Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My First Working Visit to Parikrma

Finally, i was there at Parikrma, Jayanagat at 9 o'clock in the morning. Had breakfast at Adiga's and went in with my friend. We were assigned the 'Pioneer' Class.
Yes, the classes here are not marked by numbers but names. Students here come from different back grounds and if a student is not able to cope up with the curriculum at a particular class, he is sent to the one prior. This convention would not let him/her to lament over the demotion. Student is moved from 'Pioneer' to 'Atlas' or from 'Atlas' to 'Helen' and not from V to IV or IV to III.
These are one of the 'feel' good subtleties at Parikrma.
I was instructed to take charge of two children, 'Salman Khan' and 'Mani'. I was supposed to review their test papers and help them out with answers.
Salman khan is quite shrewd but has extreme reservations about learning Math or anything related to Math!! Apparently he loves learning English :)

A saying goes in Telugu whose purport being 'You can pull a horse to a Pond, but you can never make it drink water if doesnt want to!!'
I almost choked of the effort to make him reduce 36/48 to lowest terms!!
But these guys are REALLY smart.
They have the fire and zeal in them to make it big. They come from such deplorable backgrounds, they dont want to spare any effort to make it big. Belive me, its very easy to instruct them. Just that it might take a li'l more time for me to mould Mr.Khan :)

Some time when we moved to 'Atlas' during the second period, some volunteers (apparently) from a well known OEM have come down and distributed chocolates to the kids. Right after that they opened up a banner that has their company name and an obscure slogan and clicked some snaps with the kids. That done, they congratulated each other for the novel effort, and laden with satisfaction derived from their service to the community they left the place (after spending about 1/2 hr distributing chocolates.)

No Offense, but i felt quite ill at ease at their behavior. Yes, they have come a long way. But it looked like they have only come for the snap that would be posted on their community service site. Nothing against their intention, but they should have spent more time in knowing what better they could have done.

I have to get back to work now..:(

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tale of Two Cities

This is a wonderful book set in the 17th century of France and England was written in the 18th century by one of the literary genius of the the then-England, Charles Dickens.

The novel starts with a slow pace, gather momentum in the mid and runs into an extremely frenzy and nerve racking affair towards the end with an extremely unexpected and satisfying climax.

Its a love story beautifully woven into the fabric of the fury of French Revolution. Its about the 'Lady Guillotine', the one borne out of the oppression of the peasant class by the French Nobles.
Its about the fury that rose after intense subjugation to exterminate the King and subsequently the Queen of France. Its a story of love, sacrifice and revenge.

Do not miss this one if have'nt read it yet.

Why is One neither Prime nor Composite?

I tried creating a post on the much talked Oracle's 'Siebel Acquisition' and the implications of the same (Hope one of them does not manifest as retrenchment). Seems like there was a problem with the proxy settings, it was swallowed twice and i am not doing it anymore.

I have been home for my B'day. And it has been seven years since i celebrated the same with my Parents. Took some cooking lessons from my mum. I have to put these newly acquired culinary skills to practice this weekend. Very much looking forward to it.
Also this weekend will be my first 'working' visit to Parikrma. Looking forward eagerly for the same too.

There are scores off issues that we trivialise and not think about. One of them an issue with Basic Math.
Why is 1 neither prime nor composite?. When my friend asked me the reason, i was short of words, i knew the reason but i could not explain it satisfactorily in a verbose manner.
Before looking down try to tell yourself the answer!!

A prime number can be defined as the one that has two and ONLY two DIFFERENT divisors. So our poor 'one' cannot come into this category.
A composite number should be decomposible with neither of factors as 1. Hence one cannot come into this category as well.
QED ('Quite Easily Done' as our Math Prof. used to put it :) )
http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57036.html gives a better perspective.

Lesson Learned.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vakratunda Mahakaya....

"Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvignam Kurume Deva
Sarva kaala sarvada"

This is a prayer to the leader of the "ganas" (the demi-gods worshipping Lord Shiva).
The purport being:

"Oh Lord with twisted tusk and great body and the one who shines with the brillinance of a crore of suns
Please remove the obstacles in my path
always and in all times"

Last Wednesday was "Vinayaka Chaturthi", a festival celebrated with great reverence by lots of Hindus. It has been quite sometime since i celebrated this festival, for the last year i was at Pune and the last 4 years before that, i was at BITS, Pilani (My alma mater).
I woke up early in the morning (8.30 on Holiday is sure early :) ), by them time my friend already cooked Vadas and Chakrapongali. We set the puja mandap (thanks to our maid) and lighted incense and oil lamps. Another friend (He claims that he is a Hindustani Classical Singer) started singing prayers (His singing is of no rarity to us, but this is one of the very first times we liked his effort). Then we went to the temple near by and came back to pounce on the food.

I called up my mum and she said that there is a mandatory chore that we have complete. The story reading!! Yes, we read a story on this occasion and then put "turmeric smeared rice grains" on our head. Since we did not have the literature ready for this story in our native language (Telugu), i read it out for the convenience of my friend (Bengali) in English..LOL!!!
It was very funny and we enjoyed the day thoroughly.

Parikrma - The Humanity Foundation

Parikrama in Sanskrit means "Completing a Circle" or "Circumambulating". As there is no beginning or end to a circle, there is no beginning or end to poverty in India. It has been perennially part of the great sub-continent. "Parikrma" the NGO is becoming a "circle" of hope for hundereds of children across the slums of Bangalore.

A week ago we (me and two of my friends) have been been to Jayanagar to know what "parikrma" is all about. We were welcomed and were shown inside. First we met Ms Kalpana, the head mistress of three schools in Bangalore. She introduced us to the CEO, Ms Shukla Bose, who explained us what Parikrma is all about. It was very intriguing to listen to her account of experiences. She belonged to the elite corporate world at the United States, used to travel first-class always. Now here she is seeking content educating hundreds of children. A very unforseen transformation indeed. She and Ms Kalpana were very sweet to show us around the school, we went and visited a couple of classrooms.

In one of the classrooms children were differentiating vowels from consonants. I could not believe that this class was just 6 weeks old and children there were not aware of even an alphabet of English!!

We started off with creating a mailing-list for Parikrama volunteers. We are planning to visit the school every saturday to teach our bit to the students. Last Saturday was a holiday and this Saturday i am going home..:( Will have to go to the school only the next saturday.

More about Parikrma soon.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Boss Came to Bangalore

So now that i am with the second blog, yes i have made some progress in my efforts and will be going to meet some people tommorrow morning. Wish me luck!!

The day before, our Vice President (Apps Dev) came to Bangalore.
There was a High Tea (Yes! We are stingy to host a lunch/dinner, you see) for the ocassion at NIMHANS (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND NEURO SCIENCES) Convention center. Can anyone believe that? Here comes the direct Reportee to the CEO of the world's second largest software company (with more than 9000 ppl working for him) and we welcome him at NIMHANS..:)
Jokes apart, the convention center was quite good a place, we were briefed about the strategies of the applications development for the next 5 years blah..blah..But it was just enough to look at the person (Our EVP, Apps Devleopment), he is an icon of sheer power and energy.

He created history with assimilating one of the world's largest acquisitions with nothing more than some hiccups. There was specualtion, prohecies of doom. He countered all that singularly (There were lotsa lay-offs too, one of the inevitables of a merger. I might have obviously not said this, had i been part of what was called the 'unfortuante incident'. :) )