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A friend of mine introduced me to the magic of flickr recently. I'm hooked onto it like flies on garbage now :)

Take a look at my shots at moi flickr page


A comfortable job...

As all my blog posts start off with "It's been a long time..." I shall refrain from repeating myself as the statement is now implied :)

I was browsing the net in search of some information on Ramadhan and when it would start (apparently I'm lazy to go to a masjid and find out from there) and I stumble upon this new article on Khaleej Times. This made me think....how fun would it be to have a job just looking at the moon? They have a committee that works once a month, stare at the sky and search for a moon. Their conversations at work would probably be....

Guy A: Hey is that the moon there?
Guy B: No stupid, that's just the lights off the Burj Dubai
Guy A: Oh yeah...how had i missed that??
Guy C: Hey there there the moon!!!
Guy B: hmmm...let me have a look at it...ok this calls for a conference, get Moon Sighting Committee in Dubai on the line

135kms away

Dubai: Aloo alooo....yes yes...we are the moon sighting committee in Dubai...how may we help you?
Guy B: We think we saw the moon did you?
Dubai: Aaah...come to think of it, we were supposed to do that tonight right? Just a min...
(a couple of screaming and shouting later)
....yes yes...we too see it.
Guy A: Alright so we have seen the moon. Call the press, and we'll see ya next month.

Ka-Ching! Salary in the bank....

Now that's what I call a good job. Alright now if that was a weird job, let's move onto another scenario...this I am narrating out of a real life experience I had and although I'm known to stretch the truth a little, the following is as-is!

It was a bright Sunday morning....possibly 'coz it was 12pm...but nevertheless it was bright and it was well....uhm...(ok ok let's just take it as 11:59am)...morning! I had finally decided to have a haircut after 2 months. Those of you who don't know me, this is normal my hair doesn't grow much...and to those who do...."I DO have hair!!!". A friend of mine had suggested a certain hairdresser in South Delhi and said they did a wonderful job and wasn't too expensive (by this he meant it didn't cross 500Rs). I was in a mood to spoil myself so I thought I'd give it a shot.

An hour long auto ride and I was in Vasant Vihar. A quick bite at McDonald's and there I was at the store, wondering if I should go ahead and give them a challenge of a lifetime....ie. to cut my hair! My decision...as you may have all guessed...was to go in after all.

I walked in and my first query was with their charges. They had different rates for a hair cut and a cut with a wash inclusive, the miser in me decided to choose the former and I was stuffed in one of those fancy chairs in front of a mirror that did anything but show you your reflection. The barber (uhm....I learnt later that he was a 'hairdresser' and took quite a huge offense when I called him a 'barber' out loud...yes yes...and I've learned never to mess around with a man who cuts your hair and is armed with a couple of sharp objects) said my hair was too messy and required a wash...$$$$ was the only thing in my mind then...but I remind you once again...I never mess with a guy armed with sharp objects...

The pesky assistant kicked off his long and irritating conversation just about then. His questions ranged from "Where did you cut your hair before this?", "Are you losing hair?", "Sir, your blackheads are showing", "Are you from Delhi?","How much do they charge for a haircut in Bangalore?","Why are you looking so tired sir? Shall I suggest a facial?".....little was he to know that I was plotting a murder...the victim...as you may have guessed was right in front of me...all I needed was to distract the hairdresser for a few seconds and arm myself with one of his weapons....alas...it was not meant to be :(

I was stuffed back in the chair and was now staring at my face...which looked tired....and voila...enter hairdresser with a utility belt stuffed with scissors of various shapes and sizes and a wicked smile on his face. He observed his canvas for a while...and flinched...this was probably not one of his lucky days...he spent a whole 10 minutes staring at my hair...and occasionally shaking his head wondering why he was selected on this bright day with his toughest challenge. He finally decided to make conversation and asked me "What would you like?" to which I said that anything that looks presentable is fine. There was a momentary smile and then he went back to observing his canvas. And then without any notice, he picked up his scissors and was at work.

I spent the whole time observing how this artist was working on his masterpiece (if you may call it that). A clip here and a clip there, it was amazing seeing him go...after 15 minutes of intense struggle, he was done! The pesky assistant was now back and he began his questions once again as he banged my head into position (this is a certain thing exclusive to Indian barber shops...oops hair stylists :P). The hairdresser was back and he put on a hair styling cream and whacked my hand when I attempted to style it myself. He had a look that would probably get a lion to run for cover and once again I remind you...sharp objects. The final question that the pesky assistant left me with was "Sir, do they tip in Bangalore?"...My answer (quite predictable).."No we don't"...to which his immediate response was "But out here they tip a lot"...I smiled...He insults me about my hair, my face, my poor nose and then bugs me every two seconds with totally meaningless questions and now has the nerve to ask for a tip....yea right! The armed man took over and led me to the cashier. I was forced to pay for the wash as well and I made a quick exit...watching as I left, a tear on the hairdresser's eye ('coz of his miserable failure) and the disappointed face of the pesky assistant.

I get home and finally got to see myself in a mirror....sigh...and once again I'm in a loss of words....and hair!!

To new beginnings...

Homesick...but where's home?

Its just one of those days again....a time when you look back at images of a distant memory and wonder when you'd be able to be there once again...

NRIs, non-resident indians (non-returning indians to some) are probably the most confused souls in this planet. We often move out of our country in search of better futures and a better life on the other side of the world. 37 yrs back, my dad did the same, a long ship ride into a deserted country and a decade plus of struggles later he brought smiles to many lives around him. I've just completed 24 yrs, the time my dad made the decision to move out...here I am in Delhi, blogging this out to you as I stay completely confused abt my present, my past and most importantly...my future!

Let's just stick with the past...the reason I began this post in the first place. A couple of months back, Samir (a buddy from school) began posting pics of our good times in school...this was followed by a couple of others doing the same and I (being the non-imaginative one) followed suite as well. This was followed by a major frenzy of activities within Facebook: tags, photo comments, friend add requests, and the "Where the hell are you dude??" msgs flowing in.....a close look at the profiles and I guess I got to see close to 40 different cities listed there as current location!! A look at the pics....and few seconds of being in a trance later...I realize what we had when we were there together in Abu Dhabi might never happen again. The games of football, the bunking of classes, the broken basketball rims (courtesy of me and a couple others...esp when we were bunking and avoiding any form of attention), swimming competitions, the all you can eats at pizza hut and kfc, the meetings at the corniche we knew...the boring city of Abu Dhabi was not soo boring to us back then...

Missing you all...and wish going back home would really mean to all you guys and gals from ADIS and not just to the city we now know as "Boring"

Jai Hind

60yrs of total bliss...60yrs of freedom...60yrs of crazy politicians....but all worth it! A very Happy Independence!!!!!

Across the border

Wishing all my brothers and uhm....sisters??...naaaaaa....and all the gals across the border and very happy Independence!

Wish I was there....

Just a thought...

Observe closely and you will find a statement 'Crush the bottle after use.' on the label of a Gatorade.

I'd like to meet someone who was successful at that with a pet bottle, especially the Gatorade ones.

Of dreamers and cycle rickshaws...

A long time away from blogging and I'm finally back! yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Guess the rains inspired me to finally blog.

The heat in Delhi was just unbearable and it resulted in constant loss of liquids in my body and a certain tingling feeling on the keyboard 'coz of all the sweat accumulating there (yes yes I can certainly be gross and I shall avoid getting into further details). A sweltering few days since the beginning for June...which had me doing quite a bit of jogging and jumping in my room (oh now...u know me, i can't be health conscious can I?) thanks to the hot floor :S. But yes...it did some good too, many of my long forgotten friends started messaging me and mailing me to see if I was still alive and hadn't melted yet :D

Now that I'm done with my ramblings, let's get down to business as I sip my Gatorade into the night. If Delhi's got me addicted to something, it's Gatorade! I could go on about it but I'm no cricketer to endorse products.

A few months back I had started using a certain cycle rickshaw regularly from the metro station to my office near New Delhi Railway Station. It wasn't me being lazy to walk, it was just that there was this one guy who always offered to take me there and was pretty good at convincing me to sit in his rickshaw. Let's just start from the beginning then....it was 9:35p...I was late (yes you all may have noticed the accidental p I placed there...let me correct that...9:35am :D) and one of our subcons had arrived at site and was calling me up and asking me where I was as the door was locked (I double as a security guard...or the 'Keymaker' if you want it to sound more matrix like). I had to get to the site and couldn't afford to take my routine 15 minute morning walk. A bunch of rickshaws stood before me and for once, the dim bulb in the brain shone bright!

Me: Bhaiya, I need to go to Zakir Hussain College. How much will you charge?
R1 : 15Rs
Me: Are you crazy????? I'll pay 5Rs.
R1 : Sorry I won't go

(moves to the next rickshaw and attempts the same dialogue again)

R2 : 10Rs sir
Me: 5Rs!
R2 : Sir pay 8Rs I'll take you there
Me (thinking) : hmmm....should I just go or waste another 10 minutes haggling?
Me: sigh...okay (yes, we indians love to haggle and hate losing in any of the Bargain Battles)

And that's the story of how I first got into that rickshaw. In the days that followed, he'd get ready with his cycle rickshaw when I got out of the metro station and ask me to get in. His rates went down from the initial 8Rs to 5Rs for the ride. Often I'd pay an advace for two or three days and he wouldn't ask for more (yes yes I did tip once in two weeks).

One morning as I got into the rickshaw, I noticed the guy looked pretty worried. Curiosity got the best of me and...

Me: Hey, you look upset...something wrong?
RW (Rickshaw walla...I just realised I forgot to ask him his name!): Yes sir, last night someone stole all my money, I was sleeping on that corner of the road and they took all the money I had made that day.
Me: Oh my God! That's bad!
RW: Yes sir, I had bought a new shirt for my brother and one for myself and kept it in a bag. In the evening I had downed a few and went off to sleep there and the next morning I see that someone had taken my plastic bag....the b@#%@!#s!
Me (thinking): New clothes...bag....alcohol...loss of senses...sleep on road...robbed....yep kinda makes sense
Me: That's real bad (yep...I was totally monotonous there and couldn't think of anything else to say...eventually the light bulb helped)...wrong time to ask you this but how much do you make a day?
RW: Sir, generally I make around 400-500Rs a day. After food and alcohol, I manage to save around 300Rs a day.

Me (thinking again): hmmm...500X25 (assuming he's working everyday) comes to around 1250...oh boy life must be tough for him....uhm...wait....500X25?? WTF!!! That's 12,500Rs without taxes!!!! I got paid that much in my first year in the company!!!!!!

Me: That's quite a sum, why do you keep all the money in your hand always? Why don't you get a savings account in one of the banks nearby and get an ATM card. You can put in money every evening after you finish work. You'll be able to save a lot more and send money to your family in the village too.
RW: Sir I already have an account, but it's on the other side of town. I've got 3lacs there which one of my relatives had given me. I'm saving that to start a business of my own in a few months. I'm hoping to save some from the work I'm doing now.
Me: Yeah and you can make it much better if you start saving your money and not letting others rob you
RW: Yes sir....sir...do you think they'll give me an account in one of those banks?
Me: Why not?? There are many banks nearby. State Bank of India will open one for you with just the savings you make everyday. And you can deposit money at any time of the day. Even at night.
RW: Really sir? I was thinking of putting it in my account there but it's too far and I can't go everyday. I think I shall do something tomorrow or so...Thank you sir...Sir if you don't mind, could you give me an advance for tomorrow, I haven't had breakfast.

Paid him 15Rs that day...yes a measly sum but it meant a lot to him. It's funny how we underestimate many ppl around us. These guys move in from neighboring states into Delhi and slog their days riding contraptions that carry 3-4 ppl in the summers of Delhi. Often having to bargain their fare for an extra Re or two.

Their dreams may be modest, but it's nice to know that this city....the Lazy Metro...still has it's dreamers...the ones who still dream of a future where they are sitting behind a store making money out of hard work than sleeping away in a corner office. Haven't seen the guy for almost 3 weeks now...I'm hoping he got his savings right and managed to get that store he was dreaming and telling me of.....the very Best of Luck to him :)

Peak a booo

Sigh...I'm speechless!

The heat is on!

It's summer already and Delhi is back on it's infamous heat streaks....a whopping 40 degrees for a while and lingering at 36+ in Celsius all day is anything but pretty...and to top it off, the Air Con at work was turned off....some intelligent soul decided that the Air Con deserved a holiday and thought of giving it one this Saturday. Uhm no...I'm not talking abt the situation at my company, but it's well....at a site where i'm working....the details, I shall refrain from revealing...let's just say an earlier cribbing session has come back to haunt me in the form of a project :( (Hey don't get me wrong, work's awesome!)

Another week ends and this time around instead of writing down my weekly report to my Technical Manager I thought I'd give my blog a shot...sigh and I'm back to having nothing to write. A long week can do things to you....but a long and eventful one at that. A friend flew in halfway around the world to meet me for one ;) Alright so she didn't fly down halfway around the world 'just' to meet me, there were other important things but hehe....let's just use the more appealing reason :D A Dilli Darshan that lasted almost 10hrs, loads of shopping and a goodbye at the airport sums up my thursday....did I forget to mention the amazing food? Sigh....I still drool thinking of the amazing stuff we had all thro' the day! Observe as I stuff in a 50Rs Momo :

Aaaaaah...now that we're done with the drooling...how many of you have got a compliment from a person who has later made you feel extremely uncomfortable with a racist statement? It was just another day at work, a site that is being set up by us Engineers and one of the officials from the client started up a conversation with me, let's just call him Mr K

This conversation has been translated from a combination of English and Hindi to English to assist the linguistically challenged and to avoid embarrassing myself 'coz of my extremely funny version of the National Language

Mr K: Hey Shanim, how's the progress on the site?
Me: Going on great sir. We're moving quite quickly and have managed to make and beat most of our targets. (yes yes I'm trying to make it sound 'professional' ;) )
Mr K: Do you know something, your Hindi is real good for a south indian

Blushes stammers and speaks gibberish and Mr. K regrets having uttered those few sentences mentioned above

Me: No sir, I'm far from perfect. I still make quite a few blunders as I speak. (sigh...modest ain't I?)
Mr K: Oh no, it is quite good. Since you primarily use other languages and use Hindi only to converse with us, I feel it is good. We find it very difficult to speak English, which we use only in rare situations, and you are quite fine with both English and Hindi. Even your accent sounds quite good and not like a southie.
Me: Oh!...Thank you :)

An awkward silence follows....

Mr K: So Shanim, what does your name mean?
Me (thinking): Sigh...hate this question!
Me: It doesn't really have a meaning. My dad had made it up and I find that a good enough reason to love it.
Mr K: That's real nice. So what is your full name?
Me: It's Shanim Sainul, sir.
Mr K: Oh, so you're christian are you?
Me (thinking): sigh....this would be the 2324112nd person assuming I'm X'ian...how do I tell the guy I'm agnostic?....uhm...let's leave it as Muslim
Me: No no sir, I'm Muslim

A silence follows, he looks uneasy and suddenly gets defensive

Mr K: Oh, I'm sorry, I shouldn't be asking you this. Hope you don't mind.
Me (thinking): WTF???
Me: No sir, why should it be a problem :) It's okay.

We move in different directions and he resumes his silent chantings from the Bhagvath Gita as I continue to watch my Malaysian friend talk to the sub-contractors in a language that baffles me, it's a mixture of english and a dramatic performance worthy of an award. (Uhm...yeah I do help out eventually....I mean I have to stop laughing to do so, right?)

A normal conversation isn't it? or is it? Aren't we all just plain racists? We walk around talking about people from south india as madrasis or southies and when we're down south in Bangalore, we abuse the 'northies' who have absolutely no care for the city and it's beauty. We call people Mallus, Gultes, Pandis, Chinkies, Surds....the list just goes on. True we never realize it. We probably have the worst case of racist behavior and it continues to be a part of us being Indian. I've often heard people talk about their caste and how it is not acceptable to marry someone from a different caste, or of how another person was of a lower caste and their 'kind' used to deliver milk in villages. Now why did all this spark a thought in my otherwise vacuum head?

It's 10:30pm. I walk home after a tiring day at work and a tough search for some snacks for the long night (fine....I choose to make the nights long by sleeping at 2am) and on my way to the gate I overheard a very weird conversation. A man, quite tall and bulky was talking to a cycle rickshaw guy. The only thing I heard (which was quite loud mind you) was "Tum Hindu ho ke Musalmaan??" (Translated as "Are you Hindu or Muslim??"). I was distracted by a friend of mine at this point and didn't see what happened next but.......does this question really matter???? I often get jealous of the Chinese....most of them are free-thinkers and are not limited in their sights and perspective to just religion or castes for that matter. A Chinese friend of mine was fascinated when we talked about religion. She had never heard of Buddhism and Islam before and she looked at us like a 5-yr old at a candy store.

We remain in our closed boxes, shying away from interacting with people from 'other' backgrounds. After all, they are different and they can be threatening to us. Why the $!#@# are we still living in a archaic society??? Isn't it time we moved on and changed our perspective?

A religion is merely our guide to be good to the world, it's there to give us peace of mind and more often than not, we're born into it (atleast in India). Is this a reason to fight on or profile?? BEATS ME!!


"Hey...don't ever let somebody tell you 'You can't do something'....not even me alright?

You got a dream, you gotta protect it...people can't do something themselves, they tell you 'You can't do it'....you want something? Go get it!...Period!!" --Chris Gardner in 'The Pursuit of Happyness'

A couple of words that struck my heart like a sword and struck it good. I've no better word to say about this movie than "Amazing!!". Adding one more quote from the movie to end this tiny post.

"And it was at that time that I thought about Thomas Jefferson writing that Declaration of Independence. Him saying that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I thought about how he knew to put the 'pursuit' in there, like no one can actually have happiness. We can only pursue it."

Maybe it's just all around us....maybe it's just waiting for us to call on it...maybe we've forgotten to smile and welcome happiness into our lives....maybe...just maybe.....

Incredible India

An interesting conversation sparked up the other day while we were traveling to a site in Delhi. My manager and another of his colleagues were with me in a tiny cab which apparently had more accidents than engine parts. We were talking about some incidents that had occurred recently in the country and eventually ended up having a discussion on drugs.

It is known to most students in the country that drugs are very much in business and available cheap. Local panwallahs near colleges are often the easiest links to get 100gms of Weed for a amounts that can be considered pretty much like pocket change. And this is surprising?? Think again!!

We often hear from our conservative parents that such things are true only in places like "Bangalore", "Bombay" etc....me being from Kerala, they continue to vouch for the state and tell me that the state is a real nice place and doesn't have any influence of sorts. Reality, however, contradicts! It may be true that my college didn't have much of an influence to this and if it did, I was unaware of the same, but move out of the place and into most other cities and tourist hubs and you're bound to find a stoned foreigner or student walking around. The pretext of coming into the country for "religious" and "spiritual" peace is more or less a couple of words that just mean nothing if you were to look at it carefully. The reason why India is known to be mystical and magical is probably because half the tourists who come in here remain 'high' through their stay here and....well it's kinda obvious what happens then right?

So what exactly am I talking about here? An external link may help : High in the mountains...

Video Reports of the same : Video

A coincidence? Maybe not....with things happening around the country (and the world for that matter) it was bound to come out sooner or later. Kudos to the reported and CNN-IBN for covering such a controversial topic! And yep, the 3.9 million tourist inflow (as of 2005) may just surge higher after this report...


Last night I was unable to get a wink of sleep and spent 2 hours walking around my tiny room wondering what to do. Spent sometime online (yep nothing new) and then after a couple of blog reading and commenting I moved on to gaming and then a book and finally the newspaper. I've been keeping off the paper in Delhi lately since it's the Indian Express and the paper hasn't really caught my attention much owing to it's very brief content.....until last night ie.

The Front Page of Saturday's Newspaper had a disturbing tale to tell us and it shocked me.

Children all over the country seem to be going missing and not many seem to care, or atleast don't seem to notice. We often find kids walking around the roads and traffic signals begging for alms, we given them a cold shoulder and just walk by. How often do we stop to think twice or maybe ask them where they're from? I'm sure we being Indians love to know what's happening in our neighbour's house or maybe Amitabh Bachan's family but little do we care about the children walking around on the streets with tattered clothes abused psychologically, physically and often sexually. And where do they come from? Probably homes like ours or maybe our neighbours' (where we so often poke our noses into).

The recent Nithari case was a wake up call. And yet we fail to understand that this is just one of a million other similar occurrences around the country. A whopping 1,047 children go missing in Kerala alone, as per the article. This from a state that boasts to have one of the best Police forces in the country. I shudder to think what the numbers are in other states or of the many that go unreported! A child going out for a haircut, another to play cricket or another out to meet a friend....all missing, and we aren't just talking of young children but some as old as 16yrs.

Fear sets in one's mind just picturing this and I wonder...."How safe are our kids??"

A response to Gandhigiri Vs Gurugiri

Hey ppl, as suggested by a friend of mine, I've decided to post one of my comments on her post as a blog entry. The discussion was on Gandhi and Ambani, as two movies (viz. "Lage Raho Munnabhai" and "Guru") have come on recently and brings in two schools of thought on how changes were made in India. Which thought would you opt for?

Original Post:

Gurugiri v/s Gandhigiri

"I thought I'd be diplomatic and keep away, but something deep within me wasn't letting me do that and forced me to begin typing...it's a curse I say!

Gurugiri Vs Gandhigiri...let the battle begin...

1) Gandhi stands in front of the British and says "Get out" (alright so maybe it was "Quit India") and they say no..years of non-obedience later they leave....Guru stands in front of the Parsi community in Mumbai and says "Quit killing progress with ur practises and let us trade in peace"...a couple of intelligent gestures later they cede defeat....Guru 1 - Gandhi 1

2) The British imposes a law that brought out a salt tax. Gandhi defied it and "Dandi March" was marked as a prominent mark in history and a twist (couldn't get a good word here :D ) in our fight for freedom....License Raj and complicated laws prevailed in India that restricted free trade in india...Guru defied it by cheating the Govt. out of export duties....Gandhi 0.5 - Guru 1.5 (since we are referring to Gandhi in Lage Raho....)

3) Gandhi along with many other freedom fighters including Mohd. Ali Jinnah (True he was also the reason why we have a Pakistan and a Bangladesh but hey...he was crucial in our freedom struggle) got us our independence....Guru (The real one) along with many other prominent businessmen provided valuable input that eventually resulted in the Govt. Of India to modify business rules in the country and eventually kill the license raj (although not completely)....Gandhi 1 - Guru 1

Hmm....Guru leads I guess...

my opinion?..they are pretty much the same...we are all humans and we all tend to have our shades of grey...I personally don't think anything in this world can be achieved by being a complete angel, often fighting fire with fire is an only option and if you were to fight it with water then (referring to an electrical fire) you'd probably lose the race (in a big way wrt. the example given) in the end. Being oblivious to this is pretty much living in a fantasy world...wake up and smell the thorns (where have I heard that??) 'coz life ain't a bed of roses!"

I'm High....uhm....or maybe Low...

If there is one thing I hate, it's a writer's block...and this from a person who writes just once or twice a month is all the more shocking. The past few weeks have been quite eventful. I ended up with a sore stomach which resulted in a low bp. Yep...quite bad and the funny part of it, it took a visit to Costa Coffee for me to realise I wasn't feeling well.....I'll explain that in a bit.

Low bp reminds me of a certain day in Abu Dhabi in my 12th grade. Abizar, Akshath and Vikas (I think it was him), tagged along with me and we headed to a pool joint nearby. We thought of playing for an hour before we headed out for dinner and then back home...a routine evening after school......turned out that it wasn't really routine as time progressed.

We started playing and a few shots (and no I don't mean shots of vodka or tequila) later something was weird and I was flying....rather it felt like I was. Two seconds later, my right hand went off to sleep, followed by my right eye and gradually my speech was going astray. It took me a minute to get back to my senses, but something shocking happened just after that.....I pocketed a ball!!! (Oh yes...that is shocking since at most times I would just help the opposing team by placing the white right where they want it to score). My friends were alarmed...shocked I say...shocked! I could actually see Akshath's eyes pop out....thankfully the sockets that hold his eyeballs were stable enough to not let go of them. Two shots more and I was actually pocketing balls...ofcourse my winning streak didn't last long (sigh...it never does :( ) and I was talking normal....or so I thought....

We decided to quit the game....uhm....alright let's stick to reality for a bit...we ran out of cash and the guy running the place wasn't really interested in giving credit to 4 pesky kids who rarely came to his joint. He asked us to make a move or listen to some arabic poetry...hehe the only few words I recall in arabic are "Salam aleiykum, Valeikum As Salam, Shukran, La, Na'am"....with the limited vocabulary of ours, we figured it was no longer poetry when the amplitude of his voice reached alarming level.

Our favorite shawarma store was round the corner and two shawarmas later I was no longer in a state of trance...yet something disturbed me...we decided to kill time by taking a walk around the block and probably meeting up with a friend below his place nearby. That's when things started getting funny.....I spoke....or I thought I did...I had no idea what I had said.....frankly I never do, but this time around, neither did my friends...they just looked at me and had a puzzled look on their face...hmmmm....got me thinking....and then few more sentences followed...I believe I was arguing with myself on something....a couple of laughs later (when Akshath finally got back his breath) I said "Guys, If I fall down please do call a fire station"...."A What???" Abizar screamed out...."A Fire...uhm...oh an Ambulance...and take me to a restaurant maan...I need a panadol"....a loud laugh later Akshath realised I was talking about a Pharmacy.....I was then dragged into a cab and dropped back home....shut the lights and hit the bed...mom was worried as always and ten minutes later I headed to the bathroom and puked twice......

The next morning I was back to normal.....now why did I bring this up? hehe I just realised that was exactly what I felt the other day when my BP went down. I was walking wondering why DDA designed the footpath with an inclination of 45 degrees and I couldn't understand why the video store was making a big fuss about something called "Paisa"...headed home and a friend called up and asked me to go out with him to the market. I thought I could use the air and we headed to the Costa Coffee nearby...since I was feeling extremely weird in the Cycle Rickshaw (hallucinating basically) I decided to visit a doc and say hi....well the hi was followed by a lo....a lo bp and a ban from coffee for a week :( Turned out I was just extremely tired and had lost a lot of water and electrolytes thanks to Diarrhea...hehe interesting...I hadn't realised......Oh well...I guess I never do.

Back and kicking now and I still have absolutely no idea what I should write for this post.....hmmm...guess I should just get back to you guys when I think of something more relevant.....ofcourse there are a few things I wanna get out of my head...but I can't seem to get the right words for it....sigh...guess the low bp is acting up again ;)

Audio Detour

A couple of months back I met up with a senior of mine online after a reeeeal long time. It's almost 8 years since I last met him, and from his pics...he hasn't changed much. It was absolutely great catching up. We were in the same house back in school (Spring House ROCKS) and swam for the swim team as well. He had told me then that he plays for a band and it wasn't surprising since he was part of the Band back then and played real good!

Now for the catch....when he said band, I thought it was something like the bands we had in school or like most here in Indian colleges...play popular tunes and modify some a bit and mark them as your own creation....sigh...guess again! Wait...why guess?? Check them out for yourself. The band is AudioDetour and my pal's name is Agul. He plays bass guitar in the band and they sound awesome! You can listen to their tunes at their site. Do check it out, it'll be worth it...trust me!

Damn my pals are awesome...wonder what happened to me! :) oh yeah I remember...we'll leave that for a later discussion...

A Little about them:

"About AudioDetour

AudioDetour is a four member band that strives to create a new musical experience that blends genres from two different corners of the world. The band has been and will continue to experiment with different sounds and feels of music that complement traditional Indian poetry.

The members of AudioDetour are:

Sai - Lead Male Vocals/keyboards/arrangement/mixing
Gary - Rhythm/Lead guitar
Agul - Bass/Rhythm/Lead guitar
Silpa - Lead Female Vocals

AudioDetour has been together for over two years and it all began when Sai took a leap into the world of composing. Having dabbled in it briefly, he turned his dream into reality by acquiring the precious music equipment that is the life of AudioDetour's studio today. Gary, a passionate learner of his instrument, was looking for avenues to explore further. Agul was active in the local circuit and quickly made name for himself as a dynamic bass and guitar player. A walk into Sai’s studio is all it took for these two guitarists to get serious about their passion. The three ended up working on their first song. Silpa was a popular performer of popular Bollywood numbers and Ghazals at local events. After being introduced to the band through a common friend, Silpa decided to lend her voice to AudioDetour.

Alongside composing and recording music, live performances have become a major part of AudioDetour’s journey. These performances have resulted in massive support from Indians and Americans in and around the United States. AudioDetour has also been featured on a couple of radio shows and podcasts including a popular show on BBC Radio.

The songs featured here are drawn from AudioDetour's debut album, "Transitions, Reflections and 9 kilos of Aachaar". The album contains 9 songs, which try to capture a gamut of emotions, from fun to romantic to pensive. Genre is not a boundary for this album, for which influences are drawn from carnatic, hindustani, rock, blues, and many more."

Share Auto Miseries

It was a lovely morning today. I was finally able to wake up at 6am although the cold was unbearable. Got up from bed and turned on the Water Heater. Now since it is pretty cold, I usually leave it on for around half an hour before I take a bath. Went back to bed to escape from the cold and well...yep...you guessed it, I slept off and woke up at 8:15am...oh crap...there goes my cab :(....and what's worse? This was my first day in that cab!

Got ready and headed out by 8:45am and got in one of those Green Delhi autos to Kapashera border. The cold was as always unbearable and got me numb in a few minutes. At the border, after switching Auto Rickshaws to one of those share autos found here I was moving again......but not for long.....

For the unenlightened readers, the Share Auto I'm talking about has 15 people stuffed in a contraption designed for 4. I'm usually stuck in a position where a leg, both hands and my head would be outside the auto with just one leg barely hanging in. Today was my lucky day and I got a seat up front.

The auto suddenly stalled and the driver pulled over. He asked the two others sitting in front to get out and overturned his seat to see the engine. Now for the surprise, the accelerator's cable had broken and he was determined not to lose his customers. He pulled out the cable (or what was left of it), pulled it a couple of times to ensure that the acceleration was working fine, routed it over a couple of loops in the front and finally tied it to a point up front. This was kinda confusing at first and well it freaked me out. He asked everyone to get back in and.....brace yourself for this....he stepped on the wire and sped off!

So I reached my office safe and sound...blogging this out to you guys...hoping the guy did spend 15 bucks and got that cable repaired...

A Sleepless Night....

A serious case of blogger's block has been looming around me and a couple of my blogging buddies. We constantly visit each other's blogs and notice that the other hasn't blogged and procrastinate blogging on our own. Today, I'm breaking this habit and finally penning down my thoughts.

I had a wonderful New Year's Eve, the jobless (uhm...let me rephrase that, lifeless) person that I was, I went to work on New Year's eve and spend the turn of the year working on keeping two of our switches up. Uhm...to the non-technical audience, I was just making sure you guys could call your loved ones and say "Hey!! Happy New YEAR!!!" :) yep...lame but hey, I wasn't the only one there :) hehe..so there are more of us who don't really have a life. A heavy fog had hit the city then and my cab driver had an awesome time stopping every few seconds to step out and ensure that we were still on the road....and occasionally to walk around and check where we were :) After a gruelling two hours of searching for streetlights, sign boards, and insanely blind bikers speeding at 120 in a fog of visibility 50m, he finally got me home. A short nap later, I learn that most of my friends got wasted the previous night hours before the turn of the year. Hehe...so I don't have a life, the rest had way too much of it to stay up to enjoy the countdown...so hey...guess it evened out :)

Well, speaking of night activities....guess I'm getting used to the fact that I do dumb things, I fail to notice them these days. The other day I had a night activity and was to reach an Exchange at Tis Hazari at 9:45pm. Since there was this huge confusion about cabs, I finally didn't get one and was asked to get to the exchange on my own. The miser that I am, I decided to use the Metro. Left home at 8:30p and walked towards the metro station at Dwaraka Sec 10 (This is the second last station on the westward direction of the Blue Line). My plan, arrive at CP in 45 minutes, catch my connection to Kashmere Gate through the Yellow line, get the last train out of Kashmere Gate on the Red Line to Tis Hazari just in time to get there by 9:45 or 10p. Oh well, with Delhi's well known punctuality, being 15 minutes late would actually be too early!

Sigh...little was I to know that the world was conspiring against me already. I reached the station around 8:50p and well guess what happens, no train....5 minutes pass.....10....12....and finally a train pops up...yep, I had forgotten that the frequency at this station was 12 minutes and I had just missed the previous train.

A whole 40 minutes later I get a call from one of my colleagues asking me where I was and that they were leaving Tis Hazari to the site as we were getting late. I'm sure all of you have been in situations like this when your mind just fails to perform a task that it has spent over 23 years perfecting....thinking! I jumped out of the train at the next station and jumped into a rickshaw and headed to the site....uhm...now for the punch line...my dearest readers, I didn't know where the site was :) I'm almost always sleeping just before I get to this site at a place called Shaktinagar. It's in a place I haven't ventured into during the day and hence I was pretty sure I'd get lost. The rickshaw finally entered Shaktinagar Circle (it's also the market there...read my prev post to understand what they mean by "markets" here)...and yes you guessed it, I was lost...we asked a couple of people around if they knew where I wanted to go...yep sounds demented, but we tried giving it a shot anyways...finally we were informed that we were on the wrong side of Shaktinagar, and we would have to travel another 5-10kms to the right place. Time's ticking away and my colleague rung up when I hadn't reached. Thats when my dearest brain decided to work for the first time that night, and I gave my phone to the rick driver and he gave him directions. Cold winds had me numb but hey I was finally there after a whopping 20 minutes!

Scheduled Time of Departure - 8:15p
Actual Time of Departure - 8:30p
Expected Time of Arrival - 9:55p
ACtual Time of Arrival - 11:00p (Oh yes...even with Delhi's norms for punctuality, I was LATE)

Sigh...guess some things never change!