I have some doubts regarding the outcry for a new state of Telangana. These are not biased questions, just random thoughts from someone who wanted to study in ISB and settle down in Hyderabad!
Q1. Whose gonna pay for the substantial transportation costs and state taxes involved in moving goods to & fro from a land locked state?
a.? People? - aren't we already paying too much for our rice and cereals?
b.? Goverment subsidy? - if all the state's money goes into subsidy, what about the money that's supposed to go to developement of infrastructre in the state?
Q2. How and when would my intermediate(11th & 12th) records be moved from the existing captial to a new capital? I lost my originals, I really need to apply for my duplicates!
Q3. What about a case in the High Court that my grandpa has been fighting for the last 20 years? Would they delay it for another 10 years, since they had to move the paper work to a new High Court in the new capital?
Q4. Are people whose birth certificate says they aren't born in a place in telangana districts be kicked out? If yes, would the muncipal corporations be all reduced to muncipalities or panchayats? If the politicians are hell bent on sending away people not belonging to the regions, can they take the pillars of the buildings they built, with them?
Q5. If they are really going to rename Andhra Bank to Telangana Bank, how would they split the shares for the shareholders? Would the Andhra Bank board of directors approve such a thing or just close down their branches?
Q6. Wht would the vehicle license plates change to? - TL or TG or TA ?
Q7. Students whose geography lessons got stalled in-between the academic year, would they have to learn the india map all over again, since the state boundries would change?
Q8. In the future, if the problems don't get solved with a separate state and if the politicians start demanding for a separate country hoping it would bring more money and infrastructure, would my grandchildren need to get visas or would the passport suffice?
And yet the politicians think they would get to have their own seats by next year. #morons !
Reading this - http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/07/19/the-anatomy-of-the-twitter-attack/, reminded me of Kevin Mitnick and Social Engineering.
I watched the movie Takedown(2000), based on the book written by Tsutomu_Shimomura on how Kevin Mitnick was caught. That's all irrelevant. What's more important is - 'How vulnerable people are?". All your passwords float around waiting for someone to read the pattern.
Each and everything is a pattern, it eventually boils down to how one interprets them.
For example : (something similar to what I had done ;) )
There's always the meta-data of every person that always creates the passwords -
- birth-date, month and year
- AIEEE/state entrance rank
- father/mother/sister/brother's name or name typed in reverse
- pet's name
- mobile no/house no
There are some people who are so madly in love with each other and so committed that they exchange their 'meta-data' of passwords, and sometimes the passwords itself. ;)
Some phases in college life are so burdensome that a lady decides to put down all her passwords for online applications in file and in a folder will all her data on the universities. Then she shares the folder with her friends so that they too can benefit from her research on universities, rankings etc.
Most of us in our campus hostels had a network scanner which listed out all the shared folders from where we got our weekly share of new movies, songs, videos etc... Bored souls like me used to go through every folder shared on every computer and occasionally look for information that might lead to passwords ;)
And, I come across this particular file. This file filled the blanks with the patterns I had to use with all the meta-data I knew of her. She was clever enough not to use the same passwords for her mail accounts. But again, they are all of the same pattern.
Q. Why did I have data on her?
A. For the obvious reasons :P
The first account - GMail came apart and the mails, chats, conversations, photos, videos, attachments and the most embarrassing things - everything flowed out . Bless the Google team, they just aggregated all your life into a single place.
And there were the clues errr.. the exact pathways to rest of the accounts, including that of her intimate friends, grades, college mail etc...
You can amazed how much a web search history of a person can reveal about the personality and life.
[ I was so into revenge and grins all over my face. It was a gold mine,a diamond jackpot. I didn't think about the feelings, embarrassment, sentiments etc... my bad!]
The timing to login into the accounts had to coincide with her absence and automatic sign-in of GTalk had to be taken care at every login, and the mailbox state had to be restored back, as it was when it was I logged in. I maintained of log, what I had read and what I have to read.
Slowly, my conscience took over and I had to break the break-in news to her. And then followed the threats to eliminate me from the face from earth and blah n blah n blah...
The whole thing of being ethical or unethical takes a backseat when your judgement is impaired by heavy dark clouds of emotion, past and revenge. To me it was a achievement, something that opened doors to a dark room with secrets.
The 'forgot password' functionality for most of the sites is not foolproof. Access to a vulnerable site leads the hacker to rest of your accounts.
Google has created an awesome framework to store your life.
If I could do it, what Google can do with all the data by itself ?
Are you willing to entrust your life's parallel backup with a company/institution solely because you trust their privacy policies and disclaimers.
PS: And if you are thinking about the complex 12-30 digit or more digits randomly generated passwords, but that's like 1 in a 1000 people who have an online presence. Rest of the 999 people are still vulnerable. Oh! yeah if you are important enough, there are people with supercomputers who can break into your account.
Last weekend, might be the only weekend I would remember for rest of my life. Not for something happened, but for something that didn't happen - I wasn't "dead". And NO this is a dramatic horror story.
Long story cut short -
"I was on my way to Vellore in a taxi along with two colleagues, the driver lost control of the car speeding at 120kmph. And the car toppled and toppled skid on a railway bridge and crashed into the wall on the bridge. A minute after we got out a train just passed below the bridge, a little more speed we would have been on the tracks below"
Here's the long detailed version (with occasional pauses and frozen stills) -
We, let me call ourselves A,B, C and D is the driver. We were almost 50KMs from Krishnagiri and we passed the toll gate. The highway is awesome, awesomest for guys with a car like Civic or a Skoda. But, sadly we weren't among them, we were travelling in a Indica. The driver was speeding at no less than 100kmph. We told not to speed and we weren't in any hurry to reach Vellore, well he didn't listen, he had his own agenda and was in high spirits(he wasn't drunk).
There was this bridge over a railway line, near a town called Vaniyampadi some 60KMs before Vellore. The bridge has a curved climb, by curved I mean a 35-40 degree curve. And this driver D was too smart, and felt he could negotiate the left curve with easy. He was wrong and obviously was an absolute idiot - the starting point of reference for idiocy. B(me) and C were fast asleep in the back seats.
[Pause - screen frozen - the car's approaching the curve at 120kmph]
3KMs before, A and D got their seat belts on, soon after they passed the toll gate. B's sleep was disturbed, by the bumps at the toll gate, and his back ached. He got up looked around and went back to sleep in a more comfortable position.
B opens his eyes, sees the driver turning the steering completely to the left and holding it hard[the first mistake]. And then hits the brakes hard[see, the second mistake]. The car screeches and hits the divider. And then completely turns towards the left with almost a 90 degree skid and then suddenly flies off the road and topples towards the right and hits the road. And then again topples over again, hits the road again and then topples again
No, wait A who was sitting in the front seat, interrupts saying that he just felt his head being upside only twice. B realized he was on a bridge and in a few moments he would be inside the river below the bridge and only thing that flashed to him was to get out of a car that would crash into a river and how would A and D, who were wearing seat belts get out.
The car toppled twice and skid upside down and hit the boulder on the bridge, some 100 meters away from the last tyre marks on the road. B hit the door, and then hit his head and nose again something, maybe it was C. And was thrown side to side with the car toppling over and over. Everything was so fast that, it happened between the split of B opening his eyes realizing the car hit something and that he was inside a upside down car. B opened the door locks of both the rear doors, expecting the dors to be stuck, he had to kick one of them(but they weren't) B had a east escape out of the door and rushed to safety thinking the car might catch fire.
[The car was lying upside down, the windscreen shattered. The rear glass came off in two pieces]
B's nose was bleeding like water running of a tap. A was petty shaken up, standing and looking helpless, C came out holding his head and felt giddy for a couple of seconds before he could stand firm. D was pulled out and he was moaning with pain. There was blood all over the road and the car, from a severed blood vessel in the driver's hand.
A couple of passing by people on bikes stopped and called the ambulance. B went back to look for the costly gift and got his camera and bags out. A, B and C stood a few meters away from the scene, still in shock and wondering whether to laugh or cry. They looked at each other for injuries. B's nose was still bleeding and his handkerchief was soaked in blood. He then realized the new sweater his mom got for him and his pant had blood stains all over them.
Highway Patrol arrived. NHAI ambulance reached the scene in 5 minutes and they were driven off to the nearest hospital in the next 10 minutes. The accident happened at 9:20AM and they were in the hospital by 9:40AM. The nurses attended the driver and one of them checked and made sure, we had no serious injuries. A and C got anti-tetanus injections, B was still wary of the hygiene of the hospital and hesitated to get the shot.
[Scenes fades aways with the arrival of a constable on a 'TVS Luna' :)]
The police arrived to get the details and statements. We had to stay till the taxi owner came. We either had to file a complaint before leaving. I was shit scared of the bureaucracy that would follow than the fact that I was almost dead. I stayed at the hospital listening to House M.D. and Ghajini soundtracks. A and C went to the scene to get the original documents of the car and wait till the owner arrived.
I chose to block the incident, till I could get into talking terms with the reality. After the owner reached the town at around 3PM, we went to the police station to complete the formalities and get back to Bangalore. Also grabbed a few banana's and some Maaza. Then waited at the police station for around 3 hours to complete the paper stuff and left Vayinampadi at around 6PM. There were two people who had helped us throughout the day. One was the constable(E) who came to get the statement, he was old enough to curse the modern day businessmen and how they have lost the sense of value of human life. Other was a guy(F) working at a local handicraft workshop.
It was confusing, I couldn't understand whether F was in, expecting to be paid for help or was the real "good samaritan". Before leaving we offered him money, and got back embarrassment from a guy who really expected nothing from us.
Paranoid and scared to death of hiring another taxi, however in pain we unanimously decided to travel by a 'government offering' - the bus. There was one vacant seat and we took turns for resting our legs. C's leg pain increased, he sat down and A being thin like a stick sat down on C's other leg. I chose the footboard to rest my tired ass, longing for enough to stretch my legs and crackle the joints. I held the rods tightly,with my both my hands locked against the rod and dozed off. Everytime the bus jerked or turned sharply I held the rod tighter. I never was so afraid of traveling, ever in my life.
I reached Bangi at around 10:30PM, reached home, surprised my roommates, took a steaming hot water bath. Looked up myself in the mirror for bruises and inflammations. Every part in my body ached. Ate a packet of jim-jam biscuits and half litre of frooti and slipped into blissful sleep.
Here are the pictures taken by C of the damaged taxi -
PS: I am fine, just 3 scratches and possibly a broken nose which would result in an opportunity to straighten my nose or a disaster leading to the more mis-alignment of my nose :D
It all started when today morning my parents called up to ask if i would get a vacation to visit them in Canada, and that they are planning a trip to Dallas and were hoping if I could tag along.
I said nah...the old cliched dialogue - "I am busy with project here, it would be difficult to get a leave". I knew this is the one of the many to come tomorrow, next years and the years ahead. But it so happened that it triggered the memories from my childhood.
Back when dad used to work at the Vishakapatanam Steel Plant, we used to live in the Steel Plant Township known as Ukkunagaram. Dad, had the greatest scooter of those times - a Bajaj Cub.
Bajaj Chetak was unknown then and the only bike in market was Kawasaki 4S and a Yamaha model I guess. Dad got it soon after he got married and then there I was born in '86. And - No, I am not going to talk the dreams of a government employee that are attached to a scooter.
The scooter as it was, was an amazing 'thing' for me back then. I would run to peep out of the window everytime a 'scooter' passed by to see if dad was home from office. Then, dad worked in shifts, I never understood the concept of shifts except for the A, B and C part of them. The township had everything - parks, shopping complexes, schools, awesome roads and lots of friends to play with. We used to visit the Nehru Park in the township almost every weekend. Dad, Mom, Me, Sis and our scooter. Well actually dad also had a Fiat Padmini then, but we rarely used it. We even went to the city - 20kms away on the scooter.
I being the eldest got to stand on the footrest, dad obviously drove and sis shared the seat with mom. In the beginning I was so short that I could barely see the road ahead of me. But then as I grew taller, the rides became more & more fun. The wind gushing on your face, the speed it was all amazing. I counted the trucks that passed by or read the speedometer for dad. The long trips were tiresome. Sometimes I didn't like the scooter, I wish we had a bigger scooter or maybe dad took out the car.
Dad used to pick me from school, when he left for office in the afternoon. He something, also picked me up from Karate class in the evenings, when he returned from office early. Most of the times I so wished I could drive a scooter or dad rode me everyday, because the dogs in the neighborhood used to chase me every single day, they had a sadist pleasure in making me run. And then there were the trips to the movie screenings in the club, occasional dinners at the restaurant in the club. But most of the times, all the friends & families in dad's friends circle got together for dinner and everyone had their 'scooter'.
Dad left VSP and joined Ispat Industries Ltd. (formerly Nippon Denro Ispat Ltd) and he was posted in Calcutta. We moved. Mom cried, I was emotionless, rather I was sad that I was leaving all m friends, sis was too young to understand that we were moving. Well, I don't remember how dad felt that day. And our scooter got transported too.
And Calcutta, it was! The weekends were the same except for the part that the sun rose at 5 in the morning and it was pitch dark by 6 in the evening. My school was from 6AM to 10AM. Rest of the day, I was absolutely jobless and the worst part - I didn't have a single friend in Calcutta. I just clung to the grill in the veranda seeing people & vehicles passing by and sang 'Sexy Sexy Mujhe Log Bole' from the Karishma's movie. People might have thought i was a retard and my mom whacked me petty hard when she learnt about it. It was our owner who complained about me.
I used to wonder why the number plates of vehicles started with 'W' while it was 'A' back in Andhra. And one of my first lessons from dad - always vehicles no's start with the first alphabet of the state name in which they were bought. Calcutta was a nightmare and it ended soon. We moved to New Bombay in '94(as it was known then ;)) Bambai - was the slang term.
Bombay was different, I liked the city. I liked the apartments we lived in, though there was a cemetery behind our apt. I was in 3rd class then and still we went around on the same scooter. Dad got the engine re-bored and got got it new piston rings. And the it did the magic againhttp://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=11328715. Dad for some reason cling to the scooter, he never got a new one. There really was no reason to get a new one. I was tall enough to block dad's view so I shared the front seat with dad and had to kind of kneel down. The complete family trips never happened on the scooter unless there was a demand for all of us to go together at the same time - like, obviously the temple trips.
The last family trip we had on a scooter was a trip to visit the site of the new apartment dad bought in a place called 'New Panvel'. We were then living in 'Old Panvel'. It was a horrible ride, I wished we had walked down the 10kms rather than riding on the scooter. And in 2 years we shifted to the new apartment. Dad then decided scooter's certainly not the thing for all of us to together. It then started serving the purpose of all the 2 people trips, that mostly involved me and dad going to the Sunday market to get supplies for the whole week.
Dad rarely used the scooter. It was semi-retired. I was 14 or 15 when dad taught me to drive a scooter and soon it was all mine. The maximum distance I was allowed to go was 3kms. I got the keys only to go to do household chores and shopping and in case of emergencies - to go to my friends place. I really didn't prefer the scooter to go to my friend's place. Their dad's had cars, and my little kid ego got hurt if they saw me on our scooter. Instead, I used my favourite - 'Ranger Swing'. Haah...it has a story of it's own ;)
Then, I moved to my grandma's place for the so called 'higher' studies, ya that was it 9th class. My grandpa never gave me his scooter. He promised he would after I get my license. I used to say - License my foot!! It's 4 years away, what will i do till then. Grandpa used to smirk and say - I will drive you. I accepted and sat down frowning and hoping I would grow up to be 18 soon.
Four years passed and I joined engineering. I always dreamed of having a girl friend and a bike in my engineering. When I thought I almost found a girl friend, I asked mom, if she would buy a bike for me. She happily accepted and offered me to send me our scooter to Ahmedabad, if I really wanted one. Again, it hurt my kid ego and the presence of the scooter threatened the prospect of me having a girlfriend. I was better off without it.
Then the scooter was fully retired, after dad got a promotion and the company paid for a car. But, it always gave me a sense of ownership of a great vehicle, we had. I hoped I would keep it as an antique to show my kids and take them around on it. But, surprisingly mom & dad decided to sell it. And before I could protest and make a drama out of how important is the scooter as a memory and as an antique for my kids, mom sold it off!!
The whole point being - The twenty years in which I have grown up a lot has changed, I mean a lot. It's been a transition from the times when a scooter was used for travelling long distances(20kms, ya that's a very long distance on a scooter with 70cc engine) and the times when was an object of pride to the times when my dad asks "me to fly to Canada and then we will fly to Dallas" times.
Something has changed, the way we perceive distances has changed. 1000 miles is no longer a 'long' distance, not even 10,000 miles are.
A call to the moon is now the 'long' distance call.