Friday, August 20, 2010

After 2 months..

Its hard to believe,but its already been 2 months since I began my new job. Certain junctures in life are true turning points, and at the moment, this definitely seems like a career switch I'm gonna enjoy !
Reading tons of logs and not getting enuff new code to beat out was frustrating. Its like putting a frog in water and asking it not to swim..
Anyways, the new journey and environment definitely seem positive and the learning opportunity sounds inviting for sure...

Off late, I have taken a liking into the spiritual world and regularly read up stuff on It definitely helps to elucidate the purpose of life and guides us on the righteous path towards salvation. The trick is to walk the talk and I hope to make some headway on those lines in the forthcoming future.

Its sick as usual to see Manmohan Singh extend an olive branch to Pakistan, this time almost forcing them to gobble up the 'humanitarian' aid for flood relief.
First and foremost, we grow no olives in India, maybe its the Italian influence on the government that causes them to associate so deeply with olives...
Anyways, the writing on the wall is clear, the pipeline of aid will be routed by the benign neighbor to the needy Taliban and Lashkar, which is in dire need of funds, and will use the same to fuel further unrest in the Kashmir valley. The mango diplomacy is being stretched too far.
Its so ironical that the Mango people or the 'Aam Aadmi' as Three Idiots introduced it, would not benefit a trifle from all this shenanigans of the politicians..

The Kashmir unrest seems to surface at regular intervals every couple of years, only resulting in more deployment of forces in the Valley and talks of autonomy. Why can't India, which is trying to ape its Big Asian Dragon Brother, just take a leaf out of their book and crush this movement for once. Look what has happened to these Asian neighbors since 1989, one country marching along the Yellow Sea en route the Pacific to humble Uncle Sam. The other still reeling under issues like corruption, Naxalism, and being the bashing boy for Mr. President. This time in the form of hi-tech Indian companies sponsoring the illegal drug trafficking and immigrant problem along the southern Hispanic border of the US.

Back home in the national capital, Mr. Kalmadi has ensured that the CWG are in news for all the wrong reasons. And why is he enjoying such patronage from India's first family? Is it because these contracts have a leaky pipe that leads into the benami Swiss bank accounts of 'you know who...'. Its truly a shame that the python of corruption has firmly gripped us and crippled the fabric of our society..

Phew, this has been such a sorry tale. But today is Friday, and its time to cheer up and shout TGIF !!!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Washington chronicle..revisited

Sunday and Memorial day were action-packed days, and the soaring mercury resonated well with our rising spirits! Not once did DC smell like a ghost-town, in fact the long weekend and the perfect summer weather created a nice hue of colorful dresses and fragrances worn by the fashion savvy..
Washington monument was our first stop and was truly a delight to the eyes. What made it even more spectacular was that it was right in line with Capitol Hill leading further up to Lincoln Memorial. For a moment, I was reminded of the Peshwa era, where Pune's own historic monuments like the Shaniwarwada, Parvati and Sarasbaug formed the trinity frequented by Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa and his royal clan, that succeeded the throne.
It was fun to see road-side stalls selling candy, burgers, hawkers selling bottled water and ice-cream. Sucking at those popsickles in the sweltering heat brought much needed relief, and my kiddo did not take it too well in her stride that she was being deprived of this part of the fun!
What really stood out in DC was the grandeur, and cleanliness that is void in most Indian cities and places of tourist interest. We also had a chance to do a peek-a-boo into White House from a distance about 0.3 miles away, and it seemed like a mini-fortress that was well guarded for Mr. President.
The rest of the afternoon and the day to follow were thankfully spent in the cosy, air-conditioned confines of the Smithsonian museums, which gleefully offer free admission to the public. Each and every section made some interesting viewing, and we were left gasping for time and energy when viewing the exhibits.
I equally liked both, the Museum of Natural History that boasts of the Hope Diamond, as well as the Air and Space Museum. Although the limited security left me wondering whether most of the precious gems on display are indeed imitation 'American diamonds' craftily replacing the originals...

As if we couldn't have enough of the National capital, our itinerary included a visit to my bro's Alma Mater that was conveniently located 230 odd miles away, but who cares quoting Rabindranath Tagore 'Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high..'.
It proved to be whirlwind tour in the end with us scrambling to grab a meal in Blacksburg's only Indian restaurant, followed by a rapid fire guided tour from my brother driving us around campus...Felt good to be there though..
What followed next was slightly bizarre, with the Garmin GPS speaking a different language as if to say, entities like freeway were extinct and the only way to get back to Raleigh was driving thru country roads of VA, where winding roads was the norm, ghats was a way of life and houses were spaced almost half a mile apart.
With a sigh of relief we cruised back to the city around 2:30 AM, sleepy, tired and showing signs of exhaustion that usually accompanies such a crazy day.

But as they say, all is well that ends well and it was a nice memorable East coast jaunt!!!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Desis visit D.C.

Last weekend was a roller-coaster ride without venturing into any of the theme parks. An East coast trip ensured that we were pumped with adrenalin and any dull moment was left high and dry in the heat of summer.
Now taking a baby on her maiden flight via the Red Eye express isn't the most rationale decisions, but when one is squeezed for time(and $) and wants to cram all the wonderful experiences in half a week, then it becomes an evil necessity. Luckily for us, Ishanvi was a good flyer, only providing glimpses of the weapon that children wield, tears and crying that would make a might army come to a grinding halt from the Battle of Waterloo..
I have always been an admirer of the East coast, a reality cemented by the fact that I only have its memories from Spring thru early Fall. This time was no different, and passing thru Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta was like a mini-homecoming, reminding us of the nice time we spent there before turning occidental in quest of Gold (err. greener pastures) ! The descent of the flight as it hovered over Raleigh airport was even more gratifying, and I was awe-struck again, watching the shades of verdant landscape interspersed with prisitine lakes that define the landscape of the South East hinterland..

A quick lunch and shower was all it took, before we hit the road. Looked like this time my body had caught up with the Sun shining on EDT much sooner, and did not gimme too much of a headache that frequent the jet-laggers. As we closed in on Uncle Sam's capital, the EQ, i.e. excitement quotient grew by leaps and bounds and the pinnacle of Washington monument perfectly personified the state of our mind. The lights that shone upon Capitol Hill truly make it a visitors' paradise. I could already identify myself with tourists decked up with the copyrighted 'I LUV DC'. The adventurous spirit that we were exhibiting took us close to the dungeons of the FBI/CIA headquarters in neighboring Reston/Herndon VA, when our GPS guided us via the backdoor into a no-entry zone headed towards the White House. Some driving skills put to test and clever maneuvers took us back to the safe confines of our Hilton Hotel, and I was a tad disappointed to miss any rendezvous with its socialite heiress Paris Hilton !!

To be continued...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer of 2010

Lot of water has flown down the bridge, since I last put my blogging skills to use.
And yes, I'm still not an alien, with a blue-body akin to the Avataar lead pair, but still the blogosphere feels like a different place altogether..But I'm sure, a few hundred lines is all that it would take for my Shin-kan-zen to start rolling once again!
2009 was a year in which a lot happened, and its hard to believe we are knocking at the doors of June of 2010 already...Wasn't it just a few days ago, that 2010 came beckoning to be the year of economic revival, promising to usher in good times again, and make mends for the recession that gripped the world thru 2008 and 2009.

Of course, another kind of Dragon has got a firm grip on world affairs now, with China, shining like a star in the new world order and humbling the mighty Uncle Sam, whenever it gets an opportunity.
Now, I haven't read into the fineprint about the situation @Latitude 38 parallel North aka the Korean peninsula, but my gut feel says, its a proxy war between the USA and China, not South and North Korea..

One of the evolutions in my social networking history over the year was switching over from Orkut to the more sociable 'Facebook'. Now, being a die-hard Google fan, it wasn't an easy choice, but a decision made with due diligence and listening to my heart's call !!
To summarize, in the war between Mountain View and Palo Alto, PA won handsomely. I guess it was also easier to favor PA, since I moved residence out of MTV to the relatively more sunny, vale in the Bay Area.

Now I am not a big fan of Al Gore and his initiatives to save the planet, but the weather change being experienced recently has caused me to devote more than the occasional shrug to the issue of global warming. Here in Cali, you are supposed to pay premium for the Sun, but dude, where is the Sun, this yr ?? NorCal is behaving more like its cousin Portland and distant Pacific cousin Seattle in exhibiting a weather pattern that is as naive to me as a doughnut would be to a newborn !!
Spring has brought everything to life, but the chill accompanied by the erratic rains has really left me doing Brrr..for the past several months, with no respite on the horizon.

Back home, India is reeling under a severe heat wave that would offer stiff competition to the Icelandic volcanic ash that left Europe limping and got flights to a standstill. Could it not spare Europe, as it was already limping under the Euro-zone crisis?
40 deg celcius is the norm now, and its not uncommon for the Deccan Plateau to warm up close to the half-century mark (temperature wise). Guess, the only advantage is hotels won't need an oven any longer to serve the Tandoori chicken to its fans!

Have a flight to catch later, but hoping to bring back the blogging spirit in the Summer of 2010 !!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blog abhi baki hai mere dost...

This almost sounds like alien territory to me; revisiting it after a gorge that is around 8 months apart.
I had practically given up on blogging for the better part of 2008, and it is certain checkpoints like your birthday, that remind you that there is a life beyond the role of bread earning that needs to be exercised.
Reading is another of those long lost passions that I need to reignite in 2009. I'm already planning a dash to the Mountain View Public Library this weekend, to catch up on all the reading that has eluded my eyes since time immemorial. The last thing I remember devouring upon was the 'Godfather', which I enjoyed thoroughly. And then I took to reading the 'Last Don', but lost initiative along the way...
Celebrating birthdays in a place different from your home country has its own ramifications, and I wonder at technical aspects like when should I celebrate it? Should it be as per my current time zone or should I align it with India? Still haven't figured out the answer. I got around it, though, by making myself believe that its on both days, thus having a 36 hour window to rejoice...
We had planned to watch CC2C at the movies a while ago, when we last caught its enticing trailer while watching Singh is King. We were eagerly waiting thru mid January and were tuned to the theatres around that screen Bollywood films; lo behold, when the reviews came out, I was quite disappointed to see that it was a bomber at the BO. Well, that didn't mean we were going to give it a miss, especially in the era of streaming video delights, which friendly desis are eager to help their fellow Indians with. What a spirit of fraternity this movie sharing business is; doesn't it deserve some gallantry award, since the guyz have the cheek to brave the (C) word, in the land where 'sue' is a mighty weapon !!
So ultimately, CC2C or what I abbreviate as C22C or 2C2C or 22C was watched in the cosy confines of our apartment home, and we patted ourselves for being judicious and waiting for some public reviews. Its February and its raining here again; just waiting for President's day to catch up more sleep on the long weekend..ehhhh

Friday, May 16, 2008

A laid-back Friday

Its one of those rare days @work, when the pace of life can match the pace of work. There are just a few things to take care of, and people are chilled out in general. What a surprise that this is happening in one of the most warm days seen by me in Nor Cal so far..Gave me the faint hint of being someplace closer to home in Pune, with a classic tropical climate, the winds confined to the Occidental coastline of the Pacific, and not trying to venture into the hinterlands of the Peninsula and South bay.
Today's a laid back Friday, and the scorching heat today means our office admin guyz have been thoughtful enough to order ice-cream and popsicles in the afternoon rather than the trite Beer, which can quench the thirst of certain souls but leaves tee-totallers with a bitter taste ..
In fact, it was the first time in more that six months last week that my entire team went to the HQ building to participate in the Friday evening bash. I was happy to move outside the confines of my solitary existence in office to a more social hangout. There was tons of food, mainly of the non-veg type that Americans devor and revel upon, with a bit of salad and veg rolls to satiate the palates of the green people...
Last weekend we went for a Marathi classical songs concert organized by the local Maharashtra Mandal, and it wasn't disappointing. Devki Pandit rendered a variety of beautiful compositions starting off with Raag Madhumati and culminating it with the traditional Bhairavi.
It was a good blend or cocktail, if you may, with classical, semi-classical, thumri, natya-geet, bhav-geet and bhakti -sangeet. Though I am not a big fan of hers, the mood and spirit of the occasion in the setting of the Jain temple @Milpitas was rejuvinating enough.
This weekend is going to busy for us, since we need to shop around and do other planning activities for the impending trip to the North East. We are really excited about this trip to NY and Niagara and guess the season is perfect for this excursion planned....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Finally some time

At last there is some time at hand. I thought I was away from action for a couple of months, it so turns out I haven't posted since Dec..well that's pathetic..anyways..
To say that Jan-march has been quite hectic would be an understatement. Still we did a lot of cool things along the way..
We saw the nature's majesty in the form of Lake Tahoe, and did treks to Muir woods. SFO city as usual is a treat to visit, and we actually got great pictures of the Golden gate on multiple occasions. I always thought the city is taking time to accept us into its fold and finally it has...
Visitors from india has been another highlight, and the biggest advantage has been getting lots of home-made goodies on the opposite side of the globe..Hurray !!
Daylight savings happening last week and suddenly the day seems bigger. Its a treat to get back home in broad daylight and still enjoy the sunshine for an hour later. Also encourages us to get back on the fitness track and enjoy the spring weather. Barren trees have started showing sings of life again, and beautiful white and pink flowers are covering the tree tops..Birds are chirping and its Spring in Cali...