Pre-arranged marriage

November 30, 2005 at 11:00 am

Everybody is sitting around evaluating every person from the other side. The looks travel as if they were arrows to an enemy side with no consideration to the possibility that they may end up as one single happy family a few days later.

The conversation happens across multiple channels among multiple people at the same time. The elderly men are discussing their professions, the women are talking weather. The children are staring at the boy. The boy is not allowed to or supposed to or expected to feel overawed by the situation. Because he is the one who has asked to see the girl. That he has been told that this is the only respectable way to get married is conveniently sidelined by all concerned parties.“Hey you know, that couple had a love marriage” is actually a statement conveying social stigma and not a casual remark.

The girl feels like a film at the Cannes Film Festival. She has to win the award. Can a film go and tell the judges that I don’t like the award? Ha ha ha… You must be out of your head to have thought that way. Everybody is trying to critic the film from all angles. Afterall, it was nominated after a rigorous shortlisting process based on the visual competence [and supposedly accurate astological calculations] of its competitors.

The judge of the awards function is not a single person. If you thought it was the boy alone, then please pinch yourself. You must be sleeping. Let me call him the PJ [Pseudo Judge] So, we are clear that we are dealing with a panel. The composition of the panel is dynamic. Whoever walks into the awards function on that day at that time is allowed to voice their opinion. India is a democratic country except for stray incidents like the Khushboo ones.

The members of this panel are involved right from the stage of shortlisting and nominating the film. The PJ is kept out of the pre-nomination process and it [Let’s not call it “He” for literary effect] is supposed to be out of it. Mind you. So, can you now relate to the first statement that, “he is the one who has asked to see the girl”?

Well, we haven’t delved into the psychology of the film under the lens. The film is definitely not comfortable with the process. It has never seen its judges before. Neither does it know the parameters that will be applied to give it an award. Since the PJ and the film have only a few minutes [How many ever minutes you want as long as it’s not too long!] together, they talk about various aspects. Well, yeah, now the film is allowed to talk.

More often that not it’s the PJ who is asked whether the film can be selected or not. Yeah, the film is back into “Mute” mode now. When the PJ decides against selecting the film for award immediately the PJ is exposed to a barrage of questions.
Was the cinematography all wrong?
Did you decide only based on how the film looks?
Did you try to know the film?

And now welcome to the best question:
How did you decide all that within that much time? [Accompanied with popping eyes and wide open mouth!]

The best question often comes from a female member of the Panel. [Okay. Cool. That’s just an observation. Let me be entitled for such small things] This member would be under the impression that since she received the award without speaking a word after going through so many festivals, how can you decide on Not giving an award?

Cut from the Film festival scenario to the real world
I don’t have answers to any of the questions. Spending a lifetime is sometimes not sufficient to know a person. To decide whether to spend the rest of your life with someone you saw for half an hour sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But that’s how it works. As any elder would tell you that’s how it’s been working and it works bloody well.
Like some other practical & realistic people would tell you, that people of the current generation are too much into their work and get exposed only to colleagues so they have no time to meet other folks hence this is an easy way out – you don’t even have to think or make a decision!

Looks like you don’t have an option. But when you are saying “No”, whether you are the PJ or the film, it is something that’s not easily accepted by people around you. You immediately become someone who has a nose-in-the-air attitude. Finally, whether you marry based on this process or some process that you found on your own, the people are not going to stop talking and building their own image of what you are. Don’t care about them as long as you are sure you are doing the right thing.

PC & Broadband at Rs. 500/-

November 24, 2005 at 12:45 pm

Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL ), the country’s largest telecom player, is coming out with an offer bundling PC and a broadband connection for a monthly EMI of Rs 500-Rs 650 in a move that may spur PC penetration in the country.

So, BSNL has been doing more good work than the others in its field. This move must help BSNL achieve the numbers that Dayanidhi Maran wants them to by the end of 2006. Maran wants the internet connections to reach the 1 million number a la telephone connections. Noble intentions. All the best to Maran and his ministry and the BSNL to achieve this.

My idea of the future is that every Telephone Service provider will slowly get into providing broadband [well yeah, that’s the present!;)]. And since the cap on broadband is decided by the PC penetration, they will look to bundle PCs alongwith their broadband connections like BSNL is doing now.

The dealers will realise they are benefiting most out of this kind of arrangement and lobby more for the schemes such as BBPC (BroadBand + PC). But customers, who are not technically skilled, will realise they are not able to use their PCs much. There will be a high downtime because of virus attacks, etc.

This is where Novatium’s Nova NetPCs will play a role. It fits in perfectly. Any support necessary will be available at a phone call. Once the grid is ready it is just a matter of plug and play! :)

The Utility Model

November 22, 2005 at 2:45 pm

At a stunning $100 (monitor extra) we are sure of hitting the sweet spot. But the point is that when we reach the home segment, the box will not be sold unit-wise. It will be bundled along with the network connection that you ask for. You might apply for a Wi-Fi connection or a broadband connection or a triple play connection (More about this later) alongwith which you will get a Nova NetPC as the end-device. Similar to how you get a telephone instrument on applying for a telephone connection.


But the similarity doesn’t end there. You use your phone under a particular scheme and you pay the corresponding rental and usage charges, right?! Well, Novatium intends to relay computing through the same model. You will pay a constant rental for the device at your end. And choose a scheme. The scheme might look very similar to your broadband schemes. Apart from that you will have a choose your application scheme. Based on the OS & applications you choose, you will be billed. A sample bill is shown below:

Sl No. Particulars Units Cost per unit Sub – Total Total


Monthly Rental






CPE (Customer Premises Equipment)


















Usage Charges






Broadband (1 Unit = 1 MB)






Applications used






- Windows OS (1 Unit = 1 Hour)






- MS Word (1 Unit = 30 minutes)






- MS Excel (1 Unit = 30 minutes)






- MS Powerpoint (1 Unit = 30 mins)






Special applications used (if any)






- Network games (1 Unit = 30 mins)






- Programming shell (1 Unit = 2 hrs)






- VoIP software (1 Unit = 1 min)






Telephone charges






Call charges (Itemized charges attached) (1 Unit = 1 min)







TOTAL [(1) + (2) + (3)]






This is an absolute fantasy of a bill. When I include Windows as one of the applications being used, then the bill seems to shoot up. If Linux is adopted as the OS, then the bill would work out to be 2245.50 – [(875) + (60) + (30) + (22.50)] = Rs. 1258/- In this money, you have used your computer to download 500 MB worth of data from the net, played interesting network games for 1 hr a day (excluding weekends) and also talked on the telephone.


Actually, it’s not the money that’s important. It’s the mode of payment that should interest you. No more spending of thousands to acquire a computer and later spending more to maintain it. More than the money spent it’s the time and peace of mind that gets affected by running behind the dealers and the others of that ilk.


Let’s hope we are able to ring in the utlity model with success! :)


November 16, 2005 at 4:00 pm

We were friends during school. Close friends. We did a project about a fighter tank for the Open Day at our school. We wrote a story together for our school magazine. A great writer, excellent painter and a revolutionary thinker. We were a good team. We were frank with each other about everything.

Whenever I used to go back to Mysore during my Intermediate days I used to make it a point to visit him.

During my engineering days, we weren’t in touch much. He was doing his engineering from another college in the same city. And we were busy with our lives. We used to catch up on phone.

After that for 5 years, I was out of touch with him. Only recently we got in touch through a certain e-group for our schoolmates.

He hasn’t lost a bit of enthusiasm. He has become a greater writer, I don’t know if he still paints, but the same artist shows in his photos. Photography is a great hobby to have if you are good at it! ;) [PJ!] And if you read his blog you will know the level of his thinking.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Chaitanya Vikas. My good old friend. We haven’t been in touch with each other for long time. It’s now time to renew the old ties buddy!

Computing for the next billion – II

November 11, 2005 at 2:00 pm

In the previous post, we saw why the market for PCs will not grow just by cutting cost. As such, no market can follow just the “Low-cost” strategy and increase the size of the market. You do need innovation on every front. And we, at Novatium, believe that we are right on course with the innovation.

Novatium is working on developing a hardware technology platform that will form the basis for any kind of an access device. The access device could be a computer (or a thin client in IT terms), an entertainment-plus-computing box (or an IP Set Top Box) or a handheld communcation device (You want to call it a PDA?). Why do we call it an access device? What does it access? Let me answer that now.

There’s a concept called grid computing. Essentially, it is nothing but your client-server architecture scaled upto monstrous levels. The grid might be at a single location or at various dispersed locations with the appropriate network architecture. The grid will consist of several bytes of storage space and switches and routers and all the critical network components. Also, there will be various forms and sizes of content on the grid. Okay, looks like I am complicating this grid concept. I will try another route.

Imagine an electricity grid. You have a generating station, it could be hydro, thermal, etc. type. Then you have a combination of step-up and step-down transformers to deliver the right voltage to our homes. You also have various kinds of wires (high-tension, low-tension, etc.) running around everywhere again with the same intention of delivering electricity to our homes. Similarly, in a computing grid, you will have a cluster of servers that have a lot content and storage space behaving as your generating station.



If this grid doesn’t explain the grid I am talking about, then I give up! :)

The issues that get automatically taken care of by the grid include: OS upgrades, Anti-virus runs, application administration and every other conceivable exercise that you need to run yourself on your PC right now, will be available at a phone call’s distance. That too toll free! ;) Computing will no longer be a techie-dominated area! It will be a service very much like your telephone services. Thus providing a hassle-free experience for the customer. I am considering that this will be affordable to everybody like the mobile phones of today.

It is this grid that our access devices will “access”. These access devices are built on a hardware technology platform built by Novatium base-up. We have put together various pieces of hardware and integrated them together to perform the functions that we want it to perform.

Looking at Nova NetPC, the computing-grid access device, the various functionalities that it will be capable of are:

  1. Basic computing:

    Productivity suite applications like OpenOffice, MS Office, etc,

    E-mail clients like Thunderbird, MS Outlook, etc,

    Browsing on browsers like Firefox, Netscape, IE, etc.,

    Instant messaging on messengers like Yahoo!, MSN, GAIM, etc.

  2. Value added computing:

    Audio/ Video streaming: Voice chat, Webcam conference, listening to music, watching movies (on the grid, not from CD’s)

    Data Mobility: USB stick functionality

    Local Peripherals access: Printers, scanners, etc.

Nova NetPC, is the first among the various products that Novatium will be launching. Hassle-free, easy-to-use and affordable are the keywords. To take computing to the next billion, this is the kind of innovation that we are betting on.

Next post: The Utility Model


November 10, 2005 at 7:45 pm

Divya tagged me again! Thanks again! :) Here we go…

Five movies which I like the most

1. Anand (Hindi)

2. Black (Hindi)

3. Kshana Kshanam (Telugu)

4. The Matrix trilogy (English)

5. Titanic (English)

Five things I can never live without

1. Acceptance

2. Happiness

3. Peace of mind

4. Love

5. Satisfaction

Five most favourite celebrities (Div, sorry I changed it to my convenience)

1. A R Rahman

2. Amitabh Bachchan

3. Sachin Tendulkar

4. Rahul Dravid

5. Venkatesh (Telugu film star)

Five things I miss now

1. My parents (They stay in Hyderabad, I work in Chennai)

2. My brother (He stays with my parents)

3. My little cousin – Gauri (She stays in Dubai)

4. My grandmother (She is presently on tour!)

5. My 3 closest friends (Two are in Bangalore and one in Mumbai)

Five things I plan to do in near future

1. Restart Yoga and meditation

2. Investing in the stock market

3. Buy a helment and Raincoat (The heavens are pouring in Chennai I tell you!)

4. Write the sequel to my post on Novatium

5. Enjoy the weekend

Last movie I borrowed to watch & still not given back

I don’t watch movies on CD’s!

Five books I love

1. Bhagavad Gita – C. Rajagopalachari

2. Animal Farm – George Orwell

3. Blink – Malcolm Gladwell

4. The Goal – Eliyahu M Goldratt

5. Five-point someone – Chetan Bhagat

Five people I pass this HIGH FIVES to

1. Veda

2. Lisa

3. Sudhu

4. Cb

5. Kasthuri

The Story tree – The journey continues

November 8, 2005 at 4:00 pm

Thanks divya for tagging me. It’s my first ever tag. And I like the feeling that somebody thought of me first among the list of people to tag.

here’s my part of the story tree..

He thought it would be an ordinary journey. Standing behind the pillar he watched the train snort arrogantly into the station. With each snort he was reminded of his grandfather’s words “You will fail in the city and return penniless”; with every heavenward whistle, he heard his cousin, “Don’t worry. Come here and I will get you a job at the construction site.” Now he had a 34-hour journey to prove one of them wrong, and he expected the excitement at the end of the journey. He looked at his ticket once again: compartment S9 berth 23.

Pushing his luggage under the seat, he sat close to the window. “Papa, when will you be back?” – his four year old daughter Munni asked innocently. He stared into those soft brown eyes of the motherless kid. He held her frail palms in his, through the window. “Munni, Papa will get you a nice gudiya from the city..Say tata,” his sister spoke to the kid, to avoid an emotional outburst. In a minute, the train pulled forward, and Munni’s little fingers parted from between his. “I need to go..”, he thought, “I have to, at least for Munni’s sake..”

The humid summer breeze and the rattling train coaxed him into an uncomfortable state of drowsy consciousness. He dreamt that Munni ran away, the closer he ran to her, the farther she was, like a mirage. He woke up with a start and squinted at his watch.”What is the time please?”A smallish woman, a meek voice as if she was scared that her existence would annoy someone. Her only noticeable feature was her rather large, expressive eyes.”4.30″Something made him look at the woman again. He had stopped noticing women long back. Ever since Meenakshi passed away…

But this woman was different. She reminded him of someone he knew. In an instant he realized who and the painful memories came flooding back. She looked exactly like his childhood sweetheart Madhu. As teenage lovers in a conservative society, they had often met secretly and had declared undying love for each other.
Then someone had found out and all hell had broken loose. The elders in the village Panchayat had ostracized Madhu’s family as she was from a lower caste. Unable to bear the humiliation, she had committed suicide by drowning. That was twelve years back…

Could it be? Could it really be him? He seems different, weary and downcast. Oh no will he recognise me? No, I am dead to the world. Still she cautiously wrapped her saree end around her head and across her face. Behind the cotton screen, her mind drifted to happier times, languid strolls in the corn fields, games at the riverbed, his gentle caress, whispered sweet nothings, stolen glances at the temple fair.
Tempted to take one last look, she consoled herself that he wouldn’t notice. Slowly
she lifted her eyes only to find Rupak staring back at her.

She quickly glanced the other way.

‘No, this girl looks too close to be any other person. She is infact Madhu!! “Hey, Madhu!” he called.

She struggled hard not to respond to that call. And successfully managed it too.

“Hey Madhu, you forgot me?” he inquired her and came closer.

The old lady sitting opposite to him was looking at this unapprovingly.

“No, you are mistaken, My name is not Madhu.. I am Supriya” she lied.

“Hey Ram!, a young girl cannot travel safely in this country without being stalked!” the old lady muttered angrily.

The girl walked briskly away from him, trying to escape his glances, as though she was hiding something, not wanting to be discovered. He stood confused, she had said her name wasn’t Madhu, and should he run after her? Or should he let it pass, after all he still had a train to catch.

His heart told him it was Madhu, followed her, all thoughts about going to the city vanished; he was on delighted to have met Madhu after such a long time. He was filled with memories of their time together. He finally caught up with her. Looking into her eyes he said ‘ Why Madhu? Why this to me?’
“Please dont lie to me anymore”; sounding more like the Mani he used to be ten years back when he had first met her at the Village temple, rather than the arrogant side that seemed to rule his life now. “I know it is you, nobody else but you Madhu”. Tears roll down her cheecks as she tries to remember why they ended up this way. Was it destiny or fate that they had to meet now?

As she speaks up, the train which for a while had be at a halt, slowly starts to move.

She couldn’t speak out even a word. All that was seen , tears rolling down her cheeks out of happiness.
Now,he was not in a state to loose her again .Though they didn’t speak any word ,everything was clear .Now also ,they were able to read what was running in each others mind.
He slowly held her palms into his. She couldn’t stop him though she wanted too.
For a moment ,they forgot everything.All that was felt,they want to live a new life together.

He later discovered that both were going to the same construction site for the job..

God was not fair to Rupak Mani. His life seemed to be a bouquet of forced choices. At birth, his father had to choose between Mani and his mom. During childhood Mani had to choose from school or agriculture. He chose agriculture to support his ailing father and grandparents. But he burnt the midnight oil and completed his matriculation. And at the same time he ensured prosperity of the household.

Mani was a role model to everyone in the village. He started going to the college in the nearby town for his degree. And that’s where he had met Madhu. Mani knew that Madhu (a girl from the lower-caste) would never be accepted at his home. This time he had to choose between respectability and Madhu.

Mani married Meenakshi. A traditional South Indian girl who was suggested by a friend of Mani’s father. The marriage went fine till Mani had to decide between his wife and Munni.

And now God re-introduces Madhu back into his life. With both of them heading for the same construction site, the journey ahead looked more exciting than the journey they had been through.


Everything below the dashed line and above should be copied and pasted with every accepted tag)

This is a Story Tree and is best nurtured as follows:
1. A blogger can add only 90-100 words (not more or less) at a time
2. All previous snippets of 90-100 words need to be copied before the new set of 90-100 words are appended.
3. Each entire snippet should be linked to the respective author (and not just the first sentence or so)
4. Characters, scenes, etc. can be introduced by an author5. Bizarre twists, sci-fi, fantasy sequences are best avoided.
6. A tag must be accepted within 7 days else the branch is a dead branch
7. After appending 90-100, the Story Tree can be passed on to at most 3 bloggers.
8. If more than 1 branch leads to a blogger, s/he is free to choose any one of them but cannot mix the snippets of the individual branches.
9. The Story Tree is best left to grow than concluded
10. Please attach the image of the Story Tree below with each accepted tag (the link address can be copied and used).

I would like to tag