Saturday, August 23, 2008

Terrified by weekends

It was Friday again. Beginning of a new weekend. For me, in an ideal situation, weekend is the time to relax at home, watch some EPL action, some TV, some ELR (Everybody Loves Raymond), and sleep for long hours.

I would like to confess something here - each weekend, I am a bit terrified: terrified because I have to think of something to do, possibly new or at the very least not mundane, so that Richa doesn't get bored. Some times, I wonder, why do only men have to come up with these entertainment options? Why do only men have to think of places to visit? Why can't women come up with something that both the sexes can enjoy? Wait, I am not talking about ---, but an activity of some other sort that would mean "quality time spent with each other". By the way, watching movies together at home, watching TV etc does not qualify as "quality time" :-). A piece of gyaan that all married men should get used to asap :-)

I must admit I was fortunate at least this Friday because Sidharth had already planned on going to a movie "मुंबई मेरी जान". Richa suggested that we watch this one and I, admittedly reluctantly, tagged along.

Fortunately, the movie was superb. The cast, I would say, is better known for their acting rather than for their parents. Each actor, apart from Irfan Khan, was beautifully used by the director. Although the movie is based on Mumbai train blasts, it is not a cliche as it does not focus on police hunt for the terrorists. It focuses on the psyche of the people, the fear factor that sets in, the mistrust that develops among communities, and how the city, slowly but surely, comes out of the tragedy. It is truly a tribute to the spirit of Mumbai. And the song, "ऐ दिल है मुश्किल जीना यहाँ" is truly amazing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bombay-Pune Trip 2008

Coming back to reality after a tour of fairy land isn't a wonderful experience. I had been to Bombay and Pune for the entire week, and the trip was remarkably good. The only problem is that such trips do end, and one has to get back to work.

I did a lot of things during this trip, especially catch up with old pals from Symantec and Panta. I was quite surprised and happy to see that these people haven't changed at all. Their world has changed (married, kids etc.), the world around them has changed, but they haven't changed at all.

Another thing that happened to me is that I was set back by at least 2 months in a span of 7 days. All the effort that I put in the gym for the last 2 months has been nullified by 7 days of gorging, forced on to me by an eager-to-feed mother-in-law. At times, I felt the urge to feed me was incessant and unnecessary. I am not one of those who is shy or who needs an invitation to eat. If I like something, I will definitely enjoy it, but I do enjoy it in small quantities. However, an Indian mind has still not become comfortable with the idea that good food can be enjoyed in small quantities. As they say - "तुम्हारा पेट तो भर जाता है पर खिलाने वाले की नीयत नही भरती".

Apart from the food, too much alcohol was consumed during the last week. At my uncle's place in Bombay, I indulged in liqueur tasting. I had shots of Cointreau, Kahlua, Creme-de-Menthe, Irish Creme and something else that I don't remember. Cointreau was the best of the lot. This was apart from 2 glasses of red-wine that I had during dinner at the Turf Club. I also had a brownish-red Californian wine at my brother's place and some red wine at Sheesha.

The highlight of the trip was the trip to Tamhini Ghat. Tamhini Ghat, around 60 kms from Pune, marks the beginning of picturesque Konkan. The whole landscape has a fresh green color during the rains. Somehow, the clouds get trapped in the hills and it rains almost continuously in the Ghat. This place is full of small waterfalls in the rains. Getting wet in a waterfall is one of the most enjoyable experiences. I like to have the sheer force of water on my back. For nearly 40 mins, I was in the water, behaving like a 10 year old kid :-), shouting and throwing water on others.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ram Setu

रामसेतू is quite hot these days. The bridge, approx 30 miles long, connects रामेश्वरम in India to मन्नार in Lanka. This bridge is visible in satellite images, and is made of limestone. The government of India has been shifting its stance on the issue of रामसेतू everyday. Too much of controversy has been created where there exists none. In my humble opinion, there are only two options here -
  1. Either believe that रामसेतू existed, and continues to exist, and find some alternate route for the ships.
  2. Or do not believe it at all, destroy it, and let the ships pass.

However, saying that Lord Rama himself destroyed the रामसेतू is asking for trouble.

I read an interesting article in TOI today. River तुंगभद्रा is currently flooded. Apparently, some monkeys had crossed the river over to the other side. I don't know how they did it, but they did cross over. Later, when the river started rising, they climbed tall trees to avoid drowning in the river. The villages saw the predicament of the monkeys, and alerted the forest authorities. As usual, forest authorities did not take any trouble, and paid no heed to the villagers' request to save the monkeys. The villagers took upon themselves the task of saving the monkeys. They built a bridge of barrels across the river. They then crossed over to the other bank in a paddle boat to woo the monkeys to cross the river. How do you woo the monkeys? With bananas of course. One person climbed the tree, and coaxed the monkey leader to cross the bridge. The rest of the gang followed the leader to the safety of the other bank.

Now, this looks like a story from पंचतंत्र, but it is indeed true. As true as reported by TOI.