Sunday, May 31, 2009

The strangers of Mini-Forest

(Dedicated all the fitness freaks who come to Mini-forest day in and day out for last so many years.)

Mini-Forest in JP Nagar 3rd phase has been my favorite place for morning work-outs. I've been associated with this place for almost 11 years now. I was the most happy person when I bought a house close to this place.

Well, as with any other park, this mini-forest has its own community. It is really fun to watch people working out here :-) There are people who just take a stroll, some people does a fast walk, some people walk as if their arse is on fire, some people jog, some people really run, while some other people does kind of walkrun (you don't know whether they are walking or running).

Many of them are familiar faces from last 11 years. They walk, they run, they walkrun in the same style, year after the year. So, just by looking at their style from a long distance, I can make out who the person is. :-) Well, although I have been seeing these people from last 11 years, I've never got to know any of them personally. Sad. However, there are few people who has made a special impact on me, indirectly though. I was just recollecting about all those guys when I went for jogging to mini forest today.

There was this Malathesh, who used to be a regular to mini-forest in my pre-marriage days. One day he himself introduced and talked to me. Umm, he was just then going through a bad phase of life. He was involved with a bike accident and had a severe injury to the head. He was lucky to survive, but the injury had made him mentally unstable. He had to forgo his job and trying to come to terms with his fate :-( I used to feel so bad for him and always wished that he recovers sooner and lead a normal life like any of us. His attitude towards life (keeping himself active and fit, even though he had little balance over himself) is really commendable. I have not seen this guy from last many years and hope that he is allright and happy somewhere.

Then there was Shyam. I've never talked to him. But he used to be a real fitness freak. He had his own bunch of followers, whom he used to give advice and train. He was a marathon runner and I used to admire his flexibility and agility at his age.

One more person who comes to my mind when I think about mini-forest is Avinash. Again I've not spoken to him. He used to be a real fatty guy. When I first saw him, he was barely be able to walk. But, he was so regular to mini forest. He used to do work-out with Shyam. Gradually he lost many many kilos and he used to run quite comfortably.

There are many many "anonymous" guys whom I meet regularly year after year in mini-forest. It is a good feeling to meet these people during the workout, although I do not know any of them personally. Although we do not know each other, we are no strangers to each other :-)

I am sure many of you would have this kind of similar experience in many other places wherever you are regular (e.g. bus, train, temple etc). Isn't it? It is strange that sometimes strangers are not exactly strangers :-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Expectations from the kids...

I have been in some kind of dilemma these days on how to handle Poorvi and her expectations. She is in that age, where she thinks that her father has all the power in the world :-) E.g. She thinks that I am the one who built the house, literally. :-)

She thinks that I can scold her teacher so that the teacher behave nicely with Poorvi. She thinks that I can demand my way on the road by bullying the fellow-drivers :-) She thinks that I can do anything and everything. She believes more in me than what I do in myself. May be that's the way she gets comfort that father is there to help her and protect her in every situation.

Well, that's really going to add a big pressure on me to "behave" in the way she expects her father to be. Should I pretend or should I not? I tried to explain and set the expectations right, but failed to do so. I told her how I "cannot" construct a house and she refuses to believe :-) She cannot just think her father as a "normal human being" :-)

Although I don't want to disturb that "secure" feeling Poorvi has in this tender age, how do we ensure that it does not create over-expectations and a big disappointment when I don't deliver it one day? It is really going to hurt one day when these kids know the "limitations" of the father :-( How do we guide and groom these children to towards that day? Should we act as "super heroes" till that day?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kai yettodhu (Lifting the hand) !!!

(Bhagavantha Kai Kotta dhudiyokantha, adhanyake yettuve hodeyokantha : God has given hand to work, why do you lift it to hit someone?)

Have you guys ever thought about this popular phrase in Kannada - "Kai yettodhu"? (also known as "lifting the hands"). This phrase is used to indicate "cheating" or "giving up" on something. There is something which you had committed to do but could not do, so one can then tell - "Kai yettbitte maga" (I lifted my hands, son) :-)

I was wondering why this phrase would have come into existence? :-) I was thinking in all different situations when we lift hands. In our school days we used to lift our hands if we knew answer to a question. In many other situations (like in some LIVE contest you want to participate), you lift your hand to get noticed. So, in all these situations, lifting hands does not mean that you have given up on something (except your shyness). It is a way to get noticed.

In some sports, you really need to lift your hand (like swimming, while playing tennis or badminton etc), but it does not really mean anything, just part of the game.

Otherwise, as the popular kannada song goes, lifting the hand also often ends up in getting beaten :-( 

I found in one exact place where "lifting hand" is "giving it up". Have you seen cricket matches closely? A batsman hits the ball, a fielder tries to get across to the ball, if he is not able to reach, he "lifts his hand" (which means that he has given up) and other fielder goes to the ball :-)

I am seriously thinking, if this popular phrase was an invention of an over enthusiastic Indian cricket fan?
Do you have any thoughts? :-) 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bengalooru Marathon

(Article dedicated to Ceekay, who is an avid marathon runner and a trainer for marathon aspirants. Also to my brother Vijay, who has come a long way in marathon running)

Much awaited Bengalooru Marathon is happening this weekend, on 31st May (Sunday). It is called Sunfeast 10K marathon. As per the latest reports more than 15000 people have registered for this event. I guess its going to be a mega event. I was in two minds whether (thanks to "weather") to participate in this event or not :-) Well, first of all, I cannot run for 10 KMs for sure, I can try walking, after few KMs of run :-) Also, I am little worried about the weather conditions on that day. Initially I thought it is going to be too hot that day. Going by the recent weather predictions, it might rain as well :-( But I wish it is going to be a pleasant weather - just that typical Bengalooru cloudy weather, so that the "runners" have a "field day" on 31st May. Sun God and Rain God, please go for a honeymoon elsewhere and let the clouds rule Bengalooru for a day.

Hmm.. I have never run a marathon, not even in its smallest form. Got to try it someday, just for the heck of it. Somehow, I was not much convinced about paying the money and then run. Is it what known as "Run for your money"?

Anyways guys, on a serious note, why not give this marathon a try? We still have time to register. If not run, let us walk atleast, provided weather stays good. It is only a matter of 300 Rs, anyway you get a T-Shirt :-)

Back to School

(With special thanks to my father, who is there to support Poorvi at the school)

Summer is almost over, thankfully. Summer vacations are almost over for the kids, oh so sad :-(

Just go back in times, when you used to have summer holidays back in school. It used to be so fun for 2 months, lot of playing around, go hunting for mangoes and "neraLe hannu" in some parks, visit ajja-ajji's place, get pampered from everyone and just hope that June month never comes :-) All good things have to end and so does summer holidays :-( 

So, history repeats itself, only the characters have changed. Poorvi had her "first" taste of summer vacation this year and now its all over, back to school for her. She has to go to a new class, get used to the new teacher and to make it even worse, she is now been put into a different section :-( She is already getting the taste of "re-org" at this early age :-) All her old-time friends are in a different section and she in a totally new section :-( Uh, lot to cope up and she is already showing signs of dissent :-( Today, she cried a lot to go to school and it was one touching moment for me to just dump her into the bus, while she was crying inconsolably. At office, I am still thinking about her, hope she is fine and enjoying the company of new friends, new teacher and new things to learn.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New world of "Reception"

(This is dedicated to my sweet little daughter - Poorvi)

Well, what comes to your mind, if I say "Reception"?? I never thought much about this word till recently, when Poorvi pointed out multiple different meanings for this word :-)

So, it was during our stay in Waynad (during April 2009) that I had go to "reception" to get some information. When I told Poorvi that I was going to "reception" and let Veena and she be in the room till I come back, she had a sad face. I could not really make out what was she thinking about. On my return to the room from "reception", Poorvi innocently asked me - "Appa, who's wedding was that? Why did you leave me and amma here"? Uh... that's when I realized that in Poorvi's vocabulary, "reception" was mapped to wedding "party". It took a while for me to add a whole new meaning of this word into her dictionary.

Well, just when I thought I was "receptive" enough to clarify Poorvi's curiosity on words, just last week, I had to explain one more meaning of this versatile word to Poorvi. Poorvi was asking me "what is satellite radio"? I had to explain about sound signals being transmitted from a location, how satellite catches the signal, relays to the home and there is a "reception" of the signal in our satellite radio unit. Poorvi's question continued: "Appa, which reception is this one"??? :-)

Well, we take so many words for granted, but these kids do not :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bangalored !!!!

(This article is dedicated to all the wonderful people of a beautiful place called - Bengalooru)

Well, I got "Bangalored" in the year 1996, soon after my graduation. Ever since then, I've witnessed a sea of changes not only in Bangalore, but also in many of us, the way we have become so mechanical, the way we we have got used to the poor infrastructure at Bangalore, way we have got used to longer travel time to office and also there have been lot of changes in what we discuss when we meet people.

So, here is my own version of changes Bangalore has witnessed in last 13 years or so !!!

1996 to 1998

I used to stay in RT nagar alongwith my two classmates (Harsha R.A and Harsha R.A) in a small room. We used to pay 1000 Rs / head as rent, which at that time was considered to be too high. Well, that was just the beginning. Many people like us got "Bangalored", many more houses were taken, much more rent was demanded and given. During those days, general discussions in our friend's circle used to be around which IT company one worked for, what technology one is working on, who went for higher studies etc. General public in Bangalore was looking at IT sector with lot of respect. I even remember instances where traffic policemen even left some of the traffic offenders free, just because they worked for some big IT companies in Bangalore. 

1998 to 2001

Few years passed by. Around 1998, the IT sector was getting more business, lot more people started coming into Bangalore. Y2K was the buzz word. 

We had moved to BTM layout (Harsha, Anil, Tushar, Ajay and me) around that time. Our subject of discussions changed to "USA". People started visiting US either on a project OR left their jobs in India and relocated to US. So, invariably our discussion was around who is visiting US, who is leaving the job etc :-) 

During this time, occasionally we used to have some traffic jams, but it was mostly restricted to some parts of Hosur road. Travelling on two wheeler was still safe. During this period, I also bought my own vehicle (a black Kinetic Honda) for the first time in life. Well, during that time, the race for the bikes was only between Hero Honda splendor and Suzuki Samurai. Most of my friends had either one of those bikes.

General public realized that IT was here to stay, already some dissent started in people, complaining about rapid growth of city, shooting real estate prices etc. Hmm... it was just the beginning... People of Bangalore was to witness a big big surge in real estate in the coming years.

2001 to 2003

Little bit fast forward, come 2001. Most discussed topic used to be "marriage" and traffic jams. Every leave taken in office, every absence to meet up friends during weekend had some suspicion that "Kuch Kuch ho raha hain". Well, by 2002 most of us had got married. And ofcourse, traffic jams spread like virus. Hosur road was the most dreaded road. BTM layout got affected as well, government started building fly-overs that seemed like a never ending story. Most of the people also changed jobs. So, it was a time to "start a new zindagi" for many of us, either with our spouse or with new job.

2004 to 2007

Time for people to get "responsible" :-) Many of our friends had their kids, people bought house / site, people changed jobs at will. Invariably the discussion during this period was around house, kids and traffic jams :-) When two people met, usual discussion was around which road to take at what time and which one to avoid. It was also time to explore each possible route, however small the road is to commute to office and back. Real estate prices doubled, tripled and what not in these years. General public in Bangalore started hating IT guys. IT guys were not "favoured" anymore with police :-) IT guys took all the blame for the mess in Bangalore. There was a popular saying : "If you throw a stone in Bangalore, it will hit either a dog OR an IT guy."

2008 till date

Slowdown !!!!!!!! Its the latest buzz word. Who has lost jobs, how much did we loose in stocks, when do we see an end to recession... Uh... these are the hot topics !! 

On the traffic jams, some roads indeed got the facelift in last few years, also government was considerate enough to make those alternate roads better. So, it is not as bad as it was few years back. And of course, most of us also have got "mentally prepared" for longer travel times, so that also helps :-) 


Metro rail, more flyovers, junction-less / signal free main roads.... list of promises go on.... let us wait and see... 

As they say "Change is the only constant thing in life", so change is here to stay. Lets hope everything changes for better :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WU7 Days - Golden days

It was a winter morning in Jan 1997. Although the whole Bangalore was feeling cold, 53 of us were really feeling the heat. Butterflies in our stomach, thinking of next two months, which was going to shape up our future. Yes, it was the first day of Wipro University Batch - 7 (more popularly known as "WU7"). 53 strangers all locked up in one room and enter JV, who was the training department head. He did a quick briefing about the course, its importance etc etc. All of us felt like going back to college days again :-) Uh... the next two months were so hectic. 

I knew only 2 other people in that training room - Anil and Kiran, who were my college day friends. So, initial few days, it was 3 of us who used to stick around together.

My typical day used to start with the ride on White Hero-Puch I had (those days, Hero Puch was the in-thing :-) ). Atleast I can name few others who had Hero-Puch that time, Tushar, Chamee, Shashi, all had a black Hero Puch. Drive from RT Nagar to Mission Road used to hardly take 20 minutes. Used to have some nice Idlis in "Some-Darshini" and get into the training room by 8:30 AM. Uh, man, used to get psyched by looking at some guys already working and studying something. Well, I used to settle down, chat with few friends and wait for the training session to start at 9 AM. We used to have some sessions on Unix internals OR networking concepts or training on C. I still remember the Unix classes from Shruthi. 

More often than not we used to have lunch at Shiv Sagar, a restaurant on Mission road. Nikhil and me used to feast on the Channa-Batura most of the times :-) (It was really a very high spending on lunch, considering that we used to get around 2500 Rs as stipend that time). During lunch time, all our discussions used to be centered around some program not working, some broken linked-list or some core dump !!!

There used to be lot of assignments, lot of "surprise tests". And not to forget JV's favourite lines - " Day is still young" at 7 in the evening :-) We were kept on our toes each and every day. We used to have lot of "group discussions" as well, I still remember the discussions we all had on Unix internals ( those discussions on Paging, Memory management etc). 

Anyway, slowly got to know the fellow-trainees. Slowly some groups started to form. I sticked around with some more new friends like Prasanna, Chamee, Prasad,  KM, Tushar, Nikhil, Shashi etc. By the end of the training session, we were just like one big family !!! Each one of us bonded with others so well. We had completed a project on RTOS. And we were all set to jump to the next level (as employees of Wipro). So, the D-day arrived, we all had to face a final interview. It was sometime in March that the interviews happened. On the next day the results were announced !!! JV was there to do the honors, he asked if the group want to know the list of people who are selected OR list of people who are rejected. If I remember correctly, it was Nalini who was vociferous in her opinion that the list of selected candidates be announced. JV started reading the names... fortunately or unfortunately it was in alphabetical order. So, I had to wait almost till the end to know the fate. JV announced the last but one name, then he  said "AND". I for sure knew that it is either me OR Yatindra who would make it. Oh God !!! That was a real happy happy moment when my name was announced !!!!! Uh... what a relief....

Well, rest is history, it gave me an opportunity to work in Wipro for more than 10 years !!! Lot of golden moments at Wipro, will share later.. 

For me personally, WU7 was the biggest turning point in my life.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

1752 !!!

Ha, what a topic to have a blog on? 1752? What is the number all about? Well, its been more than just a number to me and veena !!!

Lets go back to history to find some relevance of this number :-) Its been almost always associated with the begining of a new era/life......

Year 1752 has lots of significance, that was the year when Brits and US colonies started following Gregorian calender ( modern day calender), the beginning of a new era in the history.... for all practical purposes, 1752 is referred to as the start of Gregorian calender year.....

RFC 1752 aptly talks about IP-next generation protocol..... again the new era in the networking world !!!!!!

Well, is it a coincidence that 17-5-2  happens to be my marriage day??  ;-)) It was exactly 7 years ago on the 17th day of May, I started a whole new life with Veena :-)

Hmm.. and we decided to have this special number -1752 - on our first car's number plate. Even today, on the road, I look for any vehicle with number 1752 on it, which kind of gives me a special attachment :-)

So, you know, 1752 is just not another number for us :-)

My First Blog

This is gonna be really short blog. This is my first ever blog and trying to find out how the blog world looks like. Hmm... this shows that I am aging and not in touch with the latest buzz in technology. 

Anyways, I want to share here some nice moments of my life.. Let me see, if I can come up with nice blogs :-)