Saturday, March 26, 2011

So.... wassup?

Looked at my blog and was amazed to see my last post, more than a month back. Life has been so busy, that the time to sit and take notes seem impossible. I know that I need to do something about it, maybe manage time better or add a few more hours to the day :P, the latter being a little difficult.

Work has been very busy, bordering "hectic" but not quite yet. Spending 11 hours at work is definitely tiring but then when you like doing what you do, the pain itself has a healing effect. Project's on schedule, have taken care of most of the surprises that it could throw at me. In terms of training a horse, I hope I have broken it enough and it will now start to behave :)

The past one and a half month has been a mixed bag but nevertheless a packed bag. Time has been flying. Had a great outing with the office guys to a place called Murud near Dapoli along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra. Had a brilliant Holi last weekend at Khandala.

A lot of things have changed in the past few weeks. So far so good...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bryan Adams in Pune!!

It rocked from the word go! I have been a fan of Bryan Adams' since I was a kid, since I was in class 5. The first album I heard of his was So Far So Good and I was hooked on to it. By the time I was in high school, he was back with his hits, The Best of Me and a few albums in between. This is one guy who has stuck around churning one hit after another, entertaining fans all over the world and supplying a long list of songs to lovers everywhere :)

I wanted to see him live for quite sometime now. When he first came to Bombay in 1995, I too had just moved to Bombay and there was no way I could go and see it (my Dad wouldn't take me and I was too young to go alone). He made 3 more trips to India since then and everytime for some reason or the other I missed him. Finally, one day while returning from office in Pune, I see this huge poster informing about his arrival and i had made up my mind that I am going.

After a little help from a colleague of mine got a decent 50% off on tickets and got myself and a friend the second cheapest tickets (actually can't really call Rs.3500 cheap but then again these fuckers levy such a huge entertainment tax that it makes things a pain in the ass). The show was to happen in Amanora Park in Pune. Its really a different corner of Pune considering the fact that I live in Kothrud. The show was to start at 6:30, though I knew that it'll be started with some local band, "Highway 61" in this case. Reached Magarpatta (bang opposite Amanora) at around 5:00, picked up my friend and then we walked. We walked and we walked. We walked a lot. Must have been more than 3 kms. All we kept seeing were, long lines of vehicles and posters with arrows pointing ahead. Anyways after the "holy-walk" we finally reached the place.

Let me fast forward a bit. We got good places to stand, there were 2 RJs boring shit out of people, then there was some performance and a weird ass fashion show which I really didn't care about. There was also a performance by this band called Highway 61. They played well and blah blah but seriously, we had gone to see Bryan Adams and didn't give shit about the other performances.

Finally at 8:15 p.m. Bryan and his band came out and suddenly the energy level jumped up by a factor of few thousand and the noise level by a few hundred decibels! That guy is 51 but believe me he'll be 18 till he dies. He was witty, energetic and absolutely fantastic! He sang most of his hits and entertained us for 2 hours. Summer of 69, Here I am, Please forgive me, Everything I do I do it for you, Straight from the heart, Can't stop this thing we started, It's only love, 18 till I die, Let's make a night to remember, The only thing that looks good on me, Heaven, You've been a friend to me, cloud number 9, when you're gone, Cut's like a knife, Somebody and One night Love affair (a song I hadn't heard before). I am sure I am missing out a few more he sang. I think he sang close to 20 songs that night.

It was funny to see him introducing himself, "Hi! I am Bryan". And then he looked up at one of the nearby buildings where there was someone sitting on the window watching. He had a monologue with him and even offered to give him tickets if he came down :P

The band was awesome. Keith Scott rocked like a true rocker. Runing all over the stage, jumping around doing crazy stuff and simultaneously playing flawlessly. He did some super riff work on some of the songs and he improvised on a few. After one such improvization, Bryan ended up asking him how he manages to do that :D. Mickey Currey did an equally awesome job with the drums as did the rest of his band.

As is his normal way of singing When You Are Gone, he called a female fan to sing the song with him and she did a good job :) The funniest part was the "Encore". Usually in rock shows, they always keep a few songs for the encore where they go out, and then come back in to sing. A lot of extremely stupid asses started leaving the place once they went in, instead of shouting, "Once More!" Is it that difficult to understand that the lights will go on when the show is over??? Luckily the guys in the front did a good job with the requests!

Well it was an absolute dream come true for me on the 11th of Feb 2011. Next time I am taking the 10K tickets and standing right in front of the stage!

Saturday, January 8, 2011 v2.0

My first entry of 2011... hmmm... Have been away for sometime, 3 weeks to be precise. A few have asked me the reason for my absence. I just needed some time off to think of a new way to do this and hence the sabbatical. And after giving it a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that I no longer want to share as much as I have in the fast few months. Though I would like to blog regularly, the current situation does not allow me to do so. I have also decided that the topics will be a little less personal. I have realized that just as I have appreciated some friends read my posts and enquire about them, I have been equally uncomfortable with the fact that a few strangers have been reading them. I had not realized how I would feel about this fact when I started writing, but now I exactly know how it feels. So from now on, the posts will be a little different. I have also realized that some of the topics I write about are prone to judgement. Given the fact that, I am not always the best at conveying my thoughts, there are times when a topic, read without the reader not really knowing how I am, might be misinterpreted. And of course it also means that the readers would jump to conclusions about me :) I don't give shit about those who don't know me and those who do, won't. But those who I would like to know and who might are the ones I am a little concerned about.

2010 was an eventful year, there were things that went my way, there were things that didn't. But I loved the experience either ways. If I look back to January 2010, I would say that I am in a much better place now, both as a person and in life. The year was packed with lessons to be learnt. My real friends stood by me through all my highs, lows and stupidities :). Discovered some new people and rediscovered a few. My family has always been my strength and they continued to be so. Except one thing, I think I have kept up to my folks' expectations. Career has been decent. I have moved on. There are a lot of things to do, a lot to prove. I continue to follow my Dad's talisman about concentrating on the work and not on what you would get from it.

Like all, I expect good things out of 2011. My resolutions are not in place yet but it started off on a good note, with one of my closest friends getting hitched (ummm... I mean engaged) and the reunion of the 3 stooges :). With an extremely packed schedule all through out January, its gonna be rocking, atleast thats what I hope :) Now ideally I would have written more about it but according to the new plan of action, I won't :D

So thank you for coming back and reading, do come back again :) just don't expect the same stuff. Let's say I am evolving with absolutely no idea whether you would like what I evolve into. Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

2 days in a programmer’s life

During the past 3 months of my stint in a comparatively large IT company, I have realized that an employee’s life can be generally categorized into 2 types. The “BUSY” days and the “LUKKHA” days. Now the experience can be varied depending upon the employee, his boss, his colleagues and of course his company. The description below is particular to me and is an approximation of how it goes.
7:30 am : Triinnnnng… Damn it! Gotto wake up…
8:30 am : Run after a bus, get squashed between an old man and an aunty who hasn’t had a good start to the day. Conductor doesn’t have change for the ticket.
9:10 am : Reach office, jog up to the second floor, let the machine boot while freshening up, fill up the water bottle, get tea, biscuits and balance everything, making back to the cubicle.
11:00 am : Compilation Error… Ahhhhhhhh!!!!
12:00 pm : Segmentation Fault… Why you little piece of shit!!?? x-(
12:45 pm : Colleague - “Abey khaane nahi jayega?”
1:15 pm : Food!! Finally!!
1:35 pm : Staring at the screen with no idea what’s happening.
2:35 pm : Still staring at the screen totally clueless.
3:35 pm : Need some tea in the system.
4:30 pm : Colleague - “Chal naashta karne”
5:00 pm : Back from nashta and still compilation error, segmentation fault, tearing hair, cursing and some more staring at the screen with the hope that the code would miraculously start working the way it was intended.
6:30 pm : Need a break… a couple of games of badminton.
7:15 pm : back from the game and suddenly realize that solution is staring right at the face
7:45 pm : problem solved, code working, orgasmic feel.
8:00 pm : out of office.
7:30 am : Triinnnnng… Damn it! Snooze…
8:30 am : Still snoozing…
9:00 am : Roommate - “Office nahi jaoge?”
9:30 am : Miraculously managed to make it out of the house.
9:35 am : Walking to the stop, empty bus passes by and stops infront at the stop. Decide to skip it and catch the next one. You remember the famous saying, “Kabhi ladki aur bus ke peeche mat bhaagna. Miss hua to dusri aayegi.”
10:20 am : Reach office and wait 3-4 minutes for the lift to come down from the 5th floor so that you can go to the 2nd floor.
10:30 am : Go to freshen up.
10:40 am : Go to get water.
10:50 am : Get tea.
11:00 am : Check mail, indiatimes, rediff, few more news site, latest wikileaks updates
12:00 pm : Call colleague - “Abey khaane nahi jayega?”
12:30 pm : Go for a walk
1:00 pm : Check mail, indiatimes, rediff, few more news site, latest wikileaks updates
2:00 pm : Need some tea in the system to stay awake
2:30 pm : Read forums about topics related to programming (QT, opengl ), read about data structures, algorithms
4:00 pm : Call colleague - “Chal naashta karne”
4:30 pm : Check new possible projects on the internet
5:30 pm : Colleague - “Chal badminton khelne”
6:30 pm : To colleague - “Tu badminton continue kar, main gym jaa raha hoon.”
7:45 pm : Back to cubicle, check mail…
8:00 pm : out of office
…while all the time continuously thinking of a new idea to make a new proof of concept that would make the day a little more interesting, a little more meaningful, a little more sense of achievement, a little more fulfilling.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My first Puneri Sunday

After last night’s extremely action packed movie experience, I was wondering whether the Sunday would be able to match up to it’s predecessor. I had decided to meet up with a friend for lunch. It was long overdue and this seemed to be a good opportunity. He stays in an area which is diametrically opposite to where I stay and hence decided to meet up at a central area so as to minimise the travelling. We met at Swargate and then moved on to M. G. Road. (I think every city has a Mahatma Gandhi Road and usually it is one of those which are bang in the middle of the city. So was this.)

The first thing that we noticed was that most of the shops were shut. The thought that Sunday was the weekly off wasn’t inspiring at all. We later found out that all shops in that area close down at around 1:00 and open again around 3:00. Apparently that’s their lunch break! Go figure! And we had reached there just after one and hence found everything closed. Sundays are supposedly worse as a few (eg Kayani Bakery) remain closed throughout. After loitering around for a while, we felt we ought to get some grub in our system. Spotted a restaurant called “George Restaurant”. It had a subtle character about itself which led me to suggest we go in. My friend suggested we try the chicken steak. I had never eaten steak before and I must say I liked what I ate :) Had some Biryani too. But the steak was definitely the highlight.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon at Landmark (I picked up a book called “May I hebb your attention pliss”) and Staples (my friend got himself a mobile). We then went back to Swargate and and went our way. I was to meet my roomie at F.C. Road. He had promised to help me get some shoes (Someone stole my worn out gym shoes from the locker room. Seriously pathetic!).

I ended up buying 3 pairs of shoes! And I don’t think I have ever had more than 2 pairs at a time (One for the formal attire while the other would go with my casual look) One of them is dedicated to the gym but I am kinda happy with the other two :) They are very unlike the ones I usually get.

F.C. Road is the hottest place in town, both in terms of the crowd and the food. Mostly college crowd doing what college kids do best. While pre-historic creatures like me see them, laugh a little, drool a little, feel a little guilty and then concentrate on the food :) Pune has a fascination for chocolate! Chocolate milk shake, CAD-B (Another name for something similar to chocolate shake but way better) chocolate pan, chocolate fountain and chocolate toast ( found this out today ). It was interesting and I would like to keep it that way. We then went on to Venky’s outlet where we had some more chicken. Good stuff :)

By the time we got done it was almost 9:30, so we decided to get back home. Now that I look back at my decision to stay back in Pune, it was a real good one. Saw a lot of new stuff, had a lot of fun and I think I know Pune a little better. Definitely better than sitting all day long infront of the PC watching downloaded movies :)

The weekend rocked!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My first Puneri Saturday

I stayed back! Hahaha!! I can’t believe I did it but I did. My first Saturday in Pune :) And to tell you the truth, I am liking it. What prompted me to do it? Folks are in Calcutta and I hate staying alone at home in Bombay. I don’t mind it here in Pune. I am used to it. But not so, as far as home is concerned. Even if I don’t interact with them much when I am home, their presence matters. And its just not home without them. So I decided to stay back instead and enjoy my weekend.

A lot happened :) I wanted to go and check out Koregaon Park where the fabled Osho Ashram exists. Took a bus to Pune Station from Kothrud. Saw Shaniwar Wada enroute. which I need to check out later on. Its basically a fort. Koregaon Park was a 20 – 30 minute walk from the station. I wanted to walk it out, so that I could figure out the place better. I had an approximate map of the place. Really helped me a lot. The place is rectangular in shape, with the north main road and the south main road as the 2 longer sides of the rectangle. There are numerous lanes connecting these 2 roads. I managed to walk up to lane 7. Didn’t have the energy to walk any further. I actually wanted to reach the East Main road, just cause I wanted to see the HardRock Cafe. Just in case I decide to go there someday :) I have walked so much today that my legs are literally killing me!

What really fascinated me about KP, is the greenery. I could easily make out that there were filthy rich people living there. I fell in love with the old bungalows with sprawling gardens. But a lot of these have been now sold to builders who will obviously maximize construction and turn the green Pune into a gray concrete Pune. There were a few plots which had old houses but were obviously not maintained, the lawns were overgrown, shabby gates, eroding nameplates, witness to changing fortunes and would soon be concretized. Lot of Parsi nameplates :) It reminded me of the places I lived as a child, the greenery and the open spaces. I was actually happy that thanks to these rich guys we have some greenery left. If I think about it, we are really not leaving much for our kids, except a few concrete blocks to call home.

The Osho ashram is on Lane 1. One needs to register to get in and see. The tour is no longer offered due to security reasons. Registration will cost Indians 1300 bucks. There is a garden which is open to public from 6-9 am and 3-6pm. That’s on Lane 2. The garden is beautifully landscaped with streams, bridges, rock sculptures, benches, bamboo groves and a lot of trees and shrubs. Lots of flowers too. A good place to take your girl to. :)

Came back home around 5 and decided to go and watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was funny how many problems we faced to get to the theatre. First we ran out of petrol. Had to walk a kilometre to reach the petrol pump. We were then caught by cops for apparently jumping signal. That was so not true! But Apoorv very skilfully got us out of it. :) He made up a story based on a true story and the cop bought it. The movie was good. People might call it a bit slow but that is how the book was. And I really liked it the way they have adapted it. Finally! After the catastrophe that the Half Blood Prince was, this was a pleasant change. I think Potter fans will be happy with this one. Lets see how the second part turns out to be. Hermoine has grown up so bloody beautifully :D

Got back home at 11:00. A very successful day, I must say! Looking forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Bou Bhaat

I returned home yesterday after a very successful “Baashor Raat”. Meanwhile my cousin had spent the day at his in-law’s place. I had asked him about how he planned on surviving the first day at his in-law’s and he promptly answered, “Main to safed jhanda dikha dunga. Chup chaap baitha rahunga. Jo karna hai kar le bhai!” Apparently that’s what he did :) The “Vidaai” happened in the evening and they returned to my cousin’s place. Yesterday was the “Kaal Ratri” where the bride and the groom are not supposed to see each other. Damn! Where the fuck is the “Suhaag Raat”? This is not done, specially when you get married after waiting for twenty-freaking-nine years! Lol! But that’s what happened. He was thrown out of the house and he stayed at the other place that had been hired for guests.

Me on the other hand, had an extremely interesting evening. I met up with a friend I had made online many years ago. I never thought that we would meet but then again one should never say “never”. :) right? Anyways we spent a very nice evening, did a mini-dinner and called it a night.

The “Bou Bhaat” was today. It basically consists of a few rituals, few extremely stupid games and a lot of opportunities for all the aunties to have a gala time at the newly wed’s cost :P It is then followed by the groom’s grand announcement that he takes the responsibility of the girl’s “Roti aur Kapda” and a quiet announcement to himself that he would also be responsible for all the mistakes he would and would not be committing for the rest of his life. :P The main “Bou Bhaat” is basically the point where the new bride serves food to all the member’s of the house. It is sort of a symbolic event where the bride takes the responsibility of the house.

Spent the whole afternoon lazing around, chit-chatting. We were to have the reception in the evening. Now my cousin was to have 2 receptions, one on the day of “Bou Bhaat” for people in the neighbourhood and people from the girl’s side. The second was to be on the next day at a hotel. I would be obviously missing it as I had to fly back on Sunday, i.e. tomorrow. The reception went on pretty well but we had to leave early as it’s almost an hour and a half drive to our home. So we left midway :(