Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The revelry carried on well past midnight, and yet by 10 all were at their respective desks on Tuesday. Sharp? Not really. But then that’s just part of the game I suppose, Work hard, party harder. Wednesday, I reported at the base office in Leatherhead and managed to start my stint by getting lost in the town and harking up the wrong road searching for an elusive road which as per Google maps should have been easy to find. Luckily, a fellow I knew hadn’t made it yet and managed to pick me up on the way to work. I’m sure this would be something to laugh about in years to come, but as of this morning did make me feel like a prize ass. Wading through the documentations and other procedures to land a project, while meeting up with a few other folks from office, the day comes to a lazy end in the early winter dusk.
The journey back was quite interesting as I observed the number of people of who commute from London to work in nearby locations, while catching up on a bit of sleep. I dare say, sleep would be a luxury now except for weekends. Anyhow as I sign out for the day I look forward to making a good start to the second innings of my career. Cheers!!
Monday, November 02, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
A warm kiss to start the day, a hot cup of coffee to chase the sleep away, the gas company to keep the house warm, the electricity firm to get the toasts done, the saucepan to get the eggs done, or maybe say the microwave, the laptop to check the emails, the tube to take you to work, the janitor to clean the office for you start working, the client to keep the money rolling, the banks to fund the firm's growth, the secretary to handle your appointments, the starbucks lady for your coffee, the subway guy for your fav sub, the coffe shop to meet your friends over, the pint to bring on some cheer, the superstore helper to hunt down your fav sauce, the pot to make your pasta, the tv to chase boredom away, the clock to tell you time's ticking away, the phone to let you talk from confines your room, the bed to crash onto everynight, the duvet to snuggle in on a cold night, and finally the blogger to let you all know about this... and they said we are independent?? funny, eh?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
With a future unknown, the traveller moves on hoping to have a better picture at hand at the next stop. The path seems to be clear till the top of the hill, but the road beyond is still unknown. And... and the clouds loom large upon the horizon. What secrets they hold the traveller shall never know. Despite the fear in his heart, his destiny is to keep moving towards what he perceives to be his goal. The truth is yet to unfold with miles to go before it unveils. Such a juncture may not have been foretold save only by the wisest of mankind, for the common man lives a life in predictability. Its the unknown adventure which scares him. The beaten track is what throws him off guard. Perhaps he should have taken the road less travelled. Should he change now? Should he finally search the road to his heaven? Should he?
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The safe confines no longer exist, nor do the safe passage that infused a sense of security in him. Looking back perhaps they never did, just a faint glimmer of them as if a mirage. Yet these castles in air, if one may call them so, allowed him to dream, to hope, to live perhaps. A journey through various landscapes, with different people, through punishment n redemption, through love n hate has brought him far. The boundaries of his world n the real world are fading into oblivion. Standing amongst people rushing to their business, a strange calm envelopes through closed eyes carrying him to a different world... a familiar one. Noise, dust, honks, street hawkers, street urchins, oppressive heat - its all so familiar. As he drifts through this world, he sees a mother seeing off her child at school, a father buying his kid's favourite toy, gets a whiff of the spices and trails of music floating down the corridor. He hears the soft lashes of the river against the boat as the boatman pulls at the oars with the sun setting over the horizon and the cantilever giant being coloured in the hues of the sunset sky. A vibration breaks the reverie. Its quiet again around him. The cars move silently, people talk softly, the air is 'cleaner', the life is 'good'. He sighs at the state of affairs, Looks upwards, higher still till he sees the sky and then walks through those glass doors. He sold everything... everything to be trapped in the cage of steel, concrete and glass.
Meet the man who sold his world.
Do you know him?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
In the chequered landscape of London, with the happening of the past weighing down heavily on everyone, with the UK economy having started to recover, the future seems unpredictable. All well laid plans have gone astray, chances once seemingly correct seemed to have been wronged, the wisest have erred, the mavericks have calmed, the teacher has become a student, the student no longer carefree, a dull calm envelopes the mind, the devil runs free in the thoughts... it seems everyone is still staring... into the eye.. the eye of a storm.
There are times I really wonder how life would have been for London without the ever present London Underground or the Tube. The strike a month paralysed the city for 2 days, with people commuting by bus and national rail. A journey of 45 minutes took 2 hours. Now, if one was smart one could cut down on the time by taking a seemingly longer route. It called for very smart and efficient planning. It was on the second day that I had to see my father off at Victoria on board the Gatwick bound train for his flight to India. The journey promised to be arduous and yet it was smooth in the end, with least/no hassles and us making it to Victoria in 75 min, nearly 30 minutes before our estimated time of arrival. And that made me appreciate the traffic system in London. something was always working. Always!!!
Monday, May 18, 2009
At this point I realised that, often without knowing we tend to associate certain music/songs/albums with different things, like schooldays, college, graduation, teenage, growing up, the first love, the first break up. E.g.
1. Where We Belong (Boyzone) - This album came out in 1998 and somehow quite a few of these songs remain with my till date. I went crazy over them. That was also the year I had my first serious teenage crush. And not to mention the stress level of impending O-levels in that academic year. Boyzone, helped me relax with songs like No Matter What, All That I Need, You Flew Away, Picture of You. And it was while singing along to them I realised, I could sing!! :D
2. Songs from the Guru Dutt classics - At a time when I was delving into idealism, forging my creative senses from colours to words, the songs (lyrics and music) helped develop the choice acutely, be it "Waqt ne kiya" or "Ya dil ki suno duniyan walo", "jaane woh kaise log the" or "yeh duniya". Classics all the way and still love listening to them when am thoughtful.
3. Euphoria and Nachiketa - while they had been around for years, with "Dhoom pichuk" being literally an anthem for youngsters from that time. They played a key part towards the end of school years when I was really digging into music. Did I follow the calling? Unfortunately not!!
4. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica) - I have never really been able to be a fan of an artist/band. For me its always been the song. Nothing else matters, a song which is perhaps the most soothing number that one would hear. And if you can strum the guitar, the opening sequence relaxes your mind like nothing else. and has till date remained a key destresser for me. I play the song, whenever I feel am getting bogged down. It also serves as a key to the memories I have of Sikkim. 4 years in that beautiful land, we studied, fought, played, basically grew up from boys to men, the wisps of cloud that rest on the river the early in the morning, the rain kissed trees glistening on a cloudy day. This song evokes strong, peaceful n cherished memories.
5. Bhoomi, Parashpathar, Fossils, Chandrabindoo - All bengali bands. I discovered them when I got around to college in Sikkim. As I got educated in that phenomena, I picked up their songs. And when like minded guys get together what you have night long soirees on rooftops a few guys, a couple of guitars and raw vocal power. It helped that everyone was talented enough to make it a wonderful show. Night after night, year after year.... Those were the best days of my life :)
6. Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden), November Rain (GnR) - Somehow, it was with these songs that I got hooked to guitar. Another thing I picked up during engineering!! I love affair with guitar still continues, though I haven't managed to go past the basic. Self learning may not be the best way :P
Since then I have heard many genres, appreciated all types of music. Be it Ustad Amjad Ali Khan or Yanni, Rabindrasangeet or Abba, Beatles or Linkin Park, Karunesh or A.R.Rehman, R.D.Burman or current Bollywood music.... music has been a key a element while I grew up. It would always be. As long as I can sing and play a guitar, I know am not living without music. :)
What's your dig or influence??
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Suppose me n my lady, both working, are having quite a decent run at work. Having what folks would call a good life. may be she is doing better than I am. now, I get this career opportunity which is going take me places, a real jump... but it requires me to relocate.
Should my lady to tag along with me?? It would mean to have to quit her job (not desirable!!)... or stay apart?? (not desirable n for how long would that work?)...
The only way out it seems is not to make the move (can i really pass on dat jump??).
The more I about the more I get convinced that I have to choose between personal life or career at that point... may be, I can only cross the bridge when I come to it.. at this point everything said or suggested would be mere speculation, or....
What is your take on this situation??
Think of the situation from both perspectives (man n woman), and by turning the tables.
Happy Thinking!! Cheerio...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The exams were taxing, with 5 in 5 days. Yep, you got that right. It was 5 in 5. Not a shred of mercy for the business school students. We lived, we sailed through... and finally crashed after the exams were over. But the exhilaration triumphed over fatigue and we spent the afternoon lazing about at Hyde Park, soaking in the sun over a few beers and then trooping in for an after-exams party at a classmate's place at Fulham Broadway (nice house he had there!!) And so the much awaited weekend started. And honestly, most were interested in lazing about than anything else. However, me and a couple of my classmates decided to spend the day out on Sunday, walking about in Soho. (read about it here: Soho Walk on a Sunday)
The business simulation exercise though was mind boggling. Having had to run a business on a software simulation, each team (formed at the beginning of the year) had to manage it to ensure profits, good share price, nice dividends, valuable market share, sustainability and other aspects as one is supposed to encounter in the real life scenario. A steep learning curve it was, with the advantage being, the mistakes would cause losses but they would only be numbers on the screen. Definitely a better way to try out the fundamentals we have been picking up over the year, without any serious repurcussion which was, as a professor pointed out, an advantage managers of yesteryears never had. :)
Going ahead the scheme of things as laid out before, I would be sharing a few pictures from Portsmouth, which I visited in February. A port city and a major naval base of the Royal Navy and Marine Commandos, Portsmouth has been in the thick of actions since the medieval ages. It's most famous creation being the Mary Rose (built during the reign of Henry VIII), which had infamously sunk a few km off the shore in 1545. Speculations are rife over why she sunk till today. The last of its remains were recovered from Davy Jones' Locker in 1982, and is the oldest surviving remain of any ship. It can be viewed at the Portsmouth Historical Dockyards. The Dockyards also houses the famous HMS Victory (oldest ship in commission), which Lord Nelson commanded during the Battle of Trafalgar, and it was on this very ship that he breathed his last on 21st October, 1805.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Now with that note of thanks, I proceed to the current thought of the day: "Childhood is best phase of our lives". Honestly, nothing to worry about except maybe class routines, but that to after we grow up a little. The BIG thing is, no bills to take care of, no worries about about what to cook, no worries about the taxes, building up a bank balance, mortgages... nothing!! All you do, is go about your business of a student and a complete freako otherwise. I actually started thinking on these lines after going through the following pictures:
In one the child is enjoying being hoisted up into the air, comfortable in the knowledge that his dad is going to catch him on the way down and not let let him crash to the ground. The other is just about two brothers innocently playing about with their balloons as their folks went about their own business at the event. the bottomline is, they are enjoying without a care in the world. It's as if the more you know the less is enjoy life. So, did knowledge finally serve it's purpose?? Catch 22 anyone??
Sunday, May 10, 2009
So, the rich folks crib about tax, yet don't mind shelling out the big money at charity balls and dinners, where they dress up and have a seven course meal. So, what Wanda Sykes suggests is, get them around to a tax ball too, because it seems they don't mind shelling out when well dressed. Talk about killing 'em softly!!
Anyhow, Wanda went on to land quite a few more such thumps, so watch them on the videos. (scroll down a bit, n you'll find them waiting to be clicked :)) Oh, and don't run away after watching it. Stay around and tell me about what you thought of it...
Part 1 : Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondent's Association Dinner
Part 2 : Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondent's Association Dinner
PS: I simply had to share this. :D
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Not having had enough, we headed off to Fitzroy park, which was a 7 min bus ride away. The intention was to have lunch at the Indian YMCA, which much to our disbelief was closed for lunch. Disappointed we spent a few minutes at Fitzroy park, which was honestly beautiful, with the sun beating down on our heads and yet it felt good. Over here I found my friends being caught up with a pigeon and frankly, I had no clue what they were trying to converse but from the looks of it I gathered the lil birdie was not too interested.
Grabbing a bite on the way, we headed towards Trafalgar Square, going past Leicester square, only to laze about in the sun there as the crowd thronged about for the Baisakhi mela organised there by the City Council. After much lazing about we went off towards Covent Garden, a 7 minute walk away. Covent Garden as usual did not disappoint on a Sunday evening. This is the place I would suggest everyone to head for if you want a drink and some live music going on around you. We saw some street performers, live musicians and listened to a strings group (violins n cello) to our hearts content before heading back. It was well past 7. 7 well spent hours I would say!!
Monday was a bank holiday, so it went by in preparation for the forthcoming week, which promised to be rigourous, though frankly no preparation could have been enough. Tuesday to Friday, was a mad rush, with a business simulation exrecise at school, which required each student group to crunch numbers, predict market behaviour, generate capital, position products, launch new products, retire sick products - the whole 9 yards that one has to travel to make a business venture successful n sustainable over time. It was draining enough, but the week ended on a high note, with a few drunk mates, thai food, seemingly lost directions (that happens if you be led by an inebriated Thai, support a burly drunk Russian and a couple of other ladies in high spirits). A good laugh, good food and a good sleep - after a tiring n challenging week, that's all you need!! :)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
With regards to the tube, what happened today morning left me with the short end of the stick. I generally takes about 40-45 minutes from my apartments to the uni, including a 20 min ride on the tube. Now, the sodding station I have access to is catered only by the Heathrow bound Piccadilly service. The other nearest ones are a good 20 minutes away by bus, which again is at a frequency of roughly 10 minutes. Anyhow, my destination, South Kensington is well served by three different lines, so, if one goes down there are ways to reach there.
As I was saying, things went terribly wrong this morning. First, I overslept and nearly caused a major catastrophe there, which thankfully was averted. Second, on arriving at the tube station at South Ealing, I came to know that Piccadilly (the blue line) was partly suspended between Hammersmith and Hyde Park Corner due to delay in engineering works, while the rest of the line experienced severe delays. (I strongly recommend consulting the tube map snippet below to understand the situation, source: Transport for London) South Kensington being right in the middle of the no-go zone now, it left me in a terrible soup. Having not foreseen such a terrible turn of events, I had left about 90 minutes prior to the start of exams. with an hour to go, situation was pretty bleak. Having weighed all options, me and a few of my classmates came to the conclusion that we were going to be late. The only way we could make it in time was to hail a cab, which mysteriously had dried up. Legging the 11 mile distance was certainly not an option. Forced to submit to the abysmal conditions, we got on the tube at South Ealing changed at Acton Town onto the District Line (the green one) which has a notorious reputation for being slow. Finally we made it!! 10 minutes late to the examination hall. The first 10 being reading time, we didn't really miss out on the writing time, but a harrowing experience nevertheless. Thankfully, the question paper left us smiling. :)
Lessons learnt: Shit happens!! Prepare for it if you can.
Meanwhile, a classmate of mine shared this song with me and honestly speaking I do love it.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Going ahead with the scheme of things as laid out in the last post, I present to you a few clicks of the London snowfall, the worst of its kind in nearly 2 decades. It brought things in London to a standstill for more than 24 hours. Clearly, London was not prepared for this. Read the following article on BBC: Heavy snow disrupts London travel.
Now, since you are reading this line, I'm assuming you have followed either of the first two options I mentioned or have devised an ingenious way of yours to stave off the onslaught on your senses. Frankly, I do not intend to write about exam stress. Let's face it, we all know the works. It varies a trifle bit here n there, but not much. In the end it still is a mental trauma, a PIA and a system of evaluation which despite its glaring fallacies is still around.
My first observation this week is, pay attention when you are cooking. Especially if you are dealing with spices. On one such occasion later last week, I happened to cook some chicken. Unmindful of the proceedings, I believe I went a bit lenient on the spices. The fumes told me the story pretty quick. However, not to be deterred I proceeded with the entire show and served a very delicious looking preparation.
Observation no. 2: Appearance can be deceptive applies to food and not just women!! (more on the second half of the lesson later!!). The seemingly delicious and innocent looking chicken had the power of a few nukes hidden am sure. It was HOT!! Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm one of those , who generally like their food hot. Especially Indian food. I relished having it. With some veggies n steamed rice to go with it, it was a nice enough dinner (considering am a bachelor with limited culinary skills, you can make your guesses from the picture on the right!). What I had never prepared was for the aftermath!! Believe me when I say I ran through half a roll of the paper, before I was fine, though posterior was very much on fire. And this was within 2 hours of dinner. Haven't cooked chicken since. Am surviving on my boiled/fried vegetables, instant noodles, omelletes, breads. Chickens can wait for the time being!!
Observation no. 3: Time does fly!!! Oh yes, it does. Not with wings if that's what you are looking for, so stop imagining a clock flying across the sky with its wings spread wide open, neither is this Hogwarts. So, when we say time flies, the general essence is of what we have been told always. It seems only a few days ago that I returned from Glasgow, whereas it was been more than two weeks in reality. *** sighs ***
Observation no. 4: I find the graveyard outside my window to be quite beautiful. Have been clicking a few either later in the evening or early morning.
Observation no. 5: I need to get back to business, 48 hours more to showtime.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
"Hello, how are you doing dear?"
"Very well, thank you!! I hope you are keeping well these days."
"Oh yes! but, old age has been catching up you know...."
"Ah there he is! If you would excuse me please, I'll be right back."
I made my way across the hall. This was rude, but anything to get away from the old hag.
Dinner is served!! Let's see where is it that I get to sit. Charming company I have here, an oil magnate, a TV presenter, an aging socialite, a rich playboy with an important father and an actress. Ah, now I see him. He is sitting at the table on the my right. I just need a few moments with him. I engage in small talk with the presenter on my right and allow him to brag about his successful show on air regarding current affairs. The shrimp is magnificent. Though as always the caviar is what I love the most. Almost time for the dessert. The playboy has his eyes all over the actress, and she is fawning over the magnate. The socialite just looks at all of them. She has such a bored expression. I never noticed when the presenter stopped and the magnate started. He is rich, important but a bore!!
I look at him. Enjoying his dinner. Wiping the corner of his mouth with the dinner napkin. He seems to be enjoying his conversation. And his meal. A hearty meal calls for a smoke. His favourite... Dunhill. Good choice!! Guess I'll join him. He is alone on the roof. Ideal moment for the conversation.
"Quite a nice evening, isn't it?"
"Oh yes, it certainly is. Ideal for a night out in the wild. Care for a smoke?"
"No, thank you. I have mine."
"I insist!! It's Dunhill, one of the finest."
"Well, if you insist. Incidentally, Dunhill is what I smoke."
I waited till he lit his cigarette.
"So, you here alone?"
"Ah yes! My wife couldn't join me tonight. She was held up."
"You love her?"
He was surprised at the question but smiled and answered, "Of course, I do. Not all rich couple are on the brink. You aren't into journalism, are you?"
"Not really. I'm into music. Am a musician."
A few more drags. The conversation has to draw to a close now, its almost time.
"You did tell your wife, you loved her, today, didn't you?"
He was surprised, "Why do you ask?"
I smiled, "Goodbye."
His breath had started shortening. Time for me to leave.
"Why?" He was gasping for breath now.
"Never make a promise you can't keep." I could see he understood now.
"Who are you?"
"Told you", he breathed his last, "the musician."
Some people never realise when the inevitable stares them in the eye. As I leave by the front door, I hear a shout. Have they found him? I took of my wig and made the call.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Anyhow, have been lately obsessed with the Sin City soundtrack, but not sure about spending 5 quid on getting the audio CD collection. Maybe I would, after 1st May. I get it now, I'd listen to it all day, non-stop, which might force my flatmates to declare me insane (which I believe at least one must have already thought of). Even though, I saw the movie quite sometime back, I discovered the soundtrack recently. Or may be paid attention to it. Whatever it is, the constant exposure to the music n thus the related graphics and videos on YouTube has left me in quite a dark frame of mind. But, I guess sanity prevails, as I'm not yet dreaming of it.
Moving on election days in India. Youngsters are either headstrong on who they want to vote for (more likely hog-washed by family or someone else they look upto) or totally clueless about the proceedings. The latter are probably in a dilemma: "To Vote or Not to Vote". I suggest, go for the voting and then vote none if that's what you think is right. Let not your name be used to cast fraudulent votes!! That is something which the youth can do - apart from mugging/studying for university exams.
IPL fever grips Indians and other followers of T20. Personally, am not much a follower, but the quick T20, is like instant noodles. Its short, quick, thrilling and most important of all, it sells in this fast paced life. Frankly, though I still prefer test match to T20, I probably won't have the patience to watch a test match, nor the time. But T20, is for the weekends, or evenings after work. Grab a crate of beer, get some mates and switch on the TV. 3-4 hours of chillout. Add to that some barbecue or eat outs and you've planned a splendid weekend.
As of now Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have won a match each by defeating Punjab, Chennai and Rajasthan respectively. Kolkata versus Deccan is on and from the looks of it, Kolkata is eating the humble pie tonight, unless Deccan manage to squander it all!!! Anyways, bottomline is this match hath no sparks, at least till now!!
Have I been writing long enough?? I don't know. The clock says 17:47 hrs, which means I really need to go hit the books now. Duty calls!! I hate exams... whoever thought of it, in the first place!!!
Enjoy this track: Cells -The Servants, Sin City theme. Oh, and if you haven't seen the movie, go watch it!!!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Read the news article here: Polar bear attacks woman at Berlin Zoo
Saturday, April 11, 2009
So, instead of inciting you to murder me of boredom induced by my scribbles, I'll let you take a glimpse of things as I captured in the past few months.
This post shall have pictures of Jersey Islands:
A little check on the modes of transport available - road, rail n air, I settled for an overnight journey by road on a National Express coach scheduled for departure on Friday night (that's exactly a week before). Needless to say, the journey was pretty sleepless. Barely having slept on the journey, I was disappointed to find Glasgow being drenched by the weather gods on Saturday morning. And we were early. So, I just about waited around at the Buchanan Bus Station till my friend turned up (we shall refer him as R henceforth). Right after, R turned up we went for a coffee. Being about as early as 7:30 in the morning, hardly a few shops were open. Luckily, the nearby McDonald's had just started business. Saved our caffeine parched souls. A little bit of chit chat, while we waited at the bus stop. It was at this point that it struck us, that we could take a walk back to his accommodation. It was a 45 min walk, but given our past track records from schooldays, this was probably a warm up walk (which indeed it turned out to be later). A long walk and a nice chat!!
A little bit of rest, a breakfast and we were off for a bit of walking tour of the University of Glasgow's Gilmore Hill campus. What ensued was a long walk of about 3 hours. Back to quarters and it was lunchtime. Evening saw us headed out to nearest pub, where his chums had gathered. As the evening rolled by, more trooped in as did the number of our drinks go up. Now R, has decided to get me drunk (I still wonder why) and had sworn not to leave the pub till so (despite my warning him against it). As fate, would have we left when the pub close around midnight, R a bit high, while the old self being absolutely normal. I faintly remember him calling a gutter later that night before we retired to bed. A dinner of haggis with gravy was on the cards though. Now haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, so a must have if you are in Scotland. Its made of pork, so in case, you are sensitive to it ask for variations if they have it.
And so, lazing by and basically being the useless gits that we truly are, the next couple of days rolled by, till it was time to trudge back to London on Tuesday night. Thankfully, I had a co-passenger who didn't snore and the bus was fairly comfortable to allow for a good night's sleep. Now my co-passenger while returning was an 80 year old lady, who was travelling all the way to Kent to attend her elder sister's 90th birthday. Quite a commendable effort on her part, as she was travelling all along. Had a nice chat with her and was quite amused at her expression of "Oh dear", which perhaps punctuated most of her sentences. An old english habit?? I am not so sure.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
When at a business school, everyone expects you to know where you expect yourself to head out to once you are done. Incidentally, it is one of the essays you have to type out while filling out the application form. I suppose, I did a good job at that, else I wouldn't be here now, would I? But, deep down I know, I bluffed!! I bluffed in that essay, in the interview, everyone I know. After having some conversations with me, Dad thinks I want to move into finance, my uncle thinks I would be moving into advertising or marketing, and maybe I understand brand management more than I do. I wouldn't know. I have learnt to bluff, so much so that, if they think I know that, I don't really know if their assumption is correct or not. All that I've gathered is that folks think, I have it all figured out. Problem is, I still don't know where to start. More than a quarter of a century old, and am still searching for the right job???