Monday, October 30, 2006

In my dad's family potrait

This is a family potrait of my father (around 1968). The frame was locked in a trunk in the family house in the village.

Everyone commented how handsome my dad looks in the pic. Well, he's taken before me. He still looks handsome now, inspite of his age. He is there at top right.

Also, impressed by how beautiful and regal my grandmom looked. Both grandparents are no more.

Anyway, glad to have found a piece of our past.

YevA, Konkan AplAch asA

Back from whirlwind tour down South Maharashtra. First stop was Kolhapur to offer prayers to Mahalaxmi, Jyotiba and at Narsobachi Wadi. Did some quick but informative tour of Pahnala. It is a sprawling fort, fairly intact (could be maintained in a far better manner). Probably will post some pics later.

Was off to Sawantwadi for a brief halt and then to Goa. We almost retraced the route the last time - Fort Aguada, Calangute, Mayem Lake, Dona Paola, Miramar, Mangeshi, Bon Jesus church. It was certainly more fun this time, thanks to the wife. Since, I am not a Goa-frequenter, I don't reminisce about the good old days when Goa was less crowded and much better. Yes, I have been to Goa as a kid, but it was so much time ago, I don't remember a thing (except I caught some Tinkle for the first time in a raddi).

The roads are awesome, sign-boards everywhere are a great help, and there are loads of picture-perfect spots. Wish they would keep Calangute cleaner though. Heaps of garbage!

Back to Sawantwadi to have another round of (soft) Cocktails, Faloodas and Soda Lemon at Balakrishna Cold-drinks. If you don't know BC, then you don't know a small part of Konkan

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Do Saal

I will complete two years as a blogger in just about 4 days time. Its a long time to be writing consistently - the frequency has dropped from two blog-posts per week to one. But can't help it you see. I am married now and also busy at work.

I am not too concerned now with the site-hits as compared to earlier. It's just too much pressure trying to cater to reader's request and I believe, I have found a balance - me sprawled across it entirely.

Fewer things really move me to make an effort to write on the blog. But there still are.

BTW, I got "sehr gut" grade in Deutsch class. It was certainly not a very good effort in the exam - kept making silly and obvious mistakes - but still I am very happy to have learnt a language. It is like a peeping through a window into a whole new world for the first time. Hope not to forgot the language soon, which would be so easy, considering the circumstances. I don't think it would be possible to attend higher levels (company doesn't sponsor them), but there is ample material on the web and elsewhere.

I just need to make the effort

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wann kommst dieser Freitag?

I am just exhausted from having too much on my plate right now. My Deustchkurs just got over today. 4 months - 1,5 hours everyday, can take its toll. Many people have said that they are done with the sprechen and lesen and Die Artikels. I won't want to give up. I really had fun learning. There certainly are some tricky bits - the Artikels for one. The Germans give sex to all the things - e.g. That is a table. He is elegant.
That soup tastes good. Can I have more of her?

And then there were the stored procs which I am grappling with in the testing phase for performance. Not that they have given me much pain now. But everytime issues around those come, my heart skips a beat and I lose all my social skills. I start frowning and being all brusque and curt.

There is my soft skills training program. Though it's once every week, it is a full day course and again bherry bherry taxing.

There were other initiatives and trainings as well. But more than this, I wonder, if it is the shadow of Diwali and the week long holiday that has dampened my mood at work. People are just dying for this week to get over and so am I. Most of them are off tomorrow for their vacation.

Hope this week flies

Monday, October 09, 2006

Stephen Colbert

Great link from Digg to a YouTube video. Have been reading a lot about Stephen Colbert, and how he has taken the Daily Show franchise forward in exposing the Bush administration completely.

I love the video for the way, it covers the entire journey of Bush-spin, ridiculing Bush's eloquent oratory and rhetoric at the same time. Just brilliant.

Gandhigiri - Live

On Friday, while returning from Pune,I take a Sumo to Dadar instead of, to Kandivli. The highway is cloc-a-block with traffic and I waste atleast 1.5 hours from Sion to Kandivli. It's quicker and less excruciating to take the train (less excruciating, you said!)

Last Friday, quickly made my way to Dadar station to get the ticket and then relieve myself (badly needed to pee). Saw on the indicator that there was a fast train for Borivli. Immediately, started climbing the stairs, but by the time I was on the platform, the train had arrived, disembowelled and filled in. Skipped the compartment next to the bridge (coz it is the most crammed) and tried to get in the next. The compartment wasn't crowded at all and only 4 people were standing on the door-ledge. The gangway was also fairly empty. The train started and I jumped in.

The guy at the door started abusing me.
"Kya soyela tha kya ab tab". I couldn't keep quiet

"Boss, ab ko takleef hai kyaa kuch"

"Doosra train pakadnekaa. Khaali pili takleef deta hai"

"Aapko chadneko milaa na aaramse"

I don't remember the further conversation, but the guy wouldn't just let up. So I let out 2 kind effs and moved on. He got angry (don't know if he knew what I had said- its just upsetting not to know what the adversary is saying) and hit me. My specs came off. I turned around and unleashed a kick (actually just a push with my legs, as there wasn't space to manoeuver and also, the guy was standing on the door - couldn't risk him falling). We continued with fisticuffs for some time, before loud voices took over from all sides."

Three of them, standing in differet corners of the compartment, started attacking the darbaan with such ferocity, that I was totally startled. For some reason, they saw that he was being stubborn and sickening.

"Saale, jyaada jor dikhata hai kyaa?"

The guy didn't see the answer blowing in the humid Mumbai wind.

"Tumko kyaa karna hai?"

"Usko andar lo! andar lo!, Dikhate hai usko"

"Sab ek saath kyon. Ek karke ladh naa!"

"Sab Saath mein phodenge tereko. Darwaza pe khada rehkhe, hawaa khata hai kyaa?"

"Ab Bandra utar jaa chupchap".

The guy realized that he was losing the battle and piped down. He continued starting at me for a while and I returned the stare. There wasn't much he could do now.

I was just overwhelmed by the way, these three guys in particular and other junta came to my help. Even after the episode, there were whispers about how the guy was abusing his position of strength (that of being standing on the door). Also, how such guys victimise poor defenceless folks. The accent was also on my frame and look - they all thought that I was a college kid (my specs, small frame and rucksack must have given them the impression). So much the better for me.

I thanked all of them profusely for supporting me. Generally, people just make angry noises asking the quibblers to just shut the fu. But, something dramatically different was at play here. And I suspect, it was Gandhigiri at work. To stand up for what's right.

On Sunday, it was my chance to lend some change to a train ticket-seeker, unasked. This time, I was surprised to find the guy coming up to me later to thank. That's not a done thing with us Indians (I do it coz my social conduct has been altered post my stay in the UK).

I am just very happy with the change.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Ramadossquito

The bugger Ramadoss has time to poke his nose into what must or must not be shown in films and TV. He has the time to interfere with the functioning of the AIIMS institute, trying to lodge his favorites into important posts.

And now a dengue epidemic breaks out all over India and the mosquito says its a sanitation issue. Rather than getting stirred into action, Madaross is busy accusing the media.

I beseech all the mosquitos to stop infecting us poor citizens and go ambush Madaross.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mumbai Idol - all broken

A warning - you may find the pics offending.

Got this link via forward (one of the few worthwhile ones). There is something extremely surreal about the day-after-visarjan-pics. And sad. It is unfortunate that people are not shown these grotesque pics. One would easily be forced into action - buying greener idols (made of clay and natural colors) or atleast ensuring a more environment friendly visarjan.