Tease me, tea-se me, Tea-is-me, baby!!!

07:30 a.m: Wake up after a few hours sleep. Stayed over at Shaji's place, after some good drinks and private screening of "Varekai"a circus DVD by Cirque du Solleil. Had good strong milk tea prepared by Betsy. Only the other day when we visited Shaji's place, and Betsy made tea, came the remark, "The best tea I've had in a long time". But, today Betsy outdid herself. Needless to say, the breakfast that followed was neat too.

11:00 a.m: Shaji comes to drop us at Aro's place and Sunil joins us. Probably inspired by Betsy, Shaji prepares tea. I have never seen a man so dedicated to a cause. For half and hour, he labored to prepare the four cups of tea. The result: the most awful, tasteless tea that you can have anywhere. A more detailed and accurate description is here.

Shaji: We all love you. You do a wonderful job of mixing the drinks ( I particularly loved the small whiskey, large soda in a bottle mix that you did last night), but please don't ever (and I mean, ever) make tea. Please!

04:00 p.m: Reach Prashant's place and have good strong north indian style tea (extra milk, with CTC tea leaves boiled a few times). Conversations, insights and foresights later, move out and hang out.

08:00 p.m: After shopping for CDs, DVDs, and books (all by Aro - he bought at least a dozen CDs and the entire Calvin and Hobbes collection!), we went to Sector 37 and visited a place called "Teasta" - the tea shop. Sampled Darjeeling tea and was disappointed as it was served with a hint of milk. Sampled the iced tea, which was awesome. Bought some tea leaves and later, had samosas from a shop I used to frequent when I stayed in Noida.

00:10 a.m: Made tea from the leaves bought earlier from Noida. Now settled in front of the TV, sipping the tea and watching the Euro 2008 final match between Spain and Germany.

10:30 ki second last local

Apologies for not writing as frequently as I would have liked to, especially since a lot is happening here in Delhi. Here's what is happening, in short:

Meeting old friends. Mostly from the Hughes gang. Somehow, the Hughes gang has remained friends although most of us left the company three or four years ago. Changes from last time: Good to see Sunil lose a quarter of his previous weight; Milind and his new car, and his special "friend"; Shaji's son Shaun, and the new sprawling apartment he has moved to; and Rahul's son Raghav.

Watching great movies as varied as Sideways (2004), Casablanca (40s), Cleopatra (60s), "The Matador" (sometime this century), and "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" (70s). Aro has a great collection; hope to explore a few while I am here. Unfortunately, not getting enough time to read the books he has.

Having varied food as Chole Bhature (how could I skip this in Delhi), Momos, Dosas, Tikkis, Dal-Roti (at National Dhaba in CP) and the hundred different types of finger food. Not to forget the drinks, the star of which has to be the milk shake from Keventer's in CP.

And did I mention that I am now an expert on CP? Four different days there for me in less than a week here!

As far as the title is concerned, that's the Delhi Metro train I took to reach Aro's place in Dwarka tonight. Nothing as dramatic (none actually) happened as in the movie, but I guess you need to take the last train for that.

Where my "Dil" is: Dilli

On Tuesday, I took the Rajdhani Express to Delhi. This was after a long time that I was traveling somewhere, that too alone. The journey itself was pretty uneventful, although the pretty girl who borrowed my spare book managed to change the physical shape of the book! I badly wanted to return the favor by spoiling her make-up, but then, I was in a good mood otherwise. After all, I was back in Delhi, although for a short time.

The change that immediately caught my eye was the Delhi Metro. It's efficient, fast, far reaching, and clean so far - truly world class public transport system. The other positive change is the green low-floor public buses. Looks like Delhi is getting into the international mould. Like every other time, this time too I noticed a considerable increase in the number of flyovers here.

One thing that has not changed much in Delhi is my group of friends. They are still the same goofy, fun loving, mis-adventurous bunch. Great, great feeling to be back among you guys.

In case you doubt my choice of adjectives for my friends, I give you one example:

On Wednesday, I reached Aro's place (the guy who stole my T-shirts) in Dwarka. Arun (Salwan, our friend, and my flatmate in Bangalore) had taken Aro's car to office. Despite Aro's warning that the fuel gauge is not working, Arun thought he had enough petrol in the car. His car stalled at 11 p.m. He could only manage to call us to let us know that the car was stalled when his cell phone battery called quits before we could get the location. Fortunately, he had another phone with him (which didn't have our numbers) from which he called a friend in Bangalore, who in turn called me on my Kolkata number, and gave me the details of his location. We rescue him and get back home, and guess what he does? Leaves the car keys inside and locks the door! And there was no duplicate key at home, since, just the day before Arun had managed to break the duplicate car key as well. Any doubts anymore?

But make no mistake about it: no one was angry with this whole episode. Only laughters, and jokes, and my promise that I would put this on my blog.

My most intimate secrets - revealed!

Tagged by butterfly! This one's short compared to the few 100 pointers I was made to attempt!

Name three most valuable assets.

Ability to see, walk and laugh.

If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, who are the three blog buddies you would take alongside with you?

Arun "Sallu" Salwan, Prashant "Om" Bhardwaj, Bhawna "Bhaws" Rao - travel buddies first, blog buddies later.

Where is the place that you want to go the most?

Machu Pichu.

If you can have one dream to come true, what would it be?

To be a professional athlete.

What are you afraid to lose the most in yourself?


What would you do if you found a briefcase full of money?

Contact my lawyer and go to the police station.

If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?

Yes. Meeting someone is the difficult part :)

Which type of person do you dislike the most?

Dishonest people.

If you were given the chance to have one super power, what would it be and why?

Power to fly! Why? Flight tickets to Machu Pichu (so with other places) cost a fortune, that's why!

If you could do one thing different in life, what would it be?

Not lose friends.

Are you a shopaholic?

I used to be. Not any more.

Which actor/actress would you like to be?

Charlton Heston. Ever since I saw Ben Hur as a child.

One song that gives you goosebumps?

"Jab koi baat bigad jaye" - it's the memory with the song, and not the song itself, which gives me goosebumps.

Do you have any plans for tomorrow?


I tag?

DK, Rohit, and Aro - long time since they posted anything.

I am losing it... para pa pa pa!

Points in case:

1. While troubleshooting my friend's Windows access problem, I tried replicating the same problem at my end, and created a new administrator account. Then conveniently forgot to delete that account. As a result, a few days later, when I restarted (which I normally don't; I hibernate), I lost my default administrator account! Meant, setting and customising the entire system almost all over again.

2. In the process of the last part of Pt#1, forgot to switch on the internet speed tweaking software. Without realising that, for about a week, have been cursing Tata Indicom for their slow speed, blaming others for frequent disconnects from chat, thinking of writing to Facebook since their page was not loading fast enough etc, etc. Sincere apologies to all of them.

3. While watching France's game against Romania in the Euro 2008, couldn't remember the name of the french goal keeper who won the world cup in 1998. Could remember his face, how he kissed the forehead of team captain Laurant Blanc before the start of every game, how his jersey looked, everything but his name. Finally, after 45 minutes, during the half time break, got up and googled - Fabien Barthez!

And I used to be a regular in the local school / college quiz circuit! Chyaaah! What happened to that brain? Really, brainbit = bit of brain that is left!

BTW, if there was anything more painful than realizing the degeneration of my brain, it was watching France play without Zidane (and Viera) like a headless chicken.

The atheist's guide to change of fortune

Five tips to Kolkata Knight Riders for next year's IPL:

1. KKR should change the name of the team to Kkkolkata Kite Flighters according to Robin Jumanji. Non-believers, think about this: Shah Rukh Khan can make it sound sexy (remember Kkkiran from Darr?)

2. Shah Rukh Khan should start wearing jersey # 42. Since Shah Rukh is in his 42nd year, it will prove lucky for him. Also according to the Douglas Adams Thought school, that number is THE answer (do I see RT starting a mexican wave here?).

3. KKF should only have three cheerleaders at any time wearing golden dress instead of black which will invoke positive energy to the field. They should also wear flouroscent green (glow-in-the-dark) head bands, arm bands and shoes. This has nothing to do with Fengshui - just to track them even when there is a power malfunction in Eden Gardens!

4. KKF should shift their dressing room from South of the stadium to West. This will remove the vaastu doshas. Also, the cool breeze from the Hoogly river will flow from the west keeping everyone cool.

5. All team members should go and pray in the Siddhivinayak temple at midnight on a Saturday just before the tournament starts. Actually, early morning is a better time, but chances are Amitabh Bachhan, Abhishek Bachhan, Aishwarya Bachhan and thousands of "journalists" following them will also be there at that time! If the players are too tired after attending one of the parties thrown by Shah Rukh, and want to go in the morning, they should check if the Bachhans are attending any award function out of town.


Satisfying Saturday

First up in the morning, I received two pleasantly surprising and nice phone calls from friends in Delhi and Mumbai just saying "hi".

Then Naveen called and said he was in Kolkata for a hiring event. "Come and meet me", he said. So after lunch, I go and meet him. Along with him were two more ex-colleagues - Rupam and Indrajit Sir. While talking to them I saw another guy looking at me trying to place me in his memory. Even I thought I know this guy from somewhere. Then he came up to me and introduced himself as Vipin. We had worked together for a brief period in different teams, and know each other through common friends like Aro and Arun. And the biggest surprise was that he followed my blog! Even Rupam said he read it from time to time! Err... I didn't know my blog was that "famous"! Damn, I could have charged a subscription fee and got rich ;-)

Anyway, so after reminiscing about old times and cursing Naveen for not telling me earlier that he was coming, I came back home. I expected guests at home in the evening. So, I cooked up a dish quickly and tidied up the room a bit.

My schoolmates Arindam and Soma along with their respective spouses Sharmistha and Amritendu came fashionably late, but once they were in it was chatting about everything from pets to pyrotechnics with intermittent discussions about IPL of course. We never realized when or how a couple of hours passed. Only when Sharmistha reminded us that their pet Labrador Ghnoton* is alone at home did we rush to dine.

*Pronunciation Guide: First syllable is a nasal ghow rhyming with mow; second syllable is a soft T - tone. The resulting sound is the most disgusting name ever given to dogs or human.

All in all, a highly enjoyable day. Can't think of too many better ways to enjoy a Saturday!