Thursday, December 28, 2006

Test post

Test post

Monday, May 02, 2005

Missing my love....

As much as I would not want it, ever since we were married, our relationship had been very unique. Yes unique, it is, in the sense that it requires me work for 5 long days a week (sometimes longer than that) with the aching thought that she will not be there when I come home. It makes me realize how much I miss her and shows me how barren life seems without her.

But that is not all about it, and that is not at all why I put this entry on my blog. It is about those two days a week, which artless people call as weekends, and I call as my weekly springtime. For living these two days, I have been traveling all the way from wherever I'm (Bombay, Bangalore) to wherever she is (Guntakal, Hyderabad). Sometimes, she too does the same when it is not possible for me for whatever reasons and sometimes we just have to wait for another weekly sprintime, not sure of when it will be.

Discounting the time to travel it gives us a day to a day and half of togetherness. This short togetherness gives us a semblance of what life should have been, if it is not for the uniqueness of our situation and what living together means. That is the time when I get to spend some quality time with my sweetheart and my baby. Since the travel, the togetherness, the departing are all so vital to me, I thought, it is prudent to relate my last week's visit which among other things included some shopping.

That I'll do in my next entry, for now, I'm again busy like a pig.

People who are not what they seem on the surface...

There are some people who seem to me smart and discreet. These are the people whom I want to befriend and have an inspiring, intellectual and mainly a friendly relationship. But, I didn't realize that, that smartness can be just a show-off and they can eventually turn out to be self-centered, snobbish and prejudiced nincompoops.

For now, I can just sympathize their situation as they can have no friends but sycophants. They are so immature as to form opinions about others from the first moment of acquaintance and are
naïve enough to judge them on those opinions.

Fortunately I find them far and few, like I (regrettably) found one, to be of that kind, last friday on one of these blogs. But that nice lesson couldn't have come earlier. It saved me from wasting time on befriending someone who is not worth it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Girls with jute heads...

Hydrogen peroxide? I thought it was for cleaning wounds or for mildly bleaching silk fabrics. But, recently only, I found it is used to discolour and bleach lovely-shiny-black-hair of Indian girls. The result - we have hair resembling rotten coconut coir with strands of brown (where it is not rotten yet) inside black (where it is rot).

I know, this trend emerged from some pesky top bollywood heroines, including and not exclusively, Kareena, who thought it cool to have some jute strands among black locks. Now and then, I find these girls (especially college going), who, for me, look like they belong neither here (India) nor there (cold countries where blondes are found). Combine this with
skimpy clothes which even the poorest of poor won't accept, tight jeans and belly bearing tops which can pass them for a bilogical specimen - they end up looking abused and wasted barbie dolls or to put in one of my friend's, rather offensive words - whorish. The freshness and candid look is gone forever.

I can' just fathom how such a trend began associating itself with fashion or being part and package of looking attractive. This new craze to look 'phoren' by colouring the hair is simply disgusting! Ugly to say the least. Personally, I feel, nothing can make a person have a more attractive and more desirable look than his/her natural look. Any cosmetic which naturally, subtly and non-pervasively enhances and aids one's natural looks is always welcome. But using chemicals and bleaches and trying to look somebody else, we are not, is simply ridiculous.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Religious freedom and freedom from religion...

"Jesus Loves You"

Many a time I came across this sentence, in the form of stickers on buses, toilets, walls, trees, boulders and stones and so on. It seems they won't leave any stone unturned in their activism to project and popularize their beliefs and faiths. Who doesn't know that "Jesus Loves" or for that matter that babies cry, that sun rises in the east or water flows from high to low ground.

Several relatively new religions, including Islam and Christianity, have conversion and propagation as their fervent policies. They have this need as they have to fight with established beliefs and make their religions look different from the very old ones like Judaism and Hinduism, which obviously didn't have any such need, at least, not in the very early days. But in this activism to popularize their own beliefs, esp. believers of Christianity, generate a lot of propaganda and information surplus, like "Jesus Loves You", that is unwanted, unwelcome if not irritating for several people.

Now coming back to the topic, what is so special about, Jesus loving me? Every religion has love and compassion at its core, even though every religion is open to interpretation superficially. This resulted often in people forgetting the core ingredients of their religions. This is true for believers of Christianity as well (crusades, germ warfare against indigenous tribes of north America etc.) If one sees my point, I'm not saying anything against peace loving nature of Christianity, my only point here is what is so special about Christianity, that its believers are trying relentlessly to project it as "the only" religion of peace in the world. That is ridiculous.

Can religion imbibe feelings of peace in general public? I don't think so, there are countless examples in the world where major wars have been fought in the name of religion. One can be atheist, and still be peaceful and compassionate. Also one can be atheist and still accommodate others' beliefs.

I'm an atheist, but still fold my hands, bend my head in reverence in a temple. I jus t know that it gives a lot of satisfaction to my mother and I don't care if Jesus loves me.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Deutschland wieder!

Yes, I have to go to Germany for the second time. Though this time luckily it is for a short sojourn of around 2 months.

Not that my last memories of Germany were not nice, in fact, they were fantastic. But remembering those times make me remember the fact, that after getting newly married and having been with my wife for just around two months, I had to go on that particular assignment to Frankfurt. Though the stay there turned out to be fantastic, the long separation proved quite painful to both of us. Thanks to our jobs the day times passed off easily, with both of us immersed in our works. But the evenings and weekends were the hardest when the desire to talk and to be together was at its most intense.

Though, there are many differences between that visit and the ensuing one. The most significant one being - we have a sweet baby boy now, who has just learned to sit on his own with no props and to push himself around in the walker. So this time I've one more dear fellow to add to my "missing" list. So I leave my miniDV camcorder, a Sony with my wife to capture all the lost moments, something that I do even now, given the fact that we have not settled together yet.

I hope my wife will get her transfer to B'lore by the time I come back to India. We have lots of plans to celebrate. I suggested her touring areas nearby B'lore like Mysore, Rameshwaram, Mahabalipuram etc. (Ooty and Kodaikanal we've already been to) since we have a baby now. But she immediately takes this for my laziness and insists that we should go to a new and far off place like Darjeeling or Goa this time, which we can't go to that easily. And she will not at all budge on that. She gives me such a disapproving and disdainful look when I mention the fact that for me being with her even at home is as good as enjoying a tour.

By the way my wife is a very good organizer of tours. I'm a bit (not much!) ashamed to say that till date she planned for all our trips (including honeymoon) to Shimla, Manali, Ooty, Kodaikanal etc. She works in Indian Railways so she has this VIP passes to 2 tier AC compartments, valid for her and her spouse (lucky me!) and children. I will write more about these tours later. For now I thank God and you my friends to have helped me put on one more entry on my blog.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Busy as a pig...

I have to setup a new project for a new customer. There are so many activities - connectivity, training needs etc. Will try to break even soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gastroenteritis!

I had contracted gastroenteritis, somehow, the day before yesterday. I was all well till around 2pm, when I experienced intense urge to puke. Puke, I did, the whole meal that I ate an hour before and the vomiting didn't stop at that. I found, I was puking even a glass of water I took to stablize myself. Soon, there were more of them, till I was even ejecting the bile (yellow, bitter fluid generated in the liver, to digest fatty foods).

I was hospitalized soon after going home. The doctor found me utterly dehydrated, immediately gave me doses of anitibiotic injection (cyprofloxacin and nitromidazole) and pierced a catheter into the vein on my left arm and started feeding me with saline and antibiotics.

So I had to spent a whole day at hospital. But the good part was, I had the chance to drink a lot of tender coconuts and read all the newspapers in town and listen to FM.

Talking about local news - there is this fellow, an IT pro from Wipro, Bangalore - having decided that his IT job was becoming more and more mundane each passing day, took it on himself to do something pathbreaking and intellectually refreshing. So he calls Wipro office, and tells them that a bomb is planted in the office premises. The hoax threw the whole of Wipro into a near chaos, with sniffer dogs and bomb squad police invading the office interiors, as panic stricken employees (they were not evacuated!) watched with open mouths.

Now, after finding that it was all a hoax, the police traced the call to a coin phone booth. And what a fool the hoax caller was! He made a call to his wife right after making the hoax call! Needless to say what must have happened next

Friday, March 04, 2005

"Not-so-good grades" don't necessarily mean bad careers!...

I joined my first and my current job somewhere in the middle of 2000. Having literally fiddled-off my 4 years at under-graduate education and as a result having grades that were not so reputable, I was of course anxious to, at least, make a mark for myself at my new job. So I impeccably maintained notes for all job training sessions, helped several guys in clearing their fundae, religiously exelled in all my tests.

Compare this to those times, during my UG, when whole semesters passed on photocopying "expert notes" for every subject that ever existed under the sun. I, myself, didn't have any belief in whatever meager notes I might have written, while day-dreaming in the LHC.

After all, when it comes to earning bucks, life takes on a new meaning. I'm not one of those guys who finds it thrilling, to toil the whole semester, yearning for those top-notch grades. Money, and one that materializes every month, and one that increases with better performance, imho, is a better incentive for any kind of toil. As I said, it is just my opinion, and opinions differ for person to person. And I don't refute the fact that better college grades give a better launching pad for any career. Yes, they are just a launching pad. What matters next, for career growth, is not just the ability to score better in a test, but the deftness and practicality in dealing with real life problems and situations. And that is a different ball game altogether, in which vaguely defined qualities like leadership, creativity, team playing, project management play the better part.

So I advise, my college-going readers, to put their best efforts learning and understanding the subject and concept. Maintain consistency, strive for improvement and don't get too paranoiac on the not-so-good grades. Aim for overall development rather than just academic.

Speaking of "overall development", here is a passage I quote from the blog Extras, which in turn was quoted from the book "The IITians" by Sandipan Deb.

Reflecting upon the time people like the author himself , Nandan Nilekani, Manohar Parikkar, and others, ‘wasted’ in getting involved in non-academic activities – “Was it a monumental waste of time and energy? It seemed like that to many students, who preferred to stay in their rooms and focus on their academics. It’s also true that those of us who busted our butts in these activities definitely took a hit on their grades. For students like me, who were anyway in the bottom one-third of the class, the die was already cast. Our grades were already poor, and a few more Cs would not have made much difference to my academic trajectory. In fact, people like me hoped that when we applied for jobs, our academic shortcomings would be offset by our extra-curricular achievements and student government posts, which would indicate that we possessed that important and ill-defined quality called ‘leadership ability’. But I also know several IITians who would have topped their classes if they did not spend part of their time in extra-curricular activities. Many of them made that decision consciously. They preferred a fuller life to academic glory.”

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Of freedom and the desire to be with...

I will talk about this matter quite objectively. I mean, I won't be judgmental or opinionated, as I sincerely don't have any fixed opinion on this. Or rather it is the case, that I sometimes find mutually incompatible thoughts equally reasonable.

Ok. Now right on to the topic. One of the pre-conditions, among others, that my then prospective wife put forward to me in a mail. She actually put that in telugu/english mix, but here is the essence -

"I'm a working woman, but I'll not misuse this as a way to escape from my responsibilities as a wife, daughter-in-law and mother. What I want from you is, in future you will not want me to do things which will not let me have an identity of my own (like asking me to leave my job)"

Without an iota of hesitation, I replied:

"I believe that we all have one life and we should live it to the fullest, doing whatever we wish to do. Having said that, I'm very happy that you did not prefer the stereotype role of a woman and have the confidence to take on any kind of responsibility. Yes, we will both work and work something out!"

What I like about my wife's job is - She loves doing it and she draws a lot of satisfaction from it. Why not? She is directly contributing to something as crucial as signalling and telecommunication for the nation's most preferred long distance mass transport. I can't say the same with my job in IT. Yes, I can say that I contribute 5-6 thousand rupees (after tax saving) as taxes every month to the provincial and central governments. But sincerely, I believe, our nation is in more need of people who contribute with their efforts, than people who contribute from their pockets. But then we need all sorts of people to make the nation, to make the world.

Back to the topic, I'm confident as ever that "we can both work together and work something out".

It is now almost two years into our marriage, and we have been together for around 4 months, in stints of 1, 1, and a lovely-long 2 month. My wife will get a transfer to South-Western Railway on April 1st :)) But that transfer does not mean she will be posted to Bangalore (where I'm). She will have probably to work for few weeks or months, at SW Railway headquarters at Hubli, before she gets posted to where I'm.

I want to live with my wife (Of course, she does too!).

I want my wife to have a place for herself in life (like I want it for myself and like she wants it for me), that is separate from our personal space - her job.

I believe that the phase we are going through is temporary.

I believe myself and my wife living together is going to be a more permanent feature of our life in near future.

I don't want to sulk! As that results in, nothing but more sadness to both of us.

And there are a million things, in our personal space, to smile at, to feel cozy about, to cherish and feel possessive about, to regurgitate in bliss, while closing my eyes in the early morning bus to the office.

I love my wife.

The air (that I breathe out) is now getting heavier with emotions.

On a lighter note check this out - 33 Reasons Why you shouldn't post your picture on the internet .

I take that for only comical value, I will soon put out some snaps of me on this blog.

Friday, February 25, 2005

We are finally settling in Bangalore!

After living separately for nearly 5 years, myself, my family (excluding my wife and baby boy) will be settling together in B'lore. They will hopefully join me in April.

So tomorrow, I'm going to my queerie little hometown Kakinada ( to leave it permanently :(( )on the east coast of India, roughly midway between Vishakhapatnam and Madras, to bring my parents. And luckily we have a direct train there.

Wish you all a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Havoc in hell - City transport in B'lore

Rewinding two months back in time, I still remember myself cussing and cursing the Thane - Navi Mumbai roads, which I had to tread daily on my office bus. I used to make silly calculations that if I'm spending 2 hrs a day in commuting, I'm spending a whole month every year just doing that. Yes, the bus then used to cover 30 km journey in aroudn 40 mins to 1 hr. Very rarely did we get into the dratted traffic jam. Still, the traffic composition was decent, largely buses, trucks, few cars and very few two wheelers on the high way - the wonderful Bombay railway system taking the bulk of mass transport. And then Thane, Mulund, Navi Mumbai - districts surrounding Bombay - were quite well planned. Here you have the residential areas divided into sectors with minor roads / lanes plying between typically 7 storey apartment complexes with ample space left for trees and greenery, the lanes lead to arterial roads which connect one sector to another. Each sector has its own shopping complexes, grocery markets - catering to tastes of workers, middle class and rich societies. This meant that typically one need not venture out of one's sector for basic daily needs. The most beautiful thing about the transport there is - the junctions / crossings on the main highways were far and few. And there were plenty of flyovers, to take care of uninterrupted traffic.

Those days seem now like having spent in heaven.

And now down to hell.

Bangalore! I would say this city is the most hyped among all in India. For people moving in here, I think there is no incentive other than career in IT. And that too is fast losing its charm, because of the daily traffic jams, that one gets very used to. I have made records twice, reaching my company provided acco. 3 hours after leaving from office. This prompted me to take an apartment very near to my place of work.

I heard that the bosses of Wipro and Infosys have given an ultimatum (?!) to Karnataka State Govt. that if measures are not taken to reduce traffic jams (like restricting trucks invovled in construction activities) they will move out of this hell. Have to wait and see, that day would be fantastic as majority of the buses on Hosur road belong to these companies only.

Bangalore has no construction planning in most places. People here still have the old mindset of owning land and building independent houses. The result - you have less than a feet distance between one house and other, the land prices soar to unreasonable highs, narrowes lanes tens of twists and turns before one could go to his "independent house".

There is no greenery in most of Jayanagar, HSR Layout, Koramangala etc, and it is very difficult to find decent apartment complexes for rent. The name Green City has now become a misnomer. For even buying a match stick one typically ventures to the main road, as extensive and uncontrolled building left not much enough place for shops within residential areas. Only few areas of planned lay outs. The reason for all this is sudden, unexpected and heavy demand for land and residential areas due to IT industry growth in the past 10 years or so. This lead to uncontrolled and unplanned building in most areas. The people who built these houses are not getting any value, as there are no planned roads and sometimes one has even to go through a narrow lane between two walls to reach one's place!

I'm now living very near to my work place. I was lucky enough to get a 2 bed room apartment, with 1250 sq ft. space, decent interiors at 8000 bucks / month. But once my wife joins me, I will need to again move to her officer's housing somewhere in B'lore city, quite far from my place of work. And I will have to do it, as my baby boy of 4 months needs his mother more than me.

Though there are some good things to Bangalore - the solar water heating in houses and apartments, this was my first experience with solar water heaters. The water is burning hot and always available in large amounts, even during early mornings! And that is quite pleasant, right after getting out of bed it soothes mind and body, and makes you feel fresh.

Atleast I will have hot water bath, even after all fossil fuels dry up!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Travails of uncoupled working couple - me & my wife...

This time I owe it to myself to write about an issue close to my heart - it does have a profound effect on my daily behaviour

This is not a sulking exercise on things out of my control. But, it is very tough living in love away from your lover.

Some background: My wife re-started with her job - that of a signals & telecom engr. in Indian Railways, which she took leave from, in her last month of pregnancy. She is now with our baby - her mother and father helping her with the baby and other house-hold things.

So yesterday I had a long phone-chat with my wife. Myself, in Mumbai attending training on a new technology and she in Hyderabad, two days after rejoining her job of two years.

Just before, I had her on my phone, I had a big meal of dahi-wada - btw. I hate it when they put that sweet gooey stuff on an otherwise perfect dahi-wada - and Amul Rose Milk shake. This made me feel particularly good with my stomach. So naturally, I was in a nice romantic mood. We talked about things ranging from her (slowly) disappearing stretch marks, to her wearing that (now almost disappeared tradition) rather adolescent outfit of traditional Telugu girls - bloom shouldered jacket with long flowing lehenga - in which she looked extremely cute. She was slimming down to a near wisp she was, the way before pregnancy, and awfully fast at that, which always makes me get paranoically concerned about her. She just brushes aside my concerns - either saying that I'm just trying to appease her (and that she needs to thin down further, into her skeleton) or saying that remember on so and so day and time, in so and so place you said you love my being slim. God! Save me, I can't afford not to say something or risk saying something and get the dialog replayed before me, long before I forgot it. (I hate my memory or rather lack of it) And after not being able to convey the most serious of my concerns about her "fast slimming trend", I say with indignation - "Yes, I would say whatever I feel like when I feel it seriously and you can't pull something out of context, to show that I'm contradicting myself - just to annoy me. I would hate you becoming fat but neither I would like you thinning down to air" . And that brings out some solemnity in her for my concern and at that point she changes the topic!

We would start living together in Bangalore, hopefully in early April. Needless to say, I'm waiting for that day, like a chakor.

One nice thing about my baby boy is that, he (or is it "it", I don't like calling my dear baby "it") did for me something so tough for myself to do. He made my wife want to become chubby and add a little fat, for the sake of him. In fact the baby was born (on Oct 2nd!, 2004) weighing healthy at 3.6 kg). So now since my wife's mother is with her, I need not worry much.

And by the way, I know my wife, since we were 7 yrs old, more about that later. I now realize, I'm losing even my short-term memory! I wandered off from the original topic - Travails of me and my wife having to live apart - but that is OK, I now don't have the mood to sulk as I said before. :))

Tomorrow morning, I will be going back to Bangalore by Udyan. The admin fellow in our Company is out of his mind, he got a ticket for me which requires me to catch a train which departs Kalyan at 9 AM! It takes an hour and half, overall to reach Kalyan from my place. Got to get up early tomorrow and that would be excruciating, given that I normally sleep at 2 or 3 AM! But then I can sleep well in the AC train.

This is all for today. Happy weekend to all those who have been generous enough (if at all!) to visit my blog. Hope to post something on monday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Where to start?

I actually envisaged to use this blog to reflect upon my life, my feelings, opinions and thoughts about all the matters that matter to me. In short, I wanted a kind of online diary, which will kind of record my personality, attitude overtime.

And, more importantly, I want to also see how much I will transform overtime - how hard will I stick to my ideals and values, how frequently I would contradict my previous self.

Also my memory is not as good as my dear wife's is (btw. she has such excellent one as to remember 5-10 cell phone numbers without jotting down anything or crack an all India level exam, having prepared just over a month). But I love her, not solely for her prowess, but for her temperate nature and immense concern and care for me - will elaborate on this in future posts when I get the right context.

I will use this as my diary, I don't view a diary as a place to write one's secrets, in fact I pride myself as not having many secrets. The most important person for me - my wife - knows me like an open book. And, as I said, she has great memory - just to give an idea, she remembers even things I told her on some Jan 21, 2003, at around 7:30 pm when I called her at her training center, after my office hours, several months into our acquaintance, months away from our marriage. That coupled with my frequent forgetting even essential things, irked her many times but then at the end of it she loves me for what I'm :)

As of now I want to write this blog as frequently as I can. And here is some plan-of-action I'm going to stick to wrt. blogging:

1. Never edit a post once it is published or even never edit a paragraph once written.
2. Record the most intense of my feelings towards my wife, my baby, my parents, my sisters and my friends - people whom I daily deal with.
3. Would love to see people comment on my blog, but will let the blog, speak for itself. Though, I will religiously comment on others' blogs which inspire me.

Very first

So I decide to write blogs, inspired by a bunch of kids from DPS RKP, 10-12 yrs younger to me and who built some very good chronicles of their everyday lives making seemingly mundane things quite inspiring.

So before I start putting ink about my life, I will acknowledge some of the best ones here and how I came across them...

http://smitamisra.blogspot.com/ - curious about DPS scandal and having some spare kill time in nov, 2004, and not knowing what it is all about, tried Google and this brought me to some psybaba blog on rediff, which in turn gave me this address. My nosiness rewarded me well.

Karan, Bhavya, Akhil and others whom one will find in Smita's and her buddies' blogrolls. I don't know these fellows, but it is kind of one way relationship with web page celebs that, one very frequently finds in this internet age.

It is about time to leave my office so I stop now.