Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I have done some of the wierdest things along with bhaiya but this one would be right at the top. We covered the stretch of Ahmednagar - Aurangabad - Daulatabad - Ellora - Aurangabad - Ajanta - Ahmednagar on a Bajaj Pulsar in some three days. The wierd thing was that we were going to cover some of the most famous World Heritage sites but forgot to bring a camera. The above polaroid photograph, taken in front of Ellora Caves is our only souvenir apart from those irreversible changes in the neuronal synapses that we call memory of a lifetime.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Somewhen last august, I completed 24 revolutions around that big hydrogen ball that they call the Sun. It was not exactly me. I was riding on a giant lump of mass called Earth. People around me were happy. They celebrated it telling me that its my birthday. I was amused. 24 revolutions is a long period. Why would anyone celebrate an uneventful life on a boring lump? May be they are happy because it all means they are closer to THE ESCAPE.
Somewhen last august, I completed 24 revolutions around that big hydrogen ball that they call the Sun. It was not exactly me. I was riding on a giant lump of mass called Earth. People around me were happy. They celebrated it telling me that its my birthday. I was amused. If they celebrate a revolution, why not a rotation? That would inadvertantly bring celebrations everyday. I think that should be their approach. Enjoy everyday, every minute. The other option is to be a bored yet amused moron like me.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Reunions are an uncomfortable affair. The very fact that there are so many strangers to cope with at the same time, helps a little. There are familiar faces who have grown unfamiliar. There are 'close buddies at school' with whom you are in touch all these years through orkut. Then there are those people who know you while YOU have no clue that you shared a classroom with them.
I have attended several of them but I must recount the one that I consider the mother of all reunions. It was Pratap's birthday and he invited me to Sumit's place in Amar Colony. The other person I was expecting there was Pranay. It was a surprise. There were many more and I couldn't believe my eyes I was looking at people with whom I spent 10 years and that also 10 years ago.
There were Navin, Shashank, Jha, Priya, Pranay, Pratap, Sumit and myself - 8 out of 35 students of Class 10 Section C, St. Michael's, Patna batch of 1998 in that small room together almost after 10 years. Whatever we did that night, it was meant to be unforgettable anyway.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I can smell him. Have you ever smelt a new born baby? Babies not only look cute and make adorable noises but also smell sweet. I really can't describe it exactly but it certainly hints towards the freshness of life and the warmth of those months spent comfortably in the womb.
Friday, December 12, 2008
He said that when people have an urge to leave everything or to go for a long break, it is one of these spheres which is in jeopardy. I couldn't agree more. I was having trouble in personal life and the only idea that would come to my mind was to spend a month at a secluded hill station.
It is a better idea to draw strength from other spheres in such a case. In my case, the social sphere contributed on its own in terms of my newly born nephew. Not all are as fortunate as I am. In fact the recession has pushed many a people out of colour in the professional sphere. Their best choices are to spend time with friends and family. Others who can afford, the idea of a timely break for introspection is not such a bad one.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
My grandma would have been a happy soul. She died few months ago. I still remember "terahvi", the 13th day of ritual after the day she died. We were 78 of us, approximately 60% of the ever lasting legacy of my grandma spread into 4 generations. It took some effort to bring us in a single photo frame.
I was one of her favourite, being the younger son of her eldest child. It would have been an envious yet happiest moment to be replaced in her eyes by my own first nephew.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Mike Atherton sums up the non-cricketer aspect of Sachin as - "The archives recall not one single incriminating incident, not one drunken escapade, not one reported affair, not one spat with a team-mate or reporter ... is he human?"
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
- Access to Gmail, Orkut and Facebook anywhere in India thanks to the unlimited access by Airtel GPRS. I can mail, scrap, download and even upload photographs.
- Chat with friends by remaining online simultaneously on yahoo, gtalk, skype and msn through an application by http://www.fring.com/
- Google map application which can indicate my position generally within 2-5 Km radius, then identify the address and then suggest the minimum distance path to my destination with remarkable precision. This does not require the GPS.
- 3.2 Mega Pixel camera ensures I can slide and shoot at my whim. It is enough for a traveller. I can also attach the pics the very moment and email it to friends across the globe free of cost.
- Video camera with limited zoom enough to capture the fun with friends.
- Banking through ICICI application which allows money transfer faster than internet.
- Share trading through ICICI Direct which thanks to the developers, is mobile compatible.
- Song downloads from www.songs.pk
- Watch a large set of videos on www.youtube.com
- Internet access on my laptop which is so fast that I can download a 699 Mb movie from bittorent in 7-8 hours overnight.
- PNR enquiry to booking of train tickets through www.irctc.in which, again like icicidirect, is very mobile compatible.
- 2 GB memory which allows me to save around 150 songs (keeping space for pics) apart from the FM facility which can save 30 stations across India.
- Access to my Office Outlook on my mobile which is available on web.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Here comes the darkest...and here I laugh...
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So how have I fared till date - Jaipur, Almora, Pithoragarh, Dhampur, Udaipur, Shimla & Chhail. If I also include Mussoorie and Corbett(since technically I rediscovered the two places), I am at 9/26 right now and the year is slipping by. It's not that there is still a chance. If I follow my doctor's advice, I am not allowed to go out of town for next six months.
That leaves me with my sweet li'l town called Delhi. It would not be a bad idea if I negotiate with myself (as the days of bhishma pratighyas are already over) to rephrase the resolution . Henceforth I resolve to visit at least 15 new places in and around Delhi in next three months :).
With the coming winters, it may not be a bad idea at all.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Yet someone somewhere eagerly waits for this unimpressive man to come home every evening.
Someone's entire world turns around by the strength of this frail-looking woman.
Someone's very purpose in life hinges on this brash youngster cutting through traffic.
Someone knows only the shelter of these old arms each time their world begins to crumble.
Someone will count hours, minutes, and weep like a child before this pock-marked face alights from a distance.
Someone will cave in, crack up, and never be the same again if this one person disappears from the face of the world.
There are no ordinary people !!!
(PS: Thanks Archana for the mail)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The worse part of being confused is not the puzzled state of mind. In fact, few people that I know, like to remain confused because it keeps them occupied. The worse part comes once you take the decision and then you regret. To regret is to doubt oneself since nobody knows what is good and what is not good (regrettable) in the long run.
So be confused if you have time to be.
Here's my two pence: every girl has a right to remain confused and every guy has a duty to appreciate it.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
You meet new people, appreciate beautiful faces, admire desired attributes and make friends. Some time you find love among friends and sometime you find a friend in the loved one. Sometime it takes a sight to fall in love and sometimes a whole lifetime to realize that you were in love all the time.
Everyone defines love in his or her way. So when I am asked if I am or have been in love, my question is simple - What is love? For me love is an extreme form of liking. The liking may develop from a long term relationship or instant admiration of a remarkable quality. The point is that if Majnu fell in love with Laila, it was either because they were great friends or (presumably) Laila had 36 DD breasts and a zero figure.
Friday, July 25, 2008
- Travel alone only to popular places with at least some visible crowd. A secluded place is suitable only for couples.
- Never plan the details of a trip you are planning alone. A rough idea of place to travel to and approval of leave from office / institution will do. The reason is that there is ample time to think and rethink once you are off. You would like to keep yourself engaged.
- An i-pod / mobile with mp3 is a must. A GPRS activated advanced mobile with modest megapixel camera and mp3 player is just perfect for the show.
- At time you would like to mix with people around you. There are several ways to do so without feeling awkward.
- Ask a group to get together so that you can take a picture. No need to say that targeting group with pretty gals is desirable.
- Still better, find a group involved in photo shoots and lend them a hand.
- Ask for directions even though you know how to reach a spot. Some tourists enjoy sharing their newly gained information just to show they knew it all the way.
- Go all the way in helping a tourist who seeks some information from you. Such interactions keep you engaged.
- Target small shops with single keepers. For buying a Kit Kat, they can give you so much local information that even a seasoned guide can not.
- Have your own secluded spots to plan further or for reflecting / self instropection / getting philosophical. In fact this is what you came for. The spot can be a bench with a view at the corner of a busy street.
- Take a lot of pictures. Ask people to take your picture and enjoy their wierd expressions. You are not going to live there anyway.
- Eat at your hotel room. One feels loneliest at restaurants. Keep a pet bottle of coke when you roam around. Add some vodka if you want.
- Try to know as much about the place by exploring, chatting with locals, phamphlets etc. Again let me advice that do not gather much information before the trip. Its actually fun knowing facts on the spot.
- Write a blog about your experiences when you come back.
Monday, July 14, 2008
- On Sunday morning, I took the ropeway to the top of Gun Hill at Mussorie. It was a nice view from telescope point. I ordered for a cup of tea. It started getting foggy and chilly as if Mother Nature was conspiring something. I took my cup and stood at the edge of the hill top. Then it happened, one of nature's most timely gift to me. A fine drizzle. How good it feels to sip a hot cup of tea at a hilltop in a drizzle of rain that bothers no one but leaves you with goosebumps!!!
- I had ample time with me so I went to see the Bhatta Falls. It is 8 km down from Mussoorie and has all the fantastic features of Kempty Falls minus the crowd. It is also a double fall i.e. one fall of 25 meters is followed by another one of 100 meters. I just wanted to see this rare work of nature. However when I stood in front of the fall, the sprinkles of water were tempting enough to break my resistance. I took off my clothes and jumped in like a child. The warm sun and cold water were a perfect combination. It was sheer pleasure.
- Patal Bhubaneshwar was spectacular by any standards...an evidence of what Mother Nature is capable of. There is a slit-shaped cave enough in size to let inside a middle-aged person. Inside the cave was well lit but alarmingly tortuous stone steps downwards. It takes some body-bending and sweating to reach the bottom of cave which is at around 60 feets. The cave opens up at the bottom. Some intricately shaped structures of limestone are visible. There is a series of caves inside, one after another, almost 100 meters in all. The penultimate cave has something I can never forget in my life. Hundreds of tiny strands of rocks, grey and white in colour, combine to create a giant long haired head. Water is trickling down these strands and the entire structure is shimmering in the low lights of cave. We came out with a more credulous mindset.
- En route to Almora from Pithoragarh, the tyres of our vehicle got punctured. We were not happy with the development. I now feel quite the opposite. The spot was superb. Down the cliff, the clouds were gathering up. We sat at the rocks on the edge of the cliff and started chatting. It started to rain and we continued to chat. We took photographs in turn and appreciated the fact that our parents wouldn't have allowed us to chat near a cliff some hundreds of meters high while it was raining all the time!!!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
First few months were easy with minimum responsibilities at work and a group of friends to get closer to. Things changed in a week of November. First I was thrown into the challenging production floor on a single day's notice. Then an accident of a collegue forced me to look after shifts single-handedly. I still remember my first double shift on the day of my collegue's accident. It was supposed to drain me out. I was actually eclectic. I did a fair job and was proud of it.
Next few months were hectic. It started with a learning curve and smoothly crossed the 'borders of interest' to become a boring and redundant daily job. By June I was ripe with frustration and I went for a 22 day of unaccounted leave. When I came back, I was surprised by the welcome I got. I was supposed to be thrashed. I guessed I was needed.
Sreekumar Nair remained my boss throughout my stay at Arvind. Our relationship reached a low when I took that unaccounted leave. From then onwards, it reached to such confidence levels in November that when he was going for a long leave, he asked me in front of all my senior collegues to take care of his department. That was one full year after I started some serious job of my career. The next two months gave me much insights into textile processing. I was a man now. In February 2006 I decided to leave Arvind Mills and Ahmedabad. Surprisingly, the better opportunity came with the help of my existing boss, Mr Nair, and I still feel indebted to him.
Vishnu Purana describes the Kali yuga as following:
"In the Kali Yuga, there will be numerous rulers vying with each other. They will have no character. Violence, falsehood and wickedness will be the order of the day. Piety and good nature will dwindle slowly... Passion and lust will be the only attraction between the sexes. Women will be the objects of sensual pleasure. Dishonest will be the bottom line of subsistence. Learned people will be ridiculed and put to shame; the word of the wealthy person will be the only law."
Monday, April 28, 2008
Campus life was simple. Attend 75% of classes. Study 4-5 hours before exams. Eat as much outside as much you can afford. Booze hard in parties. Play underarm cricket with wingmates. Chat with friends on any X, Y or Z topic. Watch latest movies through LAN. Enjoy AOE. Have fun.
The outside world was very different. Without friends and a familiar surrounding, I often found myself at a loss. It took some effort to get along with strangers. Then there were few people always ready with an exclamatory remark "You are from IIT Delhi !!!", followed by the puncture "Which stream - Computer Science?". I would have an urge to say "No Sir. Computers are out. Fabrics are in. So I chose Textile Technology instead."
It was so easy to go back to the comfortable hostel room and sit with familiar faces and laugh on total crap of a topic. Those four years were life. There was a degree of innocence in the first year that is equivalent to childhood. Then came adolescence in the second year with all the raw energy. The third year was more towards a strategic and planning side. The fourth year was dedicated to friends and fun before the death encapsulate us all.
When I came back to college two months later for convocation, the sense of belonging was over. I felt like a soul without body strolling on the grounds of a familiar campus that was no longer mine.
Monday, April 14, 2008
UK, where all the major problems of life have already been resolved, the country lives peacefully with its over aged population. In India the median age is 25. That coincidentally is my age also. So what happens here is that a young population struggles throughout the day and when it finds time to relax at night or on weekends, it generates euphoria. Unlike in UK, this celebration is not limited to discs or pubs. One can observe this energy in the bustling window shoppers, the mob at multiplexes, the families picnics at the central park and so on.
Things keep happening in India. Family celebrations on marriage, new projects at office, metro construction in the city, festivals, bollywood, elections, rain.....the list is endless. It all happens@India and I am proud to be a part of it.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
You are not amused. Well, then hear this.
Its the very next day. At 11 PM on Saturday, we start for GK2. We meet Rajat and a couple of his friends at Diva. We go to Smoking House, a disc. Bouncers again. We are four boys and a girl. Not possible. Only couples allowed. We try Kuki. Some old links work. We are in. It looks more of a student crowd. We dance and enjoy others dancing. At 3 AM we get a call from Rajat's boss. All of us are now planning to go to Agni again. This boss is with his ultra hot ex-girlfriend. We take a cab to Agni. We are again at the gates of Agni at 4 AM negotiating with the bouncers. This time we pay more. We dance till 5. Again we have our breakfast at Park hotel restaurant. I don't have strength even to stand so we take a cab back home.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The history tells us that we live on the legacy of a handful few. They come, they see and they conquer. They briefly demonstrate the infinite capacity of a human being. Who will doubt human potential after what Mahatma Gandhi accomplished? His persuit of a single thought of non-violence changed the way we look at a conflict. On the other hand we have Hitler who single-handedly wrecked havoc on billions of souls.
Our corporate versions of Jamshedji, Dhirubhai and Aditya Birla tell us never to undermine the strength of a one-minded person. Yes, the key is being one-minded.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Now I am in Jaipur - the pink city. Amber fort is colossal. Jaigarh fort is rich with heritage. However the one that impresses me most is Nahargarh fort. Standing on the roof top of Madhavendra Palace the visible spread of Jaipur city is truly awesome. Standing there, one feels like a king.
Another thing remarkable in our trip is not a monument or a structure but a family. We went to meet an old relative to their house. The way they treated us, I felt that they firmly believed in the saying - Guest is God. They ensured that we have a beautiful end to a regular trip.
Navin, my cousin from UK, is laughing all the way back from Jaipur to Delhi. He can not believe his eyes seeing trucks changing lanes like circus and even moving in opposite direction to us on our side of the road. He keeps joking about the civic sense in Indian masses. But he likes India.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I can imagine the arrogant Hayden sitting in the dressing room thinking what went wrong after he had shrugged off India in media and had invited Ishant to the ring. I can also imagine Ponting planning to eat his own words when he earlier stated in a newspaper that a third final won't be necessary. After Sunday, it means the exact opposite.
Whatever happens on Tuesday, cricket as a religion gained a further inch of foothold in India this Sunday. Some other day, some other time it would have only been another victory.
Friday, February 22, 2008
The first few months were exciting. I established myself as a business plan specialist in my company before my priorities forced me to rethink about my future. I changed my job yet again. While Bhaiya got married and bhabhi planned to settle at Mumbai, I was already settling down at my home with office 10 minutes away.
The new company had something exceptional to offer in terms of travel abroad. Even though the team I was working with was excellent, we lacked the guiding light and I had tough time convincing myself the sanctity of job change. We used to call ourself YSKRH Team, taking inspiration from the famous dialogue in Jaane bhi do Yaaron - "Ye sab kya ho rahaa hai beta Duryodhan". From that time of uncertainty I have seen the peak when we successfully completed the project. The trough was slow to come as each of my YSKRH Team member left the company one by one leaving me alone.
The new company also allowed me to venture into the share market. I was fortunate enough because the timing was excellent. The bourses were ripe and I made some good money. Office hours were helpful as they hardly overlapped with market hours.
I also maintained my travelfreak status by visiting places in and around London. The Kerala trip was elaborate by any standards and a nice way to end the year.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Diu is the place where I realised for the first time what is romance. I have visited this place three times after that and still the magic persists. Its as if love is in the air in this secluded union territory.
Kerala was a bit more than what we expected. Manish and Vikash were with me. We started with Kodaikanal which is in Tamil Nadu. The lake and suicide point were regular features of a hill station. We were particularly impressed by Silent Valley and a nearby waterfall which was completely isolated.
We moved to Munnar after a day stay in Kodaikanal. To reach Munnar in itself is an unforgettable experience. Atleast 20 Km before the place, large estates of tea, coffee and cardamom are visible and as the road meanders through these lush gardens, one has a feeling of sailing in an endless green sea. We stayed in Munnar for three days.
We moved to Periyar to have a brunch with the wildlife. It turned out to be a disappointment not because it had not much to offer but because of the crowd of foreigners visiting it. Hotel Ambadi was our saviour as we spent most of our time enjoying there.
Our next destination was Alleppey. We were there for two days. On day one, we completed a round of the famous backwaters. On day two we decided to go to a famous Athirapally waterfall. We were hardly expecting a lot although it turned out to be THE most evenful day of my trip. We had a nice cool bath in the lake on a warm day. Vikash showed some philanthropism in arranging towel and bermudas for all of us. That was the good part. The bad part started when my mobile slipped from my pocket and settled at the bottom of the lake. Before I could pull it out, it was all soaked. I was flabbergasted. Both these old friends of mine helped me feel worse and when I tried to convince them that I don't keep many vauable things with me, I realized that my precious watch was also missing. It took some valour and courage to bring that watch back from the other side of lake where I dropped it.
My mobile and I recovered the next day and we moved to Kovalam. Our plan was to booze hard on the eve of New Year at the beautiful beach. We managed to fulfil our wishes partially.
We laughed a lot and quarelled a little. We enjoyed the vitality of Kerala and despised the coconut oil. All in all, it was a wonderful trip with old friends.