Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year I would like to forget but can't

31st December, Last day of 2008. It really had been a roller coaster ride for me. Taking a cue from Pratik's blog I thought I will also summarize the year gone by. For me this was a really bad year but let's see..

For the good It was ...
A year which started on an ecstatic note having just bought my own apartment.
A year when I found that I do have real friends who will stand by me no matter what.
A year I enjoyed my hobby of photography clicking memorable pictures filling up my HD with images.
A year I grew up a bit & saw my priorities in life changing drastically (for the good).
A year when I was named TAKI, BEWADA etc which I am proud to be :)
A year when I came closer to my Family.
A year when I could no longer miss any moment of being with my dear ones.
A year when the worst stock market crash didn't affect me at all.
A year when my cousin & many of my very good friends got married.
A year CFoV came to life.
A year when my nephew Aryan was born.
A year when my Manish Bhaiya settled here with family.
A year when many new fine dining restaurants opened in Pune & I tried most of them.
A year when I matured in blogging & got my own domain for it.

For the bad it was ...
A year which took away from me the person I loved the most. The only person whom I loved more than myself, my mother. With her my dreams, my purpose went away and went away some part of me which changed & transformed me & my life in countless ways.
A year when I cried the most.
A year which shattered my family.
A year when I lost my faith in God.
A year when I injured my wrist in an accident and suffered from back to back health problems for about two months.
A year when I lost my beloved camera.
A year, home loan interest rates ran northwards right after I took a huge home loan.
A year when I could no longer take things lightly or be a kid and had to start acting responsibly.
A year when my learning curve went to an all time low.
A year when I didn't travel/drive to any new place.
A year of shattered expectations from my nearest ones.
A year when my Father suffered from stress and faced new problems through out the year.
A year wasted for my brother.
A year of financial crisis at Global, National & personal level.

So, personally, a year I would like to forget but can't and I am glad this year ends today.

Hoping & wishing a better & happy new year for me, you and everyone :)
Cheers!!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Strawberry Sundae!!!

Strawberry Sundae small (1 scoop of Strawberry & vanilla ice cream with
fresh Strawberries & whipped cream) we had @ newly opened
Amul Ice cream parlor in Lane no 7, Koregaon Park.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Offoh Calcutta!!

I am writing a blog after a long break (due to my hand injury), and it feels good. But sadly I will be sharing one of my worst restaurant experiences ever. I visited Oh!! Calcutta last Friday for dinner and we were first to arrive at the place. We ordered a variety of non-veg items, thanks to Kundu, who could understand the Bengali menu.. It's not very friendly to a non-bangla fellow like me :) But nevertheless food was really good. I actually enjoyed the food, drink & my time there, even though the service was a bit slow. Which was okay with us as it was Friday night & we were not in a hurry.
But trouble started after we finished and asked the captain to get the bill @ 10pm. After next 20 minutes when there was no trace of the bill & the captain (who attended us during dinner). We asked another captain to get us the bill as it was boring waiting after your food & drinks are over. Another 15 minutes pass and yet no word from them. We get up & approach one of their responsible looking staff near their billing counter and asked what was the problem why we are not getting the bill. He told us there is some problem with the computer. I couldn't understand why didn't they give us a manual bill. Worst part was that we were neither being informed about the reason for delay and nor being attended. No one even bothered apologizing to us for the delay. I sarcastically asked them to give us some game to play so that we can kill our time waiting for the bill. But they were too shameless to notice. Finally bill case after a wait of 50 minutes (interestingly other people were leaving in the meanwhile who came after us). We made card payment and there they go again. It took them 20 more minutes to get the card swiped. I then noticed that they had put a service charge of 10% in the bill itself. That was pretty ugly, paying 10% of the amount for the service which had all of us frustrated. I asked them to return the feed back from I had filled earlier, I wanted to change it and mention this lapse, but they didn't get it to us even after repeating the request. I then called the manager and told him about the service. He just politely said sorry about that and said they had some problem with computer.

I personally felt that they had an obligation to at least wave off the service tax on such a bad service, and they should have served us some drink while they made us wait. They didn't even serve water.
Highly unprofessional behavior & hugely disappointing service from a upscale restaurant where you are paying about Rs. 1000 per person ... to spoil your mood & evening ???

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Accident

I met with an accident yesterday night. I was driving back home after enjoying late night show of Quantum of Solace. Suddenly an errant biker came in front of me from wrong side of a circle. Reaction time was small, i jammed on breaks, saved him but skidded myself. Got a hairline fracture in my left wrist, thankfully my pillion was unhurt. So, I will not be blogging for a while now. It's really irritating typing with one hand.

UPDATE: Orthopedic I met for treatment said its just a bad contusion & there are no fractures. And that I will be fine in about than two weeks. Such a relief, though It pains bad & it's two weeks before I can use my left hand again, but it's still better. That x-ray diagnosis by the junior doctor had scared me.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Start-Up Cinema at Entrip

Anthony Hsiao, director of Entrip & a member of Pune Open Coffee Club (POCC) had suggested a new way of interaction for members of POCC; a Start-up Cinema. Idea was to have a casual get together for a movie, hosted by any of the member and as a kick off to the idea Anthony & Nick(co-founders of Entrip) hosted the first cinema on the roof top of their office on SB Road and "Pirates of the Silicon Valley" was the movie chosen. Provided it was the first meeting it worked out pretty well. As the meeting time was 9pm; by the time people turned up and every thing could be setup to start the movie, it was already late and by the time movie ended it was quite late for a Thursday night. So, not much time we could spend on getting to know each other and all. But still it was a very good experience. Movie was great & we came to know that Nick is a good photographer as well and he clicked some of the photographs when we were all set to start. We should be seeing them shortly after it's uploaded on the group. Most of the people were from Entrip but there were people from some other companies as well (including me of course). I felt that time was a bit of a constraint; had it been a little early, it would have turned out to be an excellent event; as we would have got to know more people.

So, overall it was great fun & things were pretty good for the first meet. All thanks to Entrip, especially Anthony & Nick, for initiating & hosting such a great event. I am sure we will be seeing more Start-up Cinemas going forward. Cheers!!

UPDATE: Our host Anthony has shared the images of the event here.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CNN interviews people using 3-D Holograms

I tuned into CNN in the morning to check the status of US presidential election. As expected Obama was leading the race by a good margin. But there was also something unexpected; I noticed that some of the people they were interviewing in their studio looked a bit eerie. They had a light beam beam surrounding them and sometimes their quick movement looked fuzzy, as in a video streaming over internet.
I got interested and started paying attention, then they said it was a holographic interview they were conducting. I was surprised, it all looked so perfect, the quality & detailing were so good. It took me quite some time to notice it wasn't actually a real person they are talking to. Especially because it was a full 3-D view. They changed the camera angle from side to the back and you couldn't make out anything out of the ordinary. It was so real and I was impressed. Have a look at this video to see for yourself.



It's like watching a scene from a sci-fi movie like Star Wars. I got curious to know how it's done & what all has been happening in holographic technology and found out that this was actually the first time 3-D holographic technology was being used & CNN launched it only for the big election night.

The details on the technology are not yet available other than what US today reports,

"CNN will have 44 cameras and 20 computers in each remote location to capture 360-degree imaging data of the person being interviewed. Images are processed and projected by computers and cameras in New York. There'll also be plasma TVs in Chicago and Phoenix that will let the people being interviewed see Blitzer and other CNN correspondents. Bohrman says the network can project two different views from each city so Blitzer can appear to be in the studio with two holograms."

The win of Obama after a tech savvy campaign, a flying car being made by Ferrari & 3-D hologram technology to interview people live. What an year of new trends & technology it has been so far.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Hamilton Shines in F1 History

Lewis Hamilton created history by becoming the youngest world champion in Formula One history. Though it looked that he will repeat history by missing on his yet-another-chance to do it, but he kept his nerve and raced to glory, securing the world title just by a single point. It was a nail-biting finish when Hamilton exploited the wet condition with wet tyres to overtake Timo Glock from Toyota at the final corner of the race, to get his minimum required 5th position finish & rightly deserved championship title. Felipe Massa, only rival to Lewis, performed his best and got the win at home ground but still lost the title to Lewis. It must have been a huge disappointment to him as till the last moment he had the championship within his eye-sight. But definitely his commendable performance this season gave Ferrari the constructor's title for the record 16th time. A perfect showdown to conclude the action packed season. Now just waiting & wishing for a better next season.

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Cool the Earth using Solar Energy

Cool Earth a US based start up will be testing their product Cool Earth Solar in two weeks time. This is supposed to be the much needed breakthrough to make green energy a commercially viable option to generate power at prices competitive with fossil fuel and yet be scalable & adaptable enough to be used at a large scale & wide geography. They claim their modular design to utilize solar energy a key to achieving this.
If this technology delivers as it promises, then it will surely address a good amount of energy needs of the developed & developing countries both, that also with zero emission. Way to go guys!!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bad start...

I have been looking forward to Diwali, cause I would be home for the Holidays; unfortunately even after trying hard, praying relentlessly & waiting desperately I couldn't get a confirmed berth in any train. My wait listed ticket could only ascend at last to W/L 5, giving me a heart burn. By this time air tickets were also sold out (my last resort) and there are no other alternate methods of commute left. So, I will be spending Diwali away from home, but what disappoints me most is, dad will be alone for Diwali. I can't blame the railways for not having enough trains for the busiest route in festive season. Neither can I blame them for their interesting Tatkal (emergency) service which opens 5 days in advance to the journey and gets full the moment it opens. It's interesting because you also get waiting list tickets for Tatkal reservation. How convenient as any cancellation puts the Tatkal charges (Rs. 200/300) + half of the ticket price into railway's kitty. So, I have to blame myself. I should have known better and planned well before hand for it. Not that I was in a last minute rush, but it seems that booking a ticket 2 months in advance now is equivalent. I will have to get comfortable to the idea of planning-3-months-in-advance.


For me it was bad enough but I was in for further misfortune. My brother forgot my favorite & only camera Canon S3 IS in an auto and I know I will not see it again. Again only I am to blame here as well. Only if I had also bought a usual sleek fit-in-hip-pocket point & shoot camera; he wouldn't have to carry it in a bag, causing urge to rest it on the first place you get to relax a bit. So, there are a few important lessons learnt.
  • Don't plan without retrieving all the current & relevant information. Only If I had checked that I could book tickets 3 months in advance as opposed the then rule of 2 months.
  • Don't just buy things you love, think of the practicability, applicability & usability as well. A bulky super-zoom camera is not something you would carry to a small birthday party.
I am hoping this is all the bad news I am gonna get this festive season now.

Happy Diwali !!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Framed Egg Recipe

Having breakfast in the morning is important and I can't live without it. Unfortunately quick breakfast options are very limited, hence I get bored easily, so I keep looking for quick and easy to make breakfast options. When I found out the recipe of Framed Egg on "Wiki How" it sounded very interesting. So, I tried it (adding my own deviations) and immediately fell in love with it. If you love egg & bread, then you must try this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bread slice
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper powder
  • Cinnamon (dalchini) powder
  • Honey / Maple syrup
  • Butter

Preparation:

  • First cut a hole int the center of bread.
  • Apply butter on both sides of bread.
  • Heat the pan; when the pan in hot, put the bread on it.
  • Put some butter in the hole of bread and break the egg shell carefully and pour the egg exactly in the middle of the bread, in the hole.
  • Now sprinkle salt, pepper & cinnamon powder on it according to the taste.
  • Let it cook for a minute or so. Then apply some butter on the pan and flip.
  • Let the other side cook for another minute and it's done.
  • You can add some honey or maple syrup on top before serving.

I hope you enjoy the delicious Framed Egg & If you have other interesting breakfast ideas do let me know :)

TIP: Cinnamon goes well with egg or bread dishes.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Bad Example !!

Jet airways announced today that it will reinstate all of the 1900 employees it laid off 2 days back. A victory for people?? Sure many political parties share that opinion and are lining up to take the credit for making this happen. Of course, chairman Naresh Goyal claimed that this decision of his, is not forced by anyone but his empathy but after 3 days of high drama going on every TV channel & news paper, the damage is already done. Let's just revisit the sequence of events and ponder for a while, what does it mean for us.

Aviation industry is going through the crisis having huge losses. Jet announces an alliance with Kingfisher to help them cut their operational cost to stay in business. The next day they decide to lay off about 1900 employee from their 10000+ workforce; in a cost cutting exercise. The employees are shattered & turn to local politicians for solace. So, the most emphatic one (read Raj Thackeray) decides to do something about it and the best way to do it is to threaten Jet Airways of holding their flights in & out of Mumbai unless they reinstate the employees. For two days media has a field day sensationalizing every aspect of this drama. Civil aviation minister Mr. Prafful Patel analyzes the situation with Jet Airways and then surprisingly chairman Mr. Naresh Goyal announces reinstatement for all those were laid off. Political parties make a beeline to clog the limelight & claiming to the saviour of mankind.

So, now what does it tell us. It tells to those poor employees & their family members that God and our politicians are very kind and Jet Airways (or any industry) is evil to have put them in a bad situation in the first place. It tells to the general public that our generous political leaders will go to any length to get them out of their troubles, provided they get their fair share of lime light. Finally and most importantly, it tells to the industries and investors, planning to invest in India, that it's really difficult to do business in this country.

Every industry has to lay off their employees at some point for cost cutting, consolidation or mere restructuring of their business if things are not going as they should. Most obvious case in India is with IT companies. Last year had been very difficult for them and they had to let go thousands of their employees to remain in the business. Interestingly the s/w industry, away from any union culture, took it well and no body seemed to have faced extinction. But now after this episode will it be the same again? Just imagine that after so many US banking giants shutting shops, thousands of employees in the BPO sector might just be waiting to be axed anytime. If that happens, won't they be in deep trouble as well. Then what better than repeating the Jet exercise again. All it takes to gather a few people, big enough to get the attention & then approach our new age leaders. Who will be more than happy to help them as it earns them a populist image, but forgetting that they are sacrificing larger interest of nation here.

Companies who have the right to fire their employees if they feel it's necessary, providing the compensation according the employment contract, can't fire them anymore. In this case there are high chances they will become incompetent, loose a lot of money & may go out of business. So, this episode creates a whole new threat to corporate India, especially after the lynching of Lalit K Choudhary in a lay off dispute and the whole world is watching carefully. If these kinds of behavior become prevalent or acceptable, I am afraid this will be a major setback for the growth of our country, because we will lack a conductive business atmosphere.

So, I just wish that this episode becomes just a chapter in our black book and doesn't become a trend. Another bad example well set by our leaders & us.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Walking Plaza & The Charcoal Pit

This time my birthday coincided with Navratri and so, I was abstaining from non-veg & alcohol during the festival. Although, disappointed at the prospect of a birthday party without alcohol & non-veg, I chose to visit The Charcoal Pit on MG road. It was a Sunday and hence the day for Walking plaza. So, we reached MG road a little early and decided to take a stroll before we go for dinner. Walking plaza was completely buzzing with excitement and Navratri mood was painted all over it. I am talking about the festive activities only, leaving the usual kid attractions aside.



As we entered MG road from east-street, a mandal had setup a platform for Tulja devi & in front their members were performing with traditional instruments. It was a great mix of music & performance, which rightly set the Dassera mood for us. At some distance, there was a band playing the usual Shaadi numbers in their trademark style. Many people would stop to tap a foot with them, I resisted the temptation though.



After completing the round we reached The Charcoal Pit only to find a nice Dandiya arrangement in front of it. So many people were dancing on The Dandiya music, but interestingly the singers were singing any song on the same music. The female singer seemed good at this, but the male singer was really irritable. We had to rush to the restaurant now, so that we didn't miss our table booking. It's a roof top restaurant, on a sixth storey building. After reaching the top a garden decor & open sky welcomes you and bound to catch your attention. I wished the seating arrangement was right here under open sky but seating was on the other side of roof and was covered, with enough ventilation to feel the breeze.



While entering the eating area you can see the open kitchen and the smell of the tandoori dishes sets your appetite right. Since all of us were vegetarian for the day, so I can't tell you about their non-veg dishes. But after trying their veg food I am just waiting to visit them again to test their Non-veg expertise. We ordered, for starter, Paneer Tikka Hariyali, Tandoori Aloo & baby corn, Veg seekh kabab and Mushroom Tikka. Paneer was fresh & the spinach coating had given it a nice & different taste. Tandoori Aloo & baby corn was amazing, the marination & spices applied to it added a unique flavour to it. This was the best Allo & Baby corn dish I have had and so the Veg seekh kabab. It's USP was its spicy taste, the spices were mixed thoroughly with minced vegetables. Mushrooms were done perfectly with no trace of burning and quite juicy.

For maincourse, we ordered Khumbha Matar Dhaniya (Mushroom, green peas with coriander based gravy) and Gobi Lababdar (Tandoori Cauliflower with a curd based gravy) and Missi roti to go with it. Mushroom mutter was the favorite Missi roti was very tasty as well. For dessert we had hot Gulab Jamuns which were really tasty and Malai Kulfi (nice combination). My opinion is that the restaurant is a good place to visit for the ambience, great tandoori dishes, good food and affordable price.

Overall my birthday evening was great with fun on walking plaza, sumptuous dinner at Charcoal Pit and my family & friends with me to make it all worth. The Charcoal Pit is located on MG road, next to Marzorin, on the top floor of building/hotel Tej Residency. Ph: 020-26131573/020-26131572.

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Bring back Bihar - A film by Nitin Chandra

This is the trailer of "Bring back Bihar - Moment of Awakening", a documentary film by director Nitin Chandra; highlighting the fate of the people of Bihar, who bore the burnt of politically influenced violence against them in many parts of the country over time. This movie also explores prevailing conditions in Bihar and possibilities of improving it.


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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Don't blame the victim

The editorial article in Times of India "Blaming the Victim" clearly points to the sorry attitude of our politicians. Blaming the victim's lifestyle or attitude for inviting crime is outrageous and when it is done by the leaders of our country, on whom we depend to make things right, it is scandalous. At one hand we are signing N-deal to establish us a significant international figure and at another we are puting up with the disgraceful acts of our political class. Only recently we have seen, it in Soumya Vishwa-nathan case, Union minister Oscar Fernandes case and the most recent Singur case. All of it projects discreditable image of India as a country. 
Its time that we as individuals and as leaders stop adjusting to what the prevalent conditions are and act now to stand above it and make things right. 

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Another feather in the cap of the Wall Street crisis

Naked Shorting had been used to manipulate stocks & a lot of efforts were done to keep it from public.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Barbeque Nation

Much awaited Barbeque Nation started operations in Pune from Thursday, 25th Sep. So, we decided to visit the place on Friday evening, on its 2nd day of operation, for our team dinner. Not taking any chance, I located the place in Kalyani nagar & booked a table for us in the afternoon itself. Barbecue Nation is located next to Dass Electronics, Kalyani nagar in Solitaire. We reached there by 7:45 pm and were escorted to our table. The ambience of the restaurant is very aesthetic, with ample seating capacity (220 people) and a beautifully designed seating pattern which gives you a feeling that you are sitting in a small and spacious setting.



They have made excellent use of wall partitions & decorative grass to achieve the feat. The lighting is pleasing and the music being played is just right; not distracting and yet audible. When we reached, only few tables were occupied, so we got the chance to click these pictures. Service was excellent, they had a captain assigned to our table who explained their concept to us and attended us the whole time which was over 3 hours. They promptly refilled the glasses and cleared empty skewers / plates as soon as we were done with them.



The concept of Barbeque nation is to provide you with a great setting to enjoy your evening, without bothering about time (as they have ample space) and your pocket (as they have fixed price & menu). So, all you have to do is enjoy!! They have the concept of live grill. You have live grill right on your table and you are served with unlimited servings of almost (90%) done kebabs as starters. I have seen a similar concept in Sigree, but here It was better. You are also provided with choice of marination (Mint/rosemarry/soya) which you can apply on the kebabs once they arrive, cook it for sometime and then enjoy the kebabs in the flavor you like most. Also, they had a special fork to take out the kebabs from the skewer, which was really useful & was missing in Sigree.

They also had live performance, two beautiful danish singers were enthralling the audience with their deep and soothing voice. Alas, not many people were responding to them, and they responded with a pretty smile for the people who did. We really need more places with live perfornances to create the awareness in people to appreciate the artist, cause it's not the just a music system playing.

For the menu, they have buffet with a pre-decided menu, which consists of 5 veg, 5 non-veg staters, 1 veg 1 non-veg soup, 4 non-veg, 6 veg in main course with roti & naan, 3 non-veg, 5 veg salads & 7 desserts. Buffet price was 450 Rs. plus taxes, which should take the price to approx 500 Rs. Drinks are not included in this, but are not very expensive, in fact they are moderately priced. I personally liked their idea of transparent kitchen right behind the buffet table. So, there is no doubt about the hygiene.

The kebabs were delectable and the food was a treat for the pallets. In kebabs, prawns, achari baby alloo and mutton were the highlight. In main course I personally loved the Crab & the Mutton biryani. The crab preparation was spicy and chinese style, and the aromatic biryani was authentic in taste. I already had three drinks and so didn't try Soups and I was full enough to skip the veg dishes.

In salads, I liked chicken and corn salads the best. However other salads were good and I tried them all. Now it was time for the part of the meal which I love most, the desserts. They had seven desserts and best of them were White Forest Pastry, Orange souffle.

I enjoyed my evening there, spent some quality time with friends doing Tukbandi, carrying the mood of poetry competition. The place was full and also there were some people waiting by 9 pm; provided it was just the second day of their operation, they achieved a great feat here as well. I will recommend this place to everyone who want to enjoy their evening & satisfy their pallet for not so exorbitant price.

All the pics courtesy: Birenderjit Singh Madan

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Poetry Competition - Completion!!

Poetry competition in our office has finished & I have already published my winning entry along with my other creations & the noteworthy responses to it. Now, as promised, I am publishing other noteworthy entries into competition, with full consent of the writers.

Entry by Shubhajit Kundu:
-----------------------------------------
तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं;
शायद यही-कहीं हैं तू, ऐसा मुझे आभास हैं;
इधर-उधर जाने किधर-किधर ढूँढता हूँ तुझे;
खोजती होगी दर-बदर तू, तुझे भी मेरी तलाश हैंll

बेरोका मेरा मन, बेकाबू मेरे हवास हैं;
जी रहे ऐसे बेकरार की, इंतज़ार भी छोटा अल्फाज़ हैं;
चुपके-चुपके से आना, दिलोदिमाग पर छा जाना;
दुनिया हिला जाना, यही तोह, मगर, इश्क का अंदाज़ हैंll
-कुंडू

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Shayad yahi-kahin hain tu, Aisa mujhe aabhaas hain;
Idhar-udhar jaane kidhar-kidhar dhoondta hoon tujhe;
Khojti hogi dar-badar tu, Tujhe bhi meri talaash hain!

Be-roka mera mann, be-qabu mere hawaas hain;
Ji rahe aise beqaraar ki, intezaar bhi chota alfaaz hain;
Chupke-chupke se aana, Dil-o-dimag par cha jana;
Duniya hila jaana, Yahi toh, magar, Ishq ka andaaz hain!!
-Kundu

Entry by Paresh More:
----------------------------------
तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं;
दूर होते हुए भी तू, मेरे दिल के कितने पास है;
तेरे बिना मेरा जीवन बड़ा उदास है,
खुदा से क्यू पूछते हो, कभी मेरे दिल से पूछो;
यह मेरा तनहा दिल, तेरे बिना कितना उदास हैll

बस, तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं;
न जाने फिर अपनी मुलाक़ात कब होगी,
जो अधूरी रही, वोह बात कब होगी,
दिल तोह लम्हा लम्हा आपकी याद मे डूबा,
अब शाम के बाद न जाने रात कब होगी,
अब बस तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैंll
- परेश

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Door hote huye bhi tu, mere dil ke kitne pass hai;
Tere bina mera jewaan bada udaas hai,
Khuda se Q puchhate ho, kabhi mere dil se puchho;
yeh mera tanaha DIL, tere bina kitna udass hai!

Bas, Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Na jane phir apni mulaqat kab hogi,
Jo adhuri rahi, woh baat kab hogi,
Dil toh lamha lamha apki yaad mai dooba,
Ab shaam ke baad na jane raat kaab hogi
Ab bas Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain!!
- Paresh

Entry by Prashant Bhole:
---------------------------------------
नया कवि
-------------
जीवन में न कभी पडी थी कोई कविता,
जीवन में न मिली कोई कविता,
अपनी ख़ुद की कविता कराने का प्रयत्न करता हूँ,
और आप सब लोग न सो जाए ऎसी अपेक्षा करता हूँ ||

आरम्भ तो कर दिया है परन्तु विषय क्या है पता नहीं,
और विषय खोजने के लिए मधुशाला जाने का समय भी मिला नही,
सोचता हूँ अपना फ्रेमवर्क ही इस्तेमाल कर लूँ,
"ना तेरे आने की आस है ना तुझे पाने की प्यास है "

जाने दो यारो कविता मेरे बस की बात नही है,
एक शेर ही सुना देता हूँ, अर्ज़ हैं,

टेबल दारु से सजा राखी है, हर रंग की दारु माँगा राखी है,
न जाने कहा से आयेगा मेरा यार, हमने हर गली बोतलों से सजा रखी है l
- प्रशांत


Nayaa kavi
-----------------
Jeewan men na kabhi padhi thi koi kavitaa,
Jeewan men na milii koee kavitaa,
Apni khud ki kavitaa karane ka prayatn karataa hoon,
Aur aap sab log na so jaaye aisii apekshaa karataa hoon!

Aarambha to kar diyaa hai parantu vishay kyaa hai pataa nahin,
Aur vishay khojane ke liye madhushala jane ka samay bhi mila nahi,
Sochataa hoon apanaa framework hi istemaal kar loon,
"Na Tere aane ki aas hai Na tujhe paane ki pyaas hai"

Jane do yaaro kavita mere bas ki baat nahi hai,
Ek sher hii sunaa detaa hoon, arz hain,

Table daaru se sajaa raakhi hai, har rang ki daaru mangaa rakhi hai,
Na jane kahaa se aayegaa mera yaar, hamane har gali botalon se sajaa rakhi hai!!
- Prashant

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Friday, September 26, 2008

आशाएं (Aashayein)

ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
तुझसे बिछड़ जाने का ये कैसा अहसास हैं,
मेरे दिल के वीराने में इक अज़ब सा शोर हैं,
आखें देखती झूठ और बेवफाई हर ओर हैं,
फ़िर भी ढूंढ़ता फिरता हूँ सच यहाँ,
इस बेवफा दुनिया में दिल को अब भी वफ़ा की तलाश हैं ll१l

ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
तन्हा फिरता हु दर-बदर, अश्र बने मजबूरी हैं,
निर्जर पड़ा हु यूँ तो, शायद आजमाने की देरी हैं,
कहीं से आए एक झोंके ने मुझे नींद से जगा दिया,
मेरे मन की स्थिरता को अपने लहरों से मिटा दिया ll२l

अब ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
मैं तो वो बेनाम नदि हूँ, जिसे किनारे की तलाश हैं,
एक अनजान किरण हूँ जो अन्धकार को मिटाएगा,
बीज हूँ किसी वृक्ष का, जो बंज़र में भी उग जायेगा ll३l

अब ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
बस उस निराकार के आकार को ढूँढती मेरी हर साँस हैं,
हर असंभव को सम्भव कर जाने का दृढ़ विश्वास हैं,
बस ना तेरे आने की आस हैं ना तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं ll४l
~विकाश

This was my best creation for the poetry competition. With this entry I WON the award for best Poem & I had a tie for best poet overall... Hurray!! Although in the small competition we had (there were only 5 writers). I also received my favorite MAGAHI PAAN as prize. I will post other details about the competition in my next mail, which will include poems, responses, photos and videos.

But nevertheless I loved this poem and the whole poetry competition, and hope you like it too. I had never thought I could write a POEM but looks I can give it a try now. I welcome comments, critics and writers to take it forward.


UPDATE: (Adding the English spellings to aid people with trouble reading Devnagari script.)

Naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Mere dil ke veerane mein, ik azab sa shor hain;
Aakhein dekhti jhooth aur bewafai har ore hain;
Fir bhi dhundhta firta hu sach yahaan;
Is bewafa duniya mein dil ko, ab bhi wafa ki talaash hain!

Naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Tanha firta hu dar badar, ashra bane majboori hain;
Nirjar pada hu yu toh, shayad aajmane ki deri hain;
Kahin se aaye ek jhonke ne, mujhe neend se jaga diya;
Mere mann ki sthirta ko apne lehron se mita diya!

Ab naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Main toh woh benaam nadi hu, jise kinare ki talaash hain;
Ek anjaan kiran hun jo andhakar ko mitayega;
Beej hu kisi vriksha ka, jo banzar mein bhi ug aayega!

Ab naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Bas us nirakar ke aakar ko, dhoondhati meri har saans hain;
Har asambhav ko sambhav kar jaane ka dridh vishwaas hain;
Bas naa tere aane ki aas hain Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain!!
~Vikash

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दिखावटी प्यार (Dikhavati Pyaar)

After my last poem, I saw others are also writing on the similar theme, So I thought of taking a dig at the romantic angle. Here is what I got,

तेरे आने कि आस हैं, तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं,
ऐसा सोचने वालों कि सोच ही कितनी बकवास हैं,
मीठे मीठे बोल बोल कर इम्प्रेस करना आज आर्ट हैं,
एक मिलन कि बेला खातिर बनते सभी स्मार्ट हैं,
करते हैं वोह प्यार कि बातें, पर मन में कोंई और ही आस हैं,
और जितने भी दीवाने हैं जग ज़ाहिर,
सबकी पागलखानों को तलाश हैं,
तेरे आने कि आस हैं, तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं,
ऐसा सोचने वालों कि सोच ही कितनी बकवास हैंll

~विकाश

UPDATE: (Adding the English spellings to aid people with trouble reading Devnagari script & also a very good response by one of the colleagues.)

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Aisa sochane walon ki, soch hi kitni bakwaas hain;
Meethe meethe bol bol kar, IMPRESS karna aaj ART hain;
Ek Milan ki bela khatir, bante sabhi SMART hain;
Karte hain woh pyaar ki baatien, par mein koi aur hi aas hain;
Aur Jitne bhi deewane hain jag jahir;
Sabki pagalkhane ko talash hain;
Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Aisa sochane walon ki soch hi kitni bakwaas hain!!
~Vikash


I received an equally good response from one of my colleague Shubhajit Kundu for this, which I will mention here..

लिखते लिखते भूल गए, तुम्हारे यहाँ भी काफ़ी हम-राज़ हैं,
अब यह मत कहना जो खाली घूम रहे हो, उसपर तुमको नाज़ हैं,
हमको मालुम हैं की तुम्हे भी किसी की तलाश हैं,
तू भी कम थोड़े ही बदमाश हैं.
जो कहता हैं की यह सब बकवास हैं,
शायद खो चुका अपने हवास हैं,
या फिर अन्दर से उदास ऊपर से बिंदास हैं.

Likhate likhate bhul gaye, tumhare yahaan bhi kaafi hum-raj hain;
Ab yeh mat kehna jo khali ghoom rahe ho, uspar tumko naaz hain;
Humko malum hain ki tumhe bhi kisi ki talaash hain;
Tu bhi kam thode hi badmaash hain;
Jo kehta hain ki yeh sab bakwaas hain;
Shayad kho chuka apne hawaas hain,
Ya fir andar se udaas, upar se bindaas hain!!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

दीवानापन (Deewanapan)

This is my first ever poem which I wrote for our poetry competition.

तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैं,
तुझसे मिलने की आरजू करती मेरी हर साँस हैं,
तेरी हँसी से हँसता हूँ, तेरे आंसुओं पे रोता हूँ,
तू गर कहें तो दिन को रात और शाम को सुबह कहता हूँ,
लोग अक्सर ये कहते हैं, मैं बेवजह ही तुझपे मरता हूँ,
अरे कोंई जाकर उन्हें बता दे,
मेरे इस दीवानेपन का, ये तोह बस आगाज़ हैं
तेरे आने की आस हैं, तुझे पाने की प्यास हैंll
~विकाश

UPDATE: (Adding the English spellings to aid people with trouble reading Devnagari script.)

Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain;
Tujhse milne ki aarazu karti meri har saans hain;
Teri hasee se hasta hun, tere aasuon pe rota hun;
Tu gar kahe toh din ko raat aur, shaam ko subaha kehta hun;
Log aksar ye kehte hain, main be-wajah hi tujhpe marta hun;
Arey koi jakar unhein bata de;
Mere is diwanepan ka, ye toh bas aagaz hain!!
~ Vikash

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Poetry Competition !!

We are having an informal poetry competition in our office these days. Everyone has to write a poetry of about 50 words or more. Poetry should start either "तेरे आने कि आस हैं, तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं!" (Tere aane ki aas hain, tujhe paane ki pyaas hain) or "ना तेरे आने कि आस हैं, ना तुझे पाने कि प्यास हैं!" (Naa tere aane ki aas hain, Naa tujhe paane ki pyaas hain) and then is should be sent to everyone so that others can respond to it in their own ways on the thread. Intially we were apprehensive of the idea, but it's been working well and we are having fun. So much so that we decided that we will also have the poetry reading with our Friday fun activities, due coming Friday. I will be posting here my writings and select writings / responses from others too & yes ofcourse the winning entry. So, stay tuned for some interesting poetries from the amateurs who barely know what a poetry is.. :)

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New US Dollar in circulation after the recent crisis

Hilarious comic aimed at the recent financial crisis in USA,
which is threatening economies world wide.

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Chicken Fry / Masala Recipe

After receiving requests from many of my friends, the ones who have tasted the recipe and want to try out, I am finally sharing the recipe for Chicken Fry/Masala that we (I and my cousin Pushkar) make. This is essentially a slightly modified version of the traditional Chicken Masala recipe used back home in Bihar. This dish can serve as a starter item or as main course item with Roti or Rice.

Ingredients:
  1. Chicken - 1 Kg (should be cut into small/medium sized pieces)
  2. Onion - 1 Kg (thinly sliced)
  3. Tomato - 2-3 pieces (medium sized pieces, sliced)
  4. Green Chilli - 4 (slit)
  5. Garlic paste - 1 Tablespoon
  6. Ginger paste - 1 Tablespoon (can vary according to personal taste)
  7. Chilli powder - 2 & 1/2 Teaspoons (can be varied upon how hot you want your dish I prefer 3-4)
  8. Turmeric powder - 1 Teaspoon
  9. Pepper powder - 1 Teaspoon
  10. Dhaniya (Coriander seeds) powder - 1 Teaspoon
  11. Chicken Masala - 1 Teaspoon
  12. Garam Masala powder - 1 & 1/2 Teaspoons.
  13. Oil - Mustard (used originally, can change according to preference)
  14. Salt - as per taste
Preparation:
  1. Heat up some oil (approx. 150 ml) in the frying pan and put the onions and green chillies (add some salt).
  2. Fry covered for about 10 mins at medium flame.
  3. Add Chicken (add some more salt as per taste), tomato, garlic and ginger paste. Now fry covered for another 10-15 mins.
  4. While the onion or chicken is being fried, you need to keep stirring it once in a while or say every 2-3 minutes, to make sure its cooked evenly.
  5. By now chicken must have left it's water. Cook for another 5-10 mins.
  6. Add all other spices (No. 7 - 11) and stir it till the spices are mixed.
  7. Now we need to stir it frequently to stop the spices from burning.
  8. Cook for 15 mins and the spices should have been mixed thouroughly with the thick gravy (the onions). Also, the oil should be seperating from the gravy by now.
  9. Add garam masala and fry for 5 mins.
  10. Optionally you can heat up few tea spoons of ghee separately and then just add to it. (no need to keep the burner on)
  11. Now the Chicken fry is ready but If you want gravy then add some water & salt and bring it to boil.
Good luck!!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The great night at Singapore

The first ever night grand prix in Singapore has already created a lot of buzz & excitement around. For the event, Singapore has an all-new 5.067km street course which weaves its way through the Marina Bay area of the sovereign city state. Everyone is excited to see the drivers zooming at 300 kmph, that also at night.


This is supposed to be a challenge for the drivers. However, according to experts & drivers, they will not face any problems in the race. Arrangements which have been made will make sure that there will be enough light on the circuit, that a full HD video broadcast will be possible; as per required by the norms. For htis purpose around a thousand Light projectors, four times brighter than the ones in foodball stadiums, are installed.

So, Mostly it will be a treat for the viewers & media, to watch the mean machines zooming on the beautiful & perfectly lit street track with a magnificent back drop of Singapore skyline at night.The mystery of darkness & the beauty of lights, the perfect couple will create a mesmerizing expreience for one and all. This event has put not only the civic administration at work, but all the teams are also burning fuel. Teams are fitting the F1 cars with headlamps for the the first time, which is robbing the beauties of their aerodynamics & envious looks. Bridgestone has used different reflective paints for their different tyres to make it easily distinguishable for the spectators. Neverthless to say that they are working round the clock to guarantee the smooth sailing at the event.

Night racing, however, is not new in rally sport and quite a few drivers have exprience in it , Including former world champion Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). So, if Kimi proves to be the Dark knight of Singapore; Ferrari will hopefully maintain its leadership this season. This will also be a good chance for Felipe Massa (Ferrari) to score a lead over Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) which will boost his chances for the title; looking at his bright chances at home circuit towards the end of season at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Irrelevant to who wins the race one this is sure... this race is going to be one of most entertaining & thrilling grand prix ever; with whole new setting and the stiff competition between drivers & teams for the title. Here is the race schedule according to Indian Standard Time (GMT + 5:30):
Fri 26 September 2008
Friday Practice 1 - 16:30 - 18:00
Friday Practice 2 - 19:00 - 20:30
Sat 27 September 2008
Saturday Practice - 16:30 - 17:30
Qualifying - 19:30
Sun 28 September 2008
Race - 17:30

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Cafe Trouble !!

After a long time friends from my college group decided to meet up on last Sunday evening at 7:15pm. Now it was time to decide the meeting place. I promptly suggested that we go to a new coffee lounge TC's on FC road. FC road has been our most regular meeting location and TC's is a place which none of us had tried. Above all, their concept, their website & their Menu had really impressed me. So, I was pretty sure we will be going there; but somehow Ashu manages to convince us and instead we went to Cafe Level 9. It's a rooftop cafe on the 9th floor of ICC trade tower (the one which has crossword), Senapati Bapat road.

We all reached the cafe (except Ashu as usual) by 7:30pm and were completely taken aback. It was nothing like what one could expect from a cafe. There were no vibrant colors, no designer furniture, no organized seating space and no service (they had self service). At best it looked like a regular office pantry/mess. We walked around, checked out the open roof top section. Rooftop was cluttered with chairs & tables along the railing. Many a groups were sitting, all facing in the same direction, enjoying themselves instead of the view and smoking was prevalent everywhere. Stunned, we waited for few minutes looking at every possible corner where we can sit and have some chit chat. After contemplating departure to some other place we thought of at least giving it a try.

We found a spot where smoke & couples were at minimum and so we asked their staff to get us some chair & table. To our surprise he politely asked us to get the furniture from inside. Testing our determination we picked up few chairs from many broken ones and finally sat down. It was around 7:50 by now. Suyog got us some coffee and we let ourselves dive into the ocean of memories from our college days, intermittently scolding Ashu (for being late & suggesting this trash place). Ashu arrived by 8:30 and joined us in the scuba diving of our college days. Forgetting the place we were finally enjoying the evening.

At 9 pm, we left the cafe and went to Aloha for dinner. It's a pure veg restaurant opposite the ICC tower we were in. Ambiance and food was good which really added to our fun & frolic. I found a quote on their menu "Laughter is brightest where food is best"... how apt. We dispersed at around 10:30 but not without promising to meet again soon & yes NO Cafe Level 9 anymore. :)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Anger Management Techniques

Psychologists recommend a balanced approach to anger, which both controls the emotion and allows the emotion to express itself in a healthy way. Some descriptions of actions of anger management are:

  • Direct, such as not beating around the bush, making behaviour visible and conspicuous, using body language to indicate feelings clearly and honestly, anger directed at persons concerned.
  • Honorable, such as making it apparent that there is some clear moral basis for the anger, being prepared to argue your case, never using manipulation or emotional blackmail, never abusing another person’s basic human rights, never unfairly hurting the weak or defenseless, taking responsibility for actions.
  • Focused, such as sticking to the issue of concern, not bringing up irrelevant material.
  • Persistent, such as repeating the expression of feeling in the argument over and over again, standing your ground, self defense.
  • Courageous, such as taking calculated risks, enduring short term discomfort for long term gain, risking displeasure of some people some of the time, taking the lead, not showing fear of other’s anger, standing outside the crowd and owning up to differences, using self-protective skills.
  • Passionate, such as using full power of the body to show intensity of feeling, being excited and motivated, acting dynamically and energetically, initiating change, showing fervent caring, being fiercely protective, enthusing others.
  • Creative, such as thinking quickly, using more wit, spontaneously coming up with new ideas and new views on subjects.
  • Forgiving, such as demonstrating a willingness to hear other people’s anger and grievances, showing an ability to wipe the slate clean once anger has been expressed.
  • Listening, to what is being said to you. Anger creates a hostility filter, and often all you can hear is negatively toned.

A common skill used in most anger management programs is learning assertive communication techniques. Assertive communication is the appropriate use of expressing feelings and needs without offending or taking away the rights of others. It is typically started with the use of "I" statements followed by a need statement, such as "I feel hurt, when you don't call if you're running late, I need for you to call me if you are going to be late".

With regard to interpersonal anger, Dr. Eva L. Feindler[4] recommends that people try, in the heat of an angry moment, to see if they can understand where the alleged perpetrator is coming from. Empathy is very difficult when one is angry but it can make all the difference in the world. Taking the other person's point of view can be excruciating when in the throes of anger, but with practice it can become second nature.

Buddhists, on the other hand, recommend a slightly different approach. They believe that there are several antidotes for handling anger. The chief amongst them are patience, understanding karma, equanimity and realization of emptiness (the sum of which can be achieved through daily Concentration Meditation and Insight Meditation, or Samatha and Vipassana). The main issue of anger management is that anger is regarded as an incorrect projection of the mind, so that wisdom and insight can ultimately correct the mind and eliminate anger completely.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anger_management

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Maverick launches MSM

Pune-based startup Maverick Mobile launched their latest product, Maverick Secure Mobile (MSM), at the DEMO conference earlier this week. DEMO is one of the premier conferences for new startups to launch their products. Watch their product presentation video here to see how easy-to-use and useful their product is... This kind of softwares are really needed to thwart cell phone & other electronic device thefts especially when the cell phones are increasingly becoming an important & integral part of our lives.



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Monday, September 8, 2008

Enjoy festivals without creating hassles

It's the time of the year when festivals take a centerstage across India. With all the major festivals Ganpati, Dassera, Diwali lined up there will be a lot of energy, happiness, excitement in and around us. However there are many side effects of this season as well. Let's take Ganpati & Dassera for instance. Ganpati is celebrated at a grand scale in Maharashtra & Gujrat; Dassera is celebrated the same way in West Bengal & Bihar. 

In both festivals, many idols of the Ganesha/Durga and others are created in all shapes & sizes, which are setup on a platform for public viewing and in many places a huge gate is setup which serves as entrance/exit for public. The passage from entrance to the Idols is decorated with lights and decorative rope work, or the whole passage is covered with cloth walls/ceiling leading to the idols where the main hall is created.. resembling a huge decorative tent (called Pandal). This celebration goes for ten days followed by huge idol immersion processions. The whole effort consumes a lot of money/man power/energy but sure brings happiness & satisfaction to many. But the main tangible side effect of this whole process are Dugup Roads. 

To create idol platforms & pandals, roads are dugup at many places; causing the roads to become fragile & potholes are formed fairly quickly. This inturn causes traffic nightmares to commuters and management hazard for the municipal corporations. 

Cause of this is the use of bamboos as the base to erect everything and to bamboos are supported by burying them partly in the ground. As enevitable this may look to many of us but I see a good business opportunity here which will make this whole process more infrasturcture friendly.  Instead of using bamboos as support we can use poles (made of light metal) with a tripod like base (made of heavy metal). This will and to further strenghten it; they can be linked to each other by a thin metalic mesh. on the lines of how the cots are made. Just that it's scale will be greater. 

So, the foldable and linkable structures can be manufactured and sold as ready to use pandal kits, any kind of decoration can be done on these structures. Then the tent houses will buy these products and lease it out to the mandals/samitis whever they need it. They can also be utilized to create pandals for weddings, fairs, exihibitions and many more. So, we will have easy to setup, highly reusable pandals which will over time cost less and cause less problems to administration and do no harm to roads. On the similar line platforms can be made of interlinked table like structures. I believe this will surely reduce the damage done to the roads and create a new industry providing business avenues & employement for many.

Some of the other side effects, 
a)  Water pollution - We already have efforts to make green idols & ban on PoP. Also can encourage people to have metallic idols and reuse them every year, which is already an accepted practice.

b) Sound pollution - We have decibel limits in place and the deadline which no body seems to follow. One way is to play the songs but don't have speakers. Instead the music is streamed using A2DP over bluetooth (which give wireless high quality stereo music). Now the visitors can simply have to put on an A2DP enabled headset and they will enjoy and no one will get disturbed. But this doesn't seem to be very adaptable as of now.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Indian delicacies categorized by states


This quite a comprehensive list of delicacies accurately categorized by the states where they are locally made and are readily available. Special thing to notice is the delcacies actually blend with neighbour states. As in UP, Bihar & Jharkhand you will generally get all the dishes mentioned special to those places and that's natural.

I have stayed in Bihar & Maharashtra and so my local favorite dishes are Litti (Bihar), Pittha (Jharkhand) & Modak (Maharashtra). This classification is based on the picture above.


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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Chrome - A much needed boost to cloud computing?

Google is going to launch Chrome, a whole new web browser, today at 11 am PDT. Looking at the concept and features the browser has to offer, there is no doubt that this will set off a revolution in browser design and trigger a new set of innovation to make the browsers even more powerful.

Somehow it makes me think that the trigger behind this browser was the of idea of having web based OS and cloud computing. Now that the browser will behave like a host to applications (like an OS) .. going forward surely we can do away with desktop OS and use everything over internet.

I found the following features of Chrome as the most exciting ones.

1) Multiprocessing instead of multithreading - Making each tab independent & secure and yet have them in a group, like best of both worlds.
2) Chrome Task manager - Now we will be able to spot the culprit webpage / plugin hogging up memory/bandwidth and can handle them without affecting other browsing sessions.
3) Phishing / Malware protection - It automatically updates the list of Phishing & Malware sites frequently and warns us when we land on them. It also notifies the Malware site owners about the breach as additional measure.
4) Incognito - Secure session from which nothing will be logged / saved as part of history
5) New Java script VM - The whole new java script virtual machine which makes java script more organized and efficient.

Most important of it all, these innovations are open source for everyone to use and extend, some are also provided as API for others to use it to enhance their features. I was even impressed with the promotional comic strips.. nice way of spreading the word without boring much.

I am impressed with the thought and design behind Chrome. I just hope the browser lives upto the expectation.

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Let's give a DAM

I was reading an op-ed article "Damming the Deluge" published today in Indian Express by Nikhilesh Jha, who is a joint secretary CSIR. After reading the article I couldn't agree more with Nikhilesh. I, being from Bihar, very well know how much devastation is done by floods every year to whole nothern region of Bihar and thanks to the ignorance by Central & State goverments, it has become a part of life for people in low lying areas. As soon as monsoon looms, they look for relocating as flooding is as expected as a monsoon shower.

I always thought that only if we could control the Koshi water by building dams, we could easily solve the problem of power & irrigation for Bihar. I wondered why it was not looked into, because if I could think of it then I am sure there are many others who can & who have thought about it. This article gives insight on this issue and clearly shows that the dam built for Koshi can turn Koshi from a bane to boon for Bihar. To conclude I will just quote Nikhilesh here.

The Barahkshetra dam, the Chatra barrage and the Kosi-Mechi link will not only control the danger of recurrent floods, they will also bring in much needed prosperity to Nepal and plains of east Bihar through irrigation and hydro-power supply.

Let the present devastation catalyse the decision to undertake the projects which have been deferred for decades, especially because there is a potential to turn the state around in one go. The sympathy factor stemming from human tragedy and the backlash generated against Nepal can be leveraged to expedite these projects.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Wedding Woes

No this is not the usual cribbing on how-wedding-spoils-a-person's-life. I am talking about the woes arising out of the great Indian wedding. I recently attended a wedding and it was as always a great experience, lots of colors, happiness, so many people and as many rituals. I just love Indian weddings.

But the question which troubled me was why the hell an Indian wedding is not complete. What I mean is, after you get married you still have to go to court / registrar and get your marriage registered and only after getting a certificate, you can prove you are married, especially to the officials where you need to prove it. Most troubles are faced by women, as they generally has to tussle with virtually all the govt offices to get their name changed. Then I thought to myself may be registration is important to have a proper record of and to be able to validate a marriage. Because in Indian weddings traditionally we invite the whole society as witness and may be then it is difficult to convert it into paper work.

Then another question shot up, If registration is indeed important and almost everyone is going to be married, then why not make it easy to register a marriage. This will be in best interest of everyone in the country. So, how to make it convenient to register a marriage. I believe the answer is change the approach. Instead of having offices where people will go and register their marriage, which creates chaos at offices and too much complications for everyone involved, just reach out to people in a way which doesn't require much hassle and efforts.

Simple and yet effective solution could be, give some basic training and legal authority to the priests on whom we put the whole faith for our successful marriages anyway. This will have many benefits.
1) Widespread & established network: As we have priests in possibly every corner of country they make a very strong network and increase our reach.

2) Convenience to everyone: All they have to do is carry a registration form to the wedding, and with all the rituals take out 10 minutes to fill up the form with all the details. There can be as many witnesses as one wants and the registration can become on the spot. So, least hassle for everyone.

3) Induce competition to make it viable: As soon as some of the priests will start this practice they will boast of providing legal registration of marriages and that will encourage others to follow suite or they will loose business.

And then I believe our great Indian wedding will become complete. I know many will not agree to my point of view but I believe changing times require change of approach and this looks like the best way to me.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Restaurant Seven

Today I tried a new place called Seven in Koregaon park lane no 7. We went there for lunch and we reached a little late (in rush hour), so couldn't find a place because they have a seating arrangement. It can seat only 12-15 people at a time. Tempted by the looks of chicken grill, we waited for about 20 minutes before we got the place. It has a small menu i.e. around 6-7 items each for veg and non veg. Food includes Burgers, Rolls, Falafel, Shredded chicken and Chicken grill.

I ordered a Non-veg platter which includes one chicken burger, some shredded chicken, 1 quarter of Chicken grill and served with salads, two kinds of sauce and some kind of rotis. The meal was really heavy. Chicken grill was quite good I wish it was hot and I have decided to visit the place early next time for that. Chicken burger was awesome. Shredded chicken was okay I liked it after mixing it with the spicy sauce. All this in 100 bucks. So, its very economic as well. My vegetarian colleague ordered a veg platter and it included a veg burger, 4 pieces of delicious Falafel (koftas/keemas made of chickpeas and spices), salads, sauce and rotis.

So, overall the presentation and food is quite good and provided the budget of (INR 100 per person).. It's just awesome.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Lessons in life..

Lessons in life..... you never know when you will learn them. Sometimes there are things you come across which look very insignificant and they make you think and realize things a lot more than you would ever expect. As today I received a series of mails building up a typical love story of a guy who secretly admires a girl but doesn't have guts to talk to her and the girl also likes him but wants him to take the first step. Nothing very interesting in the story and the also ends in a very simple way without a "happily ever after" touch. The story was written as diary entries by the Guy and the girl and in between on behalf of God, when he is supposed to help and a common friend .

The story in brief is .. the guy (Niru) and the girl, both s/w engineers, like each other, but their hesitation has kept things to them. Finally a common friend (Rajesh) comes and introduces them and he also happens to be the guy on whom the girl had a crush back in college. But Niru and the girl fall in love; and now Rajesh starts loving the girl. But Niru is not yet settled down while Rajesh is; also Niru is going for further studies so the girl must wait for him for 2 years. Meanwhile Rajesh proposes the girl and after thinking over the options .. she chooses practical convinience over her love and Niru goes ahead with his studies alone. The END!!!

Now there is a briefing at the end by GOD,

God: ok. Here is the end of this story, not particularly unique; in fact a very common one. You might be expecting me to interfere in it at the eleventh hour and change the ending so that either; before the bus starts, She runs to the bus and gets into it and goes with Niru to Mumbai or probably when the bus is about to leave, Niru jumps out and hugs her or Rajesh feels something wrong and just takes her on bike and follows the bus just to stop it and make her get into the bus for Niru and so on? Nopes. This is not a hindi film. This is a real life story and not a reel life one.

She took the decision after evaluating each option she had. She had thought practically in every aspect. Won't interference by me be just an injustice to her thoughts? Won't it be just a wrong deed on my side and that too just to please some others without any particularly sensible reason? It's her life she will have to make her own decisions and will have to bear their consequences herself. Well that's what life is all about, you make decisions everyday some important and some not so, some right and some not that right, only time will tell if those decisions would make you happy or not in the long term. There is nothing like the so called "Happily Ever After", Life's not that simple, where would be the fun in Life if it was that simple?

This was like a great revelation for me.. it just gave me a whole new point of view of looking at things. It's simple, its logical and its obvious.. but never accept the truth that what happens to us is the result of decisions we take, the choices we make.. As it was said by Morpheus in The Matrix, "The problem is choice... and it is you who has to make your choice." It's easy to do/leave things in the god's name and the later blame it on him. But the truth remains that we are the victim of our own choices and decisions and that's life. Now that I realize that whatever happens to my life depends on my choices/decisions, I feel more confident and more responsible.

Similarly, once I read the book "The bridges across forever" - by Richard Bach. I never liked the love story genre.. but I still read this one just because I had a crush on a girl and she happen to own and like this book ;) But after reading this book I started looking at relationships from a whole new angle.. and that really helped me understand things I wouldn't otherwise. It really made my life very easy.. I was no more hurt when call frequencies dropped from any friend and actually never had bitter relationships with anyone after that. So, I will always thank her for the book :)

I am sure everyone of us learns his/her lessons in life one way or the other.. It's just awesome to look back and ponder over it. Makes our journey all the more interesting.

So, just Waiting for the next lesson....

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