Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Visual DNA

Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test

I found this on a friend's blog. Its good fun! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Wish, A Prayer

Its quite ironic that I wrote about Bombay just three days ago in my previous post. What's more ironic is that I watched this movie - "A Wednesday" also during the last few days. The ever resilient city is in the midst of yet another terror crisis as the whole world watches. "Terror grips India's largest city" screams the headline of a news channel as many of my friends here in Raleigh pray for their families and friends back in Bombay. In India, people are still recovering from the shock that jolted them on a mundane Wednesday night. To all those whose families were shattered and blown away just to sate the mad ambition of a frustrated terrorist, We are all praying for you. We pray that God gives you the strength and courage to fight this day. The spirit of India weeps with you today as you mourn the loss of your loved ones.

My heart goes out to all those officers and policemen who lost their lives today. We always talk about armed forces protecting our borders from infiltrators and miscreants. What a brave act it must have been on the part of these officers to rush to action to protect their city and its citizens. And to think these miscreants are breeding at an alarming rate among our very own people is quite distressing. No form of government or policing can prevent, let alone predict, an act of such vile intent.

It is the eve of Thanksgiving in the US. A day when people count their blessings and express gratitude for whatever they have achieved in life. I'd like to thank God for the fact that my family and friends are safe today. But, my sincere wish is that there is some answer, some solution to all this violence around us.

I hope this period for us is like a turbulence on an aircraft - one during which you do feel scared and fear for your safety, but at the back of your mind, you somehow know that the Captain is going to regain stability sooner or later. So, Captain if you're listening - our seatbelts are fastened tight and we're laying in wait for you to take charge!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Around the World

There are some days that you are so bored that your mind and body refuse to do anything remotely productive. Today happens to be one such day in my life. I have many such days. And very frequently in fact. The only noteworthy thing I've done today is cook a splendid meal of Vegetarian Biryani to go with Onion Raitha. SLURRP! The meal in itself is partially why I'm feeling this lazy today. I have a project due in two days and God knows how I'm going to finish it at the rate that I'm going! Never Mind! Projects are always there! Killjoys!

But these are the kind of days that I do the most bizarre things really. A couple of weeks ago, I was bogged down with so much work that I simply resigned and decided that I would take a break for an entire day. I remember making a list of all the airports that I've been to. Sheesh! I know! The fun part was that I got my friend to come up with his list, only to realize that I had one more on my list than him. :) Whoever coined the phrase "cheap thrills", was talking about this. :) Today, I'm making another list. Again, travel related. A list of all those cities I want to visit in the next ten years. Fingers Crossed! :) Here it is:

  • Bombay : Well this has been a costly miss. I have a close friend from Bombay and the way that he speaks about his city is enviable! It seems to be a real fun place to be. I want to go to Bombay, not only to visit the places of interest, but also to soak in the city's local flavour that has been the subject of many a book and movie. A local train ride is gonna be a "must-do" on my itinerary! :)
  • Calcutta : I myself cannot believe I haven't visited Calcutta in all these years. Howrah Bridge, the Trams, witnessing our rich colonial heritage. (Of course I've had glimpses of it in Bangalore, but I've heard the effect has lingered on more in Calcutta). Two movies - Parineeta and Hey Ram -They've further enthused me to make a visit here. So, lets see how soon this happens. Assuming that I am able to stand the pungency of mustard oil and fish in one breath. Guess I'll have to make up for it with the Rosogullas and those eclectic sweets.
  • London : Who wouldn't want to see the Big Ben, Thames, Madame Tussauds, Lord's, Wimbledon, London Bridge, Westminster Abbey. More recently, I've read about the London Eye, one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world. Wow! That would be one helluva ride wouldn't it! Somehow, I always associate London with Lady Diana. Probably because I admire her so much like most of us. Who can forget that touching funeral of hers where her brother made such a moving speech. It brought tears in my eyes, even as an eleven year old. Sigh! London it is!
  • New York : When I see pictures of my friends at Times Square, Wall Street and all those fancy places, I tell myself - Someday, I want to live in NY. But personally, I don't think I would enjoy living in a city that enormous. I tend to think I would feel lonely in NY. But how would I know unless I went there! Atleast once! :)
  • Hong Kong : I have seen pictures of the Hong Kong skyline and its one of the most spectacular. I don't really know too much about the city, but I think Hong Kong will be a typical Asian city - Hot, Busy, Brimming with people and activity. Should be interesting to see how I manage food. Considering that snakes are not exactly my idea of a "delicacy". :P
  • Dubai : Now this is one city I'm NOT going to miss. In fact, unlike the other cities on this list, I want to visit Dubai all by myself - ALONE. Why? Because I've had it with people asking me to hurry up while shopping. So, I'm going to visit Dubai during the shopping festival and SPLURGE! :D Oops, I forgot my Mum reads my blog! I guess I'll take just her along then :)
  • Paris : Honestly, I am not the "Oh Paris is sooo romantic!" type. So, I've thrown in Paris here just for two things - The Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. I want to typically spend atleast three days exploring the Louvre itself. Much like one of those investigative travellers.The Dan Brown Effect indeed. :)
  • Athens : Ah now this is a classic. After reading the Fountainhead, Ayn Rand makes one feel that the Parthenon is the bane of modern architecture since it is so often copied and reproduced. Nevertheless, I will make my decision after seeing it with my own eyes. :) Another reason I want to visit Athens is something from my childhood. My Dad visited Athens as a young bachelor just out of college. At the time, he was naturally impressed by the historical richness of the city. So, many of his "gyaan" sessions were about his experiences in the city. Moreover, Greek guys are hot! :)
BANG and we're back to reality! Now that I've made this long long list, I better start working towards it right?! Which essentially means : "Stop dreaming! Start working so you can "afford" such trips in the first place" :(

Ok ok, its not that bad after all. Just another few years and I'll hopefully be halfway down with my list.
Thus begins one of many nerdy chapters in my life. The darn thing! I don't care. As long as the traveller in me lives on. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekend Majaa

I have always looked forward to and waited for weekends. Come Thursday and I start making weekend plans for myself. No, no, its not what you're thinking! I'm not a party animal by any standards (my friends will tell you that I'm one of the most boring people my age). But barring this one last year as a "poor graduate student", my weekends have been exactly what they're supposed to be - FUN!

As a ten year old, my only agenda each weekend was a visit to Eloor lending library on Infantry Road to pick up the next batch of Famous Fives, Nancy Drews and Amar Chitra Kathas. The four of us - my parents, Ajay (my b(r)other) and I - used to leave home on Saturday afternoon after a heavy, typical South Indian meal and drive across town to Eloor. I vividly remember sitting in the passenger seat of our Maruti 800 having trivial fights with Ajay about keeping the window open or some such thing. All this while my parents would have discussions, sometimes heated, most times casual, about happenings or developments in the family. Gossip basically. :) My Dad's office was in the same complex as Eloor. So, for more reasons than one, he would encourage us to spend more time reading and picking up books while he caught up on that something he had left unfinished on the previous evening because my Mum had ordered him to leave office immediately. :D

Once in high school, my plans were focussed more on things I could talk about with my friends when I went back to school on Monday morning. Peer pressure indeed! Sometimes we would go watch a movie at Galaxy Cinemas (Its a pity they shut Galaxy down. It was my favourite among all the cinemas in BLR). Chomping on corn puffs and swigging down a tall glass of Mirinda, I would meticulously form opinions about the actors, their costumes, the music and all those things that make or break a movie. Sometimes my cousins would accompany us on such movie outings and it used to be all the more fun then. After the movie there would be a long drawn debate about "Where do we go for dinner?". Most of the time my Dad had his way. Nevertheless, we enjoyed dinner and got back home cribbing that we had a whole week of school to deal with before the next weekend!

Weekends during the four years of engineering were most hectic! We lazed around the whole week attending classes and writing "lab record" and hence had so much fun to catch up on over Saturday and Sunday! :) Another reason why it got as hectic was that now I had to deal with multiple outings - one with family and one or more with friends. Saturday evenings were spent entirely with my Mum. She and I used to go shopping in the most crowded of places picking up a lot of stuff each time, mostly for me. Clothes, shoes, bags, junk jewellery, books, music-you name it, we shopped for it! Alongside, I had a bunch of crazy friends from college who always made the most bizarre plans. Lunch here, movie there and then coffee at CCD somewhere else! Phew! I was mostly reluctant to join them in their escapades since it was likely to create a hole in my Dad's pocket eventually! :) But having said that, I'm not really hard to convince, especially in matters of fun. So I used to tag along after all.

Each and every one of those weekends was thoroughly enjoyable! It was not as though I was toiling during the week so as to crave for them that much. Still, they got me to feel good about life in general :) It is the exact same feeling I'm getting as I wrap this post up. I hope to get back to that kind of a carefree weekend routine soon. And this time its going to be a totally new experience for me since I'm going to be away from home and family. I'm sure I'll figure out something to do! :)

In the meanwhile, hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Days

Today I watched Barack Obama win the 56th US Presidential Election. What a big relief it is to think that the reckless republican regime has been successfully quelled (well atleast for the next few years, when it really matters to us). More than anything else, America is a relieved nation today as she looks forward to Barack rescuing her from the abyss that she is in right now.
As an insignificant contributor to this mammoth economy I consider myself lucky to have the chance to live in the US at such a time. I look forward to witnessing the most exciting and dynamic four years in the recent history of this country. In the words of the president-elect, "Change has come to America". And with this, Happy Days are here again!