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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

diwali : this year was on nov 5th.we were heavily jet lagged and that totally worked in our favor !! family, food and fire crackers throughout the night, with a view of the fashion institute in navi mumbai was perfect !

diwali with family

shatabdi : mumbai to bharuch  is about a four hours train ride. we boarded in the early hours. the train is clean, they serve quality food (a lot) and the seats are perfect for obese mammals (leb)..!!

shatabdi, an express ride from indian railways - obesity friendly

we chanced upon a  mumbai sunrise…!!

sunrise in mumbai from within the shatabdi

breakfast: is the most important meal of the day,  and on some mornings,… best with an antacid !!

breakfast of the kings - with no acidity issues

dam : damn, …..the sardar sarovar dam and narmada look awesome !!

colors at sardar sarovar dam on the narmada

at any hour of the day … !!

sunset on narmada at sardar sarovar dam

crows: do not remember seeing even one of these in all my years of stay in the americas

oblivious of their vocals

tirupati: is always crowded and busy with tirumala devotees.we found a place to stay, close to the bus stand, with a view of the hills !!

tirumala hills in the early hours

sunrise ‘n’ sunset : is probably when the day looks best, no matter which part of the world !!

sunset in chittoor - andhra pradesh

photographs : all the photographs were shot with a 8.1 mp digital camera and there was no Photo Shop editing done to enhance quality. If you liked the photographs and would like to use any of them, please be kind to acknowledge the source.

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This is the first day of the rest of my life”, I thought as the tires touched the wetness of the concrete. And I reminisced – “I had left this country at an hour when India was fast asleep. I come back to this country, as India is getting ready to start a new day.” Almost a decade back, I had packed my life into two suitcases and landed in Detroit, which was then fondly popular as the Motor City. It still is, just that the fondness has given way to sympathy.Sadly.

Welcome to America. Enjoy your stay” – she had said from behind the plexiglass. My good friend and his faithful Marlboro Lights had greeted me as I stepped out to a chilly fall afternoon.That was my first ride in a Ford. I was naive and excited, about everything that was to be. There was the factor of the unknown, about how life would shape up to be, in the next few years. First came the University, the jobs followed and then getting married, and then our child. And finally came the “decision“. The one which we had talked about for years. To move back ! But when it really happened, it was too surreal. It swept us off our feet. Into the air.Literally.

Namaste Sir. Enjoy your visit. How long are you staying?” he asked from under his neatly trimmed mustache. “For a while”, I beamed under the neon. “We are back for good, at least for the next few years”. We dragged our bags into a pleasing Bangalore air. And before I forget, let me tell you. The airport is beautiful.And wonderfully maintained. And so is the Mumbai airport. From the time we landed in India, I have flown through a lot of airports. Let me correct that. I have been flown by the most obliging pilots. And I have loved each one of them. And let me tell you, all those flights have been on time.Technically.

There has been so much that I  have experienced in the last few weeks. Couple of them are most impressive on the memory. Like how, I got to smell the smoke, from the noise of crackers during Diwali, laughing out with D in his Navi Mumbai high rise, as we put away some cold beers with freshly grilled kabobs. Our baby, soaked in tears as he lost all his silky hair under the skilled razor of the pundit in charge at Tirumala. And the warm air as we sped in awe on the wonderful – NE1 from Vadodara to Ahmedabad.Really.

As I wait for my PAN card and hopefully get employed with any company that has a loaded cafeteria, it is but most understandable that my LDL will be duly entertained by samosas,dhoklas,pakoras,pani-puris,medhu vadas,paneer puffs,khakras,mysore paks,gulab jamuns, and a few others. As I do justice to all of them , I should be able to catch up on my blogging and primarily with following my favorite fellow bloggers. If you still remember me, please do visit again. If you are  here for the first time, welcome to my world of reclosion.This is the beginning to a new journey and would love to have you with me.Truly.

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Today is a very important day !!  The man who is paying for the services of consultants like me, is back from his vacation. Now, when I say he is paying for our services, what I really mean is he is the Global Director, Project Sponsor ….Executive Board et al. He is the client !!

The timing of his “time off” could not have been better. We were in a critical phase as far as the project deliverables and decisions were concerned. Sort of along the same lines of when Arjun and Krishna were tweeting on Koffee with Kauravas. Now imagine, just before Krishna begins, Arjun decides to take a month-long vacation. You know to explore the hills of Gangtok I am sure that would sit really well in the Pandava camp – “dude just go….. have fun !! ….and bring us back some yak milk cheese.”.

History repeats itself is proof, when our Local Arjun brought back some candies from Zurich. Based on inputs from my intra office contacts I have established, that these are the ones which are always on sale in the Duty Free stores. And I digress. At this point, it would be rather insignificant for the reader to note that our Local Arjun is of Bengali descent. It would also be negligent of me, if I forgot to mention that Local Arjun believes – being a fellow Bengali, it is my moral duty to kiss his Bengali paachha (buttocks)…. especially since it has client written all over it !!

Now that is where things get a little hairy. Let me explain briefly with an example!!

So, Local Arjun cruised in this morning, sporting his Sree Leathers shoes and wearing his cheap cologneof the 80’s man who badly needs a wardrobe makeover”. And then he embarked on his Vijay Yatra (raucous walk through the cubicles). As the decibel on the periodic  “haoo are yoooo”’ s amplified –  I knew it was just a matter of time, before I would have to strike a subordinated posture and enquire  – “Boss kemon ghurlen?” (how was your trip, Boss ?).  

I have to admit, this was not the best question !! Local Arjun took the cue and promptly filled up the air with details on how “vaery beeootifull Vaeneece (Venice) was !!  He slurped on the memories of a “deeleeshush” duck in Paris. And almost mourned the loss of his lugg – age (including his wife) at the Munich airport. Four weeks of relaxations has its effects, and at that point he just wanted to get back home to some dal bhaat (lentil and rice). The “vaery” vocal travelogue continued,without any consideration for those that were on conference calls or any other business related activities.

As everywhere, there were some dedicated schmoozers who posed some challenging questions – “ how were the hotels ? “. Local Arjun believes in – always explain briefly with examples. (now you know why I am how I am). He did not disappoint the listener. “ Oh they were so vaery costtlee”  he said and concluded the ten minute monologue with – “I had to spend $40,000 just on hotels itself !! It was horr-aybell, you know !!

Like so many others, this is another bone dry IT project. One which is supported by a group of under paid technocrats. Those who have had a really rough June. The client sliced and diced us with inane accusations and rolled off some key resources without any specific reason (read : because someone needed to be blamed). One of the guys lost his father before he could reach India. He was not allowed to leave sooner. And yet our Local Arjun finds in himself the “right” to flaunt bleat about his pleasures pains to those that held fort during his totally deserving holiday.    

It is likely that working “14 hour” days has pushed my head, so far up my behind, that my thinking has got all muddy. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the part where I question the Gurus of the Service Industry. When they say “the client is always right !!”  how “always” is that ? ?

While you reflect on that, I shall now get back to comforting him with my sincere concerns – “You look tired Boss. I think you should take it easy for a couple of days !”.

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Ricky Gervais’s .gif courtesy: google images

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Wish me luck” he said as he snuggled his glasses into her soft hands. She obliged with a whisper – “luck” and he could almost hear his juvenile heart bounce around to the beats of Air Supply. He was near the penalty box, when a corner kick generated some irate dribbling and before he knew it, the ball was rolling coyly towards him. He leaned to his right and with a quick sweep of the left knee gifted the momentum to the white net. GOOOOAAALLLL !! 

His joy was boundless, as he waved through the dust, at what looked like her silhouette.”Few more minutes, and this trophy is ours “ – he thought. This was the first time he had scored a goal !! Actually,this was the first time, he had been picked to play at any match (that mattered). Thanks to the guy, who was carried out in the second half, due to an injury that had involved a shoe, the football and his groin. Pain !!

The match resumed, amidst cheers and boo’s.Usually, he never tried to use his head (no pun here) to direct the ball (again no pun). You see, it is not easy to do that and keep the glasses on your nose at the same time. But this was a different day.Sans glasses, this  could well have been a first time. Except for the small slip in coordination. His head found someone’s chin, a player from the other team. The referee was furious, used a lot of Kerala accented English and flashed a red card. Exit !!

As he pseudo shamefully  left the ground, he kept thinking – “how does this really affect my football career? I am banished from the next 2 matches …which I would not be picked to play anyways ? And ….no classes since technically. I am still part of the team. Also less time on the ground = Less sweat = Better impression (if you know what I mean). Totally awesome ! !” 

Minutes later. we had won the match and the tournament. I was a school hero. My life changed !! That goal scored me, what I would define as : irresponsibly flirtatious glances from many whose names I do not remember now… (or do I …wink wink). It also earned me pats of disbelief, from the Physical Education teacher, who on other days spent most of his time, coaxing me to walk from the classroom to the outdoors. Right on !!

Once, every so many days, (once every four years to be precise), I close my eyes and replay what transpired on that dusty afternoon. It is not every day that a non athletic nobody like me, gets to make room for a trophy in the principal’s offce. It re-fills my heart with teenage pride. That right there was my “golden boot” moment !! Literally !!  

Enough said  …..let’s “kick off” the celebrations already….. !!

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Ladies and gentlemen, today is a sad day for the “Rebublic” of Bubbles !! Yesterday four of our youngest and bravest, lost their lives, in what can be defined as notebook example of premeditated cold “bubble” murder !! What is most absorbing, is the amount of planning that went into this heinous crime. This photograph was taken, minutes before the fatal episode. What follows is a transcript of the note found at the “splash” site, moments after the bubbles’ “burst” !!

What’s her face, is the reason for our death ! You can see her hand and how she used it to “blow” us into our demise. There was not an ounce of remorse, as her  partner in crime jumped gleefully with his sadistic squeal  – “ bawel bawel” (damn kid did not even pronounce our names right). They even had a photographer, at the soon to be “scene of crime”. As gravity pulled us towards the prickly greens, we could hear the haunting chuckles of the shutter.

They say, moments before you are about to die, your whole life flashes in front of your eyes.Who these “they” are, ….is unknown to us !! What we do know, is – that is a load of crap !!  If you look closely, you fill find our eyes are filled with images of the white balcony where our killers were situated.

This summer has been really bad for all of  “bubblehood”. From the time, State of Wal-Mart came out with the Summer Clearance Act, “bubblcide” rates have multiplied. We request all “bubbles” to try and relocate to the overstock section.

Let us observe a moment of silence in honor of  “bubbles lost in air”. We have to be strong. There is no room for tears .. ..Bubbles Don’t Cry !!

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Photo Information: This photograph was taken by le embrouille blogueur. If you wish to use this, please acknowledge the source.

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It was a Sunday morning when Arnold and I met  for the first time. We were in our own living rooms. His, was in the high rise on Manhattan while mine was in Salt Lake City, Calcutta. The most striking ingredient of that memory is his big smile which used to render a display of the most innocent and chocolate invaded set of pearls.

Arnold, was my best friend for several years to come. Our friendship grew stronger with each passing Sunday. If not for his accent (which I had to initially struggle to keep up with) , we had hit it off, almost immediately !! He would do most of the talking and I would be the one breaking out into loud hilarity. I loved everything about him . He was my childhood role model. I even begun dressing like him. There was the cowboy hat ( from the Book Fair) and bell bottom pants (green corduroy) that I had to be in, all the time.  I would  even cross my arms (like him) across my chest during all conversations. It did not matter who I was listening or talking to, I would always strike the “Arnold pose” with all my weight  on the right leg. Strangely Miss Biswas found that extremely annoying (during “drawing class”) and promptly sent me out to bake in the summer heat !! But that is a different story !!

I am one of the several thousands, whose earliest memories cherish loving hues from Diff’rent Strokes. It was my introduction to anything American. I was too young to see beyond the innocent wit  that the show contained. Today, as I look back at those times and the show, I realize that it was so much more !!  All the years that Diff’rent Strokes was on air, it carried a banner of love, of acceptance and happiness. And Arnold,was the star of that show !! Everyone loved him !

Arnold (Gary Coleman). passed away on Friday, May 28th 2010  This is a farewell note from that little boy  sitting on the cold mosaic floor with his eyes glued to the black and white of the television screen, as Arnold slides down the wooden railings. Adieu !!

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Dear Birthday Boy

This is an email of apology. You should be able to recognize me. I am your co-worker, the one who scheduled the fake meeting this afternoon. I did it, because we  absolutely did not need to discuss the status of the development  for the bank interface. Why would we, especially since we have been working on that for a whole week now. But I had to do it. I had to send you the invite, and ensure that you and I walked to Conference Room A…. two – gether !!

If you recall …on Monday (this week),  you and I, and everyone else received an email, that we should  meet up in Conference Room A around 4 pm…. to surprise the portal guy. And then again on Tuesday (also this week)… there was another email …. this time it was Conference Room B and we had to surprise the data warehousing guy. Knowing you, (some one who solves intricate coding issues in minutes), and drawing from the history of surprises in the last year or so and especially from this week, I am positive that you could not have guessed that we would want to surprise you today. I am ashamed that I was part of this stupidity conspiracy theory !!

I am especially regretting, how I walked you to Conference Room A, pretending not to understand why everyone else followed us in the same direction. My understanding was …this was a surprise…just like the others.My sincere apologies about my poor acting skills which failed to display any true emotions of complete disbelief. I should have been inspired by aides (to previous surprise victims) and how they managed to perform with exceptional finesse !!

Please believe me, when I say that I had no clue (even though I had seen it for the last 25 surprises) that the surprise would be  the same cake….from the same store….that we all have been digging into …at these …(for lack of better definition) ….clandestine rendezvous. Unfortunately I was wrong !!

But most of all, my sincere apologies that I could not bring myself to sing along with the rest of the team when they did …. the  “Happy Birthday to You” . My lack of immaturity is deplorable. I cannot understand, what came over me that I did not  wipe the cake all over your face like so many others from the team did. How rude of me?  The fact that the cake is not even worth wasting had nothing to do with it. And I did not stop there. My diminishing team spirit was obvious, when I did not laugh when they called you Balakrishna  of coding !!

I hope that you can pardon my inefficiency and get back to work ……on the bank interface !!  ASAP !!

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