Showing posts from December, 2006

25 or no 25

The cake has been cut, the Orkut messages are raining, phone has done its own share of ringing and I am writing a blog post. In few hours from now, I would complete my 25 years of existence. Although 21 is the age at which you become adult in India for all practical purposes, 25 seem to be a landmark in its own right. So in Indian tradition, I am officially out of Brahmacharya part of my life and in US, I can now rent a car everywhere. Hardly sound like things to care for ! When we were young, we all dreamt of growing up. I think 25 is closest to the dream age to which every child wants to grow up. This is the point when you are supposed to have grown up and ready to take on the world. I feel like the life till now has been spend in a kind of preparation and now is the time to go ahead and do what you want. Irony is that in the last years of all the preparation you realize, you have taken the wrong road may be ! But as the Led Zeppelin said, Yes there are two paths you can go by but in

Language Digest - 3

Sorry for the long delay but somethings in life just cannot wait and semester end seems to be rather full of them. but back we are and here we go. Madras HC sees little use for Tamil without proper infrastructure being in place. This is in responce to Govt's move to make Tamil as the court language. In the education field, Kannada and Marathi are now compulsory in their respective states for 10th and 12th standard kids. It is not very clear is this is for state boards only or for ICSE and CBSE also. In Kashmir also, efforts are on to introduce Kashmiri in the private schools . Urdu medium schools in Delhi are not able to find Urdu speaking Science and Maths teachers and so students are having problems. Central Institute for English and Foreign Languages has been accorded University status . I hope now the research section on their website will come out of being " under construction ". After schools, it is sign boards in Karnataka . The national association of the Deaf

Gareebi me aata gila !

Though it looks like there was no damage, it has left me feeling utterly insecure. Before entering any password I think twice what if he left a backdoor or Trojan or keylogger and would be back later to pick up all the goodies nicely stored in a file somewhere on my disk? Anybody having any ideas about detecting a Linux keylogger running, please get back to me. The only good part is that I actually saw it happened and so was able to get in the damage control mode immediately. When we came here, we were told that computing environment here is extremely hostile and that any vulnerability will be exploited within a day of being exposed. My VNC server could survive may be 10 hours. A look at the /var/log/messages shows consistent attacks on ssh every 4-5 hours. Living in the famous parts of IP namespace has its own disadvantages. And this happened when I was still trying to recuperate from the yesterday's misadventure with new Airtel call home service. I tried to register at their we

Lucknow University crackdown

There are several interesting news stories from back home today, some of them good, some of them bad and depressing. The good news comes from my home town Lucknow. Lucknow University (LU) has long been a den of criminals of all kind of hues. There are student leaders there who are always in the jail. Due to the strong backing of the political parties, administration is hardly able to do anything. LU has gone down steadily in the quality of education. Now the current VC of LU has decided to take the bull by the horns. He has closed the university sine die and has suspended around 135 students with criminal records. This despite the hoopla in the assembly against him. No wonder a majority of the suspended students belong to SP, the ruling party and that head of SP, Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav was the most vocal critic of the VC, Dr. R P Singh. Anyone who knows the situation in LU would have to admire the courage required to do such a thing. You can read about it here , here and here . S

Welcome back?

Well, I must admit that I am given to the vice of over-dramatization but I take care to always have a premise ! So the question is, are you at a new blog or are you at the old blog? Should I welcome you or should I welcome you back? Is it "nayi botle me puraani sharab" ya "puraani botel me nayi sharab"? Nevermind as Kurt said, we have labels now and we will be putting them over everywhere so that nobody gets lost in this basket case ever again. But till that is done, you are advised to tread cautiously and heed to what I said in the first paragraph. I am given to over-dramatizations ! The track will be back in a short while !

Before change !

This post is the last one on this blog. Blogspot has been a pretty good host but now it goes to where it belongs, hall of fame. Here comes Blogger 2, just in time for the new year party with all the new goodies ! Let's party !!

Faces of Democracy II - Your name is Justine

"Where is love? Where are dreams? Where is the bloody justice?" These are tough questions, questions which lurk just around the corner but we avoid asking them. Because facing them means questioning the most basic assumptions of our lives and then everything threatens to just fall apart. Not something we can afford to. Right? But what do you do when life forces you to ask these questions and refuses to answer? This is the point in the life of Mariola when we leave her at the end of the movie. The life has turned a full circle for her, she is back in her familiar surroundings, among friends and well wishers but what has changed is her. She is no longer the little princess who just wanted to be happy . The movie is the story of how that happens, how the psych of a simple polish girl is damaged beyond repair, how the heart is hurt beyond healing. A story that is not unique to Mariola but to thousands of girls all over the world who are pushed into flesh trade by those very ha

Language Digest - 2

Let us start by 3 statements all coming from different conflict zones, typical of the role languages play in such scenarios. Manipur , Nepal and Kashmir . Taking forward the theme of conflict, here are some other effects of language antagonism: Asaam . In his new book, Subramanian Swamy asks Hindu's to vow to learn Sanskrit . Look towards the end of the review. And contrary to what I said, here is this blog post from Bangalore in which police refuses to help since the complainer was not able to speak Kannada . To bring back some cheer, efforts to promote languages: Bhutan and Konkani UT Austin launches Hindi-Urdu program and Cambridge recently closed its Sanskrit Dept. But academicians speak up for Sanskrit . Sindhi Language is doing fine and so is Dakhani in India. In Hindi Literature, translations are in vogue these days. On technology side, Tegic released predictive text for Hindi . To end, here is Pratap Bhanu Mehta on lessons from 1956 linguistic reorganization of state

Faces of Democracy - I

Having an isolated office at the fringe of the campus has its pros and cons. So while I just need to walk about 50 meters from my office to catch the escort back home, being a corner graduate student place, not a lot of notices make it to the notice board of the building. This isolation had almost insured my missing the CMU's very own film festival, that is being called " Faces of Democracy " this year. It has a wonderful collection of documentaries form across the world relating to the theme of democracy and the best thing about it is that is the outcome of a semester long course taught here ! Imagine that ! Getting academic credit for designing and organizing a Film Festival ! Bliss ! So having already missed the opening yesterday, I made it to Avi Mograbi 's Avenge But One of my Two Eyes , a look at the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The festival broacher told me that Avi is known as Israel's Michael Moore and is an ardent critic of Israel's polici