Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Life impacting year…

KS keeps saying that if you can’t remember what you did for the last New Year’s eve, you have had a good year.

Well i remember the last many years, and considering they have been better than many years before, that theory can be contested. Also,since last 2 New years were welcomed at G-Adlabs, it wasn't difficult  to remember.

And so, like the last few years, this one was also over in a jiffy. Albeit, unlike the last few, life changing events took place this year.

First and foremost, after a lot of thought, deliberation, balancing self respect (or ego if you please) with pragmatic decision,  i re-joined Feedback and completed a year. Peace of mind has been exchanged with petrol money. and other expenses. Though, as much as i earn, it never seems enough. But my car is happy, gets a lot of attention! Driving down to office must be the best part of the day on almost all days. Life is a challenge every day, some of it needless, frustrating as well.  There is chaos, confusion, insecurity and low self esteem to deal with. As someone said, i was nicely relaxing in a sauna bath, now i am bathing in a gutter. But at the end of the day, there is a sense of accomplishment (however small). Exactly what was being sought. And the habits picked up during the stay in Frost & Sullivan, when implemented here, help find a work life balance (or something like that). How i manage 2013 with this same setup will very well decide where my life goes.

As mentioned earlier, my faith in the Indian cricket team is being tested severely. But not so much that it can be called life changing -that would need death or destruction of  the world! To most people this will seem stupid, but the ODI retirement of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is one such thing. Because the ODI retirement points at the fact that the day when he will not step on the field to play is not far off. For someone who started following cricket in early 90s, he has been like the Queen. Always been there. A habit, as Harsha Bhogle said. For all his exploits in the Test Cricket, Sachin is an ODI great, nah, greatest of the greats! While he has been playing ODI on and off for some time, i really wasn't prepared for him to retire one day. To add to it, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman also retired this year. Will the next set of players deliver even half of what these stalwarts did? 2013 will tell.

And finally, i am now committed, engaged, whatever you call it. One fine day, i was single, next day i had a fiancée. Even with my normal decision making  speed, this was a surprise. Maybe her decision making speed added up. Maybe its all destined. Fact is, as the year is about to end, a new chapter in my life begins. 2013 promises to be interesting.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A stupid theory on rape, and reactions….

I had planned to write a post regarding the recent rape case in Delhi, thought it better wait for the head to be calm before i do so. Then this outrageous post showed up on Facebook.

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Below are some reactions from friends. They have that skill penning thoughts in a civil manner despite the boiling blood, which i dont.

Subu Narayanan

I don't agree with this Manoj Dhokle at all.. rape is not done by impulse to be a reaction to provocative clothes.. If you Rachit see a beautiful girl in short clothes, will you rape her? Knowing you, even suggesting this is preposterous... A decent man has several opportunities to stop himself..stopping the thought from becoming actionable, stopping the action before being executed, stopping the action when the girl protests, stopping when the girl struggles, stopping when you see the anguish - fight - struggle - resignation in the girls eyes... we should stop blaming the victim.. our society has degraded to such an extent, it's deplorable.. I don't know what is the way to fundamentally change our mindset..

Bharati Peri

aap jaise mard jab tak is samaj mein hain tab tak yeh jurm hothe rahenge.....you guys dont want to acknowledge that rape is crime- nothing can justify that act....you will understand it only when one of your women folks would get raped- irrespective of she is wearing a saree, salwar, pants or skirts- a rapist is a criminal- he doesn't care about anything- if he has an opportunity he will rape no matter what!!!! On one hand we are raising our sons and daughters to be equal and on the other- we make such sexist remarks!!!! Rape is a crime and is not justified under any circumstances.....it's like a robbers justifying their act of robbing you because you are rich!!! Looks like you guys would rather drape your mothers, sisters and daughters in a burkha to protect her instead of changing your attitudes!!!

Pehnao apni aurton ko burkha aur daalo unke pairon mein bediyaan- as if a woman is just an object that you can control any which way you please....what is the so called sanskruti you guys are talking about?? Since so many years men have forcibly defined and created a profile of "an ideal woman' who wears a saree (which btw is more revealing than salwar, shirt and pants), who gets up early in the morning, worships the tulsi, cooks for the entire family. never answers back, always is dependent on men and never does anything because SHE thinks is right. Looks like you men are scared of the educated independent woman who has just started to accomplish her life after so many years of struggle. Sanskruti should be voluntary not be forced upon the women folk, just because a woman refuses to fit your profile of a 'Traditional Woman' because she wnats to thing on her own and take her own decisions- you guys think you have the right to call her names, criticize her and even rape her!!!! Rape is the unfair and criminal act of a man against her will- under no circumstance it can be justified.....lets teach our sons to respect women no matter what- instead of raising them with such low grade mentality which makes them believe that if a woman is dressed different from their traditional outlook they have a right to rape her........each of you should be ashamed for supporting such low grade thoughts.....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Keep the faith...??

Between the Indian Test team and Fiat Auto, i have a good week of my faith in them being tested.

My love of cricket and the Indian team is known. I have been there with them,followed them supported them through thick and thin since 1991 (earliest memories). Through world cups, whitewashes, series wins, trashings, stupid coaches, match fixing accusations, politics, IPL and what not.

But the current scenario, the Ind-Eng test series which we are trailing 2-1 has really put up some question marks on how keenly I'll be following these guys. It's not just the favt that we have lost these tests,or wr have been completely outplayed in our own backyard(some one likened the losses to a north Indian failing a hindi test set by a madrasi in chennai), but thr way the team, the administration,BCCI are reacting to it. Populist. Denial. Arrogance are some words that come to mind. Read the related blog post by @sidvee . Beautifully expresses the emotions of people like me.
I  will still follow cricket,no doubt. But i am not sure if i can bear to watch this set, this generation of players who seem to give up without even pretending to put up a fight. I dont know, j am upset today, we might win at Nagpur and all will be well. Or maybe not. But for the first time i am not sure if the faith i have put in these guys is worth it.

The Punto,of course, is a different story. When i bought it, i was going against the opinions of a lot of people.
"mileage kam hai"
"spare parts nahi milenge"
"service issues hain"
"they will shut shop and go"
And a lot more. But i had the belief that it wont be all that an issue. Plus pyaar aise hi hota hai. So i went ahead and got it. My faith in the Fiat and Tata brands because of experince also helped. I even said - " i am born in Fiat and bought up in a Tata. Dont tell me about how good or bad they are,i know very well." Sounds cool, but i knew people will pounce me at the first hint of any problem.

Well, last monday, the gear lever decided it wont move. After nearly 22 months of near hassle free service, good mileage, prompt after sales and everything, this happened. I am glad it stalled in my parking lot and not the Karjat ghati where i had driven it to over the weekend. So, with the gear stuck, panic struck.
"expense"
"will have to travel without car!"
worse - "public taane maaregi"

Called Fiat India breakdown call center. She probably did not mean it, but her voice and manner had a instant calm down effect. We will tow your car to service dealer, no cost. Within 30 mins that was done. Round 2 of panic - dealer says spares may take time, go to Wasan. Towing wala says that will cost 3k plus octroi. Wasan says spare will take time. Both wonder how i managed to get the shifter cable broken - it never happens! Finally Bhatti guya took it and saidmight take upto 15 days to get the part.
Then starts the fun. Right from " mhanun bol le lo gheu nakos" to " fiat chi service bekar aahe" "these cars are never good" and  "i had told you Tata backup is not good" all reactions panned out. Some of the more sympathetic ones wondered how the shifter broke considering i m a careful driver. I spent a better part of Tue,Wed,Thu and Friday fending off all this things.

And on Saturday,the dealer called. The parts are here. Car is serviced. And she will be back with me on monday. At hardly any cost!

Lets say one has failed me, as of now. The other did not, as of now. But moral of the story is : Keep the faith!

Bon Jovi said
"Faith: you know you're gonna live thru the rain
Lord you got to keep the faith
Now you know is not too late
Oh you got to keep the faith
Faith: don't let your love turn to hate
Right now we got to
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Keep the faith
Lord we got to keep the faith"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hazaaron khwashien aisi……

(Must have started this post about 2 years back. Wanted to list out 50 things to do before i die. But this really is a wish list…in no particular order……lets see how many are fulfilled…..) 

Wish…..

1. i could dance properly

2. also sing

3. to have a good handwriting

4. be in the cockpit of a plane of at least one flight

5. actually, own a plane someday

6. A fit body. chest out, stomach in. not sculpted, but fit

7. Dinner date with Katrina kaif. 

8. bungee jumping - though i chickened out when i had the chance at Pattaya...

9. Watch a test match live at all the best venues (MCG, Lords etc.)

10. a meeting with Federer

11. visit brazil

12. London of course.

13. own a SUV

14. and a few looong sedans. 

15. want to drive cross country, especially leh laddhak area

16. drive in Australia

17. actually, stay there for some time

18. own a mansion on Princes' Island

19. own a yatch too

20. run a marathon

21. deep sea diving

22. develop a taste for wine

23. have a butler

24. whack some people and they shouldn’t know 

25. Be someone from the past - what would have happened had i been the position Hitler was?

26. be someone from a fictional character - Micheal Corloene 

27. Make friends with foreigners. friends, not acquaintances

28. improve my voice, diction, presentation skills

29. home in matunga

30. a test century to my name

31. killing kasab was on the list, but GOI seems to have taken care of that

32. learn swimming

33. watch all the good movies ever made

34. and plays

35. do away with clients

36. always travel business class or above

37. a harley or a triumph bike

38. visit our neighbouring countries once

39. earn loads of money

40. play golf

41. Fly out to someplace on whim - feel like having a Thai massage, let’s go to Bangkok!

42. never have to worry how much money has come in

43. never have to worry about how much money has gone out

44. A trip to north east India (can u believe i have never been to east of India. the only time i flew east, i landed at Bangkok!)

45. Be able to draw. Not engineering drawing, creative.

46. understand all religions in the world, starting with Hinduism

47. Switch career. become a cricket journalist

48. trip to both the poles

49. Donate half my fortune to charity when i die. 

50. sue McDonalds, Dominoes , and others for making me fat

51. Become a bowler. i just can’t think as a bowler

52. never have to clean my house

53. own a Vanquish

54. be James bond for a day, all those gadgets

55. Walk around central park London, whenever i wish!

56. have a pet tiger

57. Sit on the edge of a cliff and drink. Check my luck and balance getting up then!

58. hot water shower always, whatever location, whatever season

59. have a say in the politics of our country

60. Clean up the system.

61. run 8-10 mms a day (heehaw)

62. jump down a skyscraper like in movies and open a parachute

63. bathe in the ganga (it takes balls - mostly dirty and cold)

64. write a book - thriller

65. poetry as well

66. a full member TA meet once a month, spouse and all

67. take out crime esp. rape 

68. participate in a F1 race as a driver

69. and also as pit crew member

70. Have my own gym. hate public gyms

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Poetry……. Jab Tak Hain Jaan…… (Gulzar)

"Teri aankhon ki namkeen mastiyaan
teri hansi ki beparwaah gustakhiyaan
teri zulfon ki lehrati angdaiyaan
nahi bhoolunga main
jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan

tera haath se haath chhodna
tera saayon se rukh modna
tera palat ke phir na dekhna
nahin maaf karunga main,
jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan..

baarishon mein bedhadak tere naachne se
baat baat pe bewajah tere roothne se,
chhoti chhoti teri bachkani badmashiyon se,
mohabbat karunga main
Jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan..

Tere jhoothe kasme vaadon se,
tere jalte sulagte khwabon se,
teri beraham duaon se,
nafrat karunga main,
Jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan.."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Random: London, Bangalore, Istanbul...

That was a good London Olympics 2012. Now now, lets not dwell on what could have been..... :P

Though i got to admit, i found the visuals of Indian fans cheering on the athletes and dancing and celebrating all medals a bit irritating..... But then i just open the Thailand folder snaps before going on a drive and all is well.....

But that doesnt mean i did not have a blast for my 30th birthday.... Just that i did not go as per the plan i had made one evening many years back, to welcome it on the London Eye (maybe alone, maybe with someone).... Khair, TGIF in Bangalore with one of your closest buddies aint a bad way too! And considering the birthday went on to be something like a extended weekend party with CC, MP, MK, RR and ST involved - i'd say it all helped to soften the '30 complete' blow!

As i said earlier, whoever set out the close by 11 rule in Bangalore must have been a momma's boy......bought up on a 'do what you want to, be home by 11' instruction....otherwise a place that has some really cool places (like Khaja Chowk,Toit, most of Indiranagar actually, Kormangala is going to be checked out on next trip) to be out with friends and family, becomes like a ghost town by 9.30. By 11 it is a ghost town.... Now there are some benefits of it - empty roads where i drove MP's car, and the nice chilled discussions you can have with friends. (btw, is it just me or everyone starts hating places with loud music with age?). But still, except for 4th night, i was home by 11.30 max...... On 4th, i was home by 12.30!!

Spent most of my birthday wondering what Bangaloreans would make of Istanbul. Families are out there at 1.30, at parks, restaurants, market places on weekdays!!!! Plus thier airports are quite close to the city on both sides, unlike Bangalore which doesnt have its own airport and uses the one at Devanhalli village! Seriously, insomniacs would go, and do go to sleep on the way to that place! Most locals in Bangalore have an exxagerrated sense of distance - Brookfields 8km away was described as if its on other end of the world. By that logic, the airport is definitely at Hyderabad.

Bangalore definitely has better roads, atleast the main ones. And i love apartments that i saw there, ample space, balconies, and all quite breezy if you stay at the right place....

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy 30th to me!!

Last year i started looking for a Casio G-Shock and ended up in Bangkok! So this year, i got myself a Casio Edifice WR 100m !! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

10k tales!

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I had plans to tell you 5k, 6k, 7k tales, lekin mazaak mazaak main 10k ho gaye!!!

Aankhon mein raha…….

 

Aankhon main raha dil mein utar kar nahi dekha
Kashti ke musafir ne samandar nahi dekha !!

Be waqt agar jaun ga sab chaunk paren ge
ik umar hui kabhi din mein ghar nahi dekha

Jis din se chala hun meri manzil pe nazar hai
aankhon ne kabhi meel ka pathar nahi dekha

yaaron ki mohabbat ka yaqeen kar lia main ne
phoolon mein chupaya huwa khanjar nahi dekha

mehboob ka ghar ho keh buzurgon ki zameeneN
jo chor dia phir usse mur kar nahi dekha

Pathar mujha kehta hai mera chahne wala
Main mom hun us ne mujhe chu kar nahi dekha

Wo mere masaail ko samajh hi nahi sakta
jis ne meri aankh mein samandar nahi dekha....

Source

Friday, July 20, 2012

Had to happen.....

Turkish Airlines rocks!!! My flight from Izmir to Istanbul is today. Istanbul to Mumbai is tommorow. Its seems they are connected and I'll get my checkin baggage in mumbai now! Theyd did say 'Have a nice flight tommorow!'

its a bloody strategy to make sure i buy the 'I love Istanbul' tshirts!

This had to happen, this tour and study had been completed very smoothly.

I take some solace in the fact that i am not the only one with whom stuff like this happens! There was a Chinese dude too, he will get his luggage in Shanghai....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Same old, insomniac rants....

Its 1.30am. I am far from sleeping. Have to get up at 4am. But considering the plan for tommorow, i am likely to sleep soundly tomorrow night. Will have to, got to work on saturday as well. I am now truly back - 2 briefing meetings, 2 new project plans, 2 travel plans, one pending report and too little time. Song on mind - Somewhere i belong! Sadly, the CR will have to wait. Thats fine i guess, in theory its waited 12 years already :P

It was A's last day in the company today, she had started her work (and by extension, her career) with me on a project. She went out right after completing a project with me. ( no no,she didnt blame me, cited personal reasons). The company wanted me to ask her to stop, they didnt realise she was here for over 2 years cos i was asking her to stop. Hmmmm. Well, people move on.

The Turkey trip coincided nicely with the break in Indian Cricket. Its only when i came back that i realised, except for stray articles, i hardly followed cricket over the stay duration. Always believed i will die if i do not get cricket updates, but i guess i was wrong. Good work, Euro 2012 and a lovely place were good enough distractions to move on to.

I also survived living without paneer ( as we know it).

I wonder why Sachin just doesnt retire from ODIs. But since people far more qualified are struggling to find an answer, i wont even try to find.

Anyone excited about God's Particle? As a follower of applied Phyics, i am not. And trying to mix science and religion is irritating. ("Have we seen a glimpse of God??" asked Sagarika Ghose.)

Once in a while, very rarely, on a certain need based occasion, i do miss my bike. But then i go on a drive and the world is a nice place to be in.

I have a feeling i'll sleep in the meeting tommorow. And its chemicals :( second study in a row on chemicals, one more and i'll resign (again!).

Remember that medical test thing i had told you about. The only problem with me is extra weight it seems.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Turkish Summer…

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Some snaps here.....

So, after 4 years 2 different companies promising and not sending me on any international studies, finally i get a chance.I may have missed out on official trips to Thailand, Indonesia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, but that's fine. When i did get the chance, i came to Turkey!

It wasn't easy, as is with most things with my life, to get the trip going. But god seems to be kinder nowadays and i did finally make it here, never mind an irritant or 2 like work.

Turkey gave a good impression even before landing. Except for the cramped seating, pretty good flight, attendants and food. And good view of Istanbul as you land.

Me and Aditya were welcomed to Istanbul by that kind of  taxi driver we thought went extinct with the 90s. Once he was sure we were Indians (and not Pakistanis), he reeled off what he knew about India – Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Raj Kapoor, “Awaara hoon….”.  A lot of people we have met so far do not understand India. Its Hindistan for them. Some takes us to be Pakistanis, some Iranians, some Egyptians. A few more days in the sun and Kenyan would be on the cards.

Istanbul has nice parks or sea front cafes along the entire coastline. It seems a normal practice for families to come out in the evenings and spend time at these parks – playing around with kids, flying kites, chatting with friends, working out or  maybe even preparing and enjoying dinner till late at night. But the best pastime that Istanbul citizen seem to love is fishing. Some have own fishing lines etc, some hire the kit and catch the small fish (which is available across all the restaurants.) Age or gender are no bar, all love fishing it seems. A group of taxi drivers we met along the jetty insisted we sing along “Awaara hoon” with them, they were anyway singing local songs along with beer and chips. On weekends, these parks and the select beaches across the city are packed with locals relaxing there. Its almost like there is a government regulation that prevents Turkey citizens from spending time at home. Most of these parks also have exercise machines, which are amply used. Betting on horse races , football and playing Turkish Tavlar are other common pastimes. I initially wondered how they get so much time, but now got it. Kaam ke time pe kaam., fir aaram.

To the list of places where i prayed in recent times, you can now add the Sultanahmet Mosque.

The air kissing made famous in Page 3 parties in India are a common mode of greeting friends, but a more common way seems to be for men to touch their heads. People seem friendly, everyone you passby gives a smile, nods and /or enquires where we are from. (The repeated assumption about us being Pakistanis is getting on my nerves a bit now).At the restaurant in the local market close to our hotel, people know us well now – one fellow also stupid enough to bet on a horse after asking to select it. That horse had won last week, finished 9th out of 11 this week.(“Good choice,this horse win, i fuck it every week” – Raki talking). The restaurant people get veg food immediately on seeing me. People come up and talk about India, Turkey and other info they can talk about, like when Tarkan showed up on TV – “he gay, biiiig gay, no, not gay, bisexual.”

Turkey is  a smokers paradise. Your girlfriend/ wife or anyone else unlikely to nag you about smoking – she may herself light one. or two. and then more. Also order a beer or Raki.

Efes is the Kingfisher of Turkey, and the Efes cafe’s are awesome. Raki is the local drink with Yeni Raki being preferred brand. To me it tastes like, feni mixed with sauf. Turkish people have a curios way of having hard drinks – 2 small glasses, one with your vodka / raki and other with water / cola. One sip from here, one sip from there and then mix if you want.

And oh, they love Fiat and Punto and Linea. Hyundai’s are taxis (hehehe). The taxi drivers are no better than ours, but most of them are polite.The taxis there seem to have more features than some of the new Fiats, I20s and Skoda’s i have seen in India. And there is always my lovely Tata  Indica around!!!

The shopkeepers are also pretty polite, who patiently try to understand what you want and then smile when you dont buy anything and walk away. One guy actually was angry and abusive but i spoke to him in Kannada settled the issue (buli, magne , bewarsi… Smile with tongue out)

Actually, one would think all of Turks as nice gentle people who nod and smile to all other people.

I am not even talking about the infrastructure facilities, its Europe. One pain point was, you cannot, just cannot cross the road  or take a U-Turn anywhere, since traffic is fast moving on most hours, you have to go to designated places for  these things. The metro, trams, trains, buses and ferries work almost round the clock and are pretty efficient. And they are required, Istanbul is vast. 20 times Mumbai’s area, same population. Divided in 2 – European and Asian side. The Europan side is a bit cramped, narrow roads , small and low, village type houses, cobblestone lanes etc. while the Asia side is the newly developed region, wide roads, multi storey buildings etc.  That doesn't mean there is no traffic,its there all day but peak hours suck big time.

The women there can be classified into 2 types – those who dress modern and those who don't. This doesn't mean that ones who wear hijabs etc are any less confident, professional or beautiful than the ones who dress in modern urban dresses. Infact, they could be the best of friends, just different choice of lifestyles. And they are all beautiful, most have fair clear skin, sharp features, and smiling face above all. Stylish accessories, hair set fashionably,trendy clothes and a air of self confidence, comfortable with whatever they are wearing. Most women wear casual dresses on most days .Infact, even most men do. Turks spend a lot of time in outdoor activities which is reflected in their fitness levels as well.

Turkey is actually European to look at but Asian at heart.  So habits like littering, throwing cigarette butts about are common (thankfully no spitting). But there is some magic power that clears all of it by the night (or early morning – these Turks are out till 1 – 2 am on weekdays, with family, kids and all). Extended families out for evening excursions, picnics or dinner by the park are common.

The Belly Dancing shows there are actually a part of wedding celebration tradition , so if you go to any of these places, you treated to lot of food, with loads of it being veg and the male and female dance and music shows. They also enact a ritual for some of the gals getting married, in full wedding gear.

For some reason, the wedding function is more Christian style than Muslim, flowing gowns and all that, followed by photo-shoots all-over the scenic seaside cafes all along the city.

Princes’ Islands are like the Matheran of Istanbul. No vehicles allowed, you have to go along in horse cart or cycle. (I cycled and lived to tell the tale). The big and beautiful mansions of the rich and famous need to be seen to be believed. Sailing is another pastime on weekends,mostly on the Asia side. There are no beaches in Istanbul, on the Asia side you have some small patches of rocky /  muddy / sandy land which pass of as a beach and the Turks come and play beach games and sunbath there. (This is how travel gives you perspective – the Turks used to literally naked to absorb as much as possible of the sun that i was avoiding). Izmir and Antalya regions down south have good beaches it seems, i’ll possibly go to Izmir in mid July. They say Izmir is more beautiful compared to Istanbul.

Troy is nothing but khandar, but the bus ride to it is awesome! Breathtakingly awesome. And then you see the Turks around not even looking out to appreciate the beauty Sad smile

For Indians, the traditional shopping destinations are not too interesting. And expensive. You can stick to the cheap souvenirs and dry fruits if you wish.

Outside of India, Turkey must ne the only country consuming tea in gallons? But they prefer having what we call as green tea here. Turkish cofee is another matter, slowly i fell in love with it. Its like the filter cofee we get in South India, but stronger. Milk has to be added to everything as per taste. Food there is prepared without salt. You may have to add salt / pepper before every morsel. The meat eaters prefer grilled fish/ chicken/ lamb, which was not suitable to Indian tastes i am told. But the cheese was good. The Turks mostly have goat’s milk (and i have identified that as the reason they are so fair Smile).

Police presence is never visible there, but incase of any issues, especially traffic issues, they just appear out of nowhere to solve the problem. And of they surprise you by honking from behind you, they say sorry. There is an elite division of police that deals with narcotics, smartly dressed in black, the policemen (and women Smile) can check anyone anywhere it seems. But i am told you dont want to be involved with them.

Taksim Square is by far the most happening place in Istanbul, and an estimated 2 million people walk from Taksim to Istikbal Avenue daily. That may be true. The lanes and bylanes of Taksim are dotted with discs, pubs, sports bars. erotic shops, hookah joints and places where you can pick someone for company for a price. At 100 TL / hour plus food and drinks, you better think before you go ahead. And then dont go ahead.

For an international airport, Istanbul airport is pretty sad. (admittedly, my only comparison is with Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangkok)

It seems June and July are the only hot months in Turkey. But that hot was winter in Mumbai. and its windy at almost all times, after sunset you actually feel cold. For the first time in my life, i saw a day where sun rises at 5am and sets around 9 pm. for the first few day, it was disorientating. But soon got used it.

A new experience in this trip was watching football with Europeans. Next time anyone calls India cricket fans crazy, i’ll ask them to go to Europe. People cry on losing!

Met a lot of Afghans and Pakistanis as well. They are normal people, and happy to see Indians.

Now lets see where i go next.

Teşekkürler (Thanks!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dreams do come true……

Long time back, i had thought i would travel to London for the 2012 Olympics and if possible travel around  Europe. It was a good aim to have,a good dream to follow. But soon, life showed up and i realised i may go nowhere near to Europe / London. But see, here I am. In almost Europe. Turkey. Istanbul. Who says dreams don't come true? Smile

Coming soon – Turkish Diary.

Till then, some snaps…
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Merhaba Istanbul -  Our hotel is close to those 3 tall buildings

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The view from my hotel room.

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Local Turkish delicacy

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weighty problems....

I may have mentioned in last post that i felt a lot lethargic in prev company and how that bit isnt connected to weight gain. As it turns out, it may have been connected, cos i am still 10-12 kgs more than what i should be and i was a lot more heavier then than now. All the occasional walks, better eating routine, trips to Delhi and Amritsar in the summers and moving away from a staple diet of tea, butter biscuits, vada pav, sandwiches and lunch has helped.


My company has got some Healthcare company to make a health plan for all senior pesonnel, customised. (they actually believe we are going to follow that thing). Anyway, so a part of that, i had to undergo a medical test. All manners of liquids, X-ray, ECG, Stress test and all that. After all the tests and analyisis of charts and leaving me half dead with the stress tests and all that, the rocket scientist doctor observed


"you are overweight"


"i know that, i am fat, not blind"
(was that rude? i was pissed. Hungry since morning, skip work, walking about in the sun, all that chest shaving, leads sticking and walking on the treadmill and he concluded what i can by walking up 2 flights of stairs!)


Anyway, so he tells me, i tired quicky (buddhe bhi itni jaldi nahi thakte) but i recovered quick enough. Now, but may not be able to do so in a few years. Basically he means i am a few years away from a heart attack (unless i follow the health plan or my liver gives way first :P )


I am sure mom will have her own plan. After all, moms knows best! Even better than that company! What do they know of healthcare, who only healthcare know?!


I also have a plan. Earn so much money, that no one gives a fuck about my weight. Like that Ram Kapoor in that TV series.


Lets see. Another brilliant plan!!! I think i should again register for the 2013 mumbai marathon and train for it. Good idea,no? :P


On the brighter side, my teeth are nice and fine now. 2 years of pain, 2 months of treatment, 10k expense. I dont think any problem of mine is solved without high expenditure, weather i like it or not.


As you can see, nothing can be done about insomnia.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Blah blah and some more…….

Yes yes, i am mean cynical arrogant and all that, and so i hate Satyameve Jayate. I should be appreciating Aamir Khan is at least doing something compared to me who is doing nothing!!! So I am a bad guy. Apparently doing something, useless or not, is better than doing nothing. Even if the facts are questionable (53% kids in India have suffered sexual abuse, as per SMJ. So, 1 in every 2 persons reading this post? Any cross checks? No).This is where Aamir Khan's marketing wins. Raise alarm, bring in emotional angle, a song, pocket 3 crs, go home. I hope you are all crying buckets. What's the cause this week?

My bike is sold. That doesn't mean I'll feeling like God.Its a permanently installed feature. Inshallah, someday in the future I'll own a Triumph – Bonneville is good, but Rocket III Roadster pe dil aaya hai. Hmmmmm, that future is far away though.

Its the immediate future that is a bigger problem. But they tell me its normal when you are closer to 30.

IPL this year was simply amazing. Took up most of my last 2 months evenings. If someone tells me tomorrow, he fixed the entire thing, I'll congratulate him on the beauty of his script and implementation. Some people say the last few games were fixed in order to allow Chennai Super Kings win IPL again. So that means DD, MI and RCB all lost on purpose?? Which is plain stupid, considering MI can buy entire IPL, ICL and also SLC, WICB and PCB for that matter. Why wouldn't they fix and win if that option is available. You know, as a gift to Sachin Tendulkar.

Anyone found it funny that 2 married TA members went on a bike trip and the others sitting at home??

I haven't seen a movie since March. Once upon a time i could just walk upto a theatre and watch a movie alone. Not any longer. And now that all are busy or away, no company for movies. At least need to catch Vicky Donor, Ishaqzaade, Avengers maybe. Any others?

Any new books? I was thinking of the book by B.Raman on Indian intelligence agencies. No cricket books coming up, expect Rahul Dravid to come up with something. When is the 3rd Meluha book expected? Hope it doesn't disappoint, these series books run that risk. Ashok Banker's Ramayana series was like that, after a promising start, it was as if he was bored to death to write more.

In my last company,  I used to feel a bit lethargic and attributed it to weight gain. Haven't lost much since then, but i can confirm this –body and mind are not lethargic anymore. Nice work, good clients, interesting studies, challenging stuff at times, better time – work load management and life's good actually.

Plus the car is about to reach 10k kms. She seems to be a loud nowadays so i just stopped at the local garage, the guy says "normal awaaz hain, sound proofing check karalo". I say, "aisa kharab to nahi hona chahiye, pehle to itni awaz nahi aati thi." He says, "sahab nai biwi awaz nahi karti, poorani hone pe jaan kha jaati hain!"

Long time back, a bike mechanic had made a similar comparison – how behaviour changes once we are past the virgin stage! (was it Doc who said this? Don't remember. Getting old)

Anyway, old men need to sleep. At least try to. Important day tomorrow. IPL 5 final.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Meri to ek baat ka, itna gila hua…..

“Chaand To Nikla Hai Magar Ye Raat Na Hai Pehli Si,

Ye Mulakat Mulakat Na Hai Pehli Si,

Ranj Kuch Kam To Hua Aaj Milne Se,

Ye Alag Baat Hai Ke Ye Baat Na Hai Pehli Si…”

Not able to get complete lyrics.

I think i need a new label named “Ghazals

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moving on …….

Its overrated.

Honestly, people give a lot of talk about how miserable one is, how they keep thinking of the good times spent together, how you are missed in certain situations, look back fondly at the fights and all that. But believe me,  it all blah blah.

Once you decide that you have to move on, and you clear about the reasons of why you have to move on, its pretty easy actually.

Look at me, i have seamlessly moved from loving my bike to loving my car :)

Once i realised i am spending more on service than petrol, how am unlikely to use the bike for long distances and durations and someone could actually use the bike which is fairly well maintained (and i could always do with the money), it was an easy decision to sell the bike off.

Sure we had a good run, good fun, quick, efficient and at times gave the “Feel like God” feeling. Sure we had some fights too. All documented here, here, here, here,here & here. If you read all that, you may noticed not much happened in last couple of years, more so ever since she came into my life. 

Anyway, anyone wants to buy an Avenger? or know anyone who might be interested? Check Ad

On an unrelated note maybe, how do the XUV 500 and Fortuner compare? " Smile with tongue out

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hereos do fall.....

By himself, Sachin has all the rights in the world to become what he wants to, if and when he retires from active cricket. Even if he wants to join, as the Big B once called it, the cesspool of politics.

But he should not accept the Rajya Sabha nomination offered to him by the Congress party. If it has been offered in the first place that is. Because i am dead sure he is just a pawn to distract attention. To attract his followers for votes to Congress. And i am somehow not convinced that this decision coming up on a day when Congress was getting screwed all over is a mere co-incidence.

In an ideal world, Tendulkar will come out tomorrow in a blazing press conference and make it clear he is not in the fray, its all a frame -up , speculation and so on.

A long time back, i had told a friend 'heroes do fall' when she suspected a particular person she idolised was acting a bit different.

I hope my hero doesnt fall.

It's not an ideal world.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Woh mera tha, yeh batana ajeeb lagta hain….

tha jis ka hath hamesha hamaray hathon mein ....

abh us say hath milana ajeeb lagta hai ...!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Serendipity.....

Neeta Volvo did not do it.

Nor did Indian Railways.

Nor did ay hotels, restaurants, offices or places where people get upgrades for no extra effort or cost.

Well, Kingfisher sending me to Delhi in business class, at ticket cost of 4k!

And i get something i have always desired, leg room!!!!!

Serendipity - a pleasant surprise that you come across by accident, or something to that effect.

Whatever it is, feels good. (Though the accident in this case has some other victim - Kingfisher!)

Doesn't take much to make me happy, does it?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stuff i worry about at night....

Early this week, Indian Express printed a report saying the government was spooked because some units of the army headed towards Delhi one night a few months back. Alarmist and stupid are some words that have been used to describe the report. Highlights mistrust and lack of communication between government and armed forces and all that. (I can only hope no one gets spooked when i head to Delhi next week. If at all, i hope there is co-operation, free flow of information, analysis and report writing!!)

But it is just plain politics. I tend to agree with a DNA article other day that implied its MMS making his chair safe with such leaks and like. A very good profile of MMS in Caravan magazine presents you the facts of how he has behaved under different leaders and times - Indira Gandhi, Emergency, Narsimha Rao, Sikh riots, Rajiv Gandhi, Janta Government, Nationalisation, Globalisation and all that. And it lets you decide about him. Read. (Read Caravan anyway, good stuff)

My dental treatment is postponed because of this Delhi trip. So i'll be seen with a broken tooth at Akash's wedding. But having done the full payment in advance, i am sure i'll get it completed. Unlike last time, when i told the dentist "shaam ko aata hu" and showed up last friday, a good 2 years later.

I have been thinking what gifts i have recieved from family, friends, colleagues, clients and relatives over the years. Not much. On an unrelated note, i quite liked the black Nokia Lumia 710 that Baba has bought...good bargain at 15k. Despite the touchscreen.

I was telling someone other day, between the core 5 TA members, we have now covered most of the world. Me - India. Akash - Africa. Clinton - Europe, Australia, US. Silky - Middle East. All of us have been to SE Asia. And Baba lords over Thane now!

How expensive will Brazil be? Looks like a place worth going. (not just the beaches, loads of other things too shown on TV).

Just no good movies nowadays. And no company either.

I am considering selling of bike. Poor thing just stands for many days and battery is discharged. No kick start is a pain. Might as well have someone use it properly. Know anyone intrested? Good condition, needs usage.

I say project management is same as people management. Some disagree.

Why do people look at cricket as Test/ODI/T20. Its bat v/s ball. Skill set v/s skill set. Equal fun in any format.

Been trying to put together a list of 50 things to do before i die. 7 of the 13 listed so far are cricket related. 3 cars related. 3 travel related.

I think one of the things i ought to add is a non-medicinal, non-harmful, non-addictive solution to insomnia.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dard baantne se kam hota hain…..

I am pretty sure all of us have, at some point of time, pulled out a nail from wood.

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Not always with the right tools as well.Rulers, pens bare hands, compass? Same old method. Dig out a bit of it. Dig out some wood around the nail. Scratch the surface around, hold on tightly from one side. Give some leverage and pull!!

Tooth extraction is exactly like that.

Thank god for local anaesthesia (and maybe the little prayer i said before the procedure started), i did not really feel much of it. But i heard it all. The digging, the scratching, the leverage, the pull. And then i saw the tooth being discarded.

But once the anaesthesia wore off, the injections in the jaw to administer the anaesthesia started hurting. And has been hurting since. And now, next step would be to put in a replacement tooth……

Something like hammering a nail into wood……

Not exactly. But you get the point. And once that is done, the other tooth root canal will start. My teeth are so screwed!

And what's worse is that the teeth trouble came at a lousy point of time. March. Taxes. On Saturday, i couldn't make out what hurt more – tooth or taxes!

Anyway, sad part is, both these things have combined and taken my economic situation back to square one 1 – in the RED! So camera and /or phone plans shelved. Vo to door ki baat hain, some books i had to buy have been postponed.

On, what may or may not be, a related note, i heard the original of “I’ll survive” the other day. Nice song.

I’ll survive. Guess all do.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sau choohe khaake…..

All my sins notwithstanding, over the last year or so, i may have have washed out all of them….. just check out the temples and holy / religious places and ceremonies i have been to !

Varanasi

Started with a visit to the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir and then to the river Ganga.

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The Ganga Arti. As mentioned earlier, the closest i have felt to miraculous. All the din outside, so much peace inside.

21042011363  After offering prayers at the Kashi Vishvanath Temple at Varanasi. I think i got scammed a bit by the pandits there, but i did all the relevant pooja’s and offerings there. Mom’s happy Smile

Agra

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At the Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chishti. This was peaceful without the noise. They are from the same family as the Ajmer Dargah. The best thing was what the priest told me (when i asked if there is any specific manner to pray) – pray as you know to pray. Wo sab sunta hain Smile

Ayyuthya, Thailand

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Yes yes, there is a religion bit in Thailand as well……… especially the Rockstar Ganpati bit Smile But that was just on day 1……

Uttaranchal

As my then boss described it – its a religious vacation farewell package!

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Buddhist Temple close to Dehradun

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By the river ganga at Rishikesh.

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Haridwar – this Ganga Arti isnt as grand as the Varanaasi one, but good nonetheless. Met a Turkish lady here who was astonished people drink the water and loved the faith people had in the river. Concluded my faith wasn't strong enough because i wouldn't drink the water. ( I did not even collect the water in a bottle, like i did in Rishikesh). Couldn't bring myself to drink the water in which people were bathing and immerse ashes of the dead. (See those steps in the snaps? – immerse snaps, do pooja, big arti , all there)

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Vaishnodevi Temple near Nainital

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Hanuman Temple close to Bhimtal.

Amritsar

The best laid plans often don't work out. Sometimes because of circumstances, sometimes because some alternative plan comes up. My Amritsar Trip falls in the later plan.

I had intended to visit Mathura over the weekend, when i was in Delhi. Couple of hours away, a day trip to meet uncle who stays there. Mom suggested go to Jhansi instead, 6 hours by train, but you get to meet grandparents. I checked what's my plan for Saturday and said ok. Planned the trip to the T. Booked to and fro tickets. Most of Friday went into that. Keep it secret from grandparents. 6AM train. Reached guest house late in the night after catching up with a couple of friends. My colleagues are still up

Colleague – Bhai, chal kal Amritsar chalte hain.

Me – Chalo.

And thats how i landed at the Golden Temple recently.

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Me and Vinay stood in this crowd for 3 hours.

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By far the cleanest temples i have seen, crowd management could have been better though.

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Best part about travel? Meeting people like these. Travellers, these girls have seen some 37 countries so far. Nice stories to tell…..

So that's that. I guess a church remaining and i would have covered them all……. wonder if sins commited parallel to all these religious trips are also taken care of Devil

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Poetry and lyrics…..

I wonder if any other singer would have ever conveyed the pain of the lyrics so beautifully……

The only other example i can think of is this one.

Reminded of this scene from Music and Lyrics

Alex Fletcher: It doesn't have to be perfect. Just spit it out. They're just lyrics.
Sophie Fisher: "Just lyrics"?
Alex Fletcher: Lyrics are important. They're just not as important as melody.
Sophie Fisher: I really don't think you get it.
Alex Fletcher: Oh. You look angry. Click your pen.
Sophie Fisher: A melody is like seeing someone for the first time. The physical attraction. Sex.
Alex Fletcher: I so get that.
Sophie Fisher: But then, as you get to know the person, that's the lyrics. Their story. Who they are underneath. It's the combination of the two that makes it magical.

If you have ever been to ghazal concerts,you will see people asking for select famous songs of the singer,  mostly because that's what they have heard, more because of the catchier tunes, melody rather than the entire package, more importantly the lyrics. So, they end up missing out on some of the better, but not so well known songs. They are the ones that connect to your lives more often than not, putting together in a simple lucid form the deepest thoughts in our minds….(like the first song posted above).

Its a special talent, conveying something that most people find difficult to convey. Its not lyrics actually.

Its poetry.

(Lyrics is “Tan tana tann tan taana…..chalti hain kya nau se baara??”)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I am sorry, sweetie....

Note to self : Priyadarshini Circle is a criss cross bottleneck, more so when trailers are around. If not careful, your car will have ugly scrathes to show :(

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Der aaye, drust aaye…….

Some things in life are always there, somewhere around, but for some reason you don't take notice. But when you do, its good fun, however late!

Calvin & Hobbes

I don't what i finally connected with here….. have known about Calvin and Hobbes for ages (have been read out some of the strips!) – maybe its the interaction with the imaginary friend (like 1 i had when i was 6) or the imagination of the kid making up an alternate story as something else is happening in the real world - especially when being fed or bathed or in school, or just the one line conclusions (eg. Reality continues to ruin my life). Something just clicked.

This one below is my fav of the ones i have read. I have a book if anyone wants to borrow.

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Pink Floyd

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It took a 40 sec video clip with the initial part of  “Coming back to life” playing in the background to make me aware of the group. (till then i thought Pink Floyd was 1 person like Bon Jovi). Glad i heard it. And to an insomniac, god gift. There is silence and then there is the sound leading to a state of mind called by many as psychedelic. Favs – Comfortably Numb, On the Turning away, Any colour you like, the great gig in the sky, coming back to life, Learning to fly….

I have further gone on to like some of Nirvana, Hendrix and Clapton songs as well.

Harry Potter and friends (and enemies!)

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The movies, not the books. Yet. The books had bored me in the first few pages itself. And so for years i thought of them as childish. Then one day saw the first movie and well, they are still childish, but good.

The movies, i am told , are very watered down compared to the books, plus story has been modified as well it seems.And in the end, Voldemort dies very tamely. Our Mogambo had a more dignified death! But you got to give credit to the authors imagination, spun a very good yarn, very well connected with everything being linked to something else, all characters finely etched.

Liked the Prisoner of Azkaban best – time turner would have been a helpful app to have!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Copy pasting draft posts.....

(All these are draft posts that i have collected over the last 3 - 4 weeks. Some started and stalled, some stalled at the heading stage and some stalled at the thought stage. I hate keeping drafts. So clearing those out)

A 5 year relation,or rather, this 5 year relation is gonna be very special for me. I think i can go ahead and have any number of sweethearts in my life, but time spent in this one, the comfort level, the joy, the fun, the milestones, the breaks, the 'others', the the kms clocked, all special, very special. Dear Tata Indigo LS (a.k.a Pappu!), its been a great 5 years!

The Indian team is in trouble in Aus and in Eng. No shame in losing, but being arrogant about its sucks. You will be back soon, i am sure.

I would be very surprised if the muslims in UP vote for Congress. Its the same bloody con act again and again. And they fall for it everytime. So, either they are too dumb or their votes are sold for some cash or other short term incentives. There doesnt seem to be any long term benefits for these guys.

Porngate - stupid people to be caught. It seems 40 other ppl were watching the same clips. But i would love to see how the moral high ground people would have reacted had the ministers been watching, say, a cricket match or TV soap. Because the issue isnt them watching porn, its them not paying attention to proceedings. And the manner in which our media went ballistic (the main stream media are anti BJP, pro Congress anyway,need an excuse), you would think thats a worse crime than murdering nurses or multi crore scams.

Rahul Gandhi for PM? Bullshit. There are many guesses about his intellingence, but i am sure he is smart enough (and well advised ) not to go down that path. Momma has shown the right way - head the NAC, let someone else be PM. You take credit, they take blame. And i'll reiterate - Priyanka Gandhi is going to be leading it for a long long time.... She is the real power....

Was a bit surprised to know other day that a newly married friend's wife has access to his FB account and cellphone. Was about to take that as a norm for married people, but second opinion from Silky stopped me. I think i have another pre-condition....., 'Thou shall not touch....'

Man, went shopping for kids stuff with Silky. Fatherhood's expensive in more ways than one! 7-10k for cradles! Baby seats for cars, 6-7k! Baby clothes, pregnant women clothes,this pump, that pump, what not! Phew! ( Silky is right, the rest of us will gain from his experience. The rate at which he is moving, he will have ample experience!)

5k tales is now 6k tales already.

(Thats all. Look like mini posts.)

i think with age, my attention spans are getting shorter.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Meaningless post

Being insomniac after a long time. Maybe something to do with Mumbai heat being on its way back.

Been meaning to post a lot over the last days – 5k tales, break-ups, hangovers, marriage, movies, cricket and new job.

Avoid Agneepath. I could have been a good movie. But for Karan Johar. kheeeeeeeechhhhhhhhhhhhkkkkkkkkkkeeeee   choda hain….

Welcomed back to Feedback finally – spent 26th Jan working in office…… though i am thankful for the 3 week honeymoon period…..

Where the F is Anna Hazare nowadays…..

I wish i could be in UP around this time….. election time!

Ah, that reminds me, Uttaranchal. Well, udhar bhi election hain. But its beautiful. Regret not uploading the snaps on picassa, may have lost most of them in a hard drive issue.

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As i was saying, beautiful.

TA has decided i need to get married ASAP. Silky will be very busy with daughter soon, Doc with wife. Horny Dog and MK also moving out. Clint may not travel to Mumbai as frequently now,with his parents shifting to stay with him (all the best mate!), and that leaves me Baba and NK. Now, if long winded stories is all i had to listen to…… Smile with tongue out

Like this bit below……. From the movie Up In The Air

Ryan Bingham: If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life... were you alone?
Jim Miller: No, I guess not.
Ryan Bingham: Hey, come to think of it, last night, the night before your wedding, when all this shit is swirling around in your head, weren't you guys sleeping in separate bedrooms?
Jim Miller: Yeah, Julie went back to the apartment, and I was just by myself in the honeymoon suite.
Ryan Bingham: Kind of lonely, huh?
Jim Miller: Yes, it was pretty lonely.
Ryan Bingham: Life's better with company.
Jim Miller: Yeah. 

Got this from Bhaiya’s ‘i am so shit scared’ blog post just before marriage….. read, if you have to!

For the first time in my life,i am glad an official trip has been cancelled. or rather postponed. As it turns out, all for the good! A much more interesting project came my way now!