Monday, October 29, 2007

Book-Cover Tag

Lots of pending works to catch up, have been quite busy. Professionally somehow managing it though a trip to Europe is again on the cards. And on personal front ? Oh well, Diwali shopping tops the pending list. :)
Also, with Indo-Pak series approaching fast, I fully suspect my company’s intentions for planning my tour around that time.

And here in blogosphere.. so many things to write about but just not getting time to really sit and collect my thoughts. Have been invited to write permanent cols in 2 different forums as well.
Somehow managing to put these small posts to keep this blog alive. And one of the ways is to do pending tags (11 to be precise). So I thought to start with them and I must say I loved doing this one. Once again the tagger is none other than Fleiger. Ok without wasting time, the rules first.

Rule (there is only one):

Go to the advanced book search on Amazon, type your first name into the Title field, and post the most interesting/amusing cover that shows up.

Well, here I am going to talk about two books.

First I checked for my name Cuckoo and what I got was the famous but very common book cover “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey. Naah, this is not the “most interesting/amusing” cover I wanted to have. Then I saw another book which looked more interesting/amusing to me. The book is “The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage” by Clifford Stoll.

The Cuckoo's Egg is about tracking down computer criminals. A 75-cent discrepancy in billing for computer time led Stoll, an astrophysicist working as a systems manager at a California laboratory, on a quest that reads with the tension and excitement of a fictional thriller. Painstakingly he tracked down a hacker who was attempting to access American computer networks, in particular those involved with national security, and actually reached into an estimated 30 of the 450 systems he attacked. Initially Stroll waged a lone battle, his employers begrudging him the time spent on his search and several government agencies refused to cooperate. But his diligence paid off and the hacker, who was involved with a spy ring, tracked down the book is a hit & best appreciated by the computer literates.

Then out of curiosity, I searched for “Koyal”, Hindi version of Cuckoo. And wow ! What I got was a very interesting book again.

The book is “Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet” by Kashmira Sheth.

The story is about a dark skinned 16 years old girl Jeeta and her life in a small apartment in Mumbai. She is well-developed as a strong, independent teenager looking to find her own way of reconciling her dreams and the expectations of her family. She grows up with the conflict between old beliefs and customs and the modern world.
Jeeta, after having watched the family go through countless interviews with prospective grooms, doesn't want to have her husband selected for her. There is a certain boy who holds her interest, but her friendship with him remains a secret from her family. With the support of her best friend from school, Jeeta discovers that there are many more open doors for her than she suspected.

I guess both the books must be good reads. I have noted them down, will definitely read them. *Sigh* Sigma will know why I did that.

Now, the most interesting part of tags. (Mischievous smile)
It is time to tag people. The list is as follows.

1. Ajeya – I am sure your name will have many books. Come back from your vacation & do this. No hurries.
2. Ashutosh – After that serious post of yours, here’s something light to write about. Make this your next post. Let us see what your name brings us.
3. Adi/Deepti – Oh I can’t separate you two. Anyone or both of you can do this tag. Pretty easy and both of you are going to get plenty of book covers. I am hoping that you get both the names on one single cover. :)
4. Beast – I know of your very high interest in book reading. ;) Don’t worry your name search on Amazon has nothing to do with your reading habit.
5. Hpy – This is going to be fun for you. Search for your real name on Amazon & publish the book cover. That’s it. ;)
6. Pijush – I know you are going to enjoy this tag. If in doubt, ask me how to go about it.
7. Sigma – Oh your real name will sure bring the best book covers. Go ahead.

And anyone who wants to have the pleasure of seeing their names on book covers, I throw the tag open though I know names like Alpine, Aditi, Alok, Abhi, Craver, KT, Priyank will fetch good results.
Never mind, one more tag on books is on the way.. Go figure... :)

Note:- You can read Tag Etiquettes here.

Current song- Empty Hands – Karsh Kale
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Award Time

Ok, time for some award now. I have been awarded the 'Schmooze Award". This one came as a surprise from NM, a new reader on my blog. NM mostly writes sweet little things about her day to day life which includes her son. :)

This is what she says about Cuckoo’s blog “A recent discovery but I find her posts amusing and interesting at the same time.”.
Thank you NM, I never expected getting this award from a newcomer to my blog. Thanks for believing in me & believing that my posts are worth this award. *Cuckoo bows down*

About the award :- "This award is “for blogger who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

Oh well, if this is the criteria then I think the award has come to the right blog. ;) (This is called brag mouthing) *wink* *wink*
What do you say ? (Mischievous smile)

As is the tradition with this award "Give it as you get it", I have to pass it on to some other bloggers. And this is where I always feel the pain of selecting only a few. There are so many who could get this award. However, I’ve tried to select the blogs on the basis of their diversity & restrict myself to only 6, strictly keeping the criteria in mind. Here is my list of awardees.
Note- All these bloggers (except David) found me first & then I started going to their blogs. In David's case I found him & then chain of all the Indian bloggers started to flock to his blog.

1. Unmukt – A Hindi blog owner who is always recognizing new Hindi blogs & promoting Hindi through his own blogs. A blog worth visiting if you can read Hindi.
2. David – You and the award criteria are synonyms. Nothing more to say. Have a good day !
3. RK – Again, a perfect fit as per the criteria. If you don’t remember I had written my first guest post on his blog for Independence Day.
4. Prashanth – He is one of the bloggers always on the search of new good ones and he himself is owner of a fabulous travel blog.
5. Manasi – I was quite surprised when first time she came to my blog. And gosh! Since last 3 months I have been following hers. Even though I am quite a good cook myself (brag mouthing again), hers is the only food blog I visit & enjoy. After all, I want to win someone’s stomach... err heart. ;) Hey Manasi, I tried your gujju dish Sukhdi.. came out quite well.
6. Lalitha – Last but not the least. She always comments on my blog when I don’t expect her and I don’t remember since when it is happening. A selfless blogger, full of life. Her blog reflects the same. Do I need to say more ?

So, enjoy folks ! Have a nice weekend and as per the tradition, pass it on to some deserving ones.
Current song- Soniye, Soniye, Tu He Tu He Meri Manzil – KK, Sunidhi Chauhan
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A, B and C

Who was he to me ? Nobody. I had never seen him, never heard him or never really had chatted with him in true sense.
He doesn’t know how I look like or how I sound or for that matter any personal detail of me. He knew my birthday was round the corner, kept asking for it. It came & went but I never told him. I knew he could get all the info from somebody else but he did not.

First time when he came to my blog, he wrote a lengthy comment on one of my posts. To be honest, I could not fully understand the link between his comment and the post; wondered what he was trying to convey, never paid any heed to him.
Then our first meeting happened on a common friend A’s blog which apparently turned out to be the battle ground of our digital war.

The blog owner A was away from blogosphere & was not responding to comments made by us and this guy B had started getting impatient. I won’t describe the incident but I found B’s comments about A very rubbish. After some days A came back from hiatus and apologized to me [C] on B’s behalf. At that time, I had even lectured A for having friends like B. And then A told me [C] the other side of B. Apparently, I came to know that those two guys (A & B) are very close friends and hence, understood the reason behind that type of arguments. Oh well, it is permitted between two friends. ;)

Nevertheless, I didn’t have a good first impression of B. To me, he was a person who could pickup a fight with anyone without any reasons.
Anyhow, B started frequenting my blog, I gave a couple of courtesy visits to his & then we two became regular at each other’s blog. In next three months I gradually realized that B was not as bad as I had thought initially... in fact, he was better than many of us. My views about him had changed significantly.

In the recent times when I was going through a low, I can proudly say that B was the only person who stood by me in real sense, stood like a rock fighting with others for me and always cheering me up. He stood for the moral values his parents had instilled in him.

Why did he do so ? I had never asked him for anything. He could have also, like many others, kept mum and just been a watcher from a distance. But no. He took all the brunt & abuses upon himself. And I, very well know what he would have done had he really got a chance to act further.

B, I very well remember what you narrated about your father once; but B, I also know now that it is difficult for you not to jump off the train following those miscreants. :)

Today, no words can describe how much regards and respect I have for B or what I think of him.

Just one word, I can not say anymore.


For people who are still struggling to get the A, B, C of this post.

A = A dear common friend
B = The protagonist of this post
C = Cuckoo

Current song- Another Brick in The Wall – Pink Floyd
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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No ! Don’t Leave Me Alone

No ! You cannot go like this. You can not leave me alone ! How could you do this to me ? Is it so easy for you ? Was our bond so weak ?
Is it over ? Over within months ? No, not for me. I so much loved you, cared for you.… from bottom of my heart. You knew it, right ? Then ? Then what happened ? Tell me, what wrong have I done ? Tell me why you left me all of a sudden, why you kept mum ? You know, your absolute silence nearly killed me.

You, my dark & handsome mate.. my very own. You were different from others and that's why I chose you.. not paying heed to how others tried to attract me. I was so much fascinated by your darker than average skin colour. The glow, the radiance on your face always brightened me up. I even loved your occasional anger… your nakhraa’s.

We were in perfect harmony with each other... Oh, how can I forget those moments of intimacy when we together used to create magic ? There was no stopping once we got going. We so loved being with each other.
After that magical experience with you, it is very hard to even think of something else. If you wanted to go, could you not go amicably ?

I am yet to recover from the utter shock you gave me that day.

Obituary – This is a notification of untimely demise of my dear lovable optical mouse a few days back. May his soul rest in peace. I guess the mourning was quite long and this was the emotion I was going through.

Note - Thank you all for waiting, withstanding and writing me mails and messages. Won’t be able to reply to all of you individually. Thanks for all your concerns. I am alive & kicking.

And I am listening to one of my favourite songs. Oh I just love this oldie. So intense.

Current song- Lag Ja Gale Ki Fir Ye Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho – Lata Mangeshkar
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Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day and long time back I had promised Ozlady that I’ll make a post on this very day on the subject. So, while why I was absent from blogging world can wait, this post can not.

Today the bloggers around the web would unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the ENVIRONMENT. Over fourteen thousand blogs, with over twelve million readers, publishing and promoting a better future for our environment - a better future for everyone.

As I am typing this post, I don’t have any idea as what topic I should choose to write about, for, I believe in doing things than to broach about. But as promised, I also wanted to spread the word. There are so many things that we can do in our daily life to save our environment. Should I write about the usage of plastic bags or should I write about the spoiling of the mountains by leaving all the non biodegradable things there. Should I opine about switching off all unused electrical appliances; encouraging paperless work, usage of solar energy, cleaning of rivers or deforestation? I think each one of them needs a post.. definitely not now but some other day.

First, a plain direct question. Are we doing our part to help out the environment ?
Well, as an internet user, blogger, or even as a common man, there are a lot of things we can do to help the environment without going out of our way, spending more time & money or changing our lifestyles.

Since one of the stated goals of Blog Action Day is to ‘get people thinking, discussing, questioning and talking about the environment’, I thought it might be a good idea to make a list of a few things and leave it open for readers to add on instead of me writing a big post. Of course, on a later date I’ll take each one of the topics I mentioned above and try to write about them.

So the million dollar question is:

How can we, as bloggers be involved in saving the environment ?’

Well, first thought that came to my mind was “Is a blogger different from a common man ?’ Not really.. Surely there are a few things specific to bloggers but I would rather say that a blogger can do a lot more than a common man.
Without getting into all the nitty-gritties, here’s my small list of small things which can become big if applied. You all can add to it.

1. Get energy efficient monitor and other gadgets that can help the environment, save energy, save money. Get rid of your 20 year old appliance that emits carbon dioxide and consumes more on your energy bill.
2. Turn off your computer, other peripherals/appliances and lights when not in use. I always do it and also I was away from blogging world for quite sometime, hence saved a lot of energy for all. :-)
3. Try as much as possible to let the natural light come in. It comes free !! If possible, keep your computer near a window.
4. Last but not the least. If you are short on the topics to blog on, don’t browse the net. Go out of the house (after turning off the comp, lights etc.). You’ll find plenty of topics, feel rejuvenated & hence blog more efficiently. ;)

I am not only sure but know there’s a lot more we can do. You all can add to this list. I’ll update the post after compiling the whole list.

Now don't tell me that you're lazy to do even the things mentioned above. I can only say “Get started RIGHT NOW”.

Current Song:- Breaking the Habit – Linkin Park
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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Little Girl

I know a pretty little girl
precious like a pearl
Who has a little curl
and sets hearts a-whirl.

She jumps barefoot in the puddle
and likes very much to cuddle.
Who stops at the sight of a daisy
and always acts like a crazy.

Makes paper planes & tries to fly
full of inquisitives why why why.
There she sat strong and calm,
silently staring at the body & its palm.

Faking the smile, hiding the pain
Off to routine there she goes again.

Current song- Arre Yaar Meri Tum Bhi Ho Ghazab – Kishore & Asha
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Expectations Unfulfilled

Off late there have been some strong arguments on my blog on some of my recent posts. Some of you have gladly adorned me with adjectives gifts like being dumb, partial and what not.
Some of you have even accused me of not visiting your blogs in last 1 week or of not making my visits more than a weekly affair. There is much more to it, will write some other time. Come on, grow up & give me a break !! I have already told you the no. of blogs I visit. I try my best to be there on your blogs when there is a new post.
Even if I am not commenting, I read your posts through reader. How can you expect me to mark my daily attendance on your blogs even when there is no new post ? I am a human not a machine and please remember, it is NOT an obligation that I HAVE to comply with. I am working, studying, juggling with so many other things and once again I reiterate - blogging is NOT my first priority.

I am pained when people take some of my posts personally. I fail to understand why only a few, very few of you have problems in comprehending my posts or comments ? Why do you misinterpret me ?
To me, all of us are human beings first and then anything else. I’ll be the last person to distinguish people on the basis of religion, caste, race, colour etc. then why do you bestow your frustrations and angers, whatever be the reason, on me ? If you can’t understand what a witty smiley is for, then probably the problem is at your end, not mine.
A request again.. if you don’t understand my posts or don’t like my crap writings, please refrain yourself from coming here & commenting. And I don’t think I can be more blunt than this.

On one hand my blog is the only Indian blog to have continuously featured in first 50 of World Aussiejourno's Weekly Blog Awards since its inception and on the other hand I am being misinterpreted by my own people readers. It hurts, it really hurts.

I am ashamed of myself for having such readers on my blog.

P.S.- I’ll try to finish off replying to ALL the comments by the end of this weekend.
Thank you and have fun.

Current song- Gata Rahe Mera Dil – Instrumental
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Monday, October 01, 2007

How Do You Ensure to Reply Them Back ?

You create a blog. You start writing posts.
People come, read and sometimes leave comments.
You reply to those comments. Slowly your posts increase in number and so do your readers and their comments. Some readers go through your archived posts and comment on them as well.

You add one or two more blogs under your belt; also start writing for some community blogs.
Now the question is, how do you keep track of all the comments or how do you ensure that you reply to all those comments coming from different sources to your different posts ?

Well for me, on an average I get approximately (ok, minimum) 12-15 comments per day including comments on my archived posts. At times, it is very difficult to reply to all of them (Oh, I wish I could say just a ‘thank you’). Do I loose track of unreplied comments ? No.

My five point procedure is as follows:-

. I have comments linked to my mail-id, so I get an intimation about a new comment’s arrival on my ‘xyz’ post.
. I have also used filters to segregate them blog-wise and from other normal mails coming to my inbox.
. I normally pick up one post (starting from the latest one) and if possible, reply to all the comments in sequence.
. If time permits, proceed to another post/blog.
. I don’t delete those comment-mails till I reply them.

I would like to know how do you handle this ? Do you cater to comments on daily basis or get them accumulated and reply over the weekend ? Do you leave some comments unreplied ?

I know of a blogger friend who uses comment moderation for this purpose. What’s your take ?

I am trying to know the best method to use.

Current Song:- Piya Tose Naina Lage Re, Jane Kya Ho Ab Aage Re – Lata Mangeshkar
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