August 31, 2005

Yesterdays

I don’t usually post stuff like this, but yesterday was a weird day.

First there were the mid-term exams, a joke on all of us. The subject was MIS—as boring as it can get. I thought the exam was at 11:00, so I went a couple of hours early to study some. But as I reached there I found out that the timing was 14:00…

OK, I didn’t have much sleep the day before yesterday. There were two exams that day, and there are two exams today. I was hoping that I’d get some rest yesterday.

Now I can’t study anything boring if I don’t need to. So I spent a couple of hours at college reading Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. When it got too uncomfortable sitting on stairs and reading, I went into the lab and surfed some. I read this great piece over at Fantastic Metropolis, and organized my Bloglines account. Pruned some feeds that I don’t really read…

Then lunch, drinking of some juice and so on. I wasted time till nearly 13:00, and finally studied some. Gave the test, which I think I’ll even pass. Read the book some more on the way back home.

I wasn’t feeling too sleepy, so watched an episode of Buffy—Star World is showing all the seasons in a re-run, daily. Tried sleeping again, but got a call from my sister. She was feeling bored, so we decided to go out.

We went to Cream Centre, a nearby hang-out place. It’s one of those pretentious places that charge way too much for what they give, and have an oppressive atmosphere. We ate American junk food (Nachos with cheese) like it was supposed to be some royal cuisine—that’s how is in India. Fast food here is expensive, and is the ‘cool’ thing to eat.

Finally there was the dessert—the reason we went to that damn place anyway. They serve a special preparation of their own—sizzling brownies with hot chocolate. I can’t really describe it, but it tastes heavenly so I’ll go ahead and try anyway.

It’s pretty simple really. It’s sort of like a sizzler, you have a hot plate on which they give you a slab of brownie. They put a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream on top, and pour a cup of chocolate sauce over it all. The sauce immediately starts to boil in front of you, and the whole thing is too hot to eat without the ice-cream. I burned myself a little while eating it, but it was worth it.

Came home, and crashed like a log. Now today’s Mobile Computing followed by Image Processing, and I’m too bored to study it all. Hence the posting-of-needless-details-in-order-to-kill-time.

August 28, 2005

Simpsons

Just a few:

  • Homer: Not a bear in sight. The “Bear Patrol” must be working like a charm!
    Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
    Homer: Thank you, dear.
    Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
    Homer: Oh, how does it work?
    Lisa: It doesn’t work.
    Homer: Uh-huh.
    Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock. But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
    Homer: [pause] Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

  • Homer: So, I realized that being with my family is more important than being cool.
    Bart: Dad, what you just said was powerfully uncool.
    Homer: You know what the song says: “It’s hip to be square”.
    Lisa: That song is so lame.
    Homer: So lame that it’s… cool?
    Bart+Lisa: No.
    Marge: Am I cool, kids?
    Bart+Lisa: No.
    Marge: Good. I’m glad. And that’s what makes me cool, not caring, right?
    Bart+Lisa: No.
    Marge: Well, how the hell do you be cool? I feel like we’ve tried everything here.
    Homer: Wait, Marge. Maybe if you’re truly cool, you don’t need to be told you’re cool.
    Bart: Well, sure you do.
    Lisa: How else would you know?

  • [the plant’s been bought by Germans; Homer’s afraid of getting fired]
    Horst: Homer, could we have a word with you?
    Homer: [Nervous] No.
    Horst: I must have phrased that bad. My English is, how you say, inelegant. I meant to say, may we have a brief, friendly chat?
    Homer: Noooo!
    Horst: Once again I have failed.
    Horst: [Opens “German to English” dictionary]
    Horst: We request the pleasure of your company for a free exchange of ideas.
    Homer: NOOOOO!
    [Runs away screaming]

  • Kent Brockman: Hordes of panicky people seem to be evacuating the town for some unknown reason. Professor, without knowing precisely what the danger is, would you say it’s time for our viewers to crack each other’s heads open and feast on the goo inside?
    Professor: Mmm, yes I would, Kent.

  • [Superintendent Chalmers sees Principal Skinner’s kitchen on fire]
    Superintendent Chalmers: Good Lord, what is happening in there?
    Principal Skinner: The Aurora Borealis?
    Superintendent Chalmers: The Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your kitchen?
    Principal Skinner: Yes.
    Superintendent Chalmers: May I see it?
    Principal Skinner: No.

  • Kent Brockman: We’re just about to get our first pictures from inside the spacecraft with “average-naut” Homer Simpson, and we’d like to — aah!
    [Camera shows a close-up of an ant floating in front of the three astronauts]
    Everyone: Aah!
    Kent Brockman: Ladies and gentlemen, er, we’ve just lost the picture, but, uh, what we’ve seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over — “conquered”, if you will — by a master race of giant space ants. It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here.
    And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
    Marge: Mmm, don’t worry, kids. I’m sure your father’s all right.

August 27, 2005

Blade of Tyshalle

Blade of Tyshalle cover

Brilliant … absolutely Brilliant!

I felt apprehensive after reading , somewhere in my mind was a nagging doubt that won’t be as good. No such thing. If I could compare books, I’d have no problems putting Blade of Tyshalle at the same level (or over) as Heroes die. But comparisions are passé; each book is different.

It is an epic, and a lot more. I’m not going to say anything about the plot here, anyone interested can look it up. I’ll end up making it sound lame or something, which I don’t dare to.

From the author’s own words:

For me, there is something irresistibly magnetic about a character who finds the strength to keep on fighting in the face of the worst the universe can throw at them, even certain failure, death, destruction on a Biblical scale, whatever; and there is something irresistibly tragic about a character who needs that strength and just can’t find it, so he breaks … and is destroyed by his surrender.

It gets even better when you have a character who breaks and is destroyed, and finds in his destruction the seeds of a new strength that lifts him up so he can rise and fight again …

Being all that, the book somehow resonates with what I feel, who I am. You know, usually when I post about a book over here, I put up some nice quotes that should give people a feel for the real thing. I can’t do that with this book; no part of the story can be taken out of context and remain what it is. What I will quote is a paragraph that stood out from the others; especially because the day I read it I was thinking along similar lines:

The precise point where he has passed from collector to creator was a mystery. Perhaps truly passionate collectors are always artistes manqués: perhaps they chose to buy what they do not have the gifts to create. Perhaps touching the minds of all those countless artists had molded him in some way; perhaps seeing the world through the dream-eyes of artists had given him, over time, some vision of his own.

All said, this is not for the weak-hearted. It’s very graphic at times, but if you can handle it, it’s all good.

Can’t wait for the next book: Caine Black Knife to be out. I’d but it right now if I could.

August 24, 2005

Craftsmanship

This idea has been doing the rounds in my head for a while now; but it’s not fully formed. Hey, that’s never stopped me from posting about anything now.

I value good craftsmanship in stuff I have. You know, I like things to display someone’s skill, someone’s ability, someone’s accomplishments. I like things to show someone’s dedication to the work they’re doing; they should show someone who’s striving to attain mastery at something. Ya, I can always dream…

I like well-made things. I don’t like things that are mediocre; but I can only afford mediocre things at present. There’s no harm in wishing to have more; but I’m worried that people don’t put value on quality at present.

We’re all consumerists here; and while being as shallow anyone, I still get disturbed at the disposable nature of reality we have all around us. You don’t repair things; you just throw them away and buy new stuff — makes more sense and is cheaper on your wallet. I’m bound to be miserable: I want everything there is and I want it to be of value as well.

I personally am not a craftsman; I can’t do anything except code a little. I’m mediocre at that too — the only things I have the patience for is quick hacks that are never elegant. And I don’t build things; I use what I can scavenge.

Right now, I’m not earning but I spend. And the only thing I spend money on at present is books. As soon as I start earning this’ll change; I’ll buy all sorts of stuff. And I’m learning to sport good craftsmanship among the books I buy; I’ve begun to notice books that have good cover design, good typography and a good quality of paper; books that I love at first sight. No doubt I’ll do the same for everything else I start spending on as well.

Don’t take me wrong — I’m not talking about cost at all. The thing I most value among my possessions at present is something I got for only twenty bucks.

I’m talking about stuff that’s good at what it’s meant for. Things you use for years and years and develop an attachment with. My current book is ; charming really if you ignore the meta-physical ramblings that are scattered in between. It seems to be pretty much about what I’m saying right now; check out this quote:

I talked yesterday about caring, I care about these moldy old riding gloves. I smile at them flying through the breeze beside me because they have been there for so many years and are so old and so tired and so rotten there is something kind of humorous about them. They have become filled with oil and sweat and dirt and spattered bugs and now when I set them down flat on a table, even when they are not cold, they won’t stay flat. They’ve got a memory of their own. They cost only three dollars and have been restitched so many times it is getting impossible to repair them, yet I take a lot of time and pains to do it anyway because I can’t imagine any new pair taking their place. That is impractical, but practicality isn’t the whole thing with gloves or with anything else.

That’s what I mean by being attached to some thing — and you can only care for stuff that’s good to begin with.

August 23, 2005

Ordered some more books

I could not resist. Actually this is my first ‘proper’ purchase online — Strand does not count. Bought them off Sify; the site’s cheap enough and with a decent catalogue. Amazon will of course kill me on delivery charges to India.

The books:

I’ve read Heroes Die, but don’t have a copy of my own. Hence the spending… Can’t really stop reading the series, Blade of Tyshalle is the next book in the Caine triology.

After reading Island of the Day Before, again I need to read more work by Umberto Eco. It was either this or The Name of the Rose

I’m aware that Closing Time is not said to be great; but I can’t not read the sequel to Catch-22 now. And I wasn’t planning to buy Walden, but I was getting it for a hundred bucks and I said what the hell…

These are books (except Walden) that I’ve searched for offline, and have no hope of ever getting. Not bad for around a thousand bucks total.

Update: At the end of this semester, I’ll go around to the New and Secondhand Bookshop (thanks Uma).

Another update: August 23, 18:20… I know; updates should also be time-stamped. Gotta find a better way to do that.

Back to the point; four of these books were already delivered today morning! Man, that’s fast. Heroes Die will take a month to ship, it did say 30-45 days on the site.

August 21, 2005

An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World cover

I liked this book a lot, it’s short and charming. Like all books, the cover is absolutely brilliant.

Don’t feel like typing a huge review today, can’t seem to get the words out. Look the book up if you’re interested. Sorry, I wouldn’t have bothered to post this usually; but the cover’s so damn good, I had to put the image up.

August 19, 2005

Typography

Typography, n. The craft of composing type and printing from it.

Someone who spends as much time as me reading, and staring at a computer screen, is bound to develop an interest in typography. I don’t really understand what makes good typography — I know it when I see it — and I do know that there are different requirements for on-screen and on-paper typography.

On screen, I’ve always heard that Sans-Serif fonts are the thing to use. But I just don’t dig them, most Sans-Serif fonts look terrible. Some are really great though…

I make do with what fonts are freely available on the net of course. And if you’re maintaining a site, you need to make sure that whatever font you choose will be available on all the major operating systems — this is impossible.

I read a lot on-screen, and I usually re-format anything large I’m reading (an ebook for example) according to my taste before going forward. Digital typefaces are fascinating.

I also code — and coding requires its on breed of monospaced fonts. Monospaced, that is each letter takes up the same amount of screen space — the code indents properly is much easier to handle with a good font. My current favourite programming font is Bitstream Vera Sans Mono; the default monospaced font for Gnome. I downloaded the Windows version and got addicted.

On paper, Serif fonts are definitely the way to go. Everybody, please stop using Times New Roman, that font gives me the shivers. Nothing too wrong with it, but one gets sick of seeing it. When printing at home, give the classics like Garamond and the Bookman family of fonts a try.

There are too many sites out there, anyone who wants to read up on this will definitely find something. I myself have only a pedestrian interest in typography; I appreciate it but know I have no skill for it. I primarily want to save myself from going prematurely blind, you see… I’ve only scratched the surface.

August 15, 2005

Of Human Bondage

The title says it all. Of Human Bondage is full of suffering, but strangely enough I wasn’t depressed in the least while reading it. It was somewhat exhilarating to be honest…

The language used is plain and matter of fact; this makes what it describes more compelling to me. I’ve heard that Anna Karenina is a great tragedy, but I was not affected by it. But this book touches a nerve…

You know, doing the opposite of what people do to each other for most of this book will give you a very pleasant life indeed. But people are not like that; you can’t help but hurt the ones you know.

Near the start of the book, there is an incident which sets the pace for the stuff that follows: Philip (our protagonist) is barely nine years old. His father died some time ago, and his mother has just died. He’s a small, club-footed, pitiable fellow. At nine he’s terribly conscious of the fact that others pity him, and can’t resist deliberately showing his suffering on this occasion. I can’t really describe it, hope you get the drift…

Philip’s youth is horrible, but he turns out OK-ish. He’s awfully shy, and hides it with a calm, unruffled exterior. And he’s got a gift of hitting people where it hurts the most; almost an instinct. He’s lonely like hell.

“He did not know how wide a country, arid and precipitous, must be crossed before the traveller through life comes to an acceptance of reality. It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideas which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded.”

The book’s long; if I write a synopsis here the post will be long enough to put people to sleep. Needless to say, somewhere near the half-way point, he falls desperately in love with a girl; someone who does not care for him at all. He can’t find anything to like about her, but can’t get her out of his mind. In the author’s own words:

“He had thought of love as a rapture which seized one so that all the world seemed spring-like, he had looked forward to an ecstatic happiness; but this was not happiness; it was a hunger of the soul, it was a painful yearning, it was a bitter anguish, he had not known it before. … When she left him it was wretchedness, and when she came to him again it was despair. “

What follows next is worse. Each and every action taken by each character heightens their suffering. This book made me feel real pain for the characters, I was wishing at each and every juncture that they don’t do something which I know they’ll end up doing.

But near the end things turn out well, Philip develops a hardened attitude and a confidence in himself that you can’t help but admire. The end’s exquisite to say the least.

Read the book through to the end and you’ll have read one of the finest works ever written. Probably.

“It was not very comfortable to have the gift of being amused at one’s own absurdity.”

If the book can make me feel emotional, it’ll sure as hell affect most people out there. There’s nothing wrong with a sad tale; most of the good stories in life are sad. And there’s also nothing wrong with a happy tale. No reason a story can’t be both at the same time.

August 13, 2005

Odysseùs

I don’t know why I’m fascinated by this Odysseus, a.k.a., Ulysses. People who’ve read my blog from the start should remember that I used to keep my nickname as Ulysses. Its not just me, everybody seems to be fascinated by him.

Consider literature—there’s Ulysses by Joyce. Take poetry—and you have one of my favourite poems, Ulysses by Tennyson. Who can’t help loving lines like:

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

You take music, and you get another of my favourite songs—Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream. With the trademark Cream imagery, consider:

And the colours of the sea blind your eyes with trembling mermaids,
And you touch the distant beaches with tales of brave Ulysses:
How his naked ears were tortured by the sirens sweetly singing,
For the sparkling waves are calling you to kiss their white laced lips.

I’ve read articles on him, listened to discussions about him. I’ve read an unproduced screenplay based on the story. In short, I know as much about the character as can be known, without actually reading the Odyssey. And its not through lack of trying that I haven’t read the book yet—all I could find (for free) online was the text in a verse-like form. I can’t read something like that on screen, though I probably could on paper. And I can’t seem to get my hands on a good prose translation…

I still can’t say why I’m so fascinated. The epic nature of the story will keep anyone engrossed, but there’s something that sets him apart; you can’t help but admire the cunning he shows. Plus (I think) he’s the most multi-layered character you can get out of ancient literature.

I love the moral ambiguity inherent in the Odyssey. I love the resilience & persistence shown by the characters. But I can’t nail down the reason I’m so fascinated by it…

I realize that it is futile to be in introspection mode for too long, you never get to the bottom of your likes & dislikes. This post was more of a statement-of-fact, than a search-for-answers.

August 09, 2005

Placed.

I’ve got a job, quite a relief. Its one less thing to worry about now, you know. The company’s Capgemini India, about which I had not heard of till last week. But I checked it out, it’s solid. A good company, multi-national to boot—I could get a free out-of-India visit if I’m lucky.

The pay scale is around deleted!, nothing too fancy but good enough. The company gave me a good feeling from the start—right from the presentation onwards I knew I’d be working here. It’s a great feeling—knowing what you want to do next, then getting it done.

The miracle was clearing the aptitude test, my prodigious guessing skills really helped me here. Plus the fact that there was no negative marking, so I could guess without fear. Next were the interviews—all of them by HR people. I was slightly nervous initially, I’d never been interviewed before you know. But waiting for almost four hours for my turn to come calmed me down—I spent it reading ‘Of Human Bondage’.

I would never have guessed that interviews would be so much fun. I had decided to be frank when it comes to any subject, its easier. There were four people conducting the interview—and the first thing they asked me was to describe myself. ‘Who is Ankit Solanki?’ as it was put. I guess whatever I said must have worked, they all seemed pleased with it, and I got selected…

I did many things in the interview that would generally not be considered ‘good’, I told them I have no plan in life. I have no idea where I’ll be a few years down the line. I told them about my blog (gasps!), told them I’m perpetually figuring out stuff in my life. I told them I had not come prepared for the interview. Lots of stuff like this, I was going on instinct here, which turned out to be right.

I’m never this open with people, and this was a nice change. And of course, it was fun.

All in all, 17 people from my college got placed here, a huge scoop. The company’s going through a massive expansions—another reason I was almost sure I’d get a job. Now all I have to do is maintain the 60% aggregate score for the next two semesters…

Update: OMG, this is hilarious. I called my grandfather this morning to tell him the news. He’s slightly deaf, so I hollered as best I could on the phone. The guy seemed pleased with the news, so I left it at that. But I guess he must have misunderstood what I told him—he later told my uncle in a worried tone that I had got engaged to some girl yesterday, who stays in the U.S. and earns Rs. 225k. And he was wondering why the hell I made such a sudden decision.

LOL, can’t stop laughing.

August 05, 2005

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town cover illsutration by Dave McKean

Can’t really get this post started, so I’ll get to it. To hell with proper writing when you can’t write.

You’re not going to be able to read this book it you can’t stand weird things, it’ll drive you crazy. For the rest, this is quite a fun read. It’s one of those books you can’t place in any genré — but if forced I’d put this one into the Fantasy section.

You have a guy called Alan, or Albert, or Alex, or any other name you can think of beginning with ‘A’. His life is strange to say the least — his father’s a mountain and his mother’s a washing machine. His siblings are similarly named, and I’m not getting into their varied details here. He loves a girl with wings, generally tries to help people, and at present his pet project is setting up free (as in beer) distributed wireless Internet access across a city.

The book goes surprisingly quiet on the characters, you never get to know what they are. They themselves don’t get to know. It just goes on like any normal book would — a fact that makes it even more fun to read. There are several great moments, but there are moments where even I got slightly exasperated at what was going on.

I love the fact that Alan bought a house, loving planned and executed every little detail and spent months on furnishing it just to have a space to write a book. It got me thinking on craftsmanship, expect a post if I get around to writing one.

Then there’s the fact that the book’s under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs); you can download & print it legally. You can even sell it if you’re from some parts of the world. Though you should preferably buy it.

August 04, 2005

del.icio.us link stats

I got bored, so decided to be pedantic. Some stats on my del.icio.us account:

  • Total number of links posted: 462
  • Number of days the account’s been active: 299
  • Number of tags used: 316

I could come up with all sorts of weird stats like number of tags per link, but that’d be of no use. Instead, below are the graphics (Sparklines to be precise) that represent how often I add links. At least they look good:

Daily link posting frequency:
Daily freq
Two Day moving average:
2 day moving average
Five Day moving average:
5 day moving average

I got the data from a small Python script I wrote using the del.icio.us api; and generated the images by using a slight modification of the Bitworking Sparkline Generator script. Its basically the same script, I just customized the colours and changed a couple of lines here and there, mainly to feel like I did do something.

Watch out for more stats when I get bored next ;)

August 03, 2005

Island of the Day Before

Island of the Day Before cover

This is the first book by Umberto Eco that I’ve read, and I seriously doubt what some reviews on the net said about it…if his so called ‘weakest’ work can be so brilliant, I can’t wait to read his other works.

This book was my rock during two days when there was nothing else to do but read. It was perfect for me, full of metaphors that I love. That took my mind of things very nicely indeed.

The language of the book is wonderfully rich, it’s all that I love about English and more. Of course, the book was not written in English, but in Italian. Makes me want to ditch my plans of leaning Spanish in favour of Italian.

I honestly can’t find any flaws with the book. Nor can I describe it.

I makes a mad-man seem reasonable, reasonable men seem absurd. Religion, morality, theology, astronomy, metaphysics, politics, history & romance combine to make a genré bender. OK, now I’m addicted Eco’s work. I need to get more.

Some snippets, picked at random, to fill up the post:

I take pride in my humiliation, and as I am to this privilege condemned, almost I find joy in an abhorrent salvation; I am, I believe, alone of all our race, the only man in human memory to have been shipwrecked and cast upon a deserted ship.

Restless, he dreamed of his shipwreck, and dreamed of it as a man of wit, who even in dreams, or especially in them, must take care that as propositions embellish a conception, so reservations make it vital, while mysterious connections give it density; considerations make it profound, emphases uplift, allusions dissimulate, transmutations make it subtle.

It seems that his father, who was surely fond of his son even if he treated him with the taciturn roughness characteristic of the men of those lands, sometimes—and precisely in the first five years of Roberto’s life—would lift him from the ground and shout proudly: “You are my firstborn!” Nothing strange, to be sure, beyond the venial sin of redundance, since Roberto was an only child.

Thus Roberto, suffering but remembering the infinity of worlds which he had discussed in previous days, had an idea or, rather, an Idea, a great and anamorphic stroke of genius.

He thought, namely, that he might construct a story, of which he was surely not the protagonist, inasmuch as it would not take place in this world but in a Land of Romances, and the story’s events would unfold parallel to those of the world in which he was, the two sets of adventures never meeting and overlapping.

A compendium of posts.

Saturday, 30th July:
OK, the obligatory post on the rains in Mumbai.

There’s a long story which I don’t feel like repeating. Suffice to say that I had it better than many, worse than a few. My whole family was at Borivali on the 26th, and we came home Wednesday evening to find out building still flooded with waist-level water. No power supply. No water supply.

The power came back early today morning, still no water (and no net). I’ve not had a proper bath since Tuesday morning, and to be honest I feel slightly sick. When the water supply does start, its going to be filthy & un-drinkable. I almost don’t feel like taking a bath for the next week too.

I’ve seen a lot of stuff that I never thought I’d see…stuff that I don’t want to see again. Men have drowned right in front of my building. I’ve seen the aftermath of landslides on highways. I’ve seen cars turned upside down. I’ve seen monster traffic jams, where you move 10 feet in half-an-hour. I’ve seen thousands of people trying to walk their way home. I’ve seen the telephone lines jammed, the mobile networks going down. People desperate to get in touch with loved ones. I know people whose homes were flooded, with all their possessions either spoilt or washed away.

And frankly (and thankfully) I’ve seen a lot less than many others. I was one of the lucky ones, stuck at a place of safety. I’ve had almost no major difficulties these few days, just a lot of inconvenience.

Life’s slowly going back to normal. This city really never stops, which is one of the reasons I love (and hate) it so.

Monday, 1st August:
Still no net. My local cable guy didn’t have any power till Sunday. And when he did get power, there was no staff present to repair whatever line fault there is. Yesterday the state government issued a warning, people were ‘advised’ to remain indoors. So no one showed up to work there. I can’t reach him today, and considering the amount its rained, there is no hope of me getting net access till tomorrow.

I did try connecting to MTNL via my modem, but the link sucks. I barely connect for a minute and it disconnects. Plus its too slow to load anything anyway.

All schools and colleges are off today, just when I want to go to college. I’m getting sick of staying at home.

The water’s getting a little better, not as dirty as the days before, but still unfit for drinking.

I’m passing my time reading, what else can I do? Got a couple of ideas for a minor programming project, but I want net access for that. And when it finally starts, I’ll have no time to do anything. Just figures.

There are a lot of scared people around here. Mumbai has long escaped any natural calamity, so this one caught everyone unprepared. Today is Monday, but the streets are virtually deserted. Everyone’s playing it safe and staying indoors, even though there is no chance of the same amount of flooding happening today.

Its times like this that my stubbornness comes and bites me in the ass. I’ve systematically cut myself off from other people for a long time, so right now I’m bored and almost lonely. Huh…I do like feeling melancholy.

Later that day:
Still nothing. Played some games, listened to some good music. Watched some movies, but can’t watch much of anything without three people looking over my shoulder.

Things are not that bad, but being stuck at one place for nearly a week gives me the creeps. Even if that place is home.

Tuesday, 2nd August:
No connectivity yet. Slept for most of the day, than did the usual. These last few days are the first time in my life I’ve jumped at the chance of doing some shopping for the home — anything to get me out.

Plus I’ve got a mind-splitting headache. Doesn’t help with my temperament at all.

Wednesday, 3rd August:
Posting from college. Oh, glorious net connectivity.