Live and Express

Live and Express

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BrownOut 666 – a book about living in a foreign land

How would you reckon living in a country whose culture and ways are different from the way you are used to and far away from your native? You got to study and figure that out first before you go live there, isn’t it? Check out “Brownout 666” by John Richard Spencer, which gives a detailed preview of how it is to live in #Philippines as a foreigner and the challenges faced.

You can buy the book here:

The official book review at OnlineBookClub for the book is here:

Hope you enjoy the book!

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Encouraging Eco-friendly Commute/Work in Bengaluru

Corporates/companies in Bengaluru can look into encouraging environment-friendly commute/work options. Bengaluru needs individuals as champions to handle the challenges of bumper-to-bumper car traffic, as well as for taking care of the polluted environment.

In this direction, at a policy level, companies can think about facilitating the following

Bicycles to commute

  • Dedicated parking for bicycles/bikes at the campus.
  • Incentives/discounts/waivers for buying bicycle/bike related gear (personal body wear/helmets/hand gloves/guards etc.)
  • Recognize bicycle commuters through billboards/internal emails during company functions, etc.
  • Include a parameter in the performance ratings for CSR in which the employee is rewarded points for their bicycle commute.

Work from home

With the advent of cloud and desktop/laptop work monitoring apps, not everyone need to really come to the office. Many can work from home. This saves office space which can be allocated to newly hired people who need to be in the office.  This also increases productivity of the employee because of avoiding strenuous commute.  Dedicated work space at home with UPS and a steady internet connection can be arranged.

  • Facilitate Work From Home through Cloud technology (where the work does not involve physically handling hardware, physical signing in, etc.)
  • Include a parameter in the performance ratings for CSR in which the employee is rewarded points for Work from Home.

Public Transport

  • Incentives for BMTC and Metro users (free bus pass, free Metro refill upto a certain amount, etc)
  • Pickup buses from main Metro stations and BMTC bus stops by corporate buses
  • Include a parameter in the performance ratings for CSR in which the employee is rewarded points for using public transport.
  • Recognize public transport commuters through billboards/internal emails during company functions, etc.
  • Car pooling for employees going to the same area through cab companies
  • Company buses

Hope corporate/companies make these policies as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and make Bengaluru a better place to live in!

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The Awesome Page Of Millet Recipes Links!


There are several individual blogs and pages that have millet recipes.
I wanted to make a momma of all pages for the millet recipes, so that
you can get all at the same page!

To start with, I have compiled the currently active pages that have the
millet recipes. In the future, I want to update this blog into sections for
breakfast, lunch, dinner, sweets, occasional recipes, so that you can quickly
find the ones that you are looking for.

Here we go! :

Standard disclaimer: As with anything that you intake, you should consult with your doctor/nutritionist/dietitian on your personal health circumstances on what is appropriate for you.

Thank you!

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Millets: The Proso Pongal!

So, We had tasty, tasty Proso Pongal today!

What’s Proso Pongal? 🤐

Have you heard of Millets, by the way? Some of us would say No. Because we have forgotten.

Well, Millets is a staple food, just like rice and wheat. They consume just 10% of water compared to rice while production.

Millets are rich in micronutrients and better for health than rice and wheat – it releases sugar in the blood very slowly. Guess what that means? Less risk of diabetes and better diabetes management.

Now, about Proso Pongal… the recipe is the same as traditional rice Pongal, so no need to rack your brain!

Go get Proso Millet from your nearby retailer for around 70 rupees per kg. It’s a bit expensive than rice, but it’s all worth it considering the health benefits and the social cause of water conservation!

We have decided to skip rice Pongal from now on, and going for Millets Pongal at our home. How about you?!


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My Tryst With Pune – 1

3:30 AM – 5:00 AM

On a wet Thursday early morning, my flight to Pune from Bengaluru landed like ‘Bump-bump…bump….’ like an auto navigating a Bengaluru speed-breaker, as my inner self screamed ‘Nahinnnnnnnn…‘ like a Hindi movie heroine chased by the villain. I still remember my first international flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt (Thank you Delta!), which landed in Frankfurt like a finger on butter. Sigh….How do they even give flying license to these ‘Yahaan ka local temperature hai Pacheezz degree Centigrade’ kids?

My Ola cab driver was polite and very human. I used my Hindi skills to navigate him through the roads, At the end of the ride, the driver was reluctant to press the back button twice in the app. to get to the ‘end the ride’ screen. When I asked him to, he said ‘app bandh ho jayegee’. I said ‘Bhaiyaa, aap vo nahin karenge tho kithna paisa kaise pathaa hogaa’. He blinked and agreed to tap the back button twice to get to the swipe button.

Finally there I was, at 4:00 am in front of a heavily locked Secured Hostel Base Facility (I should not see FBI/CIA themed Hollywood movies often). Thanks to the organizer, who didn’t leave a phone number to call the manager, I was stranded with my suitcase, my backpack and my sweet self in a foreign town, surrounded by 4 dogs.

The dogs immediately accepted me as part of their tribe (at least as part of THAT part of the street tribe), didn’t make even a bit of a noise, and start sleeping as though nothing happened.  I sat down on the platform, and started browsing the very useful Facebook posts that my ‘friends’ had posted, and there comes this dog from the OTHER part of the street, which wants to re-establish the boundaries using ME as a Trump card.

Then starts this war between the two brotherhoods, which almost woke up that section of the town, with me standing watching in amusement. You should see to believe how the ‘home’ tribe was trying to protect me from foreign aggression with fiery fury!  Finally, the foreign army backtracked and I was able to continue my world’s important work with spurious interruptions.

(To be followed)


So much for Bangalore suburban trains…

Everybody knows that Bangalore has railway tracks that can connect to the nearby areas along the outer ring road periphery and beyond, and those tracks are under-utilized.  The citizens of Bengaluru have been demanding implementation of sub-urban trains on these tracks to ease the pain of commuters (even Metro infrastructure has proven insufficient because of the crowd) on the roads.  This demand has been there for almost 10 years now!

But South-Western Railways today says that it will take 10 more years to implement the doubling of tracks!  It clearly shows how disconnected the SWR officials are with the demand for sub-urban services.  It looks like they don’t care about the sufferings of the people. One reason or other is being quoted by them – funds, not getting co-operation, not enough land, and so on. But we all know that if there is a will, there is a way.  And SWR does not have exactly that – the will.

This issue has been raised at the Indian Railways level many times, and even the PM had been copied in the tweets. But to no result.

I hope that the necessary push will be given by the Central Government and through the MPs and MLAs to get this done as soon as possible.


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Software Testing: On Continous Testing

Software Testing is being heavily transformed thanks to the continuous integration and delivery. Customers demand speed. Also, customers are in the driver’s seat on how the software should be behave and how it should look like – right from the day one of the design. They are pretty closely engaged with the development and design team on their preferences. It makes sense. It would be worthless to build a product that the customer does not want.

But that brings challenges to the ‘Test’ personnel. Test personnel always need a point of reference to validate and verify if the software behaves as desired, and what is being built is right. But would the ‘test’ still have the voice to say if something is working as expected as the customer themselves is in the process of validating and verifying that?

Another aspect is automation. Verification is designed to be done mostly through automation as it is faster, so what would the automation verify against – when the requirements and specifications are themselves constantly changing? Would the requirements be amply captured in a business specification as part of BDD?  Would that be in a standard format that can be read by the automation and understood?

Today, there are some products in the market that promise ‘healing’ of the scripts based on the changes to the specifications. Would the healing be based on the business requirements documented somewhere (or) would it be the developer’s gut feel of how the software should look like?  If it is the latter, can it still be called ‘testing‘, as nothing is being ‘tested’ as such?

As you can see, there seems to be multiple ways in which everyone is going, and the testers’ jobs have become very difficult!  I think these discussions should continue in various test forums and opinions should be voiced.

We are in an exciting period of transformation, and that comes with a lot of responsibility. One thing is clear – if you are hired for test, your job is to make sure that the software behaves as per the customer requirements, irrespective of how fast they change!

All the best!

Love always!

Photo by NESA by Makers on Unsplash