Saturday, October 18, 2008

Death Magnetic

Yeah! Time for some album promotion. It's a little over a month since Metallica have released their new album - Death Magnetic - and on this side of the globe, a fanatic of theirs is psyched up and proud to promote this one!
The old logo, the old guitars, the old 'long songs', solos, roars, thrash metal, an instrumental, controversies - everything is back! Debuting at #1 in over 40 countries speaks for the power of this record. The perfect bass, thrashy guitars, roaring solos and the right percussion. This record just slams metal onto your face! The only thing that has worsened on this record is their age - but hey, what the hell - we are speaking of Metallica!!
As Velcro once said:
Jai Metallica!
Jai Jai Metallica!!
Read the wikipedia entry here.
Live with Noise!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Of Airports, Coffees and Sultan Bazar!

To the extent I remember, the first time that I had been to an airport was in 2006. I was there to send-off BIL to the Deutschland. (Co-incidentally, it is also the first time I actually sent someone off.) The flamboyance of airports as described in most written works was something that was missing there, but hey, it was built ages ago! So considering that and the fact that it is maintained by the AAI, you really aren’t supposed to expect anything better.

I had tied myself with some expectations for some things that I would experience/use for the first time in my life. As an example, my first wallet – I thought – should be bought with my own money (And I did that). I preserved the very first note I earned. I wished to travel in an aero plane for a major step I would take in my life – something like traveling abroad for further studies or to work, should I get a chance to – and many such things. Unfortunately, the last of the above said did not really happen for the expected cause, but well, it had its own specialty - better not be discussed here!

I am a caffeine buff. I love coffee and tea, though I have special requirements for the way they are made. The best of coffee I had to this day is the one that mom (or dad, occasionally) makes every morning. It tastes much better when you share the cup right in the morning with your family. Apart from the home-made-fresh-morning-coffee, I have a special admiration for the coffee at Minerva Coffee House, Himayath Nagar – and almost it is nowhere else. This precisely is the reason I almost gave up coffee for the two years of my Bangalore episode, save a few times when I had unbearable headache. I wanted to have a cup of it either in the best way possible or I better not have it. On the other hand, tea almost tastes good anywhere, except in sophisticated coffee shops like Barista or CCD or places with jazzy walls where they have Doors or Clapton singing in the background with almost incomprehensible menu cards that say a single cup of tea costs around 75 bucks (+ VAT). And all you get at the end is a *posh* teabag dipped in a mug of hot water and a small cup of thinned milk! I can literally count the instances where I had tea at such places. Coming to the best, yet again, is the evening tea at home and the one I make at workplace for myself. Nothing beats that when you have this strong desire to have tea. Also, a special mention of the Vanilla flavoured tea I used to have at Chaitanya’s (first mentioned here) home. The irony is that he is not used to having tea, but always made a cup for me. The second part of the irony is that he wouldn’t most probably read this post and know of the special confession I just made.

When I first traveled by air, May 18th 2008, I was in the Bangalore Airport by 5:30 AM. I have this cold desire to have a cup of really strong coffee soon after I brush, more because of the minty feeling that’s left out in the mouth after you are done. Before the dawn broke, as I checked in, I ordered for a cup of Cappuccino at the Airport’s CCD. Something was really special of the overall experience of having the early-morning coffee that day. In the lounge, or may be in that coffee or may be of the overall ambience – of that lightly dense airport in the early hours of the day or may be the enthusiasm of traveling by air for the first time. With the cup in my hand, I browsed through some stores in the departure section.

This morning, Non-Vej (first mentioned here) left for Sultan Bazar - fondly called California by most Americans. (A certain ophthalmologist that she regularly visits believes that California has more Hyderabadis than Hyderabad itself has. So as a token of respect he pet-named California as Sultan Bazar!) The reason why she has gone to California has more weight than anything else in this post – more than my love for coffee or airports. She’s gone to get her master’s from Stanford! Yeah, Stanford University! Something I would so proudly share with all the people I know! All the very major huge mega best lady! All of the world’s blessings and love over you! So this morning, along with her family, I go to the airport to send her off. I was in the airport at around 5 and I straight headed to CCD. Yet another morning in an airport and yet another cup of CCD Cappuccino. It reminded me very much of the experience in Bangalore – something special I thought. All the caffeine lovers should give this a try!

A special mention of another wannabe 'Master' - The Dada of Kingsville - Velcro Karukonda! Loads of all the best to you too dude! Earn more money than what your bro has till now ;-) How can I forget to mention the home visit of another PseudoAmerican - the one and only CS. CS was in India for a month. A couple of weeks in Hyderabad and a couple of hours with me and Vej. The first meet after a couple of years is definitely worth a mention - I was appalled to see this 'kid' in my office cafeteria - In a star spangled blazing sky-blue Superman tee and a tawdry shining yellow short. It was kind of out-of-place, you know, with people around him in decent-enough formals and acceptable casuals. For the kind of apparel that he had appeared in and the renegade that he has always been, I HAD to bow down to his wishes and treat him somewhere outside. This being another time, I won't (hopefully) dare ridicule him (for another year) on my blog. Despite all what I just said above, he has showered his kindness upon me by donating an 'I love NYC' tee and a monumental sack of Kisses! Well... Snickers, Hersheys, Nestlé and Ferrero Rocher too! Thanks bro!

Will see you all very soon!

Before I forget, here are some pics of the RGIA:

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Show me the &^$%!

Time is 2:18 AM!

Should I be proud that I'm working overnight(s)?

This has been happening for around 3 continous weeks now.

Being an 'offshore resource', I am billed at around 30$ per hour for around 180Hrs a fortnight.

Thats a wholesome lot of money!



Ok.. ok! Work is interesting.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Wall and The More...

Contrary to what many have thought:
  • I'm very much alive - hale and healthy!
  • The interest within to blog is also alive.

But I have to accept the fact, the number of times after my last post that I felt like blogging has drastically come down. Except for that handful number of souls who read my blog regularly, most of you might not have observed that a majority of posts here revolve around the daily chores and witty events that happen in my life. So logically / inferentially / derivatively / whateverly it should mean that there haven't been many 'exciting/bloggable' things happening out here.

I am basically a moody blogger. Whatever that might mean; but what I mean to say is that I require a certain 'mood' to blog. A mood which unleashes the blogger side of me (Yet Untitled - one such post, still remains my favourite). There have been moments, intense and worthy enough to materialize themselves into posts. These would have been the posts that most readers love to read and later comment on. While I lost some of such posts by sheer sloppiness, some just did not see the light of the day. While some moments were too personal to be put-up on the web, some were too uninteresting. A couple of them are lying incomplete on my desktop - One of them called "An year in life". It ran too long, both in the time taken to compose it and the amount of content, and is lying lifeless!

Did you ever hear of a Colony Strike? As you must have understood by this time, it's a strike declared by a colony. A couple of days ago, one such strike happened in my neighbourhood colony. A strike intense enough that called for the patrolling teams to monitor the situation. The funniest part of the story is that this was a strike against the Police and the Patrolling squads! Here's a brief report: Venkatapura is surrounded majorly by Police Quarters. To reach Venkatapura, one can take the by-pass lane through Police Quarters and this is the route that brings in a lot of people and consequently a major business to the petty vendors and merchants in Venkatapura. Because the police did not like it or may be because they were majorly pissed off with the general public strolling and travelling so happily through their reserved quarters (the unknown, yet speculated part of the story!), they decided to construct a wall blocking the route - both ways!

Henceforth, as a token of respect to both the wall and Pink Floyd, this wall shall be called The Wall.

Due to the construction of The Wall, all of these petty vendors and merchants got infuriated (the known and widely spoken about part of the story!) and started protesting. All the shops, the roadside businesses and schools in that colony were shut down for two continous days. No deaths or injuries have yet been reported because of this strike but, well, I am not in The Mood to 'create' stats.

Another amazing thing happened in my The Life. I travelled in an auto this morning. Yes, I travelled in an auto this morning. The amazing part of the story is that I was actually offered a free drop. Meaning: The driver would not charge anything for dropping me wherever I want. Only later I realised that there is nothing in this world called a free lunch. The Drop had a catch. The Auto was unhealthily heading towards The Garage. Probably, The Driver's heart poured out with humanity when he saw me desperately searching for autos. The Auto's engine crashed half-way and so were my excited spirits that throve for a free lift. As soon as The Crash happened, I paid the auto-driver whatever the distance and the condition of The Auto deserved (lets keep The Amount aside!). You know, that's when people get to see The Humane Ravi.

Ironically, I saw The Wall while travelling in The Auto. The Auto crashed right in front of The Wall and well, as they say, the rest is history!

On a different note, I wish to congratulate some of my close freinds for having stepped on the American soil to pursue higher goals in life: Kalpana, Siddharth, Bindiya and Sai Krupa are out in the US for their Masters. By the way, The Wish is to congratulate not because they have stepped outside the country but because they wished to pursue higher goals.

Another Congrats! to Veda for having successfully signed a pact with her school staff to maintain peace around.

The Congrats!

So, that's the update from the risky spot. Will meet you all again as soon as I can!


Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, May 03, 2007

One Day In Life

I hate to say this but things are not really going very spicy/interesting/rocking/explosive in life. My work-experience is increasing every week. I'm getting more and more used to Bangalore. I'm getting increasingly skeptical about the 'sharpness' of my brain. Speaking about this, I guess I will have to quote some examples. I was just making a simple calculation this afternoon. What is 9204-1253-650? That took me close to 1½ minutes but boy! my calculation was correct. It is 7301. No new posts were seen on my blog in the recent past. One of the reasons for that might be that nothing actually is so interesting/exciting that it is making me write anything new. Then I think about my reappearance for CAT. Well... possible? At times I feel that if I stay in Bangalore for a year more I can avoid all the distractions at home and make it. But I already started missing home. The last weekend I was at home for 4 days and it all of it passed just in a jiffy! I am suddenly forgetting words and I terribly fight within to recall the word. 'Jiffy', just a few minutes ago was one such word. 'Whippy' was coming instead of that! 'Compere' was one yesterday. I had to recall that for a long time. 'Ampere' finally helped me with that! For quite sometime, reading books is another thing that I completely lost touch with. Maybe not enough books to read? No, I don't think so. I just started off with Omertà. (Flicked off from my BIL's collection)
The last few months in office were a little hectic. The team size contracted from 27 to 5. That explains the increase in the work-load. At times you have to stay overnight in the office to meet the deadlines. Not that anything disastrous would happen if you don't, but just to be in the good books of everyone. You know, you kind of start to live for others when you are in a job. Dependencies increase and so do the clashes. Mood swings big time and so do the false smiles on your face.
On one of the recent Fridays, I thought of staying overnight so that I could avoid coming over to the office on the weekend. Naveen said he would accompany me for the same reason and we made up our minds that we would stay overnight. The time was 10 in the night by then. It was raining heavily. (And another reason to stay in the office!) I was feeling hungry and we went to a nearby restaurant, Mayuri. The restaurant is famous for pappu (Dal). True, you get amazing pappu there. But we were not fortunate enough! The server said pappu was over. We had whatever was available and we were back in the office. It was around 11, still raining. I was determined to complete the unfinished work. At around 12, Naveen left to the dormitory. The sleepy look was evident on his face. 5 minutes later, he was back saying that the dormitory was full. Now I was determined to finish my work, but not so much that I would forego my sleep. So we cursed our ill-fate and decided to start to our respective houses in a couple of minutes. It was still raining. We came out of the campus and started searching for autos. Miraculously, an auto driver accepted saying that he would drop us at double the original fare. Wow! at 12 midnight; Bangalore; double the original fare was definitely cheap! As soon as we got in, the meter started running double the original speed. So effectively we would end up paying 4 times the original fare like jackasses. Immediately after figuring out that it was a jacked meter, I got into a fight with him, got down half way and ended up paying 25 bucks! I walked back the remaining distance. Naveen hired another auto to his place. As soon as I entered my room, Hari, my room-mate said that the power had then been off for 4 hours. The entire colony was lighted except our building. The rest of the night was a sad experience with a lot of clapping around in pursuit of killing the mosquitoes. (Even the mosquitoes were there only that night because of the rain!)
First it was the bad news of coming down to the office for the weekend; then the heavy rain outside; then the finished dal in bad hunger; then the occupied dormitory; then the fight with the auto-driver; then the power-cut; the dark night!
Added to all these small frustrations in life you keep getting calls from different banks/agencies/operators irritating you at the really wrong time. You can be patient to a certain level, but at times, the hurdles are broken!
"Good morning sir, I'm Jayashri calling from ABN AMRO. We are offering free credit cards; would you like to go for one sir?"
"Thanks a lot Jayashri, but I'm not really interested in one now."
"That’s OK sir, but please get back to us on this number incase you think you need one. Have a great day ahead!"
"Thank you. Have a great day too..."
"Good morning sir, I'm Vinay calling from ABN AMRO. We are offering free credit cards; would you like to go for one sir?"
"No thank you, I already have one."
"That’s OK sir. Bye."
After 3 more calls from ABN AMRO:
"Good morning sir, I'm Swathi calling from ABN AMRO. We are offering free credit cards; would you like to go for one sir?"
"Good morning Swathi. Could I say something before we speak about the credit card business?"
"Sure sir."
"Apart from you, I was already called by 5 other people from your bank asking the same question except that your names are changed. Don't you have a list maintained which keeps track of who are disturbed and who are not?"
"I'm sorry sir... I really didn't know this. I'll make sure we don't call you again unless you want us to."
"Thanks a lot. That's really nice of you."
"Thanks a lot sir, have a great day ahead."
The next day:
"Good morning sir, I'm Raj calling from ABN AMRO. We are offering free credit cards; would you like to go for one sir?"
"No thanks Raj, but can we speak --"
Business. Respect. Calls. Call Center. Money. Disturbance.
As though this is not enough, you get calls from Hutch as soon as they deliver the 'Hutch bill'. Everyday! As though you would run away without paying their million-dollar bill! I was in such a situation recently. The bill amount was 1253 and the credit limit was 1250. Immediately I get a call from Hutch. And observe the 'Hutch' added before every 'Bill' that comes in the conversation. Respect for their 'Bill' or something?
"Hello, am I speaking to Mr."
"Yes. Ravi here."
"Sir, this is a call from Hutch. Your Hutch bill has been delivered to you. Could you please pay your Hutch bill by this evening sir?"
For this same intro, I had three different replies on three consecutive days:
1. "Yeah sure. I'll do it this evening."
2. "Yeah, I'm paying it online now. Don’t worry. I'm not running anywhere..."
3. "One sec... I'll call Ravi..."
I finally went today to the Hutch centre to pay the bill. The payment gateway was down and so was my phone. They have blocked all sorts of outgoing calls. I have paid the amount and the bill would be accepted as soon as the server is up and running. And it's only after that I can make any call. It's been 6 hours since I paid my bill and the phone still shows no sign of any call-making. Mom called up this evening and asked if I have reached safely and if the train was on time. At the end of the call, I said I would call home again in the night. One of my ex-roommates called up and asked why I did not lift his phone (at 6:15 in the morning!!!) and if I was ignoring him. Mr. Creative Shocker has given 7 missed calls. Vej called up and was 'moderately pissed off' that I did not call her after reaching Bangalore. I promised Chaitanya that I would be calling him this night!
Another day ends with the routine chores. A colleague of mine just said a "Bye Ravi!". I have to fix a major issue and report about that to my manager by tomorrow. It's 9:05 PM in my comp. I have to get back to my PG. It’s 1½ KM from here. I have to take an auto for that. A bargain fight with most of the auto drivers again. All this for the not-so-very-tasty-but-no-other-go food in my PG!
Wish me all the very best and all the fun. Will see ya'round.

P.S: To all the rock lovers, check this out: Band of Gypsys

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,