Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Watch Out For.....

Another blog. Yes, as if seven weren't sufficient, I have decided to start a new blog. But this one will be different from others...something that might be my USP. I will start it after going back to Kharagpur. Although I have decided all about it, I will keep the suspense. If all things go well, I should be able to start it in a couple of weeks.

So keep checking.

Blogging Disaster

इंसान ब्लौगिंग करता है तरक्की करने के लिये। (Men blog to progress).

But I had made a retrograde blunder that took me months to understand and I am still not sure about the solution. The beauty(ugliness) of the problem is that I initially considered it as a forward step. Many people who would be reading this would be definitely considering it a good progressive step even now.

The step I took is.....using RSS readers.

Still not sure why I consider it retrograde?

I decided to use RSS readers because it meant not wasting time to keep track of happenings in the blogoshpere. What I was unaware of was the hidden cost associated with it.

All RSS feeds I have come across conveniently ignore the option to allow commenting from the feed itself. There is a basic theorem in cognitive psychology that says: "Out of sight...Out of mind". While I used to comment in atleast 2 blogs daily, it dropped to only 2 comments in a week, in only those places I really wanted to write.

I consider commenting an important component of blogging. Its only through exchange of thoughts that distinguishes blogging from diary writing (using pen and paper). There was another aspect to the story. I found that many people come to my blogs for the first time by clicking on the links given in my comments. So by not commenting regularly I had effectively closed way for new audience for by blogs.

By being more alert I can definitely try to compensate, but never completely.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Who Is John Galt?

We all are. Well, almost 40 of us. I know you are not able to understand what I am saying at all, so I will elaborate on it.

Some time back, a guy in IIT Kharagpur sat down with friends to write an SOP for his friend. After considerable 'research', he found a good theme to write for the SOP. The theme was John Galt, the protagonist of Ayn Rand's classic 'Atlas Shrugged'. The SOP was a brilliant work that started with "Who is John Galt?" and proceeded with near perfection to elaborate on suitability of the candidate with John Galt being the ideal.

The friend in question was very happy to see such a wonderful work, and he proudly showed his SOP to his friends, some of whom asked for a copy. Soon after that, disaster struck. It was found that nearly 40 souls had started using the same SOP while applying to various places. The guy who drafted this SOP warned the one for whom this was originally drafted against using this SOP as this was no longer safe.

I wonder at how many places will there be a clash, and if it does, what will it do to the reputation of IITs. Furthermore, if such candidate are chosen for responsible jobs, the motor of the world will stop, proving that they truly are John Galt.

Friday, December 16, 2005


About one year back when I used to do ego-surfing, I used to find this link as the top one. What was more humiliating was the fact that on the top of the page there was a text that read "Do you mean Anuj Saxena". I was determined to change this. The top link, though mentioned the real 'me', wasn't there because I made it do. It was because the page was one from IIT and was shown as a relevant link just because my name appeared there.

What I planned to do is change the scenario where:

1) The top entry should be the one I create (i.e. under my full control), and
2) Remove that nagging "Anuj Saxena" from the top.

I thought that this would be very easy and decided to create a web-page of my own and wait. Unfortunately, even after making a web page of my own with more than 150 pages, there was hardly any change on the front page of the results. More disturbing was the fact that my webpage wasn't getting indexed. I tried a few hopeless stunts, but failed and gave up.

Then without meaning to do it, I did something that accomplished the first task. I started blogging. And some one month back, when I did some more ego-surfing I was happy to find that the top entry is my own self. This re-ignited the spark that wanted to accomplish the second task. I began to follow my blogs and kept on doing ego-surfing more often. Then I met with the surprise. The top link was no longer my blogger profile, but my Humour Blog. Ok....I comforted myself. Atleast it still belongs to me. This made sense too as my Humour Blog is my most read one. What I didn't knew that I was in for a greater surprise. A few days later, the top entry changed again and started to point to this blog of mine, which I believe is one of the least followed as it is getting stale because of lack of updates. What was more surprising was that the Humour Blog was nowhere to be seen and some other (irrelevant) pages are on their way up.

This does not makes sense to me considering the algorithm I feel Google follows.

Can anyone expain.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Who Am I?

Just visited Rajan's blog and feel that my problem is also similar. I am having a lot of trouble describing people what a blogger is. The trouble is many of them don't even use the internet, and even those who do feel that its no different from the usual web-surfing. I am left with telling things like ""You know, I mean... I write on the net" and many people even think of me as foolish as they comprehend that I am trying to present e-mailing in a complicated way. If anyone of you happen to come across an easy-to-explain definition of blogging/blogger, please tell me. I will be more than thankful.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Out of Business

I stepped down of the cycle-rickshaw at IIT Kharagpur Railway Station on Wednesday to go back to me home in Bhopal. I had two luggages with me. One was a backpack and the other a big suitcase. As I laboriously loaded the backpack onto my shoulder, a coolie came near me and asked whether I needed any help. A smile beamed on my face as I pulled the handle from underneath the suitcase and demonstrated the free wheeling motion of my strolley. Seeing me walk past proudly by him, he commented:

"अगर ये सब आप करने लगेंगे तो हम क्या करेंगे?"

("If you start doing all these things, what will we people do?".)

PS: I wonder why it's called strolley. Is it because it is combination of a suitcase and a trolley?

Bedtime Story

Every night as I lay down in my bed to go to sleep, I make it a point to look outside the window from its upper left corner. From the clearing of the trees, comes a bright white light. Though the size of a twentieth of a moon, the aura of the brightness equals that of the full moon. It has a special place in my heart. Just as a full moon reminds a lover of his beloved, it reminds me of my childhood love, the IITs.

The bright light that shines at the top of the tower of the Institute's Main Building has a lot of symbolic value for me. When I am lying peacefully in my bed with the lights turned off, it shines singularly in the desert of darkness. It takes me back to those days in my school life when my only aim was to clear JEE. It reminds me of the single-minded devotion I had for my studies, and even today I draw inspiration from it.

I wonder how many people have the privilege of this view and how many actually attach it so much value as I do. Fortunately for me, this privilege is not a nuisance. Just by shifting my position marginally in bed, I can go again to the state where my mind and my vision go blank, singing me a lullaby. On such occasions, I often remember the rhymes from my early school days as I go into the arms of sleep.

"This little guiding light of mine,
I'm going to let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine,
All the time, let it shine."