Saturday, September 25, 2004


There has been some rumours going on in my campus that there are ghosts. Many people have reported seeing a ghost, an apparition without a head and without lower limbs floating around the back-gate of our institute. Our insti was built over a TB hospital and during construction, apparently, many half-rotten bodies were excavated. Even the guards have swore of seeing ghosts and eerie noises where the yet-to-be occupied teachers' quarters area.

It is said that a few days back, one of the mess workers who lived closeby and had to go home late at night, around 2 am, saw a ghost and quit job immediately. Last night, one of my classmates sent a scary message to our bulletin board. It said what the people said were true and he indeed saw a ghost and it looked exactly like what he described. This was followed by a tirade of ghost jokes, targeting the females, a few guys and the only professor who stayed at the quarters. This morning, when I talked to the guy, he said that he 'exactly' did not see the spook, but one hearing a noise and seeing a shadow, he fled the scene to the safety of the hostel.

While this place, a small hillock, was appropriated for the founding of our insti, there was a hospital and a temple upon the hill. There was a lot of resistance from the locals and the local politicians. Even though the hospital was shifted and the temple was allowed to stay within, they vehemently tried to stop the shifting. I personally believe that it was these guys who started the story about the ghost to delay construction of our insti.

While I can understand the fear of the the uneducated, mired in superstition locals and the mess workers, I could not understand why a highly educated guy could believe that a shadow would be a ghost. The same thing goes for other paranormal and mythical creatures like unicorns, Satan and God, etc.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Comment ça va? I have started learning French now. Actually I already
learnt the language about a year and a half back. Unfortunately, I
remember almost nothing now. Fortunately, the remnants are helping me
pick up fast now. However, there have been a lot of differences in the
way I was taught before and the way I am taught now. Things like
pronunciation of even simple words vary slightly. Hope my history does
not interfere too much with my learning now.
This is supposed to be Business French, and the prof has jumped
directly to small words and sentences now. She says, we are taught the
way kids learn, by hearing first and then learning the rules and
grammar. But we have only twenty 90 minute sessions and the class is
very unruly. I don't know how much I will learn here. My goal here is
to improve my vocabulary, with the second chance I have been given. I
hope atleast sufficient enough to write letters and maybe short
stories :) Au revoir!

Monday, September 20, 2004

The power of Gmail

Recently I learned more about Gmail. I had got Gmail only as a status
symbol... The elite, one of the few to have a Gmail account, the
ability to store more stuff that I can need, etc. But I had grossly
underestimated its power and not using many of the features.

I was one of those who were used to sorting by clicking on the tabs
and tracking mails by moving them to relevant folders. I was miffed by
its absence in Gmail. That was, until I discovered how to use the
filtering, labelling, searching the mails and a host of other
functions. I already knew how to search in Gmail, but had not much use
for it anyway. I learned how to create filters, simultaneously while
creating labels. Then, I sorted all my mails, well, most of them
anyway, and then applied the labels. Voila! They were sorted neat and
only the relevant stuff showed on the screen.

No more clicking on a folder's link and waiting for the page to load,
tunnelling through close to a hundred mails in a folder and searching
for it. Now everything is done in a jiffy! Just click on the label on
the side. It still takes time to load the page, but it is faster than
other emails and helluva lot convenient too.

Some people were and still are concerned about the so called privacy
problems in Gmail. I don't feel a thing about that. Unless you have
something to hide (like contact with Osama bin Laden, etc not trivial
stuff like porn), you must not be worried about it. Even then, you
need not use this if you are so concerned about your privacy.