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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 headed back the way we came yesterday and after crossing Rajaji National Park the road divides and one goes towards to Dehradun and one to Rishikesh. The drive was pleasant, as we opted Laxman  Jhula as our destination google map smartly took us via highway bypassing the main city.But at the end the roads started to get narrower lucky for us we found a parking lot packed yet as we early risers ;)
The weather was little cold compared to the planes of Dehradun with lots of breeze coming from Ganga. We walked to Laxman Jhula to cross it. Oh boy! We have no idea what local authority allows two-wheelers, cycle to cross the hanging bridge which is meant for a pedestrian. And top of it you even have some cows standing in the middle.
I am sure the people coming all the from abroad to Rishikesh for peace, meditation and self-purity do get a complete shock wi…

Friday - Black Peper Crab

On Friday we woke up early; had breakfast- an elaborate one. Me and Aarush after shower around 11am left our hotel room. Today again we walked on other side of Orchard Street till Dhoby Ghat Station. Now a days;  I too feel sick like my hubby when too much time spent at malls … am I growing old ? :D  It was good to be in mall when it is raining. On otherhand, it also allows you to enjoy the air-condition in the stores as outside it is really hot and humid when not raining.  We visited malls after mall Paragon, Orchard central, Specialist Shopping Centre (John Little store), Plaza Singapura etc flanked on Orchard street. This street is one of the best place to spend during any time of the year specially during year end when  the whole stretch of the street and the buildings are beautifully adorned with Christmas decors and lights.

Had hot piping dumpling soup at lunch while my son slept at street shop.Then continued walking past official residence of Singapore President, the Istana

First day @ Singapore

Viewing Singapore through a lens of mother of 22 months old baby was not fun all the time but enjoyed our stay there for 9 days. Actually this journey is because of Santanu who went almost every year after returning to India. Each time after his official trip he use to complain about his loneliness and etc. So this time we made sure to accompany him. But what a luck! he was damn busy in his office. He use to leave hotel early in the morning and come late at night. It was me and Aarush who were left to explore Singapore of  our own. We reached Singapore on Thursday morning, on our way to hotel we figured that its extremely green country with no single patch left just like that. Had our buffet breakfast till throat and hit the bed to overcome jetlag. We slept till 4.00PM Singapore local time.  Straight I went to window of my room on 30th floor and surprised to see natures tears rolling down from mournful burdened grey  clouds and people carrying open umbrellas. I cursed myself that I g…

It came to an end

Officially it is over… ten month long journey came to an end. There were two exams and one submission before pulling the final curtain by November end. Before writing further I must thank Pamela for persuading me in enrolling in to this Executive MBA (EXMP) of IIM Bangalore. The course in nutshell covers almost all the areas of management and gives you enough foundation to build your own interest in specific area. The classes were interactive and a very big positive to attend this kind of program compared to other offerings where you attend classes via Video. The green campus was retreat where you get detached from the outside world for few hours in the weekend. This really recharges your energy level as you do not have any boss to manage. Well, to answer how much I recommend the course to someone “is a mixed bag” if I put it in few words; another answer would be “It depends” a typical management answer for most situations. In general, the faculty is an esteemed and one of the best …

Tonsuring my baby’s head: Tirupati

Ever since from childhood heard about Tirupati but never had a chance till date or never understood why people use to grumble till they had darshan. May be god wanted me to experience the same. Few days back Santanu suddenly decided to visit before his upcoming hectic weeks at office. So it was kind of planned-unplanned trip. Why unplanned knowingly was....we didn't had any ticket in hands before starting the journey nor we had any references to make use of. As planned, we were to start early morning at 5 but when we woke up to the alarm ring I could hear tiny shards of crystals falling from the sky against leaves, trees and windows. I woke Santanu- he looked at the time, then towards the window and back to clock. The clock said it was 4.15am but it was dark outside. Bed was warm and comfortable so he puts again the alarm back for 5.00am. This time we both jumped out of bed with the alarm ring. We kept our things packed last night only so last minute final touch up was left with …

Another year passed by

Another year passed and more grey hairs to take care now. Well this time I cut the cake at office with my team. Cake came off course from Cake Walk. Well I never had any no birthday resolution there was no difference this year as well. Big thanks to those who wished me on time or belated. For others this post is few weeks old in itself.

Madras Filter Coffee

My addiction to coffee is old an old one. My morning does not start without coffee on weekdays. I am not quite human still have my morning coffee will probably describe it best.  In India coffee is very different from West.  I came to know recently that Indian Coffee Board is head quartered in Bangalore.  The main coffee producing region of India(hills of Coorg, Niligiris and Wayanad>) are not very far off Bangalore.
This coffee I got today morning while on way to office. A good link to follow. Some quote from Wikipedia about how it is prepared if you are interested.
South Indian coffee is brewed with a metal device that resembles two cylindrical cups, one of which has a pierced bottom that nests into the top of the "tumbler" cup, leaving ample room underneath to receive the brewed coffee. The upper cup has two removable parts: a pierced pressing disc with a central stem handle, and a covering lid.The upper cup is loaded with fresh ground coffee mixed with chicory (~2 ta…

New widget with Media RSS

It was a long time I played with new technology and changed any the way the this blog looks to you. Liked few themes and tried to put them in my own taste before I found the current one. But some how those themes really did not looks so cool to and attractive to me at the end. So I went with the current one and did not did not did much changes.I was looking for a widget on on the sidebar for photo stream (the most used on the net is the flickr one). I am not very happy with their account policy so do have a a pro account.  as i was looking around I found that the coolest solution for my need. I used Coolaris with Media RSS to stream photo on the sidebar.   Gallery2 does not come with Media RSS by default but as I am running Gallery3 Beta for a while I am using the same. This means I  did changes  any major scripts and got this cool widget.At last I got sifr for titles does not they looks right ?

Happy Durga Puja

Hello everyone, happy festivity it is time of celebration in India specially  north and east where it is NavaRatri in North and Durga Puja in East. Pamela and Arush left on Sunday for Durg. It will be almost after 8 years Pamela will be at her mother house to celebrate Durga Puja. For Bengali's it is the most special occasion in the whole calender.  According to mythological believe Goddess Durga is a daughter of every Bengali  and she visit her parents with her four children.For me life had been very hectic at work in last months after coming back from Singapore. At times I felt new heights of  anxiety and pressure which i have not experienced yet.  In way it was a good learning but I questioned myself do I  have the material enough to get me to the of the leader. Well may be I am reading too many Harvard Business Reviews. I am really looking forward a great ending of this course now. Wish I could plan for our next vacation; since  March when we did not went out Bangalore togethe…

Seventh month

(17th July-16th August)
Being uncertain about travel plans ahead we got his passport ready in hurry-burry where my darling posed in front of camera without much hesitation. He can balance to sit unsupported but for short time while leaning forward and spreading his legs out wide and straight for support. He started to recognize people. On calling his name from back he use to turn around to find where sounds come from. Want to explore by putting A-Z thing to his mouth. Moving around on all fours is not yet perfect wriggles forward sometimes on the stomach. He doesn't likes to be left alone in the room. Maids another headache in India... one just left without any prior notice. I was so depressed with pressure mounting on me as on one side taking care of Aarush along with all house-hold stuffs and on other side my mom-in-law was coming like expecting too much out of me at same time. A satisfactory maid is so difficult to get....I am planning to write a book on them. Truly, when you a…

Cost cutting Travel and more

My last week trip to Singapore was a hectic one. Too many meetings and meetings at work; best  part is now a new Starbucks at Science Park Drive is opened close to work; was very lucky where every other day got pampered by my host with a coffee.
The flight from Bangalore was a nightmare I never experienced such horrible service from any airline in my travel history. For Airlines each seats are perishable commodities, which is lost as soon as the flight takes off and it is a dream come true for Airline Company when they have one. But looks like Singapore Airline (SIA) staffs not adequately trained to handle such pressure. The dinner was served at 1:30 AM while the flight was on time at 23:00PM. Neither they came with coffee or tea after dinner, may be most passenger would not have asked for the same but still they should have don’t they... ? I pressed the button for extra water but no one attended me. While returning from Singapore person at counter was very strict about extra luggage…

Depuis Longtemps

In recent time, there is no post in our blog.  Few days back, newspaper mentioned popular blogs are drying as "twitter or facebook" becomes popular ways to communicate with readers. Many bloggers started to update about themselves in social-site or micro-blogging using SMS and original blog surffers. For us nothing as such happened; we just got super busy from busy.We were very happy that my younger brother and his wife took the pain to come over to Bangalore (10-13th July). Though it was just for 3 days out of their hectic one month annual India trip. Day they returned to Calcutta they had flight in the night to California. It was fun for very short span and I had classes whole week and even on Saturday. Pamela took them around to Commercial street and Garuda Mall. Was able to spend Sunday with them; we went to Richies at Frazer town. Well this place is not a great if you are looking for ambience and cleanliness. But the kebab are mouth watering and price is very reasonable…

Playing football

Aarush having nice time in green patch of IIM Bangalore Campus. Color of ball and his T-shirt coincidently matched and isn't that look nice on green background? I took Pamela and Aarush to show them the southern part of Bangalore which I am visiting quite often this year on academic purpose. A great place to escape from routine life and bring back memories of ... "Purani Jeans Aur Guitar..." days. For those who are not familiar with this song it is sung by Ali Haider.

Aarush @ Swimming pool

During April and May Aarush and Pamela went to Swimming pool almost daily for a few weeks. Every day around 10:30 or so he would make his best effort to get his swimming gear and would ask us to put it for him. But after few weeks we had to stop as we realized his cough was not getting cured and he got lots of sun tan. And now after the operation he is out of scope for any water sports for next one year.

Yelagiri

Really do not recollect how I came first time to Team-BHP web site, specifically their forum. And from then on is kind of hooked though not a car freak myself with limited understanding for these electro-mechanical wonders. What fascinates me is travelogue section of this forum. It is great to find so many passionate soul sharing their trips and tricks. Last November got an unexpected mail about a meet-up @ Yelagiri for Bangalore team-bhpean; was not sure to join or not. Too much of work at office made it very difficult to commit.
On that special day somehow we started early @ 6:30 from home. Little -A was sleeping when we started and there was thick fog when we reached Dakshin Honda on Hosur Road. We saw many cars with BHP bumper sticker waiting on the side of the road. Soon we crossed Karnataka border and reached the town of Hosur. The road condition changed. Suddenly all pot-holes were gone and driving become really cool. Definitely politicians and bureaucrats of Karnataka …

Sixth month

(17th June - 16th July)
After rice ceremony at Siliguri we finally came to Bangalore. This time he was fine both in train and plane. We stayed in service apartment for 3 nights till our things moved to our rented apartment. Too many changes of weather, locations and little less care  Aarush got high fever for the first time and we had to rush him to Manipal. When it settled we started to strolled within our apartment complex to know our neighborhood more. Soon realized  it was difficult for me to take him out carrying him in my arms. We bought stroller one weekend and  he started to enjoy a lot while going out.  I  used to even make him sit at times at home on the stroller when I have to do household chores and stuff. Definately those time he didn't liked much sitting strapped at one place. While on other hand I knew he was safe, secure and watching me.
After a long time we were of our own I mean it was only three of us now. Everything I do for and with Aarush gives me an excite…

Madikeri and around

(....Continued...) Next day we woke up leisurely had a wonderful breakfast . Our host meticulously wrote down all the attractions near Madikeri. The list included Tala-Cauvery – birth place of river Kaveri, Raja seat, Abby Falls, Omkareshwara Temple, Cauvery- Nisargadhama. We decided for all except the last one as we wanted to take it easy and not rushing between attractions. As soon as we started driving to Madikeri (district headquarters of Coorg) the real beauty of Coorg started to unveil itself. The air was clean - fresh but was bit chilled. The lush green hills with teak trees and coffee plantation rejuvenated our eyes and mind. Coorg is in on the western ghat of India and above 1500 m. This makes this place cooler through out the year. Local call Madikeri the Scotland of the east (in North East Shillong is refereed as the Scotland of India). There are numerous coffee plantation sizes various from few acres to hundreds. With coffee there are other plantation like orange, p…

Visit to OT

Aarush was having cough for long time almost few months from now. Every now and then it used to increase and then it subsided with cough syrup. Every time we thought after a week of cough syrup treatment it will be better but it somehow never got cured completely. In between, we tried different "pathys" as suggested by experienced parents. Now last month while he was getting immunization after 15th months doctor suggested to visit ENT specialist because of prolonged cough and speech delay. We took appointment with ENT specialist at Manipal hospital and he gave him some antibiotics. After two more visits he felt both his ears still have congestion and things are not improving. The same line thought was shared by his pediatrics too so suggested for a microscopic operation.It seems middle ear infection is quite common for children below 3 years. Read the same on WebMD if you are curious. There is a nice slideshow to explain.Filled all the pre-approval hospitalization forms and …

Little Tibet

(....Continued) Soon after leaving Brindhavan garden and on touching the highway (SH88) road condition improved which looked like recently renovated. Aarush was fast asleep after having his lunch which always translates in smooth driving and I was able to drive at 80-90 KM. Along the road crossed Bilikere, Husur & Piriyapatna before reaching Bylakuppe. It is an odd name which houses one of the largest Tibetan settlement in India. We had to take a left turn from SH88 to go to the monasteries. As soon as we took left turn we almost felt like driving in North-East where you are greeted with Mongolian faces. There were bright prayer flags along the road which symbolizes hope where as white ones are for death.
This is really a bit of surreal - you are at middle of Karnataka, only few hundred kilometers away from Bangalore and surrounded by thousands of Buddhists monks and families. These people have left their home land almost 40 years ago and new generation are born here only. Sti…

Sondesh

Bengalis are considered as food-lovers (khadya-rashik).For them any sumptuous bengali meal is always incomplete without a sweet dish. Just like any french meal which would remain incomplete without a bottle of exquisite french wine.
I was not a big fan of sweet earlier but when you live with someone for a long period of time, you quickly start to adapt some of your partner’s habits be it deliberately or inadvertently. Maybe sometimes for the good or worst - so is my case. My sweet S unlike me, does love his sweets quite ardently. With us, desserts do not necessarily need to be complicated or fancy; they simply have to be labeled dessert. Sometimes, only a piece of quality bittersweet chocolate will do especially after main meal be it lunch or dinner. Well known Bengali sweets are generally made of milk products and sugar be it sweetened cottage cheese (chhena), khoa (reduced solidified milk). Sometimes even flours of different cereals and pulses are used to prepare and embellished w…

Fifth Month

May 17- June 16
By 5th month slowly started introducing solid food like banana and apple puree to Aarush. According to our custom till "Annaprasanna" we are not suppose to introduce solid food like rice or wheat to baby. And his didu was also against using common baby food item like "Cerelac" as they contain rice or wheat. This resulted in his first solid bite being fruit -- mashed banana. The first spoon he swallowed as my mom fed him, but little man has a frown of disapproval, like "what the heck they are feeding me?!" Well, as predicted, he didn't like that much for the second spoon and started crying. We had to try again and again. Though we had apples and banana in the fridge for him it seems he started liking banana but not apple puree. His didu use to feed him making him sit on her lap.
Our li'l one started to roll a bit; can be on his tummy. He tries to edge forward by pushing with his feet or pulling with his arms. Rarely adorable, toothl…

Coolie

These people in red shirts are commonly known as “coolie” or porters who are commonly seen at Indian Railway Station. They remind me of those childhood days when they were part of our vacation (mass aviation is still in infancy at India). They help to carry big over sized luggage that Indian travelers travel with. As Indian travelers are not that physically fit like westerners to lift their own luggage. Coolies are not permanent employee of railways but have a long and strong working relation with them. They get lots of benefits from railways like medical, schooling for their kids and etc. Their recruitment process is very complex and I am not an expert to write on details. What I know is their badges can be transferred between family members and the definition of family members is very vague. This often results in badge being auctioned between 5,00,000 to 20,00,000 INR( 10K-40K USD). Their working wage according to railway rule book is very minimal; through which they will not be…

Gallerry 3 sneak peak

Gallery 3 is going to a big change from current gallery 2 and initial alpha release did not have any migration path from gallery2. It was pushed to Beta release after 2 alpha releases. but to my surprise I found it was implemented in alpha 4 and here is the test result of a new neat code. I am really liking the new compact code making gallery 3 faster and lean compared to its predecessor. Similar, to WordPress new theme development is easy no more smarty - thank God I never really mastered those PERL look alike. Now it is simple PHP and CSS. Another core feature is Akismet which does a fantastic job of filtering spam comments. I was able to import 3000+ images in 200+ albums without any problem. There are few things which needs to be ironed before I can put the same in production.

playing with bubbles

Aarush and Pamela playing with soap bubbles ; this video is bit old when he did not started walking at that point of time. He was bit amused with bubbles trying to catch them but could not.

Fourth month

(17th April - 16th May) Normally A is taken to doctor for monthly check-up once other then that no outing for him. As he is considered too small for all these by my parents. So they neither allow him nor me to go anywhere. After birth it was third time when Aarush was taken out of the house to meet people other then his doc's clinic. Moreover because of weather it was difficult for us to go anywhere. Worst thing about his nanu's place was sultry sun(temperature reaching 49 º C) because of which most of the time he use to be in front of air cooler. On other hand, its truly becoming irresistible for his dad I suppose. As he came again to meet his son at April end - his heart was at Durg and mind at Mumbai. By now our lil one was able to keep himself engaged by holding a rattle in his hand for quite some time. His maternal aunt along with two sissys came to meet him. They were with us for a month. This month was full of entertainment for him with so many people to take care. His…

Third month

(17th March-16th April)
Now, Aarush started to twitch, smile, frown and stretch a lot after waking from sleep. Amazingly ( I never knew this) and apparently babies between three to four months are at the stage where they get very playful and drinking milk is not a priority anymore, I believe. They prefer to talk and coo to adults, and being very observant at this stage and they are attracted to moving objects, colours and everything new around them. So was our little one. It was not even month stay at Durg, on april 8th Santanu came to meet Aarush for 3-4 days. Before leaving from Mumbai Santanu warned me not to pamper him much by taking him in arms all time but later I found... on hearing one shrill cry he use to run to him. Aarush now started cooing in response to gentle, soothing words of his didu. Keeps his fist in his mouth most of the time and drools sometimes. Enjoy holding his toys for a short period of time. Turns head towards sounds. Rattles, bright pictures use to attrac…

Wayanad-III

On second day we went to see Lakidi view point,Phookot lake and Vythiri resort. Lakidi is about 2 km south of Chain Tree and is the gateway of Wayanad which is on highway to Calicut. It is a ghat pass at an elevation of 700m above sea level.We crossed Kalpetta and drove mostly on NH 212.
Overwhelmed with scenery as this highway is heaven on this earth , a beautiful place with lot of tea gardens on the way. Its absolutely real picture of natural beauty. This Tamarassery pass's starting point is Lakkidi which is one of the highest locations of Wayanad seems to be second in rainfall after Cherapunjee. Hearing Lakidi view point I expected to be some hill view but this was in fact valley view with lofty mountain peaks, luxuriant vegetation and the bird’s eye view of the deep valley with its winding roads. We wanted to get down the valley which goes to Kozhikode. By then Aarush was deep in sleep with the motion of car so we took an oppotunity to go down. It was really breath taking e…

Wayanad-II

After a deep slumber the next morning we woke-up fresh and energetic. Aarush wanted to play seeing an open space- courtyard. They have toys, cycles, carom board, badminton court, balls to play with. He was really happy to get all these stuffs. What more parent wants if kid is happy you are happy otherwise nothing on earth can make you happy. Morning, we were shown all rooms available there. It was a nice room with a central common area and one room each on either side. Each room can easily accommodate a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 kids)at main buiding while bamboo room can accommodate 4 in each room. We opted for room at main building. The huge banana and green paddy plantation in front of the home-stay is a wonderful delight to the eyes!! Then leisurely we freshened up and gobbled down the breakfast prepared. Her breakfast area is an open space with neat dining set, covered by a thatched roof with lovely breeze and great view. Mean while Nash asked us what we wanted to do and suggested…