2008-12-05

chocolate Banana Muffins

First weekend of December past with lots of activities - a trip to commercial street, malls and office. On Saturday Aarush forced me to leave bed early - deprived me of extended sleeping on the weekend. After that I was busy with him mostly for breakfast. Nowadays he has developed a nasty habit of prolonged (around an hour or more) eating times be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. After that he played for while but soon he was sleepy for nap. That created an opportunity for me to try muffin which was long time overdue.

I searched quickly for “chocolate banana muffin” recipe and found this one and went with it as it looked simple and easy except few changes. I beated powdered sugar with melted butter first. In between I kept two eggs outside of freeze to bring them to room temperature. Mixed one tea- spoon of leveled baking soda and baking power each in the flour and sieved 3-4 times to make sure there is enough air mixed in the flour. Then I whisked the eggs and added milk to it; after mashing banana in the grinder I mixed all three together.

Now kept adding half of the dry and liquid ingredients alternatively to the sugar - butter mixture. Lastly, stir in chocolate.
With that my job was almost over as soon as I put the tray for baking; to my surprise and delight they started to rise nicely. Best part of the whole exercise was quick yet successful result. It only took 40 mins to prepare and clean up the kitchen. It might take much less if you are prepared as of my case it was all impromptu right from searching recipe to oven. Anywayz, after a long time enjoyed my time in kitchen – thanks to Aarush for his nap :)
P.S. May add little bit more sugar if you prefer muffin sweet.

2008-12-01

Wear the red Ribbon


December 1st 2008- World AIDS Day - today, AIDS is one of the main causes of mortality on the planet. 33 million people are HIV-positive in the world, but 90 % of them ignore it. Given the numbers, there is a definite need to increase the awareness levels about the disastrous effects of this incurable disease.
I am sure there are plenty online about the same which can be accessed quickly but the main problem remains in uneducated rural areas where it is not even mentioned forget about a healthy discussion.

2008-11-21

Change


In last 20 months “change” was one of most used word thanks to new President elect Obama. I admire the way he delivers speeches and uses words. Most reporters must be missing those malapropian phrases used in last 8 years.
I took this picture in February at Mumbai Airport; personally I too was thinking about the change and transition I was going trough at work and home at that time. A long waited post with little details but again the line from Gandhi says it all.

Back to Bangalore

It is almost a month posted any thing on the blog. It’s neither that boring nor that there are not enough events happening in our life which can be shared with you. It is just that we do not have any time for ourselves where we can sit and relax which sometime looks like a very remote luxury now.The day starts quite early at around 6:30 when Pamela gets up and prepares breakfast for Aarush ; that allows some extra sleep for me if Aarush permits. As soon as Aaursh is fully awake around 7:30 I need to kick start my day ; try my best to feed him every morning but there are days when he demands for Pamela especially.After that breakfast part its me who try to entertain Aarush while Pamela finishes cooking. Same time try to get all my personal morning “hustle and bustle” taken care.Same time need to keep a Corbett eye on Aarush as he is very unpredictable and things happens before you can blink. Aarush now crawls with speed and he stands up as soon as he finds any thing to hold. He has not mastered the technique to sit from standing. All we do is pick him up and start laughing loudly which causes enough confusion for him. And it takes away the fear and cry from his face and he forgets about the same in next 5 minutes. Today we lost our faithful blue-vase as Aarush was quicker than Pamela. This was bit special as we bought in Wal-Mart and may be as couple one of first purchase we did in 2002 winter. Around 8:30/9 ish Pamela finishes cooking and I start for work and her demanding day gets more demanding. After 2/3 hours of

2008-11-13

As time flies...

We feel elated to celebrate our sixth year of togetherness @ IndiJoe. A journey full of sweet, bitter, sour, spicy and many more...... flavours. After all soft items like paper, linen etc finally we reached anniversary which is represented by metal -"Iron Anniversary".
This year's anniversary is extra special because we were given a very precious gift from God, our son Aarush, and now we've moved on from "couple" to "small family", and it feels amazing. So,for the first time we celebrated it as parent rather than couple. Aarush was at his best which helped us to finish our lunch buffet. Though we did not had the luxury of time as we had to stuff ourselves quickly. By the time we reached for dessert he wanted to crawl all around in restaurant.

2008-10-29

Long Time no see ...

Well we are still connected to internet just not having enough time to spare to post. There are few posts which are long overdue. Only time we can type in peace when Aarush is sleeping but by that time we are so tired that we retire quickly. Do not worry will post more often as we try to get back into a more strict routine. BTW I just registered myself in Facebook after lots of deliberation. Eric correctly said --
"Viva santanu! viva Pamella and viva the little Misra! Welcome to this stupid and so fundamental place that is facebook ..."
Just upgraded all the plugings and WordPress to the latest as dashboard showed I need to complete this task quickly.

2008-09-17

Wish Pamela

If you are reading this post on 17th September please call up, e-mail if you have not done so yet.

Well why I am writing this post -- I am stuck in a business trip and missing her and Aarush for last 3 weeks. Sometime I wish I just could dump my current job and spend some quality time with Family. But with Financial commitment I don’t think I can do that soon :(.

Any ways wish Pamela on her special day!!

2008-08-28

Extempo Performance

Pamela's maternal cousin Jeet was our guest in Bangalore for three nights from Calcutta. His purpose of this trip to meet his school and college mates as most of them are working in Bangalore IT sector. Jeet plays guitar and mouth organ as hobbies. His musical talent is in his gene , he got it from his mother who is a trained singer and used to perform in All India Radio in her young days.

Well enough of introduction -- this was a very informal recording as we noticed Aarush was enjoying his first live music. Normally he turns his head towards speaker when we play some music to locate the source of sounds. But nothing comes close to a live performance a little one also realizes the same :D.

2008-08-13

ZoneAlarm Patch Tuesday Promotion


Get yourself a free copy of Zone Alarm Firewall completely free for one year. The offer is valid for one PC per e-mail id. The offer just started at 6AM PST and will be there for next 24 hours. So do not waste your time and rush to get a free copy. If you are not sure what Zone Alarm is and why you need one copy or a similar product for your PC I am sure there are zillion of web pages to guide you.

2008-08-07

Rejuvenating old I-Pod

Our old faithful I-pod’s battery died last year; nothing to complain about the same. We have used it enough and did not have any complain. Only thing that happened is the battery started to loose charge more often and at the end it stopped charging altogether. Just after I got this I-Pod, Apple had to settle a lawsuit for low quality batteries. That way I must say I am happy to survive for 3 years with one battery.

I was not looking at spending 4,000 INR (100 USD) to replace the battery by Apple. The thing I do not like about this program is - Apple does not return your own I-Pod rather they give you a similar one from their stock. So I opted for changing the battery myself. It cost only 20 USD to get the new battery and after spending 15 minutes I was able to hit the road again.
The kit contains two plastic openers without which opening the case is almost impossible. The demo video included in the kit is informative; if they had shown how to create the first opening in slow motion and in closeup it would have been much better. As this was my first time I cut my finger with one of those plastic hinge openers. You really need to be careful with these tools. I had to use a small metal screwdriver to widen the gap between front and back case. After opening the case, removing the hard-drive and replacing the battery was very easy for me. I was very careful to make sure all connections were correct particularly for hard-drive and docking station. I did not have to open the case again as all the connections were perfect.

2008-07-23

Whatz FRESH about Reliance Fresh ?


As we are new to Bangalore trying to explore all nearby hypermarket, supermarket and open markets as we settle in. This is also giving us as chance to explore places around. The first one we tried and explored was BIG-BAZAR on Old Madras road. As it is just near to one of our office address in Bangalore I knew how to reach there without being lost. Then weekend after we tried SPAR at Kormongala followed by Nilgiris. Hypermarket Spar is having veggies like asparagus, lettuce leaves, endive which are rarley seen. Other then that one can find chesse like brie, blue cheese, parmesan, ricotta, emmental, gouda, feta etc. In between we have ventured many small to medium scale stores like More, SMART and others. There was no particular pattern.
While going towards Sarjapur junction on Outer Ring Road we saw sign of Reliance Fresh; last night decided to check it out. To our horror we were welcomed by stinking smell; yes it was the only thing out there. The floor was very untidy, every thing was falling from the shelves, nothing organized at all, with stale veggies. Top of it, store people were not at all bothered, nor very friendly to customers. To our observations Nilgiris is very neat and tidy, well organized and managed while Big-Bazar with its vastness and madness of crowd keeps the show running although one might have to spend few hrs in queue at cash-counter mainly on week-ends.
Your comments are most welcome to share your views on super markets. This is second post related to super-markets in India what is your take.

2008-07-17

Bombay to Bangalore by Car(NH4)


View Larger MapA journey of 1000 KM from Mumbai to Bangalore
I was asked to reallocate to Bangalore in early May from my work; as usual had no plan till the last minute. Sitting in Durg (center of India) was thinking what will be best way to reach Bangalore on Monday via Mumbai. I have to reach Mumbai to pick my bare essential before heading south. And my flight from Durg was on Saturday noon.
On Friday night suddenly realized it would be great if I can travel in my own car. This way I do not have to find a cheap air ticket and will have no problem in commuting of my own @ Bangalore.
This will allow me to escape THE FAMOUS AUTO RICKSHAWS of Bangalore. There are plenty of horror stories about them and you can always have a good laugh about the way they refuse their passengers. They are very mystic in their behaviour, there are few honest hardworking but that only proves Darwin's rule– There are always an exception. Certainly, this post is not about them .
After lots of fanatic calls to friends and family members I was very fortunate to have Ramesh as my driver. He is a very experienced driver but he does not drive any more. The plan was simple- To start early morning for Bangalore on Sunday. We will stop as night falls and will reach Bangalore on Monday.
I reached Navi-Mumbai around 9PM after spending afternoon and evening at south and central Mumbai. As soon as I reached home I had to complete a long list of house-hold chores starting with laundry. As soon as the drum started spinning I started collecting items those I will require during my stay there. I picked items quite randomly but only thing I had in my mind was about a survival kit. After doing all that I tried to sleep at 2 in the morning but after a restless hour I got up and stared to wrap as many loose ends I could before leaving.
Here is a chronicle of events that I had on that Sunday.
06:00 Picked up Ramesh from Nerul Railway Station – Returned to Kharghar ; packed all items in the car.
000 KM
06:45 Started from Home; the express was well paved and it has concrete construction with numerous tunnels. This is the pioneer road corridor which was constructed with divider and proper lane in India.
041 KM 08:15 Started from Food Mall /Diesel stop around 40 minutes. There were lots of car, SUVs and buses packed with families who were going out of Mumbai as schools were closed for summer vacations. Hardly any room left for seating. Food was not great but every thing tastes good on road-trip when you have a hungry stomach and miles to go. The service was very prompt that really deserve appreciation.
09:00 Pune We by-pass capital of Maratha culture; there were plenty of new big IT, BPO offices with glass outer wall but as they were spread on NH4 without any symmetry in between they were more of eye-sore rather than architectural beauty.
09:40 We picked up a FM station from Pune and it continued a long road. Very soon we reached another toll plaza and started our ascent for Satara Range. There are two separate roads for opposite direction. After lot of twist and turn you reach the point from where you get a great view. It was pity we could not stop to enjoy the beauty from there.
10:30 Road towards Mahabaleshwar
11:10 Crossing Satara which means a place surrounded by seven (sat) hills (tara). One thing we had to pay extra attention was there are plenty of crossroads in the highway which allows people to take turn and cross the highway from other side. Ideally there should be flyover but as we pass rural area the extra cost may not be justified yet due to thin traffic. But thankfully NHAI has put up fence to avoid crossing road everywhere. It is very common in India for cattle and human to cross road whenever and wherever they want which causes lots of accidents.
12:00 Crossing Karad, a small town but quite good infrastructure with over bridges. At this point of time we have crossed Krishna river few times. The road divider were properly maintained with lot of Bougainvillea planted. It gave a very good feeling on Indian road which is sometime synonyms with pot-holes.
397KM 13:25 – 14:05 Stop for lunch near Kolapur, Kolpar is the last major town in the Maharashtra side of NH4 and soon we will start crossing border of Karnataka. Lunch was a simple vegetarian a quick one as we were not very certain how much road we will be able to cover today - Bangalore lies in the southern part of Karnataka.
14:43 We entered Karnataka it started to rain a little bit of drizzling around Belgaum. The soil color changed to red. Suddenly we found that we have to drive for almost 5 KM on the NH-4 north with opposing traffic as South bound was closed due to a big trailer made a major accident.
493 KM 15:17 almost halfway. There are some hamlets of houses which are painted by Airtel, TATA, Reliance for their mobile phone advertisement or sometime it was cement and steel companies.
15:49 We cross a sign for Karwar (next to Goa going west) neat Dharwar but road was single lane. Saw a horrible accident involving a TATA –indica and a truck and there was ambulance. Hope the best for those in that car as it looked very terrible.
560 KM 16:17 Back to divided road. We crossed a huge Jain temple which from distance was looking like some space station where rockets were ready for launching. After searching in internet realized there are too many Jain pilgrimage palce in Karnataka which I did not knew.

599 KM We were looking for fuel station for last 15 minutes but there was none on our side of the road; finally we found one and filled diesel ; we had fuel economy of 19.05 KM/L with AC on the highway. We crossed one flight of stairs in the highway but could not figure between ourselvs which will be nearest airport for this. Wanted to have tea-break but "miles to go before I sleep"
636 KM Again single lane, road condition very bad, found almost finished yet un-finished flyover while we maneuver the bad traffic- big trucks, SUVs just trying to cross everyone by hook or honk. This continued for a while we crossed a town called Ranibennur, it looked like Sunday was market-day as it was crowded with village merchandise. There was police in the middle of the road to manage traffic. The road condition did improve as we crossed Harihar at the sunset. It was very magnificent as Sun sets on the lush green paddy field on the banks of Tungabhadra river.
It became dark and Ramesh kept on driving. We decided to continue till we felt like. Driving till Chitradurga our estimated destination was around 70 Kms away.
765KM 20:30 We reached Chitradurga, according to our destination; called relative in Bangalore and was told the road should be better now and it might be a sensible to reach Bangalore same night. We had a big dinner and stopped for one hour before we stared again. This really helped to stretch our strained body. It seems there are road side hotels around 40 KM out of Bangalore A1( from Reliance group) and Kamat to choose from. The initial part of the road was very bad and there were so many trucks. It was dusty and we had to be very careful with all these big vehicles; lots of them even do not have rear light or brake light.
After Dinner - I was feeling too sleepy and after all my best effort I dozed off for few minutes. I asked Ramesh few times if he is OK to drive or is it better to park on side and take a small nap. As an excellent driver he kept on driving without any problem. Around Tumkur, we found hotel but as we were there they closed as its mid-night and they closes at 23:30. So there was not much choice for us other than to continue driving. Blackberry came very handy as I looked up phone number of my service apartment which was booked from Monday onwards. They gave their best direction but for us it really did not mean much. There was one part of highway which was newly paved with proper marking and division so a toll plaza followed.
We could not figure out much in the dark and kept on asking for MG road as direction whenever we found someone on the road. We met some stray dogs and one drunken group who were ready to start a fight as we opened our mouth in Hindi. Somehow we reached MG road and found English speaking Auto-driver who gave us proper direction for the last mile
It was great to reach such a wonderful place. We found ourselves in two bedroom apartment; I took a quick shower before calling it a night.
In the morning we woke up quickly, dropped Ramesh to bus stop where I got him ticket in Volvo for Mumbai. And I went to office – and thus life in Bangalore started.


Lesson learnt from this 1000KM trip ---Keep your wallet ready to pay the toll. In India, government is the biggest “Bhaia” or “Don” they know all the tricks to tax their law-abiding citizen. When the road condition is good be prepared for toll after every 40/60 KM. Keep change ready or you will get toffees as change in return. Not sure why NHAI kept those odd numbers like 18, 23 or 22 instead rounding it to 20 or 25. Definitely there are lots to improve for NHAI if they want to put Indian road to world standard.
With highest rate of street accident and mortality Indian roads are not ready for family travel yet. Initially, I was thinking to drive back to Mumbai one day but after seeing that accident and the bad stretch of 200KM before Chittradurg I do not think I will do that soon. If you do want to drive; Drive during day and drive safely I mean very safe - HAPPY DRIVING

2008-07-15

2008-06-20

We are @ Bangalore

This post is going to be a quick one, need to write and publish in next 8 minutes time I have from my grueling schedule. Just to let you know we (this time Aarush & Pamela accompanied me) reached safely after traveling from west to central-part to east and then to south of India . The details of long travel will require several small posts but with Aarush, new apartment and work do not think we will be left with ample time to write those. Looking forward to meet all the Bangalore acquaintances soon.

2008-05-30

Passion of reading

This question really sounds absurd to start a decent discussion on reading. I am not a writer nor pose to have any writing skill but I like to read. It is said the type of books you read generally depends on your attitude and personality. I believe reading as a habit has always allowed to nurture a wholesome sense of well being. But most of us read books to lull ourselves to sleep.

I read any thing that I can grab and not picky about subject or writer. Once I like a new writer; try to read his other work as well. In last 5-6 years can only think of two books that I started but couldn’t finish – ‘Satanic Verses’ and ’The Argumentative Indian’. This makes me wonder am I a good reader or not? Normally, I do not try to review books as I read for pleasure and have a good time. Though these books are well known, well read and sold million of copies I wonder is it wrong with me or with these books?

The journey of reading book takes back to memory lane - we (me and my brother) were hooked to reading from very early age as we grew reading books. Special thanks goes to my Mom for inculcating this habit in us. Switching from a totally pictured short comic to a immensely boring book of at least a hundred pages, with no images or diagrams was not easy though so I don’t blame any kid who would frown at the idea.

But there were others too who really appreciated this habit of ours and gifted us wonderful books as we grew. We were considered as book worms; we even saved money that we got from our elders to buy firecrackers at the time of Diwali. As for us the philosophy was simple – book lasts longer than a firecracker and you can always re-read books. We still have those well preserved collections to re-read. Now a days, with too much stress in work place many of us miss out on reading in this very manner and sadly it is only in times of grief, loneliness or insomnia that we seek refuge in reading some stuff.

I read many writings of Mr. Rushdie and really liked them a lot. ‘Haroun and the Sea of Stories’ is my favorite; just found out it got published after his most controversial work. I was in adolescent when ‘Satanic Verses’ got banned and always wanted to find out what was out there - a forbidden passion. So while in US I tried to borrow it twice from public library - got bored and could not follow the story after few chapters. I still wonder who are those who might have read, realized the content before banning the book? Did they just ban the book based on its name, who knows its a long history now.

Now coming back to ‘The Argumentative Indian’, a collection of published works by Mr. Sen during his long career and research. Though there are excellent foot note and reference in page I could not agree with writer about his view on recent India. Besides this, there were so many words which require frequent referring to a good English dictionary.

May be being a young Indian I see India from a different lens. Being in India I find his view on recent history of India to be unaccurate and one sided. To me his references are very academic in nature and away from ground reality; also his views are squinted for recent political history. Without doubt he poses to have vast knowledge about Indian history, culture and I am no one to make any comment on it.

To sum-up, this two books failed to keep me glued to finish it. May be one day I will try to finish them and will re-read… till then happy reading.

2008-05-20

Our sleeping beauty


Aarush never likes to sleep when ever we tried to tuck his hands....I mean with buritto wrap. If wrapped he keeps on moving his hands in discomfort until he is unwrapped. He always loves to have his hands free, outstretched in upward direction. This series of pictures which were taken during half an hour cat's nap. So many positions for two little hands :D

2008-05-15

Letter to my son


Hello Aarush,
Today you are four months old...though nothing remarkable but for me it has been days now since we met last. Hope you to be fit as fiddle.
I came to know from your mom that now your vision is focused more or less, you are trying to grasp objects; can bat and swipe at dangling toys. It seems now you are ready to rock and roll as you have started taking side turns with squirms, giggles and wails... You respond to your nani (granny) and aunt with big toothless smiles as well with coos and making happy noises. Do you still continue to often soothe and calm yourself by sucking your fingers; and do you bicycle your legs and wave your arms when placed on your back with jerky movements.
Hope your head and neck muscles are getting stronger and able to lift your head to look around. I know that these muscles will still need support, so we have to be careful to guard your head and neck while lifting and holding.
Well, enjoy your time with your aunt and two elder cousin sisters. But do n't get spoiled with too much love, care and attention.
Darling, it seems besides all care and love you are not keeping a good progress as recommended by your doctor. I just want to let you know that 'am are not worried as long as you are happy and at ease.
Sorry my child, I miss you a lot and hope to see you soon. You are always in my heart and on my mind.
Loving you... Your's DADA
P.S. - For others please check Aarush new pictures

2008-05-02

Goodbye – Mumbai – a quick update


I did not want to use a title like “Welcome to Bangalore” or “Here I come to Bangaloru” on purpose as need some time before I can call this my new home. From long time we were knowing that we have to move to Banglore but on personal grounds I had to postpone it which was readily accepted by my company. In recent months, I was waiting for that green signal from my company that I have to move in any case.
At last, on Sunday (27th April) I partially moved; travelling from Mumbai to Bangalore in my car covering 955KM in 20 hours. The experience of that journey deserves a post of its own. I hope to write on that as soon as I find a suitable place to rent and settle myself a bit.

2008-04-18

Perfect Parking


Encountered this perfect parking on a small by-lane in Bangalore. For sure I will not be able to park like this; normally have enough difficulties in parallel parking on the street between cars. I was failed (fatal) as rear tire touched the ramp in my first attempt to secure Californian driving License. Looks like the owner will not be change car as this is customized parking only which can accommodate small car.

2008-04-12

Nagaon - a sleepy sunday


Currently I am spending my life as forced bachelor with Pamela ‘n’ Aarush at Durg. I was looking for an outing from a long time as completely burn-out with new and old responsibilities at personal and professional level. Spending weekends, doing absolutely nothing other than sleeping and delaying all household work for next weekend. Made few phone calls here and there to old friends to know about their latest updates.
Sameer told that they recently bought a small house in Nagaon near ‘Alibag’ and he would be visiting soon and asked if I am interested to come along or not. Without thinking twice I said OK that sounds like a plan. Alibag is in south of Mumbai; just across Mumbai harbor. Some super rich businessman takes their speed boat from Alibag to commute to Mumbai. Spending weekend by beach front is very common gateway for Mumbaikars and there lots of places like these to choose from. Have not visited many ourselves in last one year as of expected parent we had to put a complete stop on traveling.
There was no such formal plan for Sunday but on Saturday evening came to know that other two who were supposed to join can not make it. So it left to two of us only. Sameer called me at 6AM informing he started from Thane and will be reaching Kharghar in next 50 minutes or so. It was quite early for me but I was ready on time. We hit the road quite early with the thought of going to Karnala first; do a quick hike before it is too hot.
Crossing Panvel we stopped at Petrol Station to buy some water bottles and Sameer decided to fill car as well. But then there was glitch as those guys in the Pump were unable to connect to Credit-card bank to swipe our cards and after trying for almost 20 minutes or so we decided to pay by cash. Together we were only able to put 1167 Rs still short of few rupees but they let us go. Now there was no ATM nearby and we had to cross a toll booth soon. To be safe we turned our car for Panvel. By the time we found one ATM and reached the same petrol pump again; we lost more than hour and had to cancel Karnala.
The drive was pretty good and we reached Nagaon around 9:30. I was reading Sunday newspaper while Sameer watered all the new plants. We headed for Kashid (30 KM south) beach. Drive is more scenic as we cross few jetties and drive along coconut trees and sea. Kashid beach is clean and not that crowded but there were enough people. Only thing bothered us was horse cart. Those horse carts are real nuisance for a beach as you have horse shit every where. After strolling and spending some time we headed for lunch. Lunch was simple but it was more than enough. We went back to Nagaon for a nap. With clean cool air breezing we slept long enough on Sunday afternoon before returning to Mumbai. End of the day nothing special but looking forward for more trips likes this to spend a quite, relaxing and refreshing Sunday.

2008-04-07

Shiv Jayanti


“Shiv jayanti” should not be confused with Shivratri (Night of lord Shiva)- marked with devotion to one of most powerful lord in Hindu mythology. While Shiv jayanti (Birthday) is celebration of birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj who ruled Maratha region in 17th century fighting against powerful Mughal Empire of North-India. He was named Shiva, after the local Goddess Shivai, to whom his mother Jijabai had prayed for a son.

According to English calendar, birthday of Shivaji is on February 19th. But ShivSena, the main political party of regional party in Maharashtra celebrates the same according to Indian astronomical dates. In Mumbai, you can’t miss this day which is celebrated with its colors and festivity. A colorful procession with lezims (a traditional musical instrument) is taken around the city. The main gathering happens at Shivaji Park of Dadar in the evening. You will find saffron triangular flags fluttering everywhere from train station to cabs on this day.
But there are some down side of this celebration to common people. If you have to travel around Dadar or need to cross the central part of this maximum city be prepared for a evening crawl. On the main roads as soon as you see on your rear-view mirror a big speeding SUV with flags you need to give right of way. The priority to this kind of vehicle is more than any emergency vehicle; it also signals ‘do not dare to touch me or stop me’ to law enforcement officials. With recent split of ShivSena this time there were cars from both parties to show their power and dedication to Shivaji Maharaj. Not sure if Shivaji would have appreciating the same. This is one of these celebrations which have been hijacked by political parties to show who rules the city - ‘Asli Bhai Kaun Hai’.

2008-03-23

Bhat Suar


Every time I visit my in-laws and see one of these “Bhat Suar” (three-wheeler cart) on the road it brings back memories of my college days. Durg(in-law’s place) and Bhopal(college day) were part of same state 6 years back; although politically divided they are very similar to an outsider like me on social and geographical terms.
First part of the name comes from the sound they make “Bhat-Bhat” and second part “suar which means pig”. The design varies from state to state and its mechanism is very simple and rigid for extreme conditions. Maintenance is simple - all you need to open the hood and fix it- no complicated electronics; only big mechanical parts.
Before coming to Bhopal I have never seen these big yellow tempos (tutuk). Sometime they are the de-facto public transport in central India. Since in these areas, public bus service is inadequate or nil and a small auto for single person is expensive; They are very popular as they are engineered to accommodate around 12-15 people. Memories of these bones rattlers on uncomfortable pothole filled roads will remain for long time. The conductor will always try to squeeze another passenger chanting- "Khasko bhai khasko" (convince to make more room). "Ab kahaan khaskein" ("Now, where do I shift?")would be the apt reply.

2008-03-13

Geography - mismatch


For any fifth grader Mumbai is located in Western part of India if asked north or south answer will be south. So how can there be a church of North India which is located in posh south Mumbai in a stone throw distance from famous Flora Fountain? You may wonder - in the world of bharat-todo (Break India by new politicians) how all bhaia's(people from North India Bihar and Uttarpradesh - speaking Hindi) suddenly built a church for themselves. Well, few centuries back when western missionaries just started coming to India they came first to Kerala the very south-west tip of Indian map. And from that part of Mumbai was very much north. This just demonstrate how relative human direction was at that time. Let's make our heart big enough to welcome every one as they are without any prejudice :)

2008-03-04

My Best Picture


Aarush has crossed 6 weeks mark now and till recent time there was no picture of him with me. Well, there was no specific reason for the same. Normally, when I leave for work he is sleeping and in the evening it is dark and we are against using flash while taking pictures of Aarush. That leave only weekend but recent weekends were very hectic and I was away to Bangalore and the stories goes on...
So one fine morning just before leaving for work we had photo session; and according to me it came out best - special thanks goes to Pamela for capturing this magical moment. Now I have to click some picture of Mama and son ;)

2008-02-24

Hebbal Lake


Last weekend I was in Bangalore and was checking progress on construction site. Well will this be a view if we move there; but as at work things are not yet crystal clear for the upcoming move. It is a nice view to have from kitchen they say a happy person always makes a happy meal. With new Bangalore airport going to be operational in next month this side of town is going to see lots of traffic and that is going to add more worries for already worried Bangaloreans. Only hope government takes proper steps for speedy execution of new promised public transport. But with current progress card it is still 6-7 years away.

2008-02-14

SMS received

As I said before I went to hospital on d-day with my Laptop and all cables needed for announcing the arrival of Aarush. Few starring eyes caught me in action when I did fired-up SMS from my laptop. There was no way I could have managed sending all SMS(es) by phone only. So, I had to send SMS in batches : one to my professional contacts, other to extended family and rest to Pamela's contact list. It was very smooth experience with MyPhoneExplorer.
Here are all the congrats SMS we received
I am a big fan and advocate of Open Software who gets his morning coffee reading Slashdot but normally I did not have great experience with all the free software that I use daily. I highly recommend MyPhoneExplorer if you are using any Sony Ericsson phone except the symbian-based phones (P-series, M600, W950).

2008-02-13

Free Theme

I just found out d-atmosphere.com is holding a competition where they are offering a free wordpress theme called WP Remix. It’s a very nice theme with loads of features.

The rule is simple - just write about the competition in your blog and post your link back in the comments on the contest page.

The winner will be announced on March 1st.

2008-02-01

Indian Inglish


The biggest asset of 21st century modern India is its big chunk of young educated Indian who can speak decent English. There is lot of buzz and business happening in India as there are numerous outsourcing operations.
But on the ground we speak very different English with borrowed words from Indian regional languages that do find their way into our writing, advertisements and newspapers, TV spots and shows from north to south or east to west.
For example, in south it is very common to end a sentence with “no” – ‘You’re going, no.’ which might be a question or asking re-assurance from the other end.
  • Use of yaar, abey, arey in an English conversation between Indians, mainly by people of native Hindi-speaking origin.
  • Use of the word ki to mean, that such as in "What I mean is ki we should follow that sign.”
  • Use of word "wallah" to denote occupation like taxi-wallah, grocery-wallah.
  • Use of word maane (Bengali) , Yani (Urdu) and matlab (Hindi/Urdu) is quite common "meaning" ("What I mean is...").
  • Use of accha! to express positive emotions as in "Accha, so that's your plan" Or chal (Hindi for the verb "walk") to mean "Ok" like in "Chal, I gotta go now".

  • They have got so much incorporated in our day today life that we hardly notice. Even you might find certain spelling unique in Indian English to attract or just out of ignorance. I think this sign falls on the second category. What is your pick?
    But I personally think Indian English is much more globally understood and acceptable than any other British colonies. And I strongly believe we should not colorize our English; and do every effort to keep it close to its root rather than making it pigeon language.

    2008-01-29

    An announcement


    This announcement was long due on our blog. Though this breaking news was shared on d-day instantly with friends and families from Hospital via SMS and emails. I specifically carried my camera, laptop and wireless data card for the same.
    I created two announcement cards one in pink and other in blue with two names (for girl and boy) and kept them ready. We never disclosed this big-news in last few months in our blog in-fact it was kept secret to many except close family members and few friends. Promise to update blog with those tense and waiting events as those eight and half month passed by. Frequent readers of our blog might got a hunch that there was no travelogue in recent time.
    Right now life is bit busy with as we try to master ourselves in art of wrapping (buritto) and changing nappies. I do not see myself awake in front of computer late in night for coming few months.
    Just uploaded few pictures of Aarush, as he just completed 11 days today.

    Day 3 - Rishikesh

    The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we...