How people at the top think

This higher up you climb the corporate ladder, the more we train our minds to think binary.

From ‘choosing one amongst the many options’ as we often do for ground work, we rise up the ladder only to decide ‘Can this be done or can this NOT be done?’ There is hardly enough room at the top for explanations. No one wants a lecture for a Yes answer, neither for a No answer.

Just one of the random thoughts that crossed my mind while at work.


The Accordion player – Jimmy McGuinness

Sometimes certain strangers make a mark on our minds even without us having any conversation with them. Their appearance, their behaviour, talent and a myriad of other things about them may attract us to them and make us their secret admirers.

For the past few weeks, during our evening strolls by Brisbane River, Shobha and I have been observing an old, petit man playing the accordion and filling the pleasant smelling air of Brisbane with unadulterated romance. The melodious sound emanating from his accordian drew my attention sharply towards him every time I spotted him. I stood by him each time for a few seconds and appreciated his music and dropped a dollar or two into his flat cap laid on the ground. I mentioned to Shobha how much I liked him playing and how I wished to just put up a chair in front of him,close my eyes and get absorbed in the pure magic of romantic music he composed.

We saw him three times in the past three weeks: twice by the river side, and once on Edward street. There was one thing I noticed about passers-by. As they went past him, they turned towards him, smiled and walked away with a smile. Some nodded their heads while looking at him in appreciation of his music. I felt happy that he is able to see that his music was being appreciated.

Today, we saw him again by the riverside. And I admitted to Shobha that I wished to speak to him or atleast have a pic clicked with him. I dropped a dollar into his flat cap again and we sat on a platform right in front of him and watched him play the music, with the splendid Story Bridge to his back. Shobha broke into a conversation with him.

We learned his name was Jimmy McGuinness.A 65 year old Kiwi pensioner, Jimmy took to playing the accordion when he was eight. He mentioned that he has played in Wellington, Brisbane and also Ireland. Shobha found Jimmy very cute. And why not? He indeed looked cute. Down is his picture. I feel Jimmy’s distinct style of dressing is just right for the instrument he plays.Jimmy carried a small suitcase with him which contained few laminated newpapers cuttings with his picture besides other things. He was excited to show us the newspapers cuttings from New Zealand. They were nicely laminated and showed Jimmy McGuninness playing the accordion on a variety of occassions, one of which I vidly remember was Valentine’s day.

Jimmy McGuinness – making magic with his Accordian

Jimmy told us that he will leave for New Zealand after a couple of days and that he won’t be back until next year. I thanked God for letting me talk to Jimmy just before he was about to leave Australia. I did not know he was going to leave before we spoke. We had seen him three times before and each time I had hoped to see him again. We met for the fourth time today. We talked. And all this happened just before he was leaving. It feels special indeed that I did not miss the chance to talk to him lest I would have been left assuming that something happened to him if I wouldn’t have spotted him again on the streets of Brisbane.

With Jimmy McGuinness – last one before we meet again
Shobha with Jimmy

We shook hands with each other as we took his leave.It started raining slightly.Jimmy said, ‘This will pass away soon’. The rain indeed stopped soon. So did the moments of conversation with the ‘accordion player’.

An evening with Antoine on Spring hill

Antoine had invited me and my wife to dinner. This turned out to be one of the best evenings spent so far in Brisbane.

Everything was very fine about this evening. Antoine’s warm and cordial company was matched very well by his simple but delicious pasta and Greek salad with a glass of Vina Rosa. Antoine remarked that he did not cook very often and so he asked us whether we liked the food. I rated him a 10 on 10 and Shobha wanted to give him an 11! He found it flattering and felt that we were just being good and courteous guests. Then I did something which in my opinion is always the best expression of appreciating  good tasting food. I got up and took a second helping – almost as much in quantity as in the first serve. He was overwhelmed and felt happy.  Considering that he spends most evenings by himself ( because his family lives in Sydney ), this was indeed a happy evening for him in our company.

Antoine setting the table
Auto-click! Guten Apetit!

The dinner concluded with Vanilla ice-cream on Apple pie and a cup of hot, black Dilmah.

We then sat in his balcony and chatted for a while before Shobha and I took his leave. One of the finest evenings, truly.

The Story bridge looked splendid – with blue diamond like lights – on our way back home. The way back home was noisy! Three reasons for this – One: today concludes the Brisbane festival which had started on September 3,Two: This is a Saturday night, Three – And this is important – Tomorrow is ‘National Sleep in’ day in Australia in support of people afflicted with mitochondrial disease ( who have no choice about being bed ridden ). God bless them all and give them strength.


6 balls and that was it…..

So, I wanted to play today evening.So I did. Left early from work. Got a change at home and rushed to stop 67 at Queen st approaching Ann St.

Bus wait : 15 minutes

Bus journey to Finsbury park where nets were : 20 minutes

Locate park in a quiet dark Brisbane suburb with every second household having a ‘Beware of dangerous dog’ board : 10 minutes

Play Cricket : Just 8 minutes.

After reaching the nets, I gathered one of the balls and began bowling to Matt who was batting then.By the time I bowled 6 balls the club called it a day since other players had started as early as 5pm and I reached only at 7:10pm. Now that wasn’t the best thing to have happened after the long wait I endured for my wrist to heal. Recovering from wrist pain  is waiting game. I wanted to see if I had recovered from it. The six balls I got to bowl at Matt weren’t my best; I could have been better with improved line and length!

Nevertheless, I am determined to make it to the nets next Wednesday and then to play the second test for Ashgrove.

One of the Test matches for Ashgrove
One of the Test matches for Ashgrove

Axiom on meeting room availability

I now state this axiom:

Meeting rooms are available in abundance, at least one to state the least, when you’re least inclined to participate in a meeting. On the other hand, they are almost always in scarcity when you want to call a meeting; when you finally get one, that one may not have a phone and that has to be a meeting when at least one or more participants would be dialing in.

An Open Kitchen

The best guarantee of good and  hygienically  prepared food that a restaurant can offer to its patrons is an open kitchen – the one where patrons can see what and how the chef is cooking.

Shobha and I just returned from Vapiano on Albert lane. The food was delicious – her Pomodro E Spinaci, a pasta so tomatoish and abundantly showered with baby spinach and my traditional, safe bet choice of Margherita Pizza went into us just as fast they were cooked. Loved the experience of watching the chef cooking our orders! As I watched, the sentences of the opening para crossed my mind and made me hungrier than I was before entering the doors of Vapiano. At the dining tables, there were potted herbs – perhaps Basil. Another one of my favourite among greens.

We concluded our dinner with dolci – death by chocolate. Not so impressive. But no regrets;I’d have never turned to Italian cuisine for dolci anyway. The Ps are just enough to keep the glutton in me active.

“We will come here again”, I told Shobha as we left Vapiano after paying the bill.

‘fuser’ comes handy on Unix


Memoir from quiet days at Rockhampton –

Ever faced a problem of an indefinite loop in a process that writes to a log file like mad? Worse still – you don’t know which process is writing to the file? Ok, even if you think life is simple and delete the file assuming disk space gets freed up?

I have felt a dog chasing its own tail while solving this problem in a production environment.

A simple ‘rm’ command may not necessarily free up disk space used by an ever growing file since the inode for the file [ which is a pointer to the disk ] may be still kept open by the process that is writing the data and disk space would not be freed.

Follow steps below


fuser -f <filename>

would list process ids that are still accessing the file. These process ids must be killed.


cp /dev/null > <filename>

would empty the file out and free up space. This reflects in inode as well!

Alternatively, on GNU Linux, simply

fuser <filename>

does the job equally well.

Why does the template come after the document?

In just the same way as most realizations dawn upon our minds to express the ‘Perhaps, I should have….’ wishes, document templates form after atleast one draft.

This morning,Scene 1:

Boss comes to me and asks for status. 20 minutes later I mail him status sheet.

Scene 2:

Boss comes to me and says, I want this column to be removed, and another one to be added which must contain unique values dit,dit and dah!


How difficult was it to convey at first what was needed exactly?


Status sheet now has a template.

To play or not to not really the question

Rather the question is where will I get a Cricket gear from even if I decide to play hoping that my wrist does not give up? Buying a cricket gear doesn’t sound like a healthy investment in a foreign country while on deputation. There may not be a used cricket gear market to sell it off before I depart.

All I can ask for is  borrow cricket gear from the club – sans the abdominal cup, of course!

God, I wish to play, I wish to bowl.