This one now to top it all. Indo-china competition is nothing new. From a full blown war to differences that span from border issues to space technology, tension certainly isn’t new between the two countries. But unlike the constant tension that underlies every venture with Pakistan, (cricket or hockey or resumption of bus-travel ties) Indians are as a rule, more cautious in their dealings with China with neither side openly hostile. Indeed, in recent times, economic reasons have brought the two countries closer, and a day may yet come when the subcontinent is not a three-way tug-of-war.

But that day is not today. China’s strengths lie in its massive industrial growth in recent years and its huge but cautiously open market that Western investors have started banking on. India has however concenterated its efforts into improving its “information technology” initiatives, and with an advantage in having a massively English-literate population, it is far ahead of China in second tier backends often so much so that some American states had to have new legislation prohibiting outsourcing of jobs. Information technology, however, cannot feed everybody’s mouths and India’s industrial initiatives are far from even being labeled “satisfactory.”

As an Indian, I do have something to add. We have our strengths, but there are always stronger people around. Trying to boss around others (as somebody is doing right now) may not always work. There are a lot of Indians I know who think that we should be the undisputed power in this region of the world. I, for one, do not mind playing second fiddle. To China, to Pakistan, or to any other country which happens to come by. As long as our interests are preserved, false pride should be thrown out the window.

There’s idealism and then there is politics. While I admire many of our foreign policies right now, I do not know how long India will have so an open, considerate government. India does have the power to bully a lot of countries, I just hope it doesn’t do so.

Jim Carey

“You love animals, don’t you?”

“If it gets cold enough.”

– Jim Carey, from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective.

Though many people will categorize his humor as vulgar and his acting abilities as overrated, Carey still performs his best (and more) for the Ace Ventura series (which I adore) and his acting in The Truman Show is certainly above par, though admittedly not brilliant. However, he is not my favorite comedian, that honor would go to someone else.


Today I solved a rather interesting problem: To find (and display) all the combinations that can be formed from a word. Suppose the word entered is “abc,” the output would be “abc acb bac bca cab cba.” A little Combination theory in Mathematics would tell you that if the length of the word is n, the number of combinations that can be formed from that word is n! (i.e, factorial of n.) In the above case, it is 3! or 3x2x1 = 6.

I went about solving the problem in Pascal, and it certainly isn’t the language you want to program in for these kind of tasks. However, today it wasn’t my choice in the matter, so: Pascal it was. An explanation of the solution is given below (not the actual source code):

I used three functions for the task: combinationOf(word, stub), shuffle(word), and strip(position, word). combinationOf displays all the combinations of the word using recursion. shuffle (which shifts the word one position to the right, i.e, changes “abc” to “bca” and “bca” to “cab”) and strip (which strips the alphabet corresponding to the digit i.e, strip(1, “abc”) => “bc”) are helper functions called from combinationOf.

The crux of the code (which may not be valid Pascal) is given below:

function combinationOf(word: string, stub: string) : string;
var i: integer;
var prestub: string;
for i := 1 to length(word) do
prestub := word[i];
if(length(strip(i, word)) = 2) then
write(stub, preStub);
write(stub, preStub);
stub := stub + prestub;
combinationOf(shuffle(strip(i, word)), stub);