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Santanu's Blog Page

Friday, February 25, 2005

Getting Bored!!

Havn't blogged for a long, long time! Been busy trying to chase some targets on the job front. Also seem to have lost a bit of the initial enthusiasm for blogging.

The targets on the job front will get tighter now with the monsoon drawing closer. For those who just blinked, monsoon is a season here. Monsoon - Winter - Summer - Monsoon - that's how the cycle goes. Monsoon starts here from May and lasts till August. It is characterised by rain, rain and more rain. And I am located at a stones throw ( 50 kms to be precise) downhill of Cherrapunji. Another blink? OK. Cherapunji holds the Guinness record for the highest rainfall. So it's famous. And this poor place that gets washed over with all this World Record rain water has gone unnoticed :) ! Anyway, my immediate concern is to beat the monsoon - and save myself from getting washed away!

The loss of enthusiasm for blogging seems to stem from 2 primary reasons. Firstly, as a true blue Aquarian, I seem to loose interest once a mystery is unravelled. "The chase is better than the kill!" ( read it somewhere and loved it :) ) Yes, I think I have learnt what blogging is all about and have now started betting bored. Secondly, the lack of feedback has been a damper. I thought it's a community where everybody interacts with everybody else. But I notice that there are a few unwritten traits/trends/tricks ... how to get people to come to your page ... how to get listed in searches ... how to get added so folks come back for more .... etc.

To get the crowd in, I discovered 4 methods:
Firstly, keep blogging! Seems every time I blog, there are 3 - 5 visitors during the time I am online and also another 10 within 30 minutes of posting. It then tapers off and stagnates.
Second method is, of course, sites like Blogexplosion. Here, the more sites you visit, the more return visits you get. And then the site helps you track the duration of each visit - I logged 20 visitors in half an hour with an average of 0:00 seconds per visit! Apparently all visitors were busy generating traffic to their sites!! ROFL!
So I tried a third method. I started commenting on the blogs I visit! Curiosity invariably brought the bloggers backtracing to my blog ;) . But getting a horse to water is one thing. Making it drink it is another! Hardly anyone comments on the blogs ( I do get a 'thank you' note occasionally!)
Now the 4th method. This I am yet to put to practice. Links. If I put some regular bloggers on my favorite blogs list and put hyperlinks to them, I could expect some reciprocation and comments as well. Trouble here is that it is very difficult to find blogs as incoherent and uninteresting as mine :P !

In the meantime I run out of time and interest . . .

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


I had blogged on 2nd February on why I felt that this place I stay in, Sylhet, is prone to earthquakes in the near future.

My theory was proved correct yesterday as the earth shook below my feet. At 5:17PM local time, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake with epicentre 80 Kms ESE of Sylhet. Enjoyed the feeling!!

courtesy www.earthquake.usgs.gov

Another one occured farther to the east (another 2 degrees longitude) after one and a half hours - magnitude 5.3! But I was travelling then and did not feel it...maybe it wasn't felt at all here.

Anyway, this was my 1st earthquake experience and I enjoyed it! More are to come...pray they are as mild as this one!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Saraswati Puja

Yesterday was Saraswati Puja - a very festive occasion in Eastern India. I noticed that it is also celebrated with enthusiasm in Bangladesh. So I surfed the net and came up with this literature after a bit of searching and browsing:

"She is represented as a graceful woman with white skin, wearing a crescent moon on her brow, she rides a swan or a peacock or is seated on a lotus flower.

picture courtesy www.astrogyan.com

The Mythological History
In the Vedas, Saraswati was a water deity and was revered for purifying, fertilizing and enriching powers. The next stage in Saraswati's mythological history was her identification with the holy rituals performed on the banks of river Saraswati. She is said to have invented Sanskrit, the language of the Brahmins, of scriptures and scholarship. It is also believed that it was her who discovered soma or amrita in the Himalayas and brought it to the other gods. Later myths diminished the powers of Saraswati. She was said to be identical with Viraj, the female half or being created out of the substance of Purusha or Prajapati and thus the instrument of creation. As Brahma's wife, she provides the power to execute what Brahma has conceived with his creative intelligence. She is the goddess of all the creative arts and in particular of poetry and music, learning and science.

The Celebration of Saraswati Puja: Saraswati puja is a big occasion in West Bengal. The day has been declared a state holiday. The pujas are held in every locality and in a few homes as well. Since Saraswati is the goddess of learning, the students are the most enthusiastic. They give 'Anjali' to the goddess and pray for their future. The youngest girl of the family has to wear a yellow ('Basanti') coloured saree as a custom. An essential requirement for the Saraswati puja are the 'Palash' flowers without which the puja is considered to be incomplete.All the young people living in the locality gather in the pandal to celebrate the occasion. Music blares in the pandals and the children enjoy themselves. The puja is performed by the 'Pujari' or pundit. After the puja is over, the 'prasad' is distributed among all the people present. In some places, they make it a point to feed all the poor living in the locality."

Thanks to bangalinet.com for the piece above (excl. pic).

Friday, February 11, 2005

Why Blog?

I asked my self this question recently.
Kevin, a friend who blogs from Sengkang, Singapore, had made a comment on my blog dated 2/2/05, which set me thinking. He asked "... isn't having and maintaing a blog catering to the voyeuristically inclined out there is this wide world of ours?"
So do I cater to the voyeuristically inclined?
If yes, does that make me an exhibitionist?
(He has of course removed the sexual implication 'voyeurism' is usually assumed to have. I checked up Wikipedia and found - as I had suspected all along - that the same can apply to exhibitionism as well...i.e. it does not necessarily mean indecent physical exposure.)
And what about traces of narcissism? Were it not for "a natural attraction to the limelight of personal recognition", would I have blogged with my picture in profile and links to my homepage etc.?
Like most bloggers, I use a meter to keep a watch on visitors - how many, from where, when, referrals. I also use blogexplosion to guide traffic to my site. So apparently I like being watched / read / commented on!!
Now is that a disorder of some sort?
Seeking your comments :)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Let the good times roll... Posted by Hello

A beautiful vase inside Posted by Hello

Reciprocal... Posted by Hello

Calories... Posted by Hello

Boss is always right! Posted by Hello

Cutting... Posted by Hello

Today is by Birthday and my collegues decided to celebrate it!! Thanks everybody! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Phone cams outside DPS

Ok, so you thought the mobile phone cam fuss is over after the DPS incident?

2 Indians were caught in an Australian beach this time!!

How many of you still insist technology is to blame for this? I am beginning to have second thoughts on dismissing articles accusing India of having a voyeuristic population.

Tsunami & Sylhet

Just sat back and wondered what could be the connection between the Tsunami and Sylhet. None. Firstly, the killer Boxer Day wave hardly had any impact on Bangladeshi shores. 0.002%, if we measure impact by no of lives lost! Secondly, Sylhet is a city located more than 400 kms away from the shoreline. Hence, no connection. Q.E.D.!!

Well. The facts are different than what they seem at first glance. Though I am no geologist, I can’t help noting my observations here.

First the facts:

Sylhet is located just south of the Khasi hills of Meghalaya. This hill range is an extension of the Himalayan mountain range. The Himalayas were formed due to the continental plate movements as the Indian plate pushed upward into the Eurasian plate in the Tibetan Plateau region forming a Converging Boundary. The same tectonic plate movement that causes a Thrust boundary along the Himalayas also causes a Subduction boundary along the Burma plate. In other words, while the Earth’s crust got pushed upwards along the Himalayan interface to form the highest mountain range in the world, the Indian plate dipped under the Eurasian plate along the Burma face in what is also called a Dip Slip. Here, there is also a lateral movement causing what is called a Strike slip as the Indian Plate moves north. (A major quake under the Indian Ocean in this precise location resulted in the 2004 Tsunami). This upward movement of the Indian Plate along with a slight anti-clockwise rotation generates the fracture zones near the Andaman – Nicobar Islands, the fault zones in the Sylhet region, the Great Himalayan Range, and the ‘wrinkles’ in Pakistan’s landscape.
courtesy www.asc-india.org (with some editing)

On 9th December 2004, there was a Richter 5.4 earthquake located just 45 miles east of Sylhet. On 26th December 2004, there was a Richter 8.9 earthquake near Sumatra. The latter caused the Tsunami of 2004. The former was felt by my neighbours (as I slept). And the relationship between the two is the movement of the same Tectonic Plate!

It is worth mentioning at this juncture that Richter is a logarithmic scale for measurement of earthquakes and a difference of 1 Richter means a 10 fold difference in Wave Amplitude or 30 times in energy. It also means that the Tsunami earthquake generated almost 150,000 times the energy of the quake I slept through! (30^ (8.9-5.4)) J Quakes below 2.5 Richter are normally not felt by humans.

A matter of deep concern now is the frequent earthquakes rocking the Andaman and Nicobar islands since the Tsunami earthquake. There have been more than 120 such quakes above Richter 5! While aftershocks are common for major quakes, they have a hyperbolic intensity curve which lessens with time. However this is not the case here! These can therefore be considered as independent quakes.

Now, my views:

If we look at the earth as a molten core with thin solid crust, fragmented into individual plates, and the Indian plate rubbing into the bigger Eurasian plate along the northeast border, and a stressed lock breaking free on 26/12 wobbling the whole earth, followed by 120 ‘slip-stick’ friction resisted jerky movements further north-north west, we can see the stress zone shifting north-north west along the converging/Subduction boundary. So what do I feel?

I feel the earth shaking below my feet!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Pardon, your slip is showing!!

An oversight by German lawmakers has created this hilarious situation!