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 tablespooons of mixture per serving). The grounds are gently compressed with the stemmed disc into a uniform layer across the cup's pierced bottom. With the press disc left in place, the upper cup is nested into the top of the tumbler and boiling water is poured inside. The lid is placed on top, and the device is left to slowly drip the brewed coffee into the bottom. The chicory sort of holds on to the hot water a little longer, letting the water extract more flavor from the coffee powder. This makes the decoction a lot stronger as compared the typical western drip coffee, the decoction is so strong that you'd need only 2-3 tea spoonfuls of it to flavor a 150ml milk. Where as the western drip coffee is quite watery to taste.
COFFEE.SYS Not Found: User startup disabled. ~Author Unknown

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 together. I am already dreaming for Andaman

I am counting my days for the upcoming camping trip that I am supposed to take on 1st week of October.  I got all my camping grear out of various boxes which have not seen any action in last 5 years after I left Sunny California.

Pamela has kept Aarush's picture website update. She is really great as she always updates that twice a weeks as soon she gets her chance to sit down with computer. But really at times I  feel this blog space is not getting enough updates it should get.  Wish we both could do the same with the blog; I should  write soon after coming back from the camping trip.

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 are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
His grandma (thamma) came. He use to spend with her 2 hrs at morning while I finished cooking. Our baby coos, gurgles while looking at interesting things or when talked to and yells for attention. One of his uncle too came around this time; he played mouthorgan which he enjoyed while trying to be in seating position.

Now he likes to listen to rhymes while eating. As soon as it is switched on he use to look at TV set. He doesn't mind repeating them.
He has started to tear paper pages into pieces then tries to chew them. So we got sturdy board books which he looks for a while and then throw or drop them as he can't chew anymore. He spends more time with book in his mouth than in their hands. Once we tried him in shoulder sling he was unimaginably happy. Seeing him it made me laugh loud as if baby kangaroo is snugged to mom. And he in turn seeing me laughing, laughed for first time....really amazing as if he understood. Now he is getting more vocal and expressive.

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. I had to adjust extra 2 Kgs that I had which was something new for me. For the first time, I had to do that …. blame it on IKEA . Anyways, the famous courteousness of SIA staff was totally missing when I asked for priority level for my check-in. And this time I did ensured my seat on-line prior to flying. In-flight service was much better this time as the flight was very much empty. May be only half or less and service was comparable to old times.
But on whole it looks like entire Singapore is going through a cost cutting measure to turn around their economy. They issued me a 2 year VIA on simple A4 paper. Not sure if that paper is going to last or not. And clearly SIA staffs donot know what to do when the flight is full which is really a BIG disappointment.
I ensured to share the same feedback to SIA website and hope for the better service next time.

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. We have been there twice already; each time we go there its just for food and keep our eyes on plate only.

The day I dropped them at Airport ; reached office and realized my turn is coming to travel. I will be going to Singapore for a week on business trip(26-31st).

Now need to clear out all those tiny bits of to-do’s which had been procastinated for a while. To top up this I am having classes every Saturday @ IIM. This mean more subjects, exams and more preparations.

At work things are really crazy at times now I can relate "Organizational Structure" and "Organizational Behaviour".  If you are like me do not get puzzled by these terminology. Before attending the B-school I didn't knew them either but had practised through experience.  The first one deals with organization at large and how it behaves through change at difficult or good times.  The second one is focused on each individual and groups (formal and informal) within the organization. No one can escape these at professional front but knowing these theories is definite plus.

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.

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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 souls 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 the 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 becomes really cool. Definitely, politicians and bureaucrats of Karnataka need to learn something from their neighbor.


We stopped at A2B for breakfast, around 70 KM from Silk Board Junction with Petrol Pump next to it which you can't miss it. There was lots of crowds; it took us a while to get a decent place to sit and much longer to get our idli-sambar. We left for Yelagiri Hills and soon left NH7 for NH46 after first toll booth. There are signs for Chennai which you need to follow; continuing on NH7 will take you to Salem. So after driving another 50 KM, we crossed another toll booth from where we left NH46 for Yelagiri. This state road was not that great but OK. The last 14 KM is on the hilly section with hairpin turns. As we were quite early; not much traffic before or behind us. Plenty of monkeys along the road, they target cars for easy food if you are not careful.

We reached Yelagiri lake around 10-ish. Took a full round of the lake. With Aarush we had no plan for hiking and boating so decided for lunch. It was around 11:30 when we reached the Hotel Hills. The hotel was not ready for lunch yet and Aarush had his lunch at reception while watching some Tamil songs at the big screen. He was too sleepy to finish his lunch; we decided it might be a better idea to start for Bangalore while he sleeps skipping our lunch.


According to Outlook 52 weekend from Bangalore a typical weekend at Yelagiri would be --


Good breakfast, a gentle walk, lots of rest followed by lunch more rest another stroll in the evening then Dinner -- lots more rest, A blissful weekend.

On the way back we stopped again at A2B for a very late lunch. After crossing Hosur, entry to Bangalore was painful. There is a huge construction site around Electronic city for the mega fly-over on NH-7. We visited one of my college mate in Hmatesayout on the way back as we reached Bangalore well before Sunset.

How to get there -- Official Link 



    View Bangalore to Yelagiri Hills in a larger map

    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 excitement and satisfaction on successfully accomplishing it. It might sound weird but that is true. Like yippee... I did it. We had our first baby bath together, without anyone around. It was my first time ever to give our baby a bath alone. Usually, me and my maid use to do it together. I use to prepare the bathroom, get warm water in his tub prepare the make up room, his clothes. Then during bath time, my maid use to be in charge with soaping and pat drying. Now, since we are of our own I didn't want to have maid for Aarush till I am not going for job. So there were many first attempts.
    On his eating habits once he mastered fruits I introduced him to cerlac and other new foods. As a first taste of solid food – puree of khichdi. At first he didn't liked much but slowly he started liking. Mashed potatoes, carrots, beet, papaya and peas were given along with khichdi to him. This month we tried new recipe- ragi porridge as breakfast which he liked ...not in first attempt ofcourse. Santanu sometimes use to feed him before going to office.
    It was quite harassing - and very tiring - to cope with the little 'night owl'. He use to sleep right after dinner for hour or so and use to woke up as fresh as a daisy and be awake till 1AM in morning completely draining our energy. We visited doc and he suggested to keep the lights subdued so that the baby's sense of time is not disturbed and asked to follow a regular pattern. I use to massage him twice daily as massaging might relax and it may be good as prelude to sleep through the night. After massaging I use to feed him his dinner and then rock him to sleep with lights off. It worked that way. Certain days Santanu also use to put him to sleep which was a big help.
    I was asking for a mattress from quite a long so that I can put Aarush there and can do household chores tension free. But it never happened unless on one fine day he fall from bed while rolling. I told my hubby I knew, oh I certainly did knew all about this but...Learnt a hard lesson this month- never ever leave child unattended when once they are mobile. Immediately, got mattress that evening.

    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, pepper and nutmeg in between.  Almost every plantation has one or more streams for water - all these streams joins Cauvery. as they descent. But currently the biggest challenges are labor as traditional labors are migrating to urban areas for a better paying job and lifestyle.

    Heading towards Tala-Cauveri passed Madikeri, it reassembled like small hill town of North East with houses painted in bright colors perched on hill. This  route leads to  Mangalore. Being a weekday there were not many cars towards Tala-Cauvery. Tala Cauvery is around 40 KM from Madikeri. On the way we took few stops to shoot pictures with clear blue sky. Only few days back, there was a Marathon(44KM) and road was marked with distances from the finish line. Last part of the road was straight uphill climbs from Bhagamandala.  Bhagamandala is supposed to be sangam of three rivers; Cauvery and the Kanika are the real one, while third one is invisible (mythical). There is a temple but we did not stopped and continued to final destination through winding roads.
    There is a pond which signify the origin of Cauvery. Its situated on slops of Brahmagiri hills. Every year during Makar Sankranti the pond over flows with water and devotees collect them as holy  water. There are steps which takes you to the peak and gives a bird eye view of the temple and pond from there. I took Aarush in Kangaroo-sling and he co-operated. It was very windy at the top which forced us to come down quickly.
    On the way back, we had lunch at East End Hotel on the highway towards Mysore next to petrol station. We ordered some rice and chicken curry(kodava style). The ambiance is ordinary but crowded which means it is a popular destination and safe place for dining.

    After lunch we headed for Raja seat but somehow missed first time and had to make an U-turn to comeback.  Former kings watched the sunsets with their loved one from this place. The  curved road to Mangalore under the valley adds magnificantly with  hills, green valleys, studded with paddy fields in the background. There is a toy train which was not running at that hour for kids and family.

    From there we went to Omkareshwara Temple;  this is within  Madikeri town.  It was built by the Lingarajendra II in 1820 in the combination of Catholic, Keralite, Gothic and Islamic styles of Architecture. We could not enter the temple as it was closed during the afternoon.

    After that  we rushed to Abbey Falls this is going back towards Mysore road and taking a left from the highway. In local language Abbey itself means falls so a literal translation will be falls falls. This road is winding and narrow and we need to keep on driving as Sun was dipping quickly. This  falls is located within a private property but open to public. Aarush too a quick short nap in this part. Soon roaring  water woke him up. It was a delight to find plenty of water during dry months of December. During the monsoon season from July to October it must be flowing like a torrent. The view from the  hanging bridge is quite enjoyable. The cascading water descends to the river Cauvery.
    Headed back to home-stay before it was complete dark. Next day morning we were not sure what to do (as Nagarhole and Dubare will not be enjoyable for Aarush) and ultimately decided to head back to Bangalore. We came back to Mysore spent a good amount around the main market area and Ramkrishna Mission. Around dusk we left Mysore so that we can reach Bangalore bit late avoiding evening's rush traffic.
    Bottom line is you can visit Coorg all year around if you love rain or aviod  monsoon as it rains a lot in the western ghats. Getting out of Bangalore is really difficult but leaving a place like this is very painful after a nice trip.
    Some links