Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I'd been tagged by Lemon Blossom quite some time back to "...quickly write 8 random facts/habits about myself, and then tag 8 people...".

1. I read a lot lot lot. If I'm reading something, be it a book, a magazine, or even a toothpaste cover (yes, I read just about anything!), I have to read every single word, no matter how trivial or unimportant. It's one of my many compulsive disorders, methinks!

2. I close every tap a number of times before I'm sure it's indeed screwed on tightly; the same goes for doors and windows that need locking! Compulsive disorder No. 2!

3. I have also opened closed doors (once a refrigerator door, the other time a cupboard) with just a hairpin, when the keys had been misplaced.

4. When I was a kid, I used to sleep on a camping cot. My favourite before nap time activity was sliding down the yet unraised side of the cot!

5. I wear very minimal jewellery. The bangle I sport on my right wrist is a metal one that I picked up outside a temple, when I was around 12-13 years old. It cost Re. 1! It is still my favourite piece of jewellery!

6. I am as impatient as they come. Period.

7. I have quite a few scars on myself now and I'm proud of each one of them!

8. I hate sleeping, except, of course, at night. Then too, because it's the done thing! :-)

In turn, I tag Aditi, Big B, Deepthi, Dharmabum, Idah, los uno, Miss Iyer and Mush. I guess some of you may have already done this tag, but please humour me! I'm sure there are lots more random facts about you we just don't know! :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Quite a Rant!

Now, the place where we had to head to attend our workshop, was Noida, situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and at a little distance from Delhi itself. Unfortunately, I hated the place! Overcrowded and congested, Noida was a complete disappointment! After the broad roads and mostly followed rules and regulations (I'm talking about the traffic rules, of course!) in Delhi, Noida was a let down! Not only did people care zilch about others on the road, they seemed strangely flippant about their own safety too! The roads (if you can call them that!) were almost always choc-a-block, with cars, two wheelers, cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, and plenty animals also, making their presence felt at all times of the day! Not to mention the plopping of innumerable stalls and tiny shops on both sides of the side lanes and sometimes even the main roads, making it even more difficult to manoeuvre vehicles on the narrow stretches of roads that resulted because of all this overcrowding on limited space!
Cycle rickshaws, those flimsy little things, are a very popular mode of transport there. We had the same things in Calcutta too, and I guess, still have, but somehow the ones in Noida seemed to be so flimsy as to be prone to coming apart at the slightest hint of a more than normal push or shove! Not that the passengers or the rickshaw walla himself seemed to take the slightest notice of such petty things! Added to it, the sight of watching a fellow human being furiously struggle to pedal with tons of human butts resting on the seat of the rickshaw, is not a very pleasant thing to watch! Also, considering that the weather Gods are not exactly conducive to smiling down at UP in the midst of summer, leaves the poor rickshaw pedaller with beads of sweat on his brows and a damp vest on his back! Not having any other means of commuting between our hotel and our place of work, we also resorted to this almost inhuman way of reaching our destination. Of course, it can be argued that we were contributing to his share of the daily bread, but, oh well!
Our first ride on that seemingly doomed vehicle had us holding on for our dear lives! The other machine powered vehicles on the road have absolutely no patience with this measly thing passing as a vehicle! After shrieking honks galore, angry shouts and snarls, and the choicest of abuses thrown at him, the human pedaller would pedal as furiously as he could, using all his reserves of energy, and move aside, and let the beast of a bus or even a not much better kinetic, zoom away! Unfortunately, that's not all! The puny vehicle also has to circumnavigate around buses and trucks that decide that driving on the wrong side, nay, from the wrong direction even, is their birthright! This leaves the rickshaw squirming and its tyres squealing, to quickly move out of the way of a sure head on collision! After braving all this a couple of times, all the time praying that my accident prone self does not deem it right to raise its ugly head those very times, my friend and I decided to give the whole thing a miss and rely on our faithful limbs instead! So walk we did, the whole of the stretch. With the sun being extremely considerate and us smelling like two freshly rolled in the mud pigs, the next day saw us holding onto the flimsy sides of the measly vehicle once again! So much for bravado! Of course, we did have to hit something after five days of riding on those vehicles of death! So hit we did, on the last day of our stay in Noida, and as an added bonus, not one, but two monstrous (by comparison) vehicles! Thankfully, it was not a hit hit, more like a kiss on the bumper of a car and a smooch on the bonnet of a truck! Phew!
Of course, Noida has its fair share of fancy malls and helpful eat outs, but the traffic situation and the ongoing construction work (Metro), with the roads all dug up and gouged out, doesn't really make for a very pleasant experience! I must also bring to notice that it's not to say that everything is hunky dory in Delhi. In fact, the whole of the week that we were there, the newspapers carried innumerable accident stories, most of them caused by the BlueLine buses in Delhi. As a result, these buses have now been taken off the road. Nevertheless, absolutely nothing I have seen till now even comes close to the chaos and utter disrespect for lives and rules that we witnessed in Noida!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

First Look...

With it not being the best time of the year to go to sweltering Delhi, the hot sun mercilessly beat down on us (me and a friend) for the greater part of our stay there! Of course, it did rain the evening of the very day we landed there, but nevermore during the week did the rain clouds venture anywhere near! So sweat it out we did, and am I glad! Perennially hosting the travel bug is no easy task, I must say! It is always demanding to be fed regular amounts of fodder! Needless to say, mixing business with a good smattering of travelling doesn't go unappreciated by the parasite!

The moment we got out of the airport, the heat hit us full on the face. A quick lunch after, we were just gearing up to go around the capital, when a much refreshing downpour suddenly made its presence felt! So we sat cooling our heels for about a half hour, all the while boasting about how we'd brought the rains to sun parched Delhi! Yeah, I know; so lame!!!
Anyway, once the rain Gods were done for the day (as for the rest of the week!), we set out to explore India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhavan. The stretch of road that houses these two important landmarks is a beautiful, serene length of uninterrupted grandeur! While one end pays homage to the structure that commemorates Indian soldiers, the other end proudly showcases the house fit for the President of the country! Of course, nobody is allowed within the precincts of the gates of the house of the President, but we did manage to snap a few shots through the bars of the gate. Only once a year, in the month of February, visitors are allowed inside the gardens of the very same house, for a period of a few days. The vicinity also houses the Parliament house, as also houses catering to various other functions of the Government. Being a tightly secured area, we did the best we could with our cameras! Without further ado, here are some of the pictures we took:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Back! I'm Back! I'm Back! Howdy?!?

I'm back from my trip to Delhi, with lots of stories and pictures! I'm saddled with a horrendous cold too! What with alternating between the unbearably hot weather in Delhi/Noida/Agra, the confines of air conditioned rooms and the monsoons finally making their presence felt in Bangalore, my poor nose seems to be leading an extremely confused existence!

In all, the trip was very good, and visiting the Taj Mahal has left me quite astounded at the sheer beauty of the mausoleum! The workshop I attended (the very purpose of making this trip!) was quite good too. Although the weeklong trip proved to be quite hectic and taxing, given the chance, I'll do it all over again! Nothing like getting away for a while, I must say! :-)

Okay, I have tons of mails to catch up with now! Needless to say, I'll be back with my stories soon! :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Little of This, A Bit of That...

Although I do have a few things to write about in the immediate vicinities of my grey matter, some other things (like the self-imposed short hiatus and an upcoming trip to Delhi) compel me to keep them for later. Coming this Sunday, I will be gone for a week, attending a what I'm hoping will be an interesting workshop, related to my field of work. It's my first trip to the capital city, with Agra and the Taj Mahal thrown in for good measure too, so I hope to come back with lots of stories. Not to forget that the long winded Dubai Chronicles section is also a couple posts away from being complete!!! <grin>

Last weekend, we made a trip to the wonderfully environmental friendly campus of A's workplace; the photos of which definitely warrant a dekko here! I'll be sure to get working on that too.

As an aside, I was flipping through the channels on the television a couple days back, when I chanced upon a feature on how some women actors had lost oodles of weight and were looking like a million bucks! I mean, there was an entire show dedicated to the discussion of, and speculation upon, this horrendously ridiculous topic! Seriously, this one takes the cake!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Too Soon...

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.

Vladimir Nabokov