Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chars AU-Bees

It's been a long break from my blog, but I am back and I intend to keep writing away. Now that my life has again settled down to an indentifiable rhythm its time that I picked up the threads that I left hanging.

My Masters on the whole has been a great learning experience, its not been fun but its been a great eye opener so no complaints on that front.

Summer is soon approaching and the internship hunt has intensified to the maximum. With the terrible economy,tempers are short and depression seems to be sweeping across. Its entirely worth mentioning when someone tries to introduce a lighter side to this process.
Here's a mail I received on April 1st.
Hello Suramya,

We had our team review your resume and we believe that you might be a potential candidate for our Software Developer position in our Character and Natural Language Processing division. Chars AU - Bees is a product and services company which mostly deals with products which cater to word processing tools and incorporating a certain level of automation and intelligence in this area which we believe will be profitable and an area of research and development in the forthcoming years. Its an Australian based company and we have our branch offices in Florida and Maryland, USA. 

Currently we are a start up company of about 100 employees and our current products mainly integrate withing well known software packages. We do not publicize our company since our work mainly involves research and development and we believe in recruiting the best talent for this purpose. For this very reason we do not have a public domain on the internet and our recruits are mostly through referrals from OEMs to which we supply our products to. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to know more about our company and the services we provide.

Me or one of our System engineers here will give you a call later during the day to schedule a quick 15 minutes phone interview where we intend to understand your professional goals and your traits which could benefit our organization. We at Chars AU - Bees believe in presence of mind and impromptu responses which shows a trait to handle any unexpected situation and hence the immediate interview process. 

We're hoping that you will prove yourself to be fit for our organization this evening and we have continued interaction for our mutual benefit. 

Warm Regards,
Allan Donald
System Architect,
Chars AU-Bees

I admit I was taken in by this for sometime, until I spotted the Chars AU-Bees. Hats off for ingenuity at the same time,it clearly admitted it was a prank if one choose to dwell on the name.
Sadly the author of this mischief was not appreciated and received a lot of flak from various victims of this gag.
Tsk Tsk, some people have no sense of humor.
On the other hand, I must mention a reply to this mail.

Hello Mr. Allan Donald (Chars AU Bees) ,

I appreciate the offer, but at onset let me make a few things clear.

There is not a shred of doubt about my caliber and/or my value to your organization. The question here is the implications and
serviceableness of your organization for me. Since you were benovalent enough to hand me an invitation to contact you for further information, this is what I propose.

Since you do not publicize your company and obtain the information on potential employees via referral, I would want you to send across, a comprehensive list of your OEMs. There will be a screening process, where my team will decide, which of these OEMs have a distinction of being spoken to, if any. In the next stage we will conduct interviews with the shortlist-ed OEMs, if any, to evaluate if there is any worth in providing your company, an esteemed opportunity of having an interview with me.

 "IF" on rarity of occasion you do pass the test, we shall schedule a formal meeting, lunch - for which, do not worry I will pay, as I know the crunch a start-up faces, and at the completion of which I will conclude on your stature and assess if you earned your merit 
to have me as an employee.

I like to give, ample opportunity to prepare before I reckon if I could actually be handled by the employers, hence the pre-planned and formal interview process.

I am sincerely hoping that you and your organization will prove to be fit for my expectations, and we have continued interaction for your benefit more than mine, you have a lot to learn from me. 

Good Luck!
Neha Ravikumar

Friday, May 30, 2008


Recently was reading through a friend's blog when I came across culturazzi, a blog that is devoted entirely to arts, literature and music. They contain reviews on all subjects ranging from african literature to ethopian music. The wealth of subjects dealt with is really bewildering and one must appreciate the efforts taken by the team to keep its readers informed on a wide range of subjects. I'm adding this to my list of blogs one must read.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

8 random facts

I seem to be making a lot of comebacks, I'm blaming my sporadic attempts at blogging at sheer exhaustion. My gre, college work and a wedding have left me no time to even sit near my computer and hammer away. Now that I have a little time I thought I'd start with Moi's tag, in case it remained a draft like radha's restaurant tag. Sorry radha :(.Here goes,

1. I live and thrive on books, I have to read a book before I sleep else I fail to fall asleep no matter how tired I am. An attempt by me to give up reading for a month to practise self denial failed its objective within the first day due to severe irritation and the pleading of suffering family and friends to pick a book.

2. I'm mortally scared of cats and dogs but cockroaches, lizards and other inhabitants of kingdom creepy and crawly don't bother me.

3. I'm steeped in superstitions and I am not ashamed of it.

4.I've been in love with Akshaye Khanna for a grand total of 10 years. Sadly the affair seems to be in danger of being filed under the cases of unrequited love.

5. When I was five, I swallowed a 10 paise coin and was not a penny worse for it, pardon the pun.

6. My attempts at curbing my road rage include singing aloud with the song playing on the radio.

7. I always check beneath my bed for monsters before sleeping.

8. I'm obsessed with old foreign films and TV series.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A tangled web we weave

I am done with my examinating :) :) :). There is no greater bliss than penning down the last word on your last paper and knowing that you can come home and sleep for as long as you wish. During my exams I had occasion to notice the straits some of my fellow students employed in order to engage in a little dishonesty giving them a slight unfair advantage over their contemporaries. Since there is an inspection squad that arrives everyday and decides to do a body search of all the male students its not wise to store chits of papers on your self. An enterprising student made sure he arrived early, took his answer booklet, scribbled all the formulas written on a cheat sheet onto the rough page of his booklet and under my stunned gaze proceeded to eat his cheat sheet, managing to gulp it down with an air of concern. And i thought goats had no sense of taste!!!!!!! Another student decided to go one step further, he came to the hall with his pockets stuffed with chits but without taking a bath or washing his clothes. The squad member who moved close to check his pockets, beat a hasty retreat and none dared to check his activities from that day forth. Such were the comic reliefs in my hectic two weeks.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Marriage Madness

Scenario: The girl is struggling with a saree that she is forced to wear. She walks up clutching a tray full of cups brimming over with coffee, trips over the carpet launches the tray's contents into the lap of the prospective groom. A could be happy ever after which never will be. Now the question is, who is the villain of the piece. The saree or the carpet?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Currently me :(

This is what I am doing currently

This is what I would actually like to do

Friday, June 08, 2007

Polite Rejoinder

One of the harrowing experiences any fresher on the lookout for a job has to go through is a bout with the HR manager of a company.Some HR managers tend to eye the candidate as a particular brand of dirt and start to pass subtle barbs to see how far they penetrate into the skin. I had this particular problem with the very first company i wrote for and incidentally the one which I got into also. There was nothing particularly entertaining about my replies cause I chose to be evasive and non committal instead of rising to his baits and mentally shrugged off his attempts to browbeat. The interesting part comes when it was the turn of my friend. After indulging in a five minute conversation with her, he said "So your a rebel". To which she replied, "No, I am not. You have to understand what a rebel is. A rebel is someone who goes against the flow. I don't do that. I create my own flow."
Any guesses about the outcome of the interview?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The glass is half full :)

Only a true optimist could have said this :) :)

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
-George Will

I loved the wit in this quote and ta da, its made its place in my blog.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

literary masterpiece

As I sit twidling my thumbs waiting for my cousin to try out her mountain of jewellery before the eve of her engagement, I decide to read through some of my favourite quotes from my favourite book "to kill a mockingbird" by harper lee. The story which centers around a white man's fight for a wronged black men told through the eyes of his six year old daughter is in my opinion a master piece beyond compare. The principal characters are Atticus Finch the lawyer who defends the black man Tom Robinson who has been accused of rape of a white girl Mayella Ewell by her father Bob Ewell. The story revolves around the white men's injustice and the realisation of that by Atticus's children Jem and Scout. Here are some memorable quotes from that book.

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. -Scout

They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience. -Atticus

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. -Atticus

She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl. -Scout

So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children. -Atticus

"I think I'll be a clown when I get grown," said Dill. "Yes, sir, a clown.... There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off." "You got it backwards, Dill," said Jem. "Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks."

The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. -Atticus

I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks. -Scout

The sixth grade seemed to please him from the beginning: he went through a brief Egyptian Period that baffled me - he tried to walk flat a great deal, sticking one arm in front of him and one in back of him, putting one foot behind the other. He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn't see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't? Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts. -Scout

When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em. -Atticus

Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they're not attracting attention with it. -Atticus

Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand. -Atticus

so if you haven't read the book, do so :):)

Friday, April 13, 2007


Today being Friday the 13th, a day for paranoia, I've decided to dwell on the mystery shrouding the unluckiness of of the number 13th. Sidetracking a little the fear of friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. Deliciously long words with a hint of a tongue twister in them. After that slight bit of digression, here's the facts surrounding the origin of the fear of 13th.

  • Thirteen may be considered a "bad" number simply because it is one more than 12, which is a popularly used number in many cultures (possibly due to it being a highly composite number). When a group of 13 objects is divided into two, three, four or six equal groups, there is always one leftover object.

  • Some Christian traditions have it that at the Last Supper Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th to sit at the table, and that for this reason 13 is considered to carry a curse of sorts.

  • Fear of 13 has also been linked to that fact that a lunisolar calendar must have 13 months in some years, while the solar Gregorian calendar and lunar Islamic calendar always have 12 months in a year.

Diversion 1:A lunisolar calendar is a calendar whose date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year. If the solar year is defined as a tropical year then a lunisolar calendar will give an indication of the season; if it is taken as a sidereal year then the calendar will predict the constellation near which the full moon may occur.

  • Triskaidekaphobia may have also affected the Vikings — it is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god. More specifically, Loki was believed to have engineered the murder of Baldr, and was the 13th guest to arrive at the funeral.This is perhaps related to the superstition that if thirteen people gather, one of them will die in the following year. This was later Christianized in some traditions into saying that Satan was the 13th angel.

Diversion 2: Baldr (modern Icelandic and Faroese Baldur, Balder is the name in modern Norwegian, Swedish and Danish and sometimes an anglicized form) is, in Norse Mythology, the god of innocence, beauty, joy, purity, and peace, and is Odin's second son. His wife is called Nanna and his son is called Forseti. Baldr had a ship, the largest ever built, named Hringhorni, and a hall, called Breidablik. Phol may have been a German name for Baldr, based on the second Merseburg charm, where the same person seems to be referred to as Phol and Balder.

  • The Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1760 BC) omits 13 in its numbered list.This seems to indicate a superstition existed long before the Christian era.

Diversion 3:The Code of Hammurabi (also known as the Codex Hammurabi and Hammurabi's Code), created ca. 1760 BC (short chronology), is one of the earliest extant sets of laws and one of the best preserved examples of this type of document from ancient Mesopotamia. It was created by Hammurabi. Still earlier collections of laws include the codex of Ur-Nammu, king of Ur (ca. 2050 BC), the Codex of Eshnunna (ca. 1930 BC) and the codex of Lipit-Ishtar of Isin (ca. 1870 BC).
The Code contains an enumeration of crimes and their various punishments as well as settlements for common disputes and guidelines for citizen's conduct. The Code does not provide opportunity for explanation or excuses, though it does imply one's right to present evidence.
The Code was openly displayed for all to see; thus, no man could plead ignorance of the law as an excuse. Few people, however, could read in that era, as literacy was primarily the domain of scribes.

I meant this to post to completely centre around the notions which made 13 an unlucky number but the references were so interesting, especially for a someone like me who loves the old and the obscure that I couldn't help introducing various diversions in the piece.

Some interesting consequences and events of this phobia were

  • Some buildings such as One Canada Square in Canary Wharf(the tallest building in the UK) number their floors so as to skip the thirteenth floor entirely, jumping from the 12th floor to the 14th floor in order to avoid distressing triskaidekaphobics, or the building will have 12th floor and floor 12a or 12b instead. Many hotel/casino megaresorts in Las Vegas also lack a 13th floor. This is often applied to home or hotel room numbers as well, and the same is also true of rows in airplanes, as well as cabins aboard cruise ships.

  • The composer Arnold Schoenberg (ironically born on the 13th) suffered from triskaidekaphobia. He was convinced that he would die aged 76 (because 7+6 = 13). Not only did his premonition come true, he also died on Friday 13 July (another 13: Friday is the sixth day of the week - beginning on Sunday - and July is the seventh month, making 6+7=13) at 11:47 PM - 13 minutes to midnight. Also, adding the numbers 1, 1, 4, and 7 brings up a total of 13.

The above case just gave me the goosebumps, this is definitely a facer for those who scorn at supersitions. But then for the sceptics, I guess they'll just term it as a coincidence. A special thanks to Moi for inspiring this post with her photo of the paint can head scarecrow. Can be seen here

Monday, April 09, 2007

poetic dissections

Recently conducted a poetry workshop for my tiny tots and couldn't resist enshrining it in my blog, of course some of the examples cited for each type were not included in the workshop but I doubt any children will be reading this. I didn't bother about the various obscure forms but satisfied myself with the seven most popular forms.
  • Free Verse- poetry that is written material freed from paragraph form and has rhythm but no rhyme

Ode to Job

Job came down

in a woosh, outstretched

and gliding into the horizon.

Blue shadowed


arrested bythe beckoning marsh.

His greatness bears


yet not

the anguish of ancient


Situated grievances weigh


on this long,

strong back. Unconscious


numbs while

time drifts out

another sun salted


  • Haiku- the haiku is a three lined Japanese poem about nature. This particular type of poetry has a limit on the amount of syllables you can have for each line. The first line always has five syllables. The second line has seven syllables. The third line has the same amount as the first line.

Gentle waterfall,

Tripping over rocks and stones

Creating beauty.

  • Limerick- a limerick is humorous nonsense verse consisting of a triplet and couplet, making it a five line poem. Lines one, two, and five are the triplet and rhyme. Lines three and four form a rhyming couplet.

There was an old man of Nantucket,

who kept all his cash in a bucket;

But his daughter, named Nan,

Ran away with a man,

And as for the bucket- Nantucket

  • Acrostic- a poem where the first letter of each line spells a word that can be read vertically

Summers' gifts of sensational feelings,

Heaping happiness in poets' path

Awarding praises for poetic data

Doses of episodes, where lived

Original thoughts; orgasmic tempo

Weavers of words; morning's dew

Prosing spewing from every lip

Operetta unions, written in solo

Energy of many, sharing love

Tears touching every heart

Rivalry forgotten, visions clear

You and I spreading peace and joy

  • Cinquain- a type of poetry in which the first line has one word, the second has two words describing the first line, the third line showsaction with three words, the fourth line has four words that convey feeling, and the fifth line refers to line one.


Hot, muggy

Firecrackers pop loudly

Exciting, thrilling, and inspiring

Patriotic month

  • Ballad- a ballad is a story song that often has a refrain or chorus

The Ballad of Marian Blacktree

Oh, do you know the mountain road

That leads to yonder peak?

A few will walk that trail alone,

Their dreams they go to seek.

(1)One such was Marian Blacktree,

A lowly sheperdess,

And courting her was Tom, the swain,

Who loved her nonetheless.

(2)A thought occurred to Marian

While watching o'er her sheep,

And gazing at the mountain thus

She nodded off to sleep.


(3)That night she came to Tom and said

She longed to know the sky.

"I'm weary of this valley, love,

I want to learn to fly!"

(4)Poor Thomas did not want to leave,

This valley was all he knew.

So when she turned and left him there

Her heart, it broke in two.


(5)Her faithful swain did track her,

All night the trail led on,

And finally at the mountain,

He looked but she was gone.

(6)As morning broke and lit the sky

An eagle he did see:

It circled 'round him thrice and cried.

He knew now she was free.

  • Sonnet- a type of poetry with three four line stanzas followed by a two line stanza called a couplet that rhymes.


When I consider how my light is spent

E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,

And that one Talent which is death to hide,

Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent

To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, least he returning chide,

Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,

I fondly ask; But patience to prevent

That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need

Either man's work or his own gifts, who best

Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State

Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed

And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:

They also serve who only stand and waite.

-john milton.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

celebrating women

It's really funny how women's day is only celebrated by the women and not even acknowledged by the vast majority of men. The morning started with a deluge of sms from various women wishing me a happy women's day and not a single one from any of my male friends. Not content with that some of them had the notion of poking fun at the idea of having a day reserved for celebrating women. I was asked why should women who clamour for equality be treated as beings worthy of celebrating. I feel that every women has the right to be treated by men as their intelluctual equal, but nevertheless she's someone precious and deserved to be pampered and cossetted whenever the opportunity presents itself, after all women never step back from doing that to those who need her. I've realised that in some matters only a woman can truly understand another woman.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Traffic blues

A weary day in college and my battle with bangalore's traffic, which made me take one and a half hours to cover a 5 km distance has completely sunk my flagging spirits. Here's what I think of it.
"Traffic is only one of the side effects of growth." Roy Barnes- I wish we were still in the primitive ages wearing vegetable skins as clothes(I'm against killing animals to wear their skin), walking around among dense jungles and smiling at any human faces we encounter, instead of snarling at the driver in the next car and honking in his ear until he turns stone deaf. I wonder why the person who discovered the wheel couldn't have got amnesia the next day.
"A man sits in his car at the traffic lights, waiting for them to go green."- Michael Frayn.Maybe that man actually got to move ahead instead of listening to a high pitched quarrel between a small truck and an auto driver over an indistinguishable scratch blocking the way for the fleet of vehicles behind them. He must have gone home happy and satisified and probably not have clenched his fists with rage when his mother asked him if he had a pleasant drive.

"My wife and I, we like to ride where there's not much traffic."- Evel Knievel. That statement according to me is a myth, I will believe it when I see it.
"I stop and look at traffic accidents. I won't hang around, but when I hear something is terrible, as bad as it is, I've gotta look at it. "-Norman Lear . It never stops at looking, they gawk and gape and worsen the situation without lifting a finger to help the person who needs their help or move along with after assimilating all the facts without offering any aid to recount it as a grisly story at a gathering.

Moral: Don't hog the road, move to the side if ur moving slow, allow vehicles to overtake you, don't be sexist and assume that women have no right to overtake you and try to hinder their progress, follow lane discipline, muffle the horn until really needed and if you have to quarrel, do it at the side of the road instead of starting a street fight, and if the distance is short please do walk!!!!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"V" day virus

I wonder what it is about this day that gets people all desperate for a date when they are content to jog along without due consideration for this fact the rest of the year. The idea of having a romantic day with a person who you've just met or someone your going to be with for just a day is certainly ludicrous. Instead a day of celebrating love, its speedily becoming a day to prove that your ahead in the race for love. If your single you get besieged by requests from all unimaginable and unforseen sources until your ready to bury yourself into a rabbit hole and stay there till the entire madness abates. The advertisers for valentine's day should consider including a statutory warning in their marketing campaigns. A happy valentine's day to those in love and those who are looking for love please don't set this day as a deadline. But on the bright side, u do get delicious chocolates and lovely flowers on this day and there's no shame in buying it for yourself.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


As an inhabitant of the land of make believe, its really sorrowful to watch its populace dwindling to a piddling number. Especially when the younger generation is apt to look at u scornfully for daring to regale them with a story of flying pigs. "Pigs don't fly, they don't have wings and they are too fat, your confusing it with birds" was the comment made by my six year old neighbour. Well I was not going to take sauce from a person half my size."In my story they do", I calmly stated. "But thats a lie" was the swift rejoinder. Sigh. Not one to give up on a worthy cause i asked her,"don't u just make believe some time". "Nope its not fun". Decidedly not one of the gifted ones. Nor do I find the attitude of some older people very endearing either. "You mean u actually imagine things that are not true?", "Yes I do, its a pleasant pastime". Now in a whisper,"Do you believe in it?", "At that moment I do". After a look of shocked incomprehension I'm told. "Then your suffering from schizotypal disorder." It was my turn to gape. After checking this word out on google, here's what I found.
Many believe that schizotypal personality disorder represents mild schizophrenia. The disorder is characterized by odd forms of thinking and perceiving, and individuals with this disorder often seek isolation from others. They sometimes believe to have extra sensory ability or that unrelated events relate to them in some important way. They generally engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Their speech is often over elaborate and difficult to follow.
Am I insulted? I most definitely am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!