Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dilbert

I subscribed Dilbert from its site. So I get mails of daily dilbert everyday!! I got really impressed with this one :) :).........
Something which is near to everybody's fate now a days. Check out Dilbert's mother!! :) :)


Friday, May 15, 2009

Acceptance Quotient

How do we accept people in our circle and scheme of things? How often does a guy or gal touch you so much that you don't mind them being among your friends? Does this happen naturally? How can a complete stranger become a nice friend in a matter of very less time? How does this thing of familiarity work without even our mere conscience?

The answer is a complete puzzle. We as a social animal are very demanding when it comes to choosing friends and people whom we get along. Not required to be just friends, just accepting someone for what he is. This does not come very easily to us. As time rolls on, we find out that person very cool. Our first impression does not lost of a long. "That guy talks too much" will soon turn to "He is cool" without us understanding how that transformation has happened.

Complete strangers who come into your life, whom you meet everyday afterwards. They can completely turn and mend your sphere of thinking. Last year when I had been to Israel, I have some friends there. One of them told me, to get close to someone who is a stranger very quickly is to know the native language. To learn bits and pieces of the language and use it during a conversation. This will make the stranger more comfortable and free to express his feelings.

Breaking the ice as they say, is one of the most important part of communication skills. If you notice, the guy or gal who has a such an approach of breaking the ice for communication will generally have lot of friends. It is an attribute to their communication skills. Most of them just land up not talking with people around and find themselves after a long time without many friends.

Even asking some personal questions to strangers might just mend minds and make you more acceptable in an alien world. Just a question like "Hi, how was your weekend?" or may be "Did you see the match yesterday?" can go a long distance in help filling the gap between people. Such extrovert behavior sometimes gets the thumbs down at the start. But soon you will be accepting as long as the behavior is very light and not too personal. You will find "Hey this guy is amusing!!" You will smile when he asks some questions which are considered to be personal questions as per you. In other words, you don't expect him to ask such question. You are just not prepared.



I met a guy, who joined as a security guard at my office. As far as a security guard goes, there is a set ideology in our minds that, he is an uneducated guy. He will be quiet and not speak a word; just talk a little, smile a little. No more no less. Sometime when you initiate a conversation he joins in. Sometimes he helps you carry something heavy. That's a set image we have about a security guard. This guy was different.

He was an extrovert. He spoke fluent English, with no stutter. He made eye contact with all, when he said "Hi' or "Good morning". He talked with everyone on the phone in English. He used to ask many people about their hobbies, how their weekend shaped up? He gave respect to everyone. He did not show lot of ego. He meant energy. He did rob some words out of me, when I never thought I will say a word. Talked about games not just cricket but even football. He was a ManU fan. He used to show lot of exuberance and played carom and TT after his shift timings. I was totally taken aback seeing all this. As this is not according to the script.

I did not accept him in the start as he seemed like he was too extrovert. I thought he was acting too smart. But slowly he did etch something in me towards him. He changed my attitude towards him by just being polite and asking things, that I never expected him to ask. I played carom with him. I did beat him, but every shot he kept saying "Nice try sir" "Nice shot sir" "Well tried". I don't know if he let me win, but he has create quiet an image for himself in me. Some people have the God's gift of impressing anyone. Most of them don't understand them and keep running away from them, just to avoid an unwanted question.:) :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pumping Iron...Not exactly

Joining a gym is not a great deal. I met a friend after a long time, he said he met a guy. This guy had a fully built up body and had a "I am fit" tag hanging on his neck (okay not exactly). His biceps were so huge that my friend had to flatten his tummy when he was around. It seems he was not that fit some time back. Once while he was climbing stairs found himself out of breathe. That day he took a oath that he would join gym and work out and be fitter.

Today he is not only fit but has a well built up physique. He goes to the gym everyday without fail and spends two hours. He is a doctor. Well this kind of determination is very much unseen in a normal guy. Not all of them can take such an oath and be true to it every single day. I wonder if I can do it. But to be frank, I don't have a unfit physique and I am able to climb stairs without any extra effort. But that is now, as I age things will change. For staying fit at all ages, strengthening muscles and bones when you are young is a must.

I got some inspiration to join gym and get fit. But being a lazy bum, I would not have the determination to gym more than 2 months. So I thought, I will go for Kick boxing. I will learn something different. So I started looking for some classes in and around Mumbai. That was the time one of my friends called in for joining a gym sparked an influx of thoughts. So the thoughts came back and so did the inspirational story.

There was this gym near my house, which was offering yearly subscription for both cardio and weight training in an attractive package that will not be heavy on your pocket. We opted for this gym after several phone calls to different gyms. This one met the exact budget scenario considering this global meltdown looming large on everyone's head like a halo.

I joined this gym and am getting up at 6 every day and turning around lot of things in my life. My health and also my mood swings. I feel good after the gym, though it does pain a lot. After few days, this will change I think. In my previous gym, I had lot of warm up exercises before I could even touch the weight machines. Here there are none. The warm up is on the machines itself, which I found out to be interesting.

Even now my biceps are still a little sore. 15 pounds one the first day for biceps I thought was a little too much. :) :) The gym is very cool. Here are some snaps. No girls around here too. I really don't know where are all the cute girls. By the way, I had been to HDFC back for some statement crap. I got to say there were 3 girls in the bank, all were too cute to handle!! :) :)

Coming back to the gym, here are some snaps of it. Lets see how may days I can keep the inspiration going. See I am sweating it out atleast for now!! :) :)

Thats the halo behind me!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Books labalubala books books books

I am not a good reader. I am actually very slow when it comes to completing a book. And If the book is not like what I had imagined, then the reading pace further slumps. But I try to complete the book now a days, however boring the book is. I read mostly non-fiction or books which are written on a real life story(fiction). I read two books off-late. "You are Here" by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan and the "The Kiterunner" by Khaled Hosseini.

I picked this book by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, "You Are Here" at crossroads some months back; this was not the book I thought it would be. I expected it to be a comedy like "The Inscrutable Americans", but this turned out to be a serious book and more into sarcastic humor and relationships. I did read the story line before buying the book. To be frank, as I am not into this kind of fiction, I was not able to enjoy this book. It is said to have been a great hit. Arshi the character in the book, suddenly finds herself without a boy friend, without a job at 25. Her love life has been chaotic . A life that revolves around her break up with her x boy friend, flatmate Topsy, her so called "boy friend", a dream rich guy kabir and her childhood friend Deeksha. Good read if you are into such fiction.

It is a very bold book I should say. Well thought out and well written. A girl's prospective of things I should say. I did take a lot of time to go from one chapter to another, sometimes even getting disinterested. The girl's feelings has been portrayed rather bravely. I don't know if this is the notion that girls of the new era follow. Nevertheless a fiction has to be read as a fiction. For some of you, this book is just a night's read. But for me it took almost a month to finish it. As I told you I am not good with fiction books. The book has around 250 pages.:) :)

"The Kiterunner" another well know best seller by Khaled Hosseini. Real life stories are not dramatic. They are very slow. For such real life stories, the author must have a great influence with his writing style to make it feel good. That is exactly what "The Kiterunner" is all about. I started reading real life fiction stories after reading the book "How Starbucks saved my Life!!".

I absolutely liked this book. It gives great insight of the then Afghanistan and how it has been dilapidated today by the Taliban. The joyful days of the author when he was a child and the painful days as an adult. It really is a great book for real life fiction enthusiasts. The story is not dramatic and it is explained as simple as it goes. Amir and Hasan enjoy their childhood days at Kabul, till they are jolted by the Russian soldiers and have to leave Afghanistan to go to Pakistan and then America. His motherland brings him back to Afghanistan, which he did not plan.

Lot of twist and turns in the storyline, which keeps you interested. As the story unfolds there are lot of dramatic events which takes you aback and makes you feel for Amir and Hasan. The daily sufferings of people in Afghanistan is something I pity. The storyline keeps you awake for a long time. I read this book in a week's time. Fast as compared to my previous book. This book is around 330 pages. :) :)

I am currently reading a documentary book called "The smile of Murugan"; a documentary by Micheal Wood, on his visit to South Indian temples. I have gone through only few chapters, already I am impressed. The adjectives he uses to describe things is totally cool. I hope someday I can write like him!! :) :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Back tracking the terror attacks

I could be termed as coward. May be I am a coward. I did not go to the Taj for almost 6 months after the terror attacks. Well that was not entirely because I was a coward, but because I stay very far from that place and I never had work at this part of the city. But this is no reason for not coming down here. This has been on my mind for a long time now. I finally got a chance to go to city.

We planned a hike to Elephanta caves which is one hour boat ride from "Gateway of India". The caves have been battered a lot from olden days. Most of the statues have lost their arms or legs or sometimes even faces. For reaching these caves, after the boat you have to take tickets for a mini-train and then climb uphill. Quiet a taxing workout to do all this and see some broken monuments. But as they say, it is history and it is precious. But it is amazing fun. I traveled by a auto, taxi, bus, electric train, a ferry boat and then a mini train. So much to reach here. But it is worth it!!!

There are 5 caves to see, all of them have a shiva lingam. Lot of monkeys running mayhem. Please check out the history of it guys, I have no idea why they are there. All I know is, he trip was fun. But I will try to know the importance of this place soon, I promise!! :) :)

The Gateway of India was under some maintenance activities(not because of terror attacks). A section of Taj was also being rebuilt. As we came back, we were totally exhausted by that time. Mumbai and humidity in one line means, you are a goner. We did take lot of water, but eventually we had to fill them again. Please carry some food aswell, it will help. From there we caught a Taxi coming near to CST station for a lunch (late one). Around 4 pm we started our lunch.

After lunch we took a walk along to CST station. It was a little gripping to grasp that in the same place, so many lives were lost. I felt swallowing a gulp of saliva a little harder than normal. But the station was full and overflowing. People everywhere, busy and no time to loose. They were just looking for their trains and leaving. The trains were also on time. I did stand there for a minute and prayed in my mind for those who had lost their lives. Looking at so many people walking in and out, I just feel everyday life has to just move on!!

Here are some snaps to backtrack those moments!!

The start Churchgate station.


Then this guys as you know is "Gateway of India"

This behind me is the timeless Taj, where everything took place

On the ferry, from Gateway of India to Elephanta!! behind me is Taj and Gateway!!

Some snaps from Elephanta caves. Indeed it is Incredible India as the forigners have to pay Rs. 250 and Indians just Rs.10/-, sometimes it is glad that we are Indians.

The Gang

Guest appearance!!


Last but not the least CST station!! I take a bow!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Rock is god, with no temple

Have you seen a place where there is just a rock, which is called God. The God is more or less kept in the open without any shelter. Just a raised platform and there is a big horizontal rock and people flock like bees on honey. It is said to be one of the most powerful Gods, who can influence your bad times more than any other God. Yes I am speaking about Shani, the planet Saturn who's pro-grade and retrograde can affect your horoscope chart. Well that is what is believed.

So I went on another short trip, this time to a place called Shanishinganapur. A small village 80 kms from Shirdi. Shirdi is a well known place which is around 90 kms from Nashik, which is in-turn around 115 kms from Mumbai. It takes around 6 hours to reach Shirdi from Mumbai. From there it takes another hour and a half to reach this place. We chalked out a plan to reach Shirdi by night and stay there for the night. Then start for Shanishinganapur in the morning.

We booked hotels for boarding well in advance at Shirdi, so that we don't have any last minute hazels as we were reaching at night. The hotel was "Neeta International". The reason I am taking the name of the hotel is precisely for some awesome mind-boggling events that were about to happen that would catch us unawares. That night we ate at a place called Woodlands and I had a punjabi thali. The thali was so spicy that even the paneer in the palak paneer tasted like green chilli. They should have named the dish, palak green chilli.

An night for IPL, I should say. Suresh Raina was playing a blinder for Chennai Super Kings. We had booked Non-AC rooms through my dad's friend. We took the keys and went to the room to catch up Raina's brilliance. It turned out that it was a AC room. The AC's did not work. So it is a non-AC room. We switched the light and fan on. Then suddenly my bro told me, don't you feel; the brightness on the TV has increased? I was wondering there must be some fault in the TV. Then the fans went slow. Then the lights started flickering. Man it was just like a bollywood ghost sequence. The TV was actually doing fine, it was the lights in the room that was going dim. :) :) In electricity terms we call it Voltage fluctuations.

Coming from Mumbai with 24hours electricity without any major fluctuations, it was something totally different. So no AC, the fan goes slow every second and fastens again and the lights flicker. Awesome atmosphere to get some tired sleep. In all this confusion Raina hits a century. Only to find out that the score board was wrong and he had scored just 98. May be the utter chaos has got up with IPL from our room. When I went into the toilet next day morning just to find out there were no toilet papers. How the hell will I shit? Going on the holy trip, I think this is what is called by Holy shit!!!!

The haunted bloody room!!


Please don't ask me how I reverted the situation. Everyday before taking bath, I do a almost daily ritual of going naked, ofcourse I do have some minimum requirements. Check out how much my stomach bulges and check if it goes in or have I gained fats to bulge it. Do some muscle show-off, you know the guys thing. When I started it today in front of the mirror early in the morning at 5 am. The lights went off!! Phew man this hotel is a haunted place in the holy land. Just imagine me some what naked standing in front of the mirror in the bath room and light goes off. Total black out, how am I supposed to take bath in pitch black. I just screamed the hell out.

This is my take on the room!!

The dreaded hotel key!! even the name of the hotel brings sweat on my brow


Coming back to my trip, the temple at Shanishiganapur was actually not a temple. As we came very early, we avoided the queue. The place were the queue is has a shelter above built nicely. But there is no temple on the actual sanctum santorum. Nothing above it. It is on the open, not even a tree. That amazed me. Nice place to go just to get away from boring humbug. The rituals here is also unique. Orange vesthi(lungi), taking bath, going to the sanctum santorum wet and pouring the oil, you had bought for the same. One more interesting thing about Shanishiganapur, all the houses here are without doors. Believe me, I checked almost everyone. No doors!! amazing!! Godrej will have a tough time selling locks at this place for sure. :) :)


Here are some snaps!! On the way to Shirdi, pitstop at Nashik


Early morning sun the next day!! towards Shanishinganapur!!


Yeah this is How I had to change!! :( :( The book in my hand is a book about the history of the place!! yet to read it!!

This is the best snaps guys!! The menu card of one of the hotels we had been to. Check out the fourth option under "Tea". It says "Card". No no it is not the cost of the menu card. It is actually "Curd" :) :)