Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New and interesting chapter

Last month or so has been the most interesting phase of my life. I have graduated beyond the bachelor stage to the uncle stage. I got married to Ruqaiya on 10th Dec at Hyderabad. This has opened a new chapter in my life. One of more responsibility and full of thrill. The journey so far has been interesting and I believe it will be even more interesting in the future.

The journey began with the ceremonies in Hyderabad. The Sanchak and Nikah in Hyderabad were both a fun experience. Everybody stayed in Taramati Baradari resort. Same place where we stayed during the engagement trip.

Sanchak was a family function on 9th Dec where the entire contingent from Bangalore was welcomed by the bride's family. It was a dress rehearsal for the big day on 10th. That day was in fact more interesting than the function in the evening. Earlier that day, the entire contingent from Bangalore reached Hyderabad. On reaching I caught cold and started sneezing and it was a big thig that the groom started sneezing. As if that was not enough, I had scheduled a bit of my shopping for that day in Hyderabad. I went out with Naseem to get my turban. The turban shopping was very interesting yet stressful as everybody back in the resort was worried.

Hyderabad was in a mess that day because of the Telangana issue. Anyway, I was back later that evening in time and the function went as per schedule. One lesson I learnt out of that experience is, not to leave anything for the last minute. Things might fall in place but the stress is just not worth it.

Nikah on 10th was the main event. The entire day was spent at the resort relaxing. Many relatives went out for shopping to the old city. It was strange that I din't feel nervous. Most of my married friends had warned me about the pre wedding jitters. The whole day went fine and the evening was a memorable one where Sakhib and Naseem helped me handle the attention and hype. It seamed as if the nature conspired towards making the day special. The Telangana issue also was mellowed down just the previous day, thanks to the home ministry temporarily aggreeing to their demands. All my friends in Hyderabad and those who came to Hyderabad to attend my big day came comfortably. The best part of the evening was seeing some of the close friends present at the wedding and going through the ritual in presense of family and friends. The wedding was the first Hyderabadi wedding for me and most of my family. It was an ocean of sherwani's, a rare sight in Bangalore. How can you talk of hyderabad and miss out on the biriyani. The biriyani was special.Not just the biriyani but the entire menu. My friend Afroze had told me about the "khatarnak" Hyderabadi craze for food. But one thing was different about my wedding, The entire function wound up by midnight. My Hyderabadi friends say it is one of a kind wedding. I guess this is Hyderabad meets Bangalore in the true sense.

I spent the next two days at Hyderabad with Ruqaiya and it was a new experience to share my personal space with someone. Marriage is an interesting experience, I would recomend every single person. Marriage has already taught me a thing or two about collective thinking. Hitherto it was missing in me.

I reached Bangalore on 12th night and the reception was scheduled on 13th. Dad picked me from the airport. Ruqaiya found her new hometown much greener. I always felt that Bangalore has lost its true greenery in the last ten years. But still is remains green for an outsider. She had her first taste of living away from her immediate family and everyday has been a new experience for her. It has been interesting to see her come out of her shell and connect pretty well with my side of the family.

The reception day on 13th was full of confusion to begin with. Everybody was back from a long journey and in my mind the wedding was over. But in reality this was the day my dad had spent so much time organizing while I had been busy with work. After all the confusion throughout the day it turned out to be a pretty good event. I felt really happy to meet my old coleagues and some friends whom I had not met for ages. Though it was great to see them I did not really have a chance to catch up. The food that night was really good for most. However the Hyderabad contingent felt it gave the Hyderabadi cuisine a good fight(but came a close second). It is nearly impossible to impress the Hyderabadi in terms of food. That is one lesson I learnt. The function unfolded with some really good singing by Omer bhaiya. He truly has a great voice to go with his awesome attitude. He kept us entertained through the night.

Overall the wedding experience was fun. The best part is that everybody was happy with the events and the new relationships that came along with it. For me the real life began at this point. Life seams much simpler as a singleton. Next phase of the journey began with our first holiday together in Malaysia.

Both of us flew to Malaysia on 16th Dec and reachec KL in the early hours of 17th Dec. Post fajr prayers in the surau in the airport we were off to Batu caves in the taxi provided by the travel agent. The drive was a beautiful one. It reminded me of of my Japan experience(only other overseas trip so far). Batu caves are a spot where there are some hindu temples built by the Tamil imigrants. It felt like going to Chennai from Bangalore via Kuala lumpur. We had our south Indian vegetarian breakfast in that complex in one of the restaurants and left to Genting Highlands. The cable car that took us on top of the Genting Highlands was fun. Especially since I left my cell phone inside the cablecar. Luckily, my handicam spotted the cablecar number and I could trace back my cell phone. The journey began with a mishap but luckily the situation came under control. Ruqaiya had the first taste of my lost and found habits.

While going to our hotel room Ruqaiya saw a Baskin Robins shop where she saw her favourite strawbery cheesecake flavour but did not buy it then as she felt very sleepy. We were then off to our hotel to catch up for the lost sleep. Next two days were an ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and we had a great time at the amusement park in Genting. However, we did not find the strawbery cheesecake ice cream again in Genting Highlands. Ruqaiya really loves this flavour and she felt angry for having missed it when it was available.

We reached KL on 19th by car provided by the same travel agent. It was a good drive and we stayed in KL at Citrus hotel. We were really lucky to have the best view of the twin towers from our room window. On 19th we took the monorail from Chow kit station to Bikut Bintang where we did some headscarf shopping for my family, followed by dinner at a Moroccan restaurant. It was a good outing where we got a taste of KL but could not find the strawberry cheesecake from Baskin robbins anywhere in KL.

Next day we went for the guided tour of KL city. It was a good tour. We went to the Pewter factory, Batik factory, National mosque, Chinese temple, Little India and ended the guided tour at the twin towers. The twin tower visit is one of a kind. It is so huge. I had seen Roppongi hills in Tokyo but this was really huge. We had a good time at the shopping complex in the twin towers. One thing that stands out of that experience is the mogrib prayers in the surau inside the petrona's. It was led by a yound North African guy who impressed everyone by his qirat. Both his voice and tajweed were exceptional. I would call it the best part of the KL trip. I don't remember having heard such beautiful recitation for a long time. We returned back to our hotel room after dinner at Burger king in the Petronas. That night twin towers looked class apart. Especially later at night when we saw the lights go off one by one.

We were off to Penang next morning by bus. We boarded the bus from old railway station. The country side looked very beautiful and the spot where the bus stopped in the middle for snacks was also so mich better than similar stops I have seen in India. Our country has lots of catching upto do on the infrastructure front.

At Penang we stayed at Grand Continental. The hotel was not that great but the area around the hotel was pretty good. We saw the previous tallest building of Malaysia pretty closely. The Comtar has some good shopping complexes and there is a new up coming mall behind the Penang times square. I bought a baseball cap there for myself. We again tried to look for Baskin Robbins but could not find it. We found out that there is a Baskin Robbins in Platicus mall in Penang but that was pretty far from where we were.

Next day we had a guided city tour when Danny Lee(our driver) took us around Penang to Batik factory, Fort Cornwallis and the botanical garden. The best shopping we did was at the Batik factory where we bought some silk scarves. Best part of the Penang experience was the street food and Desi food over there. I would recomend everyone to eat Nasi kanda at Kassim restaurant near brick kiln road. Overall, the Penang experience was good though the weather was really hot. Still the strawberry cheesecake evaded us and Ruqaiya was sulking about the fact that she missed it at Genting.

We were off to Langkawi next day early morning at 7 am by boat. The boat journey was a fun experience. On reaching Langkawi, I met my driver who would take me to the Aseania resort. I could locate a Baskin Robins right behind the driver at the Jetty station and that made Ruqaiya really happy. Like her purpose for the journey was fulfilled and she had her strawberry cheesecake, The ice cream flavour that she loved so much but never found during her stay in India.

On reaching Aseania resort, we found out that the rooms were still occupied and we have to come back around 3 pm to checkin. Ruqaiya and I went with the guide to watch the underwater world and had our lunch at an Indian restaurant right next to the Cenang beach. It was an expensive but great lunch. I had wanted to swim throughout the journey but for some reason did not find time when there was a pool and did not find a pool when there was time. The first day in Langkawi concluded with a good walk down the beach at Cenang beach and with a plan to return the next day for water sports.

Next day began late but we had planned to go for adventure sports. I had my swim in the pool while Ruqaiya got ready for the day at the beach. At the beach both of us enjoyed jet ski-ing and para gliding. Paragliding especially was a mindblowing experience. The instructor told us that if both of us go together, we will fly like a bird but fall like a coconut. Thats what happened, but in the process I lost my cap and Ruqaiya conquered her fear of hieghts. That day was the best part of the journey where we did something that involved adrenaline rush together.

This adventurous day was followed by a terrible complimentary dinner at the Aseania resort. The dinner was full of half cooked meat dishes. It put off Ruqaiya completely. I did not enjoy the dinner though found it edible. The dinner was followed by a long walk on the beach. It was a beautiful sight for me to walk with my life partner on a beach where there was a group of youngsters playing music. It was like being played for us.

We flew back the next day from Langkawi-KL-Bangalore. The journey was an unforgettable one but began a new chapter in my life. I am happy to start this journey with Ruqaiya as my life partner and looking forward to spend rest of my life with her.

PS: Now I am back at work updating my blog in free time. Have new challenges to conquer. Especially get back to work schedule with full flow. Even need to get back my lost fitness. I had 10 buffet breakfasts and a party almost every night. More on this in the next post.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another reason to celebrate the children's day

Twenty years ago on the childrens day(nov 14th) a child(almost) announced his arrival in international cricket. He was a 16 year old and stood 5ft 5in tall. Everybody said he would make it big and he has lived up to every unrealistic expectation our nation had. Twenty years have passed and he has the same child like enthusiasm towards the game as he did on day one. He is Sachin Tendulkar a legend and an inspiration to everyone.

Sachin was picked into the national side within one year of 1st class cricket which included debut centuries in Ranji trophy, Irani trophy and Duleep trophy. He is the only Indian cricketer to have such a start to his 1st class career. His first international tour was a visit to Pakistan. He faced the fiercest fast bowling attack fearlessly and had moderate success but showed his true potential in an exibition game at Peshawar where he wallopped Abdul Qadir for 28 runs in an over. The kid had now arrived.

Soon after he scored test centuries in Perth and Manchester. Indian cricket team was considered pretty weak against fast bowling, especially in alien conditions. However, the real turn around to his international career was when he opened the innings in an ODI in Aukland. He smashed 82 off 49 balls. There was no looking back since. Though he got his first ODI hundred after 73 ODI's, he made up and scored hundreds in dozens. He was such a high impact player for close to a decade that if Sachin fired India won else the Indian cricket team was pretty ordinary. Many other young cricketers had similar starts to their career but few stood the test of time.

He had a brief stint as Indian test/ODI captain. He was not that successful as a leader just to prove that he is a human after all(contrary to belief of many cricket fanatics). Even his batting form slumped(only by his standards). During that transition phase from Azhar to Ganguly era many felt that this is the end of Sachin. That was when the best opening partnership of ODI cricket was born. Sachin/Sourav broke all possible records possible and Indian cricket touched new hieghts under Sourav's leadership. Sachin played a pivotal role as a senior member of team India. Sourav was a great leader who must take the credit for making most of the young cricketing talent of India.

Many players like Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbhajan and Dhoni came in and made a mark for themselves. India was now a team that did not completely depend on Sachin's performance to win. Sachin adjusted his game as per the teams requirements. That was a phase where his genius was a bit overshadowed by the overall team performance. We have seen so many stars get carried away with stardom and lose sight as cricketers and as team members. But Sachin has always been a cricketer par excelence who played for the team, records just came along.

The innings of 175 last week silenced his critics in a big way. He was criticised for being the old man of the team. A selfish player who scored only when it did not matter. He was considered a failure in finals. He played some of the best innings under pressure in the last couple of years. The team might have lost but he certainly did his job. When such criticism is made, it is often forgotten the number of victories were set up because of his start and opener is not the one expected to finish a run chase.

A lot was written about his injuries, age and fitness levels but he has been the greatest ambassador of the game. He has been one of a kind who played with total dedication and discipline. One of the qualities anybody could imbibe in professional life.

When I reflect on my career at this moment I feel the need to stay focussed on achieving excelence at my craft. There is a lot to be achieved but there is no shortcut to success. It is easy to get carried away with some success but consistently achieving and striving for excelence is what matters.

PS: All these things are possible if and only if one loves and enjoys his work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Need of the hour...

Last few weeks have been an amazing journey for me. Since my last post life has been really dynamic on the work front. I have done almost everything except what I am good at. Problem is I am not sure of the role I am supposed to fulfil in my project. I have done development, production support and even done testing. All that without requirement documents. This is the flipside of working in a smaller company especially when things don't go as per plan. You have to be utilised by hook or by crook. Especially, when Uncle Sam does not want you to visit him. As far as I am concerned, Uncle Sam is not the most important thing. There is a much bigger world to be explored. I would rather look ahead.

I have been thinking for the last few days whats the way forward? I guess for now I should start relearning things right from the scratch. One big thing that I have gained from my current project is being able to look at things in its completeness. I have to relearn my existing skill again with respect to new insights I have gained from the current project.

Apart from work I have been busy with sherwani shopping and some other stuff focussed on the big day in december. It has been fun to look for sherwani. Especially considering that there are very few showrooms that sell sherwani's not made of silk. Silk-sherwani is such an oxy-moron. One of the things strongly disliked by the holy prophet is muslim men wearing gold or silk. Yet it is not easy to find a traditional muslim attire without silk. Hypocracy is widespread and can only be addressed within ones limits. These things cannot be changed easily and there are more important issues to be addressed.

Another thing on my mind is getting fit. I started jogging and exersizing last week. It has been a beginning after a month of recovery from post fever weakness.

To sum up the post... need of the hour right now is... I need a new start in all aspects. Professionally, I need to start learning my craft right from the basics. Personally as well I need to restart my fitness program and also get connected with some of the long lost friends keeping the big day in december in mind.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid Mubarak.

It is that time of the year when ones heart has mixed feelings. One of joy looking ahead to the feast and one of slight emotion thinking of the fasting. For me it is slightly different this time. I am recovering from the high fever I had till yesterday. In the process I could not fast for three days.

This Ramadan was a very challenging one as some of the most difficult work situations came and went causing minimum harm. My US visa is still stuck with the consulate in Chennai. They want to review my background till perhaps till the client has blowed the wistle on the project or maybe till I no longer want to visit their lovely country. There are more important events happening in my life in the near future. Anyway, Uncle Sam always commands and we all are expected to listen.

Tomorrow is gonna be a reward for the fasting and worship done through the holy month and the celebrations should get life back on track. A new routine after that. Whether I visit Uncle Sam or not, I have to start to work hard on my fitness and there is lots of shopping left for the big day in December. I have to hurry with that big time.

Lots to plan and do in time to come but as far as tomorrow is concerned, only thing I have on my mind is eat, celebrate and wish everybody "Eid Mubarak".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Topsy turvy

This ramadan has truly been the most eventful one of my life. It began with a buzz that I have to visit Uncle Sam for a knowledge transition. I had to reschedule my visa interview date because the client invite was unavailable. When the client invite was available, I got busy solving a major bug. Luckily, everything so far has got through but...

Yesterday, I was in Chennai to attend the visa interview in the USA consulate. It was a good journey. I landed in Chennai just around the sehri time and met Zafar. I was pleasantly surprised to see how organised his appartment was. A very rare organized bachelor appartment. He took me to the consulate. The consulate experience was just like the one I had two years back. Some questions were asked and I was told "Sir, we need to process your case further. You can check the website for the latest".

However, one difference this time is that they have taken my passport. There is hope that the visa will be through. Question is, "WHEN?". The whole plan is a very topsy turvy one as I need to visit Uncle Sam early to be back in time for my wedding this December. The journey back to Bangalore was also good as I was just again back in time for sehri. The best part this ramadan has been that the busy schedule has not disturbed my ramadan plans.

If the visa is through by next week, there could be another interesting case that I might not get the Eid-ul-Fitr after fasting through the holy month. In the USA Eid is scheduled on Sunday and in India on Monday. If I fly out of Bangalore on Sunday, I'll miss the festivities in both the countries. I had plans of joining my cousins in Detroit to celebrate eid. This one has truly been a very funny situation.

Everything said and done, I hope and pray things fall in place and above all next few months are fun. There is lots of work, but also an opportunity to learn and enjoy. I am hoping for the best but I'm prepared for anything that the Almighty has planned for me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time to introspect, repent and reform

The new moon tonight will kickstart the holy month of ramadan. The month when the noble Quran was revealed as a guidance to mankind. It is a month when a believer connects with his creator by submitting himself completely. One completely gives up on food, drink and other pleasures from dawn to dusk to exersize self control. It is the month of introspection, repent and reform.

It is a month when a muslim gives zakath(2.5% of savings) to the needy. It is a reminder to the ummah "stop being the needy". It is a reminder that the wealth, life and every other possession is only an amanah from Allah. To spend it in his path will only increase the wealth in terms of barakah(blessing).

For me personally it is yet another new beginning. I will start working on a new project and might have to visit Uncle Sam for some consulting work. Looks like this ramadan might be spent half at home and half with Uncle Sam. It will be an interesting experience. This will be my second ramadan spent away from home.

Last couple of months have been very lazy for me. I have let myself down by being very laid back. I have not been moving in the right direction. The work has been monotonous and a bit boring. Though there has been an opportunity to learn I have not actually made the most of it. I need to introspect and get my life back on track.Need to get things moving in the right direction.

Beginning tomorrow, I have to focus on getting my sleep cycle on track. I have to make the most of the morning time. The best phases of my life have been when I got up for fajr and used the morning fruitfully. Sleep after fajr destroys the entire day. I can not work with a heavy head. Another priority is to continue with the understanding of the Quran. This endeavor has been on hold for sometiem now. I studied more than half of the book with understanding last year but suddenly dould not move ahead. Inshallah, I need to put some effort on that front as well.

Another thing I need to completely get rid of this newly acquired habit of procrastination. It surely does kill the opportunity. I have to start doing things now. To begin with I need to brush up with some of the technologies which I consider my strength but I am out of touch for a while now.

There is a lot on my plate(work wise). I hope this blog entry will get me back on the right track both professionally and personally. Inshallah, this will be a ramadan that will give me the right direction and make my life more valuable in all respects.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hyderabad revisited...

Last week has been pretty hectic and a new chapter in my life has begun. The purpose of my last visit to Hyderabad has materialized as I got engaged to Ruqaiya last Tuesday. She happens to be my cousin Romana's close friend of many years. Romu deserves a special thanks on getting us hooked.

The trip was a family reunion. All of us enjoyed the two days in a resort close to the Golkonda fort called Taramati Baradari. It is a historical construction which dates back to the era of Quli Qutub Shah. It is an amazing work of engineering. I had read about acoustics in college, witnessed what it means over there.

One thing that surprised me about Hyderabad is how late the parties begin and how late they finish. Generally it is "baad namaz-e-isha (post night prayers)". In Bangalore we are used to "baad namaz-e-mogrib (post sunset prayers)". I reached the function hall at 10 PM and the function went past midnight. My afternoon nap saved me from looking terribly tired. Still, it was a testing time to face the audience.

While interacting with Ruqaiya's family I noticed that even normal communication in Hyderabad involves super formal gestures. Even the basic greeting "Assalamualaikum" is done with a royal bow. Looks pretty normal for those who live there. A bit strange for those who live in Bangalore. These subtle differences make relationships across regions interesting.

More on this topic will come around the nikah time. Right now, I am still digesting the fact that I am committed and my search for a life partner has come to an end.

Next morning all of us checked out of Taramati Baradari and went to see Hyderabad. Most ladies with my uncle went out shopping to old city area. Rest of us(read kids) went to snow world. In my opinion it was good but not great. Especially sudden changes in the temperature can make you fall sick. Some other rides like scary house were fun.

We had lunch in paradise. How can you go to Hyderabad and miss out on the biryani? It was a late lunch that went on till about 5 pm.

We returned to Bangalore that evening. It was a short but eventful trip. I am waiting for more of such trips in the near future ;)

Monday, July 6, 2009

As of now...

Last month has been pretty testing for me in many ways. Atlast work has begun full flow and there are new challenges in getting adjusted to the new technologies and techniques. Not that exciting as it initially sounded but life is going on.

One happy event was Sakhib's engagement. The trip to Hassan was a nice one after many years. I could recall so many trips to my aunt's home in my younger days.

It is a pleasure to see Faisal grow in front of my eyes from a baby to a little boy. He is the most interesting person in my home who makes us smile even when the going gets tough.

There have been some testing times for my dear ones of late. Everybody is fighting just like the world has been fighting the recession. Bad times will pass and good times will return. One has to face everything with the grit but not without letting the happier moments pass. Only in tough times does one value those moments.

Like this post, my mind has been swaying between happy and not so happy thoughts. I rather look at the glass as half full and wait for some interesting updates till I update my blog next. Bye till then.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hyderabad weekend

Last weekend was fun. I was in Hyderabad with family for a couple of days. One natural thing for a Bangalorean visiting Hyderabad is to start comparing the two cities. Especially after We lost to their team in the IPL finals one would by any means compare and like to see his city as the better one.

We landed in Hyderabad on saturday morning in Shamshabad airport. It seamed pretty much like the International airport in Bangalore. Many say its the best in India but I din't see anything special thats not there in Bangalore international airport. We rented a ford fiesta in the airport and drove it to Begumpet. I remember the name because that was where old Hyderabad airport stood. It was a stop over point for the flight I used to take from Kolkata to Bangalore. The drive was really good. The roads are where Hyderabad scores points over Bangalore anyday. There are flyovers all over the city and long stretches without any signal. The drive was fun. But the flipside is lawlessness. Nobody cares about the trafic laws. Everybody overtakes from the wrong side and breaks the signal, where there is one.

Our stay was in Green park. The rooms were pretty good but the stay was a touch expensive. I had lunch with dad and his friend in a place called Ohri's. Food is pretty good but I dont think thats typical Hyderabadi food. Its something that could be found anywhere. It was good though.

I met Naseem in the evening. I met him after 2 years. I went out with him all over hyderabad on his bike while my parents went around the city in the car we rented. It is a very interesting city. Especially Charminar looks awesome. The architecture of that time looks much better than the modern constructions around there. That place has many ruins of that era. I could not dig deeper as I dint have much time. But I must say you could see yesterday, today and tomorrow everywhere you saw. It is a beautiful mix of traditional and modern. For dinner I had my favourite snack, shawarma. Naseem took me to the best shawarma joint in Nampally. It was different and was pretty authentic in taste. After a good time in the old city we rode back to the hotel before I hit bed.

Next day was a pretty lazy one. We were there to attend a gettogether and the whole day pretty much lazy and just checking the area around Begumpet and Banjara hills. Along with my sister, I checked out the malls and the shopping places around that place. It is pretty much the same like Bangalore or any other Indian city for that matter. Evening was in the family friends place where we were invited. It was a formal gettogether. I met some new people and had a good taste of Hyderabadi hospitality.

After getting back to the hotel room, I decided the trip is incomplete without the Biriyani from Paradise. I drove to Paradise and got it packed especially for Kulsum since she was waiting for it back in Bangalore. The biriyani was packed and kept in the fridge. Next morning we found that the fridge got heated rather than the biriyani getting cold. We flew back to Bangalore after returning the car we rented.

It was a short but a good trip. Hoping to go there again sooner than later. For now its back to work

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bottoms up

If a phrase could summarise IPL 2009 it would obviously be "Bottom's up". We saw the bottom most teams from the 2008 IPL make it to the finals and the bottom most lift the cup. Even last year the least favourite team lifted the trophy. This unpredictability is what makes T20 such an exciting form of cricket. It was a very closely fought competition and it was anybodies cup till the last few league matches. I was personally disappointed when Rajasthan Royals lost to KKR. But, they were not the real consistent types. Their performances were not consistent enough. In short they were unpredictable.

Talking about the unpredictability, who would have expected two hatricks from Yuvraj and another one from Rohit Sharma? And such an utter failure from Robin Uthappa. Bangalore getting into such a comfortable position and throwing it away from there. The most unexpected hero of last night was Harmeet Singh. Nobody expected such a dibly dobly bowler to pick crucial two wickets and take a blinder when guys like Dravid and Uthappa were dropping sitters.

It has been a fairy tail journey for Gilchrist. It is a great victory to add to his tally of three world cups. The Aussies have proved time and again they are born to fight and to win. It is an honour not even the great Sachin or Kumble could achieve.

I would have hoped an Indian captain lifting the coveted trophy but lets hope next time. Looking at the existing trend we can hope Mumbai Indians and KKR in the finals next year. And hope to see dada lift the trophy. Very unlikely if you apply logic. But much more strange things have happened in the past.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Royal Disappointment

Finally, We are through the league stage of IPL and we know the four semifinalists. I am disappointed by the exit of Rajasthan Royals. They were a great team because they played really well under pressure. But they were inconsistent. You can not be a team of just three or four good players and expect them to win every match for you.

Anyway, whats gone is gone. But kudos to KKR. They found form a bit late but atleast they proved thay are no mere pushovers. Their win against Rajasthan Royals reminded me of the scene in Bazigar where Shahrukh pushes Shilpa Shetty off the roof to settle old scores.

Now I better shift my focus from Royals to Royal Challengers. I have not been faithful to my own city so far. Its hard to explain why. Today's game against the Deccan Chargers was an awesome break for Manish Pandey. The stage is now set for a great showdown. I hope Royal challengers are not another royal disappointment like the Rajasthan Royals.

Lets wait and watch whats in store. Let the best team win.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Singh is king...Jai hooooo....

The election results are out and Singh is king yet again. After nearly a month of campaigning(mudslinging) and promises of all kinds the public of India has given its verdict against the kingmakers(blackmailers) and hatemongers.

In my opinion the 2009 general election is a turning point for our nation. After more than a decade of coalition politics of the worst kind we have seen a government which doesnt really need support in exchange of powerful portfolios. Now the onus is on the UPA to prove its worth. The results have been encouraging for the fact that people have not fallen either to the hatred trap either on regional or communal lines. The public has chosen a party which is more inclusive in its approach and has a national vision rather than a regional/communal one.

One reason why I feel it is a good news for the nation is that difficult decisions can be taken without getting worried about losing power. Last five years we saw blackmailing of different kinds especially from the left. Some portfolio's had to be given to tainted politicians just to keep the NDA out of power. Inspite of pro corporate leanings, the last government dint know weather to be socialist or capitalist. Many decisions were quite a hotchpotch. Not that the UPA is a bunch of angel's. Among all the political parties they seam to be the only one who looks at India with a broader vission. It tries to include all the countrymen and recognises differences. Their are others who either have an elitist view or purely a mass view. Our country will bear the fruit of their vission only if they are accountable and honest with the responsibility they have got.

Now the onus is on the government to come out clean and prove that thay can truly take the country in the right direction. Next five years will be more crucial than just the last month. UPA will be tested how united they can keep our country and how progressive they are. I hope and pray that the power makes them responsible and takes our country in the right direction.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Much needed break

The long weekend was an interesting getaway. Sakhib and I decided on thurday night to drive down to Coorg on friday morning. It was a last minute plan and it is only last minute plans that work for me. The drive started on friday morning around 8 30 am. It was a very comfortable drive through the highway. We took a break around Ramnagar in a Barista and drove till Hunsur where we performed our Jummah prayers. We reached Club Mahindra in Marcera at 4 30 PM. Entire drive was pretty good except some traffic jam around Mandya.

The evening in Club Mahindra was pretty good. Cozy is the exact word to describe that resort. A much needed break from the mundane life in Bangalore. We played snooker and had a walk through almost forest like atmoshpere in club Mahindra before having a good dinner and hitting the bed. The night was like the time spent in Hassan many years back where Sakhib and I met only during the holidays. Just talking nonsence before actually going to sleep.

The next morning began with a good session of swimming and a buffet breakfast. It was a filling breakfast before checking out from there. After checking out, we drove to Abbey falls. Met some students over their who guided us to the fort and we had lunch in a mughlai restaurant called Choice. The food was alright but the service was nothing to boast about.

Post lunch we checked into another hotel which was pretty ordinary compared to luxurious Club Mahindra where our booking was just for one day. In the evening we went to Raja seat which was really crowded. Followed by an awesome drive to the Tibetian refugee camp. It was an empty and well maintained highway. The up's and downs were fun. We expected something interesting but everything was shut pretty early. We made a Tibetian friend "Norbu". He guided us through the refugee camp. It was late then so we drove back hoping for an interesting visit next morning.

After a really good drive we got back home and caught up with some IPL action. It was really nice to see Rajasthan Royals beat the Deccan chargers. Now the points table looks very balanced. Other than KKR everybody has a chance. Even KKR can get back if they win every game, ofcourse depending on how others perform. Improbable not impossible.

Next morning, we woke up late and started our return journey at 10 30. Reached Bylacuppe where we checked out the Golden temple and the Tibet camp. It was just like visiting a new country. It was reminiscent of some of the Buddhist temples I saw in Japan but was unique in its own way. There was a bit of India and a bit of China in everything we saw. We had our lunch in a Tibetian restaurant. I had a Thukpa which reminded me so much of Soba(Japanese soup noodles). Sakhib ordered for Chowmein. It was full of Garlic and tasted pretty bad. Overall, it was an interesting experiment.

We drove back to Bangalore in about 4 hours. But we got stuck in a maze called NICE road trying to reach Kanakapura road. We entered Kanakapura road alright but started driving todards Kanakapura(wrong directions on the interchange). I realised if we have to go towards Bangalore we should be headed northwards but we were moving towards south(the setting sun showed us the direction). We took a U turn and drove back to Bangalore. Just to realise the weather had been much cooler in Bangalore in the last 3 days. The trip was fun. The standout feature was the lovely drive and complete lazy time spent in a new place. Especially spending so much time with my cousin after years. Looking forward to more such getaways in the near future.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Naachbo gaibo haarbo re

IPL fever is on and the most popular team Kolkata Knightriders has been in a mess right from the word go. They have got into all kinds of controversies. From multiple captaincy theory to the fakeiplplayer blog ( ) each one has been more interesting than the other. Their game has never matched up with their anthem "Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo re". Rather there has been lots of song, dance and defeat. SRK might have to change their anthem to "Naachbo Gaibo Haarbo re".

Apart from the KKR team Bangalore Royal challengers have also been very disappointing inspite of the money spent on them. For some reason I dont feel like supporting them even though I belong to Bangalore.

My team has been Rajasthan Royals right from IPL 2008. I just love the way Shane Warne motivated youngsters to play out of their skins. We see guys like Yusuf Pathan, Asnodkar and Kamran Khan perform well even under pressure. I believe Shane Warne's leader has played a big role. He maybe a dog off the field but sure is a lion on the field. They will keep winning and the franchise owners will be happy as long as Shilpa shetty doesnt give Warnie her cell number. It will suit their team the best if his communication is limited to Mr. Raj Kundra(co owner).

Everything said and done, I think there is lot more to play for in this IPL and the points table can get reversed in next 5 or 6 matches. I am hoping to see the best of every team but my support has been with the Royals. They may or may not win the tournament they have won many hearts including mine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Padhey likhey jaahil

With the election fever catching up in the world's largest democracy I cant help thinking are we really the world's largest democracy or something else?

We hear about craziest of the crazy ways the political parties use to garner votes. Most interesting one I read was about few parties in Andhra Pradesh trying to buy the votes of the younger guys bribing them with cricket kits. I wonder how would anybody confirm if the guy who took the cricket gear actually voted to the party he took it from. The campaign has been reduced to a platform for mudslinging. We hear our leaders bash others personalities rather than reach out to the masses. All I can say is we are so much used to the present system, that any corruption looks like an everyday event.

We can always find an excuse for our backwardness in lack of education among the masses or orthodoxy controling them. But I believe it is just one of many causes that has kept us where we are. The most important factor in my opinion that can make a system/country strong is accountability. Whatever you call it, accountability to the system, God or conscience. Unfortunately, the accountability factor is almost absent as far as I have seen in India. And I have seen more of it in many of the foreigners I have worked with. I wonder whats the reason. I dont think they are perfect. They have their own mistakes but when it comes to being accountable for their actions they are miles ahead of us.

Another factor I feel is we always like blaming the other for any failure we might face. Biggest example is India/Pakistan blaming eachother for their problems. Mostly we see the arab world blames the Zionist's or the west for all its problems. Nobody ever likes to stand up and take the responsibility to clean up themselves and their society. Destiny is one truth but unless we take up the responsibility our condition will never improve.

Education goes a long way in making us aware of the world around us and understanding the system we are a part of. What we learn and how we put it to practice goes a long way in shaping our destinies. But sole objective of earning degree's today is to amass wealth? We have many Varun Gandhi's, Mayavati's and Ramlinga Raju's amongst us. All best examples to the phrase "padhe likhe jaahil". All of us have a streak of this educated beast within us. I dont know if we can get rid of it altogether but acknowledging its existance is the first step in solving the problem.

Need of the hour seams to be a value based education system. Especially, the education that begins from home. How and What we all need to introspect. Guess if things dont change in time we could call our progress as uncivilization. And our world would be full of "Padey likhey jaahil". Who would know all the management theories and technologies but oblivious to "huququllah huququl ibaad"(Rights of God and mankind).

PS: Guess, this sums up some thoughts going through my mind when I watch the news channel's or read the paper. Perhaps, my next blog entry will be more interesting :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New challenges

Last month has been pretty interesting on the professional front. Mu sigma has treated me pretty well so far. Having worked on a single ETL tool for close to four years now I have to reinvent myself to fit into an analytics organization. Analytics is a very interesting field but coming from a purely IT services background I have some challenges ahead.

First of all focussing on the clients business and having to work on any new tool based on the situation. I need to be more versatile and get adjusted to this almost alien atmosphere. Though basics of insurance industry is not rocket science the jargon looks nothing less. I need to get used to the industry specific language. Besides learning another new ETL tool called SSIS and understanding the reporting and dashboards using BO is going to be a new experience. In short there is lots of learning waiting to happen. How I manage to absorb all this time will tell but I believe if you apply yourself and focus on the right areas nothing is impossible.

Besides a new job not much eventful happening. On the weekends I am pretty much occupied atleast in the morning arabic classes. Of late my progress is slow but there is some progress. I have been planning to start swimming but the plan has not yet been implemented. Looks like getting more organised and sticking to a plan is need of the hour. Hopefully, my next entry will reflect some more interesting events and a more organized life. Bye Bye till then.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome to Mu Sigma

It has been three days already in the new company. It is really a new experience. Especially coming from giant organizations like IBM, Satyam and TCS. Things are less organized or should I say they are getting organized. There is no internal messenger yet. This was an ideal timepass. And when there is a problem with the individual systems the IT team is just across the room. In my earlier companies you would end up pinging someone in the other end of the country and sometimes even beyond the shores.

In my last two projects that I was the junior most guy. Here experience wise I am among the senior guys. There are many guys around who have just 1 or 2 years experience. They seam to be more dynamic and flexible. Especially coming from a background where all my work has been pretty similar over last few years it is a new experience and an exciting opportunity.

How exciting or how new the work is, I will know when I start interacting with the client/onsite coordinator. For now I am only going through some documents that will help me understand the fundamentals of insurance industry. Frankly speaking its not my favourite industry but dealing with the data and making sense out of this will be interesting.

At the moment, I am new to this place and trying my best to capture as much information from my surroundings as possible and put it to use when needed. In short an interesting beginning to a new phase in my career. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hum bewafa hargiz na the.... par hum wafa kar na sake.....

After 6 months of code conversion, testing and documentation in IBM. I decided to move on. It was a hectic phase of 6 months especially the long drive to work and monotonous nature of work dint help. It was a challenging role but something so different to what I am used to and within time lines.

No complaint about the nature of work. But the team was down sized to 25% of the initial strength suddenly because the client is a pauper now. We were notified about the release date just 5 days in advance. When we were recruited, we were told this is a very long term engagement and all that gas. But the IT industry runs only on projections and expectations. They don't come true always. Its not specific to any company but the industry in general is in a shaky position and its time to look for a safer bet.

Last week when the rumors of massive layoff's were doing the rounds, I thought I will explore the job market again. Its by God's grace things opened just at the right time. I got a call in a day and after a series of interviews I got an offer. The rolloff news came out just the day I got the offer. It was a very easy decision to make.

By the way I am moving to an organization called mu-sigma. I have been offered a position of Senior Business Analyst. They are into analytics. It is related to the DW/BI work that I am used to. But, I expect this role will help me move up the value chain. Looks interesting and challenging.

All said and done, its all about the projections and expectations. About the real outcome, time will tell. At the moment I feel it is a calculated risk.

Now, when I look back I feel am I really such an unstable person? I have resigned 3 times in 18 months. I feel I have just been as stable as the market has been. I have chased good work and only when the company has given me no choice I made the big decision. I guess the title of this post sums up my position on my current commitment crisis.

Commitment will be back when the employer's are capable of sticking to their commitments. It takes two to tango after all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Last month or so has been really monotonous. Work has been the same. Comparing different outputs and fixing the defects in the code we developed. It was alright for a week but now its been a month of doing the same work. It has got pretty boring. Perhaps I need a long vacation.

Because of the hectic schedule I am lagging behind with the arabic classes. I have still not learnt the 90 verbs(have to finish 120 by this saturday). I had a poster in my room long ago which read "secret of getting ahead is getting started". Think its my starting trouble that has kept me where I was a month ago.

Looks like my current project will complete by march end. Then should start looking for a new assignment. Lots of rumours have been doing the rounds these days about the layoff's and stuff. But I guess continuous learning and being a bit proactive might help. Eventually whats gonna happen is destiny. We can only prepare.

Thats it for now. Life is slow and my blog's getting boring. Lets hope life gets more interesting and so does my blog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mad mad world(not quite)

Last year or so has been a roller coaster ride for almost everyone. It began with words like recession and subprime crisis. A black man ran for the white house and and we have him there.

One of the biggest software companies in India is in a mess because of fraud. Funniest part is its name....Satyam(meaning truth).

We saw the biggest hiring spree a couple of years back. Every IT company announced in its quarterly result. We added 10000+ people this quarter. Now we hear things like 10000 people fired per week.

We saw Australian cricket team lose both test and ODI series at home. Looks like its rein as the superpower is coming to an end.

Every conversation is depressing and hovers around these depressing topics. I'd like to believe its a wake up call. We learn to live within our means accept the change as a new beginning.

Its just the cycle of life. Everybody has humble beginnings. They grow with principles and efforts. They stagnate and someone else takes over. God tests in good and bad times. We need to stand up to the test. Have the courage and patience in bad times. We need to be thankful in good times. But cheerful at all times.

I want to stop thinking of this fear/depression I see all around. I want to learn/improve professionally and personally. Its a gloomy phase. But have to be prepared to make hay when the sun shines. Sun will shine sooner or later. Every night is followed by a day. Lets chill and wait with hope and belief.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 a new start

It was a year back that I decided to move to a new job and a new country not knowing what to expect but with a positive attitude. Its been a year after that and times have changed. In the process I learnt a lot. The learning has been fun.

Changing my job twice in the same year has taught me one golden lesson "no matter how much you change things will always be the same". Last year we used to get interview calls every week but now all the job portals have gone empty. Last year every company treated its employees like the boss but now its the "take it or leave it" attitude. But one thing has remained the same, work has kept me really busy. Hardly have time for myself. And the worst part is we need to remain busy to protect our jobs. We have to adapt and most importantly enjoy every moment as it is. I think its time to learn as much as possible so that it can be encashed when better times return.

One more thing I've learnt is that nothing is permanent. Everything finishes one day or the other. The biggest empires and civilizations have been razed to rubble. Thats the cycle of life. Who was a superpower yesterday is nobody today. The same holds good for all of us. We have to do our best to enjoy the journey and we can expect results only from God. I believe better times will return. God is with those who are patient (Innallaha ma as sabireen).