Broken Promises and Black Beauty in jail

In case you are wondering what happened to the grand trekking plan, here's what happened: Sriram had some family business in Chennai, so he backed out. That he did not leave Delhi is a different issue. He was busy in office. Milind had office work so he said he would only attend the marriage. But after Friday, he did not answer the phone! Later, I came to know that he had gone somewhere with his team! James told me that four days could be difficult to manage, so let's make it two days. Since there was no one else, that was never discussed further. He did make it to the marriage though.

So I had four days with me without a definite plan. But I did have work! Arun was supposed to leave on Wednesday. Arobindo took Sudip's car to drop him at the airport. While coming back, he met with an accident. Arun missed the flight because of some agitation at the airport by some people and the subsequent closure of the check-in counter. We reached the police station where Sudip's car - the black beauty was parked. After a whole day of discussion and negotiations, we managed to get her out of the police station. Even while it was a tense day, we managed to crack jokes and cheer each other. We even discussed the chances of Aro being in the same jail as Salman Khan... and the opportunities there after! Thankfully, there was no police case. Next day, Arun managed to leave for Bangalore, Sudip took the car to the workshop and others returned to their normal life.

For me, the next few days were very relaxed. Normally spent reading books, watching TV, going for walks and meeting friends. I met Ananya (Abhishek's daughter) for the first time. Friday night, Shaji brought some friends along from office and it was a long session of drinks and singing. Saturday, the trainers from Flextronics met at India Gate for a meeting - Sriram, James, Abhishek, Milind, Arun (Jhambo) and me. As usual, it was a session of leg pulling and discussion about different companies that we are now part of. We had dinner at Pind, Pandara Road. Thanks to Jhambo for the dessert.

Two weddings and a date

17th Feb: I reach Delhi. Milind was supposed to come to pick me up but he was sleeping! Shaji was there to pick us up. Unfortunately Samarth's flight was delayed by over two hours. Anyway, we roamed a bit in Gurgaon; went to Teletech and Flextronics and met some of our friends. Met most friends at SUnil's engagement ceremony. Besides family, we were the last to leave (henceforth coded LTL). At Four in the morning, I receive a call from Arun asking about flights and purchasing options. After some failed efforts, he bought the tickets. This was going to be a big surprise for everyone!

18th Feb: Went to Sunil's wedding. Met more friends. We spent about an hour outside the party socializing before we entered. Spent a considerable amount of time persuading Rahul (Menon) to come with us to Dehradoon for Samarth's marriage. Once again - LTL.

19th Feb: We were supposed to leave at around noon to go to Dehradoon. One car was supposed to pick Siddharth and the other car was supposed to pick pick up gifts for Samarth and Chivas Regal that he ordered and then go to pick Naveen. Unfortunately, it took some time to do all that and by the time we reached Noida, Naveen had to go to do some errands. Mr. Arun Salwan, never to miss an opportunity, called one of his innumerable lady friends, and set up a quick date! The quick date lasted for couple of hours and we finally managed to leave at 5! Without further incidents and some good driving by Shaji and Sudip and some expert navigation by yours truly, we reached Dehradoon at 11. Just in time to attend the tail of the cocktail party. After the party (LTL as usual), Samarth guided us to the guest house. After several loops of eight we finally reached Asha guest house. Our room had 12 beds in dormitory style, just perfect for us to chat. Everyone was too tired to chat, so we decided that we will call it a day and we shall wake up at noon the next day.

20th Feb: Surprisingly, we woke up at 9! Others who didn't were made to wake up. After a lot of chatting, we moved out. James took the morning train to Dehradoon and we went there to pick him up at the railway station. We roamed and shopped a bit in Rajpur road. In the evening, we got ready for the marriage and reached Hotel Madhuban at nine. It was a grand venue with lawn, hall, terrace and everything. Samarth was looking uncomfortable with his headgear and suit on. You can see for yourself in this pic.

Sitting: Anu and Samarth - the bride and the groom. Standing from right - Sudip, Shaji, Rahul, Siddhartha, Arobindo, Naveen, James, Arun and me.

The official complete photo collection is here.

By midnight, the crowd had thinned and we were on our way to be LTL ,when we decided that we should leave for Delhi. We left Dehradoon at around 1:30. Driving was difficult under the foggy conditions and oncoming traffic. We reached Delhi only in the morning.

Frantic Feb

Have not been able to update this blog for some time now... not because I didn't do anything but because I was busy! This Saturday, I went to visit my cousin - Sayandeb aka Bappa-da, who just came back from the US. Debarati-di stuffed me with classic Bengali lunch which I ate heartily... let me make that HEARTILY! I swore that I won't eat for another day.... but fate had other plans for me!

Went with flatmates and neighbor - Rahul to Casa Piccola again. What can I say about the dinner... read the previous entry!

Sunday, we went to a place called Shivanasamudram - a waterfall. This was supposed to be 110 kms from Bangalore to be covered in 2:30 hrs. Research was done through Outlook weekend gateaway and maps. Unfortunately we took the wrong road... got lost... ultimately caught the shortest but bumpest path! It took us more than 5 hrs to reach there. What an anticlimax it was when we reached there - there was no water in the waterfall! While coming back, we took the Mysore road and came back in less than 3 hrs.

This week, I am a bit busy at work since later this week I am going on a vacation. Have to complete all monthly work by this Thursday!

Casa Piccola - Oh la la!

We went for shopping on Saturday. Bought next to nothing but shopped for a long time... you know what I mean? Was very hungry after the ordeal. Went to Residency road to have dinner at Casa Piccola. Divine is the word for the food we had. Tried their Mix Grill, UFO, Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Steak and Mexican soup. All of them were good. Service was not that good though. Meal for four cost us about 700, which is excellent value for money. Want to try a few more things this weekend. Maybe I will go to their CMH Road branch this time. Pity they don't deliver although their website says so!

Jethro Tull - Live in Concert!

Just came back from the Jethro Tull show. They put on quite a show. I was never attracted to their lyrics, but some of their music was really good tonight. Specially the "no words" pieces like "Moe's Art" and Bach's "Bourree". Ian Anderson has amazing energy for a sixty something guy! He has an amazing sense of humor too! I found out that he doesn't have a driver's license and has a very good explanation why - here.

It was after a long time that I went to a live show and it was a very worthwhile experience. The organisers did a great job of managing the show, except for the quintessential late start and lack of litter bins. In fact we did not see litter bins in the entire IIM Bangalore campus!

The opening act "Thermal and a Quarter" did a decent job of warming up the crowd. I really liked their "Jupiter Cafe".

I had heard a lot about Bangalore croud and their knowledge about music. I managed to be in the first three rows, so could be that I was surrounded by hardcore fans; but they sure knew about Jethro Tull's music. When a few IIM students were busy chatting with each other, someone actually told them "Please stop it... we are trying to listen to the music here"!

Right Alt - My latest .. ahem ... love

This is not about ... ahem ... what you thought! This is serious stuff!

I am used to using the Windows key for many shortcuts in Windows. However, the IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPad T43 laptop that I was given doesn't have a Windows key! Apparently, none of the TPs have Windows key, although all of them have a shiny silver sticker saying "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP"!

Everytime, I had to lock my TP, instead of pressing Windows + L, I had to minimize all open Windows and double click the "Lock Computer" icon! Then, of course, to minimize all windows, I had to manually minimize individual Windows, since I couldn't press Windows + D or Windows + M (I am not a big fan of the Quick Launch bar - so no "Show Desktop" shortcut)!

Finally, I found a solution. Now my right Alt key is configured to act as Windows button! Got it from IBM's support site article. I am happily locking my TP with Right Alt + L; Viewing System properties with Right Alt + Break; Opening Run Window with Right Alt + R...

Till the time those otherwise brilliant designers (or decision makers) decide to put the small Windows key in their laptop: Right Alt it is for me!

DSLR: To Buy Or Not To Buy

To buy or not to buy - that is the question! The will and reasons to buy a DSLR is increasing day by day.

First, the experiments with the last few rolls did not come as expected. Most of the prints are somewhere waiting to be destroyed.

Second, on Sunday, Deepti was talking about buying the Canon 350D. Funny, when you talk about something that you remotely want with someone who remotely wants it and it increases your crave for that object!

Third, I took just eight snaps at Nandi hills. Now I will either have to wait for the right moment to finish this roll, or I will have to do pointless photography! With a DSLR, I can take shots that I like: could be one, could be five, could be 36 at a time.

Still I am not buying it right now. I want to try the Nikon D70 or D50 and Canon 350D before I decide to buy. And an investment of 50K is still a luxury for me. Hope the price will come down soon :-)