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Showing posts from February, 2010

My Pending Reviews

Hope you enjoyed reading my Pondy trip as much as I enjoyed experiencing and writing it. Gosh, I still miss it…Hey, I gotta lot of pending issues left to wrap up. The review of My Name Is Khan, for instance, and some well-deserved censure by the balderdash that is Rahul ka Swayamvar… But I’m gona do the MNIK evaluation later in detail. For today, my topics are books, TV shows and recently watched movies.I read Perry Mason and Agatha Christie recently, and did not enjoy them. I used to like Erle Stanley Gardener earlier, in fact I found Perry Mason and Della Street extremely witty and memorable. Yet when I read the Perjured Parrot case a few weeks ago, I found the plot weak and the writing shoddy. Looks like my taste has changed over the last couple of years. Agatha Christie, well, I’ve never read her before, but I know folks who’d swear by her writing prowess. I was quite enthusiastic to begin By The Pricking of My Thumbs, what with the ghostly puppet picture on the front cover. Alas,…

Pondi trip - Day 7

(Check vacation snaps @http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink. Do read the posts below this to get info prior to this day)My last morning in Pondy…I was feeling so nostalgic, so sad. I did not want to end this vacation, and leaving for Chennai was the first step in this regard.I lazily got ready and packed by bags. I’d hardly done any shopping – just a few jholas and some souvenirs. So it didn’t pose a monstrous feat. Somehow even my bag seemed reluctant to go back to hometown…Returning to Pune wasn’t just about returning to the city of my birth and childhood and adulthood. It was about coming back to the place where I lost my temper with my family, the place where I interacted daily with the same friends and colleagues, the place that I was familiar with to the limit of frustration… I love change that is constructive and innovative, and Pune dishes out the same old life and routine to me. Of course, you can argue that life is what we make it. But c’m…

Pondi trip - Day 6

(Check vacation snaps @ http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink. Do read the posts below this to get info prior to this day) Friday.Almost time to go back. Time to return to the daily grind at work and home.And I hadn’t entered the water yet? Shame on me! Time to head to Auro beach again.I must have told you this before – I love the beach, I can sit and watch the waves for hours and think about everything and nothing at the same time. It calms me, makes me feel relaxed and spiritual. I think about people and places, things and activities with an objective tranquility that I get nowhere else.On this occasion, however, I was gona do less of thinking and more of action! I was eager to try out my swimming dexterity in a real live sea replete with salty water, tides and all. Guess what? I could barely move an inch against the water. The power of the waves is so absolute that it takes Herculean effort to even stand in one place, forget move according to your …

Pondi trip - Day 5

(Check vacation snaps @ http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink. Do read the posts below this to get info prior to this day)
A day well spent warrants a good night’s sleep.And sleep, I did, till almost noon. Aah, I haven’t done that in a millenium. My brain’s programmed to wake up at 8 am or latest by 9, and if my brain malfunctions, the din created by the family and maids at home invites the same consequence.I munched on some cookies and Bhakarwadi that I’d carried from Pune, and looked through my diary. Chunnambar beckoned. Apparently it was a resort of some sort situated on Cuddalore Road, and there was a beach (“Paradise beach”) so I put my swimming gear into my backpack and set off. This venue lies over 8 kms from Ginger, and I hired an auto to drop me there for INR 100. The drive was nice, the road and traffic on the way was fairly decent. But what disappointed me was my first look of the resort. Cut the resort bull****, the place lay in ruins! Th…

Pondi trip - Day 4

(Check vacation snaps @ http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink. Do read the posts below this to get info prior to this day) I woke up early. (9 o clock… what did you think?)Had to tour the rest of the city today. But only after I had stuffed myself at A2B alias Anand Adyar Bhavan off M. G. Road. These Anand Bhavans are a like a chain of little shops across the South that sell sweets and snacks. The taste is similar across all outlets and you can expect hygienic food and service. I pigged out on dosa, medu wada and some orange halwa that tasted a bit like vermicelli. And of course, my day was incomplete without some Mysore Pak dripping with ghee… So, pop it went into my mouth and set my soul at peace.The first place I saw was not on my sightseeing list – Manakula Vinayagar temple. It’s a Ganesha temple, and it held pictures of the deity in varied forms. What also was attention-grabbing was that there were more than a few foreigners dressed up in traditi…

Pondi trip - Day 3

(Check vacation snaps @ http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink. Do read the posts below this to get info prior to this day) Day 3 dawned bright and clear.However, it was not before noon that I saw the sun, simply coz I woke up at 11 and spent a leisurely one hour getting ready. On my to-do list today was Auroville – one of the most popular tourist attractions in (or rather near) Puducherry. Auroville is about 14 kilometers from Hotel Ginger, and an auto ride costs about 150 one way. It’s always better to have an idea about and pre-negotiate fares with auto drivers, who obviously are looking out to rake in some extra moolah from unwary travelers. My usual trips between Ginger and M.G. Road cost 30 to 40 bucks one way during the day, and 50 to 80 during the late evening/night. I’d done my research prior to leaving, and so I offered an auto-walla 300 bucks for a return trip to Auroville. I expected him to take me around the complete township as well as th…

Pondi trip - Day 2

(View my vacation snaps on Facebook and Picasa : http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink.) Bon Jour!!So let’s figure out the geography, shall we? There’s basically this main street called M. G. Road (there’s an M. G. Road in every city/town/village in India, and Pondi is no exception), and the entire civilization is based around it. So, on one side of M.G. Road you have the Aurobindo Ashram, Rock Beach, French War Memorial, French Institute, Bharatidasan Park, Rolland library, etc and on the other side there’s the Botanical Garden, Churches of Immaculate Conception and Sacred Heart of Jesus and Grand Bazaar. So, if you hire a bicycle (as I did on Day 2), then you can cover all of these places within a day. The entire commute would be no greater than 7-8 kilometers if planned well (which I obviously did, aadat se majboor!) And at 30 bucks per day, it’s an awesome idea. However, do take note of the timings of different places – quite a few shut at 5 pm, a…

Pondi trip - Day 1

(My vacation snaps have been uploaded on Facebook and Picasa. The link for the latter is - http://picasaweb.google.com/anuja.rathi/PondiTripFeb2010?feat=directlink. Let me know your comments on the pictures as well as my adventures!) 4.15 am : The alarm buzzed. I woke up all eager and energetic. D-day was here. I was finally going to fulfill my dream of visiting Pondicherry.It had taken a little while to decide whether I should set my alarm for 4 or 4.30, but given that my flight was at 6 and I wasn’t gona have a bath at such an unearthly hour, I thought it wise to give myself 40 minutes to get ready and 20 to get to the airport so that I could check in by 5.15. 5.55 am : She was racing like a bird, pounding hard on the runway. My middle seat did not give me too grand a view of the scene under the plane, and it sure was not enjoyable when the flight started jiggling and rattling mid air.But we got to our destination in an hour and thirty minutes so I wasn’t complaining. Besides, I’d pa…

Pondi-CHERRY on the top

Hellooooooooo!

I'm back :)

My trip was super-duper awesome, and I soooo didn't wana come back!

Obviously, had to... There were people, things and events waiting for me in Pune-land.

Well, I don’t really know where to start and what to avoid when I tell you about my expedition. It was the height of awesomeness; everything was perfect, and all that wasn’t was made up for by my peace of mind and enthusiasm.

But leme begin by telling you a few points to note:1.Carry an umbrella if you plan to roam around in/around Chennai and Pondicherry.
2. Bargaining and negotiating is a given anywhere you go (at least in India) and if you don’t do it, you’re a fool with no sense of efficiency.
3. Keep an open mind when you travel. Be willing to explore new places, meet new people, eat new dishes, do things out of the ordinary and just enjoy everything without criticism or evaluation. Of course, don’t compromise on issues pertaining to your safety.

I’m gona keep adding to that list as an when I remember…

Love is...

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Remember the cute comic strip Love is... ? It used to come in Pune Times a while ago, before the T-shirt comic started... I used to collect them when I was younger - a cute little picture of a man and a woman followed by a short definition of the different acts and feelings in love.
Love is... is a comic strip created by New Zealand artist Kim Grove in the 1960s, later produced by her son Stefano Casali. It is actually a series of little love notes that Kim Grove drew for her future husband, Roberto Casali. The beginning of the strip coincided closely with the 1970 film Love Story. The film's signature line is "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Incidentally, one of the most popular Love is... comic is "Love is being able to say you're sorry".
I'm putting up here some pictures that I found online... Coz we should never forget that love is the simple things in life that become so unusual just bcoz that special someone is with you :-)
Happy Va…

Rann ... Till You Succeed

Yup, I've watched Rann, and the movie is so not as marvelous as expected. Of course, all the characters and actors are spectacular, but wonderful performances don't a terrific movie make...
The story is oh-so-stale, but Ramu wanted to take a shot at it nevertheless, before Madhur Bhandarkar came around with his real-life-story clan. (Madhur has done page 3 before, but Rann is primarily about the news channels on air.) Not surprisingly, the movie is about how these TV-wallahs cook up stories to raise their popularity and TRPs*
(A lot of folks, including me, don't know what the full form of TRP is... It's Target Rating Point, and it stands for "a measure of the purchased television rating points representing an estimate of the component of the target audience within the gross audience", says Wikipedia. I didn't quite understand all of it, but for further info, click here)
Amitabh Bachhan plays the very dashing and respected Vijay (again! but not Deenanath Chau…

I'm Alive

Wazaaaaaaaa, fellas?
I'm doing good, extremely happy coz I did some fab work over the last couple of days. Work as in professionally and academically. Nothing gives you the satisfaction that a good day's work can... Trust me...

Of course, other than going shopping and purchasing something dreamy and exquisite, which I did too :-D
But more on that later... Let me begin by telling you how things have been at work... By the way, I completed 6 months at YB yesterday. Cheers!
Honestly speaking, I've hardly had much to do over the last few weeks. I've just been loitering at work, and trying to look busy and important. (Which most people do so often, that after a point of time, they stop realizing they're doing nothing unusual or productive. Weird but true.) So, when I was told outta the blue that I need to visit a client and evaluate candidates for communication training, I was glad to actually be occupied in constructive work, for a change.
Now, I was expecting about a dozen…