Thursday, December 30, 2004

New Year's Resolution

Looks like I'm into one of those moods again. When I think I'd do blah blah blah things in the year to come. And when the year arrives, and passes by, I realize I have not even started half of the things. :-)

In fact it is for the first time in 2004, when I have managed to stand by what I had decided I'd do, or rather I'd not do at the beginning of the year. Never mind it was something very sissy thing! And I am still being ridiculed for it!!

I have not yet decided another silly thing for 2005. But then, I still have some time left!

Wish you and your loved ones a wonderful new year to come!

Before I finish, a request. In case you haven't already done it, please do your bit for the tsunami victims. May you live for years to come to celebrate more and more 31st nights, but unless we do something, those unfortunate souls may not be able to. Liked the post "A Story That Truly Touched My Heart" by Kiruba on this.

signing off,

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


In introspection, I might be better without the usual hurry I am in while making opinions about others. Some people call it prejudice.

I think, I have to work on it quite a bit.

signing off,

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami

In case you are willing to contribute towards Tsunami relief funds, this site gives pretty good information how you can do it.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Stock Market

I too like my few other friends, now have a share trading account. (Mine is with It is quite a new experience for me, this trading business. And I have to learn a lot how to do it without burning my fingers.

As of now keeping my fingers crossed and praying that NTPC would soon cross 100. :-)

signing off,

Monday, December 20, 2004


A question arises, about Bangladesh's test status. No doubt they (read Ashraful) fought bravely in first innings of second test match against India. But then they have not been able to do away with their 'minnow' status. For a long period now. Ayaz Menon and my friend disagree with me saying everyone has to start from somewhere. All I am saying is they should be given some more opportunity in less demanding one day cricket, so that they can be at par with other test teams. Having said this, they have to do quite a hard work. Importantly, they should not give away hope. Remember it has taken us 20 years to record first test win!

Again, my personal feelings about creating records against teams like Bangladesh are mixed. Agreed that Anil and Sachin have put a lot of hard work for their 435 wickets and 34 centuries against every cricket playing country. Also Irfan and Zaheer would be delighted to have first 10 wicket haul and a highest score by no 10 batsman respectively. Still (though I cannot comment about them) I would have been happier if these records would have come in some previous series particularly against Australia. Too much hopeful, I am!

Nonetheless they have shown good display of hunger to win and talent in this series. Hopefully the trend would continue in series to come.

signing off,

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I know what everyone wants.

They just want to be wished on their birthday, preferably with a card or a call or a gift. Even if it means you just have scribbled a few lines in email. Makes their day. And in turn, yours too!

signing off,

Monday, December 13, 2004


Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Who's your favorite hero, saar?

Sounds like a routine question. At least in our country where there are fortunes made and unmade every week, in fact every day, in the movie industries across India. There are bollywood crazy cities like Mumbai and Delhi. There are people going crazy over Rajnikanth or Madhavan or Ajith in Madras. Same about Chiranjeevi in Andhrapradesh. So I was not at all surprised when this question was hurled at me out of nowhere. But the consequence was quite interesting!

I was waiting y'day in a saloon nearby my home to get my hair cut so that I'd go home and plan for rest of the day. But this chap is not letting me go. First there is the fact that it is Sunday and everyone is out there in the saloon. So first I wait half an hour browsing through latest Filmfare admiring sensuous Bipasha. Then after a while I am summoned up to the chair. The conversation that follows, as it is.

Hair stylist(lets call him S hereafter): (says something in Telegu, I hope. It could have been Kannada for all I know.)

Me: Medium on top, small on sides.

S: Telugu illa? Hindi?

Me: Hindi.

S: Telugu nahi aata?

Me: Nahi, Hindi, English, Marathi.

S: Marathi humko nahi aata.

Me: Telugu humko nahi aata.

S: laughs heartily at my joke (?)

Meanwhile, the TV is showing some analysis of Tendulkar's batting and S is clearly not interested in Harsha Bhogle's figures. He switches the channel and now it is showing someone else's figure. Few moments pass in silence.

S: (suddenly waking me up) Saar, saar .. ye song suno. (The song is Pacchai Nirame from Alaipayuthey -- which was remade as title song of Saathiya in Hindi) Bahot achchha song hai. Ye movie original Tamil hona. Baad mein Hindi mein banaya.

Me: Yeah. Pata hai.

S: Aapka favorite hero kaun hai?

Me: Koi nahi, sab log mujhe achchha lagta hai.

S: Lekin sab se achchha kaun hai?

Me: (resigned) Amitabh Bachchan

S: Maine hero poonchha. Uncle nahi!

Me: (amused) Uncle!! Are yaar, wo to sab se achchha hai.

S: Shahrukh Khan achchha nahi lagta tumko?

Me: Nahi. Hritik Roshan maybe.

S: Shahrukh achchha kyon nahi lagta? Wo muslim hai isliye?

Me: (man! what reasoning!!) Nahi yaar, aisa kuchh nahi. Aamir Khan achchha lagta hai mujhe.

S: Hmm Aamir Khan humko bhi achchha lagta. Salmaan Khan?

Me: Hmm, ok types! (never argue with a man with scissors!)

S: Shahrukh Khan ka naya movie dekha?

Me: Nahi. Ye batao, tumhara favorite hero kaun hai?

S: (With a despairing look clearly suggesting an urgent need to work on my general knowledge and in a tone that would suggest I've asked something like "Tumhara naam kya hai Basanti?")Chiranjeevi.

Monday, December 06, 2004


Nope. I am not discussing the M Night Shyamalan's movie. I am discussing my email signatures over the years, rather over the months.

I will tell you that I am obsessed with music. I like it so much that in fact I just cannot imagine myself without my earphones any time of the day. I almost worship my favorite lyricists, vocalists, guitarists, drummers. So naturally most of my signature lines have come from these sets of people; well on second thoughts, not from drummers!

Two particular ones I remember are the most recent. "Tongue tied and twisted, just an earth bound misfit, I" by Gilmour and ".. so never mind the darkness, we still can find the way!" by Rose.

I have been fascinated by Pink Floyd from the moment I listened to them. With Barret without Barret, with Waters without Waters, I worship them. In my opinion they have written some of the beautiful lyrics to match Waters' or Gilmour's mesmerizing voice. You'd have to listen to Shine on you crazy diamond to enjoy it. The line cited above, though is not from Shine on you crazy diamond. It is a Watersless Floyd creation. From album A Momentary Lapse of Reason, the song is Learning to Fly. If you get to watch the video of the song, please don't miss the chance. It is quite colorful and almost makes you long to fly. But not like the young man depicted there. That'd either be insanely suicidal or inexplicably miraculous!

The second one is from artists whose oeuvre, though rock, is quite different from Floyds. They rely on hoarse voice, heavy electric guitars and less than subtle drums. They too have their large followings. One being me. I used to kind of dislike Guns N Roses at beginning. Because of, to a certain extent, MTv. They never got tired of showing November Rain and Sweet Child o Mine virtually endless times and I got bored in first two/three attempts. But when I listened to more songs by them, esp Estranged and Civil War, I kinda became their fan. This particular line comes from their smash hit November Rain. It is an amazingly positive ending to a song which goes through quite ups and downs.

So here they are. Two of my favorite lines. If I change my sig, I'd love to discuss it here too.

signing off,

Friday, December 03, 2004

Steffi, will you ..

My memory got kind of refreshed as I stumbled upon this piece of writing about the goddess on the center court, and had a chance to look at the forwarded video clipping.

It goes,

... She is also known for her sense of humour. During a tight Wimbledon semi-final match against Kimiko Date, she was serving when a spectator yelled out "Steffi!". Everyone, including Steffi, burst out laughing. Composing herself, she got ready to serve again, when the fan shouted "Steffi! Will you marry me?" The whole stadium burst into peals of laughter and play was delayed for a couple of minutes. Steffi got ready to serve again, tossed the ball, caught it, then turned to the fan and yelled "How much money do you have?"

I have worshipped Steffi Graf more than all other sportmen/women combined! She remained an undisputable queen of tennis during her tenure. And no one dared to replace her in my mind, not Navratilova, not Seles, not Sanchez-Vicario, not Sabatini and definitely not new comers like Hingis (well, if I call Hingis a newcomer then those Williams, Henin-Hardennes, Myskinas, Sharapovas are definitely kids). Forehands have never looked elegant and fierce at the same time, after she quit. Her game came with a rather gentle service (with ball tossed up higher than normally people would do) and relatively weaker backhands (but she worked very hard to get it strong). But boy, wasn't it a treat to watch! She had great athletic physique and a graceful presence on court. I don't think anyone she defeated would have been humiliated by it, it least I would not have given a chance. As Sir Neville Cardus would have put it, "Even though she is kicking you in ribs, you might think she is helping you getting up." (Apologies, Sir!) Rather it was an honour to play against her. Her opponents who have achieved rare feats of defeating her would certainly cherish those memories for long. I remember crying in disbelief when she had lost in the very first round of Wimbledon. I'd never be able to forgive Lori McNeil for it.

Finally as my friend aptly put it, she is one of those ladies whom you cannot love enough.

Miss you a lot Steffi!

signing off,

Monday, November 22, 2004

Killing Me Softly

Ever played video/computer games while listening to songs? It can create some really funny situations.

Like once I was playing Age Of Empires, while winamp was playing some list. I was so engrossed in attacking a neighboring ally-turned-enemy civilization, though, that I did not realize where the song list was going. Suddenly all clanks and clangs of stone throwers and chariots are drowned out, and we hear some lines:

Please forgive me I know not what I do
Please forgive me I can't stop lovin' you
Don't deny me This pain I'm going through
Please forgive me If I need ya like I do

And we find ourselves laughing uncontrollably!

Another incident comes to mind is about some level in Half Life, where a barnacle caught Gordon Freeman (me) off guard. I had almost given up and was waiting for the inevitable. And the song Winamp was playing? Yep, you guessed it:

I prayed that he would finish,
But he just kept right on!
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song

Wish these sentimental word could divert that merciless beast off me, but alas!

signing off,

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

An afternoon around Bangalore

Banashankari III stage - BSK BDA Complex - K V Road - Jaynagar 7th Block - Jaynagar 6th Block - Minerva Circle - Richmond Flyover - Residency Road - Symphony MG Road - Rex Brigade Road - Plaza MG Road.

Let me tell you some background. I am roaming to find if any theater is screening Fahrenheit 9/11.Now Symphony is showing King Arthur, Rex Vaastu Shaastra, Plaza Dil ne Jisse Apna Kaha, none of which me keen on seeing.

Plaza MG Road - Anil Kumble Circle - St Marx Road - Residency Road - Hosur Road - Adugodi - Koramangala - Sukh Sagar - 80 ft road - Maharaja Restaurant - Lunch Break.

Let me interject. The Aandhra meals at Maharaja is just awesome. You would not find similar puri and rasam for miles.

Maharaja - 100 ft Road - St John Hospital - PVR at The Forum.

PVR is not yet open to public! :O

PVR - Landmark.

Try to buy some books, but having bought two (Business Legends by Gita Piramal and The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes) last week, I don't want to spend again on books. I'd rather finish whatever I've bought.

Landmark - Raheja Arcade - iWay internet cafe.

It's my friends' birthday, and I don't want to be late wishing them.

Raheja Arcade - Madiwala check post.

Probably planning to go home.

Madiwala check post - St John Hospital.

Changed my mind and planning to go to Innovative Multiplex to check if movie is showing there.

St John Hospital - 100 Ft Road.

Changed my mind again and planning for a long ride back home.

100 Ft road - Airport Road - Domlur - Military Hospital - Life Style - Richmond Road - Wilson Garden - Lalbagh - Siddapura Road - Jayanagar 1st Block - Banashankari - Home Sweet Home.

So here it was, around 50 km ride in quite sunny Bangalore afternoon. Boy, that was quite worth the sweat and sunburns.

That reminds me, once me and my roommates had gone on Outer Ring Road trip. That account later, perhaps.

signing off,

Friday, November 12, 2004


Recently we have shifted our base from BTM Layout to Banashankari. For the uninitiated, it is equivalent to shifting from Kurla to Worli. Or from Thiruvanmiyur to T Nagar. Or from Kothrud to Sadhashiv Peth. (My analogies have to end here, as I have not stayed in quite many cities!). And assume that your office is in Mhape or Shollinganallur or Aundh respectively. So while it means that we have shifted a bit towards the main city, that also means we have shifted a bit away from our office!

But the place is quite nice. It is quite opposite to our old house which was shady, dark with poor ventilation and all. It is fully furnished. The area is also good enough, with a good enough udipi restaurant (to replace The Udipi Garden) nearby. But nothing to replace The Friends or Idlipur or Appamghar. Or maybe I haven't searched enough yet.

As of now, I am the only one enjoying new house as both of my roommates are out of Bangalore. So feeling quite home alone types. (Actually on one particular day, because of some keys mismatch, I was indeed stranded home alone for quite some time! But don't want to tell that story to you. Seems I've been making fool of myself quite number of times in recent past!!)

More about Banashankari later.

signing off,

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

happy diwali!

what a lovely bangalore morning once again to start the day with. weather outside is absolutely spiffing. and no doubt, it promises to get peachier now that the holiday season is here, when its everyone's wish to be with their near and dear ones.

just want to wish a very happy, enjoyable and safe diwali to you and to your family and to your friends and to the dog in your gully. have a great time!

and if possible, please avoid bursting loud crackers.

signing off,

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

in search of bengali food

Claimer: All characters in this narration are real. Any resemblance to any living cat or a dead mouse is purely intentional.

I was in Calcutta .. oops Kolkata over the weekend, for an interview. It was around 11:30 when I got back from it and was free to explore streets of this city of joy before catching my flight back to Bangalore later in the evening. Naturally at that hour, pressing need was to find a restaurant to fill the tank up and next things afterwards. And who is better person to ask than the beautiful hotel receptionist? (BTW, I keep hearing a lot about bengali beauty. But here was the first disappointment of my short visit!) So I go and ask her.

"Excuse me, could you please suggest me some nice restaurant where I can have authentic Bengali food for lunch?"
She is dumbfounded. "Sir, we offer you various choices in continental cuisine, apart from Chinese, Mexican and .."
I broke in, "But I insist on Bengali food."
"In that case, you can go to A restaurant on B street."
"Where is this place?"
"It's near C."
"Sorry, but I am new to Kolkata, and I dont know anything about this place."
"In that case, Sir, I suggest you go to Suruchi restaurant on Park Street, which is just a few minutes walk down this road."
"Ok, thank you."

Now I leave, and head towards Park Street. I ask a cab outside and he says Park street is just at the end of Russel Street. I set off towards the end of the road. At a corner, I ask a paanwala about Park Street.
"Yahi hai dada."
"Ok. Ye Suruchi restaurant kidhar hai, kuchh pata hai?"
"Kuchh pata nahi dada."

I think, I can find it myself. Analyzing current temperature, air pressure, humidity and the fact that left being my favorite direction, I turn left from the signal and set off. (Other minor reason being crowd on left side was quite good.)

I keep walking down the street. I spot 3 pubs, The Park hotel, more than a dozen bhelpudi walas, chinese gaadis, and many more snacks corners. But no sign of any bengali restaurant. After another half km walk, I reach at one big junction again. Trusting left part (or is it right part?) of my brain, I turn left again. Another 10 minutes pass by without any event, unless you count lot of people eating a lot of chatpate items on the footpath, and thus increasing my hunger an event.

I am on verge of turning back and thinking of having bhelpuri on the way to hotel when I find ICICI ATM. Anyways, I have to take some money out of bank. While doing that, I ask the ATM security person about any bengali restaurant nearby. "Bengauli reshtaurant? Idhar kushh nahi milega shaab. Peechhe jao Park Shtreet pe. Udhar bahut milega." He retorts.

Forcing a smile, I turn back and come to Park street again. Shoulders drooped, steps growing heavier, I have become desperate to find some place to eat. I cross the road in hope that from other side, I can find something. (?? - Don't think too much about these few sentences. Remember I was quite hungry that time.)

I ask couple of people, but they seem too much in hurry to catch metro. One of them, though, just points with his index finger towards the other side of road and departs. I throw a glance towards the other side, and indeed find a board on which the much coveted words of the moment are written. Suruchi.

Rejuvenated, I cross the road to take a closer look at my destination. And it turns out to be Suruchi Sarees and Ethnic Dresses. Frustrated, I ask even the security guard at Suruchi about this Suruchi restaurant. He obviously is trying to suppress giggles. But resisting himself, he suggests me one place called Malgudi. "Bahot achchha south indian snacks milega udhar. Lekin non vegetarian nahi milega." Just great. I come from Bangalore to Calcutta to have idle/dosa for lunch.

But it is now 1:30 PM and because I am very much hungry, I am ready to settle even for that. I proceed towards Malgudi. But maybe many people must have been searching for Suruchi that afternoon, because I see a lot of people outside Malgudi, waiting for their turn and the waiter asking my name to be written in a long waiting list. This is too much. I again back out. I am told that a few blocks away is Pantaloon's showroom, there I can find two restaurants. A continental and Bombay Shivsagar. "Bahot hi-fi hai lekin.", I am warned. Of the two, the continental one is closed for cleaning. I reluctantly have a cheese pav bhaji in Shivsagar and return to hotel.

Maybe next when I visit Mumbai, I would go to an authentic bengali restaurant there. Any suggestions please?

signing off,

Monday, November 01, 2004

Mumbai visit - I

I was in Mumbai the week before last. It had been nearly 5 months since I visited Mumbai last time in April. And because of some constraints at work front meant I had to go two weeks before diwali, when I'd have got the chance to many friends.

But nevertheless, I had a good time there, even though most of the time I was just playing Age of Empires, Caesar III and Roadrash on my PC! Actually, it is unable to play anything else with its current capacity. Pentium II 350 MHz and 128 MB RAM, it's configurations are. But it has been a very good machine over past 4-5 years.

I remember we had ordered it before my IV semester PL*. I had C++ programming as one subject and I wanted to copy and practise some programs on my new machine! But because of some constraints from the assembler who had to go outstation just at that very moment, I got the PC during my exams, on the eve of C++ exam! I never got to do any serious programming on it! And continuing that, I never did anything else than playing endless reruns of hardest mode of Battle of Kadesh and Fall of Mitanni, where they all seem to favor my brother more, thrashing me mercilessly with the Chariots, Stone Throwers, War Galleys, Priests (and even one time Villagers, but not after that!) the first time I played, even to date. We save some enemy villagers till the very end, and keep them giving tributes, when of course we are winning. The red one in Battle of Kadesh indeed then becomes Re-Builder!

Then there is Caesar III. The game of which I am master till it is upto Clerk level. After that I never seem to have figured out why the heck people are leaving my city, why my Denaris keep diminishing, why the emperor is angry with me, why he is asking me of 25 furniture, where I cannot build timber land and I have not opened trade route to import timber. But when my bro takes it over, all I hear is "This city is wonderful place" or "Will that be a shave or a trim citizen? Life here is alright, isn't it?"

And I don't even want to talk about Roadrash or Need for Speed III or any other such racing games. I am a bad driver in real life and when my digital self takes over the steering wheel of a Nissan or a Ferrari, things aren't much better. I bang into each and every corner as a religious belief and mostly end up at last place. We even tried playing in reverse gear, but I was caught by the cop.

But nevertheless, I enjoy playing games very much and can go on and on and on.

signing off,

*PL: Preparatory Leave

Thursday, October 14, 2004

श्वास (Shwaas)

Living in Bangalore can be great (I know quite a few would beg to differ at this adjective, going by the current situation here :)) in many ways. But that does mean you are missing out on some things. One of the things I am missing is this marathi movie, Shwaas.

I am quite reluctant to watch a marathi movie, frankly. I'd prefer marathi theater over movie any day. The theater is so rich in content and talent over the movies, which in recent past have just been trying to make a quick buck. But from the responses I have got from people who have watched it, looks like it is a very well made movie. Importantly it seems, even though it is a very tragic story, it does not fall into the "make them cry and you get money" trap, a common complaint being made against marathi movies.

I'd definitely try to watch it when I go to Mumbai next week.

Also the title of this blog is in a marathi font. I can see it on my Windows XP machine without installing special fonts. Maybe you'd be able to see it also!

signing off,

Monday, October 11, 2004

Watching Dhoom

Saturday we went to watch Dhoom. In Innovative Multiplex in Bangalore. Its a ok types movie, not too good, not too bad. It seems, the movie is more famous here because it, with Bride and Prejudice has defied the 7-weeks moratorium. I don't want to discuss that at all.

I enjoyed the movie for altogether different reason. The movie showcases some of the awesome sport bikes like SUZUKI HAYABUSA 1300 and SUZUKI BANDIT 1200S. Naturally I was in full spirits when I came out and hit the road on my not-so-mean machine (Hero Honda Splendor). At night outer ring road is empty and straight and is ideal to try something like this. I couldn't resist the temptation and raced the bike hard and hit near 100 kmph. (Even that is some achievement considering I am not good at speeding). In the process I overtook some whizzing four wheelers. It was satisfying to see one trying hard to overtake me, with an astonished face, I might add.

That drive was immensely relishing!

signing off,

Thursday, October 07, 2004


Don't get disheartened. As my colleague puts it, even the last time Aussies toured India, we had lost the first test ruthlessly.

Never mind that we are heading for a severer slaughter this time.

signing off,

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Save rainwater and ... what?

Ok, so what? I know Indian truck drivers drive a mean (and polluting) machine, with which none can even think of competing. (Auto rickshaw comes to mind, but it lacks the intimidating colossal appearance). They even have haters in terms of other vehicle owners because they seem to ignore all common senses, traffic rules and laws apart. But one thing we all should be (and truly are) proud of, is the fact that they showcase a endless trail of encyclopaedic one liners behind them which, anyone would admit, is enriched with knowledge and entertainment alike. A feat, which somehow is missing from our education system for so long :-)

Enough of intro. Cut to scene.

Location: the infamous Hosur road in Bangalore.

Time: when everyone is rushing back home from their rosy electronic city offices to their cosy homes on this lousy road.

Now Bangalore being a cosmopolitan city, one thing you are sure to find is vehicles from other states. As usual I was dozing off while waiting indefinitely to reach my destination. The truck which stopped just besides our bus caught my attention. Not because it bore a registration number from some north Indian state or it was brimmed with some goods. But because above the registration plate, there it was! I reproduce the exact words for you. Written in some glossy font, your food for thought for the entire month:

Save Rainwater! Avoid AIDS!!

I can only sincerely hope that there is no connection whatsoever between the two.

signing off,

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Its not enough, it seems, to send the blog url to your friends by email. You've got to publicize it using some other means. So here it is, one of the mean.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya ...

Having said Ganapati bappa has an appetite for enjoyment, the pinnacle of the merriment comes as the Visarjan (Immersion) ceremony. At least for kids.

I mean what could be more exciting than carrying Him in a procession to sea (with loads of music and dance), chant His aartis, and finally immerse the idol in the deep sea amidst the slogans of "Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya" (Come back soon next year). I don't know the significance of immersion. Maybe I need to ask some elder why do we do it. But it is undoubtedly enjoyable.

That reminds me of a joke. Once a marathi manus, a christian and a muslim are traveling in a boat. In middle of the river the boat topples and all three are drowning. Sensing their end near, they start praying. Christian calls for Jesus. Hearing the prayer and seeing His faithful worshipper in trouble, Jesus comes and saves. Muslim prays for Allah. He also rushes to the rescue. Now if you do not know, there are 330 million (I am becoming more and more Angrez these days. Somehow its not Crore, but its Million :D) gods in Hindu mythology. Isn't it bit difficult whom should you refer to when in trouble? But our marathi manus is ek-devi (if Shri Ram can be ek-baNi, why not?) and worships only Ganapati bappa. He prays and Bappa arrives. Observing His favorite disciple drowning, He starts ..... Singing and dancing! You got the rest.

I missed all the fun of ganesh chaturthi this year. Hope I can make it next year. Bappa, come back soon next year!

signing off,

Monday, September 27, 2004

Ctrl Z

Does this happen to you? On some days you just don't get started. You either don't get any ideas. Even if you do, you feel lazy to do anything about it. And when you ain't feeling lazy and actually doing something, "external actors" play spoilsport!

The past few days have been like this for me. A prominent example that comes to mind is of writing the blog. I was not feeling like writing anything, though so much is happening around here. One fine day when I decide to pen something down, is not accessible. Finally I get to access and I start again with a determined mind. I write a few lines, and (quite naturally) commit a spelling error. By habit, I press Ctrl+Z thinking it would erase the wrong word. And voila! The whole blog vanishes. For a moment I feel like David Copperfield!! And you guessed it right, I have not saved anything. My new found enthusiasm evaporates like my blog.

Man proposes and computer disposes!

signing off,

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Bulls and Bears

After a recent IPO release by TCS - one of India's software giants, there has been sudden call for interest in the stock market business here. Just the other day, I got involved in a discussion on equities.

Note that till now my knowledge in share trading had been limited to one five marks problem in high school Maths exam. And my interest in this business is quite low. I don't understand quite many things in business what these people find intriguing. So when they were telling me about what these companies are offering and at what price it may close, at first I was quite disconnected (unconcerned would be more apt). But after two/three similar sessions I kind of developed interest in it. Let me try this one too, I thought.

So one day, I was assigned task to buy some shares at dip. I looked at the graph previous day, and extrapolated that it would be nearing trough at around 12-12:15 PM. I looked at the price at 12, subtracted 0.5 from it, and ordered to buy it. Now what I did not realize is no two days are equal in the market. And that was the day for this particular company. Maybe some bad news was out or something, but it decided not to go in bullish phase after the dip. It kept doing down and down, even when I was back from my lunch! At the end of the day, it recovered a bit, but just a bit.

Thus my first stint at stock market was kind of a let down. My friend is still trying to break even from my buys!

signing off,

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ganapati bappa morya!

Its Ganesh Chaturthi tomorrow. Lord Ganesh is one of the deities worshipped by Hindu community. I won't say he is the mightiest god or something like that. But if there is ever an opinion poll on the most likeable and friendly god, Ganapati should win overwhelmingly!

All over my childhood, I was fascinated by Him. I think growing up in Mumbai was predominantly catalytic for it. You could not have stayed in Mumbai for Ganesh Chaturthi and possibly missed the sheer enthusiasm of the festival. Even in heavy rains or August/September and clogged roads. People usually celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi for 1 ½ days, 5 days, 7 days or 10 days. At our place it is for 5 days. And we used to have 5 days off from school. Naturally when we all cousins of same cohort used to get together, we used to make a hell of a racket!

That get together I liked most. Festivals are meant for people to come together and celebrate and enjoy. We children had a task assigned to us. Decoration. It used to be very hectic as everything had to be finished before the first morning, but it was worth a slog. We used to visit other places to compare which decoration is better. And finding ours as one of the better ones used to be quite comforting! Now that we are all grown up and busy with our schedule, we don't find as much time for it. But still sometime I'd like to take some time out and get lost in decoration work on Ganesh Chaturthi eve again.

What truly makes Ganapati everyone's (or should I say everyone who is not calorie conscious!) favorite is He is very fond of sweets! And to make him happy you are bound to serve Him with different kind of sweets like modak, karanji, ladoo, and many more. You serve Him with different menu each day so that He is satisfied and would give you more wealth, health and wisdom. Naturally, the menu would in turn find way to our dish. And that is what used to make us utmost satisfied!!

to be continued..

signing off,

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Just in case you are wondering why this blog url is ghatotkatch, here's a brief for you.

Let me clear myself at this time. I am not at all worried about my name being one of the most commonplace one. Nope. But it does spell trouble when you try to create a personal email id. How? Read on.

Ever since I was introduced to emails, I wanted a nice looking email-id for me like my friends had. There used to be some emails like their actual full name or cool_name or some funky words (like I remember one of my lean and usually cool as ice friend had this email id diabolical@). Now one of my friend (who already had a email id) was helping me to get started with his tried and tested (and used by myriad people) email provider. After few tutorials of email basics and connecting to internet using modem, I was ready.

Obviously some one was real faster than me and I did not get my first name id. I was convinced it is probable, or more than that, obvious. "It is because the internet is too popular".

I tried with full name. No result. "Fine again. There must be hundreds of people with my name".

With cool_firstname. No result. "Because email ids are free, people usually sign up for more than one id".

With just initials. No result. "Hey come on. Its only 3 letters."

With lastNamefirstName. No result. "Uh Oh!"

My friend was getting bit worried. I was, worse still, getting impatient. "Lets try with some nick names." We played around nicks for a while. No result. "Ok. How about celebrities?" Elvis Presley? James Bond? Daffy Duck? Naaah!

Exasperated and out of clues, we sat hopelessly for a while. Then suddenly he sprang to life and typed ghatotkatch as the user id. I looked at him blankly. Ghatotkatch? For those who don't know, he is a mythological giant from a ancient Indian epic. To call me ghatotkatch was something similar calling Mickey Mouse a Brontosaurus. But much to my dismay, it did not give any error, and I got this virtual identity.

Ghatotkatch would have surely fainted at his downfall on that day!!

signing off,

Monday, September 13, 2004

Rules? Not for me..

I am not in the greatest of moods today. I'll tell you why.

The very first thing in morning I happened to watch was an accident on the main road. Just the case of negligence or arrogance or disregard for rules or harakiri whatever you like to term it. A small van is driving rashly and trying to overtake a bus at a crowded signal. Inevitable happens and it crashes into bus. There is a huge row between two drivers and it further worsens traffic jam. The vehicles behind them are stuck, they are honking relentlessly as if the world is going to end if they don't move and its utter chaos.

Next scene is from my organization. They have Speed Limits zone, No Horn zone. But people seem to think the signs are for others and keep speeding to 50-60 in the small stretch of around 300 m. Also they keep the used coffee cups on benches/windowsills/staircases when there are requests not to do so. They have their lunch on lawn and litter it where there are signs advising not to do so. Even after numerous requests and mails. And if that is the scene in one of India's top companies which showcases (self proclaimed) hugely talented and supremely educated bunch of elite citizens, one can hardly imagine things getting better outside.

But come to think of it, the scenes are better outside at times. Chances are that you'd find more courteous and rules-abiding person in so called poor and lower middleclass areas of city, than in the posh sleek areas. This class of people have become lethargic towards rules, in my opinion. But I also know very well they will not litter their houses. Or they will not do break lanes when they go abroad where they would be fined heavily. It's just when we come out in public, this tendency prevails. We are so much used to ignore rules, it seems the most natural and obvious thing to do. Jump signal, shift lanes, break speed limits, bribe officials, litter workspace, spit on pavements, ignore signs of Don't do .. man .. who cares?

I am totally flabbergasted to say least. Everything I learnt about Civics in school goes for a toss in real world.

I remember in my college years for some group discussion, I was involved in a debate on this topic called "Indians: successful individually, failure collectively". Who me?

signing off,

Sunday, September 12, 2004

House cleaning

Cleaning house can be a painstaking task. I realized this (again) yesterday. Being a Sunday, I thought I should tidy up my wardrobe. But what I did not anticipate that it would contain so many things other than clothes that it would take me whole evening to do it.

But come to think about it, I like this cleaning out my closet stuff. You get to discover so many things you had dumped in it over a period of time. And the things can take you back days, months, years (well, if you have not cleaned it for a long time!). Yesterday I happened to find my diary and an old album. And it was really a nice experience while I sat in the dusty mess flipping through the photos and turning pages. Each page, each photo bringing back memories: some good - some bad - some exuberant - some grievous - some worth remembering till eternity - some worth forgetting in a flash.

Now back to reality, I have yet to clear two out of three racks in the closet! And boy, it looks grim from here!

signing off,

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Ultimate code

I broke the ultimate code today. With help of someone though! It was on my mind since couple of days now. Now after knowing what it is, I feel it was so simple. I suddenly feel like Dr Watson myself :-)

I have finished Da Vinci Code, Deception Point and Digital Fortress in span of 3 weeks. I found all very riveting reads. Dan has a neat style of writing, and what impresses me about all three is the kind of ground work he must have took up to write these. Its awesome. It seems as if he has studied all the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, the working of NASA, NSA to the core. The level to which he goes to mystify a reader is very detailed and methodical. But that would be my complaint (just one as of now) about his work as you can easily guess what would be the climax in next books, it becomes too predictable once you have read one/two books. But then, you can also do same while you are reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie.

All in all very good books. I m looking forward to read Angels and Demons.

signing off,

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Good old writing

Back to blogging .. This time i will try to be a frequent blogger!

Y'day i painted (or tried to paint) the pic on back cover of Calvin and Hobbes - The Revenge of The Baby-Sat book. Where Calvin and Hobbes are happily sleeping on a tree branch. Its come out good, or so said my roommate so that I'd prepare coffee.

They never cease to amuse me, these two characters, Calvin and Hobbes. It seldom happens that I read their strip and I dont find myself smiling. Its not just Calvin or Hobbes. Its about Mom, Dad, Susie, Ms Wormhood, Rosalyn, Moe, Dinosaurs, Spaceman Spiff, Stupendous Man, Transmogrifier guns and many many more things. Its about any boy of 6 who has his own world where he can instantly become a pterodactyl and fly away from class, where he can talk to his stuffed tiger Hobbes and Hobbes talks back to him too. Other people can't see the world his way. Maybe because they are too old, or they dont have the kind of mindset, or whatever. But all said and done, Calvin's world is an amazing place. Read some strips and you'd know what I mean.

signing off,