Friday, December 21, 2007

Last days in Boston !

The melancholy of seperation or the excitement of getting back home , is yet to touch me .
But, its holiday mood here and I've forgotten my disciplined self now and freaking out !
Watched 2 movies yday [ laage chunari mey daag, and Aata (telegu) ]. Lots of music, lots of playing in the snow[fully aware that even if I fall ill, I'd be home by that time, leading to office bunk ;) ]

Need to do packing, final few things in the checklist..If possible, try out skiing, as it wud be a graet chance to fulfill my childhood dream[since the time i saw Shammi kapoor do "Yaaaaaaahoooooooooooooo "..]

Shud be interesting days ahead. !
Cio soon, India !

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend

On friday, there was a farewell party to one of my teammates and the pizza I had for lunch was amazingly delicious.In the evening, my new friend and spiritual companion Rajesh picked me up from hotel,for a dinner at his place.Very enjoyable moments, those.. We talked a lot about each other's families, backgrounds, spiritual journey so far , world politics etc..He has a little kid aged a year, and incidentally, his name official name is akilesh, which is my name@home...hyper active kid..His official name is Giridhara gopalan, and true to his name, he loves the sound of flute. I whistle, when he gets into an irritable mood, and he starts smiling..only Ramanand sagar's ramayana/mahabharat is played all the time at their house..its the right environment for a kid , i thought ..
Then I had some authentic south indian food after long...dosa...sambar..chutney...wow..oasis after a long desert walk !!We were soo immersed in our discussions that, it was 11.45 PM already ! He dropped me back.
On saturday, it was plain goofing around, watching videos in youtube,listening to music, reading a book on spead reading. I was joined by another friend for a visit to Costco store, which is Saravana stores type in US-wholesale giants.MY friend got a lot of choclates... I got some monster-size apples, and some small gifts..I'd got a reading lens, with LED fitted, but LED wasn't working..Turn around the pack and its "MAde in china" !! No wonder !!
Towards the evening, it was getting boring, and I watched back to back movies-"Vettaydu vilayadu" and " Happy days" again. I can't get enof of this movie..
Got up quite late on sunday, and after normal routines, did long meditation..In the evening, Rajesh called up and had made a program to visit a Hanuman temple..So, started at 5.30 PM, reached his apmt, picked up his family and headed to temple..Well its this jounrney which was most enchanting..We were exchanging stories of saints' lives and miracles by them, back and forth about Shirdi baba, seshadri swamigal, gyaananandar,paramahamsa yogananda, shri ramana..a true satsang in the car...I was imagining the temple to have a typical gopuram etc, the typical temple architecture. But to my surprise, its normal building, which housed a hanuman murthy, surrounded by Shiva, navagraha idols on its side..But what captured me most was the veda adhyayana going on there..My mind almost always enter a peaceful state, once I start hearing vedas..A student was learning the prayoga of navagraha homa mantras, from his guru..My mind was fully absorvbed into the sound vibrations..It was great to see such adhyayana going on in US also..
I went into a speechless meditative state for sometime, and then we started ..Time to shift from yoga to bhoga !
We headed straight to Mysoreveggies, in Lowell..Its very close to the famous swaminarayan temple. But it was too late for us to visit that temple..We chose to order Iyengar thali, and boy, the plate was about 2 ft diameter, and filled with lots and lots of cups with items galore..my ! how am i gonna eat this..I took full 5 mins to get hold of all the items.. rasam, sambar, pickle, avial, paneer mutter, salad, some onion curry, brinjal roast, 2 papads, some sweet pongal, tomato soup, some mor kozhanbu..uff..stoped counting..And it was unlimited thali, with puri/chapathi/dosa along with it...I chose dosa..it was masala dosa..and I don't think I ever tasted this kinda stuff in India before..Awesome !!I got greedy for more dosas, and also added chapati to the order..in the end, my friend ordered mango lassi..and it was cap in the feather..It tasted just like mango milkshake, and it was again the best I've ever heard !! God..am becoming a big-time foodie here..But I left the place wondering , whats the lassi part to this name? There was no taste of curd..
And it was just 13$ . I had a buffet lunch in one of the indian hotels near-by, but its taste would be a few light years away..Folks, if you wanna taste authentic indian food, come to to Mysoreveggies, and your tongue is sure to be treated to an unforgettable experience !Whatta way to end a weekend !






Chinmaya temple

Monday, December 03, 2007

Silver bullet for a happy life ..

Read this in a time mgmt book today.

Though of sharing :


Studies show that people who are the least vulnerable to stress tend to exhibit the following characteristics:


• They have many friends and acquaintances.
• They eat regular meals.
• They sleep well.
• They drink alcohol sparingly.
• They don’t smoke.
• They exercise regularly.
• They rarely drink coffee.
• They’re affectionate.
• They feel comfortable with the amount of money they
make.
• They’re in good health.
• They gain strength from their spiritual beliefs.
• They’re open about their feelings.
• They belong to at least one club or social group.
• They are neither overweight nor underweight.

Powerful mantra !

I had an interesting experience yday.
I was supposed to sail to liberty island, to visit statue of liberty, but I was not allowed to enter the ship at all, as I had a small trolly bag. So, I was waiting outside in snow. There's this clinton castle, which is just a circular-walled structure with completely open centre. Just a big atrium, nothing else within the walls. So, I told my friends that I'd wait ther till they come back.

It was heavy snow since morning , and waiting there was getting very tought, inspite of leather jacket, shoes, gloves, monkey cap etc.
I was literally shaking. I was trying to pass time by feeding the sparrows and pigeons with peanut cake. There was a temporary relief, but after the peanut cake got over, it was back to square one.

People had warned me of frost bites etc, and I got a little afraid.
I decided to chant vishnu sahasranamam, and started it.
By the time I finished 1 time, I was feeling less cold and shaking had stopped, but was still cold.
I started another round, and by the time I finished the next round, I forgot all sensation of cold.
My mind was just immersed in the mantra.
Well, Ramana maharishi underwent a cancer tumour removal operation in his shoulder, without any anesthetia and he forgot the body. Thats because his being was entirely absorbed in that sat-chit-anand.
My experience was resembling that, albeit in a very minute way.
The experience underscored that, when the mind's focus is away from body, on a mantra or a thought, body conscious vanishes.

I recounted a similar experience, while I was in 1st yr B.Tech.
I was studying for an important exam the next day, but was shaking with fever.
Tablets were of no avail.
So, I started to chant this mantra, and within an hour, my fever had vanished.
Well, I also learnt about one such experience of Kanchi seer.
He was shaking with temperature one day, and doctors had advised him to abstain from bath.
But instead, he summoned a pandit/discourse specialist named Anantharama Dikshithar and asked him to start Vishnu sahasranama parayanam.
In just about 30 mins, his temperature had vanished in ether, and he came out taking a bath, and headed straight for his puja.

Such is the power of this mantra. !!!
No wonder then, that Shankaracharya , in his "Bhaja Govindam" espouses everyone to chant this daily. He says,
"Geyam geeta, naama sahasram"

Thanks to Bhishma for this mantra. And long live the mantra, and let many more benefit by its chanting !

Friday, November 30, 2007

Visit to SRF Centre, Boston

I've been into this YSS way for long, and one of the first things I did after landing in Boston was ,to check if there's an SRF centre in Boston.
Luckily, I found one very close to my hotel.
I've been wanting to visit it sicne 2 months, but something or the other would take me away..Either a tour or weather or sheet inertia.
Last weekend I went to that centre, but it was locked. :(

I was working from home yesterday, and since it was thursday I wanted to get deep into spirituality. And I decided to goto the centre again for long meditation, as it was thursday and there's a long session scheduled.

I reached there well ahead of time, and was waiting in the lobby. Within the first few steps into the centre, I could sense that my mind is slowing down, thoughts are fading and the steady fountain of peace within, started to surface.

Well, over the past 2 months in US, I was able to go only little close to that state of mind , even after an hour of meditation in the room. But look at this ! Mere stepping into a room quitened my mind effortlessly.

Mr. Lahiri welcomed me and we were chatting briefly about our backgrounds and our spiritual way.
The meditation started at 6.30 and it was a session interspersed with bhajans , affirmations, and prayer for oneself and world healing.

The 1st 25 mins or so was good, and I already touched depths of peace, which I used to feel while doing girivalam, or meditate in SRF centres in india or the caves of Arunachala !
But the, my mind started to wander .
I just couldn't do anything. I tried to control is by chanting something, but it wudn't stop.
I stopped controlled the mind, and started to observe it.
And I could realize the upanishadic truth that, "the fastest thing in the world is mind".
THere were dreams, images, thoughts unheard and unseen by me earlier.
I went into a dream state, and I could see my head falling down repetitively, as it happens in college.
And I got so irritated by my misbehaving mind, that I just wanted to get up and leave.
But, then my mind is gonna come with me too. So, thought, let me persist a little more..and tried to continue my meditation...

At the end of 1 hour, I could barely meditate, inspite of breath-control etc.
What a pity. I sed to meditate long, while in India.
Look at my mind, so corrupt due to irregular meditations in US.

'No wonder its said, regular practise is the key !"

Well, after that doomed attempt, I met the centre director, who was from Coimbatore and he introduced me to a lankam tamilian.
Was good to hear some tamil after long.
I found that out of the 20 odd people meditating, only 4 were indians.
So many foreigners had hugged this spiritual path, with both hands.

And then I met a great guy, Rajesh, who was so buoyant and friendly and hospitality-personified . He was so young, but learnt that he was a Phd, has a 1 yr old kid. Well, youthfulness is just a state of mind ain't it !

He offered to take me around for shopping , and guide me on this. He gave some tips , and dropped me at my hotel, at 9 PM.

Well, irrefutably, folks in the spiritual journey are magnanimous and beautiful at heart aint it !

I learnt that Paramahamsa Yogananda has first landed in east coast, and was so captivated at the harmonious locales of Boston, charles river etc, that he immediately wanted to start a centre here.

Was soo happy to meet nice people.
And the peace-o-meter showed the highest reading in 2 months.

Om shanthi shanthi shanthi !!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shauk hai song, from Guru !

http://youtube.com/watch?v=k1vAu0c96yY

Raath ka shauk hai
Raath ki saundhi si
Khaamoshi ka shauk hai
shauk hai, shauk hai

Subha ki roshni,
bezubaan subha ki aur gungunaathi,
roshni ka shauk hai
shauk hai, shauk hai

sansani maavlon ka
yen ishk ke,vaavalon ka
sansani... ka
barf sei khelthey
baadalon ka shauk hai.

kaash ye zindagi
khel hi khel mein kho gayi hothi,
raath ka shauk hai
shauk hai,shauk hai

neend ki goliyon ka,
khaab ki loriyon ka,
neend ki goliyaan,
khaab ki loriyaan
bezubaan os ki boliyon ka shauk hai,

kaash ye zindagi ,
bin kahe bin suni so gayi hothi,
subha ki roshni,
bezubaan subha ki aur gungunaathi,
roshni ka shauk hai,
shauk hai, shauk hai

Secret of How to work?

From "The prophet" - By Khalil gibran
Great wisdom !!

************************************************************************************************

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
"The Prophet" By Khalil Gibran
10
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that nothing but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."
But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.


************************************************************************************************

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jab we met - the film !

I watched this yesterday and I should say that, its one of the best decisions in my life.
Right, I plan to watch it another time, and then only blog about it.
But, MUST WATCH for everyone out there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

♪♪♪♪♪♪ Yeh ishq haaai !! baitey bitaaye !! jannath dikhaaye haa !!! Oh rama !!!!! ♪♪♪♪♪♪

Saawariya - The film

=Excellent music by Monty sharma ! The songs and the background score is out-of-the-world and classy stuff.
=Stunning cinematography by Ravi.K.Chandran, who weaved a similar magic in "Black" too. Its all blue color this time. He's indeed the address of cinematography in India now.
=Very artistic set
=Very pretty lead pair[killer eye/smile of heroine and charms of the hero]

But ,I felt like I just saw a documentary. Nothing riveting at all in the plot[read void].
The theme of love , is sweet as always, but this film is like asking to drink a gallon of kheer in one gulp. Except Rani Mukherjee's[plays her role to perfection] and hero's, no other character is properly defined[Salman's cameo was pathetic]

Net-net, it could have been a decent musical drama on broadway,provided the duration is shortened to 40 mins or so.

Past-midway, I was left thinking, when is the end.

There's a phrase "Keeral vizhunda plate" in tamil, which indicates the way a gramaphone disk sounds like, when it has any scratches on the tape. You suddenly hear the audio slowing down, and hear buffallo's voice instead, and then voice again, and this pattern alternating ain't it? Nice simili for this movie.

Well, I was hopefull of watching an exciting horse race, but there were just 3 horses, merely jogging at 5 KM/Hr each, and I laboriously wait for it to conclude, hoping for some thrill. But, just when my eyes are slowwwwwwwwwly immersing into a slumber, I hear some trumpets, signalling the end. Uff !!

So, I think that should summarize it all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy days- the movie !

This telegu movie, has captured my mind like none other.
It captures the college days of a group of engg students.
What can I say !! The music, the screenplay, the chemistry between the protogonist group, heroine tamanna[her natural acting is wowwwwwwwwwww]....the list goes on..
Most importantly, it just hijacked me completely for 3 hrs and gave me a surrogate pleasure of the college fun,conflicts, chakkar with girls, roaming with a friend's circle all the time, which I didnt have much of, during my own college days, as I was completely drowned in my own ambitions and its chase.

Well, retrospection sometimes brings up a lot of unfulfilled desires for everyone ain't it !?

Am sure I'll watch this movie another 2-3 times in theatre, as the camera print was pathetic, to say the least. That ways, I'll live out the missed parts of my college days.
Well, am hearing the songs since yday, non-stop.
Esp "Arerey...Arerey..Manasey..jaarey" and "Oh my friend".
I got a few drops of tears when I saw this song's video. The music and picturization are sooo very out of the world.

Needless to say, this film has become a super-duper hit , as many millions would have been able to connect the movie to the golden time of their lives , and relive it.

Also, I've gotta watch the director's[Sekhar kammula] previous movies.

I sign off, humming a the song " Ohhhhhh.... My friendddddddddd" song for you :)

Adios !

Vel - The movie !

Huhooo !! Watched Vel now, thanks to tamiltorrents.com.
Well, its a thorough entertainment fair.
Don't feel like to do a proper film review, but just wanted to highlight some stuff.
Nice screenplay by Hari again. He's a masala film guru.

Lot of scope for Surya, as he's got a double to play. Both roles have been done very well.
Vadivel's comedy is as always, very good. But he's getting a little stereo-types offlate, doign the bravado kinda roles and facing the music subsequently.

Asin is as pretty as ever and hers is a cute character. The way Surya and Asin fall in love, is nice.
What really caught me in this is, Asin tells Surya that she wants to marry only after a year, as she has carer ambitions. Surya asks, y not continue her career even after marriage?
And then she comes up with a poignant explanation :

"Once I get married, I want to focus only on my kids and family, and support my husband's career . Thats when I can do full justice to the role of Wife "

Ahh !!! I felt like planting a kiss in her cheek. Whatta sweet thought from a girl, I thought, and sent out a heaty prayer to god, to get me a similar girl, who wilingly comes forward with this idea with a little forethought, rather than being pulled apart by the tensions of family and career simultaneously, and reacting to this scenario.

Well, from my angle, I can't see my soulmate having a strong urge to work , and not being able to do so due to husband's pressure. It won't be right on my part to sacrifice her burning ambitions and dreams.So, voluntering to this idea, would be better for both folks.

Ok, getting back to the topic, a nice entertainment, and its strongly recommended to go into the weekend, starting with this movie. Am downloading "Jab we met" now :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Demand of times !

I've been viewing friend's list of some of my friends in orkut, to find some mutual friend now and then. I open certain profiles, and find that they are beautiful and have many fans, ncie testimonials etc..When I open the scrapbook, I find some secrets about themselves revealed to their friends, about their boyfriend etc. I find that some of those orthodox girls, get very easily attracted to dashing, aggressive guyz, who can weave magic with words, but many of them being non-brahmins. Well, the entertainment media has eulogized such a personality and abstracted these characteristics, and reserve it for heroes of films. Girls, the dreamers that they are, cherish a secret desire to marry such a person and when they do meet an entertaining guy, they instantly fall for him, irrespective of his character,family background etc.

Well, its the dance of Kali yuga, that brahmin girls are falling into the charm of non-brahmin guyzz and many of our seers have constantly maintained that, when the brahmin community falls apart, the society goes in tatters. Esp, if the females go astray, it doesn't spell doom, but is doom itself. I've been reading some literature about marriage, according to hindu dharma and child marriage is written all over it. It says that marriage to girls, is like upanayana for boys. They need to treat their husband as their guru, while the husband is a humble devotee of his guru and hence, as an eventuality, the husband's virtue acts like an engine, carrying along the wife also, and the couple move along the path to heaven.

Also, early marriage ensures that the couple are tied together before their respective ego's are kindled, and just like friendships at childhood, this marital relationship flourishes for long.
Its also mentioned that, women remain in control of god agni, for 3 yrs after attaining puberty and its these 3 yrs, that their feeling of sensuality is at the peak, as they undergo all sorts of biological changes.
Its with this in view that, the marriage had to happen before this.

My comments : Well, many of us must have observed that in Sathya sai baba tradition, which is followed by many millions world-over,there's always a seperate Q for males and females and they sit seperately, while doing bhajans as well. It holds good in Shirdi temple too. Why do they do that? They are much revered people in the society, and they've lived lives, completely dedicated to the societal benefit. We've found numerous incidents of saints predicting things coming 50-60 yrs llater, and Shirdi baba talks about previous births of his visitors also. So, when they prescribe something, they obviously mean good to the people in the long run, and short run also. So, prescriptions like the ones mentioned above, would be meant for societal benefit only. Nothing else.
Well, I feel bad about our education system . The education we have now, is completely western, and is a collection of wisdom learnt over the past 400-500 yrs at the max. What happened to the wisdom of the earlier times? Why are we being so short-sighted to follow the teachings of a culture which is so short-lived? Why do we use our limited knowledge and capabilities,to beat the traditions to death, by questioning them vigorously ? Why don't we respect our traditions? I think the answers about our traditional practices would sink in, if we approach with humility and devotion, rather than egoistic and analytical view of things? How can the taste of s sugar candy be explained in words, unless its felt by oneself?
And sadly, all these best practices would again come back to us from the wesern world after about 5-10 centuries and thats when we'd recognize our folly, like how its happening to Yoga/eating habits etc now.

I got all this info, from the discourse of a seer[Kanchi Mahaswami], who's followed by millions all over the world, and who's done great miracles to save devotees. He's looked upon, as a mother by many families. When such a seer says something, it has to be pregnant with virtue, ain't it?
But, we are so much deluged by modern civilization, that all this looks childish to us.
Well, thats a big topic in itself. But, I'd dropped by to share with other brahmin guyz that, to follow dharmic way, there's a new skill demanded from brahmin guyzz these days, and that is , to be fun-loving, charming and entertaining. Thats when the brahmin girls will stay in the community, rather than marrying, vysyas, kshatriyas and even SC/ST folks at times.
Well, charm always helps to connect to people and we have a very succesful role model, Lord Krishna ain't it?

So, all you brahmin guyz !! Its the need of the times, to develop charming personality, over and above the traditions that you follow I guess. Be good in sports, and be fun loving . Thats when good things emerging from you, will be listened to, and thought about.

All you brahmin girls, I don't know how to explain the ills that would plague the society, if you marry outside the community, as I don't have a sociologist/spiritual/clairvoyant view of the world, like this seer and many more, but I can only pray that this doesn't happen.

PS: Am no seer nor social reformer, but my heart still throbs , thinking about the duties of a brahmin towards the society. And I shall remain a researcher in this subject, to give appropriate answers to my kids too.
Also, one of my friends wanted me to highlight that, even a lot brahmin boys are marrying outside the caste. Well, my only reply to that is, I don't think guyzz are as objective as girls in some sense. They have their ego, much more than girls. Girls are failry reasonable and respect their family , parents and their emotions. So, I requested them with the hope that they'll consider this. But a guy's ego may not even accept this idea, as his ego wud rebel this idea. So, am not even making an effort to put forth some ideas for them, with respect to our culture and religion. Only thing is, if they marry outside the caste, they loose right to do final rite to their parents.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

People !

I've always been fascinated by people. Ever since childhood, I was always interested to know different types of people. And around highschool types, I took smal strides into numerology, palmistry and also was interested in mind reading, face reading etc. Not just that, I read some miracles performed by great yogi's , where they recieve thoughts of people in distant lands. And probably that was my first attraction to yogi's and saints. All this because, I was hooked-on to "How do people think and behave the way they do".
Well, given my increasing people-related roles, I really really need to gain expertise on this aspect.

I've been meeting some very different , interesting and difficult people offlate. Arrogant, argumentative, very selfish,cunning and combo of these...Iam able to handle some situations, not getting the rite reaction speed sometimes, and some are above my head. Thanks guys ! You make me think deeply !
:)

All said, and done, I realized that, my own performance would be my most powerful weapon to shut such wagging tounges. As Kalam rightly says, for peace also, you need to fight. So, I always need to get my act right, be very perfect at my job, and keep learning, so that I can keep such people in check.
Sarvagyo Gyaanam uthamam !

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My 1st potato curry !

I'd bought a lot of potatoes 2 weeks back, and I was worried if it'll go waste. So, I made up my mind to cut all of them, freeze a part of it, and make a curry out of the rest.
And so I did ! Potato-tomato Currry !!

I liked the way I cut them, as it came out in a very regular shape.
Now comes the main problem, of other ingredients !! Uff ! I always manage to get the salt-chilly powder combo right, but there's something missing in terms of the smells and taste.
I wanted to improve my performance this time.
So, after adding salt-chilly powder, i opened the draw and shortlisted all the possible items that I Cud add, to get a great taste.
Thsi was the short-list :
- Paneer
-Peper powder
-Soya granules
- Corn powder
- Maggi tomato soup powder
- Mustard, and other dals used for seasoning
- Ohh, nothing else available ! I have a bad inventory :(

So, I decided to add all of them in proportions, and at different points in time, while the cooking is on. I learnt from my cooking experience that, adding components in different stages of the dish, helps in taste :).

So, after 30 mins, there emerged the dish of the year !! Potato-tomato curry.
Postmortem : Only mistake was, I had fried the seasoning items a little more, and it gave a burnt smell. And I could hav added more salt !
Finally, when I ate , I still felt, there's something missing, in the aroma dimension :(
So then, I added paruppu podi[dhal powder] to rice, and added this curry to it.
Wow ! Delicious !! Am improvingv huh !! huhooooooooo !!


My 1st beetroot curry !


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Entering a new phase in Life

God's grace ! I got promoted to "Technical lead" . Iam quite happy, as it was totally unexpected. Honestly, I have worked hard, but never expected this soo soon.
I did relish this news for a day, but after that, my mind set sail on my gaps and what all I need to learn now, to perform my role effectively . I listed some of them :
- Master design patterns
- Get a strong hold of OOAD
- Finish PMP certification
- Finish a couple of .Net certifications, leading to MCSD.
- Just like a cricket captain should effectively understand his bowling and batting resources, and deploy them effectively, I shuold get a very good hang of the testing aspect of a project, with respect to development of test plans, test bed and relate planning.
-I should learn effective usage of tools like QC, MS Project, and learn abt testing tools(for automation, scripts etc).
- I should read a lot of books from experienced devs, abt methodologies, team dynamics.
- I should meditate a lot more and be a dynamo of energy for the entire team, always bubling with ideas.
- I should work on new ideas for the company and try and bad projects or create synergies in some way, so we get more work
- Net-net, this is like a music composer role[or rather, lil different], where I need to read so many tools and technologies and orchestrate a solution , with these various instruments/tools.
- I need to have an in-depth perspective of al technologies and tools, to make a difference to the project.
- I need to have an in-depth perpective of the performance dimension of applications and tools, and keep working on improving the performance of systems/tools.
- Establish great contact with a wide variety of people, to know about wide variety of technologies, and their respective challenges.

Beyond all these skills, I need to have great drive for excellence,greater commitment to team success,greater ambition, and finally dedicate my best effort to my beloved gurudev !

Harihi !

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

About venus citizens

I met a girl about couple of weeks back. She is my colleague and she was visiting my office from a different state in US. We share the same office building in India, and I've seen her few times in our cafeteria. Since she didn't have access card to this new office,I was asked to get her in, which I did.
We sat next to each other in Boston office and she started telling about her. Well, she was cherubic and asked me a lot of info. I patiently provided all info amidst my calls . Well, hospitality is a part of india culture and I think I was courteous enough to help her in possible ways.
Now, end of the day, we came back to room together and I'd told her, we'll share the cab charge. She gave me a stare. Why??
That day, she didnt have other friends here, and I told her I have some movies in my laptop and she could watch. She came down to my room and started asking me about my proj etc and then I told her to watch a particular movie, which she did. Then I'd offered to share the food which I'd prepared and she was good enof to prepare dhal, and also taught me. After dinner, she watched the movie, while I was reading a book.
******End of day-1**********
The next day, her behaviour was strange. Since morning, she started to behave in a bossy fashion. I was immersed in work, and didnt care much for it. During lunch time, I started to eat in my desk, and she said she doesn't want to have heavy lunch.
I offered curd rice , which she accepted. But, after sometime, when she returned me back the box, half of it was left, reason being, pickle was over. How can she waste food so heartlessly?
I told her to throw the leftover and do some cleaning and give me back. She gave a weird stare, as if "why the hell should I?? ". I stared in return and after sometime, she gives me the box with some rice left. What the hell, I thought. She realized that I got angry.

I could deduce so much about her. Our office locales were really beautiful, and she had to have a fotographer take her snaps. So, she reconciled and started to talk friendly again. In the evening, we started early, as if was friday and went out on a fotography spree. It was an awesome environ indeed.
She wanted endless snaps of her in different poses and backgrounds. I got tired. She said, its her Bday . Well, its only courteous to make her atleast little happy on her Bday, so I obliged .

After about an hour, we return back. I offered to give her some sweet on Bday, and I casually asked about treat. No replies.
In my room again, I offered her some snak, and boiled milk . She had some milk and left some in the cup, for me to clean ! This is bullshit, I thought. But its her Bday.

Her friend was supposed to take her to downtown and she was passing sometime in my room.
She goes out with friend and comes back, picks up her laptop fro my room , and vanishes. I told her, "Hav fun, we'll meet in India". And she returns back to her place next morning. But, no Bye/Thanks.
She must not have spent a penny on her food or anything past 2 days, and I helped her so much, but she didn't even thank me for any of that.
Thats the min that anyone wud expect.

Well , this is just one of those shamelessly selfish girls, who tend to USE courteous guyz , and since its just a 2 day trip for her, she didnt even care to thank.
What a bloody character !
Well, it started to burn in me slowly and I coudn't douse it.
Did I come across as a fool, or a flirt trying to impress her or even going to ask for any help from her? Then I write a lesson in my orkut profile and wanted to share this lesson with people, and then only my fire douzed a bit.

Girls ! Are they really so devilish? I've seen worser devils. IF this is on one end, I've also seen many angels too.

This is yet another colleague of mine , and missing her friendship is something I repent so much in life.
She was one of the most beautiful girls in office. She always had a big gang of friends around her , making so much sound . Also, she used to talk really loud. Her body language was really hyperactive, to the point of being v restless.
Well, I've seen such girls, who tend to talk sweet and churn guyz for selfish purposes. So, I kept a safe distance from her.
Infact, as a matter of policy, I maintain some distance from beautiful girls and try to guage them from a distance, before making any friendship. I did the same with this girl as well.. In subsequent months, I gave some music programs in office and after that, this girl tried to attract my attention in numerous ways.
In canteen, she used to walk near my table, talk loud when I go pass, sing a song sometimes etc. But, I kept a safe distance. Once it so happened that, we had to sign some register to collect some coupons and we were at the table at the sametime. She had to sign the register, took the pen, and searched for her name, but suddenly told her friend, that her name is not visible and that she would wait. She put down the pen. I grabbed the pen, signed , collected and started to push off, when I saw that it was her pen, and she started signing. Why did she say that she didn't get her name? Obviously, it was a compromise on her part, to help me. I realized it later.

I spoke to a couple of friends about her and they said, she's a scene party. All the more reason to avoid her I thought.

But, turns out that, its one of the worst judgement I've made in life .
I then came to know that she's sooo friendly, music loving, adorable and simple person. God !! What a blunder I'd made. Looks are soo deceptive, but body language was deceptive as well in this case.
I started to search for her profile in orkut, to find more about her, and my blunder just looked colosal to me, looking at her scrap book and testimonials. Such a wonderful lady ! I got very angry on myself, for having missed such a friend.

Then the next day, when I opened her scrap book I found her friends congratulating her on her engagement !! To cry or to smile?
Well, I took no time to add my wish in her scrapbook, though we were not friends in orkut. I just thought, there's no license needed to wish her good. And I did.

That day, I learnt a profound lesson, "Never be judgemental". I just guage people with my limted experience, and I can be totally wrong.
Well, am happy, I learnt a lesson, but am sad, I missed such a wonderful friend.

Venus citizens, must have inspired the subject of psycology, am sure !

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My best lunch so far,

I'd gone for Whale watch, and post-drive, my friends went to a hotel for lunch. Since I'd brought some lunch, I sat down to eat nearby the acquarium, which was our next destination. I was a little bored to eat alone. Luckily, in the next table, a kid was eating popcorn and he had spilled it over the floot, which some pigeons were eating. My mind switced to that Scene in DDLJ movie, when Amrish Puri feeds the pigeons. Whakaouuuuu !

So, for every 3 pieces of parata that I eat, I threw one piece to the pigeons. Gradually, pigeons multiplied in geometrical proportion. And within 2-3 mins, atleast a dozen sparrows surrounded the table. And they were soo bold that, I threw a piece on the table, very close to me and it still came along and picked it up in a flash. There was a quarrel within pigeons ,and then within sparrows and now it was pigeons Vs Sparrows ! Ya hui na baath ! :) Was reminded of fight scnes in gladiator movie !

But suddenly, there was a new sound emerging. And lo !, it was a sea gull very close to me. So, then I had to be fair enough and gave away some pieces to it as well. And in no time, there were 4 of them.
Finally, it was a kurukshetra itself, with all 3 species fighting for paratha ! Well, who doesn't like parata ain't it?

Now, I had a to play a referee, as some small sparrows gave a look of deprivation at me ! I got touched by their innocent look and wanted to help them. So, I used all tactics to divert the stronger ones to a different place and in between feed these week ones. But, uff, the strong ones eat their piece and in a flash come back to snatch the share of weaker ones as well. U baddies !!
I played a baddy too, with a stick at hand, trying to regulate their lunch.

Well, i tried my best to feed the young and weak ones, but though i throw pieces vvvvvv close to them, some don't spot it at alll, and some aren't fast enough. Couldn't help comparing this scenario with humans. We humans sometimes tend to miss out on providential opportunities knocking at the door ain't it?
At the end of it , I was left with no pieces, and some cute sparrows were looking anxiously at my hand for the next piece. I opened up my lunch box and gathered all small bits of vegetables and parata, that I could muster. Still, wasn't good enof. !
** I think, for the first time in my life, I felt bad about not being able to help. I learnt thru my own experience, what difference, a morcel could do to life. It could be a sparrow's meal for the day ! I vowed to myself, that I'd never ever waste food. And I also decided that this would one of the first lessons I'd teach to my kids, with the same experience.

Finally, a profound truth just got re-inforced on my mind ! "U will NEVER get what u'r not destined for, and will invariably get the destined pieces".

A fun lunch, ends on a pholosophical note.
Was a great experience though :)




Seagulls !




Pigeon fight !


Daring , darling sparrows !!
Life is interesting :)




video

Kala Jamun

Today, I tried my hand at preparing a sweet. Basically, about 3 ltrs of milk got broken while boiling and I didnt wanna waste it. Kya karen??????
I instantly got the images of my granny and mom,stirring on and on and on in a kadai, and finally get a lump of white mass, called MILK KHOA ! Common da Raghava, try it.
So, I started stirring it yesterday night, and I started to play A.R.Rahman albums. 1,2,3.....10 albums got finished. I still keep stirring. Eventually, it became an involuntary action of my hand. Remember, in films, hero slaps the comedian 4 times and the latter's head still keeps tilting left and right, perpetually? The same perpetual motion happened to my hand I guess :)
Uff !! Not any more, and I slept for the day. Today evening I came back from office and spotted that kadai again in the stove, and starts again, "operation stir". And atlast, I got a viscous while liquid. What do I do with this?Should I use it as butter , in my curries or sambar? Should I use it in Maggi?[Actually, last week when milk got broken, I used to pour out the liquid from that vessel and immediately add noodles to the vessel and make paneer maggi , if u will ;) ] . KKya karoon?
Eureka !! I'd bought Amul gulab jamoon last week, and hadn't touched it since then. Howabout adding it to this white lump and making a jamoon khoa types?
Well, I instantly tried it out, and outcome was really delicious. Somebody knocked at my door ! Ahh ! Is it the hotel guyz complaining about excessive abuse of gas or something? Oh, it was just my friend and as I told him about my creative initiative, he said, the while lump is called Kalakand.
He tasted it and fida ho gaya ! Wow, experiment success !
KalaJamun was a great success indeed ! Here is the picture for you :)



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

City view from Charles River, Boston... Wow !


1st views

Well, its been quite interesting times so far, the journey and the settling down episodes. Just wanna post some observations ..

About Hotel
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Well the hotel is pretty neat. Its surrounded by thick nature and whats more, we have a hill very close-by where we get the view of Boston city . The hotel is surrounded by cars all around it, oh I learnt about so many brands and their makes during my walks . The admin folks are pretty friendly[someof them pretty and friiendly he he ]. During the first walk, I heard a whirring sound from nearby, like the one we hear during flight take of or like a huge waterfall nearby. I eventually found that, there's a highway nearby and my, whatta roar !! There are much better hotels nearby, esp hotel Westin. I really need to appreciate the gardening around all hotels. Its enriching to see such beauty and diligent gardening. Also, the electric poles all around, are full oak trees, which is aluminium alloy pole in India. There are apple trees all around, but since its private property, we've been asked to watch out ! But a true indian that Iam, will surely flick some during the wee hours of midnight ! Flicked goods are obviously a lot tastier ain't it?
The roads are very well maintained and it looks pretty neat. There are wooden fences on one side of the road, reminding me of the Tomsawyer tales of childhood.

My Hotel Room
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I have a very neat room, with a double bed , a kitchen and an attatched bath. Prelim kitchen utensils are available ,with an over, breat toster and over utensils. Very well furnished, in all.

Food
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Friends
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US Culture, people
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Climate
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Climate is pretty chill. I took my first walk, in about 2 hrs of reaching the hotel, as the climate and environs, was soo inviting. It was pretty chill out there. I felt like the winter of Ooty. The fresh air is soo vitalizing and I'd luv to take long walks, but for the pain in my heel ! God ! be good to me pls !

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Entry to US

Into US atlast ! Was quite glad ! The journey was quite long and ardous. It took 21 Hrs overall. The flight,on the way did some free fall and it was as exciting as a ride on a giant wheel ! Reached Frankfurt in about 8 Hrs and it was 2 hrs transit there. What amazing air hostesses in Lufthansa. Damn pretty ! Cudn't help starting at them blankly. Was even planning to ask water regularly, but restrooms were on heavy demand so dropped the idea , hehe :). The only hitch was the leg space in the flight. The food in flight was just OK. In frankfurt, we roamed around the airport and window shopped a lot. Esp,there was a Jaguar car on display and we rushed to take a snap in various poses- opening it, hinging on it etc..was a lil sheepish but anything for a pose with the dream car of millions. Then boarded the flight again to Boston in about 2 hrs. Oceans 13 movie was played. It was a grt movie ! After about 9 Hrs,Boston shore was visible and was an amazing sight ! After due checking, walked out of the airport. A cabbie instantly popped up and I boarded the car. I narrowly escaped falling into a chasm of sorts ! After getting into the car and when it was nearly moving, I quikly realized tat I'd left my documents inthe trolley itself ! God !! Instantly jumped out of the car to get it back.
Now we start to Waltham. The cabbie was extremely friendly. Inspite my optimism,my mind kept popping qustions if he was genuine and if he would kidnap me,kinda stuff ! weird thoughts ! Boston is a beautuful place ! I was told about the Boston subway project, which has costed 16 Billion $. We passed to Harvard Business school and MIT. Reached the hotel at about 3 PM local time. The receptionist was very friendly . Atlast entered the room and unpacked things and fel flat on the bed. Pretty draining journey ! --- End of part 1---