Uncertain Voyage

After traveling to so many places in Europe in last three years now we were thinking to travel to some other part of globe which can be easily reached from Paris within few hours maybe somewhere in North African. The very thought came was how about going to Morocco or Egypt but none of them was perfect weather wise to visit. Then also after too much of thinking we settled for Morocco and started to gather touristic information. It may be a backyard for most French but being Indian it means we need to get visa. So, process started by calling embassy to know more about it... getting a phone call answered requires lot of luck. Either line is busy or it gets dropped on half way when they try to pass the call.

Anyway, we went to there embassy in-person for submitting all documents which went on very smoothly; women in-charge said it will take 15 days to get our visa. On asking whether we should buy ticket for Morocco? hmm... its OK to get it and sends us to her higher authority to get it confirmed. Now this Monsieur says gently... after 10 days you should get it without any problem so its OK to buy ticket. Being excited we started to plan our trip and get more information. But Santanu being skeptical never showed any interest in buying the ticket and always postponed the same. But at same time he was so excited that just day before his CISM test he made a phone call to find out VISA status. Well it was negative, he went to consulate in-person on Monday 12th June and found the same negative answer and was told to come by on Thursday 15th June to take visa for a journey that was supposed to start on Saturday 17th. Well, Thursday didn’t bring any luck either which made Santanu furious.

Its well said "man proposes and god disposes". The whole euphoria vanished like a whiff of smoke as neither on 10th nor on 15th day of submission we got VISA. Since this holidays were forced one which means if Santanu doesn’t uses it he doesn’t gain anything.


There was one backup plan for Morocco, but it was never in place as we never thought seriously, the plan was to touch cities-towns of France that we have not visited yet like Nice, Bordeaux, Bayonne and Chamonix along with some part of Swiss. Well it might sound bit crazy idea but truly we are crazy when it comes to traveling. Now the search for last minute ticket started. Since there were no discounted ticket on SNCF web site and the only ticket that we could grab was round-trip from Paris to Lausanne on Friday 16th. At once started to make phone calls to our friends who have already been there.For this trip, Santanu wanted to travel with his big red North Face backpack and he was not interested to make any plans on itenary or any pre-bookings for hotels. As if he wanted to sing the famous Bengali song "Path harabo boleyi toh aaj pothey nameychi..." by Hemanta Mukerjee.(I got down on the road only to get lost .. )Bonne voyage!!!

Le Marche

The open markets in Paris have been in existence since ages. It's here that you find freshly picked fruit and vegetables, fresh fish from Brittany and Normandy, meat, flowers, farmhouses cheeses, breads – you name it ... its there. Food controls are very strict in France and be assured of their quality and cleanliness of preparation. French understands the quality in life and nothing demonstrates this better than the wonderful food markets in Paris. It is very lively all together different adventure to explore.

Parisians of all walks of life love to shop and browse among the open-air stalls as merchants cheerfully trumpet - often with humor - the quality of their goods. Rain or shine, the markets start early in the morning and close around 1:30 p.m. So, its best to go early in the morning as they do become crowded with Parisians doing their weekly shopping.

One at Boulogne we came to know recently after our 3 years stay at Paris. Here, you get every thing in cheap price….and also fresh items seems like just from garden. Freshness of the raw products itself increases the appetite of one. Not only food items even beaded jewelries to clothes, utensils to electronic kitchen wares are available. While taking these photos I was asked from which journal I belong …..whether I am from Pakistan, even one said for taking photos its 10 euros. So, it's truly a delight to visit these markets, whether to wander the aisles and savor the sights and smells, or to buy the veggies. You don't have to be a gourmet cook or spend hours slaving over the stove, as many vendors even sell fully prepared dishes, from Turkish food to rotisserie (roasted chickens).

Bike Route


Just uploaded few pictures from my bike route as promised in earlier post. There is a movie which I tried to shoot while riding with my digital camera (which is quite old now). Last weekend was very rainy and stormy so being at home tried MPG4 and QuickTime. MOV version is around 7 MB but the quality is so so while QuickTime version of the same is big around 26MB with better quality.The audio track is from Purbayan & Satyajit playing "Mishra-Pilo" at live concert Paris in 2003. If you are not sure about your connection speed please do not download the same as it might take a long time.
I never worked with video format so if you have any suggestion please add comment.

Uddan - Flight

This time for our trip to India we chose Qatar airways. Seeing its publicity Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. Taking you more personally! every now & then on BBC encouraged us to book for the same. This airline is based in Doha, Qatar covering around 70 international destinations. Check-in at Paris was very smooth though they were very strict about luggage weight.


In-flight service was good with very comfortable seats having enough leg room; quality of the food was better than what we had before and was good with choice of films and music on demand. In short, good service for almost 7-8hrs.of long haul flight. What let the airline down was ground services at Doha airport which was awful. Too congested, with no seats, toilets overloaded. There you can see all South-Asians in blue collar jobs. Services at airport were very poorly managed.


Qatar generously gave free dinner coupon for 4 hours stop-over in the age of no-frill air lines. Finding a long queue and no place to seat we opted for a quick stroll in the small duty free section. Having all kinds of perfume from France, small souvenirs, wines, cigarettes and YES last but not least is our yellow metal (gold) shop. Where every Indian was making a pilgrimage. Truly, wherever & whatever the price of gold be India’s fascination towards it will not lessen. We too went there especially Pamela who is no less.
Now having watched Syriana few days before it looks as if few of its scenes were getting played there. Arab men in there white dress and women in their black just 4 feet behind them. And the same goes for those South-Asian working community in middle east.


It was time to board for our next flight from Doha to Delhi. Everyone was in rush to get into the flight showing their so called Indian etiquettes as if they have bought the flight; and flight was going to leave without them. Again in-flight service was good along with food menu. As the flight landed people from rear end seem to be in more hurry then those who were sitting at front. Best part was the person from back who came running to be the first to take exit from economy class was the one who was asking for help at Immigration counter as he was not able to fill it himself.

May God bless those Indians! Otherwise rest journey was peaceful.

Sikkim - Gangtok

My current home in India is Siliguri, north of West Bengal may not be the most alluring for tourist destinations. But it is the most important city in the entire Eastern Himalayas due to its geographical location. As city is unabashedly an industrial centre and gateway to seven sisters of North-East along with Sikkim & eastern part of Nepal. My parents moved here ten years back and by that time I had just started my career; never had ample holidays to explore any thing around. Always I used to be too tired to get out of home and end up with novels and old music. But this was for the first time I did take days out to visit Gangtok.

Though journey was not very memorable or different than that of those I had while growing up in North-East region except that Pamela was with me this time. Traveling by Jeep through those narrow winding roads is an experience in itself where our co-passengers thought that we are going for honeymoon trip. The drive was very scenic with Teesta River flowing all the way. The forested hills are still green but truly there is continuous deforestation going on for either cultivation or smuggling woods.


We reached Gangtok after midday and the Taxi Stand was the most active part of the city like any other small or hill town in North-East. There are too many touts to rob you. If you travel light and are able to carry your luggage yourself you can avoid them. We stayed in a ITDC hotel near to M.G.Marg where we had our lunch at its expensive restaurant. Then we went out for booking our trips for sightseeing & daytrip for next 2 days. Being a tourist place it seems everyone wants to rob so you need to have good negotiating skill & make sure what you need you get the same. After bargaining we were able to book our trips for next 2 days. Then from there we went to the Government Institute of Cottage Industries (also called the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom) which promotes and teaches the ancient crafts of Sikkim (like painting, mask making, weaving, wood carving) to keep them alive. It is located at zero point, few km uphill from the main Gangtok town.


Day II, we had Allu paratha as breakfast early morning near to Bus stop at Agarwal restaurant & got the same packed for the route also. Then we headed towards our agency. Indians are famous for their IST so our co-passengers. After waiting a while for them to join we started our trip to Tsomgo Lake.
Tsomgo Lake is situated at an altitude of 12,310 ft on Gangtok-Nathula highway. Just few kilometers away from Indo-China border. This road also continues to Lasa, Tibet. Drive to that region is again very different with snow capped mountains & this whole belt is undertaken by Indian military. Salute to our Indian army who are taking pain to guard those borders to make our life easy & peaceful. Really I wonder sometimes how they are struggling there to earn their meal in those extreme cold regions far from there near one.
On reaching Tsomgo lake (pronounced as Changu Lake which means source of lake) we hired snow boots as all the travel agents take their customers to respective brothers stall for hiring jackets, snow boots and water-proof boots. Because of the high altitude heavy woolens are required which we already had.
From there we went immediately to Baba Harbhajan Singh Memorial which lies between Nathula-Jelepla pass which is at still more higher altitude of around 13,450ft. Actually, it is built in memory of a sepoy of 23rd Punjab regiment. It seems after few days of his missing he appeared in the dreams of his fellow comrades & expressed a desire that monument be built in his memory. Now it has acquired a statue of a pilgrimage, being Sunday there was langar (free meals served after Sikh services) offered by Indian Army. After one hour stay we came down to Changu Lake.

Weather was getting worse. Tea, snacks & film rolls are available at the dozen of temporary stalls near the lake. But there is no facility of accommodation or proper toilet for the tourist. Rides on yaks and mules are also offered which was worthless to enjoy for Pamela at that temperature.
In the evening, we walked on the main street of M.G.Marg which is normally closed for all vehicles from 5 to 9 PM. Looked for budget restaurant for our dinner; we found one and also found a long queue waiting for their turn. The wait was delightful.


Day III started for us early morning as we wanted to return to Siliguri ASAP. We started our sightseeing activity from Rumtek monastery (largest monastery of Sikkim) and ended with exotic orchid show along with Enchey monastery, Do-drul stupa.
Gangtok is a blend of the traditional and modern, where modern concrete multi-storied structures clings to the hillside along with stupas and monasteries; buddhist prayer flags flutter with the mountain breeze; young college girls in trendy dresses while elderly matrons clad in traditional 'bakus' and lamas in colorful maroon.

Now, looking forward to travel to North Sikkim some day which we heard is more beautiful with valley of flowers and lakes to explore.

load cpu & memory shell script c program for quick and dirty benchmark

This script is a simple empty while loop which will load or increase the usage of your cpu.
a good way to test your cpu check for different monitoring tool

while :
> do :
> done

/home/sanmisra>more memory.c
main ()
{
while ( 1 ) {
malloc (10240) ;
}
}

Friday 12th May


Just another weekend of May in Paris. I don't know any other time when the weather can be so beautiful with clear sky and warm temperature. Right now, all the horse chestnut trees along wide boulevards are full of white flowers. This tree is also known as Marronier d'Inde, thanks to Francois for introducing the same. Truly, if one cheers up and forgets all the problems round him-it is a romantic experience in itself. Today, I am feeling very lucky and privileged with my jolly mood.
Well this post is not only about Paris, I just found from Google-analytics that someone linked to our site. It brought a big smile on my face as he wanted to visit all the places as we did.

Today, tried adding my first comment in mysql.com about my experience with transaction logs. But looks like it did not got added to their system :(Seems like a weekend is not enough for it :D

Deja Vu

I am not sure if you happened to experience a very low probability situation or event in life which you can compare with winnnig a lottery or getting struck by thunder. Statistically the second one has more chance. To explain the same I take to you to recent past...

I had that bizarre experience in the month on December while returning from work took a bus. There was one gentleman very well groomed of dark complexion And I met the same person next day (Saturday) in a different bus while going out. I could not believe myself as that person did get down well ahead of me. And I do not recollect that person from my earlier experience of three years when I used the same bus. I do not deny finding the same faces in my bus. But that is while going towards the same direction at almost same time.

Now coming back today; I found yesterday around 10:30 PM (Paris Time) some one posted in a web groups of having some mock test for the exam I was taking today with Prometric. So I sent a desperate email to him asking for eleventh hour help if he can share the same. And to my utter surprise he sent it and I passed the exam while taking it at home.

When I started my test at the computer to my utter surprise all the questions and their respective options were excatly the true copy of what I received in the morning. It was deja vu & I passed with 100% score.

Well it was a big luck or mercy of God. Its a mere chance of finding that web forum in 11th hour and that person really replies with help. He could have been on vacation or could have crashed his hard drive or my question set could be a real hard one :( but it just happened :D

This is just another reason I do not like too much stress on certification on resume as it sometimes might give you a wrong picture about the person strength and skill sets when you evaluate his/her resume. Now a days all big companies are making big bucks on certifications and all the head-hunters are asking for the same.

add new administrator and management post for smartdashboard firewall-1


  1. 1.Add the user in the system password file for *nix it will be in /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow

  2. 2. Add his host(PC) to /etc/hosts


  3. 3. Use cpconfig ( /opt/CPshrd-53/bin/) in case of Solaris





Rest is menu driven

Envy me if you can !

This is about my commute to work nowadays when weather is graceful with me and I ride to work. I hope it can not be better than this. Crossing the most green part (there are loooooots of green bucks around as well) of PARIS on a bike.

I leave you to explore the rest from Google map. I am sure you will have fun. If I compare this with people in Bay-Area (CA), New-York or Bangalore, Delhi I think people will envy me.
I need to elaborate more on the word envy and why I chose. As in first version of this post I did not do that. If you have grown up with green devil with a tail and a broken TV advertisement I am sure you know what I am talking about.

YES! the famous ONIDA first advertisement that stirred Indian middle class. Before that the advertisement agencies did not dared to cross any taboo that could be controversial and backfire on them. Well, later thanks to Pooja Bedi we Indian got some maturity in advertisement ;)

The ONIDA advertisement was simple; it was about a TV which was supposed to be so good that neighbor throws a stone and breaks it due to sheer amount of envy. So the message was to get some different idiot box then your neighbors and show it off. At the end in Indian middle class every body wanted to be different and lots of them got ONIDA which made them all living in same kind of glass houses. To me it was as good as any other mid-range TV for that price. But unfortunately those new proud ONIDA owners found themselves that they can't tell each other over a cup of tea that they got 30 channels in their new TV to watch DD1 (Indian National TV Network). Well those are the stories of 80s but campaign of ONIDA remains same till today. You can read more on the same and check ONIDA latest advertisement at their web site.

I am not sure who is envying whom - is it me who is envying at others who passes me with whooping speed in their big fat German SUVs or someone reading this finds it as a cool ride to work.

I tried my best to add this from Google maps. And of course there is the big image with red line which represents my route. Check Google Maps I will try to post some nice pictures along the route in few days.

Changing face of India

"India is changing" I am sure this is not a new topic to talk about. But there are few things which got changed in India which my RADAR didn't notice before. I am not going to debate on their pros and cons. Any changes are more noticeable when we encounter the same old place or person after a break. Like you meet up an old friend with whom you grew up but that time probably you did not noticed he or she was growing vertically and your mid- aged relatives were growing horizontally. But you meet them after few years the changes become more noticeable to our eyes.

This time, while passing in front of AIMS, Delhi I could not believe my eyes the whole place changed for good the landscape is now full of flyovers. Well, Delhi being the drawing room of India always gets special attentions. I personally do not like flyovers, as they disfigure the beauty. Parisian approach of building underpass is better to me. But building those may be more costlier and without proper planning it might be a nightmare after monsoon rain.

Thanks to Election Commission that writing is banned on the wall and it had atleast kept our political parties away from the walls otherwise it would have been full of "hands", "lotus" and not to mention those "elephants" ,"hammer" and what not. But those walls are now left with poster from IIT coaching (ISO certified) to shoes.

I always need a haircut as soon I reach India and when I fly out of India. One big benefit is the price but the primary motivation is the quality of the haircut. So I went with SK to a nearest hairdresser. The name of a normal haircutting saloons are not normal any more rather very fashionable like "copper clips" or "silver scissors". I should have met guys who are coming up with innovative names before I registered santm.com. A simple haircut which cost 15 rupees for my dad and he thinks that is expensive the same costs to me Rs 60. But unfortunately this place does not even have AC to call it a "Men's parlour".

With all said and done the reason for typing so long was as I noticed a 19/21 years old boy quite FAT to my eyes was getting pedicure. Instead of getting those pedicure and wasting his money he should have joined a GYM or rather do some walking. I don't know how getting a pedicure is making him better marketable. Well, it might be very personal view which might not be shared by others as the first thing that you need is money and it looked like he had a lot.

One thing I noticed in India for affluent class it means to be overweight, having big tummy (men particularly) as they intake lot of rich food, do less physical work and for every daily chores they have a domestic helper. May be time has now come for educated Indians to understand the values that comes with money and luxury.

Second thing is the number of mobile-phone users in the country is experiencing a meteoric rise. Right from Sabjiwali (vegetable seller), bai (helper), theleywala (cartpuller) to higher class is talking over that small e-gadget for hrs.....God knows what topic they are talking on.I think that day is not far when everyother person will be talking over phone rather then in-person.

Back to Mordor

Well it has been a long time I bloged. I am back to Paris; Pamela will join me in a month time. The title of the post could not be better as I am missing the sun after returning from India. I like rain after very hot summer or sunny days with cool breeze. I really can not take those dark cloudy days which makes me feel gloomy. As looking out of my window can't even make out is it 11 AM or 3 PM. But if you still do not know what I am talking about ask hobbits ;)

My vacation at India was great. I will try to post about few incidents later. And hope not to forget them before my little brain gets clogged with daily activities but at least I should write about changing face of India where guys are getting pedicure in a so called normal hair dressing saloon. That should be followed by experience of flying with Air Deccan low cost no frill airlines, trip to Sikkim and Dooars (Forests of North Bengal). There are more but I think I should keep them a secret for while ....The end should be flying from Doha to Paris.

Well, I just got back my PC yesterday hope it works for next 2 years without any trouble as I really do not have the momentum to keep the big fight.Anywayz, I am happy that I am going to meet some friends soon this weekend. One to be mentioned is I am going to meet with Shubhankar after 11 years. Will keep posted...