The blog continues …

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Please update your book marks. And sorry for the housekeeping chore.

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Duplicate Number Case

It had been two weeks, and I had been getting these yellow pieces of paper almost every alternative day. Challans, as the Bangalore Traffic Enforcement Police, non-challantly call it. No parking in and around the Richmond Circle area. On week days. During afternoons. I dont live near Richmond Circle nor work near it, and I have defenitely been at work those two weeks. The first two or three, I let go. Police men are human beings too. And to err is acceptable once-in-a-while in our species. I even paid up these challans online. Because, it is so easy, and I thought I would earn a few karma brownie points. But mostly because, I usually do not like to be caught-up in these kind of cases. Just get it over, I say. That is what runs in my Tam-Brahm blood.

But 8 challans in 2 weeks was a bit too much.

I had heard of the Bangalore Traffic Police have their own face book page. I had heard they were pretty responsive too. I went and checked. Yep. Sure enough, there were folks who had complained on FB, and the police responding that they have fixed the issue. Photos. Mobile numbers of Inspectors. The works.

I decided to give it a shot as well. And posted my sad story of these mysterious challans in places where I had never been to.

Two days later, two plain clothes policemen knock on my door at home. I open the door, and they say, “We are from the Bangalore Traffic Police. Can we come in?”. Super filmy style. So I called them in (not that I had any other option). They had copies of my FB post. And wanted photocopies of my original documents. They also wanted to take photographs of my car. So we went to the parking lot, and it was done. Of course, by now, I had become a bit more emboldened and self-composed. I approached these two fine gentlemen and said, “Please dont mistake me, but can you guys please show me your ID. With all the sh** happening in this world, my mind is asking for confirmation that you guys are really from the Police”.

Thankfully, the two guys laughed it off, and showed me their IDs, which looked old and tattered, but genuine enough.

Two days later, one of these guys call me, and ask, if I could come on over to Ashok Nagara Police Station. “They had something to show me”, they said. Again, proper filmy style. I hurried out there, and sure enough, they had “something to show me”. The police guy said, “Go and take a look at the car in the shade there.” There was an oldish looking Merc !!!

Fast forward a week. The police had written their memos and reports to the RTO. And the RTO had responded vide their memo/statement dated so-and-so. And I got notified that the RTO had indeed accepted that it was their fault. The older number (the merc) had been allotted when there was no computerization. And due to some error, it got re-allotted to me last year.

Fast forward a week. I went down to the Koramangala RTO. And everyone instantly recognizes me. “Ohhh, you are the duplicate number case.”

Yes. that was my name. Duplicate number case.

Since it had been accepted that it was the RTO’s mistake, a new number was swiftly allocated to me. I got my RC card and everything done within 2 days.

So, I guess, social networking works, after all. It all started out with a Facebook post.

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I have a check-in to make.

I sauntered down the steps, two at a time. The sun was just beginning to rise. The river was its best – shining, shimmering. The clamour of feet. So many others rushing down to the river as well. She can take any number of people though. She is the Ganga, after all. I slip down the last step and slink into the water. The tingling freshness of the chill water. The warm breeze blowing ever so lightly over my body. I dunk three times. And slip into my morning ablution rituals.

I climb back up into the first step, and with a sprightly step walk back up. My mind racing still on the algorithmic problem I have been trying to solve. I think I have the answer. I just need to try one more thing. Just one more thing, and I am done. I am almost at the top of the steps, when I notice the brightly dressed young man, the old woman, and the van parked next to them. The young man had this mesmerizing smile and looked into me. Almost piercing. So piercing that I could not look away. He smiled again and lifted his hands towards me in a gesture of requesting me to come close to him.

“Can you please help me get this old woman into the van?”

A flurry of thoughts rushed into my mind. Why was he just asking me? There were so many people around me. Most of them seemingly genuine enough to help other people in need. Something about these two did not seem right. A flash in my mind tells me that, these two were staring at me when I was rushing towards the river. I had not given much thought then. Should I help them? Should I not? Is it wrong to not help people asking for help? The scriptures talk about ‘karma’.

I flung all these thoughts to the side, and I said, “No!”, in my most indignant manner ever. A few passers-by stopped and stared.

“I know about you types. I know how you hire. I know how you do personality tests. This is why I hate you, you white search engine company! I have told you a dozen times, that I do not want to come join you. And you still persist.”

“You think I cannot see your logo with the three multi-colored rings in small print on the bumper of your van? Think again.”

“And for heaven’s sakes. Could you not get a better costume designer? Someone who could be more natural. The old lady looks exactly like the one in all of Kamal Hassan’s movies.”

“And now if you will excuse me, I have a check-in to make”.

And I bolted up the stairs. I had the last piece of my solution to the problem.

Note: This is a transcript of an early morning dream that I had a couple of days ago. One of the very few dreams that I actually remembered after I woke up.

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GE Juice Train

Florida to New Jersey in 156 seconds. Very nice in-cab video.


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God made a farmer

The beautifully simple Dodge RAM commerical during super bowl 2013. Wow. A visually telling story. The commentary is awesome as well. Full of emotion. Just looking at those images, and the commentary on why God made a farmer, brings in a single simple thought in the mind – “God made the farmer. And the farmer needs a great vehicle. He deserves it.” That is the power of a good presentation.

Update: Watch this parody too. This gives the true state of farming in the USA.

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Paper Man

There are only three letters needed to describe this beautiful animated short from Disney. Wow. Just Wow. From the beautifully drawn to the computer generated mixing to the fantastic facial expressions of the characters. Every twitch of the eye. The shrug. The sigh. The disappointment. The surprise. Disney still lives. Disney still rocks. And will always will.

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Drive – What motivates us?

Fantastic video. I totally agree with this.

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Model train in vintage filter



Two snaps I took of my starter model train kit (Bachmann) that I took on an iPhone 3GS. Applied a vintage filter on it.


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The CEO who did demos

Yeah, you know who I am talking about. Steve Jobs. I was reading the blog of Don Melton (who led the first Safari development team), where he describes the feeling of being in the audience of rehearsals of the ‘master presenter’.

Most of the time during those rehearsals, Ken and I had nothing to do except sit in the then empty audience and watch The Master Presenter at work — crafting his keynote. What a privilege to be a spectator during that process. At Apple, we were actually all students, not just spectators. When I see other companies clumsily announce products these days, I realize again how much the rest of the world lost now that Steve is gone.

And then there was also a link to the 2003 macworld keynote where Steve released Safari. I liked the way he demo’d Safari. It was typical Steve. Superlative adjectives. Practised fluency. But, what came next was what blew my mind. Steve also announces Keynote on the same presentation. My rough transcription:

The folks at apple created Keynote for me. I needed something that I can use to create these keynote presentations for you. Very graphic intensive. Powerful. Something that you want to use to create meaningful presentations. Now, <pause>, I want to share it with you. <applause>

This has been in the works for over a year now. For a year, we hired a very lowly paid beta tester, who tested it for a whole year. <screen shows Steve Job’s picture> <applause>. I have used Keynote for every keynote that I showed you in 2002.

I think that is just amazing. A CEO who not only demos, but also beta tested a product for a whole year. And not in his own private tasks, but for a very public demonstration. Amazing.


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2012 in review – []

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 32,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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