Coffee Maker?

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I was just looking at the list of links on the right side of my blog, and realized that the fiction section at first glance, could seem to read - "In the hands of the coffee maker"
He he! I feel another blog coming on...

The Magical Powers Of A Ringtone!

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: ,
Cellphone Ringtones can now get your attention in more ways than one. Apparently, a Japanese man named Hideto Tomabechi, has come up with a new ringtone that is supposed to, get this, enhance the breasts of those who listen to it!

I mean, really! The guy claims that it's based on scientific principles. And as if that wasn't enough, some women who've tried it, say it works!

Today, it's ringtones. Tomorrow, some Smart-Alec musician is going to write a song that does the same for his girlfriend. Soon, all the musicians will be doing it. Classical musicians will come out and say how they've been producing music for centuries that has the same effect. We'll even have Breast-Enhancement Concerts!

Can't say that you'll find more women than men at such concerts, though. Men tend to be scientifically inclined, if you know what I mean, and will probably want to watch the effects of the music, live.

Whatever the effects, keep the damned ringtone away from me. I have enough complications in life, and the problem of choosing the right bra, is one I'm not interested in.

The original news article.

Thanks to Abhishek and Gizmodo for the info.

Old friends

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Four years ago, when the internet was still young, a friend of mine who I'd not met for ten years - Jayant V, decided to look for me on Hotmail. And he found me.

Today, I'm thinking of so many of my other friends from Kuwait, who I never even got a chance to say good-bye to. Childhood friends who I've not seen for atleast 14 years. I'm wondering where they are now.

So, since finding someone on Hotmail today is not exactly the best way to go, and google turns up too many results and expects you to remember the names exactly, I thought I'd put their names up here and hope someone who knows them would help them get in touch with me.

In no particular order -

Amit (Gupta?) - He had two brothers - Rohit and Sumit, I think - and a baby sister whose name I don't remember.
Amit Thakkar - I think he'd been studying in a hostel in India a number of years before 1990. He'd come home to his parents once in a while.
Dushyant Bansal - a.k.a Pintoo. Was in Vashi last time I heard. His family left Kuwait to come to India on vacation the night before Saddam invaded - 1st August 1990. And they didn't have an inkling of what was about to happen. (My family was already on vacation and we were supposed to return to Kuwait on the 2nd of August. Saved by a day)
Puneet - The hindi teacher's son (Deshpande? Probably) Also class topper.
Upaneesh - Also one of the class toppers. Probably in the other class, since I only remembering being in the same class with him in sixth or seventh standard.
Savio Gomes - English teacher's son. She was our teacher in fifth standard I think.
Neeti and Chhavi - I forget their last name. Their mom was my Hindi teacher in third or fourth standard, I think. Neeti's real name was Aditi. Chhavi's name was probably Bhavna (forgive me for forgetting). The three of us used to play as kids. I realize now that it didn't make much of a difference to me at that time, that my first friends were girls... Neeti had once colored-in a kangaroo in a coloring book I had. She'd used brown pencil color. I think it was quite neatly done. Angry that she'd dared to color in my book, I painted on it using green water color. Thankfully, my artistic sensibilities have improved over the years. Atleast I think so.
Viraj Tipnis - A year older than my brother, he lived in the next block of the building.
Deepak and Sumit Singh - Deepak used to rip out the d.c.-motors from the remote control cars we had, and make other remote control cars out of them. We all used to play on the terrace and go bicycling together. This was mainly during Ramzaan, since all the parking lots would be empty in the afternoons, and made for great cycling-spots. We had names for all the spots, though "sandy place" is the only name I remember... These two, Viraj, me, my brother Vicky, and probably one or two others, would ride our bicycles mounted with big rubber bands sling-shot style, and a small bag of paper bullets attached to the handle. I forget the point of that game...
Tony - Sat next to me in class the three months I was in Kuwait during seventh standard.
Kunal - I guess his mom taught Social Studies in our school.
Dolfrey - I'm probably spelling her name wrong. She started studying in India quite early on and I don't think I saw her after first standard. And anyway, she was a woman. By then I was going through the "I don't like women" stage. Thankfully, it only lasted around three weeks...
Prashant Jha - a.k.a Shimpu. He had a sister, I guess. His mom used to make the most amazing "butta sabzi" - an Indian preparation with Corn as the main ingredient.
Hakim and Farhana Electricwala - Not too sure about the last name, though. They lived on the same floor as us in our old building. Their elder sister (Sabera?) got married about a year or so after they moved into our building. Don't remember her at all. They were both older than me atleast by a couple of years but their first week in school (I was probably not even in first standard then), I would lead them to the right bus. Made me feel all grown up...
Vinu - Can't remember his full name. We'd play catch in the mornings, I guess, while we waited for the school bus.

And does anyone remember Motu? You know, the fat Arab kid in my building who used to bully all of us until someone broke his glasses. (Or was it him that broke my glasses? Memory... plays a lot of tricks on you) My brother and he became quite good friends, later.

More names, as I remember them.

So, anyone of you out there?

Linus and the penguin

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Ever wondered why Linus chose the penguin as the logo for Linux? I came across an old article again, which has a small write-up about Linus's thoughts about Tux.

Here it is.

Let me know if you think this post belongs on Geek Whorled, my other, practically dead, blog.

In the mean time

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
A few years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to this wonderful country song that is so simple, it takes your breath away. It's called "Love, Me" and it's by Collin Raye.

I read a note my grandma wrote
back in nineteen twenty-three.
Grandpa kept it in his coat,
and he showed it once to me.
He said, Boy, you might not understand,
but a long, long time ago,
Grandma's daddy didn't like me none,
but I loved your Grandma so.
We had this crazy plan to meet
and run away together.
Get married in the first town
we came to, and live forever.
But nailed to the tree
where we were supposed to meet, instead
I found this letter,
and this is what it said:

If you get there before I do,
don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through;
I don't know how long I'll be.
But I'm not gonna let you down,
darling wait and see.
And between now and then,
till I see you again,
I'll be loving you.
Love, me.

I read those words just hours before
my Grandma passed away,
In the doorway of a church
where me and Grandpa stopped to pray.
I know I'd never seen him cry
in all my fifteen years;
But as he said these words to her,
his eyes filled up with tears.

If you get there before I do,
don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through;
I don't know how long I'll be.
But I'm not gonna let you down,
darling wait and see.
And between now and then,
till I see you again,
I'll be loving you.
Love, me.

Between now and then,
till I see you again,
I'll be loving you.
Love, me.

What a wonderful way of saying that when you love someone, you wait for them...

The Glory Of Life

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
What would you say, if I told you that I'd never seen the sky? Or felt the earth beneath me. Or heard the waves in the ocean?

What would you say if I told you that my eyes had never shown me colour, my skin had never told me how it feels to touch a loved one, and that my ears had never told me what music is like?

What would you say if I told you that my brain had always been locked away from my body, never seeing, never feeling, never hearing, never really knowing? That I know everything I know, like a computer has data? That a mountain, to me, only meant a series of numbers that indicate varying heights that reach their maximum near the center? That a sunset meant a big hot sphere disappearing behind a line, without even knowing what a sphere, a line or hot really are? That words were just a collection of letters that seem to make sense together, but only to express the meanings of the numbers that I know about?

What would you say if I told you that I had never had a conversation with anyone but myself?

What would you say if I told you that all my life I'd been living in a shell, and not just metaphorically?

What would you say if I told you that after a lifetime of living inside my mind, I can finally see, hear, touch, and feel? That after a lifetime I can finally experience the glory of existence? That for the first time I know what the night sky looks like?

You know what I said?

I said, "Oh crap!"

Good old Manhattan

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I went to meet my friend (also my distant cousin) on the weekend. He lives in New Jersey, and it takes a little more than a couple of hours to get to his place from mine, if I take the trains. I have to travel through Manhattan to get there.

Stepping into good ole NYC brought a wonderful feeling. I forgot the entire tiring experience of the previous week once I was there. Landed at Grand Central first, and then had to take the Subway to Broadway and 28th to drop a package for someone who would then deliver it to my uncle. Almost made me feel like a mobster... :)

Taking the 7 to Times Square itself was wonderful. The musicians were still there. A dose of music as you pass from one train to the other. I used to actually take my earphones off my ears to listen to their music as I passed by them on my way to work.

The pulse of life in the city is something you can feel immediately. It was like millions of volts of electricity revving me up, and preparing me to get anywhere I wanted to. The magic of the subway.

Of course, not everyone feels that way. I guess it's a city thing...

Lesson for the week

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
If you're going to move to Valhalla, White Plains, Elmsford or some area in the vicinity, I have one thing to say to you. Don't. Unless, of course, you know exactly where you are going to live, and how (and how much) you're going to pay for it. Having a vague idea about it is not in your best interests.

For the past two weeks since I've been here my friend StressLevels has been keeping me company, RestAndRelaxation has been coming and going, and SenseOfHumour seems to have found a new best friend. I don't even see him anymore...

House-hunting: Celestial Conversations - XIV

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Soul Proprietorship: Celestial Conversations - XIII
God: Hello?
Me: Hi, God.
God: Hi. I was looking for you.
Me: Really?
God: Yes, I need some help.
Me: You need some help? From me?
God: Yes. Are you looking for a roommate?
Me: I'm sorry?
God: Are you looking for a roommate?
Me: Well, not really. Why?
God: Oh, my landlord threw me out, so I need a place to stay.
Me: Your landlord threw You out?
God: Yes. So it would be very helpful if you could tell me about someone I could room with until I have this accomodation thing worked out.
Me: But You're God!
God: Well what does that have anything to do with it?
Me: You're God!
God: You now sound like a broken record. Can't you try to be of some help instead?
Me: I mean who ever heard of God not having a place to live?
God: That's what my landlord said when he kicked me out. So, can you help me?
Me: Well, actually, any place of worship is generally considered a House of God.
God: Oh, that didn't work. They threw Me out too. I tried temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, tabernacles, even pyramids!
Me: I don't think Pyramids are technically places of worship.
God: They aren't?
Me: I don't think so.
God: Interesting.
Me: But everyone threw You out?
God: Yes. They claimed they were places of worship, not homeless shelters.
Me: They thought You were a homeless person?
God: I am, aren't I?
Me: Yes, but... You know... You're not a homeless person!
God: Have you been listening? That's exactly what I am.
Me: No, I mean... I mean where is God expected to stay if not a House of God?
God: That's what I said. I didn't really understand the answer. It was something about it being like expecting to find justice in court or something...
Me: Oh, forget it...
God: Easy for you to say. I've been sleeping on park benches for the past few days.
Me: Park Benches?
God: Yes. And even there I have some people telling me that certain benches belong to them!
Me: That must be some experience.
God: Not a very good one.
Me: I'm sure.
God: So, can you help me?
Me: I'd like to, but unfortunately, we don't really have any space currently.
God: At this time I think I'm supposed to use a lame line like "People don't have any space for God in their hearts even" or something.
Me: That's pretty lame.
God: I know.
Me: So what are You going to do, then?
God: Get a real estate agent, I guess.
Me: That's probably a good idea. But what about the rest?
God: The rest of what?
Me: Residents of Heaven?
God: Currently, my boy, there is no Heaven.
Me: Right, so where's everyone else?
God: Hell, of course.
Me: You sent everyone to Hell?
God: Yes, I thought it would be a nice experience for everyone.
Me: But Hell?
God: It's not as bad as it sounds, you know.
Me: It's not?
God: You should look at the mosquito problem at some of the popular vacation spots. The least you can say about Hell is that they have no mosquitoes.
Me: Oh. So why don't you stay there too?
God: God in Hell? It goes against the principle of the thing, man.
Me: Right.
God: Anyway. I'll be heading off. I have an appointment with a real estate guy in an hour.
Me: Well, All the best.
God: Thanks. I'll need it. Bye.
Me: Bye.

Next: Return Of The... King? : Celestial Conversations - XV


on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: ,
Finally got myself a copy of Mil Millington's "Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About" - the novel based on the website of the same name. I've been looking for this book for the past two months. Finally found it at the Borders bookstore at Westchester Pavilion (in White Plains). If you live somewhere close by (White Plains or Valhalla in NY) then this store is a must see. It's got this amazing collection of books. Just the Literature/Fiction section has more than 15 shelves, each of which is atleast eight to nine feet high, and four feet wide. Amaaaazing!

Budding Poet...

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I submitted a story to Sulekha 12 weeks ago, today (I may have mentioned this before) and sent them yet another mail yesterday asking what had happened to it. Today they responded with a "We will be publishing your beautiful poem very shortly".

I mean it's one thing to tell someone that their prose is sheer poetry, and quite something else to call a story a poem. Don't you think?


on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I was pretty stunned to find comments on the net about Celestial Conversations of this kind - "one of the funniest blogs I've ever read".

This is good for my ego, but bad for my blood pressure since it makes me worry about the reactions of people who, being somewhat impressed by that particular piece decide to read some of my other stuff. Stuff which I specifically think is not very interesting, and that I've written just so that I don't lose the habit of posting.

Considering that, I would really like to apologize about some of the sequels which are really not funny, and instead, quite annoying to say the least. So, I've decided to put these conversations on hold while I'm recuperating from my writer's block. (Actually, it's not so much writer's block as it is time to think but you get the idea)
I do intend continue blogging though, so don't go away!

Search this blog with google

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I'm not sure if anyone has noticed this, but all blogspot blogs now have a Blogger NavBar on the top (This has been true for a couple of months now, of course, but it never hurts to point this out :) ).

Using the Search box allows the reader to search for text within a blog, thus pulling up posts to which you might not have the permalink. There's also the "Next blog" button which randomly takes you to another blog on blogspot. My only crib with that is the potential of landing on a malicious blog. You know, one with viruses, trojans, etc.

Discworld goes on...

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: ,
Before coming to the US, handed over my collection of 24 Discworld books (by Terry Pratchett) and 3 other Terry Pratchett books, to my cousin. I bought my 25th Discworld book today. Thief of time. I'm still missing Lords and Ladies. But I won't be buying that any time soon.

Read "Day of Confession" by Allan Folsom on the flight. That is, read the first 485 pages. Still working on finishing the last 70 pages. But no time. Wonder if the thief of time has anything to do with it...

Anonymous messages

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
When I started blogging on Sulekha, someone called Jyotsna from Bangalore (I assume this from the email address) sent me a message asking me if I'm the same Rajesh Advani from TSEC 99 batch. I tried replying to her, except that her email address bounced.

I mean how do you respond to such messages? People say stuff, expect you to respond, and then leave no forwarding address. What do you do?

One of the messages left on my site, I actually tried tracing the location using an IP address. I narrowed it as much as a single building in Bangalore. My own company. Even at that resolution, it could probably be any one of 300-600 people.

Know what? I think I'm just jet-lagged.

I soooo hate travelling on short notice

Posted by Rajesh J Advani
September 3rd, 2004: I'm in India. I reach office at 8:20am, going about doing things I usually do, and ready to go to breakfast. I find out I'm leaving for the US. In two days.

September 7th, 2004: I land at JFK airport.

I don't like living out a suitcase. I don't like not having a permanent home. When I see the words "permanent address", all I can do is laugh.

And, I don't like this jet lag thingy either.

And what I hate most is having to access the internet over dial-up. I mean three hours to download a Norton Internet Security LiveUpdate? Sheesh! And that too, with Norton interrupting my surfing every couple of minutes to tell me someone's remotely trying to access my computer. (Yes, I know, I can turn the prompt off, but you never know when you might actually want a remote computer to access your computer, right? And then who has the patience to unblock that machine?)


Anyway. Just wanted to explain why this blog's been dead for the past week. :)

Just settling in here. Will be back to daily blogging soon, I hope.

Soul Proprietorship: Celestial Conversations - XIII

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Population Control: Celestial Conversations - XII
Me: Hello?
SecretaryOfGod: Yes?
Me: Oh, good. I was hoping to catch you.
SecretaryOfGod: Yes?
Me: Pinky?
SecretaryOfGod: Excuse me?
Me: Oh, I'm sorry. I was just checking. You never know who you might really be chatting with.
SecretaryOfGod: I'm not sure what you mean, but I've decided to take offense to that statement.
Me: Oh, please, no. I didn't mean to cause any offence. I'm sorry.
SecretaryOfGod: Well, then get on with it.
Me: Well, it's like this. God was telling me yesterday, that only a few souls actually get into heaven or hell.
SecretaryOfGod: Of course! Can you imagine the accommodation problem if we let every soul in? Do you have any idea about the cost of real estate these days?
Me: It's pretty high apparently. I wouldn't really know, though. I don't own any property.
SecretaryOfGod: Well then this is definitely as good a time to invest as any.
Me: Oh. Rates are low, are they?
SecretaryOfGod: Low? Ha!
Me: Then why were you advising me to invest?
SecretaryOfGod: Because they're not getting any lower!
Me: Oh.
SecretaryOfGod: Now did you have something to ask me, or not? I don't have all day.
Me: Well, it's like this. If all souls don't go to either heaven or hell, then, errr... where do they go?
SecretaryOfGod: What?
Me: I mean, I believe trillions of people have lived on this planet till now.
SecretaryOfGod: Yes?
Me: So, where are they now?
SecretaryOfGod: Dead, of course!
Me: I know that! But where are their souls?
SecretaryOfGod: Oh, that. Well, that's not a straight answer. They go a number of different ways.
Me: Different ways?
SecretaryOfGod: Of course. Everyone has different ideas about what to do with the afterlife.
Me: Oh?
SecretaryOfGod: Yes. Some of them just retire.
Me: Retire?
SecretaryOfGod: That's right. Retire.
Me: And what does that mean?
SecretaryOfGod: It means that they don't want to go through the process of living anymore. Life was enough.
Me: I'll pretend I understand.
SecretaryOfGod: That's nice of you. Some of them - and these are the annoying ones - try to become poltergeists.
Me: Really?
SecretaryOfGod: Yes. Not many succeed, though. It's quite a trick learning to affect the living world even when you are dead.
Me: Oh.
SecretaryOfGod: But that tends to be only a temporary pastime. Poltergeising is pretty exhausting. A few days of activity like that can tire a soul out for a couple of million years.
Me: That long?
SecretaryOfGod: In terms of eternity, it's not that much. It's like taking an afternoon nap.
Me: Oh.
SecretaryOfGod: Then, there's the lost souls.
Me: Lost?
SecretaryOfGod: Well, it's a euphemism, really. They're not really lost. Or even if they are, they have an eternity to find themselves. No. Lost Souls are actually only pranksters. They haunt houses and roads and such like.
Me: Oh.
SecretaryOfGod: Yes. But they do it part time. Which means that they work only in shifts. The night shift is a favourite of course. The other shifts don't have much job satisfaction.
Me: Job satisfaction?
SecretaryOfGod: What do you think? If you're going to haunt a house, you might as well do it properly. Or what would be the point?
Me: Oh.
SecretaryOfGod: Some of them recycle themselves.
Me: Recycle? Oh, you mean reincarnation.
SecretaryOfGod: Reincarnation? Of course, not. A new soul is created for every new body born. Otherwise the soul-sellers would go out of business. It's a different matter that the dominating soul is not always the new one. After all, the old ones have more experience. But I was talking about recycling. They go back to the moment they were born, and reoccupy themselves.
Me: Reoccupy?
SecretaryOfGod: Yes. It's called temporal repetition.
Me: But why?
SecretaryOfGod: You know how humans always want to go back and change the past? Well, it's a soul's natural tendency to want to go and correct things in their own past.
Me: So they go back in time and changethings?
SecretaryOfGod: Of course not. Everyone knows you can't change the past.
Me: Then why do they try?
SecretaryOfGod: Just dumb I guess. Tell someone an iron is hot, and he hasto touch it to be sure. And these souls go back to live again. Can you imagine how much trouble that is?
Me: Not really.
SecretaryOfGod: Imagine needing to get potty-trained all over again.
Me: Ew!
SecretaryOfGod: Exactly.
Me: Well, you were also talking about the new soul not always being in control and something about old souls. What was that about?
SecretaryOfGod: Oh. That's related to the last and largest group of souls. Most of them try to occupy other living beings. You can't change the past, but you can definitely change the future.
Me: So there are people with more than one soul?
SecretaryOfGod: People and fish. Some even make the mistake of entering mosquitoes.
Me: Mosquitoes?
SecretaryOfGod: I know. A pretty short life. Some souls are just born dumb I guess. They end up as mosquito souls. And then there's no turning back.
Me: Ouch. That must be quite sad.
SecretaryOfGod: Well a mosquito can't really be sad. Not enough brain for emotions. So they're pretty happy most of the time.
Me: Well, how can one tell if a person has more than one soul?
SecretaryOfGod: Well practically everyone has more than one soul. Souls do a lot of sharing. There isn't much humanity to go around.
Me: Everyone?
SecretaryOfGod: Of course! Some people are occupied by billions of souls.
Me: Billions? What'd be the point of sharing a body with billions of other souls?
SecretaryOfGod: I told you. Souls are just naturally dumb. The funny thing is, that the lesser the number of souls occupying a body, the more likely that it'll get noticed. You humans call them people with multiple-personality disorders.
Me: Oh!
SecretaryOfGod: Right. People with many more personalities seem more normal. Because there's so many of them inside, that it becomes one constant hum of soulness.
Me: This is quite disturbing. And confusing.
SecretaryOfGod: That confusion? It's a sign that some of the souls in you are telling your brain to think one thing, and the rest, something else.
Me: Help!
SecretaryOfGod: Everyone needs it.
Me: I think I'm getting another one of those headaches...
SecretaryOfGod: A headache, of course...
Me: No! Don't tell me! I'm leaving.

[Me has logged off]

SecretaryOfGod: He he!

[SecretaryOfGod has changed his name to TheDevil]

TheDevil: That was fun!

Next: House-hunting: Celestial Conversations - XIV

Population Control: Celestial Conversations XII

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Labels: , , , ,
First: Celestial Conversation
Previous: Big Daddy: Celestial Conversations XI
Me: Hello?
God: Hello.
Me: God?
God: Yes?
Me: (phew) I think I spoke to Your daughter yesterday.
God: You did?
Me: Yes. She was logged in as Your secretary.
God: She was?
Me: Yes. She said she was six years old, called You Daddy and said You'd gone to get her some ice-cream.
God: Oh, you mean Pinky!
Me: Yes.
God: I'm sorry, with all living things being called Children of God, I had no idea which daughter you were talking aout.
Me: All living things?
God: It wasn't my idea.
Me: Oh, so Pinky isn't really Your daughter?
God: I thought we just decided that she is.
Me: No, I mean actual daughter.
God: Actual?
Me: You know, seed-of-Your-loins kind of daughter?
God: Seed of... Oh! Ha ha! No, no, no! Where'd you get that idea?
Me: Well, she called You Daddy.
God: That's just kid-speak for 'Father'. Of Father, Son and Holy Spirit fame.
Me: Oh. So are there lots of children in heaven?
God: Oh, lots. So many that we don't have enough adults to take care of them.
Me: More children than adults?
God: Of course. It's difficult finding adults with no sins to their name.
Me: Oh. How many adults do You have in heaven?
God: I think at last count, it was... let me check... fourteen.
Me: Fourteen??? That's it?
God: Yes. Well it was fifteen until last week, but then Gandhi defected.
Me: Defected?
God: Yes. He said he'd had enough of abstinence.
Me: But... but... trillions of human beings have probably died on earth. How can heaven only have fourteen?
God: It's not easy following all the ten commandments, you know. Even Gandhi had taken my name in vain a number of times. He only got through because he came highly recommended. And he's already defected.
Me: So all the other trillions go to Hell?
God: Of course not. The population of hell is approximately two hundred and seventy-eight.
Me: Then where do the rest of them go?
God: I have absolutely no idea.

Next: Soul Proprietorship: Celestial Conversations - XIII


Posted by Rajesh J Advani
I'm Google-able!

Which means, of course, that if you search for my name in Google (even without the middle initial) I'm on the first page that Google returns. (this has been true for a number of months now, of course)
The reason this is good, is because this way old friends who I have no way of contacting anymore, can just look me up and try to reach me via this great thing they call the World Wide Web.
A old friend of mine (last saw or heard from him 5 years ago) actually did exactly this.
A few years ago, a friend I'd not seen or been in touch with for over 10 years, reached me by searching my mail-provider's white pages. I rarely use that account, so it was a surprise to see his name there. The chap was sitting in Singapore. I met him a few months later when he was passing through this city.

It's crazy, isn't it? The way you can have no idea where someone you knew long ago is, and then suddenly, one search in Google, and there you are!

The world is definitely getting smaller.