Friday, December 11, 2009

Pre-Wedding Celebrations - A Week to Reminisce !!!



A trip back home, to India, every year scripts a lot of fond memories to be cherished for years to come. Whether it would be the first trip back home as a student, or the trip to one's birth place with your own hard earned money, a trip to hunt for your soul partner, a trip as an engaged couple embracing the much talked about social and family structure, or a trip like this year to put a seal to your bachelorhood and mail it off to a distant land from where it can never return back and thus hand yourself the official status of being married and therefore entering an entirely new, exciting, eventful new phase of life, for the rest of your life !!!


Yes, it was a special trip this year, for an occasion which encompassed not only the mere celebrations involved in it, but above all the warm welcome of a new member into our family. 11th of December, would be celebrated every year as our Wedding Anniversary, as I, and Dipali got married on this auspicious day to be entangled, intertwined and to be held together into a life long bond of love, passion, emotions, laughter, little quarrels and above all starting our own journey hand-in-hand vowing never to be apart in happiness or sorrow.

The marriage was held in our home city Ahmedabad, as relatives, friends and family members graced the occasion with their warm presence and zeal to get me and Dipali through to our wedding with pleasant memories to reminisce. Dipali and her parents already had started the preparations from Oct end as they settled down slowly in Ahmedabad. I took a flight a month later to join my parents and family members who had already been playing a 2-3 month battle with various vendors, caterers, decorators and a whole bunch of an entirely different crew of people.

The week long celebrations started with an offering to the God, wherein a Snatra Puja was held for the first time on the premises of our home. With all the relatives being treated to awesome home cooked food all week long, both for lunch and dinner in the compound of my home, it was going to be a delicacy saga for me especially that I love to try various dishes. Some of the menus were hand picked by me, my mom or some other on site demands. It was fun to sit amongst family members and have a round table lunch or dinner in the compound downstairs.

Champanivas, my home, was whitewashed and decorated from top till the bottom, the entire place was lightened up with powerful lights, the decor was done personally by my Bhabhis, Cousins and other relatives who played a significant role in giving the most ethnic, traditional look to the entire place. One piece that stood out was the entire cloth wall that was hand painted by them to display the indian traditional designs. Another master piece of decoration that they did was on the day of the Pre-Wedding Dinner Party on 8th Dec, held at our place, wherein they decorated the entire entrance with Designer Pots, Flowers, Water Colors and Lamps (Divas) which truly gave a warm welcome to all the guests.


The Pre-Wedding Dinner party was the first step towards getting back in touch with almost all the relatives, elders, friends, family and lot of other new faces. Ghazals from a singer who has sung in almost all such marriage occasions in our family were soothing to the ears, as was the Upper Crust food to the greedy throat of mine. To add to it, Dipali was forced to sing along with the live music and I was supposed to be her so called moral support lol. She managed a few songs nicely and then the mood turned to some foot tapping numbers as Dipali's family and mine got together to dance to some tunes.

Next day there was a Mehndi session where in all the chicas of my side got together, with their ages ranging from a 6-8 year old to about someone in their fifties, got some colorful artistic designs done on their hands. I was quite busy too. Not in the Mehndi session, but in getting something prepared for the night to come.

As the evening flew by, another fun event that was to take palce was that of the Karaoke + Cocktail as the night progressed. This was held on the terrace and the Karaoke thing got my dad's friends and his cousins so much involved that at the end they were quite literally fighting to give their vocal cords a shot at the singing fame. Friends came by to have their own shots (definitely not at singing) but to clink the glasses and celebrate my end of bachelorhood LoL :) ... I was on the best of my behavior and under restricted quantity of alcohol consumption LoL !!! (I know most of you won't believe me, and as such Dipali does not read my Blog so does not matter :P)

Well, this was just a brief account of some pre-wedding celebrations that took place and I think I might as well stop here ... The only reason that I opted to pen down my experience was because, I think I will get married only once lol and so this was going to be my first and last time, which made me think that I had to blog about my own marriage :) :) :) Btw, these photographs are random pics taken by me through my own SLR :) :) :) !!! Please don't even take a guess as to how many in total I took ...

So then, Stay tuned as I prepare my blog post for my wedding day experience and the reception that followed after the marriage...

Cheers
Samy ...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Home Sweet Home !!!

The crowd departed ways, and I managed to push my trolley full of bags a little further, and standing amidst the over bulging group of people were three familiar faces, two of which I have missed a lot the entire year around, and the third face, whom I had been missing for about a month or so. Ah ! What a relief, as I took a deep breath of the not so cold, a little moist, sand smelling air of Ahmedabad, as I embraced upon my dad, mom and Dipali, and felt nostalgic about being back amongst familiar territory, shining in the warmth of my parents and the love of Dipali.

Every year, most of us, including me go through this phase mostly at the end of the year, when we the so-called NRIs (Nachta Rakhadta Indians), pay a visit to our parents, loved ones, family members - back to our home city ! The build up to the trip is always exiciting with loads of shopping, packing, weighing the bags, and most importantly planning out the entire stay with a checklist of fav restaurants, hang out places, things to do etc etc .. Ooff !! A lot of things to cover in a limited stay, and the list just never ends. Above all is the umbrella of the unavoidable social life that we Indians boast all around the world.

Well the only painful event that one experiences in between is the freaking tiresome 22+ hours flight (30-40 hours in some cases with long stop overs), but alas, there is no option to that. But even more cursable thing is when the idiotic, full of attitude airline rep gives you loads of s***, first about the weights of your bags, including the carry on items, and then once you take care of that, he ensures you that your seats are the best in the entire flight.

The moment of surprise grabs you when you actually go and check out your seats in your flight. This current trip of mine had two extremes - First the rate that I got for my return fare the cheapest of my entire stay in the US, and along with that, the seats that the freak rep assigned to me were the worst of all my trips till date.

For a painful 15-17 hours of the first leg of the flight from SF to Singapore, me and my friend, not only got cramped in almost all the joints below the neck, but we also experienced approximately about 20-30 K sounds of the flight's toilet flush. The bloody ass rep somehow assigned us seats just next to the toilet, and not only that, those seats just would not recline as much like the other seats.

Well but as most of us know, the Singapore airport is something that one cannot complain about anything going wrong. Awesome infrastructure, but above all, great munching all around. There is Kaveri the Indian restaurant which is a must for everyone to dine at, but then there was this another one called "Chutney Mary" and if you happen to be there, you are surely not to miss their "Mushroom+Cheese Kathi Rolls". Ohhh Mind Blowing !!!

Apart from all these experiences, it's now just 10 more days to go, before I join the bandwagon of married people. Preparations are in full swing, invitations are out, clothes are being stitched and trials are under way, and a full load of other activities are going on in terms of the preparations.

Hopefully I think I might get some time to post a final blog !
What? Do you think I am going to end blogging? Oh no, that is not what I meant.
Final Blog as a bachelor is something I would like to post maybe a day or two before the marriage if I get that chance. After that who knows, what is gonna change in my life, but I guess whatever happens would be for a whole lot of good reasons :) :) :)

Any warnings from the married people out there ?
Now is the right time to send those out lol !

Cheers
Samy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Troublesome and Torturous Thursdays !!!


Well, what can I say, and what can I expect more that it was a perfectly fine Thursday morning yesterday. Last week, Thursday turned out to be a goof up from my side, with me ending up visiting my friend's place for his birthday celebrations, completely overlooking the exact schedule, and what happened next most of you know from my last post.

Well, come this Thursday, I thought maybe last week was just my own fault, but then what happened yesterday was even more frustrating, agonizing and worth posting here. Now, the background was, that since I am getting married (can't still get out of that weird feeling), my parents sent me a parcel full of invitation cards (kankotris), which were supposed to be distributed to my friends, family members and dad's friends here in the US.

The FedEx website, where I was tracking my package for the past couple of days, finally showed "Delivered" and I was more than happy to breathe in relief that finally it was here. As it happened, I went to check my mail box (on a lovely Thursday evening), only to find no FedEx cards/notices/tags indicating that the package has been delivered. Initially nothing struck me, as I simply walked up to the leasing office, and informed them about this package in my name which could have been delivered to the "Office" as it mentioned on the FedEx website.

As fate would be, it was not found at the leasing office. So I went back to my apartment, opened up the #%*%% FedEx website, only to be struck with horror that somehow, someone named "FriedLand" had signed for that package. I eventually called up the Customer Rep at Fedex, who nicely mentioned that, Dear Sir, I appreciate your #%#%#& business with FedEx, and our records show that the package was delivered to you in M-208 !!!

M-208 ? WTF !!! I live in an entirely different unit you moron ! The FedEx Rep then scheduled for a retrieval of the pacakge, and get it delivered to me. Well as I am writing this blog, that has not yet happened and is still in the #%^&@ FedEx system.

But the more frustrating part is what happened next. I thought let me give it a shot and try going to the M-208 unit and request the tenant to just hand me over the parcel. I take this long walk across the community, walk up to the front door, see a broken Key Hole, peep inside it to see some lights on, and I knock. A couple of knocks later, and a painful wait of 15 minutes, the lights just went off !!! I was like WTF again and #%&*# just stood there cursing everything and everyone that I can think of, in my mind.

Then I thougt of playing the role of a detective as I knocked on the door for the last time, and moved away from the door in a jiffy and laid flat against the wall. After counting 5 mentally, I just popped up outside the door right in front of the keyhole, but just to see no action from the other side of the door. Plan B had failed !!!

Delta Bravo, switch to Plan C !!! Let's go let's go !!! So I knocked on the door twice again, and went off casually, acting as if I am leaving. I parked my car in front of the apartment, and sat inside, for another 15 minutes or so, to expect someone coming out of that damn door, and I would plan to catch him/her by surprise. Nothing happened. Yet another failure.

Now my final Plan D was just to bang on the door until it breaks apart and just barge in the apartment and snatch my parcel. So I climbed the stairs again, with my temper up on the 7th heaven, and my nostrils flaring, I went and was just about to hit the door with my 2.5 Kg Sunny Deol type fist, that I saw someone moving in the apartment from the broken key hole. So I gulped down my anger, and sweetly knocked the door with gentle touches.

Knock ! Knock Knock !! I could see that person moving in the apartment, walking up to the keyhole, as I flashed a sweet smile, and then the person just walked away from the %^&*# hole !!! F***** Weirdo !!! I was like Hello !! The creep just did not open the door. I was standing their, my mouth wide open, my eyes rolling and cursing the damn FedEx guy who screwed up in the first place.

So controlling my anger, I went to the leasing office and told them this entire story (only to find that agent yawning at 9 in the morning in my face), and the answer I got was - "That is a corporate housing apartment, and so they don't expect someone to come and meet them at their front door. As they don't know you, they would definitely not open the door".

Are you F****** kidding me ? Do I look like some one who has come to rob in broad daylight the first thing in the morning ? So as per the leasing agent's suggestion, I went and posted a note on that M-208 f*****d up door, that PLEASE SEND THE PARCEL TO EITHER THE LEASING OFFICE or PLEASE OPEN THE DOOR FOR THE FEDEX GUY WHEN HE COMES IN TO RETRIEVE THE PACKAGE !!!

Oh God Almighty !!! Please don't send these kind of people to Earth, and if you do, please make them understand that no one dressed up in a jacket and jeans, with a nice clean shaved beard, would come up to their front door at 8.30 in the morning on the most happiest day of the week - A Friday, just to bombard them with some kind of C-4 explosives or some kind of Fucked Up promotional material !!!

There you go, I finally posted my first blog post with the first ever curse without any symbols !!! But only I and only I know the frustration that I have gone through for the past 24 hours, all because of a stupid mistake the FedEx person did and all for the most important Kankotris (Wedding Invites) that are inside that package.

Well now that it's a great Friday evening, I eventually tried one more time walking to the M208 door, and found that my note was still stuck there, so I ripped it apart, took a deep breath, and knocked on the door, and mind you the apartment was full of lights. As I saw someone approach the key hole, I gave the best of my smiles, and held up the note that I had with the words FedEx highlighted in RED !!!

I was literally standing there with that note in my hand, smiling to that door, wondering what someone might think of if they see me like that, as if I am some poor chap asking for donations or selling some books. And Click !! I finally heard that sound which I so much wanted hear and the door opened up. Now I had never expected what I saw at the door.

A gorgeous, spotless, speck less, charming, beautiful, adorable cute Russian chick opened the door, and I just stood there staring at her blankly. I had to run for some words, as I finally managed to convince her that she might have one of my packages which is quite important and FINALLY ! With God's blessings I got that package and I just hold on to it for 2 minutes hugging it tightly.

Well painful as it was, the wait was worth it as I now stood holding my own Wedding Invitation card !

Cheers
Samy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lost and Absentminded - A Goof Up !!!

This blog post comes as just a 2 minute write up of what happened about an hour ago just now, and how I messed up, completely dumbfounded at my own negligence.

There could have been numerous occasions when one could have found himself/herself having overlooked something, or forgotten a date or an important event, or maybe just simply absentminded about some birthdays and anniversaries.

But what I did, was quite dumb to be honest, but then thinking carefully, it seems I am so much lost and sad in Dipali's absence that I completely overlooked and my mind lost in her thoughts that I goofed up for a friend's birthday today. So the entire blame of this funny episode goes to Dipali, with she not being here and me missing her too much (lol)...

What happened was truly hilarious to an extent that it could have been a big surprise for my friends who were celebrating their 27th birthday seeing me standing at their front door. Ths situation was this - two of my friends have back to back birthdays and co-incidentally they are married to each other (happily and lovingly). Now the male friend of mine sends out an invite with crystal clear words describing where and more importantly "WHEN", the celebration and cake cutting would be.

Now today on a fine Thursday evening, I finished my dinner, watched some sports videos online, and washed my face, combed my hair, sat in the car and drove like 15 miles to his apartment, taking pains of doing the parallel parking (which is quite hard to find outside their apartment), and finally walked up the stairs to see the lights out in their apartment.

Checking twice as to whether or not I was standing at the correct apartment, I banged the door 2-3 times, rang the door bell as if it was a buzzer of some game show, and finally decided to give him a call. As soon as he picked up the phone, I was like, $%^&$ where are you? He is like, Outside ! I am like, #@$@$% you said 9.30, and I am here 9.35 sharp, and you tell me you are outside !!!

What came next, was a very dreadful laughter and I was like what the heck happened ? He is like, Dude, the invitation was for tomorrow, the 13th, Friday and not today !!!!!

Oh Man !!! I was standing there outside his apartment, laughing at my own ass. Well I could just imagine, just in case if they were at home, and found me standing outside at 9.30 today, what would have been his reaction !!

Well funny or not, I found it quite amusing, that Dipali's absence has made my mind go ballistic, being so absentminded and goofing up at the odd hour. I must have surely woken up at the wrong side of the bed today I guess ...

Well having said that, I wish that couple a very happy birthday, and hopefully I get treated to 3-4 pieces of extra cake tomorrow during the "REAL" celebration, for this extra effort that I went through...

(PS: The names have not been revealed for the sake of being anonymous about them)

This I think has been the fastest blog post that I have ever posted lol ... And further, this goof up really speaks for how much I miss either Dipali or some really good liquor to get my mind on track (Belvedere, Long Islands ???) Lol (Wink, I know she never reads my blog)

Cheers
Samy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Too Much Yet Too Less !!!

I have not been keeping up with my personal blog, whereas on the other hand I have been writing all over other places on different topics altogether. There has been so much to update on my blog and I decided not to do so in different blog posts and keep it to a simple and short one (will try), right here.

The month of October was quite eventful for me in all aspects and in multidimensional ways. To start with a festive mood, my team The Immortals were playing the Finals of the Gold Cup in the Cricbay League and were facing an opponent against whom we had lost on all 3 meeting prior to the finals. With the hunger to win when it mattered the most, no one had expected the game to be so close and tensed that by the end of the game most of us had no nails left in their hands. To check out the complete coverage visit my other blog : The Immortals Cricket Club !

Then came the festival of lights, joy and happiness - Diwali. But for me along with that also came a feeling of sadness that Dipali was leaving San Jose to go back to her home in Los Angeles and then to fly to India in the third week of October to start preparing for our marriage. There was quite a mixture of joy, yet the feeling of missing her on Diwali, a feeling of being a Bachelor back again crept up slowly into me with utmost happiness, but then a feeling of being all by myself and not seeing Dipali and not being in the company of a talkative person also brought a feeling of loneliness in me.

Diwali meant fun, good, no awesome food, nice clothes, meeting friends and having a gala time. We did something similar to that, as approximately 30 of us got together at my current apartment and had a Diwali Get-together Luncheon on Saturday. The food was ordered from Dee Dee's, which turned out to be simply fantabulous. We had Khaman, Kesar Pista Shrikhand, Rotis, Undhiyu, Mutter Paneer, Raitu, Gujarati Daal, Peas Pulav etc. On the whole everyone seemed to relish each morsel of food that they had as at the end there was hardly anything left except for 1-2 people.

Further down the road, another important but tiring event that happened was to shift into my new apartment where I and Dipali would be starting a new life ahead. That also meant moving a little more closer to my job which is now only 3 miles away. A new beginning, brings not only happiness and the feeling of being ecstatic but also brings in a feeling of having something of our own. Of-course the feeling of renting an apartment is much different than staying in one's self built home, but this is as far as some of could manage in the US, I guess.

While I am writing this blog, I am still in the middle of the week, living virtually amongst boxes, duct tape and markers, doing a daily tiring job of packing plenty of stuff for my move in. Along with the apartment move, one more truly sad move comes on the job front where in I have to part ways with my lovely near the window cube with complete privacy and awesoem greenery to stare at, as the elements of cement and steel would take over my place as they build new offices destructing the cubicles. To add to it, I have been given a cube which is not that bad, but a move is a move, and after being so much comfortable in my current cubicle let's see how this new 6x6 space turns out to be.

Other than my personal rejoices and agonies, there was too much of pending work on other domains. Speaking about which the new story is out on Project Pulse's Event - Tathastu. This second story is written by me and is a fable about a passionate dancer who wanted to make it big, but could not get the right platform initially due to his background. For more details check out the blog : Project Pulse!

Switching gears to some substantial work covered under Point10, the team is highly active and busy keeping up with a lot of work in promoting the flagship and also hiring interns, attending seminars and bringing people up to speed with their mission. There have been numerous posts which are still pending from my side which I need to put up on the official blog, but there have been some constructive progress in terms of reaching out to people near and far, organizations, industrialists and most important of all making visits to certain colleges and institutions to spread the ideology. A Point10 Summit is on its way and the agenda is being worked upon right now. For more updates on recent news check out their blog : Point10 - Revitalizing the Education Ecosystem!

Finishing this blog post on a relaxed Sunday night, after spending virtually every hour, minute and second of my this weekend behind packing, unpacking, organizing the new apartment, and I hope, just pray, that Dipali likes the way I have not messed up the Pantry or the Wardrobe looking to the way I have organized and placed everything. I mean come on, how much knowledge a male would have as to which utensil and which spices should go in which drawer. You see an empty drawer you just put stuff there, who cares if it's aligned correctly, utensils drawers on one side, and spices on the other lol !!! I did my best that I could do :)

So this was the journey so far for me in the month of october, and with Dipali enjoying her shopping and marriage preparations in India, it's time not to worry about having your clothes lying around on your bed and having someone watching you to get your stuff right, it's time to eat those Maggis and Frozen Food, it's time to just lie down lazily on a saturday or sunday afternoon in front of the TV and not worrying about how to pay those long shopping bills, and maybe just maybe, it's time to enjoy some liquor too (assuming Dipali does not read this blog post lol) !!! 3 Cheers to Bachelor Life !!!

It's back to being a full-time bachelor once again with only 46 days to go from tomorrow, until I climb the horse, and ride into the official married life with whole new set of responsibilities and fun moments. Till then, just party, relax and enjoy life as much as I can, while I can, the best I can !!!

It was just too much and yet too less the entire October.

Cheers
Samy
(PS: Miss You Dipali Lol !!!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Project Pulse - Tathastu !!!

For the past couple of weeks, I have been involved (from the outside) with a group of people who righteously are on a path of defining how music, dance and souls can come together to put up a spectacular show. This group called "Project Pulse" comprises of a bunch of feet tapping enthusiastic people who have come together with one common liking - Dance !

Project Pulse founded in 2006 is a young and dynamic dance and drama company who creates shows and portray various forms of dance in a unique fashion. Classes are conducted to impart training in Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Jazz, Break Dance and various other types of dance and at the end of the training period, the choreographers and students come together with a theme and give out their performance live to an audience.

This group is based locally out of Bay Area conducting classes and sessions in and around the Silicon Valley for the past 3 years and have already finished 3 productions to a sell out audience. Their 4th showcase is coming up in November 2009 and the preparations have already begun to put up a spectacular show.

This event is named "Tathastu" and is based primarily on dancers and performers enacting stories based on 4 elements: Inspiration, Passion, Togetherness and The Inevitable. It would not be just another dance show, but a portrayal of various forms of music and dance blended together and enacted as a drama.

Speaking about my role in this group, I am not into dancing and stuff, but only reaching out to people to bring forward this concept, basically have the audience build up some background for Tathastu and thus blog about it on the official Project Pulse Blog.

More details could be found in the below links:

Project Pulse Website: Click Here

Project Pulse Blog: Click Here (This is where I play my little role ;-) )

Follow us on Facebook : Click Here

Tathastu Details (As Below)

Tathastu - Granted Wishes

Tathastu - Granted Wishes

Project Pulse & Vibha present a fantastic portrayal of dance and drama presenting stories of Passion, Togetherness, Inspiration and The Inevitable.

A common thread of the act of Tathastu binds all the stories. The storytelling is done through various forms of dancing such as Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Bollywood, Popping, Locking, Break Dancing and Classical styles.

Enjoy the scintillating fusion of live vocals on the stage with dancing and acting.

CHOREOGRAPHERS
Smita Basak, Manisha Parekh, Swapnil Mehta, Meet Aghera, Khyati Sheth, Nihal Sequeira and Sudeep Kumar -
Read More


DATES & TIMES
Saturday, November 7th - 6:30pm - 8pm, Fall Showcase 5:30pm
Sunday, November 8th - 6:30pm - 8pm, Fall Showcase 5:30pm

Project Pulse Fall Showcase is the performance of all the dance class students. Come support the talented dance class students including kids, as they light up the stage!


VENUE
Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
12345 El Monte Rd.
Los Altos, CA 94022


ADMISSION

All Ages welcome
No Video Cameras
No Flash Photography


TICKETS & SEATING
Price: $18, General Admission
First Come, First Serve seating
Doors open at 6:15 pm
(5:15pm for Fall Showcase)
Seating Chart

NOTE: Ticket price includes entry to Project Pulse Fall showcase that starts at 5:30 PM.


BE A SPONSOR
Project Pulse needs your support!
If you wish to be a sponsor for Tathastu, please view our package which specifies the different levels of sponsorship.
Download Sponsorship Package



PART OF THE PROCEEDS BENEFIT VIBHA - www.vibha.org
Vibha's mission is to educate, empower and enable every individual who wishes to make a positive difference in the life of the underprivileged child.

PURCHASE TICKETS NOW

BECOME A FAN on facebook
Project Pulse
2005 Mary Helen Lane
San Jose, California 95136




So stay tuned to PP's blog and drive yourself into an imaginative journey of music, dance and drama as the upcoming weeks unveil the suspense behind the 4 stories of Tathastu.

Cheers
Samy

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vote for Point10 !

This is a small post with a simple message out to the blogging community and to those who follow me and my blog.

As most of you might now be well aware of Point10Solutions and its various portals of which I am a part of playing my little role in keeping things going and making sure Point10 takes one step at a time in achieving the motto of revitalizing the ecosystem.

There have been many updates for the past month or so and the activities inside and outside the group has picked up a fast rate. With lots of things happening this post comes out to you to request your help with just a click of your mouse.

Basically, Point10 (Jatin / Hiren) has been nominated for the "Most Popular Entrepreneur" competition held on YourStory.in portal. You can click the following links to follow what exactly is this event and get more insight into the workings of Point10. Put it in short, we need your votes and comments to be on the top to win this important event which will play a major role in taking Point10 miles down the road towards establishing a platform which they have dreamt of.

Click Here for details about Point10
Click Here for casting your vote/comments for Point10


The criteria to win this event is Number of Votes, Number of Comments and Unique IP Address Clicks. You can check out the details about this at: Click Here

A click from you can keep Point10 clicking towards success. The entire team of Point10 would be grateful if you can vote for us and maybe put a small comment too as per your convenience. We appreciate your time and energy to do this :)

(PS: I know there are a lot of silent followers and readers who more or less refrain from commenting but this would really help a lot and mean a lot if you can spend just minutes to vote for Point10)


Cheers
Samy

Married But Available - Book Review !!!



The title itself attracts people like me who are on the verge of getting married, or the recently married or those who have already lived past the worst stage of their life after marriage lol. Well this book is nowhere near to explaining how one can remain a bachelor all their life even after getting married and more importantly be available for some exciting things in life other than taking their better halves to dinner and shopping sprees.

Married But Available - A book from Abhijit Bhaduri is more or less a follower of one of his other book - Mediocre But Arrogant. Of-course as speculated this is now going to be kept alive by one of his another books which would be called - Middle-aged But Active. The common notion of all these titles being the three letter word - MBA !

Somehow I started reading his first book Mediocre But Arrogant, and one of my friends borrowed it for a while. And then I could not resist the second one and so just read that instead. Overall the book is quite light on heavy dosage of words, notions or theories, but very light in humor material, easily catchable jokes and overall a perfect off-the-shelf book to read in one's spare time. With no philosophical takeaways, no lessons for life, the book speaks about Abbey the main character and his typical life as an MBA (which during his time in the 80s was considered to be a God's blessing to possess such a degree).

The variations and transitions that Abbey goes through while pursuing his job as an MBA are something new to read other than the monotonous life about MBAs in IIMs and the life of techies in IITs which some of the other books portray. The situations, the events as described in this book are more realistic and one can even imagine themselves to be in that place and have a perspective about how things go.

Click Here to know more about the author Abhijit Bhaduri and follow him.
Click Here to read the synopsis and reviews about Married But Available.

Overall a nice book to read and finish in 3-4 days with some cups of coffee on your patio. A typical leisure book. Now I cannot wait to get my hands back on the first novel of Abhijit - Mediocre But Arrogant as I need to remind my friend to hand it back for me to read. Stay tuned for the review of that one too.

My Rating: 8.0 / 10.0

Cheers
Samy

Tagglacious !!!

As I was Tagged by my blogosphere friend Valerine here is my set of answers for the quiz that she posted on her blog ...

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4…
A: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can & catch air?
A: My Iphone Data Cable ...

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
A: College Football :) (Oregon Ducks losing to Boise State Broncos)

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?
A: 12:15 pm

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
A: 12:20 pm

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
A: Jao Na from What's Your Rashee ...

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
A: Drove my car to job with a broad smile on my face thinking about the long weekend trip to Vegas :)

8. Before you started this Q&As, what did you look at?
A: My Tasks list for Friday about everything other than the job related duties ... Long list to complete on Fridays...

9. What are you wearing?
A: Jeans and a T-shirt ...

10. When did you last laugh?
A: Yesterday while watching this hilarious video for Fight For Kisses (FFK): Click Here

11. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
A: All Blank !!! Am sitting in a cube at my office for God's sake ... What more can you expect lol !!

12. Seen anything weird lately?
A: My mirror is broken lately ... ;-)

13. What do you think of this quiz?
A: Not boring, Not too Great !!!

14. What is the last film you saw?
A: Kaminey (Bollywood) and G.I.Joe (Hollywood) ...

15. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
A: I would spend about 1 % of it to buy lottery tickets to increase my worth with some luck ... The rest of the 99 % - Well have a long bucket list ...

16. Tell me something about you that I dunno!
A: I am afraid of God's revenge for my wrong doings :)

17. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
A: I would like to curb all the selfishness in the world ... It takes one no where and spoils the entire environment ...

18. Do you like to Dance?
A: Only when I have 4 pegs of Long Island or 8 shots of Tequilla to make me groove ...

19. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
A: Jhamkudi ...

20. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
A: Jhamburiyo ...

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?
A: I am as of now ... But might not do so permanently ... Nothing like our own India !!!

22. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
A: Son, you were simply awesome and beyond my expectations donw there... We need people like you so I am sending you back dude...
!!! LOL LOL LOL !!!


I further Tag : Soham, Neha, and Shachi ...

Cheers
Samy

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seeking Forgiveness - Micchami Dukkadam !!!

As this week comes to an end, one can find people belonging to the Jain religion, irrespective of their age, sex and location, greet each other with folded hands, seeking forgiveness for having offended their friends, family members or any other soul possible. Yes, it is the week of Paryushana - the most auspicious and the most prestigious religious festival for Jains all over the world. Most of us are aware about Paryushana, but for those who are not, shortly put, it is a week of worship, intensive study, reflection, and purification. For more on Paryushana - Click Here.

There are a number of rituals followed during this entire week of Parsyuhana, which honestly I am not even aware of. There are morning prayers, knowledge sessions, evening prayers with special recitals, fasting etc. Every Jain, for sure observes certain food habits different from their regular habits wherein, they avoid such foods as potatoes, onions, and garlic--the eating of which entails killing the plant instead of just taking its fruit. Many Jains also fast during Paryushan, some for the entire period. At the end of Paryushan, those who have fasted for the eight or ten days break their fast with a special meal during which they do not touch food, but are fed by friends and loved ones in honor of their achievement.

Well I was on my way to do that, and somehow I got a feeling, which is called "Bhava" which means to have an inner feeling, an inner voice to get your soul drift towards achieving something. And this time, somehow I wanted to fast for 8 days and do what is known as "Atthai". In such a type of fast, one gives up eating for 8 days - which means, no food at all. To add to it, one cannot brush their teeth for 8 days, have no form of medicine, liquid or other forms of eatables. The water is the only source to survive these 8 days, and that too has to be boiled before drinking. Once the sun sets, drinking water is also not permitted.

I started off on Sunday, which went quite well, but I felt the challenge on Monday afternoon, as I was working on my job, and had nothing for almost 36 hours since saturday midnight, except for 3 bottles of boiled water. Somehow I went through Monday, made my mind not to go to work on Tuesday and went past Monday night. Tuesday dawned, and I was almost on the brink of vanishing from normal human eyesight. Having lost 3 Kgs in 3 days, I was still holding on to my wish of going through 8 days of this ritual. My stomach had now stopped making noises as the intestines and other surrounding members had settled in a much painful coiled position which used to give me chest pains and burns every hour of the day. Tuesday evening, I could barely manage to open my mouth to talk properly, and yet wanted to carry it for 5 more days. But maybe, it was God's wish, or meant to be, I somehow went through a lot of pain on Tuesday night before sleep, and made up my mind not to carry it any further and break my fast on Wednesday.

Felt sad initially, but still managed to do, what is known as "Attham" - which is fasting for 3 days only on boiled water and no food. Maybe this year, my limits were pushed just that much and at the end of the day felt glad having done whatever I could.

Like a child, with no exaggeration, I literally used to have dreams about the following things which came with wings attached to them, went right past my nose and drifted away during those 3 eventful days of fasting:
Taco Bell's - Grilled Stuff Burrito with Halapeno Sauce
Naan n Curry - Malai Paneer
Chinese food from Temptations (Mountain View)
Drunken Noodles and Spicy Fried Rice from Sala Thai (Fremont)
Pani Puri, Chaats from every damn road-side cart vendor
Animal Style Burger from In n Out (With Extra Cheese)
Of-course all the Jain food that Dipali used to cook ...
And much much more ...

The first morsel of food on Wednesday morning tasted like heaven. Everyone told to take it lightly as I was just coming off 3 days of no food and need my system to adjust to it, and so I did take it lightly as I just managed to eat about 3 regular bowls of beans, approximately 5-6 Puris, some rice, some sweets, one bowl of curd and boondi, 3-4 Parathas with approximately two bowls of Garbanzo beans ... lol ;-)

With this experience, let me take this opportunity to e-wish each and everyone out there in my surrounding, near and far, to grant me forgiveness, as I come before you with my folded hands, to wish you all "Micchami Dukkadam".
"If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness".

Cheers
Samy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Point10Solutions - A Portal for a Good Cause !

A lot of times, we have heard, people and associations all round the world, promoting ideas about helping others, their ideas involving donations and monetary support for the not-so-lucky people in the society, individuals setting a tone of contributing to the welfare of the ecosystem, organizations (profitable and non-profitable) going beyond their limits in helping youth, retired people, homeless in some way or the other.

With this notion in our mind, some of us truly thank God for everything that he has blessed us with, and making us a little bit more lucky in terms of providing us with a slightly better life than others. Be it a well nourished child-hood, a great circle of friends, supportive parents, loving partner, good wealth but far more greater health and one such thing that ranks somewhere in the middle of these blessings (which is nowadays becoming a lot more important) is the luxury of good education.

Up until recent times, education was considered just another "requirements" of life, but lately has turned into a much needed necessity of a person's career. Of-course we can sit down and argue, that most of the successful millionaires and billionaires of the world at some point of time gave up studying and education, yet turning out to be great successful entities. But then, these very same people have been found promoting education and literacy too. It is not so rightly said, that only an educated man will be successful in life, but it could be very much rightly said, that studies and education is surely not going to hurt anyone and who knows, at a later point in time, they might just turn to be your life savior recipes.

Having said that, I have recently joined a group of people, certain individuals who want to give something back to the society, students and professionals who want to contribute their share of blessings so as to help those needy students realize their dreams. This group called "Point10Solutions" breathes on a vision which states "Revitalizing the Education Ecosystem".

I came across this concept through a friend (Hiren Panchasara) whom I knew back from USC and just casually sifting through their blogspot for Point10 figured out that this could be a good start for a noble cause. Everyone of us has some kindness and goodwill hidden inside us, but sometimes, just due to a lack of proper platform, or a medium, we tend to shy away from coming forward and extending our hands to give a little bit of support.

Well, I liked their concept, and to be honest, I liked that this is not just any other association who is going to go places performing like a social service group. This is something different. Their first concept about "Books10Solutions" is doing great rounds everywhere (and some of you might have heard about it in the news), as the team is gathering up individuals from all around the industries to come forward and sponsor 1 single student for only 1 year, in terms of the cost of his/her books. The price? It's just a bare minimum of 2000 Rs. with a maximum limit of 5000 Rs., which I guess should not be a major concern for professionals like me and many more. But the benefit? Just imagine how much benefit those students who are in real need of such sponsors can get from this kind gesture.

I have been now involved in this group through Hiren and Jatin, who are doing a wonderful job with this vision. My role in this group is to maintain the blog, articles, news, posts, invitations etc - basically anything to do which involves composing and creating textual content and getting involved in any kind of other activities to get this project rolling further. Anything right or wrong you see up on the blog, the invites, the articles etc you know who to blame now ;-) ....

Well I hope, all my friends, relatives and the hidden anonymous visitors of my blog, would come forward and support Point10Solutions for a good cause. Looking forward to all and any kinds of contributions (Funding the students, donating books, professional help/guidance, improvisation ideas etc ...). We have received tremendous support from leading industrialists, university faculties, business owners, job professionals, students and other common people from the society. You can check out Point10 Solutions latest updates and their coverage in the news recently. Also check out the upcoming event being organized in Ahmedabad.

Make a visit to read about Point10Solutions concept, vision, upcoming events and more at:

Point10Solutions - Parent Portal
Books10Solutions - Funding Books for 1 Student for 1 Year
Education10Solutions - An Educative Networking Portal (Coming Soon)
Jobs10Solutions - Coming Soon (The Point10 Way into the Industry)
Projects10Solutions - Coming Soon (Work While You Study)

Point10Solutions Team Members Profile:
Click Here

For more details you can drop a line at: team.point10@gmail.com
(Or contact me directly)
I look forward to a lot of participation, feedback, comments and suggestions to help Point10 Team move forward.

Cheers
Samy

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Mid-year Mini-Vacation !!!

I have not been able to keep up with my blog recently, and to be honest, I have ran out of ideas lately or let me put it this way : I have no great updates from my side of the continent. Things have been ridiculously following a strict monotonous routine and Dipali has also now slowly discovered the challenges of doing a full-time job and managing everything else on a daily basis. It amazes me that how much important the Saturdays and Sundays are for people like us who go through so much the entire week.

Well to ease out my stress and give myself a fair amount of relaxation time, I was blessed with a week of shutdown by my company. What does that mean? Well in the world of bad economy it means, companies who want to ensure cost cutting force their employees to take some days off - either paid or unpaid. In my world, it means, totally freak out, hang out in your room, not getting off the bed unless you get a nature's call, delay your baths, watch loads of movies, eat like crazy and the most important : Sleep like you have never ever slept before.

For the past whole week, starting 3rd of July, I have been enjoying a mid-year, mini-vacation of sorts, the first 3 days turning out to be hectic, going places ,being social, but the next 5 days, let me say it again, 5 "working week-days", lol, were just the best in terms of doing only one thing - "NOTHING" !!! I wanted to set all kinds of records, and to be honest, I simply wanted to see how much a lazy ass I can be and I think I lived up to my own expectations. Sleeping, Eating, Movies etc I think I almost set all new records with personal bests.

The first 3 days were all about going places in the hot California summer, 17-mile Drive, Yosemite Park and Bean Hollow Beach. Links to the pics are on my Facebook and/or Orkut profile ...

The rest of the days went by really quickly with me sticking to a strict routine of catching almost 15 hours of sleep every day. Slept like crazy in the summer afternoons, reminding myself of those wonderful days back in school, where one used to devour the Mangoes and sleep 4-5 hours like a log of wood. I was too lazy to even write something on the blog, and thought that it could be done at any point of time, but this divine time will come once in a life time :P

Boy, the days did go by pretty fast, and with the weekend approaching the heart felt gloomy but yet a bit happy, as for workaholics like us, a few days are still OK to enjoy, but given some more lazy time, the mind gets more crankier than ever, and with nothing to do things tend to get out of their normal course of life. Of-course a zillion ideas pop up when the vacation is about to start, with some bullets on the stick-it notes all over listing down things to do, things not to do etc but I guess we can hardly stick to those as the vacation kicks in ... One feels just too lazy to even bother looking at those stick it notes... :)

Finally, as I opened my Outlook Inbox on a Sunday which felt no different as before, after deleting all the trash emails, I got a shocker to see approximately 80-90 emails which would require at-least a one line response from my keyboard :( Bummer !!! What an end to a vacation and what a start to another work week ahead ...

Having said and done, I did conclude upon 2-3 useful constructive things all through my holidays to work upon for the coming months ... Let's see how those go and one of that is to blog more frequently, with at-least one blog post a week ... Preferably on weekends ... (After all, that would surely help me get my essay composition and construction abilities all roused up for Dipali's GMAT exam to help her out ... Believe me, it is really really HARD to concentrate on a single page filled with black words for more than 10 minutes after a gap of 3 years from the educational front ....)

So after, 10 days of holidays, 3 places with approximately 1000 pics, around 150-180 hours of sleep, 10-15 pounds of food and more food, 14-18 movies, 2 hours of GMAT (hard work), basketball, cricket, helping a friend move to SF, multiple games of Sequence, lying around like a lazy ass, 2-3 constructive ideas, ZERO blog posts, I am finally back in the grind, looking forward to another batch of toiling 4-5 months before I am off to India for my marriage ...

Phew !!! Days really go by fast on my side of the continent ...

Cheers
Samy

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Half Century: Busy but not Dead !!!

It has been a long long time I feel, that I even visited my blog and checked out the counter for the number of visitors, or the live traffic feed to get a glimpse of people visiting my blog or the world map which gives me the data (never used anywhere) about demographics of my visitors... Life has been very busy lately, with nothing great, or shall I say life has been pretty monotonous with nothing happening to pen down.

Amusingly, as I even started this post during a bored lazy Thursday afternoon, I did not have even the faintest idea about what I am gonna write, and it suddenly struck me, that I have been doing nothing lately or what ? Well of-course not, you can leave a man out of the action, but never deprive the action from the man ...

I have been going crazy over the NBA playoffs, LA Lakers are playing the finals and am waiting Kobe and Phil Jackson to win another championship ring for their fingers ... I have been writing match reports for my team, The Immortals and Cricbox articles for my league Cricbay, and have also been playing cricket (not much though) and just went over a trauma of a dropped catch last weekend, the report of which can be found HERE on my other blog ... I have been shopping to burst my already bulging wardrobe which has always faced a round of complaints from my roommates back from LA (USC) and in the Valley ... I have also been going nuts with my damsel's job hunt, applying to tons and tons of companies here in the Bay Area, and learning some new concepts and fundamentals of Accounting through her job hunt and interviews ... On the personal physical fitness side, have started playing basketball, have been going to the gym regularly ... I have also been handling the business side of mine through designing and maintaining the website for my company Abhinav Inc. and assisting my dad in trying to get some conference calls and extra business opportunities to expand (which so far has been a very slow start but hanging on) ... Phew and the list simply goes on ...

Well as we move on in our life, which is like a box of chocolates, where one does not know what's coming next, it always feels good to remember old times, good and bad, talk about people who have come and gone, touched our lives in some way or the other, or more importantly been a part of our life. Recently I came across two old videos that I created when I was still part of Southern California and just could not think of a life beyond USC, Los Angeles and the Grade Sheets of my MS degree lol ...

For this 50th post of mine, I did not have anything special to mention or share, but just wanted to cross that mark of 50 posts ... But then, as I was going over the previous posts across some months, (that I realized that I must have been either too lazy or seriously busy that the entire month of May brought out only 1 post from me Sheh !!), I discovered that uptil now I still have not shared something that I created almost 2 years back - those two videos that I mention above.

So here I would like to post them once again, as watching these two videos brings out a lot of great great wonderful memories of I would say the best of the best years of almost everyone's life in that video ... Those were the days and I still cherish those memories close to my heart !!!

Video 1 (20 min)

Video 2 (14 min)

(PS: Sorry for the quality, but let me know if you want the originals, or try watching them on a smaller screen, and dont forget to turn on the speakers)


Everytime I watch these videos, and it speaks so much about what we all friends had shared and enjoyed ... Some of the best moments of my life !!! More amazing is the fact that, I still see that sparkle in the eyes of some people found in these videos, when we talk about good old days at USC and the memories linked to those moments ... That excitement is still there and will always be there for years to come as some of those moments will turn out to be fables, whilst some bedtime stories for our children (WTF, am I talking like an oldie or what?) !!!

And guess what? Yup, you just got it right maybe... I am once again working on a third video with memories from the Bay - or shall I say a life up North in the Valley ... Stay tuned ... It might just take more time ;-)

All I can say is that recently I have found this quote to eb very true:
"Live the Life You Love, Love the Life You Live" !!!

Cheers
Samy

Friday, May 15, 2009

Men of Steel - Book Review !!!


I have been reading these kind of books recently, not for any particular reason, but due to a natural human fact that we are always interested to read stories about others, and believe it or not, its a human trait to actually take interest in other people's life. Until and unless it all remains under a healthy cause, such an interest is surely bound to give us all some positive inputs, teach us all some much needed lessons and more importantly these kind of readings surely broaden and increase your thinking ability and the dimension that you can cover and expand.

Men of Steel, a book from Vir Sanghvi, speaks about, not many, but just 11 prominent figures of India. These are not stories about how they made it big (just like personalities covered in another book which I reviewed - Stay Hungry Stay Foolish), but these are more towards a conversational style manuscripts which Vir has no doubtedly produced in his own unique style of writing. If you are a true Indian by heart, you are surely to love this book, which offers nothing special or great in terms of the history but does give a unique perspective in each of these men, who now are responsible for not creating and being successful with their own brand, but more importantly leading the brand "INDIA" and placing it on the world map amongst different sectors.

Personalities that Vir has interviewed are :
Ratan Tata
Uday Kotak
Nusli Wadia
Sunil Bharati Mittal
Subhash Chandra
Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Kumar Mangalam Birla
Bikki Oberoi
Azim Premji
Vijay Mallya
Nandan Nilekani

Some of these are household names which even a common man knows of through their products and businesses, while some are dominant business men with their own successful brand names.
Note: Please note that these interviews have been taken in the year 2005 and lot of things have changed since then.


Overall a nice book to read a little bit more about these people and add to your already existing knowledge about their success stories.
You can follow Vir Sanghvi here and the details about his own book from his perspective are here.


My personal rating: 8.5/10

Cheers
Samy

(PS: If you wish to read these stories, you can do so by clicking each of the above names, and these are the exact same stories as produced in the book published by Vir Sanghvi)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

1st Birthday - Happy Bday Blog !!!


Exactly a year ago, this idea which had been in my mind for some months then, surfaced up and I floated my own personal blog - Samkit's Reminiscence. Today I celebrate my blog's first birthday, and it seems the destination is still too far away. The journey has still just begun. There is much more to come.

It amazes me as to how time goes by, and it seems as if within a blink of an eye the year just flew by. Well was it that fast? To an extent yes, but more amazing are the stories that revolved around this entire year in my life, in my surroundings and the idea of this blog was born out of that concept as to why not have some medium to reflect back upon and capture these moments. I believe in frequently looking at the past, to re-collect memories, to guide me through the coming future. Of-course one should not hold on to the past, and let it go, but I am a firm believer that there is no such teacher and no good lesson which can be learned, if one cannot catch a glimpse of the past.

Having said all this, where do I move on from here? Well as always I still am not sure, but out of many things that this blog has given me I cannot overlook a few like, a great deal of personal satisfaction, a feeling of achieving something worthy, a dream to follow, a talent to nourish and improve upon, a medium of communicating my thoughts, a source to reach out to people, an entity to express myself, and above all, a lot of new friends, well-wishers and admirers. Of-course anything "good" cannot be left alone without it's step-brother the "evil" but in my case, it should be rightly called the "critics" and not something "bad" or "evil". I have had and my blog has had it's own personal share of criticism at times, but at the end of the day, it has been a great journey to look myself into the mirror and see the change in me, and my thoughts, and my ability to pen down something worth reading and reminiscing.

There have been all kinds of posts on my blog, from memories to book reviews, from cricket to festivals, from nonsensical random posts to some fun-filled email forwards, but the part that I will cherish for years to come, down the lane, around the curve where I will be walking with a stick in one of my hand, would be the event when Dipali entered my life and luckily enough, this blog was already in place. Having came quite far by then, I took that chance to put in front my emotions and feelings just to reflect upon them, and even now when I read that post, it brings back so many wonderful memories, the goosebumps that I get I can hardly express them in writing.

This ride so far, has given me a lot of new friends from the blogosphere, some hidden followers, some known critics, some regular readers and I thank them all from my heart, for keeping me going. Things would not have been the same without you all, and I thank you all out there who have been reading my posts, have been visiting my blog frequently and more importantly a special thanks to all of those who have been taking out time to comment upon my posts. I really have loved all your feedback and I look forward to more down the future. Keep them coming :) There have been people who have really praised and admired the way I write, there are some who have appreciated the efforts that I have put into my blog and the posts, while on the other hand there also have been some who have used even this little entity, my blog, and the opportunity to make fun and get up on my nerves, and even further there have been some serious critics to my style of writing - in all - there have been plenty of feedback for me to work upon and I have tried to do so with each passing day.

I would like to quote this : "To criticize a work, a talent or a creation, is too easy a task for a common man, but to produce a work, flaunt a talent or create a piece, is not within any common man's trait, but a naturally gifted God's blessings."

Lastly, I don't want this to be like an everlasting birthday speech (or to make it sound like an achievement speech or a retiring speech), but my blog would have no meaning without the love, support, understanding and constant feedback from my Mom, Dad and Dipali. Mom and Dad have been the most avid followers of my blog from day one, and have been really active in commenting, and I repeat "commenting" and not false "pampering" on my posts. They have always followed the principle: "The true sign of a true admirer is that one day he/she is your friend and the next moment your biggest critic." Dipali too now has taken an interest slowly but now loves it even more when I mention her on my blog lol... I love you mom, I love you dad and I love you Jaana... You 3 complete the puzzle of my life !!!

To keep it short and sweet (Lol) - Happy 1st Birthday to Samkit's Reminiscence !!!

Cheers
Samy

(PS: In this past year, if I have hurt anyone, said anything which someone would not have liked or have had their feelings rattled - well I just got one thing to say with my deepest condolences - This blog is not for the weak hearted people, so kindly take a hike LOL... Just Kidding ... Of-course I apologize for any such behavior and posts that have touched your feelings... Peace)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Solve Your Problems: The Birbal Way - Book Review !!!


To start with, this is not the typical philosophical book we find off-the-shelf, the ones with lots of inspirations and plenty of morals and whims to portray and conclusively make you think and work for your own good by motivating your self, changing your personality and more or less making you think about certain techniques and behavioral changes one needs to cultivate to achieve success and blah blah !!!

In fact, this small novel is not at all a life-guiding chronicle, but it is in fact a very simple, easy book to treasure, read it, learn something new, but in a very creative way. The book talks about all sorts of different principle and management morals and techniques, but all with a pint of story telling type short instances, and about whom - the most respected and intelligent soul of fables - Birbal.

The authors, Luis S.R. Vas and Anita S.R. Vas, have brought the little delights of all the famous incidents and stories from the past, taking us down the history lane, and yet have cleverly put forward a lot of Management techniques, Morals filled with Wisdom, and more importantly to depict a problem-solution scenario and at the end of each story give out a little advice to relate to that story. The fun part is, that as a reader you can explore your own creative thinking ability and try to figure out a solution by your own to the problem put forward, and then later read what Birbal's solution was. It helps one to be in Birbal's shoes, trying to figure out a solution, and then take back a moral or two to cultivate in daily life to overcome certain obstacles.

Overall, a light-headed reading, fun to recollect Birbal stories and yet learn something valuable. At the end the author nicely portrays the meaning of each letter of B I R B A L's name thus creating a BIRBAL formula to learn.

My Personal Rating: 8/10

Cheers
Samkit

Friday, April 24, 2009

California - My Love (Year after Year) !!!

Well, if we Californians are paying more taxes to the US Govt., then we are also reaping the benefits of being in the Golden State. The weather is just starting to ripen with the mercury rising keeping the sun upbeat, and giving us all a glimpse of a typical warm CAL summer on the horizon. For the past 10 days or so, I somehow felt the pain of paying taxes to this economy, drift away, when I started enjoying the typical weather which we all Cali people boast of, and especially up over here in the Northern Cal, the silicon valley, the famous bay area, it has just been an awesome welcome to the warm warm days. The winter was just too long I guess :)

Speaking about famous, one more thing that I have now understood for the past 2 ½ years of my residency in the Bay Area, and a total of almost 4 ½ years of staying in a famous place - the city of Angels, Los Angeles, and the Silicon Valley, is that, no matter whosoever your friends, relatives or anyone coming from India or other coasts, whenever they land up at these places make sure you have plenty of energy and enthusiasm to take them around. By taking them around, I don’t mean to say just driving them in a car, giving some half earned knowledge about the surroundings in which you live, but what I meant was literally visiting the same old places over and over again. Of-course they who would be visiting California would be overwhelmed at the aura of this state, but ask us, who have been living here for the past 5 years or so what is the pain of visiting the same old places year after year, which by the end of the day you almost feel, you are taking your visitors to a trip in an estate or a farm which righteously is owned by you lol … It feels as if you are the king, and you are just taking your subjects around in your kingdom … As if you are taking them on a merry go round ride in your ancestral land lol … It was painful in Southern Cal, Los Angeles, by going to the same old Universal Studios, Disney Lands, Santa Monica Beaches, Beverly Hills, Hollywood phew, the list won't just end...

Well I experienced something similar, this time in Northern Cal, and last weekend, I made my, let me guess, umpteenth trip to Golden Gate Bridge (LOL), Crooked Street (more LOL) and The City – San Francisco (almost dying with LOL) … It happened so, that one of my cousin visited the bay area (completely sponsored by Yahoo – where the heck is the economy crisis in Yahoo???).. She was visiting for the first time, and as one would expect, the places to go on the list were all those which I named above plus some local eateries which somehow have made their name back in Yahoo India. More amazing was the fact, that in spite of reducing the work force and all the rumors and news about people getting laid off from Yahoo Inc., my cousin and her team got to stay in one of the most posh districts of our bay area, the Santana Row, and the hotel in which they were given accommodation was like a center piece of attraction in the famous Santana Row street.

Anyways, so it was left to me and Dipali to take her around and oh boy, I was so much so fed up now of visiting the Golden Gate that I thought of just buying a part on the top of one of the towers and staying there… So that any of my relatives and/or friends come by, then can just come to see me on the top of the bridge in a local sightseeing tour. And when I am fed up of it, I can just take a dive into the Pacific ocean beneath lol … But, of-course one cannot blame the visitors, and it is just plain luck that I landed up residing in such a famous place, which is world known for its bridges, the bay, the private harbors, the city, night life, piers, eateries and what not … But was it that bad ? Really? Nayyy, I don’t think so, and once again I found and experienced something new this time, something that I had heard and read about on the net, but saw it in person … Nothing great, but just Mother Nature’s amazing phenomenon and I luckily capture them in my DSLR lens to share with everyone…

The theory is called formation of Advection Fog. I do not know a lot about it, but I had randomly heard about it and read something on the net. But this time, when I actually saw it I understood what does it mean. For a more simple definition it means: An advection fog forms when warm and moist air travels over a cool surface. Advection fog forms when humid air from the Pacific Ocean swoops over the chilly California current flowing parallel to the coast. The fog hugs the ground and then the warm, moist air condenses as it moves across the bay or land. This is common near any coastline.

Click here for the photographs taken by me.

Click here for some random professional photographs of the same event.

At the end of the day it was not that bad of a trip, after all, the looks and the built of the amazing San Fran city always mesmerizes me and it was fun altogether. Crooked street was still buzzing with activity and I pity people who actually live there, wondering how fed up they would be listening to the hustle and bustle of thousands of visitors flocking and crowding their driveways. The ride to the top of a new place on the other side of the bay was amazing, and I went there for the first time to actually see the complete skyline and the GG bridge from the top. And more importantly it was a bright clear day for photographs, and as always I did not show any reluctance in clicking the pics.

BUT, sarcastically as I would comment, that as mother nature loves to play pranks on all of us, for me, she has gone a bit more far, and I think due to some kind of special bonding with Golden Gate bridge and the San Fran city, she is going to draw me to these places two more times this year, when one of my friend visits me from the East Coast, and one more time when one of my uncle will pay a visit to this famous place. Grrrr !!!

How much I love being in California isn’t it? LOL !!!

Cheers
Samy

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Birthday Gift to Treasure !!!

Well, I know I am a little late on this, in terms of getting something which almost half of the world's population is talking about, and almost a quarter of the human race has possessed by now, and it just does not stop enchanting more and more from the tribe, and also late on this post, since it is almost a month since my birthday. But, well as they say, patience is a virtue, and bears really sweet fruits.

The debate on this birthday, was what to get as a gift, since it was my first with Dipali, and we went through a number of options, clothes, perfumes, watches, BMW (although that was not really an option lol) etc ... I also asked for a 2 litre bottle of Belvedere Citrus Vodka and was turned down with glaring eyes from my chubby fiance :) ... So after a lot of conversations and not able to decide, we did narrow down to some clothes from AX and I did choose a couple of it from the store and left it to Dipali to decide.

But then, out of the blue, this brilliant idea popped up in her head, and she asked, looking to my love for electronics, that why not get you something from e gadget world ... I was wondering what could she give me that I already not have ? Camera, just got a Nikon DSLR, Watches, already have them (and there isnt a lot of fancy electronic stuff in it), Laptop (Don't need it, even though I knew, that there was a fishy plan of getting one, and then getting deprived of the ownership by Dipali as she had craftly planned it, but I was not the one to fall for it lol) ... So at the end it came to a phone ... She knew I was getting a free upgrade and actually wanted to get a good phone for herself, but then if it was supposed to be a gift for me, then what better than an IPhone which cannot be used by any other user lol ...

So even though I am a little late on it, I got my birthday gift, from Dipali and my parents also chipped in to make it a family gift, the IPhone 3G, got it yesterday, and even though I was a bit on the back foot to purchase it before, I somehow just simply fell in love with this awesome electronic revolution after I went to Apple's website, and saw the 90 minutes video about their new OS 3.0 being launched in June/July 2009. That single video amazed me so much, that now I really wanted to get one of this gadgets.


So my lovely cute little fiance is happy now, not because she gifted me an IPhone, lol, but because, now she has something to play around with when she meets me ... I would not be surprised, if I would have to let all my friends call me on Dipali's cell phone, just due to the fact, that "my" phone is no longer with me when she is around lol ... There have already been a lot of applications download request which have been shoved into my pipeline, courtesy my darling damsel, who by now must have surfed almost all the games available on Apple's Apps Store to just stuff them onto my phone and take a go at them ...

Thanks Jaana, Mom and Dad for this lovely gift to treasure for a long long time ... It is so much fun to use one of this ... Thanks a lot :)

Cheers

Samkit

Monday, April 6, 2009

Anything for You Ma'am - Book Review !!!

As the title suggests, it surely was going to be a lover story with a bit of sarcasm, a bit of love, a bit of hate, and all the spices that goes into creating a love story in a novel. If it were for movies, you would have music, stubborn parents, beautiful (and bountiful) scenes of almost half the world, and at the end the actress would be swaying to the bliss of love in the arms of the actor with the camera panning towards some bunch of flowers to indicate something adult going on ... lol ...

Well nothing of that sorts, this novel is just about a simply IIT boy, who like most of us is trying desperately to get back his interests in studies, but ends up mastering the art of love and on its path, getting a doctorate degree in avoiding and turning obstacles into fruitful endeavors leading and bringing him one step closer to his lady love. For once, there is not a lot of IIT (or IIM) rituals desribed in the book, to keep the reading light and fun.


Using simple but tactful pun type figure of speech in the writings, the author narrates the entire story just like a movie script. A bit laughter here and there, but sometimes, tends to sway away from the story into too much detail about personal thoughts and surroundings. There were some moments during reading this novel, that I literally flipped through a couple of pages, as it lacked any conversations pertaining to the story, but dealt with only the musings and delicacies of personal dreams and stories which for me were just a bit off the topic and were not needed.

But overall a nice light reading, a love story, with the necessary twists and turns on and often, bringing to the surface the reality of how hard love is when pursued especially when it turns out to be a long distance one, and what all goes into making it a successful story such that one can write a book about it. Details about the book and the author can be found here :

Anything for You Ma'am - by Tushar Raheja

My personal rating: 6/10

Cheers
Samkit

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Exclusive New Blog for The Immortals !!!

Well, as we are all gripped in this economy meltdown, there is one thing we all here in the Bay Area look forward too, and by all I meant only the males, and not the fairer sex, who by now have more ingenious ideas and tricks in their kitty bags to enforce upon us the negative effects of cricket ... But, who says we listen to them? Lol ... (I know deep down, all of us, no matter what kind of kings we are on the field, at the end, on the home ground, on the home pitch, we are just a mere spectator when our better halves play their innings) ...

So anyways, to add some spice to our cricket team The Immortals, I proposed this idea of creating our team's own exclusive blog - A blog, a stint which would cover the basics - Articles, Updates, Team News, Match Reports, Statistics, Comments, Analysis - and above all just something to have on records - as I always say - to reminisce for our later ages when we all players can sit back and are watching our children play this game (hopefully under the same name - The Immortals Juniors) ... So here it is our own exclusive blog and I hope to maintain it with all the latest information ...

http://immortals11.blogspot.com/

Follow the Immortals, on this blog, and you will never miss out on a moment of our cricket action :)

Cheers
Samkit

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rules for Women - These are meant to be Followed !!!

I am re-posting this as my good friend was upset that I put his name here as the one who forwarded me the following thread ... and I just could not help LMAO (Laughing my Ass Off) and had to had to had to post it here for everyone to read ... 3 Cheers to my friend for a great forward, and 3 cheers to his wife, if she manages to make him sleep on the couch outside tonight :)

Here you go :

RULES FOR WOMEN

We always hear "the rules" from the female side.
Now here are the rules from the male side.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us griping about you leaving it down.

2. Birthdays, Valentines, and Anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the perfect present yet again!

3. Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.

4. Sunday = sports. It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

5. Don't cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. One of the big reasons guys fear getting married is that married women always cut their hair, and by then you're stuck with her.

6. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

7. Crying is blackmail.

8. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

9. We don't remember dates. Mark birthdays and anniversaries on a calendar. Remind us frequently beforehand.

10. Most guys own three pairs of shoes - tops. What makes you think we'd be any good at choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?

11. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

12. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

13. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

14. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

15. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us. We refuse to answer.

16. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

17. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

18. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

19. Christopher Columbus did not need directions, and neither do we.

20. The relationship is never going to be like it was the first two months we were going out. Get over it. And quit whining to your girlfriends.

21. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

22. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

23. We are not mind readers and we never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

24. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

25. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

26. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.

27. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as navel lint, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

28. You have enough clothes.

29. You have too many shoes.

30. Foreign films are best left to foreigners. (Unless it's Bruce Lee or some war flick where it doesn't really matter what they're saying anyway.)

31. It is neither in your best interest or ours to take the quiz together. No, it doesn't matter which quiz.

32. I am in shape. ROUND is a shape.

33. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we really don't mind that, it's like camping.


All the best to my good friend and all the best to all the males in the world :)
May we get to live these rules and may a day come when all these rules are scripted and framed for every female to read, understand and more importantly act upon :)

Cheers

Samkit