th & Kings station, i almost lost my way and ended up going up the kings to the 5th street and saw the famous SBC park (the SF Baseball stadium).

The SBC Park

Finally after quite a morning walk, I finally get a glimpse of the red brick Baker & Hamilton Building where the MM HQ was housed. I reached 601 Townsend, which turned out to be a converted warehouse with a cool retro look to it.


Inside 601, the Cafeteria

(MM cubes)

If the place was good, the people were better. Warm, friendly, i can go on adding adjectives to qualify them. Jason was cool and Joan was amazing. It was good to finally meet the whole FLEX Team.

Jason, Rob, Rish, Harish, Me & Joan (L-R)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Proud to be an Indian

I found this wonderful news series by ABC News about India, on Nyneishia's Blog... It fills me with pride to call myself an Indian..

Click on the Pic to view the video...

One flew into the Chick’s Nest (A Tale of Lust)

As I walked into “JukeBox”, in Kormangala on Sunday, it was just another weekend… And a good one at that. There was an awesome concert by Parikrama on Friday (which was free thanks to Radio City and free passes thanks to DDey and Oracle), and another awesome evening at the Legends of Rock on Saturday.

But I was about to bite a forbidden fruit (not exactly a fruit) that evening, and I had no clue. As we all settled down and started to decide on our orders, lust took over me. I was overcome by the smell, reminded me of the amazing times we had together and how much I missed it. I never realized that it made a difference to me, but now reality dawned…

Oh! The aroma, the legs and the breast was so vividly etched in my mind… I had to give into my carnal needs... I ordered a Chicken Steak (phew… I said it out loud, Finally)

I have been avoiding it for so long with “The Flu” around, but I just couldn’t resist it when everyone around me was enjoying it.

But reality dawned, a guilt that surges from the gravity of the sin that you have committed. I have wowed again, not to give into it…

Until Lust takes me again… Please say a Hail Mary for my health

Romeo & Juliet...

Accomplice 1 (The D Day)

Accomplices 2 & 3
(Deepti and Priyanka)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Flickr Badge

Do you have a Flickr Account... If not, it is time that you got one.

Flickr is a photoservice provided by Yahoo, to share your photos in a simple but amazingly elegant way. You can create Albums, organize your photos and lots more. You can like to others and view their private photos and create friends lists too. Whats more you can do all this using your yahoo account.

Flickr has started a new thing for Bloggers, Flickr Badges

As you can see at the bottom right side of my blog, in the sidebar, a Badge can be embedded in your blog, so that people can easily view your photos. Its very easy, a 4 step creation of a html or flash badge, generates a HTML code, that needs to be just added onto your Blog Template...

It looks like this

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

FLEX quote of the week...

Richard Monson-Haefel is a key influencer in the Java and IT markets. He is the award winning author of books on Java Web Services, EJBs, and JMS. He is also the founder of several Apache projects and a former member of the JCP Executive Committee (a small, elected and elite group). Now, he is an analyst with the Burton Group. In early January he wrote a 30 page report on AJAX that mentioned us, but in a niche and undervalued way. He really didn't get what we were doing and was (with some caveats) very supportive of AJAX.

Richard has been trying out FLEX and his blog posting today is a thing of beauty and recognition of our efforts. Check it out. Here is a excerpt from his Blog...

"In America you can't say peanut-butter,
without thinking about Jelly.
In the IT industry you shouldn't think of Ajax,
without thinking of Flash."


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bruce Almighty (A Day with the CEO)

It was a busy day at office yesterday, as our CEO, Mr. Bruce Chizen visited the Bangalore Adobe office. The office was being cleaned over and over and everyone was excited.

Welcome Bruce !
(Flower arrangement in the office lobby)

I was just one of those "everyone" until the day before when i got a email from Aparna (our H.R. head), that I have been chosen to meet Bruce in a panel of 10 people to talk about our needs, aspirations, problems and to get his vision on the Bangalore office. Boy was I thrilled...

The meeting was very exciting and heartening, to hear his views on India, Bangalore, and FLEX. He gave the impression that we were just at the start of an expressway which lay ahead, for many miles. We asked many questions and he was more than ready to answer them and wanted to know our concerns... straight from the grass root and not a filtered version from the management.

Me with the CEO, Bruce Chizen

He loved Bangalore and visited Parikrama Foundation here and Adobe has decided to fund it, including a $40,000 donation towards their computer facility. Bruce talked to us about giving back to the society and that we have a duty to help those around us.

Bruce at Parikrama School, Koramangala

In the evening, we had all had a meeting and dinner with Bruce at the Taj and he shared his vision on Adobe and the things to come...

Bruce Almighty

The only down side of the whole meeting was the announcement that our very own David Halpin, who with Victor had build the India office is leaving us to go back to the US... Everyone had a snap with him and it was an emotional goodbye to him from many.

Ram, David Halpin and Me

Lauren and Me with
Naresh Gupta (CEO, Adobe India)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I love FLEX

I'm so proud of working in Adobe (formerly Macromedia) and especially in this great technology called FLEX. Still in beta (you can get it here), FLEX is generating a lot of buzz in the developer community, people are picking it and playing with it and applauding it (though there are a few things that will be sorted out before the release)

I was pleasently surprised to see a lot of people at the Adobe Conference fiddling around with Flex Builder (which is a IDE that we have released which is build on the almost ubiquitous Eclipse IDE). To see so much enthusiasm inside the company itself was awsome. FLEX swept the show in the conference with the maximum people wanting to port their applications to FLEX, and wanting to know what they could do with it.. It was awsome.

But what really made me proud was something i saw today... It was a podcast interview of Bruce Eckel, (author of the books "Thinking in C++" and "Thinking in Java" ), he talks about his positive experience with experimenting with Flex 2.

Bruce is a Java Guru, who likes to sample and play around with new technologies. He has tried Perl, PHP, Python, all kinds of Java related stuff, Ruby... etc. The very fact that he chose FLEX to beat others like Applets and AJAX for user-experiences for Rich Internet Clients is a big recognition for us. I really loved it and I'm proud to be a part of it..

Here is the part about flex that is from his interview.

You can hear the whole interview here on the Java Posse podcast, episode #37 , "Interview with Bruce Eckel, Part 2"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The 5th P (The US Diaries - 5)

We had an address to the gathering by our CFO Shanthanu Narayan. It was a talk on the principles of Adobe and the 5 P's on which we look forward to dive Adobe into the future. The 5th P is what struck people the most and that was PARTY !... So here are some ways we partied and had fun there...
(L-R) My managers Ram & Lauren, Me, Manish(in red) and Jason with our Exec. V.P. David Wadhwani (center)

Its a pleasent surprise to meet your alumini in the most unexpected places. I found and ex-MITan (yes.. from Manipal) at the Marriot Bar. We started talking of Manipal and how we miss it and about the places and the experience that was. It reminded me of a thing that my friend Joydeep said "You can take a MITan away from Manipal but you cannot take the Manipal out of him"
The MIT duo

Me and Harish with the Best Manager in the world

The partying was mainly thanks to the adorable Lauren and the awsome Khongs (Lily and San). Thanks guys, we had a great time.

The Amazing Trio (San, Lauren and Lily)

It was not just drinks ... we had other amenities too.

Fusball, where San kicks anyones ass....

Pool, where Lily does the same .

The networked car racing video game where we usually spend our time till sleep took us...

Eat & Drink at San Jose (The US Diaries - 4)

The fact that drinks were free, didnt help much for the already globose figure that i posses. Wines (white & red), Beer among others. We were on a much elevated plane at the end of each day, but always sane enough to enjoy and uphold the spirit for which the tech summit was conducted.

Some of the Flex Bangalore Team with Lily
(notice the glasses....!)

Ok ! In very few words... "American Food Sucks", but i can live with it. As Harish says in my Orkut testimonial "He can manage with green grass and uncooked shit for food.. (only if its in the US)"... he he.

But seriously food at the convention centre was bad and it didnt help that i didnt eat fish. We were given green grass (salads... looked like cow fodder) and hard breads.
The dining hall

Breakfast with the Boss
(thats Iced tea in the big jug, and Harish with the hard bread)

Harish quite enjoyed it...

But I had some good experiences too. Me and some others went to this chain called "Johnny Rockets" with typical american "junk" food like burger and fries... etc. But it was a nice place and we had fun.
Jason, Harish, Lauren and Deepa at Johnny Rockets
(I took the photo)

Then me and Lauren went to this brewery chain called "The Gordon Breich" which was quite good.

At Gordon Breich

But the best of the lot was when Lily and San took us out to a Vietnamese Restaurant. The food was yummy (though there were a lot of things floating around), and i would say its the best food i had during the US trip (except at my Uncle's place). There was those small cups with tea served in them which i quite enjoyed...

The Vietnamese Place
(Me, Lily , Lauren and San... from L to R)

Lauren really loved it...

San Jose (The US Diaries - 3)

San Jose was good, a quiet city… you would never say is the Silicon valley capital. A big place with lots of buildings and very less people. Very clean but very bare. I stayed at the Marriot (pic below) and had a great accommodation there.

The San Jose Marriot Lobby

An amazing weather (a bit chilly though) it was a treat to walk around in the evenings, and that’s just what we did. Me, my manager (Lauren) and Harish took a relaxed walk around San Jose. It was great and we walked to the Adobe Office and up to the top floor where we could see the panoramic view of the area. I liked it there….

The Adobe office as seen from my hotel room (zoomed ofcourse)

Walk around the park (Adobe Office)

Walk around with Park (Lauren and Harish)
(P.S. for those unenlightened souls, her full name is Lauren Park. So the above pun is intented)

Basking in Glory (Me and Harish)

Around San Jose

Local Train (in front of the Convention Center)

Into Adobe (outside Adobe office, San Jose)

On the top floor of Adobe
(You can see Marriot on the left, Hilton on the right and the convention center in the middle)

Circle of Life
(The Theatre in front of the Adobe Office, playing The Lion King theatrical version)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Being Born Software Engineer ....

The Teacher gave a punishment to the student and asked him to write "I Will Not Throw Paper Airplanes in the Class" 500 times.

AND The Student Wrote ......