Monday, December 01, 2008

Will I stay alive to see another day?

After the recent blasts in Mumbai, in the last few days, I have not had too much guts to go out to places that are thronged all the time and I think thats' been the case with most people. Now, its a different thing that I would surely go probably after a few days, but somewhere in my mind ,there would be a lingering thought - Will I come back alive ? When I spoke about this to a few friends of mine , they seemed to agree without any qualms.
I happened to be in Hint, one of the popular pubs in the past few days after the blast, and guess what ? There were 6 people at 9 pm in the night and the attender said that they would close shop at 10pm and go out. This is the same freaking place where you can't step in on most of the days - weekdays/weekends.
After the first blast early this year, public was angry and they spoke about the "spirit" of the city. The Govt came in , consoled people , pledged to fight against terrorism . But hey, soon there was another blast in another city . Reactions - ? Ditto . People were still "asking"/"hoping" for better security. But after the blast on 26/11, people have had enough of that. Even the elite society has now woken up . The reactions have been strong and people are demanding security from the Govt or saying that they won't vote. With Elections just 5 months away, the Govt is rolling a few heads ( All this time , nothing of that sort happened), the Opposition is basking in the glory and hoping that this would be their primary election strategy.
On one of the news channels, I heard a politician say : "See what happened at the Parliament. They attacked it once and then we fortified it to such an extent that the same terrorists will have to think 10 times before they think of attacking Parliament." . A member of the aam janta, who was also there said : "If you can fortify the Parliament after just one attack(where no person died and remember there was a political consensus on that !!!), why can't you people fortify or atleast improve the security in the city". Time was up and the politician was stunned . Program ended.
I ain't saying that politicians shouldn't make money , let them make tons of it , but do your freaking job atleast ! The Ex-deputy chief minister of Maharashtra(he resigned this morning since his "conscience" told him last night to do so this morning ! Last evening he had said that there was no question of him resigning!!) said a couple of days back that a "Small thing" like this keeps happening in such big cities. The first thing I wanted to tell that incompetent fool - "If out of the 200 people ,even if 4-5 people were from your family, would you have said anything ? " Damn you !
Another thing thats been irritating me is the phrase "Hindu Terror". What the hell ? There is no such thing as Hindu terror or Muslim terror as terrorism doesn't have any religion . If religion was part of that , as part of the recent attacks, there wouldn't have been 5 muslims, all from the same family, wouldn't have been killed in the railway station. Ridiculous nonsense!

Every now and then , we have so many people dying due to natural causes like floods , tsunami and earthquakes and now , to add to that we have these bomb blasts day in and day out . At this point of time,I can't think of what inhabitants in Kashmir/ Naxal areas might be going through daily.
I think the only thing that has happened because of this recent terrorist attack / other attacks in the past few months , is to bring in more equality amongst people of different classes in terms of thought - People in Kashmir , in North East, in the metros , will all have the same thought - " Will I stay alive to see another day?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Diwali!

Wish you all a very very happy diwali ! Diwali - the festival of lights is meant to light up the lives of people. (Even during the Economy crisis!) . People still bought new stuff ,people still bought crackers, ppl still ate all the sweets that they would have wanted to have , people also visited friends and family to wish them .

An interesting angle to Diwali that I read recently in newspapers was how people were suggesting to the Ambani brothers that they should forget the enemity and go and give the other brother a hug during Diwali coz' as the saying goes, "if it doesn't happen during Diwali, then it won't happen !" (Well , I came up with this copyrighting it anyways). Having witnessed quite a few of these personal fights between different sets of ppl in close quarters and also been involved in such periods of no communication, it kinda felt good there were ppl who actually suggested that the brothers should celebrate Diwali together.

But then if you look at it logically, how can 2 people who have been fighting for ages , forget
everything that has gone on for the past few years and go ahead and patch up ? Sounds totally ridiculous. If such things cannot and don't happen within friends and even members of a family when its just the ego that comes in between the way, leave alone crores of rupees and countless other instances, how can anyone even think of such a thing happening ? Again , Diwali is a festival where logic etc can be kept aside.

I have had friends telling me at later points of time that they thought of wishing me during Diwali(but they didn't call on the day!) but atleast if you trust that part, the thought of wishing someone whom you fought with or with whom you don't want to keep in touch with , is something that probably makes you feel good about.

I don't know whether the Ambani brothers wished each other as yet, ( if they do , I am sure it will make the headlines! So , I think as of now ,they haven't) , but as a normal person , I would like to say that whether Ambanis wish each other or not, other people atleast should give it a thought . If ego is the only barrier, try keeping it aside for 10 mins and go and wish that person. A simple call can solve matters. A simple wish can make a huge difference. A simple thought can make you and the other person happy. After all , Diwali is also about spreading happiness and love .....

Happy Diwali.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rafi Resurrected - Sonu Nigaam

A show called "Rafi Resurrected" - by Sonu Nigaam in front of a sold out Birmingham Symphony concert hall with a live orchestra was telecasted last Sunday on Sony TV. If ever there was a singer who idolised Rafi saab and could probably sing his songs with utmost ease it has to be Sonu Nigaam. A tremendous evening with one lilting tune after another was sung with the orchestra which was completely filled with people of British origin. Can't wait for the album to hit the market . Am sure to buy it !
Youtube videos as always, provide the required snippets of the concert. Be it "Patthar ke sanam" or "yaad na jaaye" or "dil ke jharoke se" or "yahoo" , it was sung with perfection! If you haven't seen it and your a fan of old hindi songs, then definitely this is a must listen album!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


For the uninitiated, Tequila is the national drink of Mexico city . Every restaurant there has atleast 110 varieties of Tequila and I had been warned before going there that if I did not taste Tequila( i am a tee totaler otherwise) in Mexico city, then it would be a shame that would be kinda unmatched !

I was prepared mentally to have it. So let me describe the experience . It was mid week and did not have too much work for the next day . It was about 8pm and met my colleague JL and his colleague in the lobby of the hotel . They have an exquisite bar and we just "attacked" the place.

So i first learnt about the process - learnt about the different types of Tequila - 3 types - 1st type - its fermented for a really long time and supposed to be exceptionally good , 2nd type - fermented for a shorter duration of around maybe 5-10 years and called Reposado and 3rd type - kinda fresh stuff and might not impress you if your trying it for the first time! Seeing the prices, we went for the Reposado variety.

Tequila , Margerita (tomato juice in other words) , Lemon and other side items were ordered . And the stage was set . ( Mind you ,every freaking picture of this experience was clicked . Gonna follow soon mate! ) Squeezing the lemon , followed by tasting the Tequila and then drinking a bit of Margerita was part of the "Best Practices" and I duly followed it . A tinge of burning sensation in my food pipe and a want to gulp down more tomato jucie followed by "what did you feel , tell us " expressions from my colleagues were roughly what followed! It was one hell of an experience and definitely something that I will remember for a long time! Only after effect was that next day morning , I had a slight headache.

Pics show - a better view of what we were going to drink , the setting for the evening , all the other finer details !

The journey...

Its been a really long time since I wrote anything on my blog. It finally feels great to be getting back after what has been a long break. When I mean great, I mean I feel GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT to write again . The journey in the last one and a half months has been exciting, frustrating, rewarding and tiring, all at the same time. So what is it that I have been doing ?
I have had a chance to make business trips to Mexico first and later to Philippines. 3 days in between these 2 trips were spent in San Francisco and 2 days in Bangalore and finally when I landed in Manila, my body was totally screwed up thanks to all the jet lag. Sleep and eating light food at the appropriate times were the only solutions to these problems. The 10 day period between the time I left Mexico till I landed in Manila, allowed me to touch 6 different countries( mostly airports and most of them in transit) and I remember watching the Olympic highlights of previous days mostly on these flights! ( I guess this is about what I can boast off in my resume! 6 countries in 10 days)

What did I do in these places ? Well since it was a business trip it was more or less packed throughout the weekdays , but would like to surely add that the Mexico trip was much more enjoyable and fun since I had more company compared to the Philippines trip. It was also the place where I had my first shot of a lovely drink - Tequila ! I found this whole experience amazing and will soon be dedicating an entire blog entry to my first tequila shot.

Meeting different people, tasting different items ( you do get some different stuff to taste even if your vegetarian!) , getting the same old weird stares from people around who couldn't believe that I only ate "vegetables" (If your a vegetarian , it means you eat only vegetables ) and answering the standard (unfortunately not innovative!) NO to questions like :
"So you dont eat meat right ? "
" Do you eat fish ? "
" You don't even eat fish ?!!! (The exclamation marks are just there to stress how shocked people are) .

followed by questions like : "Ok , so let me get it right . So from the time you were born till now, you have never ever eaten meat ? " and then a "No" to that generates what I would call an unbelievable "OH" followed by an impressed look which is very close to looking at you like a total alien ! I guess at times I feel I shouldn't be so fussy but just can't motivate myself to eat meat!

Adding to that, being part of conversations when people completely ignore your presence coz' they are either talking in Spanish (in Mexico) or in Tagalo(in Philippines) was also very much part of the experience . Working late nights , weekends without breaks was also more of a feature that was common to Philippines rather than Mexico.

I also would like to pay my tributes to 2 places that always come to my rescue in most places and certainly in these 2 places - Subway and Starbucks. I got "subwayed" especially when I had to finish stuff and my mere presence in that place , warranted the guy asking me whether I wanted to have "Veggie Delite" again ! Funny that most of the funny incidents in most of the places I have visited has got to do with what I eat ! Anyways, cutting all that short, I must summarize that during this phase I was particularly impressed by the Olympics : Phelps' 8 golds - I saw him get all his golds in different parts of world and was phenomenal to watch him. My favorite was the team gold that US won thanks to Jason Lezak , watching a fantastic volleyball match between Cuba and China from the San Francisco airport and watching Bolt bolting across like only he can on TV were amongst the other good parts.

Best part about the Mexico city trip : My tech lead, Project manager and I had been to this place called Mama Rumba - a total Salsa place where you have the most amazing of people coming and doing salsa to live music thats played . We were there till about 2am in the morning from around 9pm that night and it was simply outstanding to see them dance. It was almost like each one of them present there was born to salsa. The place was packed even on a Thursday evening and for the capacity that it had,I guess I was fortunate enough to see some of the most amazing Salsa dancers. That day I really repented having wooden legs ! Freaking thing !!

Ah, this is another thing that I picked up - "Freaking thing" from Arturo - my Panamanian tech lead who is a total party animal and an absolutely wonderful person to work with . Using it in different contexts and with various impacts was part of this . Also saying "Kay" (what in spanish ?) after the Spanish guy tells you a whole lot of stuff also added to the fun !

What about the Philippines ? The people there are so friendly and the one thing I noticed here was that your knighted by default . I used to be called "Sir" Maa(maee)du all the time till I told them that they should be just calling me Maa(mae)du ( Thats the way its pronounced!) . You address women as "Maam" (not maam but a more rounded maom!) . Well I had never seen 4 malls interconnected and each mall being 3-4 times bigger than anything in Bangalore, very humid weather and typhoons. I was scared the day I left Manila since it was in the middle of a typhoon.

Anyways, now I am back in Bangalore and more than happy to be back and blog !

ps : I would also like to express my shock at the way these blasts have been rocking the country and I am not sure what can be done by the Govt. I had a chance to see "A Wednesday", a movie about terrorism and maybe moves such as those are required to somehow reduce atleast the frequency (just maybe) of such cowardly acts.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Consequence of not reading emails correctly!

A couple of days back , I got an email saying I have been nominated for an award at office that would be given during a meeting where some leaders would speak. I obviously got excited at the thought of being amongst the 3 people who got nominated to win this award and felt that a 0.33 percent chance is not too bad a chance to win something .

Today was the D day and though I was super thrilled about our DC win than anything else, this award nomination was somewhere at the back of my mind . As the award part of the function started, I could feel an urge of anticipation from my side. Then the slide that showed our names flashed on the stage and suddenly I saw 2 other names along with the 3 I had known and then the results were called out and the person who read it out said there was a tie. I was kinda hopeful since 2 out of 5 is still a better chance than 1 out of 5. The 1st winner's name was flashed across - It wasn't my name and I just clapped like all the others and waited and then they announced the 2nd name - It was another guy's name and though my position in the seat did not change, I could feel my heart sink . I know one of the awarded guys personally and he is outstanding and have absolutely no regret but its just that feeling of hope that was there and that want of winning something that was killed in that single moment. That event was enough to put me off completely for the day. I had a pretty good time with my friends later but that irritating feeling just overshadowed every other emotion I had for the rest of the day.

Curiosity as it was, I came back and checked the email that was sent to us and realised that none of the winners were part of the email and then suddenly realised that what I had missed was a single line, written in Times New Roman in Font 10 and in bold - "Please be present physically to collect your nomination certificate" and then it suddenly hit me that had I read this line earlier, these unnecessary hopes wouldn't have been there, I wouldn't have probably had this expectation at all , I would have remained happier in the thought that I was nominated and would have forgotten about it . The email was so crystal clear and said that you did not win any award and that you were just one of the several nominees . I felt miserable after I read that and felt that I should be honest and blog about this as well.

The last few hours have been so irritating and frustrating that I I seriously just hate the thought of even getting nominated for any such award for future . But it has taught me one single thing - Read every line , Read every punctuation mark , Read every damn thing !


Persepolis - An animated film based on the true story of an Iranian woman - from her childhood to the time she moves out to France, is what you would probably call a complete entertainer . You feel her emotions , you feel sorry for the Iranians , you feel sorry for the people suffering through it and your heart goes out to the people who have had to live in such trying conditions where your not sure of seeing another day.

Here is an example of a film that is so different in terms of the concept but you can still connect with it coz' the character is like anyone of us. Its not what you would normally expect from a Pixar kinda animated movie. Instead, this is a story that almost seems real but just that it is unconventional.

Set in the backdrop of Iranian revolution, this is a story of a small girl whose family has been actively involved in the revolution - staging against the oppressors etc. As the mins go by, it slowly unveils what happened when the regime took over the country, that resulted in so many illogical rules - examples included women wearing scarfs, complete ban on alcohol , not being able to share your views in public , other oppresive rules which just made life so difficult for people .

It also highlights the period where the Iraq-Iran war raged on, where close to around a million people were killed. The terror that was prevalent can be easily sensed in the movie and it makes for some captivating viewing.

Coming back to the story, due to circumstances, the girl is sent to Vienna to study, where she finds mixing with people extremely difficult initially because of the cultural differences. Whenever she tells someone that she is from Iran, they just take look at her in utter disbelief ! And though she changes slowly , she still feels guilty of having left her family back in Iran. Finally, after a set of disappointments in Vienna ,she returns back home only to discover that things have changed way too much and just she cannot come to terms with it . She again finds it almost impossible to adjust at her home, this time. More of it would just completely spoil it for those who might want to see this wonderful movie.

Some of the things it concentrates on are questions like , how women with liberal thinking ,symbolised by the girl's granny , can still survive even in such places though expressing anything of this sort in public is almost impossible. People who even think of doing so are punished - whipped or they have to pay huge amounts of money. There is a particular scene where her father says , this was the same land where 15 years ago , your mom and I used to hold hands and walk on the road but now its impossible. Another scene where she cries in front of her grandmom about her impending divorce is amazing. In reply to this , her grandmom says, "Don't worry, the first marriage is just a practice for the second".

After seeing the movie, you get a feeling as to how people, who have no idea of anything called freedom still have the will to survive and you are forced to stand up and appreciate this. Maybe at times, they just live their lives , even if they don't want to!

Its a hard hitting film that was nominated for Academic awards last year, it makes for a wonderful weekend watch . And why would I go to such a movie ? Narayan is the answer to that coz' in him , you have a genuine film lover who views each of these as an experience! Thanks for convincing me to watch this movie.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Victory in a Corporate Challenge fest!

A couple of weeks back, we got an email saying there was a Corporate Challenge being
organised by Honeywell and as soon as we saw DC, we were all excited to take part in it.

Unusual requirement was, instead of the usual 3, they needed 4 ppl in the team. Aravind and I
were sure to take part, then we approached Aditya, from my junior batch and equally passionate about Dumb Charades, part of a good DC team in college and he approached us as well . Voila! We had 3 in the team. Next, we thought of Sridhar, my batch mate who was part of another equally kickass DC team in college. So here we were - 4 from Cisco set to take part. The funny part was all 4 of us were generally used to acting in our respective teams !!!

As is our wont, we did not bother doing anything till the last min. And a couple of days back, we decided to use "our"(Aravind and I) team's codes since 2 of us were in a majority. All we did was make fun of each other's codes and then we were all set to go to the fest.

Interestingly enough, our 3rd original DC team member Narayan, now part of another company,
also came with a different team .We definitely missed having him in our team, but we wished him the best of luck and hoped they would do really good as well.

To our surprise, there was tremendous response to the event , as there were overall 80 teams
taking part in DC from 45 different companies !!! We also found our perenial DC competitors -
previously from RV, now working for NI, taking part and we just wished each other , already
hoping that we would clash again in the finals.

The prelims started and by the time we went, we had already seen around 8 teams get all the 3
parts of the chit - a Personality, a movie and a word in less than 90 seconds and we had to get it well within time. I picked up a chit and had a "not so easy" set compared to others.

We got :
Tiger woods - very simple
Resident Evil - movie - kinda ok but tricky
Prank - again tricky.

But we had 3 great DC guys who transformed into amazing guessers and managed to get it in 58
secs which was very tricky coz' there were few other teams coming after us. At that stage we
were 5th in the standings. One more team cracked their chit in 55 secs and we were in the 6th
position and hoping that no other team would crack it ! And thats exactly what happened ! We
were the last team to qualify , the NI team was also there in the finals as expected and so were other equally talented teams and yo ! we were set for yet another duel!

The finals started and we shared the lead with the NI team after the first round. Second
round was a theme cum mirror round - where a particular theme was given and we had one actor acting, the other actor mirroring exactly what he was doing and the 2 guessers looking ONLY at the mirror. Luckily out of the 2 choices that were available - Harry Potter and Music, we got Harry potter and managed to crack the chit in 47 secs( out of 60) , and the crowd went
crazy and so did we - jumping on top of each other !! We were now in the lead !!

Next round probably defined the complete finals for us . All teams had to guess names of English movies, sorted into easy, moderate and tough categories and as many as possible in 90
secs. We defined our strategy to go for the tough category and we cracked that round big time! We got 6 tough ones in 90 seconds when most other teams only 2 moderate + 1 easy, 3 moderate and so on, which was truly fantastic! We hit a jackpot with 180 points ( 30 for
every tough one) and the organisers said " We are stunned that they could crack 6 of them in
the tough category" ! The other team did pretty well too - cracking 5 tough ones in 90 secs.

The final round required 3 actors to act 3 different things and connect them with a theme .Since our team was filled with actors , we just went with it and got a pretty easy set - Opera house , Eiffel tower and Statue of liberty, the connection being that they all lost in the race for the 7 wonders of the world .We cracked this set in 23 seconds and celebrated like we used to in college . Jumping up and down and sharing high fives !!

The difference in points between the 2nd team and our team was 108 and we were completely
ecstatic that we won convincingly! More than the gift vouchers ( which were very good!), we just
totally enjoyed the thrills and the spills and the adrenalin rush that just comes with DC since all 4 of us are pretty crazy about it!

The finals was watched by a packed audience and as we went down from the stage, people rushed to congratulate us and it continued throughout the evening. We even had people from other companies who went on stage to speak about the Fest as such, talk about having had a great time looking at the Cisco team in the DC finals!

More was to follow . The Cisco team came 6th in Mad ads and 2nd in the "Battle of the bands"
and guess what? We won the overall trophy which was a beautiful crystal trophy along with a
"man of the match" type of cheque saying that Cisco had won the event this year.

A fitting end to a great great day that will stay in memory for a really really long time!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Condolences to Jane Mcgrath

Having spent a good amount of time during a period of 6 months last year in Australia, one of the things I realised there was sporty the entire nation was and the amount of respect they had not only for sports people but even for community causes. I must have seen atleast 3-4 covers of different magazines highlighting the story of Jane Mcgrath - a cancer survivor. She was as popular there as her illustrious husband, probably the best line and length bowler in cricket - Glenn Mcgrath. The two of them set up the Mcgrath foundation for spreading awareness and helping those out suffering from Breast cancer.

This morning I heard the shocking news that Jane Mcgrath is no more and on reading online articles , heard that her health deteriorated after complications from a bone cancer operation. May her soul rest in peace and Australians/all others round the world would always be grateful for her support towards the cause and being helpful to all the other people who were suffering from the same disease. It seems she passed away with her husband and her two children by her side. May God bless them and give them the strength to overcome this huge loss .


Monday, June 02, 2008


Its official now . IPL has been the biggest thing that has hit World cricket since maybe the Kerry Packer series and people who watched it all over the world cherished it . BCCI made awesome profits in the range of 350 crores or more according to newspaper reports , the Franchise concept worked - some of them were trying to draw even in the first season while others were busy sacking their CEOs. There was also a hilarious forward which had the Blore owner , asking people to drink a particular brand of beer he is associated with because he invested a lot of money and his team just wasn't able to perform !

A day after IPL, in the evening ,even my dad felt that he missed watching cricket - which almost resulted in me collapsing from my seat as this was probably the last thing I would expect from him. I truly agree with him though. IPL , as one of the news channels kept saying , threw all the Saas bahu serials out of contention and ironically, even the news channels suffered since people in general were no longer were bothered about the 9pm news but were instead worried about what their favorite city IPL team was going to do in the last 5 overs !

There were very many great moments - McCullum's first day "beltax" century, Akhtar's fiery spell in his comeback match against Delhi, Gilly playing that hurricane knock against Mumbai ( I actually saw this in the airport just before boarding a flight and generally, janta queue up much before the announcement goes by , but this time was different , as they approached the line , they were walking slower and slower so that they don't miss Gilly's batting and yes, he didn't disappoint - Match got over at 11.25 pm mins before we boarded the flight ! ) , a few hatricks , loads of action and drama , a Hollywood inspired first IPL final ( a 1 sec slot was worth 10 lakhs during the breaks during the final !) and Rajasthan Royals !

The Royals - they beat all the pre tournament hype and criticism when people said any team would win except the Royals ! Watching them play was a treat and a great learning to any other team . Led by the "Blonde Bombshell" ( Read Warne) , as Ravi Shastri put it , they just walloped every damn team on the way and won the finals and also the hearts of zillions of cricket fans . For more on this, just type in Royals and IPL in google and you will find crazy number of articles talking about this team!

Finally, if anybody comes back home after work and suddenly says, "who's playing today" and suddenly realises that IPL is over, you will know that he has been hit by what many call the IPL effect ! Next year it will be bigger and better with more money for everyone involved. Finally, who is the loser ? maybe the aam janta who pay up the money to watch the match !!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A late Friday evening post

I just felt like writing in a space that I hold dear and to my heart since its my space! The week started off with us losing a close cricket match to TCS by 2 weeks on a rainy Sunday afternoon far away from the din and dust of the city . There were positives from the game but we landed up on the losing side . Hope it doesn't repeat again in this tournament.

New issues popped up at the work place during the week and had decent set of calls and some amount of slogging to do before things looked brighter . So the week ended on an upbeat note with a cricket match to follow.

Also got a chance to read this book ,"3 mistakes of my life" , from the writer , who my cousin thinks is my favorite English author - Chetan Bhagat. I didn't like it as much as I did 5 point someone and also gave me the idea that any person can actually become an author if he has a nice story to tell and someone can publish it . The story is woven around these 3 friends and set in the backdrop of Gujarat . One of the reasons why this book might be a hit is because it covers lot of things that happened during the 2000-2002 period including the Bhuj earthquake , the India Aussie test series and the Godhra incident. I would call it a time pass book and I liked a few sections of it for its sense of wry humor but definitely not as good as 5 point someone .

Chats with friends, gyaan sharing with friends , eating lovely mangoes apart from work formed the remaining content of this week. And yes, I forgot , I played TT with this guy today and he was so exceptionally good . I haven't been beaten that way for ages now . The table was cranky as well as it was broken but even with that he beat me big time . Told him will play him another time but today he beat me outright.

Oh ya, how can I forget IPL ? A match a day keeps the doctor away ? Well some of them have turned out to be crackers . I also felt really happy that Royal Challengers Blore finally won and maybe that would signal our team's win as well in tomo's game. Apart from that felt sad Mumbai lost in a last ball thriller .Didn't watch the remaining games as I didn't feel like watching them !

I got bored writing this entry and I am sure you got bored reading as well . Will blog something more interesting next time! cheers.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Together we excel

"Its been a while" since I blogged. "Its been a while" since I penned my thoughts. "Its been a while" since I even visited my own blog . But I have some thoughts today to pen down. I have ended up as the captain of the cricket team of the division I work for and previously we had a disastrous tournament (in Dec) where the only match we won out of 4 was a walkover ! I had even said "I quit " as a captain but the team stuck with me and helped me through it as I was really depressed with that. We flattered to deceive.

Ever since, we have put in constant efforts in order to play better cricket and have had better practices and have tried out different combinations. We even organised weekly quizzes on the mailer and "Crowning" the winner of these quizzes to raise awareness about cricket and slowly from the usual religious 5 people who used to turn up for practice, we had constantly around 8-10 people coming in. And to add to it, we just did not have the same old people , but we had new faces as well. What this has taught me is that constant effort will definitely bear fruits , so far it has in terms of all that I mentioned , but the real test starts next weekend when we play a tournament .

We had to struggle real hard with the management to get the money to play the tournament or even buy a bat and finally got the money after promising them that we will win atleast one match. My inspiration has been Rajasthan Royals from IPL, who have shown that planning and more importantly executing that plan has great impact. We have a better team with better skills and dare say, better team spirit as people have gotten to know each other better coz' they actually come on Saturday mornings ( thats right! After a whole week of hard work, getting up and coming on Saturday mornings especially for family people is a very tough ask and people have been doing it).

And so the tournament starts on May 17th and I am nervous and silently confident that this time our preparations have been much better than before and we should perform better as well and have a good amount of fun on the field .

And our anthem for the tournament - its the blog heading - "Together we Excel".

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out of comfort Zone.

My new mantra for anyone and everyone in life( starting from myself) is this : Challenge yourself at all times by making sure you tread on the path which is "Out of your Comfort zone" . I am trying to follow this , but its human tendency that a person sticks to what he/she is comfortable with rather than go out and try and master something new. Its at that point, where you need some kind of a trigger that will help you else even if you think that you will go and do something different , it just won't happen.

I am not saying this just to make a point that this in a way contradicts what an expert is all about . But I am trying to highlight the point that its always great and maybe necessary ( depending on the person) to master something - be it your hobby, or a habit or a technology or a tool or a course - but for a person to grow in terms of Life itself , I think its very important to keep asking yourself "Hey, whats next ? " !! Opinions are opinions , thoughts are thoughts . The above were some of my thoughts.

Coincidentally, this is also Steve Waugh's autobiography's name , someone who epitomizes being out of comfort zone though many people would still say he had mastered the art of always getting Aussies out of the dumps . Hmmph!! Well, but every situation in his case was different. Its also a fact that I have not that green big fat book of his to come up with these thoughts.

Also, since I have been giving too much gyaan to different people in recent times, this was another of my gyaan sessions . As I told someone , giving gyaan is almost part of my DNA . But then again ,I agree with Shakespeare that "Teaching people to do a task is simpler than to try and do the same task yourself" . Well well well, I shall surely give it a shot .......

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Team offsite

Why do people look forward to team offsites ? If you run a survey, then the most common answer would be that it would give them a definite break from work.
Why do people not like offsites ? Again survey results might tell you that people are given too much of unnecessary gyaan about team building which won't be anyways implemented after that. Typical team offsites have lot of silly games and then they overshoot gyaan about those games .

My team went for an offsite this time and the best part about it was it was outbound . The gyaan was definitely there but the way it was projected was much better since most of the games we played involved a lot of brain work, coming up with interesting strategies and helluva lot of team work!

OKAY - where on earth did we go ? We went to this place called Galibore Fishing and Nature camp - around 100 km from Bangalore . Listen to this - there was no Electricity apart from the bare minimum fan at night ( rest of it was all lanterns or torches) , No mobile phones worked there , No laptops , No internet , No work related stuff for 2 complete days, birds chirping away to glory, Cauvery river at the backdrop with huge mountains and hills all over with plenty of lovely huge trees along with amazing amount of fun and ofcourse, we got to know each other much better because of these games.

So what did we do ? We went trekking at 7am in the morning for 2 hours which was simply fantastic. We even played "lagori" or "pittoo" . We played a game based on huge drums and another game involving marbles and ofcourse partied(sang, danced,drank ofcourse!) in the evening even with heavy rains lashing out for a long period of time.

The best part however was Rappling. Since most of the team were doing it for the first time, the initial 2 feet of the 45 feet cliff (Its not too much , typically its a minimum of 100 feet or definitely more than that) was really scary especially at the point you just let go of yourself from the cliff . Its a moment where you feel your entire body and mind has completely left you and you have goosebumps(literally). However, as soon as you start going down , the feeling is totally different . Exhilaration, Sense of achievement, Adrenalin rush etc are just some of the things you can say to describe this! We had this ex-air force guy who was our guide and I distinctly remember him saying - "Keep your feet apart","Dont bend your knees" , "Arrey yaar, nothing will happen, its just a couple of feet","Go down now, haha , see its so simple, pls give a nice smile . Yaar ,uski photo tho lo" . Every single person did it in the team and it was just an awesome feeling. I will post the links once all the pics are posted.

Irrespective of what I do in future, this trip was so far the best I had been to( till maybe the next one comes around ;)) and even the gyaan sounded much better than before ;).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Holi hai bhai holi hai

Holi as we all know is a very colorful festival it had been quite a few years since I had been part of holi celebrations. Earliest memories of holi celebrations were near my place ( easily around 5-6 years ago) when people used to start by throwing water at you followed by a nice egg on the head!!Yuck ,that used to stink !

For some reason, I was not part of any holi celebration for so many years. Last year, when I heard of the amazing celebrations at my colleague's place near office ( at the Bungalow), I felt I really missed it since I was out of town. This year, when my good friend Ankita suggested the idea I was all up for it and so were many of my friends. A day before the event, things were not falling into place and thats when, since janta were really interested to play, I asked my mom to stay away from home for around 4 hours so that we could play holi ! Thankfully she did and then people also agreed to come and next day we had a very colorful, eventful, interesting, fantastic,brilliant holi celebration !! Initially there were 4 people - Aravind, Ankita , Deepthi and myself but later Narayan joined in as well and it turned out to be a fabulous experience.

Our holi shopping consisted of buying colors for around 40 rupees followed by 2 pichkaris, ( one of them badly malfunctioned too!!). Remaining ingredients that contributed were the compound, the tank water ( which was empty at the end of the celebrations!!) and 3 buckets which were misused if I may add !!! Each one had a different kind of a reaction - whereas I was mostly quiet trying to concentrate on surprising people with colors and water, dodo ( deepthi ) was mostly pointing out that pretty much every other color was "dirty" !! Ankita was very much in the mood to celebrate in the "Mumbaiyya" style since that was when she had kickass holi and then Aravind was all set as well to take part in this (which he did with great style ). Narayan was a guest in many ways, but man, was he the bakra or what !! Pouring water filled with color and spraying with a pichkari was the order of the day and wasn't it a fantastic experience !!!

At the end of it all , the scrubbing sessions did not result in complete color disappearance, but who cared ?!!! We had a super time . I can only think of expanding the audience next time and making this a yearly affair. Too bad for those who missed it this time , but hey , there is definitely a next time!!!

Here are a few pics ..... By the way we had a tough time clicking these pics as well till Narayan came !! Anyways, Happy belated holi to all janta and I love this festival ..... Holi hai !!!!!!!!!!!! To put it aptly in Golden star ganesh's style - "nooraithu rupai color jothege yeradu pichkari adara jothege hatthu litre water, unlimited fun matthe , yella corner nallu color "

Sunday, March 16, 2008


When I decided to go and watch this movie I just hoped that it would be good and to a certain extent I had expectations that it would be decent due to all the accolades that it has been receiving in recent times . Also since this brought back the successful pair of "Golden Star" Ganesh and Yograj Bhat, (previously worked together in the record setting Mungaru Male) I was hopeful that it would not disappoint.

And 2.5 hours later , the verdict ? It was definitely worth it . I wouldn't call it a great movie . I certainly felt they could have edited the second half by 15-20 mins by removing some unnecessary not so tuneful songs and some scenes, but apart from that it had all the dialogues and scenes that made it memorable. Infact, now I feel like watching it again !!!

It reminds the viewer of Mungaru Male , because there are undeniable similarities in some parts - Fantastic scenery, superb photography, Ananth Nag in a similar role but as usual excelling in his bit, repeated cast except for the heroine(s), a good Sonu Nigam song that haunts you through the movie and dialogues by Ganesh. Its a simple love story , nothing extraordinary, but since its been ages since I have watched a different kannada movie I would give this more credit.

The challenge would have been to come up with new innovative dialogues and hold the viewer's attention for a while and after the movie, I have become a fan of Yogaraj Bhat's dialogues. It definitely makes you laugh whether you like it or not coz' its witty and for people who want to cry there are definitely some scenes. I could see people wiping their eyes in front of me and next to me as well !!!!! And you cant but appreciate Ganesh inspite of his style of dialogue delivery which I think is a huge hit in the state right now!

Just to give a bit more of the story ( actually I haven't said anything so far about the story!), there are 3 youngsters who go to this village where they meet this ex "Bhetegara" who is reduced to a wheel chair due to a spinal cord failure which happened when he tried hunting a Pig !! What these guys do there form the rest of the story. The biggest USP of the movie is the place where they have shot this ! Its superb! Definitely recommended !

All in all, I would give it 3 out of 5 stars and I have a very strong feeling that I will watch it again and also that I want to really go and visit Mugalpet !!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bha and Bha - United!

After loads of struggle, my dear friends from college, Bhaskar and Bharati got married today. It was just one amazing day to just be there at their wedding .

Seldom has their been so much struggle and so much tension and so much of love - all complicated ingredients combining into one supremely valued end dish - marriage ! Imagine - a guy writing an entire book of poems for this girl. Thats just one of the small examples of what all has happened and this also proves that even today, inter caste marriages are a taboo in many Indian families and it requires lots of guts to go out of the way and marry.

The marriage was performed in a completely traditional Iyengari manner with tinges of Bengali color added for completing some traditional rituals. One of the first times I witnessed a wedding where the Purohit spoke throughout in English with the guy since the guy did not know any south Indian language! When the day began, we were wondering how will this guy go through the rituals in the required attire("Panche")! But he did so with great panache even though there was some nakhra here and there. We were thoroughly impressed that he did it so seriously .Was it because the girls' relatives were there ? We might never know the answer, but definitely there was a marked sincerity in all that he did !!! The girl was as patient as patience could be. Looking wonderfully pretty and doing all that was to be done with such ease and elegance, she definitely charmed the guy that bit more today( Not that it was really required!).

Friends from college, colleagues from office and close family members added the necessary charm to the proceedings and it was one awesome day to remember for the rest of my life! We had a wonderful time, since we jabbered from morning till night nonstop and had one of those absolutely "fun days" as one friend generally puts it. Looking forward to all the photos and videos.

Meanwhile . Here's wishing Bha and Bha a very very very happy married life!!!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vague and Weird

As I sit and watch my Laptop screen,
I wonder why I sit and see
I wonder why I can't do something better
I wonder why is it that things don't work!

Thinking of a situation and wanting to know the truth about it,
I wonder whether I will ever be able to unravel it,
I wonder why it is so challenging,
I wonder why it isn't as easy as it seems.

Complicated and confused, Worried and tensed
I wonder who defined these words,
I wonder why it defined what it defined,
I wonder why a situation makes someone so.

To these I found no answers,
I wonder what keeps people going
I wonder why I want to contemplate
I wonder why its not simple.

Hope and trust, Strength and courage,
I wonder if these qualities spurs people,
I wonder whether these will finally win over and wipe out the darkness
I wonder and hope that this will finally be victorious!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

India victorious at Perth!

I rarely remember an occasion in recent times where I felt so happy and satisfied after watching TV for 5 continuous hours without a break! Reason ? India vs Aus 4th day at Perth. What an absolutely brilliant win it was for our team and more creditable, as commentators and tv channels have been blaring since afternoon , coz' it came at PERTH - Fast bowlers' paradise.

I also realised I can make very good predictions at times! After the controversy marred Sydney test, I had put my status message as "Ozies, watch out for the backlash at Perth" and I distinctly remember many friends of mine telling me that I was getting overtly emotional and that it qualified probably as the most thoughtless status message I had ever entered. All I told them was just wait and watch and yes, they won today!!!!

It was a wonderful riveting contest and definitely proved that test match cricket was THE cricket. Not for one moment was it boring . I am sure everyone would have been relieved today was a Saturday as the productivity would have surely dropped if it was a normal working day! Cricinfo would probably be happy that their servers thankfully didn't get jammed with millions of viewers religiously having one of their browser windows dedicated to cricinfo on all the other (working) days! But a fantastic test match and probably one of the most popular ones since Kolkata 2001. Probably the only sad part being that as and when India wins in cricket more and more people want to play cricket as they grow up and other sports' suffer like they have been all these years. But people and media will talk about this a bit later this year as its the Olympic year and history will as usual repeat .... But till then , come on , cherish the great indian victory!

Chak De India !

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Movies at last!

I don't remember the last time I enjoyed watching a couple of movies so much . One of the reasons being I had absolutely no work before or after and I watched it on a laptop and at night, after the exponentially increasing traffic outside my house had considerably reduced. And both the movies were definitely worth watching! What were the movies then ?

First one, which i watched second(smile smile ),was a hindi movie called "Manorama six feet under". Recommended by my friend to a pretty high degree, this movie did live upto expectations. Its starts off completely in an unassuming manner and moves so slowly but then hello, hang on , there is definitely something interesting out there !! Script is the hero with the supporting actor being Abhay Deol, and there is nothing much to write about the remaining cast, but if your curious , then there is Gul Panag, Sarika in a cameo, Kulbushan Karbanda and Riya Sen apart from 2 ridiculous looking henchmen. Set in the sands of the great desert land, Rajasthan, this is definitely one movie in recent times thats different and worth taking a look at. By the way, its in the mystery genre, so if you like mystery and that too in hindi film style , grab this dvd !

Removed from the stack(bottom of stack , stack had 2 elements only!) is the movie "The Illusionist" starring the hugely talented Edward Norton. Its a must watch. Be it the splendid settings of "king and queen" ages or the mind blowing tricks that he pulls off on stage or the darkness thats evident throughout the movie, it makes for spectacular, compulsive viewing. Complete time pass, full enjoyment !! Don't want to divulge anything more about this movie apart from repeating the fact that its a must watch maga !

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Year's first post

As people get back to work this week after a nice long end of year/beginning of new year celebrations i wonder what some of the resolutions can be. People might want to do better at work , quit smoking tor drinking, might want to spend more time with their families,gamble less, or try not to lie, try and get married etc. There are way too many of these resolutions that if I go on listing either I will get bored writing them or even the potential readers will stop reading !

I occasionally ask myself , what is it about the new year that makes people view it so differently ? There are many views. Some people might want to restart their lives or whatever they have been doing and might want to start something totally new. Some people might want to do things in a different way. Hello, they could have done it some other time as well but why choose 1st Jan or beginning of Jan ? I did realise that much of it has to do with the thinking.

A person might always want to see newer things(who doesn't like doing or getting new things ? ) and it is this passion towards something new that makes them do things with a zeal that you can probably call the "new year zeal" as it just comes once a year ! If people have a fetish towards all things new( in general) , then my strong suggestion would be to view each day of their lives as a day thats new , as a day that can change their lives, as a day they can make their dreams come true or make a stronger attempt to make the dream come true . People don't often pay attention to the change in the date as it keeps changing but when your changing a number in the year column, people suddenly look back and say, "wow! its a new year" ! That brings me to another topic .

The number thats added to the year column matters even more because people now begin to also think in some remote corner of their mind that they will be older as well by a year ! As such, no one damn it bothers about being a day older or even a month older but a year older ...hmmm... Nahinnnnn !!

Well, that brings me almost to the end of this blog entry. I started off this entry thinking of something but ended up with something else. But I stick by what I say. People have a problem in general when they look at small things, but when they look at a big picture , they somehow exude more confidence coz' the picture is big , probably a 1000 feet level view and they still aren't involved in it ! As my friend recently said , "Watching/reading about other doing physics is easy, but if you yourself are trying to create physics, then that is a real challenge". I would complete by saying/advising/lecturing ( this is a message to me as well), ------ Happy new year and hope you see the world in a different way and hope you can manage your world better and better drill down to the details and micro manage than be happy and content with a 1000 ft view !