Thursday, November 26, 2009

Am Back !!

After a long break I am back to Blogging !!

I am happy to share that I have spent lot time in traveling lately. I have been in Japan for 3 months, then a week in Hong Kong.. Visited Delhi... Will share all here !!!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

A new Blogger on the block

I welcome my wife to the world of blogging !! : Start is good, hope she continues with it.
Title of the blog is Me_Mazee.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yun hota toh kya hota..

I was born on 2nd April 1982 that was the happiest day for my parents! Ever since then, their first priority is always Me. They did their best to send me to best possible school in Indore, provide me everything required to prepare for IIT-JEE. All this without letting me know the pain of earning a single penny.

That’s the case with so many of us. Our parents take all the pain to provide best upbringing. And when we grow old we fell in the same cycle. We go out to earn and in a way there is actually a very small percentage of our life we spend with our parents, with our wife and with our kids for whom we get so busy to give them best nurturing.

I think our social structure is quite imbalance. It expects a lot during one time and leave free on the other. Why we have to work and set our career along with taking care of family at the same time? In the end most of us crib to compromise career for our family or not getting enough time for family.

Since I am born till 25 years of age, I spend for education, my parents taking care of me. From 25 to 40, I spend only on career. I shall work as hard as possible, doing as much as I can in these 15 years. And in a way this will improve my productivity as I know I have to work for these 15 years only! At 40, I get married and start my family. So if I live till 65-70 I will spend all the time with my wife and kids. I will never crib for not having time for my family. And no problem financially because I (and my spouse equally) have spent last 15 years building my career and earning. And in a way I get time for myself, my family i.e. my parents, wife, kids and friends.

Shouldn’t this be better?

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Love for Hyderabad

My Love for Hyderabad is further supported by the fact that I am putting all my money on Deccan Chargers for the IPL season-2 !!
I find DC, the most balanced team of this season. They have the likes of Gilchrist and Gibbs as opener, followed by Dwayne Smith and Rohit Sharma!! They have tournament best bowler RP Singh and Fidel Edwards along with magic spin of Pragyan Ojha.
Now the bad news, Fidel Edwards and Dwayne Smith will leave for their country after couple of matches. But no need to worry, Edwards would be replaced by Vaas or Bilakhia (young, tall fast bowler) and Dwayne Smith will be replaced by Andrew Symonds!!
Boy !!! That's one amazing squad...

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Love for my City: Indore

Adding to my previous blog on Indore, here I bring something more about Indore from my
Famous Personalities from Indore:

  • Lata Mangeshkar was born in Indore
  • Great Singer & Actor Kishor Kumar was a student of Christian College Indore
  • Famous comedian Jhonny Walker & handsome Salman Khan belong to Indore
  • Rahul Dravid, C.K. Naidu & Mustaq Ali, the cricket legend of India also belong to Indore
  • M.F.Hussain and N.S.Bendre famous painters spent some years in Indore
  • Narendra Hirwani highest wicket taker in single test belongs to Indore

Indore at its best

  • First City in INDIA to have IIM and IIT
  • The famous Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM was started first in Indore, then spread to other cities of India.
  • Indore is nicknamed as Mini Bombay because of similar lifestyles.
  • First private telephone operator Bharati had entered in INDIA from INDORE only.
  • 40 feet high idol at Bada Ganapati is the largest idol of Lord Ganesh in the world.
  • Until the early 1990s, Bollywood movies were released on Thursdays in Indore and released elsewhere on Fridays.
  • The gates of Lalbagh Palace, Indore, are a replica of the gates of Buckingham Palace in London. They were cast in England and then shipped to Indore.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Allah Rakkha...

It was another amazing journey for me. Late in the evening, after dinner I was in a normal Indian bus, going from Miraj to Mumbai. Incidentally this time we were boarding a non-AC bus, so after a long time I was going to feel the wind around. Though at the time of boarding I was worrying about heat, sound and dust. Like a normal routine it took so many stops before reaching highway. Everytime it stops there were no cribs at all as if everyone is comfortable with these routine stops. The passengers were enthrilled when the conductor Chhotu (I always wonder why a bus conductor is always a small boy named chhotu !!) put on the video player and the action packed movie Jung.
I was forced to take on an only simple MP3 player I have with limited number of songs in it. Slid one window to get more wind inside. Till this time I was being protective of not opening the window to get exhausted of dust etc. I pushed back my sit little bit, as much as it was possible! And then what happened would remain in my feelings forever.
Imagine a journey, only a moonlight with a continous refreshing cool wind. The wind moving the curtain of the bus haphazardly. It bounces my hair as it pass. Passing trees, farms, villages, vehicles outside the window and with all this magician Allah Rakha Rahman!!
Since my MP3 player was a normal one (am not very fond of gadgets) there were very few songs which I selected some days back. And to my surprise all were composed by this great musician!! My playlist had songs from
Jodha Akbar: Inhi lamhon ke daaman mein..., khwaja mere khwaja..., azeem-o-shaan shehenshaah...
Dilli-6: Rehna tu...
Guru: Ae Hairath-e-Ahiqui...and many more
After a long time I got time for music. I love this and thanks to the maestro A.R. Rahman. I believe he got the Oscar for all his work over the years but got 'international' recognition through slumdog.
A.R. Rahman - Jai Ho !!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A New Law

A new law is passed by which any Press Conference, Public meetings, Rallies would be considered holi! All the attendees have to keep their shoes out before entering the holi place. Sources close suggests this is to prevent current incidences when attendees are found showing shoes, sometimes throwing them to the dias.
Critics suggests that attendees should also be asked to tie their mouth with handkerchief or rope. Clearly harm is caused not only by shoes but by words as well.
I wonder in this fashion our parliaments should be totally frisked, even the furniture, carpet and mikes should be removed. It would look like old open-outcry exchanges!!

Monday, April 6, 2009


Tan tan tan tan…
That was the most awaited sound for eighty impatient ears sitting in the class. In our school “tiffin-break” was from 1055-1115. And the desperation starts little before 1030. Each minute felt like an hour. One can easily notice repeated turning of wrist to get a glimpse at time. There were few living faces sitting in the front row, which have no option but to listen to the figure teaching them. For rest, it is like a battlefield against time! Nothing left to do as the tiffin is already empty! It is a real fun to hide and sneak-in a bite when teacher turns back to the blackboard. And it is important to finish our lunch during the classes because we don’t want to waste our “Recess” time in eating at least!
Finally the battle ends, actually it’s a battle in which obviously everyday we win in the end! Only excitement is the toughness of it. As soon the bell hits tan tan tan no one waits for the final words of the guru. Ground gets flooded by all size. Within seconds the entire view of the school ground changes, the canteen boys doing their best to handle the peak hour of the business, seniors playing Football, Volley or Basket ball and juniors curiously watching and cheering each and every stunt. There are many small groups mocking teachers, teasing each other. All in all these 20 minutes were full of laughter and fun. The most refreshing time of the day!!
Over the years things changed and changed a lot! What we called Recess shrunk to small “break” in college. Sometimes we enjoyed a “free hour” between lectures to have a coffee or maggi or a smoke may be!
And now the time of Recess is totally lost from our lives. Only time out we take is for lunch, coffee or snacks. But it is lacking the fun and excitement. It is just a routine to follow. To really enjoy a “Recess Break” we have to “plan” beforehand.
It is more difficult to bring friends together from different places for a Recess. Moreover, recess can be linked to Recession more than what it really means.
I still want to hear the sound… tan tan tan tan when all my friends rush out of their offices!! Even though for small time but it would be most cherishing for all of us!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


This is my salute to bravery. Accolade for Fighting Spirit and Appraisal for Patience!!
When I read this amazingly written blog of my friend "Untitled", I really appreciated him from the bottom of my heart. He hit his low when he was about to hit his highest. He struggled, faught and finally is again on the verge of hitting his new high. I wish him all the best and lots of Good Wishes for his future !!!!
Here is the blog link again:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


What do you call a blog that writes about a travel experience: Travelogue, so what should we call a blog that writes one's home experience.....

Indore, I will introduce as a 'cute funny city'. People find fun in anything and everything here. My observation for Indorites over the years is that we Indorites are keen on making relations
If you are travelling alone in Indore train: The Avantika Express, definitely someone will start conversation and your whole journey will pass talking and eating! 
If you are first timer to a food joint, there would be plenty of people around to suggest you what to eat and what not to. And giving suggestions is what we are good, rather best at :-) An Indorite can give you suggestion on anything as remote as possible !! 
Hair cutting in Indore is not a short thing. First you have to wait for 15-20 minutes at least. And during this time you will get to hear a never ending debate (topics may vary) of free people around. While you are sitting at the hot seat you will get to know every information, from local MLA, water scarcity to the level of Osama's hiding! Election time is main season for Barbers, Panwaalas and Chaaiwaalas. 
Now I will tell you a normal schedule of an Indorite. Wake up in the morning normally between 7 to 8AM. Breakfast would be light : Poha and Jalebi !! Then Tea-Biscuit before lunch. Normal Lunch followed by snacks in the evening. That would be Samosa-Kachori at least. 
Indore is heaven for Food Lovers. The list is endless but some of which I relish are:
Sarafa (Food Chaupati): Chhole Tikiya, Hot Dog, Garadu, Gulab Jamun, Rabdi, Pattis, Sabudana Khichdi, Makhkhan Bada, Shikanji, Kulfi .. .. ..   ..  ..  .....
(Now there are similar chuapattis in many places in Indore) 
Guru Kripa Restaraunt: GuruKripa is a Restaraunt in the heart of Indore. It shows that Indore's heart is very close to its stomach. Its a place with amazing veg food and your bill will never cross Rs. 30-40 per head, without compromising ambience. So thats heaven for every class!! 
56 Market: Another Food joint!! 
and believe me this list is never ending...

Indore city has well specified markets for all needs. We have cloth market, Bartan bazaar - names suggesting their utilities, khajuri bazaar for books, sarafa for jewellary, Marothia for daily needs. 
Their is so much happening in Indore recently. So many malls coming up now. Roads are improving. Construction everywhere! In my recent visit I saw, every other road is blocked for work. But we Indorites never crib. We never make big issues for anything. We dont panick when there is water scarcity, we dont fight when Avantika Express halts for an hour just on the outskirts of Indore! We dont care when our sitting MP for 25 years now is never given an important portfolio in cabinet. We are happy in our life... Eat and Have Fun !!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Remember my earlier article on IPL fighters!! 
That same IPL is now NRIPL (Non Resident Indian Premier League). So that leaves Kapil Dev's ICL only Residing Indian Cricket  League. Now the biggest irony is IPL is moving out of India because of security issues during elections and it is moving to a place where elections are exactly co-inciding with the IPL schedule. Yes, SA is helding its general elections in April, 2009. Check here. Agreed that elections in India is much much bigger issue, being the worlds largest democracy! But still for that we have more security personnel, much much bigger force. Seems like this was one more reason for chosing SA :-) 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Formula-1 (Introduction)

Over the span of couple of years I have added many of my friends to the fan-list of world's most thrilling, exciting and fastest sport: Formula-1. Now I want to add more to the sport I love the most (being an Indian it’s a surprise that I like F-1 more than Cricket!) I came across so many friends who like to watch race but because of unaware of rules and pattern one tends to loose interest. I would take you to a ride of F-1 starting from basics to more technicalities and to some amazing facts to develop more interest.

2009 championship:  

  • There will be 17 races in this season; first race race is on 29th March at Australia
  • There are 10 teams; each team puts 2 drivers for the race.
  • Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Toyota, Toro Rosso, Renault, Red Bull, Brawn, BMW Sauber, Force India are the teams. 
  • A Race weekend includes 2 practice sessions on Friday, One practice session on Saturday and a Qualifying round. Race takes place on Sunday.
  • Practice sessions is for the driver to get accustomed to the circuit, conditions, try their tyres etc.

Qualifying takes place in 3 phases: Q1,Q2 and Q3.

  •  In the first qualifying session all cars run in the allocated time of normally 15-20 minutes. Best 16 cars qualify for the second qualifying whereas rest of the cars start from the grid at last (in order of the time they clocked in first qualifying) 
  •  In the second qualifying 16 cars run trying to come in top 10 to qualify for Q2. Last 6 cars are placed according to their times. 
  • In the last qualifying session final grid for the race is decided. Driver who gets best time starts from the front or what is called pole position.
  • Cars cant refuel after the qualifying till the race. This is an important strategy point for the teams to fuel their car accordingly. If they fuel light and get pole position then they have a trade off as they have to pit early for filling fuel early in the race. 


  • Cars start from their position. 
  • They have to take a pit stop to fill fuel and change tyres. 
  • Winner gets 10 points and then the order is 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point for the eighth position. 
  • At the end of season, i.e. after all 17 races are completed, Champion is decided on the basis of maximum points.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Plan ahead...

We(me and my wife Dhanashree)have started our photo blog:
We'll daily present few pictures taken by us.

This week would be Formula-1 special with the season's first race just a week away. I will try and explain the game for the beginners, thrills involved and rules for those who want to know about the game.

After that a week long holiday. Will update on that amazing break very soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cricket Teams need a Mathematics Coach

Its not far that Cricket teams demand for a Mathematics coach because of the complicated Duckworth-Lewis calculations. With so many miscalculations leading to blunder recently, we could very well have a D/L expert in the team! This is in view of last ODI between England and West Indies when Windies lost by 1 run when their coach miscalculated to believe they won by 1 run and agreed to call off the match when getting dark. If known he could have asked to play few more balls to meet the D/L requirement.
In that way we can also see few teams asking for awareness coach. Remember, Inzy un-aware of T-20 ball out rule :-)

India Abroad Person of the Year

And the India Abroad Person of the Year award goes to - Mr. Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World. The award is given by the weekly newspaper India Abroadowned by Rediff since 2001. This award is given to recognised names in various fields since 2002. Previous winners of this awards were:

2007 Mira Nayar

  • Film maker
  • Born in Rourkela, Orissa on 15th October 1957
  • Famous movies: Salaam Bombay, Kamasutra-A Tale of Love, Monsoon Wedding, Namesake etc.

2006 Indira Nooyi,

  • CEO, Pepsico since August 2006
  • Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on 28th October 1955

2005 Bobby Jindal

  • Born on 10th June 1971 in Loouisiana
  • Member of the U.S. House of Representative

2004 Mohini Bhardwaj

  • Retired Gymnast
  • Born on 29th September 1978 in Philadelphia

2003 Sonal Shah

  • American Economist
  • Born on 20th May 1968 in Mumbai

2002 Swati Dandekar

  • Born 6th March 1981 at Nagpur, Maharashtra
  • Iowa State Senator

Monday, March 16, 2009

He returned to finish his dinner!

“Soon after 26/11 terror strike he left his Taj dinner mid-way to save his life. The CEO of Unilever Group, Paul Polman was back in the city once again on Friday, the 13th.”

When I read this news, a natural smile came on my face. That should be the spirit, to keep the ghosts of the past behind and look into the future. Here is the whole news.

IPL – the Fighters

IPL guys must be really appreciated for their spirit of fighting. For they never miss the opportunity, rather sometimes create an opportunity for a tussle. This time it is fighting hard with home ministry to schedule its matches in the month with National elections. I even came across debates where a side argues that elections should be postponed as IPL dates were announced earlier. Is IPL above national elections today? Rather it was quite expected that elections would be held sometime in April, May of June because of which UPA was asked to present an interim budget. Now, even after aware of the expected election dates IPL schedule was launched with matches an April and May. This might be surprising but actually it is not. If not now ICC won’t provide window to IPL before Nov-Dec ’09. So our multi-million dollar business IPL is finding hard to reschedule. After all there’s so much money involved. It’s bigger than Cricket itself!

As BCCI is striving hard for its new schedule they haven’t forgotten their enemy ICL. First they dint allowed Indian players to play with domestic NZ team as NZ domestic cricket have players like Hamish Marshall who play in ICL. Now, they are opposing presence of Craig McMillan at commentary box. NZ has already lost their ace bowler Shane Bond because of this IPL-ICL rift. To be true, T20 tournament is brainchild of Zee with Kapil Dev. BCCI copied the idea and executed it big, with the fat cash its sitting on. Still the reason for banning ICL is unclear to me. Does BCCI have sole right to mint money from cricket in India? Very soon we"ll see BCCI taking over local tennis ball cricket tournaments as well :-) 

As I complete writing this, now I am seeing the news of another fight of IPL. This time with broadcaster Sony!! 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Its Half Year Now!!

15th March, 2009.. Guess what is the importance of this day?

Its 6 months from the event that triggered Global Financial turmoil. It’s the day 6 months back when Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy. It was the doomsday for Lehman employees.

Things have changed, mostly for good of Lehman people. But these 6 months were the most uncertain time of our life. In due course of time Barclay’s over Lehman Brothers, North America and Nomura took over its Asia-Pacific and Europe business. Since then we have seen speeding business integration between Nomura and ex-Lehman. Resource allocation and re-allocation etc.

But these 6 months gave us the best teaching of life: Patience! There was so much happening around. World was on a roller coaster ride and we were at the pinnacle. From the day Lehman filed bankruptcy all of us flooded our resumes in the market. Can you imagine bunch of IITans going for walk-in interviews? Sometimes these walk-ins were too unprofessional to take place at local bar! But that’s life. With the support of same positioned colleagues many of us stood strong and fortunately (and hopefully) are now better placed than our counterparts elsewhere. It was great on part of our friends, family and contacts in other companies to constantly support us. In all, these 6 months were most important time of my life! It actually brought a lot of visible and non-visible change in me.

Thanks to all my friends, colleagues and family members!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trade Unions for IT in India?

Is it the high time that millions of IT professionals need a Trade Union? With the current economic downturn and US President Barrack Obama’s protectionist policies many IT professionals are expected to lose job. So is there really a need for the IT work force to unite under a union? Well political parties are demanding in West Bengal and Kerala for a long time now. Let’s first see why Trade Unions are required in the first place.

  1. To demand for minimum wages as under labour laws,
  2. Safer and better working condition,
  3. To prevent any discrimination based on gender, cast, race etc.
  4. Maternity benefits to women,
  5. Fixed timings, if on night shift one should get extra benefit, and so on.

Now the point is that, IT employees (though some may not agree) are paid much better than minimum wages defined under labour law. Also work condition is much better as compared to a textile mill or a mine. Now anyone who joins IT industry knows very well how volatile job market is. And this volatility is high because of high frequency of job change seen amongst IT employees and in some cases hiring and firing by the company. But this is the price paid for the benefits and perk the employee gets. 

Leftists are demanding trade unions in IT sector since long citing instances when employees have to work in between 10 to 14 hours (Read here). Recently Communist party in Kerala has opposed lay off by an IT company. Here is the article by a famous Kerala newspaper, Mathrubhoomi.

It might sound unreasonable for the white collar jobs to be a member of a union but such trade unions already exist and are now all the more active in Europe. There was a big protest against layoffs by HP in Europe sometime back (link). Protection of jobs, unionization can be the plusses but strikes, political interference in promotion, regular workings, project comes with the package. 

News 24X7

One of the most important and essential part of my routine is reading newspaper every morning. If I dont read each and every page of ToI, Economic Times and BT, I dont feel complete. And its with every newspaper, whether I read ToI or IE or anything. Then I come to office and read each and every blog on economy, finance and politics. In my quest to find out why I am so eager to get to know news, I was just wondering how much of this news is actually relevant to me?

So I just started turning pages to see which news matters to me. So that from now on I will just brush through these pages and save time (though there is no need of saving time these days :) ) Front page is obviously important, you can not overlook it anyways. Thats the reason some of the tabloids show tha masala news on the cover page! Amongst the inside pages, obviously news of my city is important, National Politics do affect me and I am really curious to know whats going on globally, so natural to stop at these pages. I should also know the views of experts so Editorial page is utmost important. Then comes my favourite Business and Sports page, since they are favourite so can't even think of skipping them even when there is no Formula-1 Race or a Cricket match is played. So... that means I cant skip a single page. I am so news hungry!! 

I wonder why people cry at 24 hours news channel. Just imagine what would be the condition if you get news only once a day, like earlier on DoorDarshan. Is that really enough. Things change so fast. There is so much happening around the world. Agree, that 24 hour media is covering some crap to very crap issues as well. But can't blame them, at least they are covering all the important news and when there is no news they are bound to show masala news to keep their channels running. When there's no news, they can't just stop airing till there is any news. Isn't it true that getting ignorant of so many global issues by sticking to one news a day is worse than having 24X7 media that can show all the issues and in no-news time air its crap. You are not bound to watch it all the time anyways. 

Monday, March 9, 2009


(in the tone of Dilliii 6)
Basti hai mastano ki Mumbaiii
Gali hai deewano ki Mumbaiii - 76

Mumbai-76 is the place I landed in July 2001. It starts after L&T when the beautiful Powai Lake starts.
At the end of the semicircular necklace is the premier IIT Bombay, some prefer to call it IIT Powai or IIT Pawai!! But the lake is not the only thing that captures attention. To the other side is series of skyscrapers.. I will come to it later though.
Most remarkable thing at Mumbai-76 or Powai is IIT!! IIT has a huge campus of 5 acres. It has Powai Lake at the left (if you are facing main gate) and Vihaar Lake at the back, with a small hill on one side. Its amazingly green, clean and best place in Mumbai to have an institute of this stature. Opposite to IIT is a small market. It had some legendary places earlier (remember SP, Manoj tea stall, Laxmi etc. ?) but as the road widening is utmost important because of heavy traffic these legends are removed or rehabilated elsewhere. One restaurant of Historical Importance (especially for IITB alumni) is our very own - Maddu Mess.. Its a very small restaurant, sorry its a very small kitchen. Where aunty makes amazing dosa, innovative egg-dosa, dal-bada with coffee. USP of this place, it opens at 5 in the morning!! And whether its weekday or weekend, there is a waiting of at least 15-20 minutes.

Now comes the other part of Powai. The exotic Hiranandani!! Its so unlike Mumbai and for the first timers, its so unlike India. When I saw this first I was amazed. Cemented Roads, Sky scrapers, Superb buildings, cleanliness and Gigantic structures makes it ecstatic. It has place for everyone. Galleria is a complex where you can find all kinds of shop, all kind of restaraunt. You can actually get everything here. Be it Dominoes or Karims, Mochas or Yokos or a normal Foodcourt for every kind of food. Just opposite to Galleria is Rodas - the ecotel hotel. And ahead of it you have Go-karting track!! So you can get everything at Powai. Life is happening. You name and its here. And it is developing so fast, every few months you see another giant standing. Now I heard there are 2 multiplex coming in vicinity. There is so much to write, as there is everything. You can see Hiranandani in so many movies, to name a few, Ghajini, Kalyug, Shakti, Slumdog Millionaire and the list goes on.

For Shopping you have Galleria, D-Mart, Haiko, HN market.
For Food there is Mainland China, China Valley, Saffron Spice, Mantras, Utsav.
For Pizzas there is Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Smokin Joes, Papa Johns.
For Ice creams there is Naturals, Hockey Pockey.
For coffee and hookah we have 2 CCDs, Mochas, Kasbah.
Amongst others there are numerous vendors in the market and still the place is spacious. There are numerous offices, BPOs but still there is no crowding that you find anywhere else in Mumbai.

My reason for expressing my Love for Powai is because during my college days I have never thought of staying at Hiranandani.
But fortunately my office is at Hiranandani, a km from my home !!My Love with Mumbai - 76 continues.. and its incomparable to Delhi - 6 or Indore - 3 :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Travelogue: Ratnagiri-Ganapati Pule!!!

When I went to Ratnagiri-Ganapati Pule for the first time I immediately made plans for a second visit. So beautiful is the place that you cant stop visiting it. First time I want to Ratnagiri with my wife and aai-baba on first weekend of the year for the function of our cousin Parikshit dada's new born son 'Janmejay'. Ratnagiri is well known for superb quality Alphonso Mangoes. GanapatiPule is some 40-45 kms from Ratnagiri. It is well known for a Ganapati temple. A hill is considered as Lord Ganesha. Pradikshina of 1km is around the hill just opposite to a beautiful, clean beach. There is an amazing MTDC resort just opposite to the temple. There is a real life size museum called Prachin Kokan just 1 km from the resort. I must say this is the best place to be with friends or family. I was so much amazed by the place that we planned to come here again with mummy-papa, didi-jijaji and kids. And luck favored, the plan went as planned (And that was a back to back plan, we came from a week long Kokan-Darshan just 4 days back). Its better if I mention people about the plan as this could be best travel plan near Bombay/Pune that takes just 2 days.
1) Leave Bombay Friday Night by Konkan-Kanya Express
2) Reach Ratnagiri at 5 AM
3) Ratnagiri to GPule:
option1) take a Rickshaw @350/3-4 persons
option2) take ST bus that takes not more than an hour and a half
option3) take a cab @700/6-7 persons
4) GPule: Book MTDC resort for Saturday, must say should book Konkani Huts. These are beautiful cottages decorated by Bamboos. All the rooms are sea facing.
5) Prachin Konkan: The life size museum that showcase the style of living of old Kokan village.
6) Enjoy evening at the lovely beach
7) Leave Resort and Book a cab for sight seeing in and around Ratnagiri
8) Cab drops you to Ratnagiri station at 5PM, you get Janshatabdi @5:30 PM
9) By 10:30PM you reach Mumbai.

Travelogue: Hyderabad !!!!

There was not a single city I liked a lot after being in Mumbai for 8 years. Just to mention I went to Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pondicherry, Ratnagiri, Pune, Kolhapur in last couple of years. But either I dint liked the city at all (namely Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi) or I liked the city for once but could not think even of settling (namely Delhi, Pune, Ratnagiri) or I have no view at all (Kolhapur, Puducherry)
After a planning and ditching several times for visiting Hyderabad, as we have some of our wonderful relatives and best friends in Hyderabad, we finally decided to make a 3 day visit to the city. Before going to Hyderabad I was excited about few things: Biryani, Relatives and Friends. Dint have any expectation at all for the city as I knew I had very bad experience with South Indian cities. Couple of days before some of my Hyderabadi friends gave me a must visit, must do and must eat list. I was amazed to know that there is so much to do in Hyderabad!
We started our journey from Mumbai airport at 5AM on 21st Feb and reached Hyderabad by 6. Hyderabad Airport is 25km out of the city. But, But.. is it an Airport? Its a 5* hotel cum commercial complex cum 5* Mall and an Airport !! I think Hyderabad Airport should be in the must visit list even for people who are traveling by train should take a visit to airport once :-). Its awesome. Since its February, mornings are little cold. And from here I began enjoying Hyderabad. Our aatya and her two lovely daughters Chaitrali and Tanmayi came to pick us up (35km from their home at Secundarabad and 6 in the morning). In 45-50 min we reached their home behind Anand theatre, Secundrabad. On our way we saw so many restaraunts, malls, shopping complexes and good roads.
Now begins our first day of toursim in Hyderabad. We inaugrated it with the famous Charminaar.
From our school days we study one thing in our General Knowledge classes for sure: Where is Charminaar? Ans. Hyderabad. Charminaar gives a view of old Hyderabad. With a huge market surrounding. You can find here hawkers, stalls, petty traders, shops of shoes, sherwanis, bangles, more bangles and yet more bangles. Then we went for routine shopping to Begum Bazaar. After some jewellary shopping we went for lunch. There are unbelievable number of options for food in Hyderabad. After heavy lunch at a roof top restaraunt we went to meet our friends in High Tech city, almost the other corner of Hyderabad. Here I got chance to interact with local people, the autowallas, the passer bys to ask for direction sometimes when we miss our friend who was leading us ahead in a bike. Here I realised Hyderabad is so easy to live. There is no language problem unlike Pune, Bangalore and Chennai. People talk easily in Hindi, Hyderabadi Hindi.
We met our best friends Shobhit-Malabika and Dhammo. Its always fun to be with friends like them. We went to Shilpa Ramam, an exhibition place like Pragati Maidaan. With Shobhit-Malabika, Dhammo and Surbhi, its fun to be anywhere :-)
After dinner and night walk on city centre road our day ended. No wait our day ended after a wonderful Pan. Hyderabadi Pan is awesome, No one can eat just One..

Next day was specially reserved for Biryaani. We went to the most famous Biryaani Restaurant-Paradise. They say that it started in 1953 as a Tea Stall. And now its an industry on its own. Its a full fledged 4 storeyed building. And the food is awesomee... I dont have words to describe the food, the smell of Hyderabadi food.

And the waiters are so wi-fied, they take orders on PDA and the message goes to corresponding kitchen by wi-fi. Now, will you believe that. Thats not even in 5 stars of Mumbai. After a heavy lunch, theres no possibility of sight seeing at that time.
So we went to our relatives place and after a brief meeting we went for shopping!! Now how crazy is that we are almost full to our mouth and we are shopping. Only because theres so much to do and so many places to go. In the evening we went to Lumbini Park for the very famour Laser Show. It was the most amazing laser and fountain show I have ever seen. Even the Laser show in Techfest of IITB is not this good. I am in love with Hyderbadi songs:
RimJhim RimJhim Haiiderabad
I city, YOU city, Our City welcome to Haiiderabad !!
Then we went for evening boat ride on Hussain Sagar to Buddha Statue standing in between of the lake. Then we went for Hyderabadi Chaat followed by 10:30 PM movie show of - Delhi6. We reached home by 2 and so decided to put the next day for chill out only.
So our third day begin and chill out doesn't mean that we"ll be at home. Chill out means we wont go to RamojiRao film city but would go for more peaceful Salar-e-Jung museum. It showcase the Nawabi life of Nizaams. And really, how lavishly they lived. Theres a musical clock where every hour a puppet-man comes out and hit the drum as many number of times as number of hours. This clock is so old and its still working! We saw Nawab's swords, armours, clothes, lifestyle stuff, ivory stuff and so much more. Wish I was a Nawab!
Then we took our lunch at another famous restaraunt: Angeethi. That was almost time for our return. After couple of hours relaxation, playing Risk, Scrabble it was time we leave.
As I said I never liked any Indian City after Mumbai. I Loved Hyderabad. This is one city I am sure I will visit again and may be many times. There are various reasons (all equal):
Hyderabad is slow (suits my lazy nature :-) )
No Language Problem, Hindi is as accepted as Telugu (rather more) and Urdu
Amazing Food
Amazing Relatives
Amazing Friends
Amazing places to go
Its Happening, theres everything you need to enjoy in Hyderabad.

I love Hyderabad!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ram Sena

Everyone knows of moral policing that 'anti'-social organisations are doing in India. Ram Sena is doing exactly what their contemporary are doing in Maharashtra for so long. This time self proclaimed protectors of Indian culture have attacked women going pubs in Mangalore. First of all my question is who allows them to govern Indian culture and secondly which part of Indian 'culture' and 'tradition' lets its followers attack women. For all the years I have always known that Indian culture asks us to respect women. A true Indian would never attack a women. Everyone knows why Great Bhishma Pitamah died as he refused to raise his hands to attack shikhandi-a woman. So how come Sri Ram Sena warriors getting cues to attack women. 

First of all, any culture and tradition is not a set guideline. Its a self evolving, never ending process. Every culture gets rich by growing. By learning goods from other cultures and rejecting bad from its own existing cultures. We know, our Indian culture is rich because it has gained so much from Mughals, British and from diversities in our own. In due course of time we have done our best to leave behind evils like child marriage, sati and other atrocities to women. Women in India enjoy their independence more than before and still there is more to happen as compared to western world. Today, we see higher percentage of girls in schools, colleges and offices. There is so much done for men-women equality in India. With all this developments shouldn't women be  allowed to enjoy the same lifestyle as man? 

Our politicians, CM of Rajasthan, Mr. Kailash Vijayvargiya-minister from MP supports this agenda of anti-pub culture. But why the anti-pub culture protestors attack women specially? Continuing their in-human activities they protested against Valentine day. V-day protest is anyways not new to us. Our great Hindutva Sena is doing this for so long in Mumbai and Maharashtra. What I mean to say is this organisations are not protecting cultures but they are favoring our long lost evils in the culture. They are male chauvinist against the freedom of women. 

There is so much to do for our culture. Still we are not completely evolved from the evils of past. Why dont such organisations put their energies in more useful and fruitful activities rather than being destructive? It will help to enrich our culture!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ranji Final

At some point or the other we have cribbed that India is such a big country, why can't we select 11 or 14 Good Cricketer out of Crores. But how many of us actually follow domestic cricket? How many of us tell the pattern of Ranji Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Duleep Trophy or Irani Trophy? Leave the pattern, do we even know who is the current champion? or whats the status of current championship? If Yes, then its really great.... 
I was too excited about this year Ranji trophy, mostly during and more after semi finals. This might be because aamchi Mumbai is in Finals once again..
So, here is the glimpse of Final (day 3 in progress as I write this) between 37 times champion Mumbai and underdogs Uttar Pradesh, being played at Hyderabad. Mumbai defeated Saurashtra in thrilling semi-final and UP defeated strong Tamil Nadu in semis. Just to give an idea that Ranji matches are interesting: Decision for Mumbai Vs Saurashtra came in favour of Mumbai just half an hour before the scheduled end. 
Before the start of the final, Mumbai were clear strong team, with likes of Wasim Jaffer (skipper), Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma to bat and Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Sairaj Bahutule and Romesh Powar to bowl. But Mumbai were down to 55 for 4 with Jaffer out on 1 and Sachin out on duck. This is Sachin's first duck in domestic cricket. With some brave batting of Rohit Sharma (141) and Abhishek Nayar (99), Mumbai made 402 in first innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 5 and RP Singh took 3 wiskets, while Praveen Kumar and Piyush Chawla went wicketless for UP. UP innings is on and they are 119 for 3 losing Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif (the skipper). Whichever way the match goes but I am enjoying and developing interest in India's domestic cricket and Ranji!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Movie Review: Slumdog Millionaire

A: Its Okay
B: Its Good
C: Very Good
D: Amazing

What a movie is this!! Its not more than 5minutes I have finished watching the movie and I start pen down what I am feeling right now. When I watched 'City of Gods' or 'Amorres Perros', I used to think, cant we have such movies in India. And here it is, look and feel of the movie is mostly like 'City of Gods' or 'The Kite Runner'. The idea of showing a real life story of a slum dweller through a realty show 'kaun banega crorepati' is simply superb. It rightly got the Golden Globe award for best screenplay. It shows that best knowledge you get is through life and that's how the protaganist gets all answers to his journey to be millionaire. A well knit love story travels parallely to the entire life story of the slumdog! Music, back ground score is great, story - screenplay is great and acting is The Best. All the child artists have shown the best piece of acting in the movie. All in all, a very very good movie. I don't feel I am capable of giving rating to such movies. I am falling short of stars and praising for the movie..

D: Its Amazing!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Movie Review: Rab ne bana di jodi & Ghajini

*************************Spoiler ahead*******************************
*************************My views only******************************

I will start with one liners of SRK and Amir before their movies:
SRK: RNBDJ will bring smile to tense Indian (as it released couple of weeks after 26/11)
AK: Ghajini is not Memento

Good to know that both Khan's knew the worth of their movie. 

SRK starrer RNBDJ has one thing to describe everything : Shahrukh Khan. Movie does not have number 1 actress, music director (Salim Suleiman), Choreographer (Vaibhavi Merchant) and not the number 1 Director (Aditya Chopra) at present. All it has is Shah Rukh KhaN. SRK as Surinder Sahni has done exactly what SRK has said before, it brings smile to normal Indian. SRK carried this role quite well. He acted like a normal person who luckily gets a more beautiful girl he could have ever expected. His other part, Raj is typical SRK overacting. I give 2* to story, and yes I am convinced by the fact that the wife was not able to recognise her husband in two avtars. In almost all the frames where Tani faces Suri, either she is not looking at her with interest or they are sitting far across the table. So she dont remember, rather dont care to recall his husband when she faces Raj. Another 1* for music and background score. 1* for acting SRK as Suri and -1* as Raj, 1/2* for debutant actress, 1/2* for dance in the movie and -1/2* for the long 15-20 minutes in second half (unnecessary bike scenes etc.). Overall 3.5* for SRK and RNBDJ.

Ghajini is not Memento. In fact it is just a South Indian movie, with South Indian cameraman, actress, director, Villain.. everything. It just needed a north Indian face to be released in Hindi and so it has Amir Khan. All the flashy zug-zug-zug camera movement, bright colours (pink, orange) clothes and cars of Amir in songs, repeated comedy of actress and exaggerated violence. Typical Hindi (or South Indian) movie action in the end when a hero single handedly brings down dozens of large sized villains men. Too much of co-incidence and dramatisation when hero loses his memory after a long time of action exactly when he reaches main villain. In all 1* for story, 1* for acting as there is so little scope for acting of Amir, only anger and anger, love story part is not well knot. 1/2* for debutant actress, -1* for background score. I wonder what A.R. Rahman did, music is good with some good songs but background music is absolutely hap hazard, with techno music anywhere, emotional melodrama somewhere else. -1/2*for  over-violence without much story and 15-20 minutes longer second half. Overall 1* for Ghajini.