Saturday, November 15, 2008

Moving to WordPress

I am moving my blog to a new web address. From now on, I will be blogging on WordPress.
The URL is

Thursday, November 06, 2008

पुकारता भारतवर्ष

सप्तसिंधु के जल में बहता

सह्याद्रि के संग लहराता

त्रयसमुद्र के तटसे निर्भय

पुकारता भारतवर्ष है


वर्तमान का समय है चंचल

तत्त्व हमारे अटल हिमाचल

भविष्य गाये जीत हमारी

आज यदी संघर्ष है


धर्मनीती मे रामप्रभुजी

योगेश्वर है राजनीत मे

देशहीत मे गुरु चाणक्य

सदा हमारे आदर्श है


विजय निश्चित देशसमर्पित

पथकंटक भी पुष्पसमान

मातृभुमी का गीत है मन मे

कर्तव्य मे ही हर्ष है


कर्म हमारा उत्तरदायित्त्व

कर्म ही जीवनमार्ग है

बीज भी कर्म, कर्म ही फल है

कर्म ही परामर्श है


सुमोद पावगी


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Early to bed and early to rise, not really!


In the town of Bremerton, WA, the school officials decided that 7:20 am is too early a time for high school students to come to school. They apparently are sluggish and sleepy. Hey we have a solution! Why not start the school 1 hour late!!


Now that is just terrific. This makes me think of my timetable when I was in SSC (Secondary School Certificate) i.e. 10th grade and high school for us in Mumbai.

Wake up - 5 am

Science tuition - 6 am - 7 am

School - 7:10 am to 12:35 pm

Maths tuition - 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

Sanskrit tuition - 3 pm to 4 pm

English tuition - 6 pm to 7 pm

This would occasionally be accompanied by additional tuitions or practice of science practical exams. Then of course there were paper solving, math problem solving, essay writing etc. etc.


My timetable for junior college or equivalent of US high school was not much different. It was extensive, tiring and starting late was never an option.


As for me, I still believe in the old adage, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

माझे आवडते मराठी गाणे

विमोह त्यागून कर्मफलांचा सिद्ध होई पार्था

कर्तव्याने घडतो माणूस जाणून पुरुषार्था


सुधीर फडके ह्यांनी गायलेले हे मराठी गाणे मला फार आवडते. म्हणून आज पाडव्याच्या शुभमुहुर्तावर ह्या गाण्याची "link" इथे देत आहे.

विमोह त्यागून कर्मफलांचा


पुर्ण गाणे लवकरच देईन.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Today's day will be marked in gilded letters in India's history. Mission to moon is an important light-year asteroid in any country's space exploration programme and as Indians we all should be proud of this marvelous  feat achieved by our brilliant scientists.


If you visit the website of ISRO,, you can see a smiling photo of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai on its homepage. Dr. Sarabhai is called the father of India's space programme and aptly so. I am sure if he would be here today, he would be immensely  happy about this achievement. And so would be all scientists who chose to work for their motherland without thinking about any salaries or other perks that they could have got elsewhere.


I watched today's launch as a webcast, thanks to ISRO. It started at 5:20 PM Seattle time. Every minute, the invisible voice was saying, "mark minus 30 minutes", "mark minus 20 minutes", "mark minus 8 minutes", my heart was pounding with anxiety and hope side by side. Somewhere my inner voice was telling me that today's launch would be successful and sometimes you want things to succeed really badly. Today was that time. There were little hiccups in the network connection and it was reconnecting and re-buffering sometimes. But all is well that ends well.


Finally at the moment of launch, I saw a giant ball of fire and then slowly the trajectory of the rocket which will travel to the beloved "chandamama" of all Indian kids in a few days. After the launch, the invisible voice at ISRO was saying all the readings on the panels aloud and some of them were also visible on the screen.


One thought came to my mind while witnessing this historical moment. My country is going to progress, it is destined to progress no matter what. Whether to become a part of its future is a decision we all have to make, one day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Inaugural Bridge Tournament in Microsoft

Since I was young, or rather younger, I wanted to learn Bridge. I used to see my dad play this wonderful card game with his friends. So long story short I learnt to play it on my own using some online tutorials and playing with colleagues.


After joining MS, I was glad to find an email list for Bridge enthusiasts and joined it hoping to play a game or two sometime. Then one fine day, someone emailed about hosting a Bridge Tournament for MS Give campaign in this October. I immediately signed up as part of the organizing committee and I must say I made a good decision.


There were about 5-6 of us. I volunteered to setup an email alias for us and a Sharepoint site to host all the documents and registrations for the event. Someone came up with nice slogans and flyer designs for the event. Others arranged for the equipment like bidding boxes and score cards and snacks. The amazing thing was that most of us never met each other in person. Most of the organization was done via conference calls and emails. Thanks to a supporter, we also got gift items for the participants.


On the eve of the tournament, we started at around 6 PM. Initially there was a duplicate Bridge tutorial. Around 7 PM the tournament started. The participants were divided into two groups, beginners and advanced. We also helped pair up people who did not have partners. So interestingly I played in advanced category. I was surprised that I did not disappoint myself and we did fairly well considering that it was my Bridge tournament and first experience playing duplicate. All in all, there were around 40 participants. I met so many new people and had a great time.


I am completely impressed by all the etiquettes, rules and courteous nature of the game. It was a fun filled evening and I had a good feeling that it was contributing to charity.


I hope that this game becomes more popular and we get even larger crowd next year.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dragons' Den

I usually do not watch reality shows. I have more than enough reality in my life. So it is not surprising that I have not watched American Idol, Dancing with the stars, Sa re ga ma pa etc. etc. While I know that these shows have great entertainment value and they are fun to watch, I just do not have time for this. That's all.


So when I first saw Dragons' Den on BBC America, I just flipped through it. But just then I saw what that show was about and now I have watched 2 + episodes of it and two of them on consecutive days. Not bad, not bad at all.


What impressed me about Dragons' Den is that it is an investment related show. In every episode, some folks, lets call them Joe the inventor, come up and talk about their idea which  can be the next big thing. They present their innovation to five multi-millionaires in UK. They have to present their case for the product and ask for a venture capital for a share in their company in return.


Now the fun has merely begun. The Dragons or the investors, ask the inventors many questions, ask them show demos of their product and also negotiate with them for business deal. It is surprising to see how quickly and candidly these guys refuse to invest in a new business. But more surprising is to see how smoothly yet ruthlessly these negotiations go.


It is not easy for the inventors. e.g. I watched an episode where a guy was demonstrating his electronic egg boiler or egg cooker to me precise. In the first demo, he forgot to put an egg in the machine. Then he failed in all the three consecutive demos and the egg was not cooked. But his luck was on the wind and he still got the money he needed for his start-up.


Some other inventions I have seen are portable toilet seat covers, a home gym which comes portable in a chair, automatic truck washing system. It is quite amazing to see people come up with these ideas.


I like this show because I can learn a lot from it. It has negotiation, presentation, public speaking and most importantly, if someone calls your product 'crap' in front of millions of viewers, you still learn how to keep a stiff upper lip and move on.


I will be glad if we get an Indian version of this show.

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