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 !!!


(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


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 !!!


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 :)



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


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 ...

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