Friday, June 30, 2006

Run AB run

Apart from the Deustch thing, have started jogging in the evening. Getting into the grrove was difficult, what with change of house and rains and inertia of the body. But now, have settled into some rhythm. The target is 10 kms on 30th July for a corporate sponsored run.

Bad part about running in the rains is that my new running shoes look like those of a beggar's. Probably, will go back to my old pair for practice.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ich lerne Deutsch

My Deustsch, that's German in English, course, started last week. The trainer comes from Max Muller and is quite good. The training is evenly spaced and involves lot of practicals and revisions.

With any language, you have to unlearn part of the rules of the earlier language. English is closer in terms of script and the basic words, however, pronunciation varies hugely, Sometimes you are not able to deduce the meaning, only if you pronounce the word correctly. eg. ankreuzen (to cross) or tricken (to drink). And sometimes, the pronunciation misleads you. eg. Alphabet 'J' is 'ya' in German (and in other European languages as well). Hence it's Yapan.
However, a few things I like - alphabets are pronounced in the same manner always, unlike English where 'U' can create different sounds in put, but and mute.

Generally, it's great fun going to a class and learning the alphabet song and simple rhymes (in Deutsch of course) all over again.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Eye Laa

Great article one Sepia mutiny about eye-donation. Informative comments too

I have pledged my eyes. And my specs

Arpan Eye Bank


Flat No-4054, 1st Floor, Plot No-48

Mayuresh Co-op. Hsg. Society, Ghatkoper-E

Mumbai 400075


Phone: 225147293

Bombay City Eye Institute

Victor Villa

5, Babulnath Road

Mumbai 400007


Phone: 22367101

Col. Sir Jamshedji Duggan Lal Government Eye Bank

JJ Hospital, Byculla

Mumbai 400008

Eye Bank

Dr. Sunil R. Morekar

8/128, Azad Nagar, J.P. Road


Mumbai 400053


Phone: 6312012

Ln. Loknath D. Char Eye Bank

Dr. Mayur Jarmarwala

R.N. Cooper Hospital

2, Viswabharathi Society

VP Road, Andheri-W

Mumbai 400058


Phone: 6211246

Culled from Blind Relief India

Big Bizarre Mess

Things continue worsen around Biz Bazaar, Kandivli. First, some basic details about the location. Akurli Road, where it is located is really is a one lane road. Cars coming from highway or Lokhandwala etc have to bisect the traffic going to the highway and Lokandwala. A car waiting to enter the car park blocks the traffic behind it. And once it "makes the cut", blocks cars in the other lane. On most occasions, the cars fail to make a complete U turn in one go and are forced to back up again blocking traffic both ways. Someone in collusion with the municipality has uprooted the road dividers so many cars can make this perpendicular push at a time. It's just a royal mess.

I have already discussed the problem here, but the magnitude of the problem is just enormous and hence am revisiting it. On Saturday, at 10.30 pm, there was a snarling bumper to bumper traffic till close to Kandivli Station. Some police (not traffic) got into action. They tried to block the open gateways using their cars and then tried to stop the cars cutting into the other lane. TO NO AVAIL. The car owners won't listen to the havaldar and continued butting in, with the result that, the jam worsened. We were stuck there for about 30 minutes.
Rickshaws continue to double park in front of the Big Bazaar gate, waiting for the next fare (the place even has Cinemax multiplex).

How can BMC allow such a monstrosity to come up in a place that has no proper entry and exit facilities? A project that is fraught with traffic problems, that even a 10 year old would be able to figure. Mucking forons.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

On and Off

Have new home co-ordinates in Pune. Back to Aundh after a period of about 3 years. Rampant construction everywhere. Stray Infoscions, Wiproites and such like roam around in the streets and stay in tiny kennels. There is a saying that in Aundh, if you throw a stone, it will hit an Infoscion. Hahaha!

Hearing the rent, I thought, well, for Aundh, this is going to be a very tiny and untidy kennel. I am lucky. Decent accom, very airy (top floor), open on 3 sides, good connectivity.

So, am now able to catch the world cup. Roomies unfortunately not too keen on fuBball, but still managed to catch a few matches. Ghana are playing brilliantly (sort of like first division Brazil) and I think, they are a team to watch. Czech-Italy match was dull, after the first twenty minutes, in which Czech were making some good attacking moves.

Weekend am back to Mumbai, so again, so again, won't be able to follow the on-goings. Damn :-(

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Time has come for India

India cover story in the TIME

Frankly all the frenetic development around makes me nervous. Things like eco-harmony are not in vogue still and invoking them would make you sound like an irksome tree-hugger.

We have already started seeing the effects (26th July for instance). And more will follow.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mummy, sab dikh rahaa hai

Was off to Diamond Water Park, near Lohegaon Aiport. Actually, it's still further up from the main Lohegaon Village center, but connectivity is decent and you should get there from Pune Station in about 1/2 (by car).

The place has got some good rides. The place is huge. However, some of the things have come to disrepair. Also, the whole place has a bit of a decrepit look about it - with horribly unclean shower facilities, broken lockers, garbage and plastic strewn around. Some of the slide aids like foam boards and tubes were short in number. Hence there was mad rush to lay hands on the available equipment.

However, rides themselves were decently maintained. Important note - Don't wear spectacles, sun-glasses while enjoying any of the water rides. I got a cut above the eye (specs slammed on a slide wall and dug into the eye-lid. Wife lost sun-glasses she was using to protect her hair from UV rays).
Women are still not comfortable wearing swim-wear, and I am not talking about bikini or V shaped things. Even bicycle shorts are fine. But no! Most males/females were wearing garishly colored loose fitting swimwear(!!) rented at the park. The older women frolicked around in their salwar kameezes, which when wet, are as see through as air on a crisp clear morning. Also, why do men also not take off their bullet ridden ganjis. Does look macho with vest on?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Oh Lala!

I was fairly aware of Lala's grumpiness and still respect him as a person. But today he was just ballistic.

Don't ask me who Lala is. You gas!

Our transportation was scheduled 15 minutes earlier than usual so they could deposit all the employees on time for presentation of new initiative and then a Q and A will Lala and others.

Anyway, the first person that stood up to ask the question was brutally snubbed. Lala answered him alright, but the poor guy wanted some clarification and asked "Can I ask another question"

Lala goes "No, we want the floor to be open to all the people here"

1st Questioner - "But Sir, in the light of...."

Lala -"Please sit down".

Further down to another questioner, while answering
"It would be better if you listened to what I was telling you, rather than asking questions"

and then

"No, we are not talking about plans now. They are on the website. We communicated them extensively in April communication"

Now, one can understand, you may have a reason for turning down some questions. But clearly, there are less offensive ways to do that. After all, there is something called tact and humor. Lala displayed ample command and poise to leave an impression with the audience. But you also need to show some sang froid. May be it was Friday morning blues.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Fanaa - the review

Saw Fanaa this weekend. Actually went to catch M:I III, but landed in the wrong theater. Not wanting to go back empty-eyed, bought Fanaa tickets. The rates have been hiked by 20 rupees thanks to Yash uncle's unmitigated greed.

Having read the reviews of some great bloggers , I was a bit skeptical about watching the movie. However, it turned out not so bad after all. Indeed, the first half, with all the shayari and crackling dialogues around, is a lot of fun. Also, the jokes about Kajol's handicap are sensitive and funny. The second half does stretch a bit. But it's not something you can't tolerate at all. The kid is wonderful. Kajol is a treat to watch and so is Aamir.

A lot of reverse engineered analysis has gone into dissecting the chemistry between Kajol and Aamir Khan. I think, there is palpably. Also, one has to note that Aamir is not really in love with Kajol, for most of the first half, but is just flirting with her.

People also fail to credit Kunal Kohli (dialogues) with some fabulous non English besmirched dialogues. Since the setting is Kashmir and Delhi, one needed conversation in proper Hindi/Urdu and the language has been beautifully used. It was high time, we got reacquainted with the beauty of Urdu/Hindi as used in earlier Bollywood films.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Goel's Akashganga project

If you are planning to buy a property in Akashganga project, Pune, please avoid. Many of my friends have been duped big time by the Goel Ganga builders. Discussion on mail forum is attached

Be careful. More links here and here

DNA - 1

More ons here. Kill militant, fight your case in court (cost a few lakhs for decent defence), go to jail, on release claim 1 lakh.

Isn't there any law to stop making such ridiculous offers.

BTW, Why didn't Kalam march out of the Sukhoi to the banner of "Mission Accomplished"?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mauritius - tips for travellers

1. Looks for hotels favored by Indians - helps if you are keen on Indian food, Hindi music and general comfort. Gold Beach, Flic-en-Flac, where we stayed, is such a place. Recommended.

2. Things are generally expensive - food, travel, phone cards. You can save a lot on food, by having a heavy breakfast and dinner (included in half board hotel bookings) and carrying snacks, sandwiches for lunch

3. Swimming is a must, if you want to enjoy Mauritius to its fullest. I couldn't swim well in currents, so snorkelling was quite a task. So, you can't enjoy the under-water wonders. Also, as a rookie swimmer, you have to be wary and can't explore even the shallow depths of the ocean. Atleast, carry a simple float or tube, so you don't feel left out.

4. Net access is not widely available. In some malls (esp in the capital, Port Louis), there is free but limited net access.

5. Always book the rides or water sports activities through an official tour operator. It's safer and less chance of been cheated. There is that typical desi ethos of not honoring commitments, so be sure to confirm repeatedly

6. Haggle everywhere and anywhere. Ask for a discount and you will get it. In markets or road side shops 1/3rd the quoted rate, in malls and bigger shops, a bit less (discount).

7. Try the untrodden path - Bike, walks, public bus rides, local markets.

8. Language and food is not a problem. 57% Mauritians are Hindus, so food is heavily India-centric.

9. Expenses for two persons, should be not more than 1 lakh all inclusive