My resolve to go to bed everyday before midnight underwent a major reconsideration when my friend handed me a copy of Rock On. I watched it right through the night. Its good time pass and you can spend more time on nostalgia if you were part of a band in college. The songs are really good.
On a totally different note, Eddie Vedder writes beautiful poetry but refuses to share the meaning of his songs. According to him, music is personal and is viewed differently by different people. That being said:

Na na, na na na na
Na na, na na na na
Mere canteen ka ek bill, ek aadhi padi journal
Ek Phd guide ka phone number, national conference ka ek paper
Mere programs ki ek floppy, Mere class notes ki teen copy
Pichhale Saat Dinon Mein Maine Khoya
Kabhi Khud Pe Hansa Main, Aur Kabhi Khud Pe Roya
Na na, na na na na
Na na, na na na na


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Maurice is a Celebrity

Do you remember Maurice Udumbe ? He is a cute little bengal monitor that lives in our campus.

Mi Casa Su Casa

Well, I am happy to announce that Maurice has become an international celebrity now. He is currently featured in BIAWAK, which is the official peer-reviewed journal of the International Varanid Interest Group. BIAWAK has lot of photographs, news and articles about monitor lizards around the globe. Though Maurice has no story to tell, you can find his picture just under the “Editor’s notes” section in the magazine.

Click on the image to download the full journal in pdf format.

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Pinki and the hair cutting ceremony


Pinki and the Hair Cutting Ceremony

I was sitting down on the concrete surface panting, sweat pouring from every pore in my body. I had just climbed about two hundred steps up a steep hill with the complete camera equipment on my back and a very thick edition of “Lonely Planet: India” weighing down the pocket of my left leg. Too tired even to speak, I was resting with my back against the small temple wall with my legs out stretched.

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Mr Tyagi, Indian Forests, and the prize

And so the grand photography competition has come to an end. A big hall was filled with over 200 entries, various pictures of flora and fauna inside the Ettimadai campus. I blew around 2k and submitted a total 26 prints.

But what I remember most during that night, was this exciting and passionate talk by Mr. Tyagi, the forest conservation officer. In a lecture that lasted two hours, he gave us a clear impression that the forests in India are under major threats from many sources, and the government is not doing much. He told us how Project Tiger is a big joke with the actual figures falling well short of the projected figures. He told us how the central government gives priority to Atomic Energy Commision over Forest Conservation. He told us how big corporates set up their companies right in the middle of the elephant path and then declare that elephants are a nuisance.

I was so fired up after the talk that I went over to Mr Tyagi and said “Sir, I want to volunteer”
“Volunteer ? Volunteer for what?” He asked me.
“Sir, I want to volunteer for taking census of tigers” I blurted out.
It so happened that my brave and unselfish proposal was announced exactly when the Dean of Engineering was thanking Mr Tyagi for his visit. Now you should understand that my rude interruption was not on purpose. For over 2 hours, I was sitting inside a crowded room listening to a man who was repeatedly shouting “Nobody is doing anything !!!”. As a responsible citizen, I wanted to do something.
“Who are you and what are you doing here.” the Dean asked.
“Sir, I am Shivapratap. I handle 2 courses in CEN”
“So you want to count tigers, huh?” interjected Mr.Tyagi
“Yes sir. I would love to do that”
“You must understand that we don’t have hotels in the jungle. You will not even have a road.”
“Thats not a problem sir. You just tell me where to go.”
“Chances are that you may not come back alive” said Mr. Tyagi looking very grave.
“In that case,” the Dean pondered, “you better arrange for substitution for your classes before you leave.”
To those of you who are not teachers, I have to tell you, it is much harder to arrange for substitution than count tigers. And so there ends my effort to contribute to Indian Forest Conservation. Well, counting a few tigers is not conservation after all.

For the competition, they gave me a consolation prize. And I tell you, I was not consoled. They blamed my photos telling that they were not sharp. I blamed the studio telling they used bad quality paper. But I got special mention from the jury members. I also got the most number of audience votes for the best photograph.

Consolation Prize Photograph

Special Jury Mention in Non Competition Section
Peace, Love, Grace, Truth, Beauty....... Fly !

Audience Favorite

Okay, I admit that I am looking for cheap publicity here, but since nobody reads this, I guess I am excused.

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Maurice Udumbe

In my university, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, you can take two roads to go from main block to the IT block. Like most people you can walk along the tarred road that takes you through the MBA block towards the IT block. Or you can take the narrow muddy road that goes in front of the ashram. This road is just wide enough for a jeep to pass through. Its a scenic route with trees, birds and of course snakes. And here is where I found Maurice Udumbe. Well, at least thats what I call him.
Waiting for Mommy
There is a huge sandhill just beside the road, and I found him, sitting very inconspicuously in a tiny hole. Initially I thought he was a snake, but when I started zooming in, I began to realize that this is a monitor lizard. Monitor lizards are also called “Udumbu” in Tamil and Malayalam. Hence the name Maurice Udumbe(Ind v Ken, Coca Cola Triseries, 28 May 1998, the only time when Kenya beat India with Man of the match – Maurice Udumbe, hitting 5 sixes that day).

In Maharashtra, they are called ghorpad. If you were studying in a CBSE school, you might have probably had a lesson about the great Maratha king Sivaji (not Rajnikanth) and the battle of Singhagad. Legend has it that Sivaji’s general Tanaji used a giant monitor lizard to scale the steep walls of the fort.

It seems that little Maurice here has a long way to go before he can do something like that. When he turns mature, he will lose his dull orange color and become black. That does not mean that Maurice will start doing drugs and listen to hip hop and gangsta rap, I was just saying that his color and scales become darker and becomes a shade of black and grey.
These lizards are very solitary and they are not spotted much. The local people believe that eating the meat of monitor lizards gives them strength and stamina. They are also hunted for their skin. I hope Maurice does not end up as a health food. In this photograph, he looks like Bob Marley singing “Don’t worry about a thing. Cause every little thing is gonna be allright” Lets hope it does, for all endangered species.

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A Little Inspiration

Sunrise with RB

This links to a wallpaper of size 1024 X 689.   I need a little inspiration on my desktop these days.

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White Dove Remix (Feat. Grey Dove)

So we have a new network administrator. One BOFH kind. And the first thing that he did was change all the networks to class B (I wonder why) and block Gmail, and chat programs.

So we installed a back up system based on older technologies.

Modern Communication Engineering

Grey dove
Fly with the wind
Take my chat under your wings
For the world to know
That GTalk will not die
Where the proxies cry

<Message START>
Na na
Na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na
Na na na na
Na na na na na

SEND: Disconnect packet: Invalid packet header.

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