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:


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 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 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,

All the best !!!