Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Motley Fools

Two motley fools that sit without
know not of a little cloud
that hath wrapped a kingly shroud
some time ago as I do shout

I am but just a little bum
that knows none better than the scum
That lives down that very lane
where I hath seen so many turn insane

Am I just desperado,
or are my problems just so great
that no single word in this blessed state
can justly describe my weird ways

But only God may weigh
as I do say
the truth contained in the pearls within
that fill this leaky vessel to the brim

I seek but not your little gums
as you may think I do come
A little humanity from thee
will make my stay here a fallacy

I do not know for whom this blood
carries veins upon this rough
But I do know that deep within
lies home and purpose so very slim

That I am oh so but prepared
to give all that I have today
and chance upon the one within
the hope that some day I may just win....

Monday, November 13, 2006

Vohuman's cafe

Today's breakfast was had at Vohuman's Cafe, Pune. This is an old Iranian/Zoroastrian joint, so anyone who has been to any such place will be able to get a gist of what kind of place it may be. To start off with, it has an old place charm that mostly these Iranian places have. It's got this unkempt but maintained feel about it. This you shall be able to experience only once you get there. The place itself is located at a diatance of not more than 5min walk from Pune station, and is bang opposite Ruby Hall.
Well, I had gone with Rao, and we had a great time, with great food to go along with it.
This is what we had:
[1] Omlet
[2] Egg fry
[3] Toast
[4] Plain bread -- yes thats Rao for you -- Mr. health freak himself.
[5] Good 'ol Bournvita.... kinda reminds you of the days of yore.... get lost you nostalgic bastard....
So much for the food. Getting back to more interesting things; last time I had gone there, there was this really interesting waiter who took everyone's order. He was kinda managing the whole place almost single handedly. He used to walk a very crazy walk, which can be best described as a combination of confidence sprinkled with a pinch of gayness.... It may sound crazy, but trust me, it's true!!!! That guy didn't write down any of the orders, but remembered each one of them quite precisely, and then made sure that we got our stuff well in time. It's not good to keep a hungry person waiting now, is it ;-) That apart he even corrected us on one count. We thought that we had ordered Bread butter and Jam, whereas it was just Bread butter.... Pretty impressive eh ;-)
After all was said and done, came bill time.... Here's what we got:

Now tell me is this cool or what!!!! I haven't seen a bill like this at any other place!!!! They generally have computerized bills, or some other pre-printed stuff, but nothing like this!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


He/she who is able tread on the quick-sand with relative confidence which he/she almost sank in a while ago, and come out unscathed is a true individual of character....

Cotton 56 Polyester 84

Well, I have just gotten back home. It's 12:30am, and I've got to get up at 5:30am!!!! What the f*** am I doing writing this???? Digressing a bit, why was I out so late???? God alone knows!!!! Was I roaming the steets of the city in search of something.... Well maybe.... Maybe is such a 50-50 word, isn't it. It's as good as saying nothing at all. So, now that we've established that the last few lines meant absolutely nothing, lets get back to business. Well, I've made a promise to a classmate to write an essay(????), and I shall try to fulfil it. Let me say that I generally take on anything only if I know I shall be able to give it more than my 100%. However, considering that it' soooo late, please don't come and strangle me if I haven't met expectations, or as a wise(and very great) friend has told me "lower your expectations".... ;-) So, here goes nothing:

Topic(I think): Humorous day for an elderly individual at the ATM.

Well assume for a while that I am an elderly individual -- well knock that grin off that pretty face of yours ;-).... Anyways, getting back.... I (randomly????) decided one day that I needed to withdraw money from the ATM to:
[1] Pay the house rent.
[2] Grand-Children's school fees.
[3] Youngest son's girlfriend's movie tickets.
[4] Eldest son's knee operation.
[5] Vasectomy for myself -- I'm already feeling sorry for you dames out there ;-) Plus, I'm finding it impossible to manage so many people!!!! A necessary evil for a weak-willed male :P
[6] Saree for my wife -- wait; isn't it too late for that???? nay.... it's never too late for love :-)

On reaching the ATM, realized that I may not have enough money for the tasks at hand. So, I thought that I would do a balance check before I withdrew any money. But wait!!!! there's someone already trying to do something in the ATM room(is that what it's called????). I decided to wait patiently outside, waiting for him to be done, after which I would do my stuff. I couldn't help notice that he was wearing a topi, and was looking thoroughly confused. Well, maybe he didn't know how to use an ATM???? that bugger was taking like forever to withdraw cash.... Yes, and i was beginning to lose it by the second. but wait a minute.... buzurg logon ko gussa shobha nahin deta naa.... naaaah.... that's old school. Hum toh aaj ke buddhay hain ;-)
Well, so I decided to give that guy a piece of my mind[I know it's a rarity these days, but what the heck!!!!].... &#*$%@&@*#. He simply ran out of there carrying 3 notes of Rs. 100/- each, and 3 transaction reciepts.... I was left wondering what he would have done if he wanted Rs 1000/-. Damn, but forget about that. Yes, i now had full possession of that money spitting machine. With the Visa power that I now possessed I decided to proceed with Phase-II of the plan -- Phase-I being getting into the ATM booth. i remember having heard the phrase "With great power comes great responsibility....". i decided to just shove aside these philosophical thoughts aside for the while that i was rubbing my hands in glee for the moment that the moneeeeeyyyyyyyyyyy would come out.
I inserted the card -- wrongly for the first 3 times -- and now that it was in, I decided to crack my fingernails(????), and crank those rusty joints and buttons on the ATM machine. Tick-Tick-Tick-Tick. Yes, that's the noise you get when you indert your pin no. Incorrect PIN!!!! came the pat reply.... i was like "howz that possible????" I tried two more times, and the same reply was forthcoming. Forth time, and tha machine said that "my card has now been disabled".... I went "what theeeeee......". this can't be happening to me!!!! Subah subah kis kalmoohe kii shakal dekh lee.... Zaroor woh saala chootiya hoga, jisko ATM istamaal karne ko nahin aata thaa....
I was just cursing myself, when I woke up to the shuddering realization that my card had also been gobbled up by the machine.... So, not only would i have to get a new pin, but a new card altogether. Just when i thought things couldn't go any worse, I get a call from my cell phone company saying that i haven't payed the bill for my phone for the last three months, and if i don't immediately, then services will be discontinued.
i feel a pinch, but relief at the same time, knowing that I still have my credit card, with which I can make payments. The cell phone company's payment booth is just next door. So, I stroll out of the booth, and into the phone company's payment counter. When it comes time to pay the bill, I thrust out my -- wait DEBIT CARD!!!! -- Damn!!!! I was trying the debit card pin with the credit card, and now I have like nothing in my debit account.... I am so f****** screwed!!!! Hehehe: i remember having the same feeling 9 months before munnu was born, but that was in a totally different context. man.... what am i to do now????
i'm dazed and confused.... with no more thoughts left in me. I feel that I was more in control of myself like two months ago when things were going along just fine before I met this gorgeous woman. Not only is she dazzling, but pretty damn smart too.... take my word for it. i was supposed to tell her something.... but did I???? did it register???? God alone knows.... Maybe -- the maybe!!!! -- she is thinking about me???? I'll never know. If you thought that this were the end of my problems, then you are sadly mistaken, because I am supposed to go on a date with her, and I have zilch in my pocket in terms of money. Trust me, you don't want to find yourself in my situation....

Well, as you can see, not only am I so screwed, but my life is a total mess, not to mention my second wife.... So, all you people who think that you life sux, read this, and well.... "get a life!!!!"

So long for now.... looking forward to meeting you again next week ;-)

ps. please pardon any spelling/grammatical/factual/emotional errors that may have crept into the above.... All errors except for one are intentional, and should not be severely dealt with. Well, if you can find the ONE inconsistency in the above piece, my respect for you shall be elevated further.... :-)

have fun!!!! and keep smiling :-)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On Diwali eve.

I have realized that posts on this blog are arranged in no particular order. Neither chronologcically, nor thought wise. I have been told before that my thoughts are all over the place. I agree that I have a lot of half baked thoughts in this lame excuse for a brain, but I think talking has helped channelize, and aggregate them into another even bigger mass of confusion. But then again, who the fuck cares.... So, here goes another rant that you may not particularly be interested in, but are reading it because you:
[a] Have nothing better to do.
[b] Want to get away from it all.
[c] Love me[ooooh!!!!].
[d] Have nothing worse to do. :D

I was returning home from Pune from Dadar stn. at about 11:00pm, when we had to buy tickets. Since I am the only one who lives on the central line, we needed 1 ticket on that line, and about 4 tickets on the western line. So, I decided to take on the daunting task of standing in the line. After waiting for about 10min, and with just 3 people ahead of me, the ticket issuer decided that it was time for him to leave, and just shut shop and vanished.... grrrrrr.... I decided to keep my cool, and just move on ahead and repeat the whole procedure of standing in the line all over again. This time though, my turn did come, only to find out that this ticket window would issue tickets only for the central line. I bought a ticket for myself, but went back with a small face to tell the others the bad news. By now, I was not only very tired, but was feeling frustrated, angry, and guilty for the fact that the others didn't yet have tickets. Even though it really wasn't my fault, I felt that I would be leaving them out in the cold if I just left them at that point in time. Hence, with a heavy heart, and a clear conscience I went along with them on the Dadar bridge to see if we had any better luck at purchasing tickets.
We reached the ticket window on the bridge only to find out that it was shut. So much for trying to be honest and buying tickets before travelling. We now began the long walk down the bridge[with me knowing that I would have to climb back up and down again] so that we could ping the ticket window below.
On reaching the ticket window below, we found out that that one too was shut.... Now it was a case of when even God wanted them to travel ticketless. Would then succumb to the situation? Would they travel ticketless? Would they fail to purchase tickets, and compensate the railways for their losses? Would they be victorious in their fight against honesty? Well, I found out when I saw two of them climbing yet another bridge in an attempt to find a ticket window and attending staff that would be willing to oblige them. After a while, they returned with guess what!!!! Tickets in their hands, and smiles on their faces. It was as if seeing a pair of mountaineers coming back after conquering a himalayan peak.
Thus, they went their way, and I started my long climb back up the bridge to the train that was supposed to take me back home.
Once in the train, I was speaking to a friend who asked me if everyone was pleased because the following day was Diwali!!!! I was so engrossed in trying to get back home, and the struggle for the tickets that I had absolutely lost track of the people around me, and had failed to notice any such thing even it it did exist. Not that anyone had been explicitly nice to me, but gererally if people around you are in a good mood, then it kinda rubs off on you too. I took a quick glance around me, just to find out that everyone else -- just like me was engrossed in their own little world. I'm sure they too were just eager and relieved that they were finally going home to their near and dear ones.
Anyways, I finally reached my station, and began the short(but what felt like a long) walk back home. It's pretty funny because I used to use the same road for four years in a row when I was in college, but now the roads seemed a bit different now. They seemed to call out to me, and I could notice things about them that I hadn't before. Just as I left the station, a guy walked up to me and seeing the haversack on my back must have thought that I was from out of the city. Probably one of those hitchhikers looking for a cheap place to stay and eat at. [Yes, I do have that cheapo look about me, but let's save that for later]. So, we went on to tell me that he knows a lodge/inn where I can get accomodation for as low as Rs 250/- per day. Since I wasn't looking for any in the first place, I just ignored him, and continued walking. However, he persisted, and went to 200/- and then 150/- and finally 100/-!!!! I was a bit bemused at how fast one can get to less than half the originally quoted rate. When such things happen, you wonder that if you were to strike a deal at that rate, would the other party still be making a wholesome profit? However, I think in such cases I think it's best to have the worth of the material you want to buy pre-decided(at least it's worth or importance to you at that point in time) and the if the other person's quotation is in agreement with what you have thought, give it a go, since you were prepared to compensate the other person that much in the first place. Getting back to the incident, he just kept walking quietly behind me since I was showing no particular interest in any of his supposedly miraculous offerings. Just as I thought that that had died a natural death, he sneaks up to me, and in a very low vice asks me if I am interested in [deleted] (certain mood altering substances). I was quite amused at this since I'm not a doper by any yard stick that one may use. Looking back however, I think that the beard did me in ;-)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's all good after all.

It's the people that make a place what it is, and not the place itself. I have found great company at my new home, but I keep getting driven back to Mumbai. I need some more time to get used to the people here. I don't know when, or even if I shall at all in the first place. I'm not giving up hope though. I don't even know if they want to get used to me. I sure hope they do, because hope is a wonderful thing. I have found a few really interesting and passionate individuals here who really know what they stand for, cause that's what matters at the end. They like everyone else have their vices and their demons, but they are aware of them. I'm pissed but persisting. And as they say "It's all good after all".... ;-)

What you should and shouldn't do....

Be sure that you know what you are talking about.
Shut up if you don't.
Never lie. It always hurts in the long run.
And this time, there won't be any chance to change the road you're on.
If you don't know anything, say you don't.
If you are sure of something, make sure you say it confidently.
You shall be sure of something only when you have studied it inside-out.
You shall study only those things that interest you.
You shall be interested only in those things that intrigue you.
You shall be intrigued only in those things that appeal to you.
If you are open minded, new things will appeal to you.
If you are speculating on something, say that you are.
Be passionate.
Trust me, it's never hurt anyone.
Be prepared to lose all in that passionate quest,
keeping in mind that if you do win, then it will be worth the risk.
Follow your dreams.
They are yours after all.
Learn from your failures.
Write about them if you please.
Let them be known to the world at large.
Don't be ashamed of failing.
You shall fail if you try out new things.
Hence, you need to be open minded to fail in the first place.
Be true to yourself.
Make sure you have someone to talk to.
Human company is irreplaceable.
Learn to wait.
The best things in life have been a result of waiting.
Remember that your mother waited 9 months.
Waiting never hurt anyone.
Don't be afraid of doing something against the norm.
You will learn only if you experiment.
Don't be afraid to experiment.
Experimentation never hurt anyone.
You are never short of time for experimenting.
It's never too late to experiment.
Don't forget your friends.
But do forgive and forget.
Never give up on yourself.
Remember, it's never too late for anything.
Never lie. You'll break my heart if you still do.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Tale of two cities

Rationale for the existence of this post:

"It's like my mother always told me - [snip] If you ain't got nothin' nice to say then don't say nothin...." However, the other day, I was having a conversation with a friend, and the topic of whether to be or not to be diplomatic sprang up. The specific example was something to the tune of whether it would be fine to say[recount] something bad[not nice] about another person who you've had a bad experience with. There were 2 separate lines of thinking from there on in. One of them said that the revelation would portray the person under question in bad light[possibly unnecessarily], and would prejudice the listener[in this case] against the other person. So, it would be better if the person were to form a 1st hand opinion of the person under question. The second one said that if you have had a bad experience with someone, and the person who you are currently in conversation with is someone who you possibly know, then it is right that you warn him/her by narrating the incident to him/her. This would possibly make the other person more aware of the former, so that when confronted with him/her, he/she is prepared to have his analytical cap on, and pass everything that is said through that, just so that he/she does not fall into the same trap as the other person did.

Whatever path you choose is entirely your personal decision, and possibly open to further discussion[maybe not]....
"Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
Theres still time to change the road you're on."
Notwithstanding, I have chosen to take the latter, and hence this post has come into existence.... Oh! the justification.... It's getting to me!!!! So, here goes nothing....

I've been living at Pune for the better part of 3 months now. I know that 3 months isn't a significant amount of time to be passing a judgement on anything non-trivial such as a whole city, but for now at least I would like to stick to this analysis of mine. How many times have you stayed at a place for while and thought that you are done with it????

Pune is where I work, and earn the cash I don't deserve ;-) Mumbai is where I come to, and on bended knees spend it all.... So, in that sense, Pune is the producer, and Mumbai is the consumer. For starters, Pune isn't as big a place as Mumbai. There are not as many things to do and places to see. Of course, if you consider Pune as a city in itself, then it's a really great place, especially if you take into account the fact that it is the 2nd largest city in Maharashtra; 2nd only to Pune. However, as it so always does turn out, the difference between the 1st & 2nd in a rat-race is so significant that the winner takes all, and the rest are left scrapping the remains. The situation is probably not as bad as this, but I guess you get the gist of it.

I generally tend to avoid comparing entities, such as cities, etc.... because each one of them is different in it's own little way, and has a charm of it's own, but since I've lived in both and found life quite dreary at Pune, I feel the urge to get it out of the system.

I believe that it's not the place, but the people that make up the city, and more so the spirit of the people therein. It would not be fare to say that it's the people of Pune that have made it boring or any such thing because all seas have their share of sharks.... It's just that living there(note the usage of this word!!!!) has been such a pain, and the things that I took for granted here in Mumbai like the bus conductors, and the taxi/rickshaw-wallas, etc.... are coming back to haunt me. People atr Pune are just looking to take advantage of you for any reason what so ever. More like the devil has taken it upon him to do the needful. The other day, I was on the station buying a packet of biscuits(GoodDay Cashew.... yummy!!!!) which adorned the printed price of Rs. 12.00/- However, the vendor felt otherwise, and decided to demand 13.00/-. I thought for a while and handed him over the extra 1.00/-. However, almost immediately, I asked him what the extra rupee was for. He mumbled something which I'm pretty sure even he didn't understand. Anyways, after a while of arguing, and constant pestering from my end as to who was charging this extra money, and who it would go to, he took the rupee, and handed it over back to me; almost as if asking me to shut-up and leave the place. This attitude is seen even in the rickshaw-wallas, who cheat you using the following means:

  1. charge extra outright - demand for more money almost at random.

  2. possess a refurbished copy of the fare/tarrif card.

  3. tell you(and then expect you to believe) that the fares have
    signifiantly gone up overnight - without there being an outcry among
    the people....

Now, the reasoning given to me by the station vendor was that it was okay to ask for a rupee more since it probably didn't matter enough to me to be bothering about it, but it meant quite a bit for them. Firstly, the value of a rupee is the same no matter who is holding it. It's just the value to the person that is holding it that's changing from person to person. Secondly, if I were from outside of the country, then I probably wouldn't even know that I've been cheated, and once I did find out, it would leave a bitter taste in mouth, and these things do count in the larger picture....

I'm sorry to say that if a city needs to come up from the dirt, then the people of the city need to take action, make and be made aware of these happenings, and then do something about it. I don't see this happening because they are too stuck up in their own infinite life loops and people around them that they have become indifferent to the happenings around them. This is true about Mumbai too(and about any big city), but there exists a small difference as does between a smile and a grin. There is just so little that separaets them, but yet they differ by so much.... Another telling difference between the 2 cities is the public transport system. All the while that I was here at Mumbai, I kind of didn't realize that it was so great and well managed. It always so happens that you need to get to the interiors to appreciate the beach[literally even!!!!]. In Pune on the other hand, everyone has their own little carts which they thrust around, and get from place to place. It's just the non-locals that have to manage with the public transport which is not that great as compared to Mumbai.

All said and done, maybe it's just a case of me not being in the right place at the right time. Just maybe -- Pune is not for me right now, or I'm not for it. Maybe I'm not seeing it from the right viewport. It so happens that people would rather be at a certain place at certain times in their lives.... Again, I'm not ruling out the possibility that the problem is with me, and it's me who is the one who is stuck up, and is suffering from inertia of the older city.... And thus, another bitchuing session bites the dust ;-)

In any case, I can hear Pune singing out to me....

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Probability anyone?

I was checking out blogs today, and starting from my friend's blog, I started clicing the "next blog" link, and you won't believe, but 2 out of 3 pages I got weren't in English!!!!
Does anyone out there have any numbers as to what is the probability of getting a Blog in English when you click "next blog"????

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My visit to Bangalore.

Hello everyone. I had visited B'lore on the 24th~27th of Feb, 2006 in relation to the Code4Bill interview for the internship @ M$. This post is with regard to that. You must be wondering why the post comes so later.... well, at best, it's a culmination of reasons including me being busy with college and project work.... So, here it goes:

I left from Mumbai on the 24th morning by Udyan Express from Mumbai CST. It's a 25hr journey to B'lore by train. It would generally suit me well, except I got bored during the day and slept for half the day. So much for catching up on my sleep. However, I did meet a few interesting people. 2 of them happened to be 2 girls from Germany who had come to B'lore for a year for Social Service to help out the street children better their lives. A truly noble cause.

I reached B'lore stn.[Cantonment] at 9:00am on the 25th, and was told to come at CMH Hospital from where I would be picked up by one of my hosts at B'lore, Chirag Patni. I was going to stay at Saurabh Ji's place & Chirag had arranged the stay. A heart thanks to both of them!!!! They made my trip really worth it. The first day, I was taken by Saurabh Ji to the Jain Mandir. It was a very quiet and peaceful place. Somewhere people would generally come to find solace. The next came Kamp Fort, and behind that was a HUGE, no MASSIVE Shiv ki murti. It was really great, and made me feel quite small actually!!!! And there was also this 12 shivling ka emulation(replicas) which were made to explain the significance of each one of them. It was really gr8, and the effects were quite life-like. After that we headed home, and Chirag was already there watching Tv. We all decided it was time to bujhao the aag in out pets(stomach), so we headed to this place (????) where we got really nice parathas and (????) I had onion & methi parathas, and they were quite filling. After that, back home, and off to bed. Dinner was on Chirag and that evening he took me out to show me the signts & sounds of B'lore. Areas of interest were Chinnaswami Cricket Stadium, VIdhan sabha(which looked quite majestic from far down the road), and Briget road. A lot of malls have cropped up at B'lore off late, and we visited a few of them. Then, it was dinner time and we had a light meal since neither of us were too hungry, and then headed off to Leelas, where we sat by the poolside and had a long chat. It was really peaceful place. We spoke a lot and really got to know each other. After that, it was time to have some coffee.... Coffee was great as usual, and then we headed back home. Saurabh Ji was watching the FilmFare awards, and we joined in. After some time, Saurabh Ji and myself felt quite sleepy but Chirag was still at it, so we left him to flip some channels, and retired for the day.

The next day I woke up at 6:00am(quite early by my standards) since I had to reach the M$ office at 8:00am. Chirag was woken up(in a very hasty manner) and he was sweet enough to have dropped me off on time, and he also told me how to get back. After the interview, I again found my way to CMH Hospital where I was picked up by Saurabh Ji this time.

Come evening, and Saurabh Ji dropped me off at the B'lore Cantonment Stn. were I caught Udayan Express back to Mumbai CST. I reached home at 9:30pm.... A very nice trip all in all. I would like to thank Saurabh Ji & Chirag once again for taking such good care of me.

And as is said: All's well that ends well ;-)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What I don't like about Microsoft.

Well, I think this has been long pending. I need to set some records straight and speak out why I don't really like M$. I personally have no problem with their OS(partly because I hardly ever use it. Mainly it's used when I'm forced to at college, but that's a different story). And I feel that M$ Office is one of the best products I have ever used.... However, there are a few areas where I particularly don't like the firm.

[1] Licensing being one of them. They have this massive EULA which probably has lots of undesirable clauses. Something that I would rather stay away from.

[2] Pricing. I got to pay for the software I use, even if it is for educational purposes!!!! I mean come on.... have a heart.... I use Linux at home, and am loving it. I switched about 3 years back, and have learnt more about computers, and programming that I ever did while I used windows for a much longer period of time. So in that sense too, M$ seems to be lacking. Lots of things are hidden, and not revealed, and that really hurts someone like me who wants to explore the internals of a system. GNU/Linux lets you do that to almost any level of detail that you please, and that too in quite an organized fashion.

[3] Number of APIs. Whow!!!! M$ has like zillions of ActiveX controls, and APIs for managing stuff.... and to top it, you can do the same thing in many diferent ways. This is one place where choice really hurts. I mean it's really overwhelming.... And the number of versions of a DLL and stuff like that just drives me crazy. Something simple like updating a DLL file might break something in some obscure place, and the whole thing comes down like a pack of cards. This is one area where IMHO Linux should try not to get out of hand. I agree it(Linux) is growing in complexity, but it has a beautiful POSIX interface, which is relatively small, and quite well documented. And it lets you do almost anything you would ever need to with the computer.

[4] On the 26th of February, 2006, I had been invited to Bangalore at the M$ office for an interview in reference to the Code4Bill contest I had participated in. It was a gr8 eperience all in all, though I didn't get thru ;-) I must say M$ takes a lot of care of their employees(or at least it seems so) and there are lots of recreational facilities available. That's all very good, but in the initial phase when we arrived, we were addressed by an employee who has been working for M$ for the past 16 years, and he was trying to sell M$ to us. Nothing wrong till the point when he started bad mouthing Free Software. He said somehing along the lines of: There is nothing like Free Software. They make you pay in one for or another. If not the software, you will have to pay for service & support. And he also mentioned that Open Software was just a flavour of the month, and it wasn't something that was here to last. I seriously wasn't expecting such comments from someone in a company like M$. I mean they have immense credibility, and such comments could only have been to deter the youth of the country from joining in Open Software, and contributing to it's growth because they see it as a potentially serious threat. With regard to the conments he made regarding Free software, I think he is blatantly wrong, because all the major distros of Gnu/Linux can be downloaded off the Internet for absolutely no cost, and there are loads of help pages, manuals, and How Tos to help you find your way around.... not to mention the numerous forums and usenet groups for newbies.... All in all, it was a very naive and uninformed statement made by an employee of the richest firm on the pace of this blessed planet.