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A Junkyard of random stuff

Even everything is nothing…

To the grave and beyond

They were calling it NBP – the New Black Plague. The world population has now been reduced to a third of what it used to be. It has destroyed both the developed and underdeveloped countries alike. It originated in South America two years ago and for a while it seemed to be contained within the continent. All hell broke loose when it reached India and the US simultaneously. No one knew how that happened because all of a sudden hundreds of people were infected and not in any isolated geographic area within the countries. This lead to a total chaos and soon it spread to every country in the world. The human kind failed in the race to create a vaccine and now is fighting to contain.

Tanya was brought in yesterday and locked up in a sterilized glass room with 10 other infected people. They all had a cubicle each with a bed and were getting excellent food but were not allowed leave. The very day she arrived, someone died in the room and the body was incinerated. She was told that no one had survived for more than two weeks. The blood loss through the eyes becomes extreme and you die of blood loss. The only last wishes they can get it, they can ask for any food they want to eat for the two weeks they were alive but that was it. The rooms which looked glass museums were so simple that you could just walk inside without any key. Leaving it, was another matter altogether. Well, there was at least good food while you wait for your death. She could feel the blood starting to ooze out of her eyes again. She resigned to her fate and waited for Raj to come see her.

Two days had passed and she started feeling a lot weaker already. Sadder than anything for her was the fact that Raj was nowhere around. She loved him truly and it came as a shocker that Raj hadn’t visited yet. Did something happen to him? But the nurse told her she talked to him and he had refused to meet her. What was happening? Did he feel he would get infected just by seeing her? Or was he too afraid to see her in that position? Yes, that must be it. But she dearly wished he would come.

One more day passed and still no sign of Raj. At this point, anger had taken over Tanya. Raj, the love of her life simply didn’t care enough for her. It was at that point that she heard the commotion outside. A lot of footsteps and someone shouting “Stop”. She raised her head and saw the security guards running towards her room following some guy. Shockingly, the guy ran straight into the containment room. What a stupid thief, thought Tanya, running from the fire into the frying pan, more like hell. It was then she looked the thief’s face – RAJ??

In the next few minutes, the security guards discussed what to do, call the superintendent and they finally decided nothing could be done. Trying to get Raj out was out of question. If he wanted to die with the girl he loved, let him. Tanya, held onto Raj, happy but sad at the same time. Nothing makes you happier than to know that someone would follow you to the grave. But at the same time, she was shocked that he was going to suffer the same fate as her. In about an hour or so, he would bleed from his eyes too.

 


 

Their marriage was attended by the newly appointed Prime minister. Raj was the obvious choice but he had declined saying he just wanted to spend the rest of his life with Tanya and lead a normal life. Tanya’s vows were going to be saved in the History books forever

“Raj, your refusal to let me die alone, your capacity for infinite love not just saved my life but saved us all from certain extinction. I am so blessed to become your wife and I’ll always love you just the way you love me too”

 


 

When Raj had entered the containment room, everyone had written him off. But even after several hours when his eyes didn’t start to bleed, they had to investigate. Turned out that Raj had a mutated gene that had never been seen on the planet and it was not just resistant but attacked the NBP virus. The fact that the only person that could save the planet had decided to die for the one he loved was almost divine.

 

Maybe, maybe love is the ultimate savior.

End of world Skill

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I was watching a movie today where a bunch of people faced with prospect of extinction decide who gets to be saved. This is decided based on whether or not their skills are useful in the world after apocalypse. The exact scenario is this – world is about to end and there is one bunker that can save ten lives. Those ten will probably be the only people surviving after the apocalypse. In such scenarios skills like carpenter or baby sitter would be far more important skills than that of a software developer or an MBA grad. What would a software developer do in a world without computers? I can put up a case for the usefulness of an MBA grad in such a case but even that is slightly shaky.
This got me thinking – what would I carry forward if the world ends? What skills do I have that a medieval world would need? I can speak 4 languages but 3 of them are Indian languages which is an advantage if this survival thing happens when I am in India but is of no consequence if I am elsewhere. I can ride horses and I can swim which again aren’t much of a skill in several parts of the world. I can cook decent food which might actually be a very good point. I didn’t complete my shooting lessons and even if I had, archery would be a far more useful skill in this scenario. I can do a bit of theatre, perhaps I can convince others and more importantly myself that my value as an entertainer would be useful but that isn’t looking very strong as well. Doing a basic first aid course or even being a masseuse are far more attractive skills. Similarly writing and poetry are shaky as well.
So, the outcome of this thought experiment is that such a scenario is probably not going to take place. Nevertheless, I decided to learn a few of these primary skills soon – fishing, climbing trees, starting a fire etc. And I urge you to think about your own primary skills as well.

I am a Contradiction

I am evil, am an angel, am human as well.

Which one am I for you? I cannot yet tell.

 

I am free, I am chained or am I like a tree?

Willfully locked even if I have the key.

 

Am I slow? Am I fast but don’t know?

But I will make it, if somewhere I have to go.

 

I am strong, I am weak and I am both

As I am needed or wanted, I come forth.

 

I am evil, am an angel, am human as well.

Which one am I for you? I won’t yet tell.

 

 

 

Fun with Lumia (Windows Phone 8)

Today, I was playing around with my Lumia and I discovered some (security issues) things that I didn’t know before. All of these things are with Cortana enabled on lock screen by the way. There is an option to disable this feature too of course. For all of the below things you don’t need to unlock your phone. So any person who gets hold of your phone can do these things without knowing the password for unlocking your phone.

 1.       Saying “Where is my home” or “Where do I work” shows the location with address of your home or place of work. Ideally the phone should disable showing personalized locations under lock screen.

Home

2.       Asking for the schedule of any day of the year shows me the events with the date and time and also the exact address of my meetings. Just name of the meeting with times should be fine. Exact location shouldn’t be shown.

Calendar

3.       You can say stuff like “Call Johnny” etc. and it actually makes the call without unlocking the phone. The bad part is, someone can easily see the mobile number of that person you are calling. Calling them is probably okay but showing the number is not.

Call

 

Overall, even if these things happen it’s probably okay if the average user knew about these things before enabling Cortana. The trouble is, I am extremely doubtful that’s the case. I need to get my hands on an IPhone to see how it handles these.

 

 

MY IQ

IQ Test
IQ Test

Thug life – Cortana

A train Adventure

Okay. So, I needed to checkout Luxembourg, so I decided to go on a one day trip. Leave in the morning, spend 5 hours and be back in time for bed. That’s the plan.. Oh how foolish I was to think that would happen..

Surprise number 1:
I reached Luxembourg, beautiful city by the way. But it was completely shut down on Sundays and today, yep, it was a sunday. So, half the purpose of going there was lost, wanted to check out the pace of the city. No shops whatsoever. But restaurants were open and the roads were empty so I had very leisurely walk, checked out a bunch of beautiful old buildings. Remembered to take a lot of photos this time though my new phone didn’t have the best camera. No worries, I atleast captured something in the camera. It was almost the time to return when I thought I will post those pics to Facebook, when my phone says it cannot read my SD card anymore and that I have to format it in order to use it again. Urgh!! So, my first attempt at consciously taking pictures ended a disaster.

Surprise number 2:
Time to go back home. The train was on time, the people sitting next to me were very good and we were all chatting for an hour when we realized the train was in the middle of nowhere and it wasn’t moving for the last 10-15 minutes. An announcement comes on the speaker in French and the girl sitting opposite to me translated that the train was experiencing some problems and the driver is trying to fix it. And an hour and 5 such announcements later, the driver gave up and decided to call another engine to come and push this train to the next station. In the meantime, the lights had gone out and we all had a blast (at least initially) playing games like hangman. Towards the end of it, everyone realized that they will miss the last train out of Brussels and started panicking at which point, the other engine arrived and the train started moving again.

Surprise number 3:
Someone told me that there were a bunch of Indians on the next compartment and I went there and found two girls and two guys who were working for L&T and were here for an on-site trip. After we reached Brussels, I had two choices – party all night at a pub in Brussels or join the Indian group who wanted catch a train to Antwerp and continue somehow from there. I chose the other option, reached Antwerp and there were no trains available there as well. The train driver said he could arrange a taxi till Roosendal but not beyond that. The train station was big and beautiful, we though we could just sleep in the waiting room and take the train in the morning (it was around 11 pm then).Better to be stuck at Antwerp than at Roosendal. We then went out and there were a bunch of food stops open, I had an awesome beef steak. Then we came back to the station only to be told that the station will be locked down and we cannot stay inside. It’s 1:00 now and station opens at 4. So we decided to walk the streets of Antwerp. We were having fun till it started to rain. We found a place with a roof on top but it was very cold. I went to a night shop, bought some scotch and it helped me stay warm. . People returning from parties looked at us and thought we were refugees I guess. At 4 am, we went back to the station, slept for an hour and I took the first train out of there and reached home by 8 am. Slept, straight till 7pm.

Lessons learned: Always carry water, snacks, charger and a hoodie. You never know when you will need them.

Perhaps! Not!

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Happy anniversary my love..

Ten years ago today, you came into my life. I had a few flings with others before you came, but sooner or later I got bored and ditched them. To be honest, when we first started, I didn’t think we would last this long. But today, you are the window into my soul, a part of my very essence.

We have been through some difficult times. I have ignored you for months on several occasions but thankfully you never complained. And of course, I would always come back to you sooner or later. You always patiently let me pour my thoughts and feelings out and you brought out the poet in me.

Now, I can hardly imagine my life without you. So, please be assured that, though I am not spending as much time with you as I have been in the past, you are the only inanimate and intangible thing that I get very emotional about.

As a gift, I am going to give you a new outfit. Hope you like the new dress. Thank you my blog, for the last 10 wonderful years.

It’s so weird that I never cared for any of my possessions – clothes, gadgets, motorbike, cars but I am so attached to this piece of intangible bytes of storage.

My first post in this blog – https://thejkumar.wordpress.com/2005/08/15/an-indian-afterall/

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