Monday, July 17, 2006

Chandigarh - Chandi ka ghar

Home of the rich & the beautiful. This doesn't look like the other parts of India. Wide roads like New Delhi, but without the crowds; palatial houses, every house with multiple long cars, with beautiful gardens throughout - everything is so well planned and clean (its almost freakish).

My work takes me to 'exotic' places - went to one such location yesterday, wading through slush and mud, covered in a layer of soot, in the middle of god-forsaken nowhere, only to find a guy working on a Sony Viao laptop. On the way out, found a guy navigating his way through muddy roads on a new Honda Civic. India is changing. And its interesting to watch how.

Ah, where did my love for flying go?

I used to love watching airlines take off. I used to love watching them land...

But these airlines are killing my love. Airports, I've realized, are amongst the most sober of places. Unlike the hustle-bustle, color and gaiety that characterizes railway stations, airports seem to be filled with somber perpetually sulking individuals.

In-flight its worse - these small port-holed aircraft prevent you from having a good view of the surroundings. How much fun it would be if they'd make the top or bottom of the plane of transparent glass.

Ah, where did my love for flying go...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

How fast can you type?

Check your typing speed online. I averaged 95-100 wpm. (via Anand).

In our 1st semester at IIIT, we were make to practice speed typing on a software. I guess that was one of my most useful takeaways from college. These days, I've found that touch typing is of the best ways to impress people - particulary when you work in non-tech industries :p


Wifi on a SD Card : Eye-Fi

Expected beta in Q3 2006.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Wide-angle Vedanthangal

Birds at Vedanthangal
Approximately 100 kms from Chennai, along the Chengalpattu road, is Vedanthangal - India's oldest bird sanctuary. Despite its proximity to Chennai, this is one place I'd never been to. It was by chance that I decided to check it out - we were visiting a relative on the route, it was a sunday mid-afternoon, the sky was overcast and there was a gentle breeze - just the right weather for long drive. The road was awesome - 6 lane and devoid of traffic for most part - we were cruising at 80+ kmph most of the way.

The sanctuary is a big swamp-like area with huge trees tovering over a large body of water. Along the circumference is a well laid out footpath for visitors to walk around and see the birds. There's also a light-house-type structure which provides a vantage location to view the birds. The area is well maintained and very verdant.

Despite this not being right season for bird-watching at Vedanthangal (the best time is Nov-Feb), there was a large flock of birds - mostly pelicans and storks. It was quite a sight to see huge birds with such large wings making a graceful flight.

Vedanthangal is surely worth a visit - I was pretty impressed. Just the drive, was a joy. The place is very well maintained. The only thing lacking were the guides and some binoculars on hire.

For people intending to go there: Take the highway down south from Chennai, via Tambaram, Vandalur and Chengalpattu. Approximately 90 kms from Chennai, just after Mamandur, take a right. There are well placed signs along the highway, so finding your way is not a problem. And remember to take those binoculars.