Inspiration from an unusual source

I like the column by Mr. Subroto Bagchi in Times of India. He often writes about ordinary people who struggle a lot amidst trying circumstances to achieve something. I met a similar person last night.

Puneet, was driving a private car for three years. Slowly he saved some money and now he has bought a Tata Sumo. He is driving it for a vendor of IBM. He works six days a week - Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, he plays cricket near his residence in Jayanagar. He is also going through Bachelor of Commerce course through correspondence.

It's amazing how some people will work amongst all the challenges to succeed and live a better life! Fortunately for me, I got to chat a bit with him. He was the driver and owner of the cab which dropped me home. It was his first day at work for IBM. I thanked him for talking to me and dropping me... but I wonder now, if I thanked him enough! He got me thinking about my life!

Weekend Report

Friday: It was a strange day! Strange in a positive way! Many of my friends called from different places - Delhi, Kolkata, Bangladesh, Singapore. I was really happy and it helped me handle the long day I had in office.

Oh... Milind confirmed that he will go with us for the trek. We have finally decided that we will go for trekking in Nag Tibba. If he doesn't get leaves, LWP!

Saturday, 8 p.m: Last night(Friday) I was coughing a lot and had cough syrup after I came back home. I am still feeling its effect! Still very sleepy and drowsy... I think the right word is LAZY! Not done anything today yet and not planning to do much. Samarth and Anu are busy cleaning up their flat downstairs... Kailash and Anshu are also home... Amit Junior came with his mom. It was nice just sitting there and listening to both Aunties(Amit's and Arun's mom) talk about maids and their inefficiency, our apartment and apartment size in Bangalore, our work hazards and hence sleeping disorder, Arun and Amit's marriage... don't think they can avoid it for long!

Sunday: Arun and I had been planning to go out somewhere this weekend with Aunty. Finally we decided that we will leave early morning for Shivanisamudram, a waterfall around 110 kms from out home. But fate had something else for us in mind. Last night Anshu's friends - Deepti and Shruti had come over for a "night picnic". Deepti's mom had sent some very tasty food and we also had food delivered from Nandhini. It was quite a picnic. Then some chatting over drinks and songs... and we ended up sleeping only at three. Arun and I still decided to wake up at eight and go for the outing. I woke up at around noon and Arun probably woke at 1130(although he says he was up since 0930!), so the Shivanisamudram plan was cancelled! After consulting "Outlook Traveller's 52 weekend gateaways around Bangalore", we decided we should go for Nandi hills, which is closer home. We left at around two and after dropping Deepti home, went straight to Nandi hills! The road is mostly nice and there are clear road signs. Nandi hill is nice... with some very good view of the surrounding plains. Nothing spectacular but nice... the weather was very pleasant. I did not find too many photographic subjects there to shoot :-( After a short visit to Nehru Nilay, we started the long journey home. Kailash and Anshu had bought some very bright curtains for home... now our apartment has character!

February Fancies

Here's what I plan to do in February:

1st to 16th Feb: Finish all the audits(QA Deepshikha's job - she is on leave) I need to do in office.
17th Feb: Fly to Delhi (Flight IT202 ETA Delhi - 1005). Meet everyone!
18th Feb: Attend Sunil's marriage.
19th Feb: Chill out with friends.
20th Feb: Go to Dehradoon and attend Samarth's marriage.
21st to 24th Feb: T R E K.
25th Feb: Come back to Delhi.
26th Feb: Fly back to Bangalore.

Now this TREK depends on whether James, Sri and Mils get their leaves. If they don't I don't know what to do for the four extra days that I will get!

Getting ready for the trek

The same gang to Gushaini(Sri, James, Milind and me) is planning a trek in Uttaranchal in Feb. The plan is to attend Samarth's reception on Monday, 20th Feb and then go for the trek on Tuesday for two / three days. The places that we have shortlisted are a few day treks from Mussorie like the Nag Tibba or the Benog Tibba. I am not sure what the temperature will be in February. If weather(and time) permits we might also go to the Valley of flowers near the Hemkund Sahib lake. James and Sri are getting the information from Aro, who was there last year. I will get in touch with Prashant, who went with Aro on that trek. This will be strenous: I am not sure how fit we are.

Talking about fitness, I have started my preparations for the trek in my own way. Since Saturday, I have started avoiding the elevator and have started taking the stairs to my fifth floor apartment more often. Yesterday, I did a lot of walking while shopping in Commercial Street. Today, I went to Indiranagar to pay some bills. It is about five kilometers(roughly) from my house. I came back walking and to top it took the stairs! Need to do this more often to build lower body strength and stamina.

What do I do this weekend?

The plan was for me to go to Hyderabad and stay with Parthada: Partha Chakraborty, my friend from my Aptech days (both Kolkata and Bangladesh). However, it is not making sense.

First of all, my household stuff has come from Delhi and we are yet to get everything fixed in it's place here. Then Samarth need to move his stuff to his new flat. His new flat is actually one floor below ours so distance wise it is not much. Still there is a lot of stuff to be moved and Kailash is already in Hyderabad, so it will be only Samarth, Anu and Arun to move all the heavy things.

Secondly, I need to be in office till 3 in the morning tonight. So the earliest time for me to leave is early morning tomorrow. And I need to be in office on Monday evening. So it's effectively 1 day that I will be able to spend there. It doesn't make sense!

Besides getting our flat sorted and help Samarth to move, I can also fiddle with the new IBM ThinkPad T43 that IBM has given me. 1.8 GHz Pentium (Centrino), 512 MB Ram! Faster than my desktop! For the last two days since I got this, I have been bragging about the TP to Samarth and Kailash. I know I shouldn't do this: you never know they might get a TP with Centrino Duo processors with 1 GB Ram! Anyway, I hope i will be able to write a few things tomorrow and day after and upload them on Monday.

Sore from Mysore

These are some pics from our Mysore trip. I was not really impressed with the photographs that I took. I attribute the defects to the Konica film, the light, the camera settings, my hand shaking or a combination of some or all. Anyway, here are some pics that are 'postable'.

St. Philomena's Cathedral, Mysore. Nice structure, heh?

Bird in flight over Chamundi hills. I think this is a Kite.

Prashant: xHughes friend from Delhi. He is the one who suggested this trip.
Pete, I told you this pic would come nice!

Statue on the outside of Chamundeshwari temple, Chamundi Hills.

This is the statue of Mahishashur, Chamundi Hill. There are about 200 people at the base of the statue trying to get their photograph clicked, which I avoided.

Bull in front of Chamundeshwari Temple. I liked the contrast of black and white of the subject against the colorful backdrop.

Giraffe in Mysore Zoo. I really liked the Mysore Zoo. It is the best Indian zoo that I have been to. I actually saw African Elephant for the first time in my life.

There is another set of pics that are yet to be developed. I really enjoyed taking photographs of the Mysore Palace. Hope they come out nicely.

What do I write?

I am wondering what to write. My friend, Arun writes his blog pretty well [] and pretty regularly. I am almost inspired to write a daily (or twice a week or once a week). I do have another blog to describe my tours and travels []. Now, the problem is "What do I write?".

For starters, let me write about an idea! I was thinking about a radio programme for Samarth. He has this amazing ability to listen to any track for a second (and I am not exaggerating) and he will tell you about the song. He is amazing with songs and sound tracks. He could actually host a radio show! My idea for the show was he can play some classic music and talk about history of the song / band / singer. He can always search the net for tidbits. The idea started taking shape when he forwarded this link:

I remember those days in Delhi when we would go our respective home at 3 in the morning and the first thing we would do is turn on the TV to watch reruns of RockStar: INXS. Then we would call each other and discuss the show. Our favorite was Mig Ayasa and would discuss the rocker's performance of the night. For me the best performance of the series was Mig's rendition of Peter Frampton's "Baby, I love your way". Our other pick was Suzie's version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" with the orchestra. I actually liked Jordis' version of "Imagine" a lot. I thought her quivering voice was well suited for the song. You can catch some of the action at

Well, I am in office right now. I will leave a bit late tonight along with Arun. We are going to Mysore early morning tomorrow. Prashant 'Pete' Bhardwaj has come from Delhi and he is the one who planned this trip. Hope to catch some sleep in the car. Will write on Monday about the trip to Mysore.