Thursday, December 31, 2009

31st Mania

Everyone has some obsession for some particular number, be their car number, their house number or any other just a lucky number. But for most people, it is their date of birth. Poorvi is no different & she has this obsession for number 31. In fact it is more than just obsession to be classified as mania.

When we took a flight to Orissa, she had her eyes on seat number - 31, even though we did not get that seat. She was wondering why 31 is always almost in the end, be in the month or in the bus/plane. :-( Hard to explain. She looks at the calender searching for 31. If she spots 31 anywhere else (even in the hotel rate chart), she wonders why they have written her birthday.

Poor little she, waiting for her next birthday from the day after she had her 4th birthday on October 31st. She tried counting days for the next birthday, but had to give up after counting around 100. Uh, So many days to go? She was definitely angry. As a short cut, she has consoled herself ("Aal Izz well") & thinks that 31st of any month is her special day. She was very excited today & we all wished her happy birthday. She gracefully accepted the wishes. Luckily for us, there is a big celebration for new years eve at our apartment in the evening, probably enhancing Poorvi's faith that today is indeed her birthday & people are celebrating the same :-)

Aal Izz Well.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Orissa - Some cherished moments


When we booked our year end trip to Orissa, many people had similar question - "What's there in Orissa"? We had a ready-made answer for this question - "We are going to explore what's there & let you know" :-) Well, here we are, back from a week long trip to Orissa, with lot of nice memories to cherish.

We visited Bhubhaneshwar, Puri & Konark. Here are some our experience:

Bhubaneshwar:



City of Bhubhaneshwar is beautiful with wide roads, big footpaths & some main roads even having Cyclist's path ! Almost all the common walls in the city are having nice handwritten paintings (something which we can see in Bangalore also these days).


Some of the must visit places in Bhubneshwar include "Nandan Kanan zoo", "Khandagiri caves" and a lot of temples like Lingaraj temple, Mukteshwar temple, Raja-Rani temple etc. Although I skipped visiting Lingaraj temple, Veena & Vidya had all praise for the architecture & beauty of this temple. Nandan Kanan zoo/sanctury has some nice white tigers, tiger & lion safari, apart from host of other animals. It looked like our Bannerghatta national park, with much less crowd.

Puri:

Puri is about 60 Kms from Bhubhneshwar. On the way to Puri, we visited Ashoka's Shanti Stup in Dhauli, a shopping place called "Pipli", where you get nice bags, umbrellas, bedspreads with lot of artwork on them. 


Highlight of our stay in Puri was "Toshali resort", which had a private beach of its own amidst jungle. This beach was exclusive to Toshali resort guests & offered complete privacy & relaxation. It was a great experience to just lay down on the beach & get a nice massage. It was just the sound of waves, clear sky and unspoilt beach. Uh, it felt like heaven for 2 days on this beach.

Jagannath temple in Puri is quite in-famous for the Pandas & I (alongwith Poorvi) decided to skip this temple for the same reason. They did not allow sub-5 year olds into the temple as well. 






Konark:


Konark is about 40 KMs from Puri. Drive from Puri to Konark was a beautiful one with sea on one side, trees on the other side. Roads also had trees on both sides (remember that Ashoka's achievements as king? :-)).

Konark is really majestic. The sun temple is amazing, with such rich stone carvings. We spent almost half a day listening to so many stories from the guide we hired. Hiring a guide here was worth it, as he turned out to be a great photographer also.

We also visited Chilka lake, supposedly the largest salt-water lake in India.





It was a vacation with a difference. People visit Puri to go to Jagannath temple, but I decided to skip it & enjoy at the beach :-) It was also nice walking around in the City of Bhubhaneshwar in those nice walk paths, with cool breeze of the night. Overall, it was a nice break from Bangalore & if you want to visit a place that is not a high rated tourist destination but yet want to have lots of fun, you know where you need to go :-)






















Sunday, December 6, 2009

Art & Science of PMP

Back after a long break. :-) First, it was my PMP exam that was taking much of my time in preparations. Then a trip to Orissa. Hope I will get more time to write more in 2010.

One of my long outstanding desire to be a PMI certified Project Management Professional came true in the first week of December. Initially when I looked at the 500 odd page reference book, I was little bit apprehensive about clearing the exam succesfully. People who had already cleared the exam also gave a hint to take this exam seriously, online reviews also said so. Some of the online feedback was so scary that I had kind of prepared for the worst :-)

But, around two months of preparation, some mock tests made this whole stuff look so easy. On the day of exam I was quite conident of clearing the exam, I only wanted to check my Proficiency levels in different categories (Knowledge areas). To my disappointement I did not get "Proficient" (90% + ) in many categories :-( Anyways, PMP is a PMP, scores does not matter later :-)

For any of you aspiring to take PMP exam here are some tips:
  • Read Rita Mulchay's "PMP Exam Prep" and solve all the questionaire. Try to cover one chapter each day & take the questions related to the chapter.
  • Once you complete Rita Mulchay, refer to PMBOK. It is easier to read PMBOK after reading Rita Mulchay.
  • Take some practice tests from www.pmstudy.com, http://www.headfirstlabs.com/PMP/free_exam/

All the best !!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Two decades of a master

(Article dedicated to the biggest icon in the world of cricket)

It was in the winter of 89, when a curly haired 16 year old boy made into the headlines in India, when he played a test series against Pakistan in Pakistan. 20 years later, he is still around, although past his glory days but still he is the best among the lot. Yes, it is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a name synonymous to cricket in entire India. As they say, Cricket is a religion in India and Tendulkar is God. I feel gifted to have witnessed this guy's heroics in last 20 years. 

Over the last 20 years he has remained the same guy, although his game has gone under some change. He is the same shy guy, who is so humble. There is no arrogance in what-so-ever he does/speaks on the field or off the field. In this era of "breaking & faking" news, he has provided the news for all right reasons & never for any kind of gossips. Kudos.

Here are some of his performances/incidents which is difficult for me to forget even in my dreams:

  • He was just 16 year old, probably playing his first one day match (although it was an unofficial exhibition match). He hoisted Abdul Qadir (who at that time was one of the leg spin greats) for 3 sixes in a single over. Wow, it was the first impact of Tendulkar on me.
  • Tendulkar getting hit by a bouncer in the nose & bleeding profusely & walking back without any expression of shock/angry/pain. He was just 16 years then & the Pak legend Imran asked his bowlers to target Tendulkar with bouncers to scare him off. 
  • Little later, back in Newzealand, Tendulkar was on 80 not out in a test match, on day 1. He just needed another 20 runs next day to become the youngest ever cricket player in the history of Cricket to score a century. I almost had a sleepless night that day & woke up early morning to find out that Tendulkar was out for 88. Oh what a disappointment.
  • The first test ton in England, when he was around 17 years. Amazing, I still remember those radio commentary when he scored the first century. It was just the beginning. I have had the opportunity to cherish more than 85 such instances in last two decades.
  • Some years later, back in Newzealand again, Tendulkar changed the name of the game. Those were the days when a 50 run made out of 80 balls was very respectable score in a one day match. In one particular match, Tendulkar decided to open the innings & scored 84 runs from 48 balls. Wow, the commentators were going crazy, this was something they had never seen & never thought it as a possibility. 
  • Kolkotta, 1993. SA touring India. SA needed 4 runs to win with One over to spare. Tendulkar bowled a magical last over to give India an unimaginable win.
  • Tendulkar going back to England soon after his father's death to play in the world cup & come up with a Century. It was almost like a Pete-Sampras once winning Wimbeldon crying through the match.
  • Best players reserve the best play against the best teams. Tendulkar has never let a chance to outplay Aussies, be it in India, be it in Dubai (those two consecutive centuries back to back), be in Aussie itself. 
  • Just imagine, Tendulkar has played with greats like Kapil for a long time and now he is playing with players who were just born when he entered into international cricket. No wonder he is called the Grandpa of cricket now.

I can go on, on & on. There are also critics of Tendulkar, but it has made him only stronger. Let there be more critics, let Tendulkar become even more strong and let him play for many more years to come, which the ardent fans like me will enjoy. He is truly once a generation player & I want to watch him play many more times. Thank you Tendulkar for all your magic.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The "Missed" call

With almost everyone having atleast one mobile phone, getting in touch with each other is very easy. Just give your friend or family members a call on their mobile or just send an SMS. At the same time, there are many many innovative ways evolving in communicating with each other. With many operators having a " per minute" billing, people started communicating with each other without making a call OR sending an SMS. Just use a beautiful feature called - "missed call". There are many use cases of this "missed call":
  • One "missed call" indicates you are waiting near a particular place, two missed calls indicate a different place so on.
  • Give a missed call so that other party will call you back :-) Way to save your money.
  • Give umpteen number of missed calls to annoy someone, if you are really angry with that person.

This whole "missed call" business is so huge that some people are already "expecting" the phones to indicate them if they just got a "missed call" OR they really missed an intended call. Uh..

Just today, I came across a totally different use case for this missed call. When I called up to get the replacement cylinder for our LPG, the lady at the counter asked me to just give a "missed call" to a particular mobile number. I just followed her instruction and I got an automated SMS thanking me that I've used their "Missed call based booking system" and the LPG cylinder will be delivered soon. Just wondering if by mistake I give a missed call to this number, then what happens? And how do I cancel the request? Giving two missed calls? Ah, talk about the use & misuse of technology.

Poorvi's Birthday


October 31st is Poorvi's birthday. We are getting ready to celebrate her birthday. Its going to be a small party at home, with all Poorvi's near & dear friends. Poorvi is already looking forward to this day eagerly and has started the count down. For her, it is a day full of love, getting all the attention & getting pampered. 

As we grow older, our birthdays are limited to the cursory wishes either on SMS or on facebook :-) The real joy of this special day is when you are really young, when you get so many surprises - either in the form of some special food or in the form of gift, with all love & care from parents & friends.


Poorvi is getting a special gift this time from us. It is a all-new looking her own bedroom with special bed & study table alongwith bookshelf. Room is also painted new & Poorvi is all excited about her new room, just waiting to show it off to her friends on Saturday. :-) It was almost a month long effort to look for proper furniture, catching hold of painter, getting the furniture fixed etc. Finally it was all ready yesterday night & Poorvi in fact has already started using her new study table for completing her homework. 

I hope Poorvi will have all the fun on her birthday & we are all looking forward to a great day too on October 31st.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nice little place


We were in Indiranagar over last weekend, trying to find some cot & bookshelf for Poorvi. It was a nice evening, entire Indiranagar looked like sleeping (deepavali day, may be people were really sleeping after a sumptuous meal). After we visited a place called - "Kids Kouch" (a nice place, will probably write a blog later on this), we wanted to get a good coffee & some light snacks. As the roads were completely empty, we just went around in the car to look out for a good place to have evening snacks. As we drove down on 12th main in HAL 2nd stage, we happen to pass by a lovely home which had the board "Daddy's Deli Cafe & restaurant". We went in to check the place. Ambience was just good for the evening, to sit in their front garden & sip coffee. We ordered Mawa cake, Bombay Bhel, Coffee & Masala Chai. All the items were very well made. We were quite impressed with the Mocha cake & ice cream accompanying the same. I tried their filter coffee, which was really good. Overall, we did not expect a great deal, but were thrilled to get such good stuff. This is the charm of Indiranagar & some other places in Bangalore like Koramangala & Ulsoor. There are so many small yet good places hidden in the residential area. A big bungalow in these locality are transformed into nice hang-out place.



Daddy's Deli also have a Parsi restaurant in the first floor. We will probably go back to them sometime to try their authentic Parsi food. Anyone game for it? :-)

If you happen to be in Indiranagar & want to try out a good place for snacks/meal, visit "Daddy's Deli", you will not regret. Average price for snacks/coffee per person would be around 100 Rs. They have all-day breakfast menu, which costs around 200 Rs/head.

Address:

Daddy's Deli, Executive Inn, 3289, 12th Main,HAL 2nd Stage,Indiranagar, Bangalore-38

Directions : 
If you are coming from Airport road on 100 Ft road, take a first left turn after BBQ nation, go straight for about 1.5 to 2 Kms, you will get 12th main road, take a right turn, go for about 500 mts. This place is on the right side of the road.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chikmagalur - Driving on the edge




(Article dedicated to the jeep driver who did a fantastic job in taking us to safety in those trying conditions)

We are all back (in one piece) from an adventurous trip to Chikmagalur. For the entire part of this trip, we did not see Sun even for one single minute. Most of the time it was raining heavily. Other times, it was still raining, may not be so heavily. The whole place was completely covered with fog throughout the day, making it hard for us to guess the time. Added to this, the whole place was filled with so many leeches, making us difficult to venture out.

A nice cottage at "Nature Nirvana" (see picture-2) was our home for 3 days. This place is about 35 Kms from Chikmagalur, amidst a 250 acre coffee
plantation. For the first day of the trip, we just sat in the room, enjoying the view around the estate & playing cards. How long can we sit like this, especially on vacation. So, we decided to venture out on the second day (after having lunch) to "Mullayana Giri" (highest peak in Karnataka). This turned out to be one of the worst decision & one of the most adventurous part of the trip.

When we reached the peak, it was around 5 in the evening & conditions were already challenging. Whole place covered with fog, wind blowing at around 30 to 40 KMph. Poorvi & Abhay could not even get down from the jeep. Kummi, Veena & Amar decided to climb those 450 odd steps in these conditions. They had to hold each other and climb, as the wind was so strong. While sitting inside the jeep here alongwith Poorvi & Abhay, I thought this was the most adventurous part, but soon I was proved wrong.


We started our journey back to the resort & soon we realized what a deep trouble we were in. It was dark, completely foggy, hard to see the road ahead, add to this the narrow road in Ghat section, with deep valley on one side. Muddy road, occassional rains did not help our cause either. Our driver switched on the lights of the jeep only to realize that the conditions are much worse if lights were on. Light was getting reflected back & he could not even see even 1 meter ahead. So, what is the solution? Turn off the light & drive!!! Wow, what an idea. Imagine doing this stunt in complete dark in that ghat section, in a jeep that does not have wiper!!! For few minutes, I could not even realize what was going on & I was in shock to speak anything. This drive continued for about 5 to 6 Kms. I was so scared that I had to ultimately ask the driver to stop the vehicle. Driver was calm, he said that he had been driving on the same roads for past 45 years & he knows each turn by heart. Wow, that was really something, but even then what if he missed one turn? What if a vehicles comes from opposite direction? I really had to leave rest everything to fate & kept on praying for the driver to take correct turns at the right moment at the right place. After another one hour of this torture, finally he took us safely to our cottage. Uh, what a relief. I cannot forget this drive for rest of my life.

Some more pictures from this trip below:








This was a small waterfall in "Nature Nirvana".






Mullayana Giri Peak, Steps to the temple is somewhere at the front of those cars parked.




Single tree braving the wind & fog. In the background of this tree is a deep valley, covered with fog completely.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

English Memsab

This post is to capture some of the lighter moments of Poorvi, when she was trying to speak in English in her own way. This is not to ridicule or make fun of her good & bold attempts in English speaking, but just for some good laugh. I know, within few years from now, she will be correcting mistakes in my English & will have a much better vocabulary than I do for sure. Already she corrects the mistakes which is very common for us Kannadigas/South Indians (like M pronounced as "Yum" and not "em", X pronounced as "Yucks" rather than as "ex", "coast" pronounced as "coa-SH-t", "west" as "We-SH-t" and sometime almost sounding like "Wa-SH-te"). Poorvi is able to catch these mistakes & correct it. That's the good part.

But Poorvi's biggest challenge comes when she has to frame a sentence. About 6 months back, she had a small tussle with her friend in the apartment. She wanted to convey to him that "she will not go to his house and even he should not come to our home". She put it in her own sweet way - "You are not my house is come, I am not your house is come". Best part was that the other guy understood what Poorvi was saying and fighting went on for some more time.

Recently, Poorvi wanted to convey "Plan does not sound good". We tried a lot to correct her, but she insisted on saying - "Plan does not sound not good". Well, she is not a negative attitude person, but she wanted to emphasize that the message had as many (k)nots as possible to convey her dissent clearly. Matter of time, I am sure she will overcome these small hitches of English language soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dramayana - Jai ho

Festival season has just begun in India. I feel, Aug-Sep-Oct quarter is a tough quarter for people trying to reduce weight :-) First of all, it is either raining or pretty cold to venture out much. Then the range of sweets & other dishes you get to eat during Ganesha-Navaratri-Deepavali season does little good to your body too. Anyway, this quarter is also a season of joy, celebrations, coming together with your family and friends. 


To celebrate Ganesha festival, there was a fun filled evening organized in our apartment as well. The program was themed around Ramayana. All important events of Ramayana were depicted through some modern dance sequences. 

Hilarious part of this dance sequence was - "Aaja meri gaadi main bait jaa" song sequence, where the so 
called "Rakshasas" come in modern scooter (kid's scooter), and trying to woo Sita to come with them for a ride :-) As usual Sita falls for this tactic & hitches a ride all the way to Lanka. Then, as usual Rama/Lakshmana have to go to Lanka to get Sita back right? So they do. There was a song sequence "Jai ho" from all the "monkeys" to boost the morale of team Rama to go to Lanka & win the war. Poorvi was one of the monkey in this dance sequence. This dance was done by kids of age around 3 to 5 years. They all had enthusiastically prepared for this big day from last couple of months, practicing Jai-ho dance day-in & day-out. The whole dance sequence came out really good & I was pleasantly surprised that these monkeys did carry themselves quite nice, with all those costumes.


Poorvi and gang are now practicing bollywood dance for next set of songs already. As Navaratri & Deepavali celebrations are also coming up, these kids will get more chance to show off their talents. Jai Ho.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Life







Last couple of weeks have been busy for me. First of all, my old laptop decided to take its last breath & my N95 phone got critically ill. So, when you don't have your laptop with you & your phone does not work the way you want it to work, you will feel paralyzed. That's what happened with me & I ordered a new laptop in office & got myself a new phone. A complete new life for me, as Veena says :-)

I have a new HP 6930p Elitebook (see the pic). It took sometime for me to get used to it, install all my old softwares/applications. I must say, this is a very nice laptop, but my only crib is about just 160 GB hard disk :-( All was well, untill I installed Office-2007 on to this laptop. Sometimes I get that ever-famous blue screen, which is quite annoying. Anyway, this is much much better, faster & more importantly has a prolonged battery life than my old laptop.

Next step was getting a new phone. I was all the time waiting for Nokia 5530 to be available in India. It is good touch phone, toned down version of Nokia 5800. Nokia 5800 (refer to the pic above) was priced at 16.7K about 3 weeks back & 5530 was expected to be around 14K. But surprise surprise.. Last week 5800 prices were slashed by 3K & it was available for 13.7K. No looking back, no more waiting, just went & grabbed Nokia 5800 for 13.7K last weekend. Again, coming from traditional "keypad" phones, getting used to touch phone & exploring all the nice features took time. More challenge was to make these two new devices talk to each other seamlessly.
And in this new life, getting things right first time is difficult. For example, look at this blog. I am yet to find a way to position the images in right place using IE-7. I was happy with Safari on my old laptop & for some reason safari was not getting installed on this new laptop. I knew how re-positioning of images work within the blog editor. Somehow it is not working in IE7 :-(.
New life, new challenges. We shall overcome, someday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A holiday - Why was it for?

Last Friday was declared as a holiday in Karnataka for all government offices, schools & colleges. Reason ? To mourn the sudden, sad demise of YSR, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. There is a saying in Kannada - "ಎತ್ತಿಗೆ ಜ್ವರ ಬಂದರೆ ಎಮ್ಮೆಗೆ ಬರೆ ಹಾಕಿದರಂತೆ". It was a case something like that. Due respects to YSR & his achievements and indeed it was a very tragic incident. But, why a holiday in Karnataka?

Anyway, Poorvi did not complain. She asked me why was it a holiday on Friday. What can you tell to a 4 year old? I thought atleast this is the time for her to understand what is a city, what is a state, which is our state, which is our neighbouring state, who is our chief-minister, who was neighbouring state's chief minister etc. So, I started asking few basic questions like - "Which is our city, which is our state, which is our country" etc to Poorvi. With some guesses, she was able to answer them anyway :-) Now the big moment - "Who is the chief minister of Karnataka"? Well, Poorvi knows Yeddiyurappa. I thought she might answer this correctly or at the most say "Manmohan Singh", if she had some confusion. Poorvi thought for a moment and guessed - "Pratibha Patel"!!!! Wow, that was a complete googly for me. How did she know about Pratibha Patel, president of India? I did not probe much into it, but I clarified these confusions & then explained about YSR and his death in helicoptor crash. Poorvi said, she already knew about that news, she watched it in TV & I was not giving any new information to her. :-( Oh... I thought I was really far behind in getting the news updates than Poorvi.

Anyway, on Friday morning Poorvi was explaining about her new-found knowledge to one of her friend - " some man was travelling in some helicoptor. Somewhere it crashed and he died, so we have a holiday today". Very simple explanation isn't it? I was just wondering again - why was the holiday for.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Great fancy dress


It was a fancy dress day for Poorvi in the school today. Last year, she was a "doctor". So, we wanted to dress her differently this year. The theme for today's fancy dress was "national leader". Hmm... without much of thinking, we decided to dress her up as Indira Gandhi :-) It is simple, isn't it. Wear a saree, hold a flag & tell few words like "Jai hind" or "Bolo Bharat Maatha Ki". Well, not exactly.

Poorvi was very uncomfortable in ready-to-wear-saree. Her stomach/back was visible & she did not quite like that. We tried our best to convince that it is common if one is wearing saree. Poorvi did not appreciate this logic & did not get convinced much. She was again crying in that lovely dress. Somehow, we have sent Poorvi in this attire, not sure if she is comfortable in the school & able to carry herself in saree. Hope everything is fine with her & her dress.

Few pics of Poorvi in saree, in the morning (some smiling, some crying and some crying-smiling pics).



Thursday, August 27, 2009

The one stop sports shop - Decathlon

This place rocks. If you need any sports equipment (be it camping, archery or even surfing), you get them all here. This is not like any other shop that you have been to in Bangalore. Shop is quite huge that you can try cycling inside the shop itself, before you buy the cycle. If you want to try hockey/football, you can do it all there. Staff is courteous, they can even play a game of TT with you, if you want to test your racquet before purchasing. This is a place called "Decathlon" on Sarjapur road. It is a must visit place for all sports buffs.

But, all good things in life come with a condition too :-) This place is meant only for the retail merchants / business establishments. So, you need to have a membership card there. To get this card, you have to prove that you have some business (by showing your business receipts/accounts) :-(

In India, for every rule, there will also be equal and opposite workarounds to overcome the same. So, I have seen many normal janatha like me having the card and enjoying the benefit. All you need to do is to catch hold of a card holder in Decathlon, go along with them & shop to your heart's content. Some of the must-see-must-get items in this shop include "Golf Umbrella", Water bottles, variety of torches etc. Stuff yourself with enough cash on you before you enter this place, as they accept card payment only from their "members". More details in this page - http://www.decathlon.in/

Directions to reach Decathlon:

From Silkboard, go on HSR layout ring road -- Agara junction -- Sarjapur road -- cross Wipro corporate office -- Go past railway crossing -- Reach Decathlon (on to your right, 50 meters from railway crossing).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Soap Opera

Poorvi wanted to get a new soap, so we went to a nearby shop to get the soap. Poorvi was very clear in her choice - "Doy" soap. She had seen some advertisement on TV and wanted the same soap, come what may. After a few rounds of search, we found the Doy soap in one corner of the shop. It came in pack of 3 (which seems to be a new trend with most soaps these days) & it also had a free gift (coloring box). Poorvi was very happy. Little did she know how her expectation "bubble" going to burst in few hours from then, when she started using the soap. More on that bubble later.

While searching for Doy soap, I had the opportunity to glance at all other new & old soaps in the market. How much this soap market has changed. In fact there was an ad in a news paper last week that "Lifebuoy soap is known to protect against H1N1 virus". Wow, amazing isn't it. Everyone is making hay while the virus shines. First it was N95 masks and similar ones. Then came homeopathic medicine which is preventive against swine flu. Now, it is a soap. More than anyone else, it is the doctors & the hospitals which are having the last smile. Such an ad from Lifebuoy really creates an impression and I almost bought it (not for fighting against H1N1, but its a long long time since I used this soap & wanted to try).

Almost every soap (cinthol, Dettol, Margo, Liril etc) has a "new" tag attached to it with little bit of twist to its fragrance, to attract the people looking for a change. But for those nostalgic ones, there are still the old versions of cinthol, Liril, Margo soaps in tact :-)

OK, back to Poorvi & her bubble. Poorvi had seen on TV that Doy soaps can create bubbles. Her first wash with Doy soap was anything but a big disappointment. "Where is the bubble" was her question. I tried to explain that in the next wash it might come. Next time around, I put more soap into her hands and asked her to rub more. She does so and lo, there are bubbles. I gave a victorious smile at Poorvi. But Poorvi was still frowning & said - "Papa, I don't want these round bubbles, I want an elephant bubble which they show on Doy soap advertisement. Where is it?" !!!! Oh God, somebody please help me.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "deadly" accident

(With Special Thanks to that anonymous person who clicked the photos in this article)
There was a major traffic jam on outer ring road and on Marathalli bridge today. Apparently there was a "deadly" accident which caused this. The goods carrier (like auto) rammed against a lorry. The goods carrier person had supplied milk to our office in the morning and was going back, which happened to be his last journey :-( I think the pictures below speak for whatever happened. Very unfortunate :-( The way these goods carriers, cabs and water tankers are driven in Bangalore, they are always asking for trouble :-( Early in the morning, with no traffic, he would have just lost one or two minutes in his journey, if he was going cautiously. Uh, do they really care for themselves & others ? :-(


Monday, August 17, 2009

Swine Flu - The great mania

I resisted myself this long to write an article on the deadly H1N1 flu - also known as Swine flu. But the panic around this, changed priorities among people and in general the way people look & behave these days made me to dedicate an article to this H1N1 virus.

First of all, my due apologies to other viruses which causes equally (or more) dangerous diseases like "Dengue" & "Chicken Gunya". I am not going to talk about them in this article. I sometime feel bad for these other viruses which are not getting the due attention & respect they also deserve as H1N1.

Secondly, I want to apologize to any of the friends, well wishers or anyone known to me who gave me a "big smile" on meeting me at some mall or in some "crowded" place wearing a mask. I am sorry that I not only missed your smile, but also could not recognize you in your new found looks.

Headlines in the paper is about Swine flu, all news channels cover the same news. Tired of all these, go to office and open your mail box. There will be atleast couple of warning mails on this :-(

Last weekend, we had gone to a doctor clinic to get some treatment to Poorvi. Although we went there wearing the mask, psychologically I had got swine flu next day. You just cough once, people give a suspicious look. Imagine sitting in the middle of so many patients, who are all coughing, sneezing & with high fever. We were sitting there for almost one hour, before our turn came for the checkup. Definitely some virus can easily find the gateway to our mouth & nose through that mask. I had kept myself under observation for next one or two days to ensure that none of the serious virus have infected me.

You meet people wearing masks in malls, on the street, in the bus and every other place. Is it just for their precaution they are wearing the mask OR are they infected themselves?. Its a million dollar question. So, I avoid handshakes with these people & it is also difficult to recognize people wearing some sophisticated masks. So only way to "connect people" these days seems to be through mobile phones. It is safe & no need to wear a mask while talking. :-)

With schools closed for a week, malls having less number of visitors this mania is spreading much faster than anticipated. It was SARS in 2002-2003 which brought world out of recession, can Swine-Flu do the magic in 2009? All good things will end. All bad things like recession will end too. May be it needs some worst things like SARS & Swine flu to end? Time will tell.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

History Repeats....


This weekend was kind of disappointing for us. It all started on Thursday morning itself. Poorvi had Krishna-Radha dance at her school. She was supposed to dress up as Radha and go to school. Lot of preparations were done on Wednesday evening itself (like taking approvals from Poorvi on what dress she will wear next day etc). So, everything was set. Atleast that's what we thought so.

Woke up quite early to get Poorvi ready for the day. Everything went on well for sometime, but all of a sudden, Poorvi decided that it is a good day to chill out at home and cannot take the burden of the school for that day. We tried all possible methods - request, bribe, threaten - nothing worked. Poorvi had made up her mind. It is difficult to send a "crying" Radha to school. With Swine flu scare at the back of our minds, we decided not to push "Radha" to school. What a fun day to miss the school :-( Poorvi will probably realize this later :-)


In fact, it seems I was no different when I was "Krishna". I was crying through a fancy dress competition where I was forced to dress as "Krishna". Probably there was no swine flu threat during that time and my parents did indeed help me to participate in that competition and win first prize. :-) I could not help compare these two instances (Crying Krishna vis-a-vis Crying Radha), chronologically separated by around 30 years :-)

Back to last Thursday. On the same day (Thursday) evening, we were suppose to go for a trip to Badami, Aihole, Pattadakallu. Due to some unavoidable circumstances, we had to cancel this trip in the last moment. I remember, we had to cancel our Hampi trip also sometime in 2006 December, very similar to this one. Just 2 months later, we were in Hampi and had a very nice time there. I am hoping that history repeats itself, we will get a chance to visit Badami soon & enjoy it too thoroughly. I am really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aqua Aerobics - No sweat workout

Veena and me are trying Aqua aerobics from last weekend. This is something really different and most important of all, I don't sweat and there is no "pressure" on the legs :-) That gives a feeling that I am not tired and can work out longer :-) Not sure, if this exercise is really effective, but atleast it is fun. We were made to "sit" in the water with floaters under the armpit and pedal an imaginary pedal-boat. We were suppose to go forward and also backward pedaling like this :-) I had to unlearn some of my swimming techniques to do these exercise. It is so difficult to resist swimming and do jogging in the water. So difficult to pedal the boat and not do a back stroke.

Veena especially had some problem on the first day. She could not stand properly in the swimming pool as the swimming pool depth is more in Woodrose club. She was literally on her "toes". However on the second day, she enjoyed the exercise with the help of floaters.

Let us see, how effective this is going to be. But they promise lot of fun games too as part of this aqua aerobics. Atleast I am enjoying and looking forward to the next classes. A good swim at the end of the training session is like an icing on the cake.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Writing on the Wall


Do you remember sometime back there was a hysteria about "NaaLe ba" (Come tomorrow) ghost. Many of the houses in different villages & towns used to have this script (NaaLe baa) written on their front doors to fool & shoo away the "devva" (ghost) at that time. Belief was that this "Devva" would read "NaaLe baa" and come back again next day to read the same script thus ending up in an infinite loop.


Well, now a different kind of hysteria has started in & around our apartment (JP Nagar, Bannerghatta road, BTM layout). This time, it is a different kind, thanks to the overnight work of the BBMP guys over last couple of days (or should I call it night?). One can see some alphanumeric words (like 7.035M, 12M etc) written on most of the compound walls of the apartments, houses, business complex around BTM layout, JP Nagar & Bannerghatta road. If you just neglect this as one more identification mark/address to your home, then you are mistaken. This is part of BBMP's "Bruhat Bangalore" project, where they are widening the roads (from existing 4 lane to 6 lanes). You can refer to the earlier article in Vikki-Pedia - "Buffalos and Bangalore"on the development plans for Bannerghatta road, but I never thought BBMP will act so fast. These number on the wall indicate the extent to which each of the buildings along the road will get affected :-( Moreover the writing on our wall (refer to the photo) just indicates "12.00", we do not know, if it is centimeter, meter, kilometer or feet :-( This has come as a weekend shocker to many of the residents in this locality and all of us are keeping the fingers crossed that the damage due to this road widening activity does not literally throw us to the "streets".

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thiruvallavar Statue in Bangalore?

D-day is 9th August: Thiruvallavar statue will be unveiled in Bangalore. Sarvagna statue in Chennai. Thiru... who? Don't know him? Neither do I. Statue of him in Bangalore, why? This is the same questions many of the Kannada organizations are asking. Even I do not see any use in having Thiruvallavar's statue in Bangalore and Sarvagna's in Chennai. What do Tamilians know about Sarvagna? Will the Tamilians and Kannadigas give respect to Sarvagna and Thiruvallavar's statue respectively? I don't think so. Matter of days when someone notices how badly one particular statue is maintained in one state and other state taking a revenge on the other statue. We have already seen the report in papers on how badly Sarvagna's statue was treated in Chennai, few days before installing it. :-( Is it not a good option to have Sarvagan's statue in Bangalore itself & Thiruvallavar's in Chennai?

Instead of concentrating on these statues, if both Karnataka and TN work out an amicable solution for water-sharing (cauvery water) & border issues (Hogenakal) it is good for everyone.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aey Bhai, Zara Dekhke chalo..

aye bhai zara dekh ke chalo
aage hi nahi peeche bhi
daayein hi nahi baayein bhi
upar hi nahi
neeche bhi
aye bhai

Remember this song from "Mera Naam Joker"? Well, exactly this is what my car driving instructor taught me when I was learning to drive a car. He asked me a simple question - "While driving, which are the different directions you need to look at"? I thought this is just a test of "directions" and confidently told him "I will look at FOUR directions - front, back, right and left". "That's it?" question came back. "Yes" was my confident answer. Then he explained me, how "car" is different than riding a "two wheeler" and how we also need to be conscious about 2 more directions - "top" and "bottom". Definitely a good gyan for the amount I paid to learn driving. On the contrary, I remembered some advices from a friend (Tushar Oza), on how to ride my Hero Puch effectively. He always used to advice me to fold the backseat footrest as it might obstruct some hairline maneuvers !!!

OK, back to the topic. Why did I remember all these suddenly? Hmm, I had the opportunity to once again observe the daring driving skills of different cars on the Mysore-Bangalore highway last weekend. Many many cars (likes of Honda City/civic, forget about Indica and sumos) had their rear view mirrors on both sides folded to achieve maximum speed (increase the aerodynamics by minimizing air resistance). When you are cruising at 130 to 150 KMPH, is this safe? Who cares? Reaching their destination about 20 to 30 minutes earlier than it takes is the key for them and not the safety of themselves or the others on the road. Uh.

There are other bunch of taxis one need to be careful about. They have the car tail lamps modified to look like some graphic equalizer when they apply the brake. Are they taking a right turn or left turn or are they on the reverse gear? God knows. Just enjoy your music and their graphic equalizer.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Less known good places

Every city, every town has some special shops/business which is very well known to the local people, but the outsiders may not have a clue of these places. There are so many food joints like that in Bangalore. Each locality in Bangalore will have atleast one such special establishment which even other locality people may not be aware of. Similarly there are few good places in Mysore too. When we were in Mysore over the last weekend, we visited two such places. Although both these places are not new to us (having spent few years in Mysore), but I am sure people from outside Mysore would not be aware of these nice places.

First, we visited a place called "KSC" (Karnataka Saree Centre), a government establishment dealing with apparels. This place is just diagonally opposite to the Mysore zoo front gate. Its a must-go place for all ladies especially, as there are umpteen variety of dress materials, sarees at almost the cost price of the material. We were amazed to see some very nice dress materials starting at 160 Rs. Wow, beat that price anywhere else. Veena had a fantastic time shopping there for almost 2 hours and I was happy that such a big shopping did not dent a hole in my pocket :-) There are also range of bed spreads and shirt/pant material for men.

Just today, I was listening on the radio about a new saree (Kanchivaram silk) getting launched today in Bangalore. Looks like Vishnuvardhan is going to unveil this new saree in Malleshwaram today. It is dubbed as the costliest saree, priced at Rs 2 Lakh. Different worlds? Eh.

Our second visit in Mysore was to a place which I like the most :-) Its a sweet stall in one of the by-roads of Kuvempunagar in Mysore. When I used to reside in Mysore, this establishment was run in a small home/shed and there were limited number of sweets/khara on the offer. I had a similar picture in my mind when we visited this place to get some sweets/snacks this time. Wow, to my amazement, this has become a big shop at the same place. One can now see people queuing up to buy sweets and also there are many supplementary business (like soda guy, vegetable seller etc) surrounding this establishment. Wow. Best part of this shop is the consistent taste and very very low price for the sweets/khara. In fact, many of the other retail vendors come to this place, buy sweets in bulk and resell it at higher price. So, next time when you are in Mysore, don't forget to visit this "Udipi Krishna Sweets" in Kuvempurnagar (off Adi-Chunchanagiri road, close to Cauvery school). Try their special "sajjappa", "bellada kobbari mithai" and a range of "kodbaLe" and "chakkali". Its really worth a visit and makes your visit to Mysore all the more memorable.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shaadi ka Khel - Part 2

August 2nd is the D-Day in the life of Rakhi Sawant. The great Indian Swamyamwar is all set to end on Aug 2nd and Rakhi will choose her Bakara from the three contestants left in the final stage. It is almost certain that Elesh (businessman from Canada) is all set to become the biggest bakara, let us wait & watch. As one of the newspaper rightly said, Rakhi changes her mind every 2 hours, so one may be in for a surprise on August 2nd :-)

Rakhi for once was fooled by one of the contestants. Manmohan used Rakhi to get all the publicity he wanted in his hometown. There were big processions, big posters of him & Rakhi, thousands of people gathered at airports, mandir to catch a glimpse of this hysteria. Finally when Manmohan realized that he has got enough publicity, he told Rakhi that he cannot marry her :-) Oh, smart guy I must say.

Anyways, let us wish Rakhi and her husband a long happy married life on August 2nd :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meeting the Celebrities

Last weekend, we were in a lovely resort - Golden Palms spa resorts - owned by Sanjay Khan. It was some promotional event followed by dinner. Just as we were around a sports complex in Golden Palms resort, we bumped into Sanjay Khan face to face. Uh, it is difficult to deal with celebrity. We know them, they don't know us and what do we tell them we meet a celebrity? Just shook his hands and blabbered something like "Its a pleasure meeting you sir". He was much more relaxed and chatted with us for few minutes, especially on Poorvi and the dress she was wearing.

Flash back. I've met many celebrities and everytime I have the same dilemma as - should I talk to them or leave them alone, as if I have not noticed them? Even they need their privacy.

Airports are the best place to meet celebrities :-) I have met Ajay Jadeja (before fixing days in 1998 :-) ) & Sha Rukh Khan (in 1999) in airports. Both these times, I hardly had a pen/paper to get their autographs :-) Had to convince Ajay to sign on the backside of my visiting card.

In the mini forest at JP Nagar, I also meet Girish Karnad regularly. Again, not knowing how to react, I just ignore and carry on with my workout.

Still remember one interesting incident that happened on our flight from Zurich to Brussels. There were a bunch of youngsters who boarded the plane alongwith us. They were making lot of noise and generally having fun. We just ignored them to be the college friends traveling together. Only when we boarded the plane and took to our seats that we came to know they were football players from some club and they had won some championship. Flight attendant announced on the addressing system that it was pleasure having them on board and congratulated them on winning the championship!!! Many co passengers were so excited to see them and got their autographs. Being totally unaware of who they were, we just slept as usual, hoping to catch up with Indian Cricket team like that on some day :-)


Friday, July 24, 2009

Art of Writing

Poorvi's homework saga continues. There were quite a few challenges with small "g", small "e", but somehow by every Sunday evening Poorvi ensures that her homework is done :-)

The biggest problem for Poorvi at this point is to write "b", "d", "p", "9" without getting confused on where to put that "circle" after writing the "standing line". It is very common that when she writes "b", it looks like "d", "p" looks like "9". Sometimes she gets so confused that when she writes a "standing line" and a "circle", it looks like lolly-pop :-) But the good news is that, she has started enjoying the writing. Even when we insist her to stop writing and take a break, she wants to just continue writing. I remember she had the same problem with coloring as well, initially she hated it and now, our home is so "color-full" :-)

It seems, Poorvi is also going to learn about "cursive" writing in the second half of this year. I feel cursive writing is a curse on the mankind, especially in this generation of computers. I have hardly touched any "writing devices", eversince I wrote my last exam in 1996. It is only nowadays that to teach the "art of writing" to Poorvi, I have started holding the pen again. Anyways, it is in her syllabus so she has to do it and it is also a good opportunity for me to re-learn these forgotten art.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

India Eclipsed....

It was solar eclipse day yesterday. There were mixed reactions among the people in India. Some people wanted to get a glimpse of this supposedly-long-eclipse early in the morning (around 6:30 AM). Some others felt going out at this time (during eclipse) is a big time sin, so they stayed back home. Even the maid servants who usually come early in the morning, worked overtime on previous evening to avoid coming early in the morning on eclipse day. Even some of the schools declared holiday. May be some schools did so to enable the students to view the eclipse and others to avoid ill-effects of the eclipse. But the kids had a good day off yesterday, just enjoying a totally unexpected holiday.

There were also some mails floating around on possible earth quakes to happen on July 22nd and also a threat of Tsunami. Thankfully nothing like that happened. "snopes.com" was right again, indicating these rumors as just rumors and there is no truth.

All in all, it was a disappointing day for everyone (well, for most of them). People who wanted to see the eclipse could not see, people who were expecting the Tsunamis and earth-quake, it did not happen. But, there were other bunch of happy people like me, who took advantage of this situation :-) while some people are gazing at the sun and others hiding at home, people like me took almost half the time it takes on a normal day to reach the office yesterday :-) Wish there will be many more such days in future :-)


Note from Wiki-Pedia:

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth so that the Sun is fully or partially covered. This can only happen during a new moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. At least two and up to five solar eclipses can occur each year on Earth, with between zero and two of them being total eclipses. Total solar eclipses are nevertheless rare at any location because during each eclipse totality exists only along a narrow corridor in the relatively tiny area of the Moon's umbra.

A total solar eclipse is a spectacular natural phenomenon and many people travel to remote locations to observe one. The 1999 total eclipse in Europe helped to increase public awareness of the phenomenon, as illustrated by the number of journeys made specifically to witness the 2005 annular eclipse and the 2006 total eclipse. The recent solar eclipse of January 26, 2009 was an annular eclipse (see below), while the solar eclipse of July 22, 2009 was a total solar eclipse.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Historical News?

Three news items caught my attention today in the morning while I was reading the news paper. I felt all these three are kind of historical news in its own way.

First one is something that affects you and me directly, second one is something to do with nation and the last one is just nothing to do with India at all. I just tried to capture these news in brief below :-)

The heights of Toor-Dal :

Yes, the first news was on the price of toor dal. Once known as poor man's rich food, it is now all set to become like gold, difficult for even the rich people to afford :-) In the last 6 months, the prices have risen from 36 Rs/kilo to around 100 Rs/kilo now !!! And it is still going up.

I am just wondering if the hotels are still having ever popular "Dal Fry" on their menu or not? Another interesting comparision is that toor dal will become costlier than chicken in coming days. Don't be surprised, if these "Dal Fridays", "Dal Tadka" hotels turn into "Chicken Sunday" and "Chicken Tandoori".

Kasab's confession:

Hmm, not much options left to defend himself anymore, Kasab finally confessed to his crimes in 26/11 attacks. Now the big question is, what will happen next? We have all the evidences, terrorist has confessed, what else is still needed for the court to pass the orders and then "execute" the order? Will it ever happen in India? Or are we going to support this terrorist for some more years with Roti & "Dal fry"?

Ashes - The Famous English win:

It took Englishmen 75 years to beat Aussies in a test match in their own backyard, mecca of cricket at Lords. This series has already seen so much of excitement that people are already betting it to go in the way of the greatest Ashes series ever played back in 2005 at Australia. I am keeping my fingers crossed and supporting Englishmen to win one more Ashes, just the way they did it in 2005. With three more tests to go, Aussies will bounce back strong, let us hope Englishmen will overcome this challenge and make 2009 one more historical year in Cricket.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Devara Betta - Enchanting hills




Last week, some of us in the apartment (Hitesh, Ramesh, Mukund and me) decided to go on short treks atleast once a month. We decided to have our first such outing on yesterday (Sunday, 19th July 2009).

It was early in the morning, as early as 5:30 AM that we started our drive towards a place called "Devara Betta", situated somewhere close to Anekal, but in Tamil Nadu. Initially I had this feeling that its gonna be real cold and I was ready with jackets, monkey cap (if needed) etc. But surprisingly it was not that cold.

Hitesh had been to this place many times before and thanks to his sense of directions and memory for remembering the roads and crosses, we reached the destination by 6:30 AM. One more pleasant surprise awaited us - Hitesh had packed some hot hot tea for all of us. Wow, it was so refreshing to drink the tea and start the trek.

The place is having some monolithic rock formation, few small hills and ample forest across the hills. It was really picturesque with green covers everywhere. Added to that, weather was so pleasant.


After having the tea, we took the path leading to the forest, just to explore the area. None of us had any idea about where each of those trails will lead us, but we just followed on. We could hear so many different kinds of sounds and songs from so many different birds. Hitesh being a veteran in bird-watching, he named many of those birds, none of which I can remember :-) We walked for almost one hour going past many "decision points". Typically after somtime, each of the trails used to fork into multiple different routes. We had a thumb rule that "when in doubt, take the right" and went on :-)




After one hour, we kind of reached a dead-end, where we could see the valley and a thick forest range of Bannerghatta. We enjoyed this scenery for about 15 minutes and started trekking back. This time, we took some short cuts, did some rock climbing to reach to the top of one more hill nearby. We relaxed there for some time, had some "chikkis" which Mukund had got and walked back towards our car. By 8:45 AM, we had finished our morning walk in the forest and were all set to return.




We took a different way while coming back. There is a place called "Thalli", about 5 KMs from Devara Betta where we stopped by and had some yummy breakfast. Then we took Maralawadi--Harohalli--Kanakapura road -- NICE road -- Bannerghatta road to reach home by 11 AM. The drive from Thalli to Harohalli is just fantastic, passing by forest range, agricultural lands, lakes etc. For miles together, we were the only ones on the road. With some Kishore Kumar numbers being played on the FM and a fantastic weather, it was definitely a drive to remember. If you want to try this weekend get-away, you can get more information in this link:


Next, we are planning for a jungle trek in Bannerghatta national park sometime during August.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thank you for the music...

I had a gift voucher to purchase 100 songs from an upcoming music store. So, I started browsing the store for all my favorite music. It is not an easy task to choose the best 100 tracks of your choice ranging from English, Hindi, Kannada and even Tamil. Especially when there is a huge collection of music from all genres and all types of music.

Most of the songs I chose used to take me back in time to some place, some incident or some situation. I guess many of you would have experienced the same, when you listen to some song.

I think the first and foremost song which created any interest in me towards music was a song from "Qurbani" - "Aap Jaisa Koyi". Every time I hear that special music, it takes me go back to 1980, when I was a kid of 5 years. This music was played round the clock in my neighbor's house and I was so much attracted to this music. I guess this is the only thing I still remember about our neighbors back then. Even now, my heart skips a beat to hear to this great song. During that generation of 1980s, may be this music would have created flutters.

Other song(s) which I can never forget are the songs from Roja. Uh, the music defied the tradition and it completely stood out from the rest of the music in 90's. Every time I hear this music, I go back to my hostel days in engineering college. Every room you enter, at any time, this song was always on. For so many days, weeks and months, we just listened to these songs from Roja in that hostel. First time ever I became a fan of Tamil music and first time ever I watched a Tamil movie.

One more incident which I can never forget is "Jayciana" - our college festival. It is in one of these festivals that I heard the song - "Pyaar hame kis mode pe le aaya". Uh, it created an unbelievable "mode" and instantly this became one of my favorite songs. Similarly I cannot forget "Dil tadap tadap ke" song sung in one of the Wipro day functions back in 90's. Again, added to my favorites.

Listening to so many lovely songs over the years, only one thing comes to my mind : Thank you all the composers, musicians for the music. It is always so special. Long live these lovely music.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Changing times....

I remember, as a kid, I used to play almost till 7 in the evening, when the light was not sufficient anymore to sight the ball in the game of cricket. Typically our evening games used to start around 5 PM (after the school hours) and go on till it gets dark. All our home-works and other studies used to start only after 7 PM :-) (actually I was wondering, if we were to have the extended daylight during summer, we would have played till 10 in the night :-) )

Nowadays, in our apartment, I see children playing all the way till 9 in the evening. I was really wondering about the "school-life" balance of these kids :-) When do these kids study? When do they do their homework?

Last week, after a late-night basketball match with these kids, some of us (uncles :-) ) were talking to these kids. It seems, most of these kids come back home by 4 in the afternoon from schools. Immediately they do their homeworks and study all the way till 7 in the evening. They come out only by 7 and play till 9. Their logic was simple. "We cannot do studies after playing uncle" :-) So true. This 7 to 9 schedule also suits their parents, who can watch their favourite serials on TV, without much bothering about kids' homework and studies. Hmm... Changing times, Changing life style, all for good I suppose.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great Expectations...

This incident happened while I was having a chat with my cook some days ago. He asked me "aap Nokia phone use karte hai na"?. I nodded my head. Then he asked me for a favor. "Idhar se Orissa ke liye sasthe main phone karne ka plan batha dena". Uh, I don't know if he has an Airtel SIM or Vodafone or in fact Tata Docomo :-) So, I told him he has to talk to the operator like Airtel or Vodafone. He was not convinced. Probably he did not know the SIM and what has gone into his phone. He again asked me back - "Aap office main kya karte ho? Aap ke office main pooch ke bata dena Nokia phone se sasthe main phone kaise karna hain". Umm, I could no longer argue with him, I told I will try to find out. Just to end the conversation, he had one more question " Nokia mobile se hi sasthe main call kar sakte hai na, doosre mobile se mehanga padta hain"? This question is like asking a barber if one needs an haircut. What else can I tell him?

For once, I felt he should have been in US of A to get that user experience of integrated mobile and tariff package :-)

Same cook goes to one of my friend's apartment. His wife happens to be a dentist. Again last week, our cook had fever. So, he goes to the dentist and asked for some medicine to cure his illness. Rightly, she refused to give him any medicine. Our cook was shocked and could not believe that people are so against him. One person is not giving right "tariffs", other one not giving "medicines" to cure his illness. He was complaining to us "Kis taraf ki doctor hain wo, dawayee nahi deti, hamare Orissa main tho aisa nahin hain, sab bheemari ke liye, sabi doctor dawaayi dete hain", his list of complaints continued forever.

I am sure he would have had similar expectation on me, for sure he would have cribbed in similar lines elsewhere :-)

I think this kind of expectations from people are not new to us, right? There were times when Veena was asked which Petrol bunk she works for (HP), whether we made Shikakhai soaps (for Wipro) etc. If you can explain your position and clarify these doubts, well and good. Otherwise, learn to live with these great expectations :-(



Monday, July 13, 2009

A lovely, unwelcome visitor


Yesterday night, we were just walking around our apartment complex, when few of my friends had gathered at one place and looking at something with amusement. Poorvi and me went to see what it was. The annual visitor to our apartment was back. Last time around it had created a little havoc when it accidently had hit a visitor on the head. But whatever it is, this is a lovely bird called "Barn Owl", which unfortunately is on the verge of extinction.


Have a look at the picture taken during the day time, this owl has a nest in one of the cozy corners of our apartment. But this owl visits our apartment only once-a-year and stays here for couple of months.

Yesterday it was sitting on one of the balcony grills in one of my friend's apartment. Whole of yesterday it had been kind of "shoot at sight" for them, trying to capture the images of this special visitor from different angles. Hope this time around this visitor does not cause much problem like what it did last year.

Note from Wiki-Pedia:

The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. Depending on subspecies, it measures c.25-45 cm in overall length, with a wingspan of about 75-100 cm. Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs. The light face with its peculiar shape and the black eyes give the flying bird an odd and startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose.