Friday, December 31, 2010

Alvida 2010

2010 will be a definitely memorable year for me and my family for many reasons. The year was so much stressful and to pass each day, it required lots and lots of patience and endurance for me. There were happy days and sad days just like any other year, but when I sit down and wrap up the whole events of the year, I can remember the nights spent thoughtfully rather remembering the wonderful times I had. Let me try not to make this post a pathetic and sympathetic one. The first good and happy thing to share with my blog is the number of books I read this year. I would like to list it down with their names and their authors.

1. The moving finger – Agatha Christe
2. Random acts of heroic love – Danny Scheinmann
3. A Peculiar Chemistry – Kitty Ray
4. A thing beyond forever – Novonel Chakraborty
5. The man in the Brown suit – Agatha Christie
6. Only in London – Hanan-al-shaykh
7. Right Fit, Wrong shoe – Varsha Dixit
8. I too had a love story – Ravinder Singh
9. Evil under the sun – Agatha Christie
10. Simple things make luv – Komal Thakur
11. Nothing can be as crazy – Ajay Mohan Jain
12. Roots & Shadows – Shashi Deshpande
13. That kiss in the rain – Novoneel Chakraborthy
14. Should I or Shouldn’t I – Neetu
15. It happened that night – Akash Verma
16. Clive Avenue – T.S. Tirumurthi
17. Peril @ End house – Agatha Christie
18. The Lavender House – Wendy Robertson
19. Mango Coloured Fish – Kaveri Nambisan
20. Things falling into place – Linda Taylor
21. Case Histories – Kate Atkinson
22. The Great Train Robbery – Michael Crichton
23. The Dark Holds no Terror – Shashi Deshpande
24. Where shall we go this Summer – Anita Desai
25. P.S. I love you – Cecilia Ahern
26. Keep the change – Nirupama Subramanian
27. Love Story – Erich Segal
28. Solo – Rana Dasgupta
29. Johnny gone down – Karan Bajaj
30. The River Between – Ngugi wa Thiong
31. I had forgotten the name of the book and the author :P

I am thankful to the time and the British Library which has given me the chance to read a wide genre of books in this year. And I am really happy to have enjoyed reading these many books except for the last book whose name and author I had forgotten so easily.

The next happiest thing happened in 2010 was my sister’s wedding. Though the wedding was delayed many months, I would like to remember only the joyous 3 days of wedding and nothing more than that to avoid making sad faces every now and then in my every sentence.

I would definitely be happy to tell you all that I have completed my post- graduation in 2010 and my studying phase in life has come to a temporary stop this year until again I rejuvenate it with the hope of adding a doctorate degree beside my name.

The most joyous moment of the year would be the vacation days I had taken this year and had visited many tourist spots - Srisailam, Jaipur, Agra, Mathura and Delhi. I have shared my travelogues with this blog which would be definitely reminding me time and again about the happy days I had.

Compared to previous years, this year, I had watched many good movies both in theatres and in my television. Had engrossed in the habit of checking for good films regularly in television at 9 pm and were lucky many days to grab one. I have never maintained the list of movies I watch and this would be one among my to-do list in the next year.

On the personal front, 2010 saw me transferring a little more responsible than earlier, though I still remain the same crying girl when I don’t find solutions to my problems. As I face new difficulties in life every day, I become stronger and find new answers to them too. This is the year, when I turned almost to a single-parent child and this is the year when I can really compare myself between periods of time. Now at the end of this year, I can proudly say that the volume of tears I shed has reduced to a great limit. I wish I reduce it year by year.

On the professional side, 2010 taught me many things technically as well as on the managerial front. I got noticed and appreciated well for the work done and I am looking forward for an even better upcoming year @ my office.

How could I forget writing about my weekend dance classes which I enjoyed the maximum. The rhythm and the beat to which we dance inside the four walls to the tune of the dance teacher’s voice was just awesome and I used to be really really excited every week to learn new things. 2010 was the year which showed me my stamina to dance and my interests in pursuing it to a next level. Though I could not continue learning for the past one month, I am sure I will soon find a new dance teacher @ my new location in 2011.

Healthwise, except for the month of December during which I am suffering a terrible cough, I was happy to say that I was fit, thanks to the nature and my lifestyle. Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year. May health, wealth and happiness embrace you in 2011 :).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

K & K

The though of writing this post came to me when I had to part with 2 wonderful persons I met in my life. Both their surnames start with K and I am not sure if I can reveal their names in my blogspace. It would be good if it is this way as K & K. I met these two guys in my office as my team mates and they have now become as friends rather than colleagues and will be for long time to come. This post is more about treasuring the memories which I had shared with them and a small dedication to these 2 guys.

Let me introduce the first guy to you. I met this guy when I was first inducted to my project in my company. He was a year senior to me in the team and I still clearly remember the day and the scene of our first introduction. The first help he did to me was identifying some training portal in our office intranet site. The friendship with him was like instant and I started feeling so comfortable asking him anything right from day one. I am good in making new friends but not close friends. I choose them very carefully just like anybody. But this guy can be close to anyone and he has this awesome talent to attract anyone. After the first meet, he had helped me so much so much that I cannot repay him neither my family can. As I was new to Hyderabad, any small help regarding the place was rendered by him at any hour of the day. We slowly became neighbors in the office cubicle apart from being team mates. He had given me so much space that I can even fight with him if our ideas contradict. Also I can share with him all my personal and professional life taking him as my confidant. I used to do all work related things which he used to say but not some silly stuff. I used to postpone it and he used to hate that so much and we end up in a fight. But, slowly in these three years, he understood me and started calling me as lazy and making me fun instead of fighting when he needs any small work from me. I had given him in turn so much space in my world that he never hesitate to give me Supari, ask for a casual treat, or involve me in any kind of personal boyish conversations. A selfless friend who can do anything for someone who ask him help and a joyous person to be with. More responsible person for his age when I compare with other guys I met. If you allow him, he can lead your life also. You should be kind of careful with him. Just joking – I meant to say he can give you advice on anything he knows. He also has the sweet character of telling that he does not know this or that on which he doesn’t have knowledge. Very few guys accept their ignorance on matters. We had shared some wonderful moments in office chatting in sametime (internal chat) even though our cubicles are close enough to talk in person. I am so lucky to meet him in my life and I am definitely going to treasure this friendship and all those times we shared forever no matter how far I go from him.

Ok now I got to stop writing about the first person and start the next as I am very sure when my second friend reads this, he will be so restless to read about him. Yes this person is exactly opposite to the one about whom I had mentioned a few lines back. Our first meeting was in an office internal team meeting where I was introduced to him by my manager. He was a bit late to the meeting (oops sorry, I can’t forget that!) Soon after the meet, he flied to onsite and our initial conversations were only through sametime mostly about work and about technical difficulties I face. He is a very reserved person and it took me almost one year to make him comfortable when he speaks with me. But he changed with due course of time. Now, I would say that he has so much right to ask me anything personal or professional especially he would be the first to ask me treat for a small thing like rain in my hometown, for the feats which I achieved some 5 years back, for my post graduation completion even before my results are out and the list for the reasons for he asking me treat is endless. He had devised some 10 reasons when I gave him his pre-final treat. A technical guide he was to me and whose wavelength I matched with and I could understand whatever he speaks. I mean he used to tell only 4 words in a sentence that he wish to speak and the rest you got to discover it by yourself. He doesn’t take too much pain in anything in life. I would not use the term careless, but I would put it as light-headed. Next time when someone ask me quote for being cool I would rather say cool as my friend instead of cool as cucumber. He is a big fan of Sachin and we have shared very good moments in office talking about cricket matches. He hates my mother tongue and never foregoes a chance to pull my leg when he grabs a chance. It was so easy to share anything with this person so casually just like talking day to day affairs. A very simple human being with not much interest but some deep passions and he never gives up any task thinking that it is impossible. I am really happy that I got mentored by him during my initial days of learning in IT field.

I wish I hold the friendship and contact with these two persons in this life or any more lives to come if such any exists. And I shall wish for the well being of them and their family. Hey you two guys out there, Thank you for everything you gave me all the 3 years and I wish you success, prosperity and good health in all your new ventures in life.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Journey to North India - 3

Day 4, 5, 6 – Delhi Days: November 3, 4 & 5.

A proper planning for 3 days was done prior visiting Delhi – One day for local Delhi Sight Seeing, one day for Mathura & Agra and the another day for only shopping in the country capital. One our first day in Delhi, we visited Akshardam temple – a wonder piece of architecture and intricate carvings. The place was so neat and so beautiful. Everywhere I turned, I could find sculptures depicting Hindu mythology. After the great chola temples, this is the first temple seeing which I was awe struck and fell short of words to describe the beauty of the construction. We spent nearly 2 hours in slowly viewing each and every pillar of the temple. The ceiling inside the temple had so many layers within telling many stories. The temple was surrounded by huge elephant carvings – a variety of elephants and stories related to them. A lotus garden carving with the fountain was also so elegant in the outside. I could take only a long shot of the temple as photography was prohibited within the temple premises. Coming outside, we took the Metro to Karol Bagh and spent nearly 4 hours shopping on the first day itself. From Karol Bagh, aunt took us to Paalika Bazaar did a good bargain on all the goods we purchased there. Time flies away so fast when we roam in the streets and in that mild chill weather of Delhi, walking on the roads was superb. We did a little circle in the Connaught Place and took an auto back to the hotel for our hot and spicy Tamil food waiting for us.

Day 5: Rather telling me as a devotee to Lord Krishna, I would like to be called as a fan of him. Meeting his birth place was like a dream come true to me. The day 5 of our trip saw us traveling to Mathura which is on the way to Agra. Our Punjabi driver took us in his Indica cab to show Mathura, Vrindavan and Agra. Our first break in the cab journey was Vrindavan where there was a beautiful Krishna temple inside which I can take numerous snaps. Never before and nowhere else I had a chance like this. Beautifully adored and decorated Krishna and Radha gave me many poses for my camera. The black face of his still lingers in front of my eyes. I just loved the idols over there. Next we went to the actual birth place of Krishna. All my life till now, I had enjoyed hearing stories of Krishna, his birth, his pranks and his upbringing. So it was so much thrilling to go see those places in real. The myths and the stories I have heard were built upon these places and I was so lucky to have seen these in my trip. Many would have known that Krishna was born inside a Jail and I saw a baby Krishna idol in a dark cell for which daily pooja was going on. We bought some beautiful souvenirs in the Mathura temple premises. I bought a glowing Krishna baby statue and other pictures of him for all my friends. I finally settled for myself a very very tiny Krishna statue which goes inside my wallet. 

Once outside Mathura our excitement started pumping up as we were heading towards the wonder of the world. The white glamour held for us was open to our eyes after a short walk. The place was unusually less crowded to our lady lucks. What do I say seeing the Taj Mahal – an eternal beauty? I am not good in describing such wonders in my blog. We took lots and lots of snaps focusing it from all angles and in a variety of poses. I took a small video covering the walls of Taj and its precious stone carvings. The white marble with rubies and emeralds was so soft and serene. A symbol of love it was for Shah Jahan and the image of it lasted for long time in our minds and souls. We spent a leisurely time of 3 hours in the Taj mahal premises and then headed to Agra fort. We hired a guide who explained us again the history of the fort. We caught a glimpse and a distant view of Taj Mahal from Agra Fort. There were many places inside the Agra Fort I could relate to the scenes in many movies which I had seen, especially Jodha Akbar. The Agra fort could be a little more neat and maintained well being a heritage monument. At the entrance of Agra Fort and Taj Mahal, I bought a few more souvenirs to treasure the memories in tiny things. Our day 5 ended after a non-stop ride from Agra to Delhi thanks to our driver’s driving skills we reached safely and securely to our hotel room.

The next day was the festival of lights and Delhi was lit up with all lamps and people getting ready to invite the goddess Lakshmi to their homes. And we were also getting ready to spend our last day of our vacation as much enthusiastically as we can. We called our relatives and shared our diwali wishes and got ready as early as we can in the morning to do a one –day Delhi Sight seeing. Our first alighting was the President House and the Janpath road. We saw the Parliament houses and the long roads in Delhi which I have seen in TV during the Parades till that day. Next we went to pay our homage to the Amar Jawans in the India gate. A foreign tourist over there wanted to take a snap of 5 of us as we were so colorfully dressed on the day of Diwali.

From India gate, our guide took us to Qutub Minar. We walked inside and recollected our history lessons seeing the Qutub Minar and of course my metallurgical theory at the sight of the Iron Pillar. Compared to the monuments we have seen so far, though these were less rated we did not want to miss them in our tour itinerary. Our next place to visit was Lotus Temple another beautiful architecture – a replica of the Australia’s lotus opera. A small meditation inside gave us some more energy to continue our journey inside Delhi. Our trip was unluckily prior to President Obama’s India visit and because of that Raj Ghat was closed for security reasons. My mother was terribly upset as she was a true Gandhian and she had come all the way to Delhi to visit Raj Ghat. I had promised her to bring her once again back to Delhi to fulfill her wish. Hopefully I should keep my promise. Indira Gandhi’s martyr place was also closed. The driver took us through the roads in which our politicians stay. He dropped us in Red Fort entrance and gave us time all by ourselves to explore Chandni chowk and Red fort. We walked in the crowded streets of Chandni chowk searching for a big bangle market similar to the one showed in the movie of Fanaa. Sad I did not find one such but had a good walking exercise through out. In the evening we entered Red Fort and our trip ended seeing the sound and light show inside Red Fort which was kind of boring and too shivering to sit in the open arena. We returned to our hotel, packed our bags, checked out and reached the Station to catch our return train at correct time. One thing I felt so bad in Delhi was the man pulled richshaws. I wish the next time I visit Delhi there are only Metros and no more human pulled vehicles. I can’t see them pulling us for their living. I am sinned sitting inside the richshaws a couple of times and I don’t know when I will get rid of those sins. 

As my aunt and cousin headed towards Tamilnadu, we booked the direct train from Delhi to Chennai. I, Mom and sister got down at Warangal and after waiting for 4 hours for our next train to Hyderabad, we missed the train and it was a tragical and perfect ending for our adventurous trip to travel with all our huge baggage in a bus to MGBS Bus station in Hyderabad. Altogether the trip was a success and we had enjoyed thoroughly hour to hour. Though there were some misunderstandings and difficulties among us it was a pleasure to have a 5 day vacation amidst our busy daily routine. Wish to have many more vacations like this. Finally I completed my first big travelogue and if you are interested I can share personally the 500 snaps which we took to your mail ids. Drop your mail ids in the comments section.

Journey to North India - 2

Day 1 – A train journey I would never forget. October 31st 2010.

The early morning wee hours of day 1 of our journey saw us wrapped up warmly in the station of Kacheguda waiting for the Jaipur train to arrive. Nowhere else I had seen the ticket checker checking our tickets in the platform of the departure station itself. I realized the reason for this only after boarding the train. It was jam packed with very little space to breathe. There was no kind of normalcy prevailing in the compartments. I cursed all my stars to start my journey in midst of this crowd. But slowly we got settled down and had a little sleep. There were so much fights and misunderstanding with the co-passengers. Yet we managed to enjoy the journey playing some journey games and reading and non-stop chatting in our language which irritated most of the others in the train. While we could understand Hindi, they were left helpless other than to stare at us talking in a language which none of them could understand.

Jaipur Memoirs: November 1st

Day 2 saw me getting down in the pink city of India. I should say honestly that the city was clean and less polluted. We contacted the Railway accommodation centre and got a big room to freshen up ourselves. And then we booked for one-day sightseeing tour package in Rajasthan Tourism Office which was in the Jaipur station itself. As we had very less time before the tourist bus started, so much of commotion within ourselves and it so ended up in a first fight of the tour between mom and aunt.

The Tour package we opted was a Full Day Tour from 9.00 A.M. to 6.00 P.M by a Non-A/C bus charged 200 bucks per person. After a small breakfast in the bus, we alighted at the Birla Temple – the same white marble one which I had marveled for his cleanliness and the architecture. The guide who accompanied us for the tour was very strict with the timings and that has irritated a little at times. But as time passed by, we got used to his constant bugging and his watch. Our Second monument to visit for the day was Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace) in which there was hundreds of windows in the front. The palace was also slanting a little towards the back. When I had asked why the reason was that the ladies in the palace those days used to have a view of the city without being watched by others. I don’t have anything to say on this stupid idea of keeping women within four walls. Our tour itinerary included only the Front View and I was sad that I could not visit the Mahal inside. But took a couple of snaps and proceeded to the Observatory aka Jantar Mantar. Had a recap of all the physics and measuring instruments studied in school days. Two foreigners from Singapore gave us good company in Jantar Mantar and it was astonishing to listen to the details of Jantar Mantar how in olden days, the calculation of days, months, star positions and astronomy were studied.

Next, we went to the City Palace – a private palace owned by the King’s generation. It was damn costly to have a view of it and hence we had seen it from outside. Thus we saved a few time to check out the local people and colorful shops outside the observatory and infront of the City Palace. I saw a snake charmer first time in life and he was making the snake to dance to his music. They were all dressed so differently with all those multi colored turbans. After buying some souvenirs from there, the guide took us to some Rajastan crafts & arts gallery. We had a live demonstration of how the peacock and elephant patterns in dress were made with natural colours. It was a pleasant morning and we headed to our next tourist spot – the Jal Mahal. Here, I had the chance to ride on a camel and take some beautiful shots which I could treasure for long. It was so nice to sit on a high place on the camel’s back. While I was enjoying the height, my poor sister was scared to hell and got down immediately. The City Palace was so calm and serene in midst of a lake. I breathed fresh air and enjoyed the cool breeze hitting my hair and face.

Satisfied well with the beauty of the city we had seen so far, we moved next to the magnificent forts – Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort and the Amber Fort. The Madhavendra Palace inside the Nahargarh fort had seven portions looking exactly the same as the other. Each portion had a big portico, so many rooms and a long corridor with many windows on both sides. We turned to kids playing there and running the whole corridor and hiding from each other. All five of us had a very nice time in that palace giving all royal poses for the snaps. We had a quick lunch which was surprisingly tasty in the Nahargarh fort. Then we went to the Jaigarh Fort where there were lots of monkeys than the tourists. We walked so much to see the giant cannon kept protectively. We also heard the story of the treasure unraveled from inside the Jaigarh Fort during the emergency period by Indira Gandhi and the then queen of Jaipur.

As time moved on, the strength in our legs slowly got reduced and there was just one monument left for us to enjoy before we rest for the day. It was Amber Fort and there were thousands of tourists flogging into this fort on the day when we went. All those Diwani-Aaam, Diwani-Khaas, King’s private room, Queen’s Palace gave us the total history of those days and the sophisticated life which the royal family spent. The Sheesh mahal – the hall of mirrors inside the fort was gorgeous and there were so many mirrors in a single hall which reflect the sun rays in all directions lighting and warming up the room inside magnificently. We also saw an arrangement for cooling up the rooms using repeated flow of water on the sides of the rooms. I witnessed a very aged foreigner in wheel chair interestingly listening to the stories of Indian rulers inside the Fort and he was taking a video of the entire palace. He would have definitely traveled so far and waited long years to visit this world heritage site. I am proud to say that our country has so much marvelous architecture to wonder about. That ended the Jaipur sightseeing and we were back in the station to catch our next train to Chirawa.



Day 3 in Pilani: November 2nd

The train journey from Jaipur to Chirawa was terribly cold inspite of wearing so much woolen stuff. We managed to get separate compartment but the mad guys next to us were constantly trying to assault on us and show their heroism. My mom was in constant fear throughout the night when she guarded us sacrificing her sleep. Thanks to our stars and karma we reached safely in Chirawa station – a small one in the North Western Railways. Outside the station, we boarded a Jeep to reach Pilani and lodged in a safe room recommended by the BITS. The next day morning was the D-day and I and my sister went to present our dissertation. Mine turned out to be a horrible day answering to all those questions by the professor. She was just making me appear as an ass who knows nothing of the project I did. I had managed to finish the formalities of forms filling up and submitting the reports. Thankfully I had secured a Fair grade in it and passed the course with Flying colours. After our work in the BITS institute, we immediately left for Delhi. To reach Delhi, we first took a cab to Loharu and from there boarded a train to Rewari. From Rewari, we took the next train to Old Delhi Railway Station. The journey was tiring and at night 10 o’ clock, we checked into our cozy hotel room in Delhi. We had booked this hotel room earlier and it was close to a Tamil Restaurant. Both our boarding and lodging were secure as we had some Tamil contacts – thanks to my aunt. Day 3 ended with a good night sleep and the adventurous trips in trains and running in the stations ended for all good.

Journey to North India - 1

Pre – Trip Plans:

The plan to visit North India in the November of 2010 started as early as I had enrolled for my M.S couse in BITS Pilani. As a part of curriculum I will have to travel to BITS Campus to submit and present my dissertation. As the work is just for one day, I had combined the trip of visiting Jaipur & Delhi.

Ever since the dates for my viva was booked, the twirl and twist happened in my life was just “too much” to be put in a word. To my great surprise and joy my chithi(aunt) and my cousin(Akshaya) promised us(me, mom & my sister) to join the trip amidst their big schedule of Yoga competitions. After spending considerable time with Indian Railways website, I had managed to book tickets via 2 routes
1. Kacheguda(Hyd) to Jaipur
2. Secunderabad to Agra and Agra to Jaipur

You may ask why 2 routes. Though planning well ahead say nearly 75 days, I could get only WL tickets via the 1st and shortest route because my vacation fall around the dates of grand Indian festival of Lights.

I was just happy that my return tickets are confirmed. I started writing this travelogue in the train and it was just so fun to write as usual. Hope my readers also enjoy with me.

Day Zero: October 30, 2010

The day before the travel – Gosh it was just amazing if I look back now. All of my 30 days before the journey started with checking the PNR status. I had tried all my possibilities available with India Railways to get my ticket confirmed. You may not believe me if I say that I met some CRO of Kacheguda station to do some ticket confirmation through emergency quota as I was traveling for an educational purpose, but that ended in utter failure. Yes of course there is a legal option in Railways to do so and I had done earlier in Southern Railways.

My eyes got open when my cousin and aunt arrived at Secunderabad from their hometown to join us for the trip. Both of them never hesitate to travel in train for longer duration. They were just awesome companions for train journey. Both were so weird that they don’t waste time for a small span. They kept doing something or the other like reading, stitching, planning for sister’s wedding etc etc throughout the day/night. Coming to my day before the journey – I had to complete some final work of my dissertation, a complete packing for the trip, checklist of important things to be taken, doing a bit of last minute shopping, discussing about some wedding events that was soon approaching when I had done the trip and the day never ended.

The tickets slowly moved from WL to RAC and we decided to take the route from Kacheguda to Jaipur though it was RAC and though the 2nd route we had confirmed tickets. We did not want to waste time in journey – it was a matter of hardly 4 hours extra but the final decision was made by mom for some reason I don’t remember now. The whole of day zero went in packing and repacking. Afternoon I had completed my project work. In the evening, when I reached home to take a bit of rest before the journey, I was reminded how stupid and careless I had forgotten to take a copy of the presentation from my office harddisk. Rushed to office which is nearly 15 kms from home in a busy Saturday traffic and it took nearly 2 hours of my precious time. What would you call me if I say you that I did a small shopping in midst of all this. The day 1 of my journey was about to begin…….