Smart Phone story

After a gap of couple of years, I have started using a smartphone.

The first smart phone device I bought was a HTC Wildfire in 2010. At that time, Android was at its infancy and a smart phone was look at in awe. Having used that for three years, the screen got smashed one fine day when Srivaths accidentally dropped it. Then, I switched to a basic Nokia phone that served the purpose for the last couple of years. The only thing I missed during my non-smart phone days was the Twitter. Although I haven’t been actively tweeting, the amount of information that I got and the way it helped me to kill time while waiting for something was phenomenal.

In the last couple of years or so, WhatsApp seems to have replaced the email and I seemed to have been blissfully unaware of this. Accidentally, I got to know that quite a lot of communication among my college mates are happening on that platform and even a get-together is being planned at my backyard. It coincided with the timing that someone decided to gift me a smart phone and I was presented with Lenovo A6000. A nice, little toy to play around. Having habituated with the bare bone Nokia mobile for the last couple of years, I am still yet to come to grips that this stuff is an extension of me. Hopefully, will be there in due course.

🙂

Hail Hailey

Been a while since I scribbled anything anywhere. 2013 went in a jiffy. Before I could realise, the year was gone. The fact that I didn’t find time even to read a decent book tells something about the way the year went. However, I took few days off from work in the last couple of weeks in December and did nothing. Yeah.. didn’t do anything but lazed around at home and caught up with many of the books that I always wanted to read.

Wonder how I missed Arthur Hailey all these days. In the recent times, I finished ‘Evening News’, re-read ‘Detective’ and now I am on to ‘Money Changers’. Still in awe with Jeffrey Archer, but certainly Mr. Hailey impresses me a lot and am planning to read all of his works.

Happy New Year and all that stuff to those who still visit these pages. 🙂

Notes from Kolkata

Thanks to a driver who was keen on showing me the real beauty of Kolkata, I had a tour of the city for about four hours.

* Central Calcutta is a great place indeed. With so many legacy buildings from the British era, the place looks stunningly beautiful.

* Many of the key landmarks of the city – Victoria Memorial, Writer’s Building etc appear grand and great, but one can’t help get the feel that the city stopped growing after 1947.

* Dull looking buildings that hasn’t seen a coat of paint for decades is the norm here rather than exception. With very narrow roads everywhere, traffic pile up is quick but is not as bad as Bengaluru.

* Outer lying areas like Salt Lake city, New City etc appear tidy and planned. Lots of buildings had space for greenery.

* With so much history behind many of the landmarks, the city as such has lots in it to woo the tourists. If one were to take a look around, it has lots in equal measure to drive people away. Garbage and filth are strewn around at every possible place. Yuck!

* Everyone in Kolkata keeps munching one of the rolls all the time. I had one at Park Street and it is certainly the one to die for. If Veg Rolls is one to die for, how would I describe the irresistible ‘Mishti Doi’.

* Trams look to be an integral part of Kolkata’s culture and Kolkatan’s seem to be the one in awe of their culture and heritage. Then, what does it take for them to replace those worn out trams, that seem to be running precariously well past their ‘Best By’ date. With so many people riding on those dilapidated tin boxes, it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with a viable plan to revive them.

* Seems that this bustling metropolis does not have air conditioned buses in their fleet. Not just that, the buses on the roads appear to have been bought when Jyoti Basu was a kid. With trams and buses in such a state, how on earth do they promote people to use public transport?

* Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport’s (for a change, an airport / infrastructure project not in the name of someone from the first family) new terminal building is awesome. Very spacious and well planned. Well done AAI.

* I was told that Park Street is one of the happening places to visit and would be nicely lit up during Christmas. Hope I have a reason to visit Kolkata in December.

* I sincerely wish Didi issues a shoot-at-sight order for those throwing garbage in the river. Not to forget the idiots who urinate and poo. What a lovely river and what a mighty let down.

* I have only heard about Kolkatan’s great taste in literature, music, movies etc. I wish I had more time to experience them first hand. Anyways, there is always a next time.

This is as much I could observe and make note during my 8-hour stay in the city that included 4 hours of official work. Signing off from NSC Bose International Airport at City of Joy, while waiting for Air India ka ‘udaan’ that would take me back to Namma Bengaluru.

Revival?

Sometimes I do wonder if it is worth maintaining this blog – for I am guilty of not giving the attention it deserves. I haven’t written much in the last eight months. Not just here, but also in the the blogs that I created for the two lights of our lives. Let me make one more attempt to revive this blog and see where it goes.

Impression

As I entered our office premises yesterday, the security guard stood up and greeted me. I know he is relatively new and have been around only for about a week or so. His supervisor, who was watching him from a distance pulled him up for unnecessarily greeting me by standing.

The security guard replied “He is a senior guy sir. He sits near the CEO”.

His supervisor immediately snapped back, “No, he comes by two wheeler. He must only be a junior guy”.

I loved their definition of a senior manager. :))

Teacher’s Day

On this day – Sep 5, let me thank all my teachers for making me what I am. Happy Teachers day!

At my alma mater (The Hindu Senior Secondary School, Triplicane, Chennai), the convention is to let the Class XII students run the school for the whole day. The day before, the students will elect among themselves for the key roles – Principal, Vice Principal etc. Needless to say, it will be super cool to be elected as a Principal / VP. Sitting on the swivel chair and issuing commands on and off the microphone would certainly be giving one a sense of power. There will be a clamour to be allocated to ‘teach’ for the higher classes. Ours being a co-ed school, one doesn’t need to tell the reason for the above. Over all, whether the students appreciate the role of teachers on this day or not, it will be good fun for everyone involved.

It has been close to two decades since I left school. I only hope that this tradition still continues.

London Olympics

It is an irony of sorts that we were in United Kingdom for eleven long years, but chose to pack our bags to India just a year before London is about to host Olympics. When London won the Olympic bid for 2012 way back in 2005, I immediately signed up for any volunteering opportunity even though we were living at Bournemouth at that time, which was more than 100 miles away from London. Later, around 2010 time frame when LOCOG invited formal applications for volunteering during the Games, I applied for it too.

My interest was in working at the Press area in some capacity so that I could get to know the background function of real time journalism. Although the above was my preference, I was fine to contribute to the Games in any capacity and I had indicated that as such. I was prepared to take 2 weeks off from work for this. Sometime last year, I got an email asking me to attend the interview for a volunteering position at the Press Box. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was several thousand miles away from the venue at that time.

Just because of the fact that I wasn’t able to volunteer my time for Olympics, it does not mean that I regret my move to India. There is absolutely no regret on that count. Looking at it the other way, with our new born just about two weeks old – had I got an opportunity to volunteer at one of the Olympic venues, it would have been a next to impossible job to go there with full zeal. Perhaps, this is what people mean when they say ‘If God denies you something, it means that he has got better plans for you!’. 🙂

New Baby Blues

Our little one is exactly 7 days old today. I have been saving up all my holidays this year for this and I have taken two weeks off from work. Despite having a fully staffed support structure in place (M-I-L, her M-I-L at home), our boy is driving us nuts with the volume of work that we need to do. Anirud has been on his bestest of the best behaviour during this time. He is cooperating amazingly well and till date he hasn’t given any trouble whatsoever. If we ask him to keep an eye on the baby for a few minutes, he wouldn’t bat his eyelid even for a second. In fact, we are guilty of not giving him the attention he deserves.

During Anirud’s birth in 2005 – I was in UK in a laid back mode. I was getting daily updates from my wifey on what was going on, but it is a completely different ball game when you experience things in person. Having said that, there are lots of small, little things that I missed at that time and I am making up for the lost opportunity then. Some one I know used to say, “It is interesting to watch children grow”. Yeah, that is so very true.