Archive for April, 2009

On the way (part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 8, 2009 by Naveen Bagalkot

And it was not exactly fresh air, though treated and warm form the AC, when I was waiting in the lounge overlooking a row of planes under dark clouds sometime later. It didn’t look fresh outside also, with grey clouds hiding the gray buildings which had gray planes lining up in front of them, the gray vehicles going about what they go about when they prepare a plane for takeoff and the tiny worker humans in their grey uniform. Kind of reminded me of that song “I am blue (gray) da da.. and my girlfriend’s so blue (gray)…”

So I thought let me pick on some gray matter off this young researcher who had written a path breaking book in making things bright for the technology in everyday life. With my head bent and immersed in the book, I did feel a hunch, I do get these hunches some times and experience has told me to follow them, to look up and outside. Sun! Bright noon sun in all its glory! And the next thing is see is Lord Ganesh on this dirty cotton bag with “Ganesh Beedi” written over it in Hindi. My eyes trailed up to the owner of that bag who was sitting on the chair in front of me to find a beautiful female reading a book on India and the sunlight glowing her auburn hair and the red FabIndia Kurta. Well a fair girl, interested in India, illuminated by this sudden sunlight was indeed brightening to the eye and I guess gave an impetus to act to my brain, which I seldom do. There was this irresistible urge to talk to that girl and see whether what my dad had whispered before leaving made some sense. But then, more importantly I imagined myself discoursing about the wonders of India leaving the damsel with eyes filled with wonder, delight and anticipation – a sense of adventure.

But something, rather someone was giving a fierce fight in pulling me back from having an apparently wonderful time. The guy whose gray matter I had earlier decided to pick upon didnt like the idea of me leaving him mid course of his supposedly insightful, though boring lecture at all. And as usual he won! All hands down! Such a wonderful opportunity and gone down the drains of the airport of Frankfurt.  If things keep going this way, I will never be able to really put into test what my dad had whispered. But I got to live with it I guess as a PhD researcher… So back to appropriation and Social Computing without any socializing for me.

Foot Note: My dad had found an opportune time when I was alone, and it went some thing like this:

My Dad ( with a vey concerned knit eyebrow look): Navu, be careful over there.

Me: Chill dad, I am not going to get robbed or beaten! (well, looking back I was! Thats another kahani)

Dad: Nah, I am talking about… well… ummhh.. U know its a open society with free sex and all…

My mind (WoW!!!)

Me: Chill dad… I am committed to one person, for the rest of my life…

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On the way (part1)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 8, 2009 by Naveen Bagalkot

As the plane from Bangalore landed in Frankfurt at about 8 am in the morning, I joined a huge wave of human beings jostling each other to move ahead. Most of them had their reasons, they were in a hurry to find their connecting plane in a new, huge airport and hopefully board it in time. Well I too had one; I had eaten twice in the plane and once before boarding and it was about time! Not surprising if you know me. It was not just the pressure in my bowels but also the sane advice of a very good chaddi dost that Frankfurt is the shittiest airport when it comes to the loos  (well, talking in a very literary sense,) and I better find one and hold onto that one till the whole stuff is out.

And talking about the loos, what a better place to be  welcomed and introduced to a slight glimpse of life for the next three years minimum than the loo? I guess the whole western world took “save water to save earth” campaign a bit too far, otherwise they would have at least some water running in the loos apart from the flush. I don’t know about you people, but for me without even a trickle of water running down that valley, its not bloody clean! So though I was kind of expecting it, but to actually face it was a challenge in itself. But, there is this emerging theory (well its not so emerging as people have been doing that for ages and its only now that we ignorant researchers have ‘discovered’ it,) that says that human beings are adept at manipulating their environments to suit their needs and aspirations and is termed as ‘appropriation’. I know most of you would say that’s ‘jugaad’! call it whatever, I discovered a whole new personal meaning to it on that day and was relieved that my three years in this firang land wont be as bad as it looked. For those of you who are planning to come to this part of the world and really worried about the lack of water, well here is the answer!! Just pull out large doses of tissues, wet them in the basin beside and wipe off happily!!! Clean as my ammas kitchen sink. If you find no basin beside, then you need to find your own ‘appropriation’ means and cant bank on my bouts of  creativity every time, as simple as that.Well that was some welcome, and the guy who cleaned the toilet must have thought, “Ah, here goes one more geeky and hairy Indian and let me just put a bit of extra air freshener here…”