Thursday, 23 October 2008




The title of the post says it all.

Last week I found a shiny red Japanese passport lying idle near Piccadilly Circus calling out to whoever might pay attention. It was around 6 in the evening and the area was absolutely choked by the usual stereo typed well suited purposeful looking filthy rich stiff lipped hedge funders, camera touting tourists who don't care if they trip you while clicking a stupid photo or trip themselves or worst yet drop their camera which results in a shriek of horror from the person who dropped the camera followed by a mad scramble by the stupid grinning posing idiot and a few concerned passerby.

Anyways so here I was with a bright big "I am going back home after a tiring day get out of my way else I will elbow you" written all over my forehead when suddenly my eyes catch the reflection from this bright shiny thing lying next to the bus stop. Amused at something other than puke, urine, rubbish or empty beer can that is on this famous British road my curiosity got better of me and I stooped to pick it up triggering an almost nuclear chain of tripping people. I knew was causing the most heinous crime that you can at this time and place in Britain still I stopped and picked it up valiantly punching back the hard stares I knew were stabbing my back. Then I did the most amazing thing you can do at 6:00 pm on Piccadilly Circus on a weekday, I stopped to examine my find!

Yes people I completely and truly and pointedly stopped even after picking up something from the street and I started examining it! Do you realize what this means! I was now almost an island that mysteriously rose out of a maddening swarming ocean and proclaimed his place and stood to defend it. I was the statement, the embodiment of the fact that humans can still act on impulse without following a monotonous repetitive robotic life. I was the person the leader the rebel who said NO! Enough is enough! This is the moment when I stop. This is the moment when I don't care I will miss my train back or come last in a stupid race in which I don't even know how many people are running. This is the moment when I wield my free will as my blade slicing through this veil of monotonicity that has been draped over my conscience.

Piccadilly Circus

What absolute load of crap. I had actually stopped because a passing woman had noticed me picking it up and has promptly skipped over to my side trying to look over my shoulder at what is it I might have picked up. I had to fend her off saying I am going to return this which I fully intend to do (after ahem maybe checking some prices on ebay..eh!?)


So I come back with this passport in my pocket and fire up my laptop. Here is what follows

1. Open up Mozilla
2. Go to www.google.co.uk
3. Type Japanese to English online translation.
4. Get excited seeing few hundred thousand clicks.
5. Realize you haven't achieved anything so far. Shut up and carry on.
6. Navigate to the first link in the result set.
7. Wait for the page to load.
8. Curse O2 broadband.
9. Curse the ISP of the site.
10. Curse O2 again.
11. Curse DARPA for coming up with internet.
12. Page finally loads up.
13. Open up passport quick!
14. Realize your laptop is 1800 BC model that can only type in English and though you have support for other languages built in it would be a momentous task to get even a single character in this script printed on the online translator.
15. Curse Gordon Brown and close the page down.

Hey come on. In GB, Mr. GB is your dart board in the pub. Whenever you are pissed, you are allowed to go in, have a pint or two while throwing darts. Given the current economic climate and his stewardship of the country this is completely allowed.

So here I was sitting and twiddling my thumb thinking of what to do next with this passport when it hit me. Facebook! OH YEAH! Let us track this babe down on facebook (now you know why I was so keen on returning the passport eh ;). No complicated steps this time. I know I know. Go to www.facebook.com, open your profile, go to search people, type in her name and hit Enter. Voila! Just two results and one of them is what appears to be her!

Bingo! Jackpot! Yatzie! Goldmine!

Try to open her profile and realize hers is "friends only". Quickly send a message saying I have your passport and I shall guard it with my life until you can come and meet me over a coffee or maybe a drink in the bar with a dart board or maybe over a candle light cruise over a cerize evening sailing over Thames..I mean take your pick I am not really a fussy guy here.


Thames at night

Get whacked over my head with a book by the Mrs bringing me back to my reality...Doh! I am married!

Well anyways the message has been sent, my work here is done. Now as soon as I get her details I would dispatch the passport by Royal Mail pronto!

If only things were this easy. Two days and no response. I thought maybe she was so distressed over losing her passport that she didn't bother logging over the internet. So I did what any sane person would do. I

1. opened up Mozilla.
2. navigated to www.google.co.uk
3. searched for Japan+embassy+london
4. few results. No adrenaline, no excitement. I don't focking care.
5. whack on the head again by the Mrs. Why? Marriage rule number 2. you never ask why. rule number 1. always follow rule 2.
6. click the first link.
7. page loads, magic!
8. curse Gordon Brown...its so become a part of me
9. scroll to contact us, note down the email id.
10. close the browser, write an email. Job done.

What next? Nothing. Tomorrow I should get an email saying what a great, kind, noble soul I am for taking this trouble for returning a passport. To show their gratitude they are giving me a completely paid royal holiday in Japan for 4 people (2 tickets going on ebay!) for 15 days starting when I want. And I shall also meet His Highness the king of Japan and the Queen of England who shall present me with knighthood. Oh the things I must do for humanity.

Tomorrow comes and goes. Day after tomorrow comes and goes. 3 days after tomorrow comes and goes. No email. Not even a bloody automated email stating a crappy message like "thank you for your email. We have recorded your email. Your case number is XXXXXXX. Someone from our we don't give shite deptt will contact you whenever he/she feels like it."

So here I am. A week since finding the passport. No leads, nothing. Maybe I should just hand it over to the next police personnel I come across on the street. Maybe I should just take it back and leave it next to the same bus stop and forget I ever found it. What do you suggest?

So much so for Japanese efficiency.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

This is so awesome!

This is one of the videos in a campaign by the UK government to promote road safety in the UK. Please see the video and leave us a comment telling us if you did it or not!


Enjoy!

Monday, 20 October 2008




In a country apparently full of talent and IT proffessionals how difficult do you reckon is finding a "good" working partner?

Almost as hard as liking George W Bush or his policies.

I am so tired of scavenging numerous free lance coder sites trying to find one decent human who has the talent to write good HTML/CSS and Javascripts and most importantly who loves what he/she does. Evertime I drag my sceptical self to any of such sites and post a project I get hammered by idiots trying to rip me off my money. The worst part is not their intention but their beleif that I am stupid enough to not be able to see through their disguise and recognize the "Vikram" behind "Victor" and "Deepti" behind "Dorothy"! Most of these so called "pros" neither have a portfolio to show me nor do they have a single example of any of their previous work whatsoever. Top it with their "excellent" communication skills and grasp of language and you have a perfect recipie for disgust to headache in 5 minutes or less.

Let me also tell you about the prices I get quoted. For a simple HTML page with 2 widgets (most of which have ready HTML anyways) I get quoted 400 USD! 400 F*CKING USD! This "reasonable" amount was proposed by some Dorothy software based in....Dhakka Bangladesh. Then there is this "hello sir, I honest developer sir. I understand you sir, I do good work you see sir. I promise sir. Give me single chance sir." kind of guys from Mumbai, Delhi etc. etc. Don't get me wrong here guys I have absolutely no problems with the way someone speaks or communicates. It is the unprofessionalism that gets to my nerves. Most of these so called "good guys" have had no experience writing a professional page or worst still have no idea what Jquery is. When I ask them to show me their previous work they dissappear like money from stock markets. Do they seriously expect I would enter a legal contract with them without making sure what they are capable of?

All I want is a single good person who is honest and good with HTML/CSS. I have been running a web site for two years now. Back in 2006 when I launched the site it was the single unique implementation of the concept. I really suck at HTML/CSS and other such related stuff but I did it almost single handedly that time. The idea took off, was an instant hit and then I got ripped off by coke sipping teenagers from USA who had time on their hands and who were actually reasonably good with UI stuff. They got popular while my site dwindled. For the past 3 months however I have been working very hard on plumbing in new pieces of functionalities that might just be what I need at this point but this time I want to work with someone who is good with UI stuff and most importantly someone whom I can rely on. Someone who I know is honest and has slightly extended vision of life than the immediate 50 USD I can pay up.

But alas, like most things in my life this has been evading me for so long now I wonder if I would ever find someone like this. I don't even know why I am writing this here. Never once have I mentinoed my mortal self on my blog prior to this moment. But then there has to be a first time sometime, right?

 

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