Thursday, April 30, 2009


Image: Courtesy-MorgueFile

On a quick glance over the clashes this Game Week, it is apparent that the results of most are predictable.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Aston Villa will definitely win their respective matches, played at home or away.

Last week, my team had an average score and I lost two places in the soccer league that I revere the most.

This week, I have made a change to my squad in getting Tristan for Macheda. I had hopes on Sir Alex playing Macheda regularly but it appears Macheda will be underplayed.

Tristan on the other hand looks promising at 5.5 mn and 9 points in the last two matches.

Let us now predict the heroes!

Middlesbrough V Man Utd 2 May 12:45

Players: Rooney, Vidic, Ronaldo, O Shea.
My squad has: Vidic

Chelsea V Fulham 2 May 15:00

Players: Lampard, Kalou, Drogba, Schwarzer, Dempsey
My squad has: Lampard(Captain), Schwarzer(GK) and Dempsey. However, I might substitute Dempsey for Tristan at the last minute.

Man City V Blackburn 2 May 15:00

Players: Robinho and Ireland.
My squad has: None.
Reason: Manchester City's form has been a roller coaster ride throughout. Hence, I have avoided using players from either squad.

Portsmouth V Arsenal 2 May 15:00

Players: Arshavin, Bendtner, Adebayor, Fabregas and Crouch
My squad has: Arshavin, Bendtner. I pray Bendtner ends his goal drought this game week.

Stoke City V West Ham 2 May 15:00

Players: Better be avoided.
My squad has: Tristan(Substitute)

Tottenham V West Brom 2 May 15:00

Players: Aaron Lennon, Bent.
My squad has: Aaron Lennon.

Wigan V Bolton 2 May 15:00

Players: Better be avoided.
My squad has: None

Liverpool V Newcastle 3 May 13:30

Players: Gerrard(Yes, he is back!), Kuyt and Torres(I miss him in my team!)
My squad has: Gerrard, Arbelo, Benayoun

Sunderland V Everton 3 May 16:00

Players: Baines, Cahill
My squad has: Baines.

Aston Villa V Hull City 4 May 20:00

Players: Carew, Milner, Ashley Young, Geovanni
My squad has: None.

More on "Soccer"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Google mail(GMAIL) finally has an insert image inline feature

It is finally here! Google Labs has now introduced the feature of attaching photos directly in the e-mail body.

To enable this feature, navigate to Labs->Settings of your g-mail account and enable the "Inserting Images" feature.

Note that you must enable rich text formatting mode. Now, you will observe that the image icon will appear on the text-toolbar. You are now ready to embed pictures on the body of your e-mail either by selecting a picture from your computer or choosing one from the web.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gorkha Mela on 31st May 2009 at Nandan Football Ground, Austin Town, Bangalore

Since 1981, Bharatiya Gorkhali Welfare Association (BGWA), a social non-political outfit based in Bangalore has been working extensively for a progressive Gorkha community.

From helping those in need, to providing insurance for low income personnel or sponsoring and mentoring under privileged students, BGWA has been the forefront force for welfare activities.

In 2008, it organized the first "Gorkha Saanjh" in Bangalore to a rousing reception.

Now, for the first time in Bangalore, BGWA is organizing "Gorkha Mela" on 31st May 2009.

A full day's event at Nandan Football ground, Austin Town, the mela will be a pot-pourri of "Fun, Frolic and Games, Skit and Cultural Performances" and the crowd favorite, "Gorkhali Khana".

There are over 20 games in the list including traditional games such as "Khopee", "Hooplah" and the interesting "Weigh the Bhaaley" competition.

Donor passes are currently available at a nominal price of Rs. 100 which includes game coupons worth Rs. 90 .

To avail donor passes, please contact and someone will call you back. Note that tickets are not available at the venue.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Love Poem- Ode to a calf love !

dear u are so near
close as the mountains and the snow
the rivers and the banks together which they flow
..yet the threshold calls-"you are so far!!"
often did i proclaim infact
the love for u that i had
the minds spoke but the lips did fail
and its now i realise
the thing i lacked being solemnised..
yet you are so far..
calf love is what may be called
surfing the cry of my heart
indeed lost opprtunity is never gained
me thinks u have faded down memory lane!
and i think but realise..
u are so far yet so near!

I wrote this poem in the year 1999 and is posted at
. This was the first poem of the oeuvre I "lost". Hopefully, I will get it back!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Election India and the mechanism change needed to suit fast life!

The turnaround in Bangalore's vote was an abyssmal 40-odd percent and I can see only one reason behind it. The election mechanism needs to suit the needs of a fast life. I am speaking of this strictly on the basis of why I didn't cast my vote.

Image Courtesy: Morguefile

This great cosmopoliton city has a large floating population. Most of us have come miles away from home to work here. On similar lines, a lot of Bangaloreans are settling or settled abroad or are outside Bangalore.
Every election, it becomes a challenge for us to cast our mandate, wherever we are.

Some may argue that I have been staying in Bangalore for some years now and by virtue of knowing problems we face, it becomes an obligation to cast vote here instead.

I agree but the first criteria to vote in Bangalore is to have our name de-registered in our home town. My home-town is a small cozy town in the laps of Himalayas.In the year 2007, I had been home and luckily the process of electoral registration was going on. Even then, I faced an uphill task getting my name added to the voter's list. In the hills, for reasons I am not clearly able to attribute, the process of doing any work is very slow. And last year, for most part of the year, offices were closed and government related work had come to a screeching halt. Therefore, I am very cynical about deregistration.

Voting is also about personal choices. I have been staying in two different constituencies in Bangalore in the last two years but have never been able to clearly identify with the leader. And my opinion about issues is that all issues are personal. For e.g) A person whose doesnt have leaky walls in an appartment will not complain for a person who has one. That is a fact in life!
For me, at the moment, the criteria is the situation there. I love Bangalore and I wish to settle here but as of now, I believe there are issues in my hometown that has greater significance. Now, am I voting there? No, because I had taken a long leave in November and to take leave again is a matter of financial and official contemplation.

Like me, I am sure hundreds of "Bangaloreans" had the same thought.Things would have been simpler for everyone if an alternative virtual ballot was in place. For those who can afford to, why don't we have a secure online voting system?

First, the government can save a lot of money instead of investing time(on preparation and counting) and money(100 bn) on the election. The corporate houses can save as well, beat me, instead of having a day's off! Some of us have already seen villagers booking tickets through IRCTC online so technology is IN!! Rural India will change as it is already.

Over years, online voting will be very hard to be rigged and will definitely be more popular than the current system.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Listed below is my list of amazing free software for Windows.

1. Foobar2000 : Low resource highly customizable media player for Windows. Searching for plugins and the installation might be some work but it is worth the time.

2. Windows Defender*: Great software for online spyware protection.

Read this article if you have problems in installing Windows Defender

3. Mozilla Firefox and extensions: Amazing, Superb....and all synonyms of these two words.

Mmm...I simply adore it!!!

Must have's for Firefox:


"Blue Ice" theme and "Vista-Aero", BlackX(My best)


a) AdBlock plus with AdBlock Filterset.G Updater
Blocks all ads.

b) Customize Google
Make google pages(gmail etc) ad-free.

c) FlashGot to use with FlashGet
Excellent utility for image download. Flashget needs to be installed though.

d) FoxClocks
Have multiple clocks on your browser

e) QTL Language translator
Translate from one language to another. Select a text and it opens up reference from Wikipedia. Great for online browsing

f) ForecastFox
Weather report plugin

g) Go to Selection
Convert text into URL and open in different tab or window

h) Fasterfox
Enhances speed of Firefox

i) Password Exporter
Excellent utility to export/import your saved passwords.

j) Leechblock
Anti-Procrastination. Use this, while at work.

k)Nuke Anything Enhanced 0.68.1
Allows hiding of almost anything via context menu 'Remove Object

l) Greasemonkey
Runs user customized scripts for browser capability enhancement like having an auto-player mode for Facebook's Mafia Wars!

4. FlashGet : Amazing software for multiple picture downloads especially if you love downloading pictures.

5. Videolan VLC Player: Great movie player with subtitle features.

6. 7-zip: Great .zip, .rar software if you are tired of Winzip or WinRar.

7. flv player: Must have for flv files.

Pidgin: All in one chat messenger

9. GIMP2 : Alternative to Adobe Photoshop, a great tool.

Virtual Box: Alternative to VMWare.

More on "Technical resources".


Game Week 33 of English Premier League got over yesterday with mixed results. And now, we have just a couple of days to decide on our final team in Fantasy Premier League's GW 34.

The most important selection for Game Week 33 was Arsenal's Arshavin. We were handsomely rewarded for selecting Arshavin- a whopping 21 points. And for those who selected Arshavin as "Captain", it was like hitting a big jackpot.

My personal disappointment was the unfortunate injury of Kranjcar midway through the game-week. He couldn't play against Manchester United and therefore, my reasoning for his selection was fruitless.

This week, instead of predicting exact scores, let me concentrate on players who could make a difference. For the record, I entered "Himalayan Soccer" league from Game Week 7 and hit the 20's for the first time this week.

Listed below are the players who I believe can make a difference to your overall score this Game Week. It is apparent that the list may not look new to you .

Milner, Davies, Baines, Ireland, Schwarzer, Howard, Arbeloa,Gerrard(doubtful), Benayoun, Lampard, Vidic, O Shea, Aaron Lennon, Arshavin, Bendtner

Gerrard is likely to miss the game against Hull because he is still recovering from injury.

My conscience says:-

  • Avoid using defenders of Hull City this game week.
  • Use maximum players from Arsenal, Liverpool and Fulham.
  • Use three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards.
  • Retain Frank Lampard as "Captain".

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

True Celebration of Earth Day 22nd April 2009 in Bangalore

Today, 22nd April 2009 is celebrated worldwide as "Earth Day"- a day to remember the greatness of this planet and pledge our ethical responsibilities to protect it.

A snapshot from BGWA website.

On Feb 24th, 2007, I had written an article about how "Charity should begin at home". I still believe in that reasoning. But somewhere, my thought manifestation has diversified.

In order to cherish our existence and celebrate "Earth", we should first learn to cherish humanity. This morning, I received an SMS informing me about the tragic and untimely death of a man from the hills. He had come to Bangalore in search of a job with his 13 year old son. Imagine the mental plight and condition of this 13 year old kid in an unknown city.

I wanted to visit the hospital and provide necessary help but was caught up with some unavoidable personal committments. Therefore, I SMS'ed Arnav Subba and shot a mail to the youth wing of BGWA. Trusted BGWA Youth wing leaders Bishal Chhetri and Dr. Sailendra Dewan quickly acted on the little information we all had and demonstrated what true leadership is all about- selfless leadership by setting epitomic examples themselves!

Dr. Dewan, I believe, was there right from the start to the end of the day, sacrificing his day at work, skipping meals and without thought for his personal well-being.

This is the second instance in less than a week, when youth leaders (including Mr. Praveen Subba) of BGWA have been active in helping people, under similar circumstances.

I agree that we are bounded by the vicious circle of time management but we aren't, by what "little" we can contribute to humanity. Often, people have hesitation in joining an organization or openly supporting an ideology, but it is worth giving a try to see if that works.

I believe organizations such as the BGWA is working. And, today, it showed what was the perfect way to celebrate "Earth's Day"! Needless to say, I have stopped believing in switching off all electrical applicances for an hour.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Boiling Pots": Now Susan Boyle after Paul Potts!

Series 3 of Britain's Got Talent got off on 11 April 2009 and it started on a big note!
After Paul Potts who stormed the world with his tenor in the first season, Susan Boyle, a 47 year old Scottish woman is now making news. She sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical 'Les Misérables' and at the end of her performance had the crowd on their feet.

This YouTube Video of Susan Boyle's performance has already received 36,513,263 views

It is amazing to see how we falter in prefering visual perception with inept talent over "raw" gems.

People like Potts and Boyle are epitomes of such thought raising reality!

Indo-Pak War and them? - Fictional Poerose!

To the Indian front, the vast desert of waste,
The radar spotted and aircraft, small and approaching in haste,
Early morning and warnings were sent,
"Return or we shall fire, but that went in vain"
The aircraft flew over the barbed wire.

Image Courtesy:MorgueFile

It was now a matter of national security- a breach had been made. A Sukhoi fleet was sent to bring down this plane and show the world of Pakistan's treacherous motives. In spite of repeated warnings, the intruding aircraft continued its advance and met its inevitable fate.
It went down somewhere in the desert.

"A search team was sent, to locate the debris fast,
To show the world of air-violation, a diplomatic victory at last"

The team found the aircraft in the desert but to their surprise-

"It was amazingly still intact. How did it survive the impact?"

Quickly, they forced the door open and saw a bright white light.

Within a minute, Rajasthan went its the prehistoric past.

The world was shocked and spellbound. The explosion was like a supernova.

"Thousands died as New Delhi geared up for the fight!"

What happened next was the World's biggest nightmare-Delhi launched its Nukes and the light and lives of Punjab, Sindh and Lahore went out in a flash.

With no alternatives and thousands of hundreds dying, Pakistan launched its one.

"The one for Delhi, Kutb Minar and Everyone"

Yes, the world was witnessing the first Nuclear War and United States did intervene quickly.

A preliminary analysis indicated that Pakistan did not send any aircraft.

'Rumours now spread of an alien invasion and Nasa became as active as ever,
Satellites photographs confirmed that the aircraft came from outer space"

Now, with thousands lying dead and millions affected by the terrible happenings, a ceasefire was announced.

And, in the aftermath, both countries started to nurse their wounds.

NASA has carried on its investigation for years but has failed to arrive to a conclusion.

Do you have an answer?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Basic Surreal Art by GIMP 2

AM F Hussain?

Google Latitude- Innovative and Impressive!

Google introduced Google Latitude, a new feature of Google Maps two months ago. And, it has already started creating ripples in the field of social networking.
This innovative feature is introduced to stay in touch with family and friends through Google maps.

Once you have added or invited someone to your latitude list, both of you will be able to see your respective current location on map. You can chat and as well change your status.

Isn't that scary though? Well, not at all because there is a setting which you can turn off, if you require privacy.

The registration is fairly easy and all that you need is Google Maps on your mobile phone. Of course, your phone has to be "Google Maps" ready.

Google lists the following phones "Latitude" compatible:-
  • Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1
  • iPhone and iPod touch devices (coming soon)
  • most color BlackBerry devices
  • most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices
  • most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)
Now, here is a snippet from the internet to add to this post:

For fun, a woman had installed Google Latitude on her cell phone. Her purse got stolen. However, cops were able to nab the thief quickly, through real-time location updates on her mobile phone, which was inside her purse.

Smart, eh?!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cooking easy home alone Indian dinner or lunch in less than an hour?

Have you ever been in a situation when there is no one at home and you come back from work tired and you aren’t keen on preparing dinner?

Most certainly, we all have!

Here is a recipe that is quick and will easily solve your dinner woes.

We shall now discuss how to prepare “potato-spinach” curry and pulses(”Dal”) and believe me, it can be done in no-time.


Spinach Leaves, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Onions, Oil, Pulses, Garlic pulps, Coriander(optional) seeds, Cumin(optional) seeds, Sesame seeds, English Sauce/Tomato sauce(optional), Tomato Sauce(optional), Ginger-Garlic paste(optional), Coriander leaves(optional), Butter(optional)


* Take some potatoes,peel off the skin with a knife and cut them, desirably into equal halves. Now, wash them and put them into a pressure-cooker after adding water. The water level should be little above the vegetable. Now, close the lid and put them on the cooking-stove for heating.

* Now, put some pulses(”Dal”) into a container, wash them several times and

let the dal soak in little water for some time.

* In the meanwhile, get hold of some onions and tomatoes. Wash these and cut them. Also, get some garlic pulps ready.

* Now, wash the spinach(”Palak”) leaves thoroughly and segregate the petiole from the blade and shred them. Keep it in a container after adding little water to it.

By this time, the potatoes are likely to be cooked. It takes normally three whistles/”steam-outs” for potatoes to be baked.

Let the steam out from the cooker and pour cold water into the potatoes. You can give a gentle poke with a kitchen knife to confirm that it is ready.

* Now, get a cooking pan, pour some oil into it and put it up for heating. When the oil is ready, add some cumin(”Jeera”), sesame(”Til”) and Coriander(”Dhania”) seeds to it. If these ingredients aren’t available, then do not worry. We have onions and tomatoes to fill for them.

* Add tomatoes and onions, add garlic and ginger paste(if available) and keep on stirring them till they are deep brown in color. Further, add some turmeric powder for colour and salt for taste. If you have tomato sauce or “English Sauce”, add them as well.

* Finally, add the potatoes and ensure that its mixed with thoroughly with the paste and leave them on the gas-stove for a while.

* Now, wash the pressure cooker, fill it with some water and add pulses to it.
* Add a pinch of turmeric powder, shut the lid and put it back on stove.

We shall now attend to the curry.

* After about two or three minutes, mix the shredded spinach leaves to the potatoes and add some water to it. Mix it thoroughly and keep it on low gas after covering the pan with a lid.Ensure that you do not add to much water and stick to making this a thick paste instead.

By this time, the “pulses” will be almost ready(It usually takes 6 quick whistles or “steam-outs” from the cooker).

* After the steam is out, use a stirrer to beat the pulses.

* Take a small cooking pan and pour oil or butter on it. Heat this with garlic and when the garlic turns brownish, pour this into the pulses. This might sound “hissy” but the end result is savoring. Heat the pulses for sometime with or without the pressure cooker lid on. Add salt and water to your liking.

The spinach leaves are certainly cooked by now. Add coriander leaves for the tinge of that special “extra” flavour.

Avoid overcooking to retain the nutrient value of the spinach leaves.

And Lo!- you have the “Spinach-Potato” curry along with pulses ready in no-time.

Serve with rice which can be cooked easily in a rice cooker or the same pressure cooker.

Now, wasn’t that easy?

Credit card companies in India- Taking customers for a ride: Beware!

Image Courtesy:Morgue File

I thought of closing all my credit cards(HDFC, Barclays) in November 2008, so I approached the respective customer care to get an idea about the process.
On inquiry, they informed me that once the "full and final" payment has been made, the card closure letter would be sent to my address within three days. Trusting their words, I did what I thought was a full and final payment and expected a card-closure letter but that never arrived.
A month later, I was shocked to see a statement which still had some outstanding.

Instantly, I called up the customer care and as always, they had a system downtime. So, I wrote an e-mail to the support group. I got no reply even after 5 days, so after an extensive search on the internet, I managed to get the e-mail address of the support head. It took me more than a month to receive a reply from them.

My point was very clear. When I ask for a final settlement, it means that I will no longer be using the card. So, intrinsically it means that I am asking for full settlement. However, to maintain their customer strength, these companies never close your account even after the full and final payment and will not include your current month outstanding.

Taking forward this point, I had a heated verbal arguement with the customer care. At the end, I realized that this was of no value to them. To my claims of having been told by the collection department that this was the final settlement, they would retort by saying "Who told you?", "Which customer care?", "We aren't aware. You have to pay the amount and we will send you the letter" and so on.

I wasn't ready to pay this amount at all but I was unlucky. I had linked my card to my savings account and by virtue of a "stupid" law that gives Credit card companies the authority to hold back funds from a linked account, I was forcibly made to pay. They send you a letter stating that "as per the law, funds have been held and you need to contact them and sign a letter of authority for release of funds". Even if you don't, within 7 days, they take the money from your account.

Yes, I did falter, but there were lessons learnt.

a) First, do not make a final settlement without a card closure letter. If you have approached them for a final settlement, ensure you tell them to bring your closure letter when they are coming to receive the payment.

b) Second, do not ever link your credit card with your savings account. Once the funds are held, you have lost your battle.

Last but not the least, avoid using Credit Cards as much as possible. Remember, you have to pay back with "alarming" interests and if you are unlucky like me, you need to pay undeserved bonuses to these companies.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Image Courtesy: Morgue File

In Game week 31, my prediction on EPL results and the players who could make a difference were empathic.

Check the FPL score sheet below which illustrates my team’s performance over four gameweeks:-

Now, here I am, back with the predictions for this game week. Remember, it will not be a wise decision to change most of your players at this point of time, unless you haven’t still used your wild card. But, since you get a free substitution every game week, you might want change one or two in your team.

Aston Villa V West Ham 18 Apr 15:00

I believe Aston Villa will win this game easily given their goal-form. Select Milner if you want to. He normally plays the full 90 minutes and takes free-kicks.

Prediction: 2-0 to Aston Villa.

Middlesbrough V Fulham 18 Apr 15:00

If there is anyone you need to pick from these two sides, it is Mark Schwarzer, the goalkeeper of Fulham. He has done outstandingly well and is a good buy. I wouldn’t select Dempsey now but if you already have him, play him.

Prediction: 1-0 to Fulham.

Portsmouth V Bolton 18 Apr 15:00

Somehow Portsmouth doesn’t appeal to me at all. I tried using a lot of players from Portsmouth initially but they disappointed me. Crouch at 8.0 is an expensive buy. However, for FPL sake, you can gamble on him or Kranjcar because Portsmouth is playing two matches this game week.

From Bolton, Kevin Davies is playing well and you might want to consider him.

Prediction: 1-1

Stoke City V Blackburn 18 Apr 15:00

Stoke City and Blackburn. It is very difficult to predict the results here.
It is advisable to avoid players from either team now.

Prediction: A lucky win for Stoke 1-0.

Sunderland V Hull City 18 Apr 15:00

I believe this match will be played with full of aggression and will. It is a must-win situation for both these teams. I am expecting a few red-cards.

Prediction: Could go either way. 2-1

Tottenham V Newcastle 19 Apr 13:30

Close your eyes and select Aaron Lennon, if you haven’t already. This guy is fast and a threat to every defense. Keane at 8.9 is pretty expensive.

Do not select any player from Newcastle.

Prediction: 3-1 for Tottenham.

Man City V West Brom 19 Apr 15:00

Select Ireland from Manchester City. He works hard and can get lucky goals for you.

Prediction: 2-0 for Manchester City.

Liverpool V Arsenal 21 Apr 20:00

A cracker here…
I would favor Arsenal over Liverpool because I can see the rejuvenated force in Arsenal again.
Select Arshavin, Bendtner, Gerrard. However, do not be disappointed if Arsene doesn’t let your player play the full 90 minutes. Remember, he has an arsenal of forwards.

Prediction: Arsenal will beat Liverpool 3-1.

Chelsea V Everton 22 Apr 20:00

Select Lampard and Baines. Remember, all free kicks or corners are taken by these two. Expect something to happen. And choose Lampard as your captain. The graph below will tell you why:-

Prediction: 3-1 for Chelsea.

Man Utd V Portsmouth 22 Apr 20:00

FPL is about gambling so let Macheda be a third time winner. Select Vidic because he has been pretty impressive overall. Remember, form is temporary but class is permanent.

Prediction: 3-0 for Manchester United.