Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Funny Hindi poem on exercise

 एक दिन हुआ ये संयोग

सीखने चले हम भी योग


पहले प्राणायाम कराया

फिर टीचर ने गले लगाया

इतनी गहरी होगी सांस

हमको कब था ये आभास?


पद्मासन ने छक्के छुड़ाए

टांगें कोई कैसे सधाये ?!

पैर करें न वार्तालाप

हम ही करते चले विलाप!  

आ- आ – आ के साथ

पद्मासन न छोड़े जान


“चलो तुम्हें कुछ सरल सिखाएँ”

गुरु ने ये तेवर अपनाए

सूर्य नमस्कार करें आरंभ

सरल हो योग से संबंध

किन्तु सूर्य नभ-पथिक हैं

उनका  नमन बहुत कठिन है!


गुरु अब हौले से मुस्काए

अपना ब्रह्मास्त्र ले आए

“आपके लिए है एक ही आसन”

कह कर सिखाया शवासन!

हम भी हो गए तुरंत प्रसन्न!

गुरु को किया कोटि नमन!

Friday, November 19, 2021

On the repeal of farm laws

 Woke up to the news of repeal of farm laws. Either Punjab has made its second big mistake today, or Amrinder Singh has just secured the kingdom of Punjab.

Punjab's first big mistake was not making drugs a political issue. Both political parties in Punjab were making money from drugs and transport. That explains the suboptimal rail network in Punjab. 

Last year's govt procurement in Punjab sent a clear signal - Record procurement was done from the non-protesting regions of Punjab and minimal procurement from the protesting regions. 

Someone then told me that maybe this is part of a secret pact with Amrinder. That changes things completely. Because with this masterstroke, the Maharaja of Patiala (Amrinder Singh is the descendant of the Maharaja of Patiala and also would have been the holder of that title if the titles had not been legally abolished) has secured the kingdom of Punjab forever. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

More One Liners

 उसकी नाक उसकी अक्ल से ज़्यादा बड़ी थी। 


Ignorance, Embellished with arrogance, usually calls itself wisdom or experience.  In the worst case scenario, both.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Bal Divas par Hasya Kavita

 कैसे-कैसे हैं क्या बताऊँ

मेरे गाँव के बालक

एक से एक नमूने सारे

भगवान हैं इनके पालक।


भोलू नाम से, काम से चालू

टिफ़िन छीने जैसे भालू


मोहन सबसे लड़ता है

किसी के मन नहीं बसता है


विद्या को न भाये किताब

कनकव्वे उड़ाएँ जनाब


विनोद नाम का लिया है ठेका

इसे कभी हँसता न देखा


रोशनी इतना सताती है

जीवन अंधियारा कर जाती है


सुभाषिणी के मुंह से निकलता

साक्षात भूराल (लावा)

सुशील के मुंह से निकले गाली

बिना किसी अंतराल


सबसे प्यारा नाम है धर्म

चोरी-झूठ हैं इनके कर्म


जो बच्चे मन के सच्चे हैं

वो मेरे गाँव न बसते हैं


जो बच्चे अक्ल के कच्चे हैं

वो कान कतरने में अच्छे हैं. 



Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Udaipur Travelogue

We were in Udaipur for a whirlwind 3D/2N holiday, which is hardly enough to explore the city. 

But, we learnt some valuable lessons on this journey, and that deserves to be documented. 

First, when we usually stay at a heritage property, it is so far removed from the main city that the sounds of the city never reach us. This time, thanks to last minute booking, we got a property that was pat in old Udaipur city. The arti from the nearby temple, the last day of Navratri celebration, everything reached our ears. It was so lovely to be out at midnight, just walking the tiny lanes of old Udaipur. 

The auto drivers we met were both very nice. The taxi drivers were the exact opposite. Because of the weather, it was great fun to get into an auto and just go all over town. We would love to do that again some day. Deepak, our Man Friday, went out of our way to be available whenever we called him, and did a lot to ensure we got everything we wanted. 

The taxi owners (they were self driving their cars) - Bablu and Raju, were both uniformly pathetic. They: 

A. Overcharged us

B. Did not understand what the guest would like. Routinely, they took us to places we did not like and completely missed places we would not have discovered if it wasn't for Google baba. Please avoid at least these 2 taxi drivers if you can. 

C. Specifically misguided us. Instead of saying "I do not want to go there" they said, "That is a complete walk way. Vehicles are not allowed there any more." I remembered that the City Palace gate is different. They took us to a gate from where we spent 100 rs per head extra on the golf cart, it took longer, and we had to buy an extra ticket for no reason. Another time, they took us to the Vintage car museum, we bought expensive tickets though we did not want to see the cars, and found that their recommendation of what we would find at that place was completely incorrect. Another time, I specifically checked with them if the amenities at Kumbhalgarh are clean, otherwise we can stop at a place before reaching. "Don't worry, everything is available. All amenities clean and accessible." Zilch. Zero. nada. We walked out of Kumbhalgarh within minutes of reaching. When you have been in a car for more than 1.5 hours, you do NOT want unclean amenities soon as you reach. 

D. Do not go to any expensive showrooms. Do NOT buy Semal ki rui ki rajai. It is a rip off. We bought it at twice the price of a regular Kapaas (cotton) ki rui ki rajai and it is in tatters within 15 days of being at home. Do NOT buy marble artifacts from showrooms. No one told us where we could get something for ourselves. 

E. When you search for properties on the internet, the Lalit does not come up at all. But The Lalit has a LOVELY property in Udaipur, near the Fateh Sagar lake. Isolated and beautiful. 

Things to do in Udaipur 

If, like us, you dig heritage properties and history, Kumbhalgarh and Haldi Ghati will be nice. Don't go to the private museum. Go straight to Haldi Ghati. After that, go further ahead, and you will find distilleries that make ark and gulab jal etc. We bought from there and it has been v nice. The Chaitri Gulab fragrance in particular is very lasting. 

Within Udaipur, the City Palace is the draw for the right reasons. Absolutely amazing. Do keep at least 2-3 hours for this one. Do invest in a guide. Do NOT respond to sexist jokes by the guide, esp about why is the lion smiling. 

We could not experience boating or the ropeway because the lakes were being cleaned after the festival, and because the ropeway was far too crowded for our liking. But if that's your thing, please do try them out. 

DO pluck the custard apples etc. on the way to Haldi Ghati. Do engage with the local children. Do see the local water harvesting wheels that you will encounter if you look closely. 

We also recommend the thalis very highly, esp if you love the thali system of eating. Natraj it was for us. 

Ceiling of the Udaipur City Palace courtyard

Pencil sketch of a section of the hotel

Our ceiling


View from the room 

We also spent an entire evening just walking the tiny lanes of Udaipur old city and it was nice. We were there on the last day of Navratri, so there was all night praying and celebration. The lake was walking distance but we were too tired to walk by the lakeside, though have been told that that is good too. 

Our hotel was, as mentioned earlier, a proper old haveli, pat in the middle of the old city, and had a good view of the lake and the city palace. It was quiet, not crowded, and that suited us very well. 

THE Haldi Ghati

Our staircase at the hotel


सुनो, इस बार यूं करो 

ये 'मन का दीपक' रहने दो 

'अंदर का रावण' रहने दो 

सब ज्ञान की बातें रहने दो 

लड्डू खाओ, पेड़े खाओ, 

वो हेल्थी - वेलदी रहने दो 

बाज़ार जाओ, समान लाओ, 

ये ऑनलाइन - वॉनलाइन रहने दो 


पैर छुओ, गले मिलो, 

ये व्हाट्सप्प मैसेज रहने दो। 

खूब सजें, मन भर के हंसें,

अब ऐसी दिवाली करने दो। 

Thursday, November 04, 2021

हिन्दी बाल कविता दिवाली पर Hindi Poem on Diwali

 दीप ले कर आई दिवाली 

सबके मन को भायी दिवाली 

धनतेरस, गोवर्धन पूजा 

भाई दूज भी लायी दिवाली 

अनार, फूलझड़ी, और लड़ियाँ 

देखो जुड़तीं हंसी की कड़ियाँ 

बादाम, पतीसा, रसमलाई 

क्या-क्या अच्छा लायी दिवाली! 

मौसा मौसी मिलने आए 

हमारे लिये खिलौने लाए 

हम भी सब से मिलनें जाएँ 

चलो भई, आ गई दिवाली! 

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

The Case of altered LinkedIn algorithm

Once upon a time, a person called Reid Hoffman co-founded a website that would allow professionals to share their knowledge and experience with each other. Unlike industry specific websites, this one was for all professionals to connect with each other. 

The platform turned profitable within 3 years of launch and has, since inception, remained the world's no. 1 professional platform. 

In 2016, it was acquired by Microsoft at a valuation of 26.2 billion dollars. The leadership remained the same. 

Some changes were made to the UI then. These changes were criticised in the short term but the overall usage of the platform did not suffer. 

In 2019, Linkedin decided to change its algorithm. The key driver of the change was "engagement" - that elusive Utopia of networks. 

In its blog post,  Linkedin spoke about the technicals, but this article helps break it down, to some degree.

What we can understand is that underrepresented content creators will be given some algo space on the feed so their reach can grow, and community engagement will be one of the key drivers of what succeeds, and what does not. In short, the algo will learn what works and what does not. 

The intention, perhaps..

was to create a situation in which exceptional content created by any content creator, would be highlighted. In time, the best content would get traction normally, and the algo would learn what works and what does not. 

The program worked perfectly, but... 

So, what happened was exactly what was intended - content creators were given feed space. The best performing feeds were picked up by the algo and similar feeds were amplified in the future. 

The result of which was that images of Gods, personal stories of pathos, achievements of children, random polls, political jokes, and other assorted paraphernalia increased. In 2021, it is hard to tell whether one is scrolling Facebook or Linked in. 

The algo learnt perfectly. The humans behaved ... well, not as intended. 

The success of the algo was based on the assumption that users would only engage with professional content on a professional platform. That didn't happen. 

So, dear readers, please do not blame Linkedin for the perceived deterioration of your LI feed. This is what other humans want to see and read.  

Users who still value only professional content on LI, are called LI purists (and that is not a positive term).