The week that was...

With the onset of paryushan and the various restrictions on food (no eating outside, no eating certain type of vegetables, etc), the week started off with only food on my mind, to soak in all the junk food that I would have to resist for a week :)

Appears Monday dint have anything special to offer (Monday morning blues offer no novelty these days) because I dont seem to remember much about it.

Tuesday was Shil's treat at SLV Ragigudda...her turn to feed me till I was ready to burst, all the masala papads, masala puris, masala dosas, manchurians, pav bhajis quickly disappeared (there were of course 7 other people too :) )...along with the ice-creams and coffee too :) The rains were there too, but failed to dampen our spirits.

Wednesday, the rains the night before had done their bit for the traffic. Sitting in the stationary bus, I was urixed to no end. Reaching office at 9:45 (a full 2 hrs 15 min after leaving the hallowed environs of Girinagar), I was in no mood to work. Struggled through life at office and my earlier resolve of staying around till 7 15 quickly melted and I was among the first to board the 5:30 bus that evening. Being the last day before Paryushan, even rain could not deter me from having Garlic bread n Pizza (after nearly 2 months!!!) with Boda and Karthik. The heavens cried their hearts out as I relished the pizza. Came back home drenched but contented, all ready for Paryushan...

Come Thursday, the rains the night before had wreaked havoc. I cursed the traffic, roads, government till I reached office, slightly earlier than the previous day. The uppit that I carried to office for lunch, choked me :)

Friday's lunch was home-made puliyogare, marginally better (did not choke me), but every bit as ruthless as the uppit. Made me run home at 3 pm. The real reason was of course the Dinner voucher that I had to collect from the Radio One office. Picked it up (thats another story) and reached home. End of Friday!

Saturday, the first day of a make-believe beautiful weekend. Early to rise (at 6:30), my incentive was my belief that a good servicing of the silver activa would save some of my hard earned money that was literally burning away with the fossil fuels :) And for those who still wonder why I had to get up at 6:30, I had to hand the activa over for servicing by 7:30 am, which is the cut-off to handover bikes for servicing at the Honda (2-wheeler) showroom. Evening was the much delayed get-together of the Baldwin batch of 96 at Casa Del Sol. It was every bit as good as expected. All credits to Ananth :) Dad was none too amused when we came back at the stroke of midnight.

There ends my week. Sunday is the start of another week...which I shall elaborate on later.

Found this one somewhere on the net:

"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though she/he knows that you are slightly cracked" :)

Just happened to notice today, that I seem to have picked up the habit of ending perfectly good sentences with a question mark. Like:

1. "I ll work on the design?" instead of "Shall I work on the design?"

2. "We ll go to someplace close by, so you can drop by for sometime atleast?"

I have heard of some non-english speaking Europeans, mainly the south europeans, end their statements thus (I think it is mainly the South Europeans), but have never done it myself.

Is it something from my previous incarnations (I have been reading Many Masters, Many Lives by Brian Weiss) or am I just too lazy to add a few extra words (like "ok" or "What say") to make a proper question?

Can I file a RTI to know why my answer was not chosen as the best one at some god forsaken contest? ;)

Courier folks...a scam?

Day in and day out, I keep getting telemarketing calls, not only from the banks where I hold accounts/credit cards, but from every tom, dick and harry, who has credit cards to tempt, insurance plans to offer, tax saving instruments to sell and sometimes even an alternate sim card to make me talk even more (not from my service provider, but from their competitor).
What surprises me is how these guys get our contacts.
My idle brain has been overtiming again and came up with four options...
1. My bank sells this data (isn't there a law against it?)
2. My investment adviser sells data
3. Cell phone operators sell it
4. The courier folks (who deliver bank statements to us)

Since each bank/cell phone service provider/ investment advisers have their own favourite set of courier services, I thought getting this kind of data from the courier folks, if true, is as innovative an idea, as any?
And now, if this is not true, I am elated, I might just have stumbled upon a brilliant business venture :)

Veggie power!!

India's bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics in the 66kg Freestyle wrestling is a veggie!!!!


I was on Radio!!!!

Slogging it out for my cerrtification exam, but had to write this: "I was on Radio!!!!!".

Yeah...though not an avid contestant in radio contests, I do give in once in a while to the temptation of winning something...

It was exactly one such tempting moment today, when the RJ on radio asked: "Women take 3276 hours during their lifetime to dress up, men take only 1092. What is it that men take longer than women for?”
In a fit of inspiration, I picked up my cellphone and messaged “Men take longer to understand women than women take to understand men”... :)
But that was when I was aimlessly looking out of the window of my bus on the way to office. When no call came my way in the next 10 min (yeah! I thought that is all the time required to judge my entry as the most witty), I forgot this as one more of those 6 rs per min SMS that would show up on my next months bill, a sore reminder of another lost chance.
Reaching office in record time (thanks to the auto-rickshaw strike), I got down to the daily grind with renewed energy (all thanks to spending fewer minutes in the bus). The radio signal on our floor is pathetic (only static is heard), and so the moment I start climbing the stairs to the 2nd Floor, the radio is hastily turned off.
Going through the slew of overnight mails, I was surprised to see a call from some 40******* number. I was sure it was one of those touts offering credit cards for free, but picked up the call nonetheless.
Surprise surprise, it was the RJ, "Hi Pradeep, this is so-and-so from Radio so-and-so, I liked your answer, can I record it?"
You have heard it happen a 100 times on radio, but you are never prepared for this to happen to you.
I replied a hesitant "yes", he asked me if I spoke kannada, I told "Yes", then he hastily reminded me my answer, and yippie!!!! I was being recorded :)
I won a dinner voucher for my bravery... :)
With a smug smile on my face, I called, emailed, messaged people near and far egging them to listen to ME!!!!

But the irony of it all, I could not listen to myself on radio, thanks to the lack of quality signal ;)
Managers, I always thought were, as a rule, suspicious and inquisitive, not to mention hardly ever appreciated privacy.
My earliest memory is that of my pseudo-manager (coz he was a TL then but made us believe he was a Manager), suspiciously looking at us, keeping close tab on the number of hours our IE windows were open and how many (I know this coz, at one of the team meetings, we were told, "There are some who keep their browser windows open for 2 hours!"). That I attributed to his very delayed promotion, the prospects of which din't look too bright this time around either, what with 5 juveniles on his team.
Subsequently, I have run into a considerable number of characters, in comparison to whom, he would have been on the fast track to saint hood.
While I always thought this phenomenon was restricted to office (what with some managers giving a menacing look to weekend-working developers who dare to take a personal call on a Sunday afternoon), I was in for a shock, when I found this manager (must be one, because he had a laptop) sitting beside me and struggling to read messages on MY cellphone, over MY shoulder, in the only thing we share in common, the BUS!

Doordarshan and Olympics

Was watching the live telecast of the athletic events at Olympics 2008 on Doordarshan. The relay is pathetic. No postcard finishes for us, its only blurry, delayed images. The picture quality seems to have hardly changed since the days of Buniyaad in 1987.

The commentary leaves a lot to be desired, to say the least.
When a national anthem was being played and some of the players stood still as a mark of respect, all our bewildered commentator could utter was "That was a prize ceremony!!!"...yeah man...thanks for letting me know, God knows what I would have thought of it otherwise!
And then of course, there was the instance of the Mr. Commentator (Mr. C) who started talking on his cell (on air...must be "my life is an open book" types), most probably to his director. Mr. Director wanted Mr C to commentate a particular sport and after haggling over it for a while, our brilliant Mr. C realized that he was after all commentating the game in question!

It is just DD's monopoly on the telecast of the ongoing Olympic events in India that makes me rest my remote on channel no 24 for a few minutes.
It is the same DD, that opened up the world for us, gave us "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara...", Ramayan, Surabhi and Buniyaad, made our Sundays "SUNDAY's" with Grimms Fairy Tales, made Salma Sultan my favourite news reader and made Rangoli and Chitrahaar my window to Bollywood

With amazing reach deep into the rural hinterlands and its singular monopoly till the 90's, it has done little (or nothing) to keep up with the changing times :(

What with all the hype about India bidding to host the Olympics in 2016, were they to host it, I sure hope they are not planning to telecast it on DD!
1. My favourite packet of biscuits is now 90 grams instead of the earlier 100grams (and 225g instead of 250g). Not to mention they have become a couple of millimetres leaner to maintain their numbers
2. Tea leaves now come in packs of 450g instead of the 500g that we are used to (people still refer to them as "ardha kg")
3. Shampoos now come in 90ml packs instead of the earlier 100ml. The bottles have become sexier though.

Little surprise then, that even with the rising inflation, the cost of all these bare necessities have remained the same, bringing some superficial cheer into the lives of the ever-so-price-conscious consumers :)
On the way back from office today, Radio One was playing Himesh Reshammiya's "Jhalak Dikhalaja".
And being as alert as ever, I noticed a very pronounced lisp when he sings "deedar ko tarse akhiyan"...then again subtle ones in " tere ehsaason mein" and "zare zare se". But the one that takes the cake is the "deedar ko tarse akhiyan" in the last stanza :)
Did no one ever notice it? Or am I imagining the whole episode....gotta listen to it again and confirm..;)

8 people...

Took the Udyan Express from Raichur to Bangalore on a rainy Saturday night. No, its not a horror story am gonna narrate, just din't know how else to start off... :)
My co-passengers were an amazing lot, each one stoking my ever-so-hyperactive imagination.
1. The 1 girl (1 upper berth), was a fair and short one. She was travelling alone, slept with a towel wrapped over her eyes and nose, and had the "I am oh-so-cool. All men here are trying to act fresh with me. All men are SCUM" look.
2. The 4 guys (2 middle berths) who were going to Bangalore from Pune/Kanpur to start off their careers. They sounded fresh-out-of-college with typical college talk. Trying to sound cool, but without any attitude. The little-town-boys for whom Bangalore was a dream-come-true. They came with 2 confirmed and 2 waitlisted tickets and had to unfortunately take turns lying down
3. The 3 middle-aged men (2 lower berths and 1 side-lower) with their receding hairlines bordered by the black lines of an ill-applied hair dye, the generous kinds who take up the role of guardian angels with panache. They were self-proclaimed guardians, cracking jokes/offering advice and all that without being overly intrusive or getting on our nerves.
4. The 1 aunty in her early 50's (1 side-upper berth). A conservative lady, who probably has to bribe the TC to allot the empty side-upper berth to her. The look on her face was that of a conservative old lady who thinks that the new-generation "kids" are all a good-for-nothing murderous lot. She thinks they talk of nothing but the "forbidden" things, dont know how to talk to others and were definitely on the way to hell. Shutting her eyes tight, she believed would ensure that god knows she was an innocent bystander.
5. The 1 and only me (1 upper berth), looking at the whole show and forming opinions and letting my imagination run wild :)


A couple of weeks ago (or was it a couple of months ago), I took an auto, early in the morning (about 7 am) to get to the Majestic bus stand. I was on my way to KGF to meet sis, and the 2.5 hours of bus travel to KGF was definitely one that I would happily avoid. Nonetheless, whenever absolutely necessary, my philosophy was to leave early and come back early.
The autodriver was fairly decent, unlike the ones that I normally (dont know if it happens to everyone) run into....
When we got to the bus stand, the fare was Rs 70 and unfortunately I had a hundred rupee note. Me being his first customer for the day, he had no change too. Scraping together all the change that I had, I could only manage Rs 63.
The auto driver for his part, did run around trying to get change for a 100, asking fellow autodrivers, nearby shops, vendors, but was plain unlucky. Though reluctant, he agreed to accept the Rs. 63 that I had. I could very well understand his apprehensions, being the first fare for the day, he was unhappy at the prospect of accepting lesser than the fare.
I realized that the 7 rupees (70-63) definitely meant more to him than the 30 rupees (100-70) meant to me.
That was when I did something very uncharacteristic, I asked him to take to Rs. 100, and if we ever run into each other again, give me the 30 rupees that he owed. The gratitude evident in his eyes, was worth far more than the 30 rupees any day. Since the guy was from Girinagar (I took the auto there), he took my address (I asked him to give it to Dad in the shop itself) and promised to return it.
Doesn't really matter if people are worth the trust or not, but I definitely felt happy, that I could still trust people the old-fashioned way (something that I had believed was lost in this world).
Neither did I try to find out from Dad, if the guy actually returned the 30 rupees, I am happy with the knowledge that I trusted someone (since I dont think I'll be doing it too often), without wanting to know if that trust was maintained or misused :)
One of the toughest decisions I have had to take of late, is to decide the date for the first of my two mandatory certifications. After a lot of deliberations, I came up with Aug-21.
My reasoning does me proud.

It had to be after the Independence day long weekend (any other date was too soon).

Aug-18 (the Monday immediately after the long weekend) was ruled out for the below reasons:
1. If I had not studied, I would have to study over the long weekend, thus spoiling it.
2. If I had already studied (the chances of which were as remote as me being kidnapped by Martians), it would still bother me all through the weekend, thus spoiling it.

The other logical extremity was Aug-22 (the Friday of the same week), but who the hell wants to spoil a Friday by worrying about a certification exam? Fridays are exclusively to look forward to the weekend and spoil yourself silly.

So decided on Aug-21 (Thursday), not too close to the 23-Aug weekend, but yet far away from the long weekend :)
What better way to start the day than urixing the grumpy bus driver by making sure your ID in slyly hidden in the folds of your jacket?
As expectant mother is one person, with whom everyone, right from the inevitable nosy neighbour to the farthest of relatives have an opinion to share.
One of the most exciting opinion of course, is the sex of the yet-to-be-born. But then, I have never ever heard anyone suggesting to the expectant mother (or her in-laws or her poor husband for that matter) that she might be carrying a baby girl...its always the cliched "I am sure its a boy!!!!", so why bother??

Petrol at 57/litre or 61/litre?

Even though the official price of Petrol in Bangalore is Rs 57, cant really remember when was the last time I actually filled my bike with petrol@ 57/litre.
Every petrol bunk seems to be eternally out of regular unleaded petrol and stocked only with the premium variant, which is over Rs. 61/litre.
So, while on paper the price of petrol is Rs 57/litre, in effect it is Rs. 61/litre?

Friday off...

It all started with our regular lunch at Casa on Thursday...Jaggi told he would take tommorrow (Friday, 1-Aug) off, since it was a Solar eclipse, he dint want to travel during the eclipse, n this n that. I caught onto the idea soon, and was wondering what reason I had, to come to office on Friday. Work was lean, I would definitely not delay a rocket launch by my taking off.
The pros of a four day working week were many, I could sleep till late, generally laze, file my return (yeah, I had not done it :( )...the cons, hmmm...never mind :D
and in less than 30 seconds, my mind was made... I would take Friday off too....after that it was just a matter of letting people know and with an extra spring in my step, left office promptly at 5:15 pm...
and now, here I am, blogging in the middle of the day, just before the much talked about solar eclipse begins :)